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Fox and Paramount Forge Unique Distribution Partnership in Italy

Variety logo Variety 6/16/2017 Nick Vivarelli
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ROME – 20th Century Fox Film Intl. and Paramount Pictures Intl. have forged a unique distribution partnership in Italy under which Fox will release Paramount titles in the country starting in September.

The unusual deal makes Italy the only territory in the world where Fox releases Paramount product. Paramount titles previously went out in Italy via Universal.

It comes a few months after former 20th Century Fox chief Jim Gianopulos took over as Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO.

When he was at Fox, Gianopulous was known to have a close rapport with former Fox Italia chief Osvaldo De Santis, who built a formidable distribution machine in the country. De Santis stepped down last year after more than 30 years at the helm and was replaced in November by Paul Zonderland (pictured), a former head of Disney in Italy.

“We are happy to have been chosen as partners in Italy by Paramount Pictures,” Zonderland said in a statement.

In another, previously announced shift among Hollywood studios in Italy, Universal will replace Fox next year as distributor of DreamWorks movies in Italy.

The announcement of the new Fox-Paramount partnership did not reveal titles, possibly indicating these may still be subject to negotiation.

Upcoming Paramount releases scheduled in the U.S. after September 1 this year include J.J. Abrams’ science fiction thriller “2017 Cloverfield Movie” (previously “God Particle”), George Clooney-directed “Suburbicon,” and Alexander Payne’s satire “Downsizing,” starring Matt Damon.

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