Leading LA production,financing and sales house Summit Entertainment has set up its own LatinAmerican distribution operation in alliance with LA-based Pedro Rodriguez whoformerly ran the Latin distribution consortium Nu Vision Network.
The outfit, calledInternational Distribution Company (IDC), has set up a fixed structure ofdistribution partners in each Latin territory which will handle five or six Summit-ownedtitles a year.
It has also established anacquisitions fund financed by a New York hedge fund that plans to buy eightsignificant titles a year. First films acquired for IDC are Valiant from Odyssey, which grossed $5.2m in Latin Americafor IDC, and Tsotsi from LittleFilm Company.
Unlike Nu Vision, IDC is nota consortium of buyers teaming up to make acquisition decisions. "We're takingthe risk," explained Summit COO Bob Hayward.
"Obviously we consult withthe distributors but we are buying for all Latin America as one entity and thendistributing through fixed theatrical and video distributors in each market."
Summit is handling its ownDVD duplication through Videolar in Brazil and Technicolor in Mexico.
In Mexico, IDC works withVideocine for theatrical and Paramount Home Entertainment for video. In Brazil,Europa is handling both theatrical and video; in Argentina, Alfa Film ishandling theatrical and Plus Video video.
Other partners are Blanco YTravieso in Venezuela, Cine Colombia in Colombia, Bazuka in Chile, Venus Filmsin Peru and Ecuador, Bella Vista in Bolivia and California Investments inCentral America.
In Uruguay, Movie Center ishandling theatrical and Censa is handling video. Films handled by Summit on anagency basis are given the option to go through IDC to play the upside, butSummit will continue to sell them on behalf of producers to all distributors.George Clooney-starrer Michael Clayton, for example, was sold to Brazil but the producers opted to go throughIDC in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
Summit-owned titles to gothrough IDC will include musical Step Up, which Disney is handling in North America, The Alibi and Adrift.
"It's a developing marketand IDC buys us more upside," said Hayward. "It gives us full reporting fromthe whole continent and gives us greater sophistication to handle grossparticipation."
Hayward added thathistorically buyers partner with different distributors on each film andreporting has "always been an issue."
"We are committed to thepre-sales business obviously," he said. "It's still our core business, but IDCgives us a way of playing the upside without straining the financing."
Rodriguez is running theoperation from Summit's offices in Los Angeles; when he was in charge of NuVision, he was a client of Summit picking up American Pie, The Blair Witch Project and others.