Italian distributor Moviemax has acquired rights totwo upcoming US films: Mr Magorium'sWonder Emporium and King OfCalifornia.

Sold by Freeway Entertainment, Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium stars Natalie Portman as the awkward clerk of a fantastical toy store. But whenthe 243 year-old eccentric store owner (Dustin Hoffman) leaves it to her, shemust decide whether she wants to run the emporium.

The film, which is the directorial debut ofscreenwriter Zach Helm, is backed by Walden Media and Mandate Pictures andproduced by FilmColony.

The Rome distributor, run by RudolfGentile and Marco Dell'Utri, has also bought rights to Nu Image's King Of California. The comedy starsMichael Douglas as an eccentric and manic-depressive father who becomesobsessed with his belief that there's a buried treasure in the San FernandoValley.

Moviemax's latest acquistions come on the shouldersof a recent hefty cash boost from new majority shareholder Mondo HomeEntertainment.

Mondo Home Entertainment is Italy's leading companyin the home entertainment and video-on-demand sector. Its parent company, MondoTV, is Italy's premier animation outfit and is the second Italian entertainmentgroup after Mediaset to be listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Moviemax's ucpoming distribution slateincludes Lucky Number Slevin and Alpha Dog.