MGM has acquired Japanese rights to Franchise Pictures' hit comedy The Whole Nine Yards in an unusual single territory acquisition for the studio which from November will distribute all its pictures internationally through 20th Century Fox.

The Japanese deal, which was the last unclosed territory on the film,was signed on the eve of Cannes. Directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, The Whole Nine Yards grossed $57m on its domestic release through Warner Bros. It is currently the number one movie in France.

The deal was negotiated between Andrew Stevens, president, and Lisa Wilson, president of international distribution, of Franchise Pictures and John Ptak of Creative Artists Agency on behalf of Franchise with Jonathan Bader, senior vice president at MGM.