Pool dives into agreement with Palace

Exhibitor to release EEAP films through new distrib arm

BERLIN — Berlin-based distrib Eastern European Acquisition Pool has inked a distribution agreement with Palace Cinemas, the largest exhibitor in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Palace will release all films EEAP acquires for its territory through its newly created distribution company, Palace Pictures.

Among the first films to be released will be George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The World’s Fastest Indian” starring Anthony Hopkins and “Bordertown” with Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez.

“The cooperation between both companies enables us to release up to 20 films per year in Czech Republic and Slovakia,” said EEAP managing director Alexander van Duelmen.

Van Duelmen called Palace Cinema an ideal partner in view of the exhib/distrib’s 35% market share of the box office and its leading position in each country, “which is a guarantee for successful exploitation of our films.”

EEAP, part of Van Duelmen’s A Company, is a leading licensing company in Central and Eastern Europe, handling more than 20 films per year, which are distributed through mostly exclusive partners in each country.

Palace Cinemas is the No. 1 cinema network in Czech Republic and Slovakia with seven sites and 65 screens, as well as three sites in Budapest, where it has 34 screens.

Czech Republic’s population is 10.3 million, making it the second largest new member of the European Union after Poland. Its total B.O. in 2004 reached some $47 million. Admission sales in Slovakia, with 5.3 million inhabitants, reached $8 million.

In September EEAP signed a similar deal with Bulgarian distrib Sunny Films.

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