Fast track linkup

Canal Plus, Pathe talk U.K. distrib'n deal

LONDON — Studio Canal Plus has entered exclusive negotiations with Pathe for a long-term theatrical distribution partnership in the U.K.

Canal Plus, which recently took control of Tobis in Germany and Bac Distribution in France, is trying to fast-track its strategy of creating a pan-European distribution network.

It has been mulling a number of options in the U.K., including deals with Alliance Atlantis/Kinowelt, to whom it recently sold a large package of pics, and FilmFour.

But its quest for a partner has now zeroed in on French-owned Pathe Distribution, which has been granted an exclusive negotiating period of five weeks to seal a deal.

Three options

Sources close to the talks, which are being headed by Studio Canal Plus chief Brahim Chioua and Michel Schmidt of Canal Plus Image, say three options are available. “Either we take an equity stake in Pathe Distribution, or we set up a joint venture, or we use Pathe as a traditional distributor for our films,” said the source.

Canal Plus and Pathe go back a fair way. They are partners in C+P, the joint venture to invest in U.S. pics in return for Euro rights, which has a 12-pic output deal with Mandalay Pictures. Those films, including “Sleepy Hollow” and “Enemy at the Gate,” already go through Pathe in the U.K.

But while Canal Plus is now in talks to route all its big U.S. films through Pathe, the company will continue to sell its artsier fare on the open market.

“We will maintain a business where we will finance films against international rights and sell them, territory by territory, to the highest bidder,” said a C Plus exec.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content