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MTI in Timeless Deal

29 Jul, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

MTI Video and Timeless Media Group are teaming up to put rental muscle behind some quieter titles.

MTI will handle U.S. rental distribution on selected titles, including Talking to Heaven, Above and Beyond, Escape From Colditz and The Reading Room. Timeless Media will handle sellthrough.

The deal mirrors MTI's pacts with Sterling Entertainment and Platinum Entertainment over the past several years.

John McHugh, EVP of acquisitions for Timeless Media Group was at Platinum at the time and brokered that company's partnership with MTI. He's looking for the same success for selected titles from Timeless' slate.

“It's putting two good companies together,” he said.

The deal also allows Timeless Media to more aggressively go after titles suited to the rental market, he said.

Rental may not be the bulk of the market anymore, but $8 billion a year is still a great market to get into, he said. Teaming with a company like MTI and its rental track record, especially with the big chains.

“When you're dealing with any big company, you have to have some product line consistency,” he said.

Timeless Media — a 30-year-old company — has a huge catalog of feature films, documentaries, TV titles and music product.

The first titles under the MTI partnership are dramas with high-profile casts. Talking to Heaven (street Aug. 29) stars Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Ladd, Queen Latifah and Jack Palance. The Reading Room (Oct. 24) stars James Earl Jones, Monique Coleman (High School Musical), Joanna Cassidy (Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, “Six Feet Under”) and Georg Stanford Brown (“Nip/Tuck”).

Arriving next year are two World War II dramas, Above and Beyond and Escape From Colditz, both starring Jason Priestley.

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