Alcon Entertainment Partners With Lionsgate on ‘What to Expect When You're Expecting’

It is Alcon's first investment outside Warner Bros., where it has a longtime distribution deal

Alcon Entertainment is expanding its investments beyond Warner Bros., teaming with Lionsgate to co-finance "What to Expect When You're Expecting," the companies announced Thursday.

It is Alcon's first movie investment outside Warner Bros., where it has a longstanding distribution pact.

In a written statement, the companies said that Alcon's strategy is "to generate additional film output." The companies will split prodution and marketing costs on the film.

Alcon, however, will be a "passive financier." Its co-founders and co-CEOs will not take producer credits on the movie.

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 11, 2012.

Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove started Alcon in 1997 with financial backing from Fedex founder, chairman and CEO Frederick Smith.

It most recently had a hit with "Dolphin Tale," which has grossed $79.5 million on a budget estimated at $37 million. That movie stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson.

In September, the company announced that it was acquiring the boutique management firm Madhouse Entertainment.

Also Read: Alcon Gets Into Management Game With Madhouse Entertainment Purchase

Lionsgate has a history of working with outside producers and financiers, and has made deals with Lakeshore Entertainment, Relativity and Crest Animation, among others.

In a written statement, Lionsgate’s Co-COO and Motion Picture Group president, Joe Drake said, “Andrew and Broderick have impeccable taste and they’re astute businessmen — their interest in partnering with Lionsgate is immensely flattering from both a creative and a financial perspective. This co-financing deal is ideal for both of us because it aligns our interests; there is a true sharing of risk capital including P&A on films that we both see great value in making. This deal provides a way for Lionsgate to pursue risk mitigation while allowing Alcon to have broader access to commercial content beyond the product they develop themselves.”

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is an ensemble comedy based on the New York Times-bestselling pregancy manual.

It follows five couples whose lives are changed by impending parenthood. It is directed by Kirk Jones ("Nanny McPhee") and stars  Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, and Chris Rock.