In an interview during FTX West Expo, Lions Gates' Steven Rothenberg told Sneak Peek that he is an honours grad from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 where he was hired to work at Roger Corman's production company, working at New World for five years.
Rothenberg then held two top level distribution posts at Savoy Entertainment and Samuel Goldwyn Company, working with directors Richard Attenborough, Ang Lee, Kenneth Branaugh, David Lynch and John Sayles. At Goldwyn he handled releases including Wild at Heart, Mississippi Masala, Mystic Pizza and Much Ado About Nothing. At Savoy, Rothenberg released Bronx Tale and Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands.
Prior to Lionsgate, Rothenberg was President of Domestic Distribution at Artisan Entertainment, distributing indie feature The Blair Witch Project, Buena Vista Social Club and Requiem for a Dream.
Rothenberg said he saw Blair Witch Project in 1999 at the Sundance Film Festival and knew it had the potential to be a huge success, due to a wide internet following. He negotiated for Artisan to release the $39,000 horror film, that eventually grossed $140 million.
In January 2004, Artisan Entertainment merged with Lionsgate for a purchase price of $160 million in cash plus assumption of Artisan debt.
Tom Ortenberg became President of Lionsgate Theatrical Films with Rothenberg as President of Lionsgate Releasing.
Past Lions Gate hits include Monster's Ball, American Psycho, Shadow Of The Vampire, Gods and Monsters, Affliction and The Red Violin. New Lions Gate hits include Crash and the Saw franchise.
Other films include Cabin Fever, House Of 1000 Corpses, Confidence, Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Cooler and Shattered Glass.
Lions Gate Television also owns two series that achieved basic cable television ratings records in their debuts: Vancouver-shot The Dead Zone on USA Networks and Toronto-shot 1-800-Missing on The Lifetime Channel.
Rothenberg is proud of the fact that Lions Gate Home Entertainment distributes approximately 100 titles a year, is majority owner of web-based CinemaNow and runs an animation company through Montreal-based strategic partner CineGroupe.
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