Two emerging studio powers, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, have entered negotiations for a possible merger. This potential blockbuster deal is still in the very early stages, and both studios had been in talks to merge before, although disparities over pricing and control issues ground the discussions to a halt.
There are no guarantees that a deal will be reached, and it is also said that Summit Entertainment has other studios eyeing a merger deal. If a merger does go through, though, it would combine two of Hollywood's rising powers, both with major cash cow franchises to offer.
Lionsgate would likely have the most to gain, with access to the billion-dollar Twilight franchise. The last movie in the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, hits theaters November 16, 2012, which Lionsgate would see a piece of, along with merchandise and Blu-ray/DVD sales. It is said that Lionsgate has over $550 million in short-term and long-term debt.
Summit Entertainment would get a piece of Lionsgate's franchise-in-the-making The Hunger Games, which is set for release March 23, 2012. The sequel, Catching Fire, has also been given a November 22, 2013 release date. Lionsgate also produces the award-winning TV series Mad Men, along with Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Boss.
Representatives from both Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment refused to comment on the story.