Lionsgate Motion Picture Group has laid off another round of staffers on April 20th, 2023 as the studio continues to separate from Starz. While the exact number has yet to be disclosed, numerous sources have estimated it to be a small group of employees. The two companies plan to finalize the split in September 2023.
This is the most recent in a series of layoffs. Early in February, Lionsgate “quietly” announced it had laid off approximately 10 percent of staffers across all divisions over the course of 6 months. Lionsgate CFO Jimmy Barge says these cuts sprung from managing corporate costs as an attempt to restructure the studio ahead of the upcoming separation in September.
Chairman Joe Drake and Vice Chair Adam Fogelson are in charge of streamlining Lionsgate’s studio department as the company plans its departure from Starz. While noting this is a difficult economic environment to begin standing on its own, multiple rounds of layoffs strike a stark contrast to the $1B in revenue Lionsgate saw in Q3. Company shares rose over 5 percent in after-market trading.
A true testament to the future of Lionsgate will depend heavily on upcoming theatrical releases. The March 24th premiere of John Wick: Chapter 4 quickly became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2023, earning $350 million worldwide. The studio plans to release several more franchise additions, including Expendables 4 in September and Saw X in late October. Lionsgate will also release a highly anticipated prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, on November 17th.
There is no word yet on plans for future layoffs, but with Lionsgate’s recent track record of laying off employees while announcing record-breaking quarterly profits, there appear to be no guarantees for its current staff. Hopefully, these upcoming additions to their already fruitful franchises will stave off any more rounds of layoffs.