Lionsgate and CBS Films are set to join forces for a multi-year distribution partnership which will begin with the 2015 release of teen comedy The DUFF, the two companies announced today.
Under the agreement, CBS Films will acquire or produce films with Lionsgate overseeing distribution and all international sales, including theatrical and home entertainment. Outside of this new strategic arrangement, CBS Films will continue to acquire, produce and self-distribute its own limited releases.
“Making movies is only half of the equation – today’s marketplace demands a strategic approach to marketing and distribution that is fluid and creative, and no company has demonstrated more vision and innovation than Lionsgate,” said CBS Films President Terry Press. “As we build our homegrown slate and expand our efforts in the acquisition space, we’re thrilled to partner with the outstanding Lionsgate team on a plan that provides the flexibility to handle these ambitions.”
“CBS Films has emerged as a creative force that will serve as a commercially exciting and reliable source of quality mainstream theatrical releases for years to come,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “Our partnership unites two companies with powerful brands, complementary strengths and similar entrepreneurial cultures in a distribution agreement that extends the terrific Lionsgate/CBS relationship.”
Based on the acclaimed novel by Kody Keplinger, The DUFF was adapted for the screen by Josh Cagan and is directed by Ari Sandel. McG, Mary Viola and Susan Cartsonis are producing with Lane Bishop serving as executive producer on the comedy, which is scheduled to open February 19, 2015.
In the film, Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as ‘The DUFF’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). Despite words of caution from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong), she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby (Nick Eversman), and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the schools ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someones DUFF.