Lionsgate, the premier independent filmed entertainment studio, announced today that it has acquired the home entertainment distribution rights to the new animated series from global entertainment licensing company Marvel Entertainment, Inc. Wolverine and the X-Men. Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate retains the United States home distribution rights to all 26 action-packed half-hour episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men,(a co-production with Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd., Singapore and First Serve International Ltd.), a brand new animated series that is scheduled to air on Nicktoons Network beginning in January 2009.
"As evidenced by the recent success of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in theatres, there is nothing hotter in Hollywood than Marvel's amazing lineup of Super Heroes," said Parducci. "We have had tremendous results with our Marvel animated features and this deal reflects the next chapter in our on-going relationship. These series' are based upon proven entities on the big screen and DVD and they will feature a similar animation style to the Marvel DVD's we are currently releasing."
"Lionsgate has an impressive team of executives in the home entertainment division and their passion for Marvel product has been evidenced through their award winning execution on our animated features," said Rollman. "We have developed a very respectful and complimentary relationship which we are thrilled to continue to build on with this important animated series."
Lionsgate was selected as the distribution partner following the tremendous success of its current development, production, and distribution relationship with Marvel for original animated direct-to-DVD features based upon specific characters in the Marvel Universe. Signed in 2004, the companies have currently released the first four titles -- Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2, Doctor Strange and Invincible Iron Man -- under the agreement. Each of these titles has debuted as the number one children's non-theatrical release for the week and cumulatively they have shipped more than three million units. The next Marvel animated features -- Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow -- will be released on September 2nd.
Additionally, the companies have a theatrical relationship, which began in April 2004 with Lionsgate's release of The Punisher starring Thomas Jane and Rebecca Romijn. Lionsgate will also be releasing Punisher: War Zone, a re-imagining of The Punisher in theatres this December.
About Wolverine and the X-Men:
An explosive event shatters the lives of the X-Men and takes away their mentor, Professor X. The beaten heroes, including Beast, Storm, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, walk away from it all but then they are given a rare glimpse into the future, where they see a world in utter ruin ... ruled by giant destructive robots. They discover the world has spiraled out of control because the X-Men have given up. So now the most legendary of all X-Men, Wolverine, must take the lead on the ultimate mission -- to prevent the world's destruction -- while fending off enemies Magneto and The Brotherhood.