Formed in 1997 by banker Frank Giustra, Lions Gate Entertainment, the Canadian/American studio purchased Cinépix in 1998 and eventually was renamed Lions Gate Studios. That same years, Lions Gate purchased International Movie Group, which included Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Kickboxer, the company’s first film franchise. Lions Gate is now the most successful mini-major film studio in North America, with a list of independent and foreign films including American Psycho, Lolita, Gods and Monsters and Fahrenheit 9/11.
By 2000, the studio began purchasing large film libraries held by struggling firms. Titles now owned by Lions Gate include Reservoir Dogs, On Golden Pond, Young Guns, It’s a Wonderful Life, Total Recall and Dirty Dancing.
Eight of the top ten grossing films of Lions Gate’s library are part of franchises: The Hunger Games, Divergent and Now You See Me. Other successful franchises produced by Lions Gate include Saw and The Expendables.