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Demand Grows in U.K. Film Distribution Market

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the U.K. distribution market is a hotbed of activity as international players seek access to what is widely regarded by indies and studio operators alike as one of the most lucrative markets after the U.S.

The past six months alone witnessed the marriage of U.K. independent Optimum Releasing with French film giant StudioCanal and the alliance between Toronto-based Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and British distributor Redbus Group. And at least two other international movie groups are known to be actively jockeying for a foothold in the British marketplace.

"The U.K. (theatrical) market is in the top three outside the U.S., and as an ancillary market it is the biggest outside America," said Josh Berger, executive vp and managing director of Warner Bros. U.K. and Ireland.

Not only did the U.K. buck the trend across Europe last year -- posting a 1 percent gain in overall boxoffice revenue for 2005 that hit �840.4 million ($1.5 billion) -- the home entertainment market here is simply too big a lure to ignore.

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