Entertainment One adds to its Image

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Canadian distributor Entertainment One on Monday said it renewed its output deal with Image Entertainment through December 2012, with an expansion this time beyond home entertainment product.

The new five-year deal hands Toronto-based Entertainment One all Canadian rights to new releases from Image and access to its 3,000-strong filmed entertainment library.

The agreement follows a shift by Entertainment One into international movie releasing after it acquired Montreal-based Seville Pictures and Britain's Paradox Entertainment.

Seville will handle theatrical, TV and digital distribution of Image titles in Canada. Paradox will continue to handle home video distribution.

The deal will kick off with Seville's launch of Stuart Gordon's "Stuck," which stars Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea, and "Re-Cycle," from Danny and Oxide Pang.

Other Image titles bound for the Seville slate include "My Name Is Bruce," starring Bruce Campbell, and a newly digitally remastered version of "The Last Emperor."

Entertainment One has handled Image Entertainment's home entertainment product for 10 years.

The Canadian distributor's international diversification into filmed entertainment follows British hedge fund Marwyn Investment Management in March buying Entertainment One for $168 million. It then delisted the company from the Toronto Stock Exchange as an income fund and refloated it on the London-based AIM market.

Seville releases about 30 titles in Canada each year and another five to 10 titles internationally. Its Canadian distribution library stands at about 500 titles, with Seville holding worldwide rights for another 100.
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