Independent film studio Lionsgate and Televisa announced the launch of Pantelion Films, a joint venture designed to target Hispanic moviegoers in the U.S., the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. moviegoer population. The new venture was unveiled at a New York City press conference this week helmed by Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Grupo Televisa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Emilio Azcarraga.
Noting that 26 million U.S. moviegoers are Hispanic and that they represent more than one-fourth of all frequent moviegoers in the U.S., Pantelion will release a slate of eight to 10 films a year over the next five years targeted to Latino audiences, kicking off with the January 2011 release of the comedy From Prada To Nada. Four to five films will be produced in-house each year, and the other four to five films will be acquired. Pantelion will be headed by Chairman Jim McNamara, head of Panamax Films and former President and CEO of Telemundo, and CEO Paul Presburger, a longtime Lionsgate international executive and architect of the Pantelion deal and strategy.
“Pantelion is unprecedented in terms of the production, distribution and marketing resources we are focusing on the Latino moviegoer in the U.S. and the consistent pipeline of movies we are offering Hispanic audiences,” said Feltheimer. “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Televisa, the most powerful entertainment brand in the Hispanic world. Televisa’s iconic brand and the support of our theatrical exhibition partners give Pantelion immediate impact in the marketplace. Our Pantelion venture reflects all of our corporate values — entrepreneurial executives, world-class partners, branded content, a targeted audience and a disciplined and focused approach.”
“Lionsgate is an ideal partner for extending Televisa’s reputation for original, quality, commercially exciting filmed entertainment to the vast market of Spanish-speaking moviegoers in the U.S.,” said Azcarraga. “Lionsgate has a proven track record of supplying hit movies to large niche audiences that have been underserved in the past, and we believe that the Pantelion brand will reflect the best attributes of its partners and quickly become synonymous with commercially exciting films, entrepreneurial innovation and a consistent presence in the marketplace.”
“We are thrilled to have the resources and backing of two global media companies,” said McNamara and Presburger. “We look forward to bringing Latino moviegoers in the U.S. a slate of films each year that is unprecedented in its scope and unparalleled in its quality and excitement.”
Pantelion was immediately hailed by the top three U.S. theatrical exhibitors, representing more than 50% of U.S. screens, and the new venture is in active discussions with major exhibitors for showcasing its slate.
“The Hispanic audience is one of the most vibrant parts of the U.S. moviegoing community, and we are always looking for ways to broaden our selection of offerings to them,” said Gerry Lopez, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMC Cinema. “We know that Pantelion’s slate will reflect the box office excitement and quality we have come to expect from Lionsgate, from Crash to Precious to The Expendables, and we’re very excited about committing a number of screens to the Hispanic community in general and Pantelion films in particular.”
“Cinemark believes the time is right for this kind of targeted effort, and we are thrilled to be working with our friends at Lionsgate and Televisa,” said Cinemark President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Warner. The U.S. Hispanic audience is increasing in importance to our business every day. We continue to be engaged with Pantelion in joint marketing discussions and hope to develop new, outside the box ways of jointly reaching the Latino moviegoer.”
“Regal Entertainment Group programs a wide variety of films so that our moviegoers have a terrific selection of entertainment options,” said Greg Gunn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Regal Entertainment Group. “Lionsgate consistently provides Regal with a diverse slate of movies delivering original, daring, quality entertainment. Regal is excited by Lionsgate’s new business venture and Pantelion’s appeal to the Hispanic audience, the fastest growing segment of the US population and known to be avid moviegoers.”