Lionsgate, Xenon Pictures ink home entertainment distribution deal

MUMBAI: Lionsgate has entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement with Spanish language and urban/specialty company Xenon Pictures. The announcement was made by Lionsgate President and co-Chief Operating Officer Steve Beeks and Xenon Pictures’ Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Leigh Savidge.

Under the agreement, Lionsgate will distribute more than 300 DVD titles from Xenon and the labels it operates in the United States, including Spanish-language market leader Televisa Home Entertainment, as well as a number of theatrical features in the Xenon pipeline, including the Australian hit comedy Kenny, which opens in U.S. theatres this spring.
Xenon will continue to produce, acquire, and market its unique blend of product, with Lionsgate providing the sales and replenishment muscle. The new deal replaces the one that Xenon had with Universal Music’s Vivendi Visual Entertainment division. Forty-four titles will remain with Vivendi until January 1, 2009. Xenon previously self-distributed its product for 18 years.

"We have been very impressed with Lionsgate’s thoughtful and thorough approach to the home entertainment space in recent years, as well as with the professionalism of their sales force," said Savidge. "They truly understand what it is that we do, and their marketing and distribution prowess makes Lionsgate an ideal fit for our product."

"Xenon is an exciting addition to our growing library of Spanish-language titles," said Beeks. "The Xenon library builds upon a Spanish-language foundation established with our acquisition of other libraries and formation of other distribution agreements with a strong Spanish-language component. The partnership with Xenon extends both our Spanish-language and urban lines of business, two very important growth markets for Lionsgate."

Xenon has already successfully released a select group of titles through Lionsgate, including Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror.

"We were very impressed with the collaborative approach that Lionsgate took with Hood of Horror," said Kristi Alires, Xenon’s Vice President of Marketing. "They understood our marketing approach and translated it into impressive retail placement."

The deal was negotiated by Xenon’s EVP/COO Stephen A. Housden and its CFO Kent Little, with Lionsgate EVP Business & Legal Affairs Wendy Jaffe negotiating for Lionsgate under Beeks’ direction.