Companies extend distrib deal for Canada until '06

Miramax Films and Canuck company Alliance Atlantis Communications have extended their exclusive long-term distrib agreement for Canada until 2006, they announced jointly Wednesday.

Deal gives Alliance Atlantis Canadian rights in all media to upcoming Miramax and Dimension pics.

Neither company revealed the financial terms of the agreement.

Alliance Atlantis has handled Miramax pics in the Great White North since 1994, distributing over 225 titles.

Renewal comes as Alliance Atlantis enjoys success with Miramax Oscar winner “Chicago,” which has garnered C$16 million ($10.8 million) at the box office in Canada, and “Gangs of New York,” which has earned $6.8 million.

“I’m glad to have renewed our long-standing agreement with Alliance Atlantis,” said Miramax co-chairman Bob Weinstein. “Canadian filmgoers are of great importance to us. I take comfort knowing that they will continue to represent Miramax and Dimension Films.”

“It’s great to have extended our distribution agreement,” said Alliance Atlantis CEO Michael MacMillan. “We’ve handled Miramax films for many years now and are proud of how we’ve contributed to the overall North American success of those films. We look forward to continuing to do the same.”

Full sked

Upcoming Miramax releases include “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” starring Antonio Banderas; the third installment of the “Scary Movie” series; Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” with Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu; romantic comedy “Jersey Girl,” starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez; comedy “Duplex,” toplining Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore and directed by Danny DeVito; and “Cold Mountain,” starring Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger for helmer Anthony Minghella.

Victor Loewy, CEO of Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution, negotiated the deal with Miramax chief operating officer Rick Sands, chief financial officer Ross Landsbaum and exec veepee of finance Irwin Reiter.

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