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15 July 2004

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  • Adam & Paul takes top Galway honours

    Adam & Paul, the new debut feature film fromIrish commercials director Lenny Abrahamson, ran away with the Best FirstFeature Award at Sunday's closing event for the Galway Film Fleadh.The Porridge Pictures film, which was produced by JonnySpeers and written by lead actor Mark O'Halloran, had its world premiere inGalway on Friday evening. Shown at the Fleadh without a sales agent attached,the darkly comic day in the life of two junkies searching for a fix had twointerested compan
  • AFMA is now IFTA to reflect global concerns

    Following extensivereorganisation that has seen the American Film Market (AFM) move to a Novemberslot and link up with the AFI Fest, AFMA has switched its name to theIndependent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA).It is understood the changeresponded to a need for a name that more clearly identified independentproducer and distributor members, and their role in the worldwide marketplace.Organisation chiefs havebeen working hard to bolster IFTA's international c
  • Anchor Bay engineers domestic theatrical release of Malevolence

    Anchor BayEntertainment in association with Painted Zebra Releasing is to release StevanMena's award-winning horror title Malevolence in the US, beginning with a Long Islandbow in August.The picture,which won best feature at the New York City Horror Film Festival and best 35mmfeature at the Long Island International Film Festival, is the middle sectionof a trilogy.Events in Malevolence take place 10 years after a madman hascommitted a series of
  • Arte drawn to five starry French features

    Arte Cinema, thefilm division of the Strasburg-based Franco-German television channel Arte, isto co-produce five new films, starring among others Emmanuelle Devos, LambertWilson, Ludivine Sagnier, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.The movies weredecided upon by a selection committee on July 6, and are some of theapproximately 20 films chosen annually for funding by the company.C'est Pas ToutÀ Fait la Vie Don't J'ai Rêve will be directed by Michel Piccoli with additional
  • Atmosphere, Wild Bunch team for Romero zombie pic

    Eighteen yearsafter Day Of The Dead,George A Romero is preparing a fourth instalment in his legendary zombie seriesthat will be co-financed by US production company Atmosphere Entertainment andWild Bunch.Land Of TheDead is due to startfilming this autumn and will be produced by Atmosphere chairman and chiefexecutive officer Mark Canton, president Bernie Goldmann and Peter Grunwald ofRomero Grunwald Productions.Steve Barnett,Atmosphere's executive vice president, wi
  • Azkaban, Troy now in Warner's top five international hitlist

    Warner Bros confirmedyesterday (12) that Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and Troywere the studio's fourth and fifth biggest international releases of all timerespectively.Azkaban reached $405.3m at the international box officefollowing a $21.7m weekend haul and lies behind the first two Harry Potterinstalments and The Matrix Reloadedin Warner Bros' all-time pantheon.Highlights to date include$79.4m in the UK, $46.3m in Fra
  • Babelsberg management tipped to takeover studios

    Studio Hamburg has dropped out of the bidding for the Babelsberg film studios, leaving the management buy-out team led by Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures boss Thierry Potok as the most likely winner.Speaking to the Berlin daily newspaper Berliner Morgenpost, Studio Hamburg chief Martin Willich explained that he "didn't see any basis at the present moment in time to continue the talks with Vivendi. After almost five months of good negotiations, the French have now presented new ideas
  • Berlin Music Fair to target film licensing

    Film licensing is one of thetarget areas for a new music trade fair to be held in Berlin in SeptemberThe event, held under the banner GlobalMusic Buyers Fair, will bring together some 40 independent labels with the aimof exploring fresh opportunities for themusic business. The agenda includes such areas as TV and film synch licensing,advertising, computer games and mobile phones.The fair will run September 30 in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz. For furtherinformation see
  • Bradley promoted at MGM International TV Distribution

