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DISTRIBUTION UK

Metrodome turnover down 11%

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Interim results for the first half of 2006 were in the red for independent distributor Metrodome, with a total turnover of £1,481,000 (-11%) and theatrical suffering the highest downturn (-65%), from £231,000 in 2005 to £80,000 this year.

For company CEO Simon Flamanck, the poor performance of some theatrical releases was partly to blame but “theatrical has been difficult for the industry as a whole,” he stressed. “Metrodome released four titles in the first half of the year, the highlight being Shooting Dogs [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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, which achieved box office revenues of £162,000 and cemented our relationship with the BBC. The film received an unprecedented amount of press coverage, which supported a strong DVD ship-out in excess of 22,000 units in August 2006 and is indicative of the type of film we hope to release in the future”, he added.

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Other titles released were Lars von Trier’s Manderlay [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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and two small films, Metropolitan and Tell Them Who You Are.

However, for Flamanck, these negative results had been expected as the company is going through a period of change both in terms of management and strategy. Since last April, Metrodome’s main shareholder, TV Loonland, has taken a less active role in the company and under the aegis of Peter Urie (promoted to CEO from managing director) and Jezz Vernon (the new head of marketing) the stronger management team can now put into place the company’s new long-term strategy.

This includes the launch of in-house budget labels In2Film for mainstream titles and Mini Metro for children on the home entertainment market, a stronger focus on working more closely with retail partners and new media outlets and a refocusing of the theatrical division through the release of high quality arthouse titles and higher support to the film industry through potential co-production and pre-buying acquisitions.

Examples of quality films recently acquired by Metrodome’s acquisition manager Sara Frain are Away From Her, the directorial debut of Canadian actress Sarah Polley, and French film Days of Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Bréhat
interview: Rachid Bouchareb
film profile
]
(Indigènes) by Rachid Bouchareb, scheduled for a 2007 release.

Before that, three films will be launched on UK screens: Echo Park L.A by US duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (September 29), Swedish film Container by Lukas Moodysson (October 27) and French horror film Them [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by David Moreau and Xavier Palud (January 26, 2007).

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