Universal Inks Deal With Premium Film to Distribute Upcoming Slate in Russia

Jackie Chan’s "Chinese Zodiac" will be the first release.

ODESSA, UKRAINE -- Universal Pictures International (UPI) announced on July 19 that it has reached a principal agreement with Premium Film to distribute its upcoming slate of eight movies.

Under the agreement, UPI Russia will handle physical theatrical distribution of these films in Russia and CIS countries, excluding Ukraine, announced Vadim Ivanov, managing director of UPI Russia, and Aram Hovhannisyan, marketing director of Premium Film.

“We’re very happy to be working with our new colleagues from Premium Film under this new deal,” Ivanov said in a statement. “They have selected great films with significant box office potential. We’re looking forward to bringing these films to the Russian market.”

“We have always admired the ability of our UPI colleagues to wisely localize and promote foreign movies and are pleased to be working together to distribute our upcoming slate,” Hovhannisyan added.

The first major Premium release by UPI will be Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac, the third installment of the Armor of God franchise which once helped solidify Chan’s role as a global action star. In addition to playing the lead role, Chan wrote and directed the movie and staged all stunts in it.

Chinese Zodiac will be followed by Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first leading role in his acting comeback and the fifth installment of the Scary Movie franchise.

In the first six months of 2011, UPI was Russia’s No. 5 distributor, accounting for $80.76 million or 11.8 percent of the total box office, according to Kinobiznes Segodnya.

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