    Angela Bradleyhas been promoted to vice president of international pay-per-view and video ondemand at MGM International Television Distribution.Bradley willcontinue to oversee distribution for international pay-per-view andvideo-on-demand programming for stations and hotels.She joined MGM'stelevision operations in 1999 as director of international sales planning andlater served as director of international pay per view, moving on to the postof executive director of international
  • Children's Story captivates Karlovy Vary

    Andrea Frazzi and Antonio Frazzi's AChildren's Story (Certi Bambini) wonthe top prize, the Crystal Globe, on Saturday night (July 10) at the 39thedition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.The Italian drama follows a young boy, Rosario, who liveswith his sick grandmother but grows up on the streets in a world filled withcrime, poverty and violence.15 films screened in the main competition, and of thesethree were world premieres while twelve screened internationally for the
  • ContentFilm blames Winchester for loss

    UK-US producer, distributorand sales company ContentFilm has posted a pre-tax group loss of £15.2m for theyear ending March 31.The loss includes an £8mwrite down against the film library Content acquired when it took overpublicly-listed UK media group Winchester Entertainment. It marks a £4m rise onthe loss recorded for the year before.Alton Irby, non-executivechairman of Content, pointed out that the results largely represent theactivities of Winchester before the takeover.
  • Dench, Sutherland round out Pride cast

    Judi Dench, DonaldSutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Tom Hollander and Penelope Wilton have joined thecast of Working Title Films' Pride And PrejudicePrincipal photography startson July 19 on the adaptation of Jane Austen's novel. The film, which starsKeira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike and Jena Malone, will shootentirely on location around England until October.Joe Wright will make hisdirecting debut on the film, which Deborah Moggach's has adapted faithfully toth
  • DENMARK 13 July

    Spanish-German co-production FoodOf Love (Manjar Amor) saw a strong limited performance in Denmark thisweek. The drama, which stars veteran British actress Juliet Stevenson and KevinBishop (L'Auberge Espagnole), landed in 18th place off just two prints.The film's screen average of $2,400 ranked as sixth best of the weekend on apar with the likes of chart leaders Troy and Harry Potter.Like elsewhere Spider-Man 2 easily swung intothe
  • DGA sets annual awards for Jan 29, 2005

    The 57th AnnualDGA Awards dinner has been scheduled for Jan 29 2005 at the Century plaza Hotelin Los Angeles.The deadline forreturning all film nomination ballots is Jan 5 and the five film nominees will beannounced the following day.The deadline for returning final film ballots is Jan 28,DGA president Michael Apted and awards committee chairperson Howard Storm saidyesterday (12).The DGA Award for Outstanding Directo
  • Dirty Pretty Things script wins top Humanitas prize

    Steven Knight's screenplayfor the drama Dirty Pretty Thingswon the feature film category in the 30th Humanitas Prize ceremony in LosAngeles yesterday (8), earning $25,000 as judges praised its "stark andrealistic depiction of the life of undocumented workers".Jacob Estes claimed the$10,000 Sundance Feature Film honour for the screenplay to his directorialdebut Mean Creek, which ParamountClassics is due to release in the US on Aug 20.Humanitas Pr
  • Distributors eye magazine DVD goldmine

    Distributors can significantly boost their revenues byallowing publishers to offer 'free' copies of DVDs in magazines, Screen's DVD:The Home Cinema Summit heard yesterday.Farfrom destroying a film's library value, giving away copies of a DVD in magazinecan also significantly boost sales in the months following the promotion.In Germany, magazines that offer readers free D
  • Domestic box office up 5% on first six months 2003

    At the half-way point in thecalendar year, official figures released by Nielsen EDI show North American boxoffice to be tracking 5% ahead of the same period last year.Chief drivers areDreamworks' Shrek 2 on $418.5m,Newmarket's The Passion Of The Christ on $370.2m, Sony's Spider-Man 2 on $256.4m, and Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Prisoner OfAzkaban on $232.8m. Those figuresare at July 12.At July 8, the cumulativebox office is $4.89bn compared to $4
  • du Toit named programming director at Palm Springs shorts fest

