In a move to further strengthen its leadership in the urban market on digital and traditional media platforms alike, Lionsgate has formed a partnership with entrepreneur Jeff Clanagan, the founder of CodeBlack Enterprises.
For more than twenty years, Clanagan has been a leading creative force in the urban media space, building No Limit Films into a leading multimedia company in the 1990′s, creating and guiding Urban Works Entertainment from 2001-2005 and launching his highly successful CodeBlack Enterprises in 2005.
Clanagan’s new company will be based at Lionsgate, and the partnership will draw upon Clanagan’s diverse expertise in feature films, television programming, home entertainment, music, live events, including his highly successful standup comedy specials, and innovative shortform content for digital platforms. Quincy Newell will head the creative team as General Manager of the new alliance.
“Lionsgate has always been a home for entrepreneurs, and we’re delighted to form a partnership with Jeff Clanagan, one of the true visionaries in urban media today,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “We look forward to exploring a wide range of nontraditional approaches to feature film production and distribution for the urban market, and we’re excited about tapping into the innovative strategies and out of the box thinking that have characterized Jeff’s enormously successful ventures to date.”
“Jeff has been a driving force in bringing films, TV programming and home entertainment to the urban market, and he is closely associated with many of the iconic names in urban entertainment today,” said Lionsgate Executive Vice President & General Manager Ron Schwartz. “His tremendous versatility will allow us to explore a broad spectrum of filmed entertainment opportunities.”
“I’m thrilled to join forces with Lionsgate, the most entrepreneurial media company in the industry today,” said Clanagan. “Lionsgate has already established a powerful brand and track record in the urban space, and I look forward to helping take its leadership to a new level of performance in digital as well as traditional media.”
Clanagan’s CodeBlack Enterprises launched a highly successful comedy special franchise featuring many of comedy’s hottest acts, including Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer, Kevin Hart and Mo’Nique. CodeBlack’s theatrical releases included SHADOWBOXER, the directorial debut of Lee Daniels, who went on to direct Lionsgate’s PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards, and the Kevin Hart standup comedy documentary, LAUGH AT MY PAIN, which underscored the success of Clanagan’s alternative film distribution model. CodeBlack has generated more than $150 million in revenue from its DVD, on demand and digital releases.
Clanagan previously created and built Urban Works Entertainment into the leading distributor of urban home entertainment, acquiring and launching the “And 1 Mixtape” series, ”The Cosby Show,” “Fat Albert” and BET Television Movies on DVD and HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” series featuring leading comedians such as Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence and Chris Tucker.
Clanagan launched his executive career in urban entertainment as President of rapper/entrepreneur Master P’s No Limit Films, the pioneer of the urban home entertainment sell-through market. He also served as President of Peter Guber’s Mandalay Urban Entertainment, where he produced the award-winning film CIVIL BRAND, distributed by Lionsgate. He also created and executive produced the syndicated television show LIVIN’ LARGE, hosted by Carmen Elektra and Kadeem Hardison.
Lionsgate has established a leadership position in the urban market with 12 Tyler Perry films to date that have grossed more than $600 million at the North American box office, the multiple Academy Award-winning hit PRECIOUS, films as diverse as AKEELAH AND THE BEE, CIVIL BRAND and THE WASH and syndicated TV series including Tyler Perry’s HOUSE OF PAYNE, its spinoff MEET THE BROWNS, FOR BETTER OR WORSE and ARE WE THERE YET? as well as THE WENDY WILLIAMS talk show.
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Ryan Likes, Senior VP, Business & Legal Affairs, and Marc Danon, VP, Acquisitions & Business Development.
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