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European Firms to Invest in Spyglass

In a deal estimated to be worth $250 million, European media giants Kirch Group and Mediaset have agreed to invest for five years in films from newly formed Spyglass Entertainment. The two companies will receive theatrical, video and television rights to between 15 and 25 films for Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the former Soviet Union.

Spyglass previously announced a deal with Walt Disney Co., which has domestic distribution rights to its films for the same period. Spyglass, headed by producers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, is based at Disney.

Spyglass’ first film, “The Sixth Sense” starring Bruce Willis, is currently in production. The company has additional pictures in development, with budgets ranging from $20 million to $80 million, Birnbaum said.

The partners declined to reveal the amount of the European firms’ investment, but a source estimated it at $250 million.

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