Summit was originally founded in the early 1990s and launched in 1996 by Patrick Wachsberger, Bob Hayward and David Garrett under the name Summit Entertainment LP as a production, distribution, and sales organization. In 2006, it became a fully independent film studio, Summit Entertainment, with the addition of Rob Friedman, a former executive at Paramount Pictures. The new company added major development, production, acquisitions, marketing and distribution branches with a financing deal led by Merrill Lynch and other investors giving it access to over $1 billion in financing. After releasing a string of films that included Momento, Step Up, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Sex Drive, Summit found enormous success in November 2008 with the release of Twilight, a teen romance about vampires based on the best-selling book of the same name by Stephenie Meyer that made $383,530,753 worldwide. In the spring of 2009, Summit released Knowing, the company's second movie to open #1 at the box office and made $182,492,056 worldwide. Recent films for Summit include Next Day Air ($10,027,047), The Hurt Locker ($15,218,783 worldwide), an action-thriller war-themed film directed by Kathryn Bigelow which has received two 2009 Independent Spirit Award nominations, the animated film Astro Boy, the teenage horror Sorority Row ($14,826,298 worldwide), and the highly anticipated New Moon. In 2008, Summit ranked 8th place among the studios, with a gross of $226.5 million, almost entirely because of the release of Twilight.
In 2009, Summit is currently ranked 7th among studios with a gross of $453.2.  In the weekend spanning November 21-23, 2009, Summit Entertainment's sequel to the runaway hit "Twilight," titled Twilight Saga: New Moon also based on the popular novel by Stephenie Meyer, broke box office records in its first weekend and opened at #1, grossing $142,839,137 in its first weekend, posting the third all-time best weekend box office figure, third only to Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man 3'" ($151,116,516) and Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman film "The Dark Knight" ($158,411,483.) CinemaScore audiences rated "New Moon" with an A-. The third chapter of the Twilight saga titled "Eclipse" has already been greenlit by Summit and was filmed in August-October 2009, with a release date set for June 30, 2010 in summer.
LionsgateLionsgate was originally known as IMI Computer Corp. on May 26, 1986 and later known as Beringer Gold Corp. Beringer Gold later was incorporated as Lions Gate Films under the Business Corporation Act in British Columbia and was founded on July 3, 1997 by Frank Giustra, a Canadian investment banker hoping to capitalize on the growing film industry in his home town. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors, including Montreal-based Cinépix Film Properties (also known as Cinéxus-Famous Players Distribution), Trimark Pictures, Mandate Pictures and, most notably, Artisan Entertainment (which itself had formerly been LIVE Entertainment, and before that, Vestron Pictures). They had sold off their Canadian distribution rights to Maple Pictures, founded and co-owned by two former Lionsgate executives, Brad Pelman and Laurie May.
Recently, Lionsgate sold their subsidiary Maple Pictures to film distributor Alliance Films, which is based in Montreal, Quebec. Its first major box office success was American Psycho in 2000, which began a trend of producing and distributing films too controversial for the major American studios. Other notable films included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, Saw and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which until the release of The Hunger Games in 2012, became the studio's highest grossing film. Lionsgate had played a significant role in the co-financing and co-partnership with Relativity Media on its films until 2010 when the latter company split from its deal with Lionsgate to form its own self-distribution unit. On August 1, 2005, Lions Gate Entertainment acquired the entire library of Modern Entertainment, the U.S. film division of the Swedish television company Modern Times Group.
In 2006, Lionsgate acquired the American television production and syndication company Debmar-Mercury. This studio is recognized for its role in a number of daytime TV programs. In 2007, Lionsgate bought a partial stake in independent film distribution company Roadside Attractions. Lionsgate, along with MGM and Paramount Pictures/Viacom, is also a co-owner of Epix, a new pay TV movie channel which debuted on October 30, 2009 on Verizon FiOS IPTV systems, that will rival HBO and Showtime. Lionsgate also stated they would be starting work in music albums. The distribution of selected recent non-in-house films for pay-per-view and on-demand are under the supervision of NBCUniversal Television Distribution under Universal Pictures (Universal formally held home video and television rights to many of the early Lionsgate films), while all others (particularly the in-house films) are distributed for both cable and broadcast television through Lionsgate's syndicated division.
Lionsgate's library of movies and TV shows can be seen on digital platform Hulu. In January 2012, Lionsgate announced it was acquiring Summit Entertainment, producers of the Twilight Saga films, for $412.5 million. The two companies have planned on merging since 2008. On March 23, 2012, the Lionsgate film "The Hunger Games" grossed $68.3 million at the Friday U.S. box office. It was the best opening day ever for a nonsequel and the fifth highest of all time. Of that total, $19.7 million was earned via Thursday midnight screenings. In its first weekend, The Hunger Games grossed $152.5 million, making it Lionsgate's highest grossing film after just three days.
- Memento (2000)
- Step Up (2006)
- Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
- The Hurt Locker (2009)
- Step Up 3D (2010)
- Twilight (2008)
- New Moon (2009)
- Eclipse (2010)
- Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
- Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)