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21 November 2001

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  • Academy has record number of Foreign Oscar entries

    Fifty-one countries have submitted films for consideration as best foreign language film of 2001, according to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, Frank Pierson.It is the largest number of films ever entered in the competition, beating last year's record by five films. Films from Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Uruguay qualified this year for the first time. This year's submissions are: Albania, Slogans, Gjergj XhuvaniAlgeria, Inch'Allah
  • Advanced revises 2001 sales forecast

    Less than two weeks after Germany's Advanced Medien announced the closure of its theatrical operations at the end of the year, the rights trader has now reforecast its consolidated sales for 2001 from Euros 23m to between Euros 18m-Euros 20m.Although sales in the third quarter, at Euros 4.2m were up 12.7% on the same period for 2000, overall sales for the first nine months of 2001 registered only Euros 12.5m (2000: Euros 22.8m) with a negative EBIT of minus Euros 9.45m (2000: minus Eur
  • Assumption Of The Virgin becomes doubtful

    Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella's Mirage Enterprises is battling to save Assumption Of The Virgin, one of the highest-profile UK productions on the market, after being forced to shelve plans to start production in March. The Benicio Del Toro-Juliette Binoche drama, which Mirage developed with BBC Films and Intermedia, first hit trouble this month when director Walter Salles pulled out after delays meant the production was set to clash with his Che Guevara project, Motorc
  • Catalan nationalists call for Harry Potter boycott

    Catalan nationalists have called for a boycott of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, which goes on release next week.The Convergence of Catalonian Christian Democrats (CDU), a party which forms part of the governing coalition in the Catalan region, have launched the protest because the film has not been dubbed into Catalan and will be screened in Spanish only. JK Rowling's Harry Potter books have been translated into both Spanish and Catalan.The CDU i
  • Clark's Bully wins Stockholm's Bronze Horse

    The Bronze Horse for the best film at the 12th Stockholm International Film Festival 2001 went to Larry Clark's controversial Bully, while the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jean-Luc Godard for "his indefatigable excursions into new cinematographical landscapes, for his youthful lust for rebellion which has only grown bigger over the years, for his provocative talent of expanding our visions and thereby changing our views on life and on the world and the art of cinema.
  • Clooney, Soderbergh together again on Solaris

    Actor George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh are reteaming for the third time on Solaris, an erotically charged film version of Stanislaw Lem's 1961 science fiction novel which will start production in April 2002 for James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Clooney will star in the film which Soderbergh has written and will direct.Solaris, famously filmed by Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972, is the story of Kris Kelvin, an astronaut wh
  • Coppola to board recut version of Suriyothai

    Francis Ford Coppola is poised to board the recut international version of Suriyothai, the epic Thai historical drama directed by Prince MC Chatrichalerm Yukol.The $14m picture, which closes the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) on Saturday (Nov 17) night, currently runs to three hours and five minutes. It recounts the life and exploits of 16th century Queen Suriyothai who died in battle defending her country and her husband against the Burmese and Portuguese armies. The
  • Czech media mogul Zelezny arrested

    Police took into custody the Czech Republic's top media mogul, Vladmir Zelezny, on Nov. 13 in a move that appears timed to coincide with recent international rulings against Zelezny and his firm, CET-21.The arrest of Zelezny could put a hitch in the planned sale of Barrandov Studios, but observers say it might be a good sign for foreign investors, particularly in the media sector. Prague has recently been considered a hot spot for Hollywood shoots due to skilled labor and low costs.
  • Danish film institute appoints new consultant

    The Danish Film Institute has appointed the 66-year-old Morten Grunwald as film consultant in charge of new projects in collaboration with Vinca Wiedemann, film consultant since 1999, who, at the same time, has had her contract extended another two years. Between them, the consultants manage some $8.9m (DKR75.5m) annually.Grunwald is a veteran in the Danish entertainment industry, who started out as an actor on stage and film, including the phenominally successful Olsen-Gang-films.
  • Dutch tax confusion sees production plummet

    Three changes in as many years to the Dutch system of tax breaks for the film industry have resulted in a reduction in the volume of local productions to an average of less than half that of just a year ago. Now a new version, incorporating improvements, is being readied for 2002Compared to 2000's peak of $80m, the current level of production spending has plummeted to between $20m and $24m. The Netherlands Federation of Film Professionals has asked the national government for an indepe
  • Equity Pictures fund lines up new projects

    A second season of Tales From The Neverending Story TV series is among three projects being lined up for backing by the new Munich-based private media fund Equity Pictures.Launched by producer Andreas Thiesmeyer and financial expert Josef Lautenschlaeger, Equity Pictures is inviting private individuals to each put up a minimum of Euros 25,000 by 30 June 2002 toward a total investment volume of Euros 19.5m. The volume can be extended to Euros 60m depending on demand.Budge
  • Fat Girl distributors lose Ontario appeal

