Universal Pictures is beefing up its genre division Rogue Pictures withplans to release 10 pictures a year and expand the banner's productioninfrastructure.

Focus Features' marketing and distribution teams willexpand to handle the increased workload and Rogue will also begin to roll outit DVD Premiere series of titles.

Focus Features co-president David Linde will overseestrategy and continue to jointly run the specialty label with his Focusco-president James Schamus.

Senior Focus Features executives will continue and expand their roles inRogue activities. They include chief operating officer Andrew Karpen,production president John Lyons, executive vice president of business affairsAvy Eschenasy, distribution president Jack Foley, and marketing president DavidBrooks.

The executive roster includes executive vicepresident of international sales and distribution Glen Basner, senior vicepresident of physical production Jane Evans, and marketing and publicityexecutive vice president Adriene Bowles.

"It is our belief that themarketplace is ripe for a smart, flexible and aggressive production anddistribution entity with the ability to provide original filmed entertainmentto consumers in both the theatres and at home," Universal Pictures chairmanStacey Snider said.

"Thisinitiative will enable us to maximise Rogue's mandate of making filmmaker andactor-driven genre product that achieves mainstream appeal and profitability,"Linde added.

Illustrating the broad strength of the Rogue label,Luc Besson's action picture Unleashed starring Jet Li opened in third place in the NorthAmerican charts last weekend on $10.9m

Meanwhile Assault On Precinct 13 recently sold close to 2million units inits first week of release through Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Launched in March 2004, Rogue's releases to dateincludes Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead and Don Mancini's Seed of Chucky.

Upcoming releases include Jeff Wadlow's Cry Wolf, Asif Kapadia's untitled supernaturalthriller starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Altered, Eduardo Sanchez' firstdirectorial outing since The Blair Witch Project.