US: Lionsgate seals new Marvel deal

Firm acquires home entertainment distribution rights to TV series Wolverine & The X-Men
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Lionsgate has picked up the US home distribution rights for all 26 half hour episodes for the forthcoming Marvel series Wolverine & The X-Men.

The show - which is a co-production with Toonz Entertainment, Singapore and First Serve International - is due to begin airing in the US from January 2009 on Nicktoons Network.

Lionsgate and Marvel already work together on original animated direct-to-DVD features based on specific characters from the Marvel Universe.

This deal will further Lionsgate's reputation in the family genre, which it has been trying to build following recent multi-year agreements with Hit Entertainment, Leapfrog and MGA Entertainment.

With all these deals in place, Lionsgate is expecting its family home entertainment market share of non-theatrical product to grow to 15 per cent, positioning it as one of the three industry leaders in that space.

"As evidenced by the recent success of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in theatres, there is nothing hotter in Hollywood than Marvel's amazing line-up of super heroes," said Anne Parducci, Lionsgate's executive VP of marketing and family entertainment.

"We have had tremendous results with our Marvel animated features and this deal reflects the next chapter in our ongoing relationship."


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