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Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (Sometimes stylized as LIONSGATE) is a Canadian entertainment company that originated in Vancouver, British Columbiamarker and is now headquartered in Santa Monica, Californiamarker, USAmarker. As of 2007, it is the most commercially successful independent film and television distribution company in North America.


Lions Gate Films was initiated in 1995 by Frank Giustra, a Vancouvermarker investment banker hoping to capitalize on the growing film industry in his home town. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors, including Trimark Pictures, Montrealmarker-based Cinepix Film Productions (CFP) and, most notably, Artisan Entertainment.

In 2005 Lions Gate Entertainment announced that they had sold off their Canadian distribution rights to the formed Maple Pictures, founded and co-owned by two former Lions Gate executives, Brad Pelman and Laurie May.

Its first major box office success was American Psycho in 2000, which began a trend of producing and distributing films too controversial for the major American studios. Other notable films included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, Saw and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which became the studio's highest grossing film.

Lionsgate (now branded as one word, though the official company name is still two words), along with MGM and Paramount Pictures/Viacom, is also a co-owner of Epix, a new pay TV movie channel which debuted on October 30, 2009 on Verizon FiOS IPTV systems, that will rival HBO and Showtime.

Giustra named the company for a hometown landmark - Vancouver's Lions' Gate Bridgemarker. The term "Lions' Gate" reflects the Lionsmarker, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver.

The company has no connection to Lion's Gate, the now-defunct Los Angelesmarker-based studio and production company run by filmmaker Robert Altman in the 1970s. Coincidentally, it had been named in honor of the same bridge in Vancouver, where Altman shot his 1969 feature, That Cold Day in the Park.

Lions Gate has introduced a new family film label, Lions Gate Family Entertainment. The first film that will be released under this label will be Alpha and Omega. Lions Gate Family Entertainment will be combined with live-action and animated films.

In 2009, Lions Gate, along with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, made a stake for Hulu (owned by News Corporation, NBC Universal/General Electric, and The Walt Disney Company) for its movies and TV shows. Lionsgate also stated they would be starting work in music albums, later in 2011.






















Lionsgate Television produced such series as The Dead Zone, Five Days to Midnight, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the Emmy Award-winning Mad Men. Lionsgate also recently acquired TV syndication firm Debmar-Mercury with 20th Television handling ad-sales.


  • The Lionsgate studio properties in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada were sold to a private company and are now called North Shore Studios, and no longer have an affiliation with Lionsgate Entertainment. In 2006, the company acquired land in Rio Rancho, New Mexicomarker for construction of a new studio facility. The former Lionsgate office located in Toronto is now owned by the Canadian arm of Lions Gate Entertainment, Maple Pictures.


Lionsgate has a home video library of more than 8000 films (many the result of output deals with other studios), including such titles as Dirty Dancing, Joshua Tree, Total Recall, On Golden Pond and the Rambo series. Lionsgate also distributes Will & Grace and other NBC programs, Mattel's Barbie-branded videos and Clifford the Big Red Dog videos from the Scholastic Corporationmarker.

Video properties currently owned by Lionsgate Home Entertainment include those from Family Home Entertainment, Vestron Video, Lightning Video (a former Vestron company), and Magnum Entertainment.

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