    The North American distributors of Catherine Breillat's controversial film Fat Girl (A Ma Souer!) have lost an appeal to the Ontario Film Review Board (OFRB). Given that joint distributors Cowboy Pictures and Lions Gate Films have chosen not to make the cuts requested, the decision effectively bans the film from screening in the province's theatres. The film has been cleared for release in the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, was released unrated in the US and ha
  • Film Council funds Grand Ambition option

    UK support body the Film Council has funded the option on Lisa Michael's hotly contested novel Grand Ambition as part of the second round of awards from its $7.2m (£5m) a year development fund.Set in 1920s America, the love story was optioned by producers Diana Phillips (Bad Lieutenant, Birthday Girl) and Robert Fox (The Hours, Iris). Nicholas Rohl is adapting the debut novel, based on the true story of a young couple running the rapids of the Grand Canyon in a hom
  • German cinema ticket tax proposal sparks outrage

    German Culture Minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin's plans to increase the national cinema ticket tax by "a few percent" has prompted the local exhibition sector to vow to fight any increase "on all political, legal and internal industry levels".While German exhibitors have been vocal in their appeals for greater diversification on the part of the local production industry, they have lambasted the Culture Minister for his proposal to increase the levy on cinemas' annual turnover as a way of
  • German cultural film funding gets boost

    German Minister for Culture Julian Nida-Ruemelin will have Euros 1.5m more to spend on film funding measures in 2002 as part of a global 3% increase in Gerhard Schroeder administration's arts budget.The budget for culturally-oriented film funding will increase from Euro 9.7m to Euros 10.7m while German contribution to EURIMAGES is being increased from Euros 3.6m to Euros 4.1m.Observers believe that part of the increase will be used to fulfil some of the proposals Nida-Ruemelin h
  • Germany delights to Scary Movie 2

    Scary Movie 2 took pole position at the German box office over the weekend with $4.4m and a site average of $6,584 from its 663 prints in the penultimate opening weekend before Harry Potter arrives in Germany on an anticipated 1,000-odd screens on November 22; In terms of admissions, the Scary sequel achieved around 675,000 ticket sales and a average of more than 1,000, although this was less than the opening of the first Scary Movie which posted 850,000 admissions
  • Germany's Road Movies relocates to London

    German production outfit Road Movies is to relocate from Berlin to London from 2002 as part of a restructure by the Das Werk Group in order to generate savings of around Euros 5m next year.Das Werk spokesman Wolfgang Borgfeld stressed that the move did not mean the closure of the Berlin office, "but rather that the co-ordination of international projects can be handled better from a base in the UK". The relocation will result in savings of around Euros 0.5m in this area. In addition, t
  • Germany's Senator postpones three releases

    German theatrical distributor Senator Film has announced that it will hold over three planned winter releases until early 2002. This follows a recent Constantin Film postponement of nine of its planned 25-film line-up for 2001 to next year (Screendaily, Oct 14 2001)The anticipated clogging up of screens with a handful of US blockbusters at the end of the year has been cited as the principal reason for the postponements - Harry Potter opens next week with at least 1
  • Ghost World penetrates Potter's Universe

    Although no film could be expected to compete against the might of Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, which demolished all UK box office records with its $13.6m (£9.6m) three-day opening gross (not including previews), there were several films that successfully staked their own claims on other audience segments.Leading the handful of brave titles prepared to open against the behemoth was Icon Film Distribution's Ghost World which opened on just 40 scre
  • Hi Dharma sets new S Korean admissions record

    South Korean comedy Hi Dharma (pictured) has set a new box-office record by drawing 203,600 viewers in Seoul on its opening weekend and earning over $4m nationwide.. Filling seats to a 93% capacity, the film broke the previous 2-day Seoul record of 197,426 admissions set in 2000 by Mission: Impossible 2.Hi Dharma, directed by debut filmmaker Park Chul-gwan, tells the story of a group of gangsters who take refuge in a Buddhist temple. While in hiding, they come in
  • Hong Kong develops taste for comedy

    Hong Kong's reputation as a voracious market for action films may be set to change - a faltering economy and widespread distaste for violence post-September 11 means that light-hearted films are expected to outperform traditional action fare during the all-important Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday season.Six of last year's top 10 films in Hong Kong were local productions, of which four were action films. But last week's release - straight in at number one in the chart - of Joe
  • Hong Kong's Singing Horse springs into production

    Leading Hong Kong comedy director Joe Ma has set up a new production label Singing Horse Productions to deliver a slate of youth-oriented pictures. The company is jointly owned with Thomas Leong's talent agency International Pacific Artists (IPA) and Ivy Kong, former managing director of Mei Ah's production arm B.I.G. Singing Horse initially aims to deliver five to seven pictures a year, all either directed by Ma or produced by him. Details of a slate involving directors from Hong Kong
  • Iberoamerican co-prod forum wins approval

