Lionsgate(R) and Twisted Pictures Join Forces with Universal Studios Theme Parks to Bring the Horror of the SAW Film Franchise to Life
Building on a tradition of bringing the horror genre’s most compelling stories and characters to life in blood-curdling, living nightmare encounters, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights will present an all-new "live" attraction based on the most profitable horror franchise to date, SAW, per an agreement among Universal Studios Theme Parks, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures.
The new SAW experiences, to be presented at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event, will mark the first time that SAW characters and stories will be developed as "live" attractions in a U.S. theme park. At Universal Studios Hollywood, characters, themes and live action recreations of the infamous "traps" from the entire SAW horror franchise will be featured in a "maze" experience, in multiple "scare zones" and aboard the parks signature "Terror Tram, " where guests will be subjected to a deadly "game" that will echo a story element instantly recognizable to SAW’s legion of fans. The team designing the live SAW experiences includes the Universal Studios Hollywood creative department as well as Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures.
A SAW attraction will also be included in the Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Orlando.
The SAW film series has managed to ratchet up tension and invention with each successive film, while jangling millions of nerves worldwide. The sixth installment of the powerhouse franchise is scheduled to hit theatres this October in its traditional opening weekend slot leading into Halloween.
Larry Kurzweil, President and Chief Operating officer, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: "Guests at Halloween Horror Nights have come to expect the world’s most authentic, imaginative and truly terrifying ‘live’ Halloween experiences and the record-breaking SAW film franchise provides us with an ideal platform for meeting those high expectations. We’re thrilled to be able to work with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures in what we expect to be a perfect marriage of creative forces."
"We are excited to be able to bring a new level of fright to our loyal SAW fans. It is clear that the creative team at Universal Studios Theme Parks understands the mythology of SAW, and they have proven to have very creative and twisted minds, " said Burg and Koules.
"This partnership represents a new landmark for the SAW film franchise in that it allows us together with Twisted Pictures to further expand the brand and immerse fans in the horrifying world of SAW, " added Aubrey McClure, Senior Vice President of Promotions & Licensing for Lionsgate.
Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A., is a unit of Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of Universal Studios, a part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May of 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi.
About Twisted Pictures
Twisted Pictures is helmed by Mark Burg and Oren Koules, and is the horror/thriller division of their company Evolution Entertainment. SAW, one of the most profitable films of 2004, was the first picture released under the Twisted banner. In 2005, Twisted Pictures produced SAW II, which opened at #1 on Halloween weekend and became the year’s highest-grossing horror film. Halloween 2006 saw the release of SAW III, which opened at #1 in North America, the U.K. and Australia. The company also produced DEAD SILENCE by SAW creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell for Universal Pictures. Other Twisted Pictures releases include the horror/thriller CATACOMBS, which premiered in October 2007, and SAW IV which opened # 1 at the box-office on October 26, 2007 with a total of $31, 750, 000. The latest chapter in the SAW series, SAW V, opened with $30 million dollars the weekend of October 24, 2008, pushing SAW to the top of the list as the #1 horror franchise of all time. In addition, REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA premiered in November 2008 with fans immediately branding it "an instant cult classic".
Lionsgate is the leading next generation studio with a strong and diversified presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company is leveraging its content leadership and marketing expertise to create a multiplatform global industry leader in entertainment through the recent acquisition of TV Guide Network, one of the 25 most widely distributed cable networks, the recent acquisition of TV Guide.com, a premier content and navigation portal, partnerships that include the FEARnet branded VOD and Internet horror channel with Sony and Comcast, the expected fall 2009 launch of EPIX, a new premium entertainment channel with partners Viacom and MGM, investment in the leading young men’s digital distribution platform Break.com, ownership of the premier independent television syndication company Debmar-Mercury and an alliance with independent filmed entertainment production and distribution company Roadside Attractions.
The Company is a market share leader at the North American theatrical box office for calendar 2009 due to recent theatrical box office successes such as TYLER PERRY’S MADEA GOES TO JAIL, the second highest-grossing film in Lionsgate history, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D and THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT. Other recent successes include SAW V, RELIGULOUS, FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, RAMBO and THE BANK JOB. Lionsgate has forged a strong position in television with the production of such critically-acclaimed series as "Mad Men, " "Weeds" and "Crash, " the distribution of Tyler Perry’s "House of Payne, " "Family Feud" and "South Park, " and upcoming shows including Tyler Perry’s "Meet The Browns" and "The Wendy Williams Show." In addition, the Company’s home entertainment business, propelled by such recent DVD successes as TRANSPORTER 3, SAW V and TYLER PERRY’S THE FAMILY THAT PREYS, is the industry leader in box office-to-DVD conversion rate and has market share of nearly 8%. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12, 000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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