Lions Gate Films May Seek New Media Agency

In Possible Setback for Palisades, Studio Hires Independent Consultants

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Leading independent studio Lions Gate Films is believed to be shopping for a new media buying and planning firm for its $130 million account. The studio has hired independent consultants to study its options and is taking meetings with various shops, according to an executive close to the matter.
Lions Gate has brought in independent consultants to study its media buying and planning options.
Lions Gate has brought in independent consultants to study its media buying and planning options.

Incumbent agency
That could mean a setback for its current agency, Palisades Media Group, which recently won business from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and the Weinstein Co.

A Lions Gate spokeswoman declined to comment. Palisades Media Group executives did not immediately return calls.

Palisades accounts
This spring, MGM hired Palisades Media to handle media buying and planning for its domestic theatrical distribution division. Billings were undisclosed, but are thought to be as high as $100 million as MGM looks to revive itself as a Hollywood competitor in feature films. MGM spent $113.2 million in measured media in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Last August, Palisades won the $150 million media-buying account for the Weinstein Co., the multimedia studio formed by Harvey and Bob Weinstein after they left the Walt Disney Co. fold. The Weinstein brothers had an existing relationship with Palisades when they ran Disney's Miramax label -- Palisades was Miramax's media agency for more than eight years.

7-year itch?
Palisades has worked with Lions Gate for more than seven years, and before that with Artisan Entertainment, which merged with Lions Gate in 2003.

Lions Gate produces and distributes feature films, TV programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its library is more than 5,000 titles strong.

The studio has had a string of box-office hits with genre films such as "Saw" and "Hostel" and spiritual-themed movies from writer/director/producer/actor Tyler Perry, such as "Madea's Family Reunion" and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." The studio released Oscar-winner "Crash" as well as "Akeelah and the Bee," a spelling-bee drama that was well-reviewed but attracted little audience attention despite an extensive Starbucks promotional partnership.
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