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Distrib inks with Palace Cinemas

Co. will release all films EEAP acquires for its territory

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

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

Among the first 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 … enables us to release up to 20 films per year in Czech Republic and Slovakia,” said EEAP managing director Alexander van Duelmen.

Exhib-distrib Palace Cinema has a 35% market share of the box office in each country. It has seven sites and 65 screens in Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as three sites in Budapest, Hungary, where it has 34 screens.

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

Czech Republic’s 10.3 million population makes it the second largest new member of the European Union, after Poland. Its total B.O. in 2004 reached $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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