20th Century Fox Australia managing director Marcos Oliveira is to be replaced by his marketing director Marc Wooldridge.

For Woolridge the promotion takes effect from February 9. He has been with the Sydney-based theatrical office for two years and fourth months, although he has had more than 17 years of sales and marketing experience in various divisions of Fox across the world.

The announcement was made out of the international office in Los Angeles but carried the name of Sunder Kimatrai, Sydney-based vice president of Fox in the Asia Pacific and Oliveira's predecessor. It noted that Oliveira was leaving Fox and returning to his native Brazil. He has been at Fox Australia for about two years.

'I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work with the incredible Fox Australia team, in an industry that I truly love and in a role that will continue to challenge me every day,' said Woolridge. 'Marcos has been an excellent mentor and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him,' he added.

The news comes two months after Fox released the biggest Australian film of all time. As of the end of Thursday, Baz Luhrmann's Australia had grossed US$22.16 million (A$34.59m) making it the third biggest local hit of all time after Crocodile Dundee (US$47.71/A$30.56 million) and Babe (US$23.56/A$36.78 million).

Australia was the only Fox film among the 10 hits of 2008 and in another few weeks it will elbow its way into the list of top 10 hits from anywhere - Babe sits at number 12. Two Fox films, The Simpsons Movie and Night At the Museum, were in the top 10 list of 2007.

The sequel to Museum, which releases on May 21, is one of a number of films that are carrying high expectations and are due for release in 2009. Others include X-Men Origins: Wolverine (April 30), Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (July 2), Avatar (December 17) and Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakuela (December 26)

As of last night Fox was leading the box office charts with two of its most recent releases, Bride Wars and Valkyrie. The latter, which features Tom Cruise as Hitler's would-be assassin Claus von Stauffenberg, opened last week and was the most popular film on the weekend. It was a holiday weekend held to celebrate white settlement of Australia.