20th Century Fox is continuing its expansion in Scandinavia with the launch of a Norwegian distribution arm, at the same time ending a long-term output agreement with local independent distributor KF.

The move follows Fox's launch of a joint distribution venture with Scandinavian distributor SF in Finland earlier this year (Screendaily, January 19). Fox already has its own distribution operation in Sweden, while in Denmark Fox films go out through Constantin.

The Norwegian office's first release will be Fox's X-Men which has grossed $123m after three weeks in the US. The office will be headed by KF's current managing director Bjorn Jacobsen.

The move is a major blow for KF which has handled Fox's output for almost two decades and estimates that it earns 40-45% of its revenues from Fox titles. The company, which also handles Buena Vista product in Norway, is planning to cut four or five positions from its 11-strong staff.

KF chairman Hans Svelland said the company will now aggressively chase alternative distribution partners to compensate for the loss of Fox's output.

"We are especially looking for independent movies that are outside big studio contracts, but KF will also seek co-operation with similar companies to stand stronger when we negotiate," Svelland said.