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Movieguide® Award-Winning Distributor Lionsgate Cuts 15% of Motion Picture Group

Lionsgate/YouTube

Movieguide® Award-Winning Distributor Lionsgate Cuts 15% of Motion Picture Group

By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor

Lionsgate, which has distributed several Movieguide® Award-winning movies, will cut 15% of its Global Motion Picture Group.

“As a leader whose first priority is ‘A Best Place to Work’, it is with a heavy heart that I tell you as part of the changes to our operational structure, we will be saying goodbye to a number of our colleagues, friends and co-workers today. These decisions are not a reflection of their immense talent, the quality of their work or the meaningful contributions they have made at our company,” Joe Drake, chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, wrote in an email.

The announcement comes after several of the distributor’s movies were forced to cut short, delay, or cancel their theatrical runs. I STILL BELIEVE, for example, was only in theaters for a few days before states shut down theaters in an attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the theater closures, I STILL BELIEVE still debuted at No. 1 the day it hit cinemas. However, the movie was forced onto on-demand platforms after theater closures.

“While our business remains fundamentally strong, we are not immune to the ongoing COVID crisis that is impacting us like so many other studios,” Drake said. “These demands on our business necessitate that we accelerate changes to our own operations and strategic plan. And today, in order to meet the challenges and opportunities in front of us, we begin the implementation of a reorganization of the Motion Picture Group around four globally integrated verticals. This means that individuals across the MPG will be impacted as groups are being combined, and new roles have been defined or eliminated as part of this process.”

Lionsgate was expected to report quarterly earnings after the market closed on Thursday.

Lionsgate was the distributor of many Movieguide® Award-winning projects through the years.

BELLA won the Faith & Freedom® Award in 2007 and was nominated for the Epiphany Prize®.

TYLER PERRY’S THE FAMILY THAT PREYS was nominated for the Epiphany Prize® in 2008. TYLER PERRY’S I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF was also nominated for the Epiphany Prize® in 2009.

GRACE UNPLUGGED won the 2013 Epiphany Prize®.

“This is a great honor for us,” said GRACE UNPLUGGED writer and director Brad Silverman. “Mark Burg just believed in us. Thank you, Mark, for your guidance and counsel every step of the way. It wouldn’t happen without you. Anne and all the team at Lionsgate, you guys are amazing. You’ve been more than family to us. Larry and Bob. The script would be what it is without Chris Zarpas here. The partner in crime with all things is Russ Rice. Thank God for this great award. Dr. Baehr, thank you for your continued encouragement. This is a real treat, a real honor.”

WONDER was selected as one of the Best Movies for Mature Audiences at the 2018 Movieguide® Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.

Finally, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE took home the Epiphany Prize® in 2019.