Paramount Pictures International (PPI) has renewed its distribution contract for theatrical distribution of its films via Universal Pictures International Italy.

Universal is a dominant distribution force in Italy and finished as the top distributor in 2008 with 19.68% market share, and ranked second in 2009 (after local powerhouse Medusa) with 13.34% of the market.

For the first quarter of 2010, Universal is trailing with a mere 6.01% of the market share in sixth place as 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Italia lead the way on the back of Avatar (pictured) and Alice In Wonderland.

The previous Paramount-Universal agreement, which expires at the end of 2010, was renewed for 2011 and can be confirmed on a year-by-year basis.

That means that in 2011 films from Paramount’s line-up such as Kung Fu Panda - The Kaboom Of Doom, Thor, Transformers 3, Captain America, Rango and Puss In Boots will go out via Universal in Italy.