Busy Lionsgate made two significant and separate announcements on Thursday, lining up an S-VOD service with the organisers of Comic-Con and extending its Grindstone partnership with Emmett/Furla Films.
The subscription VOD service is planned to launch later this year with original short-form content created exclusively for the channel, archived footage from 45 years of Comic-Con and film and TV from Lionsgate “and other studios”.
Lionsgate and Comic-Con International: San Diego also plan to turn the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival into a year-round online destination.
The Comic-Con International channel is the third streaming service to come from Lionsgate following the Lionsgate Entertainment World platform with the Alibaba Group in China and Tribeca Shortlist in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises.
The extension of the Grindstone Entertainment Group deal with Emmett/Furla Films will see a further 10 films. Select titles such as Bruce Willis CIA thriller The Extraction will go out on the freshly minted Lionsgate Premiere label.
Thus far Grindstone’s collaboration with Emmett/Furla has generated crime thriller Empire State starring Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth and serial killer thriller Frozen Ground with Nic Cage and John Cusack.
In the pipeline are heist film Bus 657 starring Robert DeNiro and Kate Bosworth, CIA action-thriller The Extraction with Willis, Kellan Lutz and Gina Carano and thriller Daughter Of God starring Keanu Reeves and Mira Sorvino
The developments come at an extremely busy time for the studio. Earlier this week chairman Mark Rachesky said he would sell 10m shares in the company in a move that would reduce his ownership stake by 20% to 27.5% but still leave him as the studio’s biggest investor.
It is understood Lionsgate would not receive any proceeds from the sale, which Rachesky’s investment firm MHR Fund Management is expected to handle.
Last week Lionsgate also announced the Lionsgate Premiere multi-platform channel and on Wednesday said it was fast-tracking an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey.