Summit & Lionsgate Merger Talks Revived

Two of the biggest mini majors on the Hollywood independent studio block, Summit Entertainment and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., are reportedly in merger discussions again says The Wall Street Journal.

The two companies have explored a merger in the past and while negotiations have broken down, neither has abandoned their talks. It is uncertain whether the current talks will lead to a deal or even if they do, when one could be completed.

The combined pairing of the two could form a seventh major studio to compete with Disney, Fox, Paramount, Warners, Universal and Sony. Even though it would easily be the smallest of the group in terms of market share, both would come inbuilt with their own already formidable franchises.

Summit is primarily known for its “Twilight” franchise, and has only had moderate success with other films in recent years including “The Hurt Locker,” “Push,” “Letters to Juliet” and “RED”. They’ve several films on the way next year including the Sam Worthington-led “Man on a Ledge,” the Henry Cavill-led “The Cold Light of Day”, and the zombie rom-com “Warm Bodies”.

Lionsgate has built its own successes over the past decade include the “Saw” films, Tyler Perry’s assorted output, and movies like “The Lincoln Lawyer”,” “Crash”, “The Expendables” and “Kick-Ass”.

Recently however its been struck by several costly flops including the “Conan the Barbarian” remake, the Taylor Lautner-led “Abduction”, and the critically acclaimed but little seen “Warrior”. The company however has a potential breakout franchise with “The Hunger Games” next year and produces various successful cable shows including “Mad Men,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds” and the recent “Boss”.