Lionsgate Vice Chairman Extends Contract With Company
They say not to fix something if it is not broken, and Lionsgate is definitely living by that maxim as it extends the contract of Michael Burns, its vice-chairman since the year 2000.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Burns has just signed a contract that extends his tenure with the company to October 2023. Before this new contract, Burns' current contract was set to expire in October 2022.
The publication reports that, for the most part, the new contract retains much of the financial terms of his previous contracts with Lionsgate. Burns will be paid a base annual salary of $1 million, as well as given 1.5 million class B shares as part of stock appreciation rights.
This year, Burns was able to earn $6.37 million in combined salary, options, and bonuses. This is an increase from his 2019 earnings, which were at $5.17 million. If Lionsgate stock doubles over the next three years, Burns will also be able to divest his 1.5 million class B shares.
Variety reports that Burns’ contract extension comes after the extension of current Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer’s contract. With the two of them serving the company since 2000, they become one of the executive duos that have kept their position the longest.
Part of the reason why Feltheimer and Burns have kept their positions secure over the course of two decades is the successes they have been able to bring to the company. Under their leadership, Lionsgate was able to launch the successful Twilight, John Wick, and Hunger Games film franchises.
On the television front, Lionsgate produced Mad Men and Orange is the New Black. Burns was also integral in the acquisition of the Starz cable channel, which also has a streaming component that has been expanding internationally. Currently, Starz has 14 million subscribers.
Just recently, Lionsgate also inked a first-look deal with production company Vertigo Entertainment. The deal is the next step for the two companies, who had previously collaborated on the movie The Strangers and the Grudge franchise.
The two companies are now working on Cobweb. The thriller stars Lizzy Caplan, Woody Norman, Cleopatra Coleman, and Antony Starr as part of the cast.
Other first-look deals that made headlines include the one made between comedian Kevin Hart and satellite radio company Sirius XM. With the agreement, Hart can now produce and oversee new regular and live programs as well as expand his Laugh Out Loud comedy network.
Disney also recently signed a first-look deal with athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick, with the first project of the partnership being an ESPN documentary series that shows Kaepernick’s journey towards activism.