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Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) Opens Innovative Theme Park in China’s Bustling Economy as Part of Active Fiscal Year

  • Lionsgate’s production studios have claimed 30 Academy Awards, 29 Emmys and nearly $10 billion in box office revenues over the past five years
  • The company opened the world’s first vertical amusement park on July 31, set around themes evident in its most successful young adult-targeted movies, such as The Hunger Games and Twilight
  • China’s amusement park industry is booming thanks to a growing middle-income demographic; it is projected to reach $12 billion in retail sales by next year, marking a 367 percent increase from a decade ago

Global and vertically oriented entertainment content provider Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF.A) (NYSE: LGF.B) has entered the world of movie-themed amusement parks with its Lionsgate Entertainment World property situated in the Guangdong Province of China, near Hong Kong and Macau. The 240,000-square-foot indoor park opened July 31, offering 25 different attractions that build on some of the studio’s most young adult-friendly franchises, such as The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, Escape Plan, Now You See Me and Gods of Egypt, according to Forbes (http://nnw.fm/GCdn2).

Lionsgate has steadily built an empire of entertainment prowess, with nearly $10 billion in box office revenues over the past five years, 30 Academy Awards, 29 Emmys and 17,000 titles in its film and TV library.

The opening of the Chinese theme park occurred too late to play a part in the company’s financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, which closed at the end of June, but the company expects the August 8 livestream of its financial report (http://nnw.fm/8FubO) to showcase the studio conglomerate’s efforts to advance its content strategy.

In May, the company reported that its revenue for the previous fiscal year was $3.68 billion, its operating income was $130 million, its cash flow from operating activities was $428 million and its adjusted free cash flow was $638 million (http://nnw.fm/eR01f).

“We’ve completed a very active and productive fiscal 2019 in which we set in place all the elements for strong growth and continued value creation in the year ahead,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stated in a news release. “We’ve refilled our film and television content pipelines, refocused on extracting maximum value from our franchise properties and are capitalizing on an extraordinary opportunity to continue Starz’s global expansion and cement its stature as one of the leading international pure play subscription video-on-demand services.”

The new Lionsgate Entertainment World is billed as the world’s first “vertical theme park,” situated on multiple floors much like a large shopping mall. The Hunger Games attraction occupies an entire level, building tension through violent-themed virtual reality “without gore but with a lot more darkness and suspense than most theme parks,” the organizers stated in a Forbes interview.

Players can also get hair and makeup done in the over-the-top style of the Hunger Games films at a themed salon, so they will be in fine form while joining the rebellion against the oppressive Panem government.

“We have created the first PG-13 theme park by design. When the client came to us, the development that they are building has multiple components to it and they specifically wanted attractions to appeal to the Chinese young adult dating crowd. The dating crowd in their 20’s and 30’s in China goes out in large groups and the brands we were looking at were of that ilk,” project designer Dave Cobb added.

“In this park, we got to use VR in three different ways and that is enabled by the size and demographics of the audience,” he added. “We get to immerse people in these incredibly lush and visual worlds and combine motion simulation and physical effects that surround you… The headline VR attraction at the park is called Midnight Ride and is based on the Twilight Saga, and it’s the world’s first multi-player, interactive, hyper-reality VR simulator where you actually sit on a motorcycle and you race alongside the wolf pack on this dirt bike adventure that has complete rider freedom. It’s not just a canned simulator film that is pre-rendered and is a world you can explore as you ride.”

Asia Times reported that China’s theme park industry is booming within the world’s second largest economy. Its account notes that market analysts at World Travel Market predicted that theme park-related retail sales will reach $12 billion by 2020, marking an increase of 367 percent from 2010 (http://nnw.fm/HN84q), as the country’s middle income demographic grows and takes advantage of newfound discretionary income.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Lionsgate.com

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