Down Under deal gives distrib access to indie pics

Sydney– Aussie distrib Hopscotch/Entertainment One has inked a deal with Stateside’s Lakeshore Entertainment to distribute all Lakeshore pics Down Under and across the Tasman in New Zealand.

Pact should see up to four Lakeshore films hit Aussie screens annually. The first released under the new multiyear deal will be “Gone”; thriller starring Amanda Seyfried and Wes Bentley is slated for a February bow locally.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Tom Rosenberg, Eric Reid, Gary Lucchesi and the Lakeshore team,” said Hopscotch topper Troy Lum. “Lakeshore consistently produces highly commercial product, and we’re pleased to be their chosen partner to service it to the Australian and New Zealand marketplace.”

EOne, which acquired Hopscotch in May, has had a successful output relationship with Lakeshore for Canada since 2007. Lakeshore Entertainment topper Rosenberg said he was keen to work with the team in the Aussie market. “Troy and his team have extensive knowledge and expertise in the Australian market, and we’re thrilled to work with them as part of the larger eOne family,” he said.

Hopscotch was started by Lum eight years ago and quickly rose to become one of Oz’s fastest-growing indie distribs, releasing such pics as “The Wrestler” and “Bright Star.” Last year it had the biggest Aussie pic at the local B.O. with Bruce Beresford’s “Mao’s Last Dancer,” which took in more than $15 million ($16 million).

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