    Helen du Toit has been nameddirector of short film programming at the tenth Palm Springs InternationalFestival of Short Films, which is scheduled to run from Aug 31-Sept 6.Du Toit was oneof the programmers for the 2004 Palm Springs International Film Festival andhas worked for film festivals including Seattle and Toronto in a variety ofcapacities since 1990.Her producingcredits include Treed Murray and The Rings Of Saturn and she is currently developing three featu
  • Edinburgh announces festival programme

    Boasting six world premieres and 40 UK premieres, theEdinburgh International Film Festival has launched a 2004 programme aiming todefend its position as the premiere UK Festival for British cinema.Facingcompetition from a revitalised London Film Festival and the recent Londonscreenings, Edinburgh will host premieres of Shane Meadows gritty ganglandthriller Dead Man's Shoes, Antonia Bird's S
  • Empire launches US video arm with 9/11 shorts

    Arthouse distributor Empire Pictures is set to launchvideo arm Empire Pictures Home Entertainment this autumn with September 11(11'09"01), the composite work featuringthe responses of 11 film-makers to 9/11.The divisionwill be headed up by executive vice president and industry veteran StevePennie, who most recently served as director of national accounts for CentralPark Media."We are veryexcited at the prospect of delivering to the burgeoning home entert
  • Fahrenheit fires up European box office

    Michael Moore's Fahrenheit9/11 received a mighty international debut this weekend in Europe.In the UK the film shatteredthe record for the best ever opening for a documentary, taking a colossal $2.4m(£1.3m) on 132 screens including previews through distributor OptimumReleasing. Moore's own Bowling For Columbine previously held the record,opening on $292,680 (£157,898) for Momentum Pictures in 2002,
  • Film piracy business set to increase

    Screen International's DVD: The Home Cinema Summit last week revealed the growing threat of piracy to the film industry's bottom line.According to Thomas Dillon, the Motion Picture Association's (MPA) legal counsel for anti-piracy, Europe, Middle East & Africa, seizures of pirate DVDs rose from 7.5m in 2002 to 16.5m in 2003 - a growth rate outstripping the legal DVD market. And the growth trajectory of piracy shows no signs of abating.Already, in the first six months of 2004, th
  • First Look restructures legal department

    First Look Media isrestructuring its legal department following the promotion of Doug McClure togeneral counsel, business and legal affairs.Kian Ghaffari will continueto report to McClure as director of business and legal affairs under anexpanded brief that will feature a more active role in video acquisitions.James Fagen is joining thecompany as manager of business and legal affairs and will handle internationalsales exclusively for First Look International.
  • FRANCE 9 July

    Shrek 2 remainedon top this week taking in an additional 1.5 million admissions. Dawn Of The Dead opened in the fourthspot for 194,031 admissions. LesChoristes sees its lowest rank in its 16 week run now down to number 8.Other new films include the Drew Barrymore vehicle 50 First Dates at number 10, comedy Bienvenue En Suisse at number 11, French film Clara Et Moi at number 13, McDonald's skewering
  • German media funds look to local production

    Germany's private media funds are showing increasinginterest in backing local feature production and dispelling the belief that theprivate equity they raise flows only as 'stupid German money' intoHollywood productions.As part of a move to work more closely on local features,Munich-based fund VIP Group has begun collaborating with the German DirectorsGuild (BVR - Bundesverband Regie). VIP has produced films including Monster,The Punisher and German comedy Sieben Zwerge - Maen
  • Gilliam, Winterbottom get benefit of Foresight

    Terry Gilliam and MichaelWinterbottom's next productions are amongst the debut slate of titles to securea quarter of their budgets from start-up UK tax-based fund Foresight.Foresight has now raised£5m, meaning it is past its minimum subscription and halfway to its overalltarget. The fund has earmarked Gilliam's previously announced Tideland, which is set up with producerJeremy Thomas, and Winterbottom's Laurence Sterne adaptation
  • Global Film Initiative takes US rights to Whisky

