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UIP shifts H.K. biz to Intercontinental

Distrib ends 18-year association with Golden Harvest

CANNES — United International Pictures has changed its local sub-licensee in Hong Kong, ending an eighteen year relationship.

Move sees exhibition and distribution group Golden Harvest replaced by Intercontinental, which already handles Buena Vista International’s slate in the territory. Switch took effect with “Mission: Impossible 3.”

UIP, which is the int’l joint venture releasing arm of Universal and Paramount, declined to explain the changeover, citing only “strategic reasons.” Hong Kong industry sources, however, also point to relations fraying in recent months over rental payments.

Owners Par and U, announced last year that they will terminate UIP in Europe and some other major territories. In Asia however, the jointly owned structure is to be maintained through 2008. But UIP has shaken up a number of local licensing and distribution relationships. In recent months it has switched distribution partner in Vietnam, launched separate releasing of UIP titles in Pakistan and inked deals with regional distributors across India.

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