Warner cost-cutting hits Mexican store

MEXICO CITY — Warner Bros. has axed its theatrical distribution rep in Mexico as part of a global cost-cutting program.

Warner will continue to distribute through VideoCine, a subsidiary of media giant Televisa, but local rep Mike Moraskie has been laid off.

WB VP for Latino theatrical Redo Farah said further head-count reductions in Latin America were “a possibility.”

A local exhibitor described the move as bad for Warner product but great for VideoCine — which handles indie fare including New Line as well as Televisa features — because VideoCine pics now will enjoy greater leverage at Warner’s expense.

However, Warner exerts a counter-leverage over the Televisa subsid because the studio could decide to partner theatrically with Fox, as it has already done in Brazil, Argentina and Peru. VideoCine’s contract with Warner is said to come up for renewal in September 1998.

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