    US-basedcharitable trust the Global Film Initiative has picked up Juan Pablo Rebellaand Pablo Stoll's Cannes award-winning drama Whisky for its Global Lens touring filmsseries.The Initiative is also partnering up with the Museum ofModern Art for the New York premiere, which is expected some time in Decemberas part of MoMA's 10-week series of premiere screenings.Whisky will screen at cultural institutionsacross the US throughout 2005 as part of its
  • Harry cracks the $400m barrier for Warner International with $20.3m weekend

    Warner Bros' Harry PotterAnd The Prisoner Of Azkaban passed$400m at the international box office at the weekend after an estimated $20.3mhaul on more than 6,700 screens in 51 countries.The family picture's grossis now an estimated $403.8m and weekend magic was driven by a mighty $8.9mthird weekend haul on 757 screens in Japan that raised its total there to53.6m.In Hong Kong it opened on anexcellent $1.4m on 76 screens, surpassing the first picture by 7% and thesecond pict
  • Horror summer for Korean cinema

    South Korea'scinematic output over the next few months will be concentrated less on festivalofferings and more on potential box-office hits.With a string ofhorror titles and star vehicles lined up for mid to late summer, local cinemawill be looking for some commercial successes to tide it over until the autumn,which is traditionally its strongest season.Horror filmscontinue to be seen as the best bet for summer success, as Korean customassociates a good scare with relief from th
  • HUNGARY 14 July

    Shrek 2 led the box office at Hungarian cinemas over the weekend.Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights came closest to challenging ogre-mania, but fell wayshort with just over 10,000 admissions on 15 prints to Shrek's 85,000.Hidalgo was clearly the disappointment of the week with a mere 8,500 admissions ontwenty prints while Swedish title Kopps fared solidly, nearly reaching the 5,000 admission mark at just nine locations.Good word
  • IFC Films takes US rights to Nobody Knows, Edukators

    IFC Films has picked up USdistribution rights to two award-winning pictures that screened in competitionat Cannes this year, Kore-eda Hirokaza's Nobody Knows and Hans Weingartner's The Edukators.International sales for bothtitles are being handled by Celluloid Dreams.Nobody Knows is styled as a heartbreaking and humorous account ofthe daily lives of four siblings who are abandoned by their loving yet immaturemother.Hirokaza wrote, directed andproduced
  • IFP/LA announces details of August Screenwriters Lab

    IFP/LA has named theparticipants in its 2004 Screenwriters Lab, which recently kicked off and runsinto August.The lab aims to helpindependent screenwriters improve their skills and develop unique voices aswriters and will feature The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys screenwriter Jeff Stockwell as lab instructor.Confirmed guest speakersinclude Patty Jenkins (Monster),Larry Karaszeswki (Man On The Moon, The People Vs. Larry Flynt), Audrey Well
  • Industry weighs up DVD pricing dilemma

    The DVD release of Finding Nemo earlier this year hassparked a pricing revolution in France, said Jean-Paul Commins, chief operatingofficer of independent distributor France Televisions Distribution (FTD), atScreen's DVD: The Home Cinema Summit in London on Thursday.Apanel comprising Commins, Jan Rickers, head of marketing for Germany's Kinowelt Home Entertainment, and R
  • Isabelle Adjani to get special tribute at Montreal

    French actress IsabelleAdjani will be the guest of honour and focus of a five-film retrospective atthe 2004 Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF). MWFF will present her with itsSpecial Grand Prix des Ameriques at a tribute evening on Friday 27 August. Thefestival runs from August 26 to September 6.The five films in theretrospective will be Camille Claudel (Bruno Nuytten, 1988), L'Histoire d'Adele H. (Francois Truffaut, 1975), Adolphe (Benoit Jacquot, 2002), L'Ete
  • ITALY 9 July