    The second annual Iberoamerican Co-Production Forum came to a close Tuesday (Nov 20) midway through a quiet Iberoamerican Film Festival of Huelva, with both events emphasising the Latin American industry. The Forum earned positive marks by participants, both for the quality of the projects being pitched and the good turn-out. Organisers said more than 300 professionals had participated, many of whom were walk-ins from the parallel festival event, and more than 400 meetings were held. S
  • Icon boards Scottish serial-killer project

    Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon Entertainment has boarded The Bothy, a tentatively titled UK thriller budgeted at $10m-$15m.The project tells the story of an American serial killer on the loose in the Scottish Highlands during the worst storm in living memory. Ros Borland and Catherine Aitken are producing for Gabriel Films, the Scottish production company which is developing the project with writer James MacInnes.Bruce Davey is producing for Icon, which is expected to
  • India's film and cable industries fight piracy

    The Indian film industry and cable operators have reached an agreement to curb video piracy, with the film sector coming forward to make available "properly authorized" old films, legally to the cable operators for telecast over cable. The agreement would allow cable operators to telecast an Indian film -after it is a year old. At present most ''new'' films are screened on the cable networks in the week of their release hurting their commercial exploitation. The agreement comes
  • Intermedia predicts fourth quarter improvement

    Intermedia is predicting a massive surge in revenues in the final quarter after announcing results for the first nine months that leave the company more than Euros 217m short of its target of Euros 355m in sales for the entire year.The Neuer Markt-listed powerhouse said that revenues of Euros 137.7m in the first nine months were on target as fourth quarter revenues would come from the delivery of Adaptation, The Quiet American, Plague Season, National Security and The Discove
  • Italy's Eagle feathers its nest with books

    Italy's Eagle Pictures, which recently received substantial acquisition and production funding from financial group Interbanca (Screendaily Nov 20, 2001), is just one of the internationally-minded Italian companies filling its production slate with screen adaptations of literary masterpieces.In particular, hot on the heels of last year's Oscar contender Chocolat, Eagle scooped film rights to Blackberry Wine, the follow-up from the best-selling author of Chocolat, J
  • Italy's Eagle Pictures gets huge cash boost

    Ambitious Italian distributor and producer Eagle Pictures has secured a major cash injection from leading financial group Interbanca, which has acquired a 13.79% stake in the film outfit for a value of Euros 10.3m. In addition, the bank has also awarded the company a Euros 50m fund to be invested in theatrical acquisitions and production in the medium-term. Eagle, which has offices in Milan and Rome, recently unveiled a slate of high-profile pictures in development, including
  • Italy's Medusa buys Cecchi Gori package

    Rome's leading distribution outfit, Medusa Film, has finalised a late deal to buy five completed films from Cecchi Gori, enabling the former Italian number one to inject some cash back into its beleaguered film distribution and production operation. Medusa is believed to have paid between 68 and 70 billion lire ($35m) for theatrical and TV rights to the five films, which were all due to be released imminently by Cecchi Gori. Medusa spokesman Claudio Trionfera said the group had
  • Japan's Softbank posts $411m net losses

    Softbank Corp., a Tokyo-based Internet and computer software company with extensive media interests, has posted a group net loss of $441m (Y54.3 billion) for the first half of fiscal 2001, ending in September. This compares with a $295m (Y36.3 billion) profit for the same period the previous fiscal year. Despite group sales gains of 2%, to $1.5bn (Y183.4 billion) in the first half, losses from overseas investments dragged Softbank profits down. Group pre-tax loss for the first h
  • Korea's MBC invests in PPP title: Cry Woman

    Korean broadcast giant MBC has set Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) title Cry Woman as one of the first pictures to benefit from its new feature investment arm. MBC Production Co, which benefits from a modest $13m (Won15bn) revolving fund put up by 16 of the channel's regional branches and Terasource Venture Capital, aims to invest in pictures which broaden the demographics of Korean cinema. Cry Woman is a $1m art-house title set up as a co-production between Korea, Chi
  • Lantana makes history at AFI awards

    It was a one-horse race at the annual AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards on November 16. Lantana made history by being the only film to win the seven top awards: best film for Jan Chapman, best director for Ray Lawrence, best actor and actress for Anthony LaPaglia and Kerry Armstrong, best supports for Vince Colosimo and Rachael Blake, and best adapted screenplay for Andrew Bovell.In an unprecedented occurrence, Armstrong also won best actress in a television drama series fo
  • Last call for leading festival calendar entries

