The layoff season isn’t over yet at Lionsgate’s film division.
The company, based in Vancouver and headquartered in Santa Monica, has laid off a dozen employees in its Motion Picture Group, a source confirms. The Hollywood Reporter. The cuts affect about 3 percent of the division, which has a total of about 400 employees.
The pink slips hit the group shortly after the March 24 global bow John Wick: Chapter 4the company’s flagship film starring Keanu Reeves, which has raked in $306 million to date, as well as the January release of the thriller Gerard Butler Aeroplane, which has grossed $52 million worldwide. (The company also distributed Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerreco-financed by Miramax and STX Entertainment, in the United States, where it grossed $6.5 million domestically in March.)
The layoffs are the latest in a string of smaller cuts made at Jon Feltheimer-run Lionsgate over the past six months. “In terms of the overall cost and overhead of the company, I just want to note that we have quietly reduced our headcount by about 150 full-time employees or about 10 percent of our workforce,” CFO Jimmy Barge told investors during an earnings call on Feb. 9. “We’ve done this through restructuring and managing open positions.” According to the annual report, the company had 1,448 employees at the end of May.
Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group has a full slate and is preparing new episodes in the Saw, Consumables And Dirty dancing movie franchises and preparing a November release for prequel Hunger Games: Ballad of songbirds and snakes. Last fall, Lionsgate brought back several executives for new deals, including Joe Drake, head of the film division, who signed a new long-term deal.
Significant layoffs have hit multiple entertainment companies in recent months — most notably ongoing layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery last year and now a similar plan at Disney — as studios balance their content spending with new scrutiny from Wall Street investors with an eye on the bottom line.
Barge said on its February earnings call that the cuts were part of a plan to “control costs across the board, including programming spend, marketing,” as well as general and administrative spending heading into 2024. The steps are also being taken ahead of a long-planned spin-off of Lionsgate’s premium cable brand Starz into a standalone company, which executives hope will bring greater shareholder value to investors once they separate. The new intended time frame for that separation is September of this year.
Shares of Lionsgate, which have fallen significantly since 2021, rebounded early this year and closed at $11.47 per share on April 13.
deadline first reported Thursday’s filming.