    Columbia Tristar's crime caper The Punisher opened at number one in Italy last weekend, knockingoff Warner Bros's Harry Potter and ThePrisoner of Azkaban after five weeks of box office glory.The weekend's only other new release, Simon Cellan Jones's The One And Only, opened on 44 prints atnumber 14, grossing a poor $24,372 for Fandango.Meanwhile, Turkish film Distantsurprisingly scored the box offi
  • Italy 15July

    WhileItaly has to wait until September 16 to see international blockbuster SpiderMan 2 soar into the local box office, it was Eagle Pictures' time travelmovie Timeline that opened on top last weekend, grossing $778,022 from258 screens for an average of $2,638 per screen.UIP's TheStepford Wives also opened
  • KOREA Production Listings - 13 July 2004

    SOUTH KOREAN LISTINGSPRE-PRODUCTIONKIDARI AJEOSSI(Well Made Entertainment) Co-prod: Yu-bin Pictures. Backer/dist: CJEntertainment. Drama about a disadvantaged woman who goes through universityand beyond thanks to the help of a nameless benefactor. Exec prod: ParkDong-ho. Dir: Gong Jeong-shik. Main cast: Ha Ji-won, Yeon Jeong-hoon. Shootingfrom July.Contact: CJ Entertainment, (82) 2 726 8291SAGWA(Chungeorahm) Dist: Ch
  • Leigh to nominate Katrin Cartlidge bursary recipient

    UKdirector Mike Leigh will nominate the recipient of a bursary from the recentlyfounded Katrin Cartlidge Foundation at the forthcoming Sarajevo Film Festival.Leigh, who is serving as the president of the festival'sinternational jury this year, will announce his choice on August 24 before agala screening of his film Career Girlswhich featured the late Cartlidge in a lead role.The Foundation was set up earlier this year by the trusteesMike Leigh, Simon McB
  • Leon And Olvido

    Dir. Xavier Bermudez.Spain. 2004. 112mins.A coming-of-age picture with a difference, Leon And Olvido, XavierBermudez's tale of an adolescent afflicted with Down's syndrome and hisinfatuation with his older sister walks a narrow path between bad taste andhigh melodrama. Thankfully it manages, almost until the end, to avoid slippinginto shoddy predictability and mushy sentimentality.Although it exudes stronglyincestuous, erotic undercurrents, Leon
  • Les Choristes selected to close Montreal Film Festival

    French smash LesChoristes has beenselected to close the 28th Montreal World Film Festival, August 26 to September6. The post-war period film, which has drawn 6.7 million admissions over its16-week run at the French box office, will screen as part of the closing nightgala celebration.Directed byChristophe Barratier and written by Barratier and Philippe Lopes-Curval, thefilm tells the story of a music teacher (Gerard Jugnot) who finds a job as asupervisor in a
  • Locarno goes on 'journey of exploration'

    Locarno's festival directorIrene Bignardi promises "a journey of exploration" for this year'sInternational Competition (Aug 4-14)line-up with films from France to Vietnam, fromKazakhstan to Belgium and from South Africa to India."We chose the titleswhich had most to say about the tumultuous upheaval of the world today - andthe most pertinent, impertinent and interesting ways of saying it,"Bignardi commented on the selection.No less than ten of the 18competition films come from E
  • Locarno goes on 'journey of exploration'

    Locarno's festival directorIrene Bignardi promises 'a journey of exploration' for this year'sInternational Competition line-up with films from France to Vietnam, fromKazakhstan to Belgium and from South Africa to India.'We chose the titleswhich had most to say about the tumultuous upheaval of the world today - andthe most pertinent, impertinent and interesting ways of saying it,'Bignardi commented on the selection.No less than ten of the 18competition films c
  • Locarno names Swiss showcase titles

