When we saw Nikki Finke and Sharon Waxman’s reports over the weekend that Lionsgate was in merger talks with Twilight studio Summit Entertainment, we thought that the idea of these two successful independent studios merging was ridiculous.
They’re both doing quite well on their own: Lionsgate has the lucrative Saw franchise, other money-making horror movies, and Mad Men and Summit has the Twilight franchise as well as promising upcoming films like March’s Knowing. Neither studio needs the other one.
Now the LA Times Claudia Eller says there’s no merger in the works. There was, but that was before Summit released Twilight, after which the previously ailing filmmaker suddenly had a hit on its hands.
LA Times: A few weeks before the late November release of Summit’s box office smash “Twilight,” the company headed by Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman, was approached by Lionsgate about a potential merger. Lionsgate, well aware of the teen vampire film’s hot pre-release buzz, made an offer for Summit but was rebuffed because the price was too low.
Lionsgate and Summit, which are located right around the corner from each other in Santa Monica, say privately that there have been no formal talks since last fall. That’s not to say that Lionsgate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer and Summit’s Friedman, who are golfing buddies, would never discuss it between rounds. Who knows?
Please don’t. Talk about something else. We’ll give you a topic: the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman. Discuss.
Seriously, Feltheimer, you’re already spending $200 million or so to buy tvguide.com, and we doubt your shareholders want you to make another multi-million deal.
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