Independent film studio Summit Entertainment, famous for wooing many a teenage girl with its Twilight films, has been wooed itself, as it reportedly will be bought by Lionsgate for $700 million. The story, first broken by Deadline.com, is confirmed by The Wall Street Journal this morning, with the former offering the standard disclaimer that the deal, "while not yet final, is likely to be completed in coming days." In any case, though Summit's known for distributing successful films like Best Picture-winner The Hurt Locker, the deal seems to provide a soft landing for the studio as its last installment of its very lucrative Twilight series will be released in November this year. And expect Lionsgate to recoup that $700 million quickly when Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 makes its way to theaters, if Part 1, which has already grossed $659 million in less than two months, is any indication. Perhaps the deal also has something to do with Lionsgate's Hunger Games franchise kicking off in March, which the studio surely hopes will be the next super-profitable kids' book series to make it big in film. Summit, whose co-chairmen Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman will remain at Lionsgate, certainly did well with its movies about horny teenage vampires. Perhaps they will do the same with horny teenage gladiators. The Journal goes through some of the other advantages of the deal:
Summit's strengths, particularly its international theatrical distribution business, appear to complement Vancouver-based Lions Gate's assets, which are concentrated in home entertainment and TV. The studio produces series including "Mad Men," "Nurse Jackie" and "Boss."