CANNES — AB Group, one of France’s largest media outfits which comprises 16 TV channels, is launching Panorama, a theatrical distribution outfit.

At a time when most media shingles are banking on digital, AB Group is venturing in theatrical distrib, kicking off with the release of hit Norwegian disaster movie “The Wave,” directed by Roar Uthaug.

“We started buying movies, TV series and documentaries for our library a few years ago and we realized that in order to acquire fresh movies with cast we had to start taking all rights on movies and acquire them at script stage as often as possible,” said Richard Maroko, managing director of programs at AB Groupe.

“Theatrical distribution remains a key step for a film’s commercial career, even in secondary markets like TV and VOD. It creates more value,” added Maroko.

Since Panorama is not a “pure player” in theatrical distribution, the company will be partnering up with Paris-set shingle KMBO on the release of “The Wave.”

Panorama’s lineup will essentially comprise AB Groupe’s foreign-Language film acquisitions that have sufficient commercial potential, explained Maroko.

AB Groupe is a shareholder of On Entertainment, Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache’s company whose credits include “The Little Prince” and the upcoming “Playmobil.”