Twentieth eyeing Euro auds

BERLIN — Germany’s Intertainment and Twentieth Century Fox have signed a 10-year European distribution alliance.

The deal calls for a significant number of Intertainment titles to be released in Europe through Fox and covers theatrical, pay TV and video rights. Intertainment will retain free TV rights. In return, Intertainment will consider investing up to $500 million in co-financing Fox pictures during the terms of the agreement.

The Fox deal is the second pact forged between Intertainment and a major within a number of months. In place with Warner Bros. is a Pan-European distribution deal for 60 titles of Intertainment’s choice to be distributed through Warner’s distribution arm (Daily Variety, June 21).

In place is an output deal with U.S. indie Franchise (Daily Variety, May 19) and a 10-picture output deal with David Kirkpatrick’s Original Voice. Pics now going to Intertainment include John Travolta starrer “Battlefield Earth” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” toplining Bruce Willis.

“We are working with the two most important media companies,” said Ruediger Baeres, president of Intertainment. “Intertainment has a philosophy of creating a virtual studio through careful management of rights acquisition.”

Jim Gianopulos, prexy of Twentieth Century Fox International, said his company “has a track record of successfully working with a number of successful partners. Intertainment adds to these partners, giving us an innovative partner based in Europe.”

Since going public this February, Intertainment has grown rapidly through setting up a number of strategic partnerships with U.S. companies. The option to co-finance pictures with Fox takes Intertainment, which has so far concentrated on licensing pictures, in a new direction.

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