Joe Drake has inked a new long-term employment agreement with Lionsgate as their Motion Picture Group Chair.
The deal comes as Drake and his team have assembled a 2023 film slate that includes such franchises as John Wick: Chapter Four, starring Keanu Reeves and the prequel in the nearly $3 billion franchise, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which Drake helped launch in 2012. On the horizon, there’s also Now You See Me 3, Expendables 4, the reimagining of Dirty Dancing, starring and produced by Jennifer Grey; the John Wick spinoff Ballerina starring Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, and the Graham King-produced Michael Jackson event film. Also under Drake’s oversee, is a direct-to-streamer film division.
“Joe and his team continue to execute our core mission of creating great intellectual properties with a strong slate of tentpole films ready for launch beginning with John Wick: Chapter Four,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “He is an entrepreneur with strong talent relationships and a firm grasp of the global theatrical marketplace, and he will continue to be a great partner in helping us move the Company forward.”
Drake returned to Lionsgate in October 2017 when the Company acquired Good Universe, the production and distribution company that he cofounded and ran with partner Nathan Kahane. In 2019, Lionsgate achieved one of its best years ever at the box office led by John Wick Chapter 3 and Knives Out, grossing $769M stateside. During his previous tenure as head of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group from 2007-2012, Drake and his team launched the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the box office smash Expendables films and multiple Oscar winner Precious.
Drake launched two companies of his own, Good Universe and Mandate Pictures. At Good Universe, he shepherded the company’s overall business and was responsible for building key financial, creative and strategic partnerships. He partnered with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver’s Point Grey Pictures on a series of critically acclaimed comedy hits including Neighbors and The Night Before as part of a collaboration that he has continued at Lionsgate. As head of Mandate Pictures from 2004-2007, Drake produced the Oscar-winning blockbuster Juno ($232M+ WW), the Golden Globe nominated Hope Springs, 50/50 and the Rogen comedy This is the End, which made over $126M WW.
In July, as Deadline first reported, Lionsgate hired former STX Entertainment Motion Group Chairman, Adam Fogelson, as Vice Chair of the Motion Picture Group, reporting to Drake.