With the sale of Sandrew Metronome Finland to Finnish distributor Future Film, Norway’s largest media concern Schibsted has put a full stop to its involvement in film distribution, and to one of Scandinavia’s leading players, which was once in production and exhibition, too.

”The purchase of Sandrew Metronome Finland will make us even more influential, especially when it comes to domestic product,” explained head of theatrical distribution, Harry Päiväläinen, of Future Film.

New local releases include Ulrika Bengts’ Iris, Petri Kotwica’s Rat King and Antti Haikala’s The Magic Crystal (Maaginen kristalli) [pictured]. In 2010 Sandrew Metronome handled half of the titles on the Finnish list of Top Ten Films.

Vaasa-based Future Film was set up as a video company in 1982, with the breakthrough of VHS. Since 1995 it has worked with theatrical and television distribution, and is today considered Finland’s leading art house supplier.

Last year the owner of Sandrew Metronome, Schibsted last March announced the operation was up for sale, since ”it is not part of the core activities of the group.” In Nov it cancelled its out-put deal with Warner Bros for Norway, Denmark, Finland and in Sweden.

In January 2011, the back catalogue of SM Denmark was sold to Nordisk Film; the branch will close later this year. In Sweden, where Anders Sandrew founded the company in the 1920s, SM Sweden discontinued theatrical distribution in Mar, and the company was folded.

Also in March SM Norway was traded to Oslo Municipal Cinemas, Norway’s largest cinema circuit, and renamed Norsk Filmdistribusjon. – In 2010 SM Scandinavia accounted for 19.5% of the admissions in Norway, 16.4% in Denmark, 27.6% in Finland and 16% in Sweden.