Alliance Atlantis and NewLine Cinema have renewed their long-running subdistribution deal that sees theUS company's output released through the Canadian company'sreleasing arm. The deal, first signed in 1989, covers all New Line and FineLine motion pictures in all media in Canada and runs until Dec. 31, 2005.

Powered by such New Lineproduct as The Lord Of The Rings:The Fellowship Of The Ring andthe three Austin Powers films,the arrangement has proved particularly lucrative for Alliance Atlantis, by farthe dominant Canadian distributor. It controls roughly 90% of the non-studioreleases in Canada, which accounts for between 17% and 20% of the entiremarket.

Fellowship earned $32.2m (C$50.2m) on release in 2001-02, makingit the second-highest grossing film in Canada after Titanic. That beat the company's record set by AustinPowers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,which earned $15.1m (C$23.5m). This summer, Austin Powers In Goldmember, the third instalment of the franchise, grossed over$19.2m (C$30m) at the Canadian box office, making it the second most successfulmovie in the company's history.

The second film in LordOf The Rings trilogy, The TwoTowers, set for release Dec. 18, will likely boost the company to a record box officeyear. The deal also covers the third film in the trilogy, The Return Of TheKing, which will be released inDecember 2003. It also covers the third film of the lucrative Rush Hour franchise, slated for release in 2004. Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 were both strong performers.

Other major money spinnersfrom New Line include the 1994 smash The Mask and David Fincher's 1995 breakthrough Se7en. Needless to say, all these films have beensparkling performers on home video/DVD.