Top brass have launched Lionsgate Premiere, a multi-platform channel of up to 15 Lionsgate and Summit films a year that kicks off in autumn with Chinese epic Dragon Blade followed by zom-com Cooties.

Lionsgate svp of marketing and research Jean McDowell will head marketing for the new label under the supervision of Lionsgate CMO Tim Palen.

Adam Sorensen, currently manager of Western sales at Lionsgate, will oversee distribution operations.

A press release said Lionsgate Premiere would extend the reach of the parent company’s Motion Picture Group to new audiences and platforms.

Titles will go out theatrically as well as on a “broad spectrum of digital platforms.” 

Dragon Blade has grossed more than $100m in China and stars Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack. 

Cooties stars Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood and is based on a screenplay by Saw franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. Lionsgate acquired the zom-com following its world premiere at Sundance 2014.

Other Lionsgate Premiere titles will include the comedy Don Verdean starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; horror-thriller Knock Knock, from Eli Roth and starring Keanu Reeves and the action thriller Extraction with Bruce Willis, Kellen Lutz and Gina Carano.

“Lionsgate Premiere embodies the unique attributes of our motion picture business – our diversity, our focus on audiences in our sweet spot and ability to create release strategies attuned to next generation moviegoers,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. 

“We’re thrilled to launch our newest label with a wide-ranging slate that features films from horror maestros, star-driven action thrillers as well as a blockbuster that has already conquered the Chinese box office.”

“Our new Lionsgate Premiere brand positions us to further expand our portfolio of releases and capitalize on opportunities to deliver an exciting slate of films to next generation audiences,” said co-COO and Motion Picture Group president Steve Beeks. 

“We have put in place a dynamic marketing and distribution team that will ensure that the Lionsgate Premiere brand is distinguished by provocative and original storytelling, innovative marketing campaigns and forward-looking multiplatform and other release strategies that maintain our leadership at the cutting edge of industry innovation.”

McDowell previously served as vice-president of research for the studio and before that was vice-president of marketing for The Weinstein Company. He also launched the digital marketing and publicity agency Brigade.