    Filmsby veteran director Alain Tanner, documentary filmmaker Ulrike Koch andanimator Georges Schwizgebel are among the line-up for this year's"Appellations Suisse" showcase of new Swiss cinema to be presented atthe forthcoming Locarno International Film Festival (August 4-14).The complete line-up for the "Appellations Suisse"showcase, which is aimed primarily at international buyers a
  • Mirren to be honoured with Britannia Award by BAFTA/LA

    Helen Mirren will receiveBAFTA LA's Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in InternationalEntertainment at the 2004 Britannia Awards in Los Angeles on Nov 4.Mirren can currently be seenopposite Robert Redford in Fox Searchlight's kidnap drama The Clearing, and is filming the contract killer thriller Shadowboxer opposite Cuba Gooding Jr.A veteran of screen,television and stage, her notable film credits include Oscar nominated roles inThe Madness Of King George
  • MPAA survey concludes that one in four internet users has downloaded film illegally

    A survey of internet use in eight countries conducted by the MPAAand online research company OTX has revealed that nearly one in four users haveillegally downloaded a film at some point.
  • Mythos Studios starts production on Poetry Slam doc

    Mythos Studios, the filmmaking arm of Austin, Texas-based advertising agency GSD&M, has begunproduction on the poetry slam documentary Slam Channel.Executive producer TimMcClure is collaborating with producer and co-directors Mike Henry and KyleFuller of Confessions Multimedia and producer Chris Ohlson of 824 Pictures.Scheduled to open nextspring, the picture follows a team of local Austin poets and their counterpartsin New York City as they prepare for this summer's Nati

    Canada'sembrace of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 offers more ammunition to USRepublicans who fear that their northern neighbour may one day join the US.Thefilm has earned $8.6m (C$11.5m) in 17 days at the Canadian box office, a sumequivalent to 14% of the North American gross in that period according to JimSherry, pre
  • Obituary: Carlo Di Palma

    Carlo Di Palma, the renowned Italian cinematographer wholit Woody Allen's films for 18 years, has died in Rome. He was 79.Di Palmalaunched his career as a director of photography on Roberto Rossellini'spost-World War II movie, Rome Open City. He lit Italian films rangingfrom Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow up and Red Desert to PietroGermi's classic Divorzio all'Italiana w
  • Oh Happy Day to open Hamburg Festival

    Hella Joof's Danish gospel comedy Oh Happy Day willbe the opening film of this year's Filmfest Hamburg (Sept 23-30).Oh Happy Day is beinghandled internationally by Nordisk Film International and will be released inGermany on December 30 by MFA.
  • Radclyffe options best-selling Edge Chronicles

    UK producer Sarah Radclyffehas optioned 10-book children's fantasy series The Edge Chronicles.Jigsaw Films, the productionlabel for family films that Radclyffe runs with Courtney Pledger and BillGodfrey, aims to turn the series into a studio-level family action-adventurefranchise.The story of a younglibrarian knight, which Jigsaw optioned with support body the UK Film Council,has sold one million copies in the UK and entered the children's bestsellerlist in the US in unde
  • Right Now (A Tout De Suite)

    Dir/scr:Benoit Jacquot. France. 2004. 95minsBenoitJacquot's Right Now contains a series of incidents rather than what onemight usually call a story - which hits just the right note for this study of ayoung woman drifting without a compass through a tumultuous period of her life.Based on events that happened to Elisabeth Fanger, recalled in her memoir WhenI Was 19 (Quand J'avais Dix-neuf Ans), Jacquot's vivid,non-judgmental film is comp
  • Russia revs up race car drama

    Leading Russianproduction outfit Top Line Productions, headed by Sergei Gribkov, is set to begin shooting this week on a newproject, car racing drama Eau Rouge (Krasnaya Voda).The film will be directed byyoung Russian director Dmitry Cherkasov with a script by playwright OlegAntonov. Shooting, which will last throughout the summer, will begin at the SPA track in Belgium, moving on to famous Imola track inSan Marino, and finish up in France.Nikolai Fomenko plays the mainch

