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May 2002
©Blackflix.com™
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TOP 5 U.S.
DISTRIBUTORS

   The top 5 domestic distributors to date are as follows (Dollar figures in millions.):

1.) UNIVERSAL 14.34% (INCL. FOCUS)
Grossed: $376,212,703

2.) NEW LINE 13.58% (EXCL. FINE LINE)
Grossed: $356,337,095

3.) BUENA VISTA 13.58%
Grossed: $356,245,146

4.) PARAMOUNT 11.26% (INCL CLASSICS)
Grossed: $295,519,086

5.) WARNER BROS. 9.83%
Grossed: $257,942,113


NEW INDIE DISTRIBUTOR

While other distributors around the world are in financial straights, industry vets Mike Marcus, Andy Gruenberg and Craig Baumgarten have opened,MAC Releasing, an indie distribution company which kicked off with the May 3rd release of "A Shot At Glory," starring and produced by Robert Duvall. MAC Releasing has already sealed long-term deals with Showtime for US pay-TV and Lions Gate Home Entertainment for US home video/DVD. The company, financed by City National Bank, plans to release 10-12 films a year and is looking for niche black films.



SAG REJECTS ACTOR/AGENT DEAL

The Screen Actors Guild is being described in press accounts as being in turmoil after membership voted down an agreement between the union and the Association of Talent Agents last month. For the first time since 1939, agents who represent SAG members are unfettered by rules that limit their commission to 10 percent or prevent agents from investing in, or being owned by, advertising agencies or studios. Actors are left wondering how to proceed without safeguards against unscrupulous agents taking advantage of them. SAG advised members not to sign agreements with agents that include conditions that are substantially different from those set down in the previous franchise agreement, the ATA called such an instruction "unlawful" and indicated that it would take any legal action necessary to counter "SAG's interference with agents' relationships with their clients."


AOL/TIME WARNER NOSEDIVE

Shares in AOL Time Warner dropped to $18.04 on April 30, their lowest point since November 1998. Commenting on the stock's nosedive, Argus Research analyst Daniel Peris told Bloomberg News: "AOL Time Warner is very much beaten up. I can't see where the bottom is, but at some point the negative sentiment driving this stock will exhaust itself."



FOX BREAKS PARTNERSHIP WITH DISNEY

News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group has pulled out of its joint venture with Disney to provide movies on demand over the Internet in a service called Movies.com. A rival venture, Movielink.com, includes the other major film companies, Sony, Paramount, MGM, Warner Bros. and Universal. Fox said in a statement that the decision was based on "potential regulatory processes and logistical issues."


SOFTWARE COMPANY SUES STUDIOS

Berkeley-based 321 Studios has asked a federal court to bar the major motion picture companies from interfering with its sale of software that enables consumers to make copies of their personal DVDs. The company claims that the studios and the Motion Picture Association of America have threatened to sue under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Robert Moore, president of 321 Studios, said: "We decided
to proactively file this lawsuit not only to receive the courts' assurance that we are in compliance with the law but also to raise the broader question of how Americans' First Amendment rights can be protected in this digital age." The 321 Studios software allows consumers to make VCD copies of their DVDs using the CD recorders on their home computers. A single VCD disc can store about half a DVD movie with the clarity of a VHS cassette.