Lionsgate will be merging its production and acquisition departments into a single content banner. The new Lead Content Group will be headed up by Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane. Meanwhile, Charlotte Koh and Lauren Bixby will lead Acquisitions and Co-Productions.
“Lionsgate has grown aggressively over the last few years,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair Joe Drake. “We now release approximately 50 new films every year across our wide theatrical release business, from our tentpoles like ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ and ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ to our more targeted theatrical business with movies like ‘Sisu’ and ‘Fall,’ including a vibrant multiplatform release pipeline that debuts over 30 films annually.”
Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine has been named co-president, Motion Picture Group. Constantine, who has driven acquisitions of the “John Wick,” “Expendables” and “Saw” franchises during his tenure at the studio, will report directly to Kahane and oversee creative strategy in both production and acquisitions.
“In a business,” Drake continued, “where content is more valuable than ever, our strategy is to meet audiences across the globe wherever they consume entertainment with the movies they want to see. Bringing internal development, acquisitions and co-productions together in one unit enables us to reach the full potential of our philosophy and strategy as a studio.”
Charlotte Koh will join the studio as executive vice president, Acquisitions and Co-Productions. She will be focused on leading the acquisitions team for the wide-release theatrical slate. Taking on additional leadership responsibilities alongside Koh, Lauren Bixby has been promoted to senior vice president, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and will continue to lead the studio’s acquisitions team for multiplatform and streaming titles as well as oversee the growing targeted theatrical business.
Koh joins Lionsgate from Confluential Films. She previously served as Head of Digital Media and Unscripted for Hello Sunshine, Head of Video for the Huffington Post, Head of Original Productions for GoPro, and Head of Originals at Hulu — a role she founded — as well as playing business development and creative roles at Marvel, Fox Searchlight and elsewhere.
“As Cannes gets underway next week, we’re thrilled to welcome Charlotte to the Lionsgate family,” Kahane stated. “Her vast experience in development, production and acquisitions, alongside her extensive relationships throughout the industry, make her uniquely suited for this role and a fantastic addition to the team.”
“She’ll make a great teammate to Lauren,” Kahane continued, “who has helped stand up an expanding streaming business and whose expertise in creating a slate of multiplatform titles has continued to grow and prove increasingly important and profitable under her leadership. This is an exciting time for the company, and I couldn’t ask for a better collaborator and partner than Jason Constantine as we guide the Motion Picture Group.”
Meanwhile, Erin Westerman will continue in her role as president of Production, overseeing the development and production of all of Lionsgate’s homegrown titles and will continue to report to Kahane.
The “John Wick” series, which began as a single under-the-radar Keanu Reeves actioner, which Lionsgate picked up and turned into a big-deal theatrical release in under two months, recently crossed $1 billion in worldwide theatrical box office on a combined four-movie budget of around $245 million. Amid a decade where new-to-cinema franchises found themselves crowded out by nostalgia-targeted revamps and reboots, Lionsgate found relative success with the likes of “The Expendables,” “The Hunger Games,” “No You See Me,” “John Wick,” “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “Wonder” and “Knives Out.”