    As Spider-Man 2 opened with $23,268 for theweekend to add to a total of $60,062 from 16,254 admissions including previews,distributor Tuck is now behind the top four films in the Serbian-Montenegrinchart.Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban follows with 3,296 tickets in its thirdweekend and total of $140,456; while the older favourites Day After Tomorrow and Troy took$3,169 and $3,057 respectively.
  • Shrek 2 crosses $250m international mark

    Shrek 2 added approximately $50.5m this weekend, despiteadding only one new territory, to pass the $250m international mark.A week of stellar holdovers saw thefilm take $49.1m from UIP territories over the weekend. UIP also opened theanimated hit in the Czech Republic where it grossed $354,795 from 26 screens.Shrek 2 also took approximately $1.35m from South Korea
  • Six young directors chosen for Cannes Residence

    TawfikAbu-Wael, the Palestinian director who made a splash in the Cannes Critics'Week section this year with Thirst (Atash) is one of six youngfilm-makers selected by the Cannes festival for its residential trainingprogramme, Cannes Residence.Selectedby a committee headed by director Marion Vernoux, the other five interns areCelia G
  • Spider-Man 2 continues to dominate US box office

    Sony's Spider-Man 2 was too strong for the opposition at the weekend,beating off the challenges of Anchorman and King Arthur to staytop on an estimated $46m for $257.3m after its second weekend.The arachnid passed $200mafter a record eight days last week and is roughly $20m ahead of its 2002predecessor at the same stage.That picture went on togross $403.7m at the US box office and such is the momentum of Spider-Man 2 that a higher final total may well
  • Spider-Man 2 fends off strong attack from Anchorman

    Sony's Spider-Man 2 was too strong for the opposition at the weekend,beating off the challenges of Anchorman and King Arthur to staytop on an estimated $46m for $257.3m after its second weekend.The arachnid passed $200mafter a record eight days last week and is roughly $20m ahead of its 2002predecessor at the same stage.That picture went on togross $403.7m at the US box office and such is the momentum of Spider-Man 2 that a higher final total may well
  • Spider-Man 2 prepares for second wave attack

    Barely one week into release, Sony's Spider-Man 2 has already spun such a solid international platformthat a raft of second wave releases in several major markets and strongholdovers elsewhere could take it past $100m this weekend.The comic book sequel has amassed $60.5m to date and was dueto open in Germany through Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International ona massive 1,137 prints yesterday ( July 8), followed by Japan on 710 on July10.Strong openings seem assured
  • Spider-Man 2 scores $53m haul in 50 territories

    Spider-Man 2 smashed through $100m during its secondinternational weekend as it grossed an estimated $53m on 6,754 screens in 50territories for a $115.7m running total.The arachnid spun superbopenings through Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) inJapan, Germany and Scandinavia and enjoyed several strong holds including aremarkable performance in Brazil.It opened in Japan on $12.6mon 700 screens for the 11th biggest opening ever. The result was 15% bet
  • Spider-Man 2 to get IMAX treatment

    IMAX andColumbia Pictures have struck a deal whereby Spider-Man 2 will be digitally remastered for releaseon IMAX screens around the world beginning Jul 23."When you have amovie like Spider-Man 2,it makes sense to offer audiences an opportunity to experience the film in thisincredible format," Jeff Blake, vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainmentand president of worldwide marketing and distribution, said in a statement."We are very pleasedto add this phenomenal
  • Stage Beauty

    Dir:Richard Eyre. US-UK. 2004. 106minsLikeits cross-dressing hero Ned Kynaston (who makes his name playing female partson stage), Stage Beauty isn't entirely sure of its own identity. On theone hand, this is a bawdy and colourful Restoration-era romp, stuffed full ofpuns and sexual innuendo and propelled by some tremendous character turns. Onthe other, it's a closely focused study of a tormented actor who can't escapehis stage persona as "the most b
  • Supermarkets and specialists set to dominate DVD

