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Intertainment puts blame for losses on Franchise

Company knocks former partner for slump

COLOGNE — Intertainment reduced losses last year but did not get back in the black, a condition it blames on former partner Franchise Pictures.

The German production and distribution company reduced its net loss to e16 million ($18 million), after losses of $98 million in 2001. Sales dropped from $35 million to $21 million.

Losses continued into 2003, hitting $3.1 million in the first quarter. Company in 2001 had reported extra expenditures of $161 million, which it attributed to the aftermath of its Franchise partnership.

Intertainment filed suit against Franchise in December 2000 for allegedly inflating budgets. The case is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 5.

Company has high hopes for “The Blackout Murders,” which it produced with Paramount Pictures and Kopelson Entertainment. Ashley Judd starrer is scheduled for wide release this fall.

Intertainment said it sold rights to various territories in advance and expects profits to surge considerably following the pic’s distribution.

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