Named after a Vancouver landmark, the Lions' Gate Bridge (officially known as the "First Narrows Bridge"), Lions Gate Films (as of 2005, written as "Lionsgate") is a North American film production/distribution studio that was founded in 1997 and officially formed on January 12, 1998 by Frank Giustra. It was formerly known as "Cinépix Film Properties (CFP)". It is currently a film division of Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation.
1st Logo (June 6, 1997-July 21, 2000)
Nickname: "The Constellation"
Logo: On a black background , several stars join together at the right of the screen to form the constellation of the lion. As this happens, a stylized white drawing of a lion standing on its hind legs and looking to the right (in a heraldic "lion rampant" pose) fades in. LIONS GATE fades in the Bernhard Modern typeface, then FILMS and PRESENTS.
Variant: On the trailer for Buffalo '66, it doesn't have the word PRESENTS.
FX/SFX: The stars forming the constellation.
Music/Sounds: A majestic, ethereal synth theme coupled with whooshing and shining sounds.
Availability: Seen on films of the era such as Stardom, Metroland, Mr. Jealousy, and The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Also seen on the trailers for Buffalo '66. This appeared on the teaser of The Rules of Attraction (the movie used the next logo).
Editor's Note: A pretty simple effort, though not a bad one.
2nd Logo (June 26, 1998-April 2, 2004)
Nicknames: "The Comets", "The Shining Constellation", "Leo in Space"
Logo: Against a dark blue starfield background, several stars swirl around to form the lion logo from before, which zooms out. Some more stars that turn from white to gold zoom-out and arrange themselves on the logo, and the words "LIONS GATE FILMS", (with "GATE" in Garamond) in gold, flash in at the top right of the lion. A burst of light wipes in a white line with the byline "A LIONS GATE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY" underneath it. The words sparkle a bit.
- This logo exists in filmed and videotaped forms.
- Billed as "FILMS LIONS GATE" on French-Canadian releases.
- On an international video trailer for Perfume, "INTERNATIONAL" is placed in between "FILMS" and the byline.
- Starting in 2003, "AMEX: LGF" appears underneath the byline ("AMEX" as in the "American Stock Exchange", not the "American Express").
FX/SFX: The stars and sparkling. Pretty good animation.
Music/Sounds: Same as the last logo. Sometimes, it is silent or has the film's opening theme.
Availability: Common. Seen on Lions Gate films from the period. Don't expect this to appear films merely released by them such as O and Lantana. It appears on some early Lions Gate and late period Artisan/Trimark DVD releases as a de facto home video logo as well; some examples of this include the two-disc edition of Step Into Liquid and a reprint of All of Me.
Editor's Note: This is a quite nicely-animated logo, aside from the typeface mix-matching problem.
3rd Logo (April 16, 2004-March 11, 2006)
Logo: Against a dark sky with clouds and thunder, the letters "LGF", followed by "LIONS GATE FILMS" below, appear in a "flashing" effect. It zooms forth, and the Lions Gate byline from before gets wiped in from left to right.
- On some films, the logo is tinted green.
- A print logo is used at the end of many films (same type for the previous logo).
- On the 2004 TV movie Frankenstein, a short version of this logo is used, beginning with the byline wiping.
FX/SFX: The clouds, thunder, and "LGF" appearing.
Music/Sounds: Usually silent, but some films use thunderclap sounds with the sound of a sword being drawn and hitting another sword.
Availability: Uncommon. Can be seen on films such as The Punisher, A Love Song for Bobby Long, Crash (not to be confused with the 1996 erotic thriller starring James Spader and Holly Hunter), the 2006 film Minotaur, and the first two Saw films (recent prints of the second film however, plasters this with the horror version of the 5th logo). This also plasters the Kings Road Entertainment logo on the current releases of Kickboxer III: The Art of War (including the double feature DVD release with Kickboxer IV).
Editor's Note: This logo is nowhere as noteworthy as the previous two logos, due to its short lifespan and simplicity.
4th Logo (August 26-November 23, 2005)
Nickname: "LGF II"
Logo: We see the black letters "LGF" with "LIONS GATE FILMS" below (all separated by two lines). A blue spotlight passes on the background. Suddenly the words turn blue, and the background fades to black. The logo zooms in. Then the light streak draws the same byline as the previous logo.
FX/SFX: Various light effects.
Music/Sounds: First we hear a whoosh, then vibration sounds, and finally the streak drawing.
Availability: Extremely rare. This was only used for a very short time. Can be found on In the Mix (not to be confused with the PBS series of the same name), and Undiscovered. Also seen on current prints of Love and a .45 (1994) and Pi (the 1998 Darren Aronofsky film).
Editor's Note: Same as the previous logo.