    A polarisation isthreatening to disrupt the UK DVD and video sector, according Alison Casey,head of content division at market researchers Understanding & Solutions.Speaking at ScreenInternational's DVD: The Home Cinema Summit, Casey warned that the UK'shigh street and internet retail and rental business faces a shake-up in whichthe middle ground could disappear. Casey and other speakers on the HighStreet Hollywood panel, which looked at routes to the market, highlightedt
  • Surging Korean industry powers into int'l chart

    The strength of the South Korean market is well reflected in this week'sinternational box office chart.Representing five of the top 30 positions this week, South Koreanreleases playing well enough at home to make the international chart were ledby comedy sequel Hi, Dharma 2 at number ten.So far this year, the market share for local films in South Korea standsat an incredible 64% - up 12.6% year-on-year, according to new figures compiledby Korean distributor CJ Entertainme
  • SWEDEN 14 July

    Columbia TriStar's successful July 7 release of Spider-Man 2finally toppled Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban from the topspot of the Swedish chart.The second film in the Spiderman series improved the first films' fiveday results with 6%, and had a massive $9,618 screen average on its high 118prints.The Day After Tomorrow and Troy managed to hang on to third andfourth after seven and nine weeks, grossing solid $4m and $4,6m.
  • Toronto unveils first festival titles

    New films from Taylor Hackford, JohnSayles, Dylan Kidd will make their world premieres at the Toronto InternationalFilm Festival (Sept 9-18). The festival unveiled a number of titles across thespectrum of its selection, including two world premieres from South Africa, thefocus of this year's national spotlight programmeHackford's Ray, a biopic of recently-departed blues legend Ray Charles,features Jamie Foxx in the lead role with a script by James L. White.Sayles,a long-t
  • UK drives European DVD bonanza

    When it comes to the success of DVD in Europe, sales andpenetration are being driven by the UK - but the continent's Easterncountries are still playing catch up.Speaking at Screen International's LearningLessons: Europe And The US seminar, JeanPaul Commin, president of industry body the International Video Federation,said that in 2003, DVD player penetration was up 92.8% year-on-year: last year26.4% of European households had access to a machine of some sort.But the stati
  • UK producers express Development concerns

    The UK's production community has issued an urgentcall to public funding body the UK Film Council to revise its ambitious"Slate Development Scheme." A strongly worded statement circulated byproducers' trade body PACT has expressed fears that the Film Councilplans will "destabilise the market."PACT's release -issued after a special meeting of itsmembers on Friday - will come as a blow to the Film Council, which was holdingmeetings with producers throughout last week in a bid to reassure
  • UK/IRELAND 14 July

    With the major studioskeeping their big releases away from Shrek 2 in the UK this week it wasleft to the independents to make the headlines in the chart.Headlines were certainly madeby Optimum Releasing. The distributor released Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit9/11 on 132 screens setting records for best documentary opening ever inthe UK and for an Optimum release. The film's total weekend gross, whichincluded previews of $651,775 (£351,626), mak
  • Unifrance re-elects Menegoz as president

    MargaretMenegoz has been re-elected president of Unifrance Film International, theFrench film export support body.Menegoz was appointed acting president in Februarylast year following the sudden death of Daniel Toscan Du Plantier. Unanimouslyelected, Menegoz now has a two year mandate.Theorganisation has three vice-presi
  • UPI president calls for DVD discipline

    "The DVD successstory is really just beginning, but we are goingto have to be very intelligent about how we manage this story," said PeteSmith, president of Universal Pictures International, giving the keynoteaddress at Screen International's DVD: The Home Cinema Summit in Londonyesterday (July 8).Smith's speech, TheFuture Of Digital En
  • Vivendi Universal sells Babelberg studios

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