Fox International hasappointed Croft & Co as its theatrical distributor for New Zealandfollowing the retirement of the studio's longtime partner Royce Moodabe.

The Moodabe family'sconnection with the studio began in 1936 when Fox first acquired a 50% share inits exhibition business in New Zealand, then owned by Royce's father MJMoodabe.

Royce became involved in thebusiness in 1948 and over the past 57 years he has overseen such releases as TheSound Of Music, Titanic, Independence Day, the Star Wars prequels,and most recently X Men: The Last Stand and Ice Age 2.

Taking over the helm is MarkCroft, managing director of Croft & Co trading as Twentieth Century Fox.

Croft began his career atKerridge Odeon some 30 years ago and has spent the last six managing themarketing of such Fox releases as The Day After Tomorrow, Fantastic Four, MrAnd Mrs Smith, Ice Age 2, and X Men:The Last Stand.

"We are confident Markand his new organisation will continue to deliver excellent results for ourfilms, and we look forward to a long relationship into the future," SunderKimatrai, the studio's vice president of the Asia Pacific region, said.

"I consider myselffortunate to have counted Royce as a colleague over the years and wish him allthe very best for the future."