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October 2002
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TOP 5 U.S.
DISTRIBUTORS

Top 5 domestic distributors as of the end of the month are as follows
(Dollar figures in millions.):

1.) SONY 19.51% (EXCL. CLASSICS)
Grossed: $1,312,852,813

2.) BUENA VISTA 12.74%
Grossed: $857,405,989

3.) 20TH CENTURY FOX 12.37% (EXCL. SEARCHLIGHT)
Grossed: $832,394,532

4.) WARNER BROS. 10.51%
Grossed: $707,442,995

5.) UNIVERSAL 9.25%
Grossed: $622,101,018


SNIPES SIGNS WITH UTA

Wesley Snipes and his production company Amen Ra Films have signed with UTA for representation in all areas. Snipes established Amen Ra in 1991. "Wesley is among the most dynamic and exciting stars ever to appear onscreen," UTA partner Marty Bowen said. "We are excited across the entire agency to be working with Wesley and Amen Ra Films to help him add to his unparalleled body of work," added partner David Schiff.



VIVENDI UNIVERSAL FRAUD INVESTIGATION

French magistrates have opened an investigation into allegations of false accounting at Vivendi Universal. As many as three financial investigators could be assigned to probe the dealings of Vivendi Universal and its myriad subsidiaries. Under French legal procedure, the investigation will not aimed at any particular executives but will be probing "persons unknown." The inquiry follows a complaint by an association of small shareholders in the company called APPAC, which claims to represent some 2000 shareholders. "When you play the stock market, you take a risk. But deliberately misleading small shareholders by presenting false figures is a matter for the law," said Didier Cornardeau, president of APPAC.


HONG KONG THEATERS CUT TICKET PRICES

After theater attendance plummeted 39 percent in July, 51 Hong Kong theaters cut prices to just $3.20 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for eight weeks to see if attendance increases. Ordinarily ticket prices range from $3.85 to $9.00. The Hong Kong Theaters Association attributed the downturn to the current economic recession, the explosion of DVDs on the home-video market and competition from bootleggers who often begin selling new films on VCD and DVD before they ever are shown in theaters.



BRONFMAN WANTS UNIVERSAL BACK IN FAMILY

Edgar Bronfman Jr. has admitted that his decision to take his family into the entertainment business "turned out to be a disaster." Bronfman says he hopes to restore some of his family's lost wealth by teaming up with Barry Diller to buy back the Universal entertainment interests of Vivendi Universal. "I represent the largest shareholder in Vivendi, and nobody else on the board is as familiar with the U.S. media assets," Bronfman said.


ONLINE MOVIE SITE SUES STUDIOS

Intertainer Inc., which offers movies on demand over the Internet, has sued Warner Bros., New Line, Columbia, and Universal, claiming that the studios' own on-demand Internet venture, Movielink, was designed to maintain an artificially high licensing price for other online distributors. The suit charges that the studios have participated in a "conspiracy to fix prices, engage in a group boycott, and otherwise unreasonably restrain competition." Though in the civil courts, the case parallels a criminal investigation by the antitrust division of the Justice Department.


THEATERS REFUSE ADS

The doctors' group American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) claims that its ads aimed at promoting "safe sex" have been turned down by the AMC, Century and Lowes movie chains. An ASRM spokesman said the theater chains objected on the grounds that they did not provide enough "entertainment value." But says Advertising Age editor-at-large Bradley Johnson: "Movie theaters clearly would not want to run ads promoting condoms before Disney's latest flick."