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Warner and Universal join hands

Since the last two years, speculations have been rife about Fox Star Studios shutting operations in India as their business model was not viable in the domestic market owing to several factors. The speculations were finally put to rest this year, when Disney took over their operations, aiming to create a sustainable business model while letting go of film acquisition. Months after the merger, another international studio, Universal, has decided to shut operations in India by the year-end.

“However, despite shutting its office in India, Universal’s Hollywood releases will continue to arrive in theaters, in tandem with Warner Brothers who will look after the domestic distribution. Meanwhile, films produced by Warner will be distributed by Universal in overseas markets like Australia and New Zealand,” revealed a source close to the development.

According to an industry insider, the agreement is done in a way to maximise the reach of both studios in countries where they have a strong hold, like Warner in India and Universal in Australia and New Zealand, rather than operating independently and adding to the overheads for both studios. “The two studios, going forward, will work closely with each other in all aspects,” added the source.

Warner will be closing down its long-running TV channel, HBO, known for Hollywood blockbuster premieres, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives from December 15. They will however continue with the kiddie entertainment channel, Cartoon Network. “The idea is to focus on their home-grown OTT platform, which is gearing up for some massive original content,” informed the source.

The upcoming films of Universal that will be distributed by Warner in India, include the next Bond film No Time To Die, Fast and Furious 9,The Baby Boss: Family Business, and Jurassic World: Dominion to name a few.

Warner, on the other hand, has Wonder Woman: 1984, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla v/s Kong, The Conjuring:The Devil Made Me Do It, and The Batman among other films up for a release in the next two years. Mumbai Mirror

Source : Daily News               

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