5th Logo (October 2005-April 26, 2013)
Nickname: "The Golden Gears", "The Lions Gate Sky", "Lionsgate Hero", "The Lions' Gates", "The Gears", "Lionsgate Horror (Horror variant)"
Logo: We fade in close to several gears and zoom out to a view of them rotating in a large Art Deco-inspired chamber. The camera then zooms all the way back and out through a keyhole, revealing an enormous pair of doors, with the company's "lion rampant" logo on both of them (intended to evoke its heraldry-inspired appearance) and a geometric pattern as well. The doors open and we see the name "LIONSGATE", now written as one word and with a metallic texture, over a heavenly sky background with clouds surrounding it.
- There is a version which appears on horror and action films (basically, wherever a "rugged" appearance is desired), where the gears and doors are rusted, and the "LIONSGATE" text appears over a hellish red sky, showing more wear than it does in the standard version. This version is known as "Lionsgate Horror".
- On current prints of Star Kid, the logo plasters the Trimark Pictures logo and is sped up to accommodate the length of the original logo. The film's opening music is left intact.
- The print version with black text on a white background is used on The Expendables 2 and Reservoir Dogs video games.
- A shorter version starting from the zoom out through the keyhole exists.
- An extremely rare variant is known to exist where the animation plays as normal, but towards the end of the orchestration the logo begins to shrink. We zoom out to find it is the "H" in the THX logo, which moves into the bottom left corner a few seconds later, which leads directly into the menu.
FX/SFX: The animation of the gears and doors. Very nice CGI, done by DevaStudios, Inc.
Music/Sounds: A majestic fanfare (which takes cues from Danny Elfman's Batman theme) for the standard version. The horror version has the sounds of the gears cranking and door creaking, alongside sounds resembling a heartbeat and moaning. The short version uses mechanical noises. On rare occasions, both versions are silent or have the film's opening theme playing over them.
- On Syfy airings of Leprechaun 2, the Trimark Pictures theme was heard over the first half of the logo, and the Lionsgate theme played over the second half of the logo, possibly due to an editing error or cheap plastering.
- The THX variant directly fades the end of the Lionsgate theme into the second half of the THX "Deep Note" (more specifically the 2005 "Science of Sensation" version), which includes the whoosh from that logo before fading out early.
- The standard version was first unveiled on the company's website in late October 2005, and later debuted on Madea's Family Reunion on February 24 the next year; it can be seen on titles such as Akeelah and the Bee, the Tyler Perry film series, Employee of the Month, and releases from Pantelion Pictures, among others. The horror version can be seen on the Saw films starting with Saw III (as well as recent prints of II), The Descent, and action films such as The Expendables, among others. The short version was seen at the beginning of one of the Marvel DTV features, The Invincible Iron Man. The "Heaven" variant was last used on The Big Wedding, and the "Horror" variant was last seen on Texas Chainsaw 3D. It also plasters other companies logos on its titles released by Lionsgate, such as films formerly distributed by Trimark Pictures. At some cases of plastering older logos on horror movies (like The Blair Witch Project and Leprechaun sequels), the normal version appears instead of the preferred horror one.
- It is also used as a de-facto home video logo on DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
- The variant fading into the THX logo is extremely rare, and is only known to exist on the 2006 THX Optimum Resolution DVD of Total Recall (1990), however more such releases may exist.
Editor's Note: With this logo, Lionsgate truly stepped up their game, producing an excellently-animated logo that still stands the test of time years later.
6th Logo (April 14, 2013- )
Nicknames: "The Lions Gate Sky II", "Lionsgate Hero II", "The Constellation Returns", "The Return of the Constellation"
Logo: We see the horizon of the earth surrounded by clouds as it zooms away from us. Stars fly past us as they form a lion constellation based on the first two logos. As soon as the constellation forms, it is seen reflected on the "S" of "LIONSGATE" in 3-D lettering as the word flies past through the clouds from the fifth logo. A light shines through the "S" and the "G" as the name is revealed in a deep blue. The clouds swoop away, leaving the light.
FX/SFX: More stunning CGI, also designed by DevaStudios.
Music/Sounds: A triumphant fanfare composed by Jason Johnson. Like the last logo, sometimes it is silent or has the film's opening theme heard over it.
- On Contract to Kill (2016), a low pitched version of the theme is heard.
- On current prints of the 1989 TV movie Get Smart, Again!, it has the finishing of the ending theme, then the theme from the 1985 King Features Entertainment logo is heard, most likely due to sloppy plastering.
- First seen on the teaser for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The full logo debuted on the wide release of Mud (the TIFF release had the previous logo), and can be seen on newer Lionsgate films released after that. This logo is absent from Nickelodeon airings of Shaun the Sheep Movie, but still mentions Lionsgate in the opening credits. This also appears at the beginning on some PolyGram films, such as King of the Mountain.
- As with the previous logo, this is also used as a de-facto home video logo.
Editor's Note: Another wonderfully-animated logo, even if it rather pales in comparison to the last logo.