Paramount Pictures, one of the California movie industry's biggest studios, will distribute movies made by a Swiss independent film company in Germany, it was learned this week.
The distribution contract between the two comes at a time when other studios are looking to expand aggressively on the international market.
In the U.S., Paramount, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., Sony and Lionsgate are quite firmly established. Although they continue to jockey with one another, there is not much turf left unclaimed in the domestic market, meaning there is little room to grow.
That means studios have to look overseas for growth opportunities. Germany and German-speaking countries, like Austria and Switzerland, are prosperous and receptive to many U.S.-made commercial films, so striking up partnerships to gain access to these markets makes good business sense. Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have also recently made deals that will give them a better toehold in German and German-speaking markets.
Although this post is about movie studios, contracts are the backbone of most important deals in the entertainment industry. Contracts set forth both parties' rights and responsibilities, and can be used to specify how certain goals will be accomplished (not just that they will be). Doing business without them can be quite hazardous.
Whether you have your own business or are a creative talent, making sure you can bargain for and cement the right contract is of the utmost importance. Many entertainment industry professionals rely on attorneys with experience in contract law to help them out.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Paramount Pictures To Distribute Falcom Films In Germany," Scott Roxborough, June 14, 2013