New Line International (NLI) has completed extensions to 2005 on two major output deals - with Village Roadshow in Australia and Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia - and closed a third, also to 2005, with Metropolitan Filmexport in France. It is the first time NLI has struck an output deal with longtime partner Metropolitan, which has in the past paid minimum guarantees for slates of New Line movies.
NLI president Camela Galano also says she is close to extending the studio's UK output deal with Entertainment Film Distributors to 2005. Galano completed the deals from Los Angeles in advance of MIFED where she plans to sell individual pictures and packages to territories such as Italy and Japan where the studio does not have output arrangements.
The Roadshow deal extends the output deal from 2004 to 2005, while Svensk goes from 2002 to 2005 and Entertainment, if completed, will extend a deal reached at Cannes this year from 2003 to 2005.
The deal with Metropolitan's Samuel Hadida sees the French distributor, which like Roadshow, Svensk and Metropolitan enjoyed spectacular success with The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, sign up for all New Line films released in the US until the end of 2005. New Line output deals see the foreign distributors pay a percentage of the budget of each film according to a mutually agreed formula.
Galano attributes the deals and the "tremendous reponse" she has received from other buyers to the diversity of New Line's slate in the next couple of years. It includes sequels to Blade and The Mask, superhero adventure Ironman, action thriller Cellular, emotional drama The Notebook starring Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, James Garner and Ryan Gosling, big-budget Christmas comedy Elf starring Will Farrell and biggest of all, two or three movies based on the fantasy book series His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman which are currently being adapted by Tom Stoppard. The films, which will have a large CGI component much like The Lord Of The Rings, will be released in 2004, 2005 and 2006, if they become a trilogy. If not a trilogy, they will be made into two films kicking off in 2004.