Worldwide Bonus Entertainment launched


LONDON -- The British independent distribution sector grew Wednesday with the entry of Worldwide Bonus Entertainment (WBE), a startup company aiming to house publishing, film distribution and music supervision operations.

The company also has its first theatrical release sorted out with the British comedy "Three and Out" lined up for a late April rollout later this year.

Starring Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Imelda Staunton and Gemma Arterton, the British comedy will mark the launch of the distributor.

WBE has sealed a five-picture distribution deal with U.K. production banner Rovinge Motion Picture Company, which made "Three." The Crook starrer will kick the pact off.

Directed by Jonathan Gershfield, the movie stars Crook as a London Underground train driver who after two accidents in the space of a month is told of the "Three and Out rule" by his friends; three deaths in the space of a month and it is early retirement with 10 years salary as a lump sum.

WBE chief Mark Gottlieb, a former advertising and marketing guru, told THR he is looking forward to the challenge of establishing a distribution entity in the U.K.

Gottlieb's company is also planning to publish a book tie-in and a soundtrack album through WBE's publishing unit.

"We know it's cutthroat out there [in British distribution] but we are all really excited about this film and know it has to stand up for audiences," Gottlieb said. "Our objective is to make the rollout feel like it's a big studio film being released."

WBE, backed by a group of private investors, is expected to seek a flotation on the Alternative Investment Market stock exchange here later this year.