Lionsgate Expands Deal With Canada’s Cineplex Pictures for Distribution of 2023 Theatrical Slate

Lionsgate Jan. 4 announced a theatrical distribution agreement with Canada’s Cineplex Pictures for its 2023 theatrical slate. Cineplex Pictures will bring 11 Lionsgate movies to Canadian moviegoers, including first-quarter releases Plane, starring Gerard Butler and Mike Colter; Jesus Revolution starring Kelsey Grammer; and John Wick: Chapter 4, starring Keanu Reeves.

“With Cineplex’s name recognition, distribution prowess and expertise in the Canadian marketplace, our slate is in great hands in Canada,” David Spitz, president of worldwide theatrical distribution, said in a statement.

Cineplex Pictures had theatrical rights for the October release of Prey for the Devil. The 2023 slate also includes Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; About My Father; The Blackening; the untitled Adele Lim comedy; White Bird: A Wonder Storythe follow-up to Wonder; The Expendables 4; the next installment of the “Saw” franchise; and the prequel to the “Hunger Games” franchise, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

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“Cineplex has a longstanding relationship with Lionsgate and … our expertise in connecting with moviegoers is grounded our understanding of what Canadian film lovers are looking for,” said Ellis Jacob, CEO of Cineplex.

Cineplex Pictures, a division of Cineplex, is also a Canadian distributor of a wide range of genre films, including The Good HouseLambThe Tragedy of Macbeth, Hotel Artemis and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

Canada’s Largest Theater Chain Staying Open Despite Coronavirus Spread

Cineplex, Canada’s largest exhibitor with 165 theaters employing 10,000 people, March 12 issued a statement in support of combating the growing coronavirus pandemic with a strategy of operating as usual.

CEO Ellis Jacob, citing the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the threat to public safety from the virus remains low, and as a result the chain will remain open for business — while mandating specific changes for staff and attendees.

Through March 10, Canada had one death linked to the virus and 70 citizens diagnosed with the disease.

Specifically, Cineplex said it has incorporated “enhanced cleaning protocols” in all locations, with particular focus on high-traffic and high-contact areas. Coronaviruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning and the cleaning products Cineplex uses are industrial-grade and food-service approved.

The chain has also implemented increased communications and PSAs for consumers, partners and employees on importance of health and safety in the workplace. It advises anyone not feeling well to refrain from visiting the movie theater.

“Know that we are doing our part by putting employment policies in place so that our hourly staff are protected and are not penalized financially if they need to stay home,” Jacob said. “Again, we continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide ongoing updates as needed. We also encourage our guests to stay up-to-date through Canada’s Public Health website.”