Polygram in Spanish deal

MADRID — Forming a potent partnership, Polygram Filmed Entertainment will join Warner Bros. and Spanish film and TV conglom Sogecable in a new three-way theatrical film distribution alliance in Spain.

Beginning in January, PFE will channel bookings and collections for all of its movies through Warner Sogefilms, the Spanish theatrical joint venture recently created by Warner Bros. and Sogecable (Daily Variety, Dec. 8). PFE will retain control of its film marketing and P&A in Spain.

In some ways, the new three-year services agreement between PFE and Warner Sogefilms rationalizes a de facto association between the three distributors. Since 1994 PFE had partnered with Sogepaq, Sogecable’s distribution division, in Sogepaq Distribucion, a 50/50 theatrical joint venture. Over the last five years Jose Vicuna has figured as president of both Sogepaq and Warner Espanola.

But the new alliance ups the ante on several scores, according to Francisco Bestard, Polygram Iberica prexy. “It will considerably lower fixed costs and create attractive synergies,” he said. These include Warner Sogefilms’ spread of top U.S. and European films.

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