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Fox to handle distrib’n for Pathe U.K.

Deal forms part of wider partnership

Twentieth Century Fox has taken over exclusive control of Pathe U.K.’s theatrical, home entertainment and TV distribution biz, previously split between Fox and Warner Bros.

The broader partnership, effective as of Tuesday, continues a commitment between Fox and Pathe that includes a 15-year alliance in France, where the companies are partners in a home-entertainment joint venture.

Under the terms of the distribution agreement with Fox, Pathe U.K. will continue to devise marketing campaigns for each of its films and to fund the P&A for each release.

Arrangement will have no impact on the existing structure of Pathe U.K., which will focus on the development, production, marketing and international sales of its own titles and occasional acquisitions.

In a joint statement, Pathe exec VP Francois Ivernel and U.K. managing director Cameron McCracken said, “We’ve enjoyed a very happy relationship with Warner Bros. over the past couple of years, but given the ever-increasing complexity of distribution windows and media platforms, we felt it made sense for one studio to manage the licensing process across all rights.”

Pathe and Fox have worked on a slew of titles including Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” which was co-financed by the pair but theatrically distributed by Warner Bros. in Blighty.

Pathe U.K.’s first production of 2011 is Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady,” based on the life of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent.

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