Lionsgate Laying Off Staff, Shuts Down Codeblack Films

Variety | 1/11/2019 | Brent Lang
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Layoffs have hit Lionsgate.

The studio behind “The Hunger Games” and “Saw” is pink-slipping staff in its motion picture group this week. At the same time, Lionsgate is also moving to shutter Codeblack Films, a division that makes films geared toward African-American audiences. Codeblack’s credits include the Kevin Hart stand-up special “Let Me Explain” and “All Eyez on Me,” the Tupac Shakur biopic. All told, 26 jobs will be lost, according to an insider. Some of the cuts will come in Lionsgate’s New York office, which is losing theatrical marketing and publicity jobs. The company’s head count now stands at 1,600.

Ways - Company - Industry - Landscape - Needs

“We are constantly looking at ways to better align our company with our industry’s evolving landscape and therefore the needs of the audience and our customers,” Joe Drake, Lionsgate’s motion picture group chairman, wrote in a note to staff. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about what 2019 has in store for us as a company, our exciting upcoming film slate, the new leadership team, as well as the agility that has always been a cornerstone of the company, allowing us to implement new ideas quickly and efficiently.”

The spin here is that jobs are being centralized in Lionsgate’s Santa Monica headquarters. But the layoffs will fuel speculation that Lionsgate is slimming down as it hopes to sell itself. It also comes in the wake of several box office failures, including the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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