Warner to distribute Foxs films in India

Mumbai, March 27 | Updated: Mar 28 2005, 06:26am hrs
20th Century Fox has entered into an agreement with Warner Bros to distribute Foxs films in the Indian market. The agreement comes into effect from April 1 and will have Warner distributing Foxs films. This follows 20th Century Fox shutting down its operations a couple of months ago.

Industry sources said that the first Fox film which will be distributed by Warner will be the to-be-released, Be Cool. Fox releases about 20 films each year in the Indian market and Warner releases about the same number. Together, this will see Warner releasing about 50 pictures each year, they added.

The development marks the coming together of two huge brand names. In the past, Fox has released blockbusters that include Titanic and Star Wars while Warner has released the Harry Potter series apart from big firms such as Matrix and Superman. This means two of the biggest content providers in Hollywood will be joining hands for the Indian market, said sources. Last year, among Warners releases were Troy and Oceans 12. Those from Fox included Day After Tomorrow and Garfield.

Interestingly, the two companies are owned by rival media groups. While Warner is owned by AOL Time-Warner, 20th Century Fox is promoted by media baron Rupert Murdoch. Both these players have been rivals in most parts of the world where they exist. In the television news space, for instance, AOL Time-Warner owns CNN while Fox runs Fox News.

In India, both Fox and Warner have been around for over 50 years. With the current development, the market for Hollywood films will now be controlled by Warner (who will distribute its own films and Foxs), Sony Pictures Releasing India Ltd (SPRIL) and the Viacom-owned Paramount. About 100 films are released by these players accounting for an estimated 8% of total box-office collections in India.