Serbian distributor Vans, which handles UIP's slate in the region, is opening The Mummy on February 24, marking the third studio distributor to return to Serbia since Hollywood ceased distribution activity in the region in March 1999.

All but one studio - 20th Century Fox - is now active in the region. The US majors withdrew from Serbia and Montenegro when the NATO bombings started in March last year.

Vans plans to follow The Mummy with the release of American Beauty on March 10 and Bond movie The World Is Not Enough on March 24. The company is also planning to release Stigmata and The General's Daughter in April.

Even after NATO stopped bombing in June 1999, the majors were reluctant to resume co-operation with their Serbian distributors. The first company to come back to the market was Buena Vista, whose local distributor, Bandur Film, released The Enemy Of The State, Bug's Life and The Sixth Sense by the end of 1999. Tarzan was premiered in January and End Of Days on February 22.

Belgrade's Tuck, which represents Columbia TriStar and Warner Bros product, premiered Columbia's Go today (February 23) and also plans to release Random Hearts (March 7), Big Daddy (April 7), The End Of The Affair (April 19) and Stuart Little (April 24). Tuck's Warner Bros release slate includes Payback on March 10 and The Matrix on April 14

According to Bandur, which also handles Fox product in the territory, the Murdoch-owned studio will also soon join the fray.