Fox Takes Over Distribution for Pathe U.K.


LONDON -- Twentieth Century Fox has taken over exclusive control of French-owned Pathe U.K.'s theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution activity.

The deal marks the end to distribution duties previously split between Fox and Warner for Pathe here.

The expanded U.K. partnership between Pathe and Fox, effective from Tuesday, marks a continued commitment between duo that also includes a 15-year alliance in France where the companies are partners in a home entertainment joint venture.

Through the deal, Pathe U.K. will continue to devise marketing campaigns for each of its films and to fund the P&A for each release while Fox does the physical leg work.

The parties were at pains to point out the fresh agreement will have no impact on the existing structure of Pathe U.K., which will maintain its focus on the development, production, marketing and international sales of its own titles and occasional acquisition.

Pathe exec vp Francois Ivernel and U.K. managing director Cameron McCracken jointly said they had enjoyed a "very happy relationship with Warner Bros. over the past couple of years," but had taken the tough decision to go with a fresh overseas studio distribution machine "given the ever-increasing complexity of distribution windows and media platforms, we felt it made sense for one studio to manage the licensing process across all rights."

Pathe and Fox have worked on a slew of titles together, including DannyBoyle's 127 Hours, which was co-financed between the two companies, but theatrically distributed by Warner Bros. in the U.K.

Pathe U.K.'s first production of 2011 is Phyllida Lloyd's The Iron Lady, based on the life of Brit Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent.

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