Joe Drake Signs New Multiyear Agreement as Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair

Lionsgate Oct. 11 announced it has entered into a new long-term employment agreement with veteran Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Joe Drake.
 
Joe Drake (photo courtesy of Lionsgate)
The deal comes as Drake and his team have assembled a pending movie slate that includes John Wick: Chapter Four, starring Keanu Reeves in the latest installment of one of the studio’s premier action franchises; and Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, the prequel to the $3 billion blockbuster box office franchise that Drake helped launch in 2012.
 
In addition to Now You See Me 3 and Expendables 4, the reimagining of the classic Dirty Dancing, starring and produced by Jennifer Grey, there is Ballerina, which expands the “John Wick” universe with a female-led action thriller starring Knives Out’s Ana de Armas.
 
Finally, Lionsgate is releasing the Graham King-produced Michael Jackson event film.
 
In addition to the tentpole releases, under Drake’s leadership Lionsgate has continued to build its multiplatform distribution business and has launched a fast-growing direct-to-stream film division.
 
 
“Joe and his team continue to execute our core mission of creating great intellectual properties with a strong slate of tentpole films,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “He is an entrepreneur with strong talent relationships and a firm grasp of the global theatrical marketplace, and he will continue to be a great partner in helping us move the company forward.”
 
Drake returned to Lionsgate in October 2017 when it acquired Good Universe, the production and distribution company that he co-founded and ran with partner Nathan Kahane. In 2019, Lionsgate achieved one of its best years ever at the box office led by John Wick: Chapter 3 and Knives Out. During his previous tenure as head of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group from 2007 to 2012, Drake and his team launched the successful “Hunger Games” and “Expendables” franchises, and multiple Oscar winner Precious.
 
In addition to Good Universe, Drake also launched Mandate Pictures. At Good Universe, he shepherded the company’s overall business and was responsible for building key financial, creative and strategic partnerships.  He partnered with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver’s Point Grey Pictures on a series of critically acclaimed comedy hits, including Neighbors and The Night Before as part of a collaboration that he has continued at Lionsgate. As head of Mandate Pictures from 2004 to 2007, Drake produced the Academy Award-winning Juno, the Golden Globe nominated Hope Springs50/50 and the Seth Rogen comedy This Is the End.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Names Horizon Media Agency of Record for Theatrical, Home Entertainment

Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group has named Horizon Media its media agency of record for its theatrical and home entertainment business, the studio announced.

Horizon Media, the largest U.S. media agency according to AdAge Data Center 2022, will be responsible for developing and executing innovative, creative media strategies, planning, buying, data and analytics across all media channels, according to Lionsgate.
 
“Among the factors in making the decision, Lionsgate was impressed and persuaded by Horizon Media’s blu., the agency’s proprietary data platform, empowering their advanced analytical capabilities to target individuals, personalize messaging, and engage moviegoers based on more than 11,000 deterministic attributes, resulting in actionable intelligence across all media and marketing channel,” according to Lionsgate. 
 
“Horizon’s data-driven approach, coupled with their experience in theatrical and entertainment marketing as the driver behind many innovative and successful campaigns, made the difference for us,” Adam Fogelson, vice chair of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.  

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“Lionsgate has a history of challenging convention — of cutting against industry norms — to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowed entertainment industry,” said Karen Hunt, president, Western region, at Horizon Media, in a statement.  “Lionsgate has produced some iconic films and has an amazing slate ahead. We’re excited to start work with Adam and his entire team — putting our ‘Business is Personal’ approach to work.” 

Departing STX Entertainment Chairman Adam Fogelson Named Vice Chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group

Lionsgate July 25 named Adam Fogelson vice chair of its motion picture group, beginning Sept. 1. Fogelson, who will report to Joe Drake, chair of the motion picture group, will oversee worldwide marketing and theatrical distribution and will be part of the unit’s leadership team involved in all aspects of planning and executing content strategy.
 
Fogelson is transitioning from his tenure as chairman of STX Entertainment’s motion picture group, where during the past eight years he oversaw such hits as Hustlers, Greenland, the “Bad Moms” franchise, The Upside, The Gift, Molly’s Game and The Gentlemen, among many others. Prior to joining STX, he was chairman of Universal Pictures.
 
“As we launch new installments of the ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Dirty Dancing,’ and ‘John Wick’ franchises, as well as new IP, franchises and properties, we are looking forward to having his skills, experience and respected leadership,” Drake said in a statement. “His longstanding relationships with the industry’s most creative collaborators will prove invaluable as we focus on our upcoming slate.”
 
 
Lionsgate’s upcoming slate of films includes Prey for the Devil, in theaters Oct. 28; Jesus Revolution, in theaters Feb. 24, 2023; John Wick: Chapter 4, in theaters March 24, 2023; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, in theaters April 28, 2023; and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, in theaters Nov. 17, 2023.
 
Prior to his STX tenure, Fogelson served as chairman of Universal Pictures from 2009 through October 2013. While at the company, he oversaw worldwide operations for the motion picture group, including its global theatrical, home entertainment, partnerships & licensing, finance, human resources and communications divisions.
 
In 2012 and again in 2013, under Fogelson’s leadership, Universal celebrated its highest-grossing years at the worldwide box office in the company’s 100+ year history at that time. During his tenure as chairman, Universal released numerous hit films including Ted, Bridesmaids, Contraband, Safe House, The Lorax, Snow White and the Huntsman, Identity Thief, Pitch Perfect, Mama, The Purge, Les Misérables. Despicable Me 1 and 2, and Fast and Furious 5 and 6. Other greenlit films while Fogelson was Chairman include Jurassic World, Lone Survivor, Ride Along, Non-Stop, Neighbors, The Purge 2, Fifty Shades of Grey and Lucy.
 
Fogelson joined Universal in 1998, beginning as VP of creative advertising and rising to president of marketing and distribution in 2007. During his time in Universal’s marketing operations, Fogelson worked on all the films in the “Meet the Parents,” “Bourne,” “American Pie” and “The Fast and the Furious” franchises, along with other box office successes including Mamma Mia!, American Gangster, Knocked Up, Bruce Almighty, Seabiscuit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 8 Mile, The Break-Up, Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill, Bring It On and Ray.