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LONDON — Classic movie label the Criterion Collection is to launch on Blu-ray in the U.K. on April 18 following a multi-year home entertainment distribution pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Until now Criterion has only been available in the U.S. and Canada.

SPHE will bring selected titles from Criterion’s extensive catalog and future new release slate to the U.K. for the first time. The first wave of films, featuring all the supplements from the U.S. editions along with their exclusive artwork and packaging, are “Grey Gardens,” “It Happened One Night,” Roman Polanski’s “Macbeth,” “Only Angels Have Wings,” “Speedy” and “Tootsie.”

Criterion Collection chief executive officer Jonathan Turell said: “We are excited to launch the Criterion Collection in the U.K. Starting with these six great titles, we are happy to be able to bring selections from Criterion to our very devoted audience in the U.K. We are thrilled to build upon our strong relationship with Sony and look forward to expanding the Criterion audience.”

“Criterion represents the very best of classic and contemporary filmmaking and we are delighted to bring this prestigious collection to the U.K. for the first time,” added Aodan Coburn, executive VP, international, SPHE. “This partnership demonstrates SPHE’s continued commitment to growing our distribution business.”

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