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Pathé UK Swaps Warner Bros For Fox

The London-based arm of the French film company has switched Warner Bros for Fox to handle physical distribution of its theatrical releases. Back in April 2009 Pathé announced that Warner Bros would be handling its theatrical distribution in the UK and Ireland with Fox handling home entertainment. Now Pathé UK bosses Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken have decided to put all their oeufs in one basket. The new Fox deal will kick off with one of either two foreign-language titles, Daniel Auteuil’s The Well-Digger’s Daughter or Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In. The Fox deal will cover the 3-4 films Pathé makes each year — filming began yesterday on The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Mrs Thatcher –- as well as any French Pathe productions likely to do well in Britain. “We felt it made sense for one studio to manage the licensing process across all rights,” says Ivernel.

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Disney Studios Distribution Restructures

BURBANK, Calif. – November 1, 2010 – The Walt Disney Studios today announced changes to its distribution organization that will better reflect the global marketplace and consumer trends.  With the changes, Janice Marinelli, Lori MacPherson and Jason Brenek will be assuming expanded roles.

“As we continue to respond to changing consumer behavior, we have re-aligned our distribution organization to be more integrated, global and holistic, taking into account the entire lifecycle of our films around the world,” said Bob Chapek, President of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios. “I’m confident that Janice, Lori and Jason will lead their new groups in implementing innovative ways for us to reach our audiences in ways that are consistent with how consumers want to enjoy our content, both today, and into the future.”

In the new organization, Marinelli will lead a new North American In-Home Sales organization for Media Networks and Studio content, reporting to Chapek and Ben Pyne, President, Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks.  The team will be responsible for distributing film and TV content (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, DreamWorks, ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channels properties), as well as first-run content of The Walt Disney Company across the video/retail, TV, and digital platforms.  This includes negotiating licensed deals and output agreements with traditional and digital platforms.

MacPherson will lead Global Product Management for Walt Disney Studios Distribution.  In her new role, Lori will be responsible for product management for physical and digital Disney, Pixar, Marvel, DreamWorks,

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Relativity Schedules Nicolas Cage Starrer

January 7th is the release date for the Nicolas Cage supernatural action adventure Season Of The Witch which Relativity Media will distribute and market as part of its 2011 theatrical distribution slate. That already includes Kids In America (March 4th) starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris, and The Dark Fields (March 18th) starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.

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Universal Taps Niels Swinkels As UK Boss

Netherlands-born Niels Swinkels will oversee theatrical distribution for all Universal Pictures International titles in the UK and Eire. Until now he’s been SVP of distribution in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Swinkels replaces Simon Hewlett, who last month was promoted to run the whole of UPI’s international marketing. He will continue to be based in London and report to UPI distribution boss Duncan Clark.

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Apparition Restructures With 60% Staff Cut

Mike Fleming

UPDATE 12:13 PM: Apparition just made official its restructuring plans after Deadline broke the story.

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pohlad has begun the first phase of restructuring Apparition, apparition_logothe indie distribution company that was thrown into disarray when co-founder Bob Berney exited in bombshell fashion just before the Cannes Film Festival. The first step is painful: 60%, or approximately 15 staffers were informed moments ago they are being let go and receiving severance packages. Last day for those staffers is this Friday. Read More »

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