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Is the Quebec provincial government going to lose money because of the recent restructuring at Warner Brothers?

Is the Quebec provincial government going to lose money because of the recent restructuring at Warner Brothers? March 21, 2008

That would be one way to spin this Variety story:

Alliance Films, Canada’s leading film distributor, is set to lose its most lucrative output deal as a result of Warner Bros.’ slashing of New Line. . . .

Alliance makes its money from its deals with U.S. minimajors like Miramax, Focus and New Line, with New Line reportedly providing some 15% of Alliance’s annual box office revenue in Canada. Alliance has a deal with New Line until the end of the year, so it will continue to handle the studio’s slate for the rest of 2008, even though those pics will be going out via Warner Bros. in the U.S.

But after this year, Alliance will be losing the revenue generated by New Line, which gave Alliance many of its biggest hits in recent years, including the “Lord of the Rings,” “Austin Powers” and “Rush Hour” pics.

This is not good news for the Societe Generale de Financement, the Quebec government’s investment arm, which paid C$100 million ($98.5 million) in mid-January to acquire 51% of the voting shares of Alliance and a 38.5% ownership stake. The government investment group would not comment on the loss of the New Line films. The rest of the equity in the company is owned by Goldman Sachs.

Alliance CEO Victor Loewy says his company will be inking a new output deal with another international film company shortly, but would not provide further details. He insists Alliance had not been making money from New Line pics in the past year or two, citing “The Golden Compass” as a New Line pic that bombed for Alliance. . . .

The story also reports on the goings-on at Christal Films.


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