SANTA MONICA, CA, August 10, 2009– The Jim Henson Company, a leader in family entertainment for over 50 years, and LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), the leading next generation studio, announced today that they have entered into a multi-year home entertainment distribution agreement. Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate obtains the North American distribution rights to over 350 hours of content in The Jim Henson Company’s extensive film and television library including television series, television specials and catalog home entertainment titles for DVD, EST and VOD channels. The first new titles scheduled to be released are the much anticipated Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season (Season 4) and Fraggle Rock: A Merry Fraggle Holiday in November 2009. The announcement was made by Anne Parducci, Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Family Entertainment and Peter Schube, President & COO, The Jim Henson Company.
“The Jim Henson Company has an incredibly rich legacy of properties. The Company’s works are beloved by fans both old and young and we relish the opportunity to be able to bring properties like Fraggle Rock and Emmet Otter into the home,” said Parducci. “Adding The Jim Henson Company name to our extensive family library is a major coup for us. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
“Lionsgate has already proven itself to be a terrific distributor of favorites like ‘Fraggle Rock’ and ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas,’ demonstrating the creativity and care these titles deserve and our fans expect,” said Schube. “We are looking forward to collaborating with them to release more classic titles as well as to introduce lesser-known gems from the Company’s library to our audience.”
The deal with The Jim Henson Company continues to build on Lionsgate’s tremendous success distributing product from some of the most prominent family brands in the marketplace. Currently the second largest distributor in the children’s non-theatrical home entertainment category with a 17.6% market share, Lionsgate releases to DVD a virtual who’s-who in family entertainment brands, including Speed Racer and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, Marvel™ Animated Features, Wolverine & the XMen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, American Greetings’ The Care Bears, HIT Entertainment’s Thomas & Friends™, Bob the Builder™, Barney™, Angelina Ballerina™, MGA Entertainment’s ever-popular Little Tikes® brand, Cookie Jar Entertainment’s The Doodlebops, Nelvana’s Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, and educational entertainment from LeapFrog Enterprises.
For The Jim Henson Company, the agreement is part of its current strategy to establish new brands like the recent preschool hits “Sid the Science Kid” and the upcoming “Dinosaur Train,” as well as to relaunch existing library titles with strong partners across all platforms and media, as seen with the development of the upcoming “Fraggle Rock” and “Power of the Dark Crystal” features and “Farscape” webisodes.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is the leading next generation studio with a strong and diversified presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury, reality programming through its joint venture with ISH Entertainment and an array of channel platform assets. Its feature film business achieved a record box office performance in the recent January-March 2009 quarter, driven by the success of “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail,” “My Bloody Valentine 3-D” and “The Haunting In Connecticut.” The Company’s home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and leads the industry in its box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly.
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