American Red Cross Partners With Lionsgate on SAW IV Blood Drive
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent film entertainment studio, and the American Red Cross, one of the nation’s largest blood collection organizations, today announced a formal partnership for the Fourth Annual SAW “Give Til It Hurts” blood drive benefiting the Red Cross. The blood drive will coincide with the Halloween premiere of the latest title in Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ SAW franchise, SAW IV, which opens nationwide on October 26, 2007. The announcement was made jointly by Lionsgate Co-Presidents of Theatrical Marketing Tim Palen and Sarah Greenberg and Gregory S. Ballish, Senior Vice President, Biomedical Services, American Red Cross.
“Working with Lionsgate Entertainment provides the American Red Cross an opportunity to expand its support of blood donation,” said Ballish. “On behalf of the patients we serve, we thank Lionsgate and the SAW franchise for their commitment to our blood program and look forward to a successful campaign.”
“We are honored that the American Red Cross has chosen to partner with Lionsgate on a national level to manage this year’s blood drive,” said Palen and Greenberg. “For the past three years, we have seen how eager young people are to support the Red Cross and its life-saving mission, and the SAW IV blood drive will give them more opportunities than ever.”
The SAW “Give Til It Hurts” blood drive has become a key element of the SAW franchise, as much a part of the horror hit’s annual rituals as its Halloween premiere date. Since the first SAW blood drive in 2004, SAW filmgoers have donated nearly 38,000 pints of blood to help save as many as 112,500 lives. Collection totals have doubled year after year: during the 2004 inaugural drive, 4,200 pints were collected, in 2005, 10,000 pints were collected, and in 2006, 23,493 pints were collected, resulting in tens of thousands of lifesaving blood transfusions.
Producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules of Twisted Pictures remarked, “We are very proud of the continued growth and success of the SAW blood drives and would like to thank Lionsgate for their boundless creativity and the incredibly loyal SAW fans who bleed for us, literally.”
SAW star Tobin Bell, who portrays the terrifying Jigsaw, will be featured in several PSA’s advertising the SAW IV blood drive. For the fourth year, the campaign’s graphic elements will be created by Lionsgate’s Palen, an award-winning fine art photographer whose sleek, witty images of the beautiful SAW nurses have played a major role in driving traffic to previous blood drives.
The SAW series is the most successful horror franchise of all time, with a worldwide box office of over $400 million. The most recent entry, SAW III, opened at #1 domestically on October 27, 2006, and opened at #1 in eleven additional countries, including the U.K. and Australia; it was the year’s top-grossing horror film, taking in over $80 million domestically and over $100 internationally. The DVD, released on January 23, 2007, repeated the success of its two predecessors as it debuted as the week’s #1 new home entertainment release, selling 2.5 million units in the U.S. and Canada in its first week alone. To date, combined sales of SAW, SAW II and SAW III DVDs total 13 million units.
The SAW IV blood drive will begin approximately two months before the film’s premiere and will continue through the first week of its release. Lionsgate and the American Red Cross will host blood drives on college campuses and other locations across the country, tapping into the desire among young people to give back in a tangible way.
SAW IV Synopsis
Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead.
Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry’s murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive in the terrified community to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in sifting through Jigsaw’s latest grizzly remains and piecing together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences.
SAW IV is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. The producers are Mark Burg and Oren Koules. The film is executive produced by Daniel Jason Heffner, James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Stacey Testro, Peter Block and Jason Constantine.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.
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