    On January 11 Screen International publishes its 2002 festival calendar. This will incorporate more film and TV events than any other film and TV industry calendar. If you have not already sent us details of your event, be aware that time is rapidly running out. The deadline for entries is 27 November 2001. The good news is that there is no charge for inclusion and submitting details is easy. Simply fill in the following form and email it to:
  • Liberty confirms German operational base

    US media group Liberty Media will base its German operations in Munich and create up to 10,000 new jobs throughout Germany. After meeting with Bavaria's prime-minister Edmund Stoiber in Berlin, Liberty's chairman John Malone declared that "the density of television stations and internet companies around Munich had been a deciding factor" as well as Bavaria's central role in the European IT business. A workforce of between 100-150 will be employed at the Munich HQ with others at
  • London film fest set to exceed 2000's admissions

    The London Film Festival appeared to weather the opening of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone in its middle weekend to hit 106,000 admissions on Sunday, according to the festival's figures.With five days to go, the tally puts the event on course to beat last year's total sales of 112,000. Despite Harry Potter, admissions rose over the weekend as the gala screening of Monsters, Inc. on Saturday sold out even though it was another family film.Average at
  • Media Asia loses second high-profile executive

    Peter Poon has quit Hong Kong studio, Media Asia where he was deputy general manager and took particular responsibility for international distribution.The surprise move is the second high-profile departure at Media Asia since the summer. Earlier, chief executive Thomas Chung was shifted away from day-to-day management of the group to concentrate on production of large projects, such as the Michelle Yeoh-produced The Touch. He subsequently left the group for Yeoh's Mythical Films
  • Media Salles launches exhibition training scheme

    MEDIA Salles, the cinema exhibition initiative of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, has launched a training strand for exhibitors with particular attention to the main trends shaping today's cinema industry and to the demands of audiences of European films.The first of the courses in the series "European Cinema Exhibition - A New Approach" will be held next June in collaboration with the Danish exhibitors association Danske Biografer (DB), and the European Film College (EFC), in Eb
  • Mira Nair named Berlinale 2002 jury president

    Indian director Mira Nair has been named as president of the International Jury of the 52nd Berlinale 2002. Nair's feature debut, Salaam Bombay, won the Camera d'Or in Cannes, as well as 25 other international awards. It was also nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. Nair's other works include the feature films Mississippi Masala and Kama Sutra."I'm absolutely delighted that Mira Nair will be the Jury president for the coming Berlinal
  • Nadia Bronson & Associates buys stake in DDA

    Nadia Bronson & Associates (NB&A), the entertainment consultancy launched by industry veteran Bronson at Cannes this year, has formalised its relationship with Dennis Davidson & Associates (DDA) taking a minority equity stake in the longstanding PR consultancy. Bronson and associate Thomas Castaneda immediately join Davidson and partner, president and CEO Melanie Hodal on the DDA board of directors.Bronson had worked extensively with DDA while international marketing and distribution
  • New pan-regional Cibermedia fund launched

    Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American producers will soon have a fresh source of financing available for projects integrating "new technologies" through a new pan-regional funding initiative known as Cibermedia. The initiative was formally approved this week by the Conference of Iberoamerican Film Authorities (CACI). It will launch in January 2002 with headquarters in Madrid. Though few details are yet available concerning Cibermedia, it is expected to run parallel to existing
  • O'Sullivan's Heart Of Me set to roll in UK

    The Heart Of Me, a drama set in 1930s London starring Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Williams and Paul Bettany, starts production this week in the UK.Directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan, the film tells the story of two sisters, one of which has an affair with the other's husband. Years later the sisters have to work out for themselves which one he loved and what it was they did to the man they both loved.The film is backed by BBC Films, Pandora Films, Take 3/Baker Street Media
  • Pathe acquires UK rights to Dog Soldiers

    Pathe Distribution has acquired UK rights to horror thriller Dog Soldiers from Victor Films following a bidding war for the film at London Screenings and MIFED.The film, produced by LA-based Kismet Entertainment, had its premiere screening at London. "The picture screened so well in London that we were confident it would emerge as a favourite of the buyers," said Kismet president Harrison Kaslow. "In a matter of hours, we had offers covering most of the world."Other sal
  • Pie 2, Cats & Dogs join international $100m club

    American Pie 2 and Cats & Dogs have become the latest in an unusually long list of titles to have crossed the $100m mark in international box office this year, both passing the milestone over the weekend.Since its international debut in Israel on Sept 13, where it has now taken $1.3m, Pie 2 has grossed $100.5m for distributor UIP. The film has proved particularly popular in Germany, the UK and France where it has recorded figures of $29.4m, $24.9m and $15.5m respec
  • Potter rewrites UK box office record book

    As expected Warner Bros' highly anticipated children's title Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone has laid waste all previous box office records in the UK taking a massive $13,714,811 (£9,600,368) over its opening three-day weekend. This shatters the previous record of $10.8m taken by Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999.Including last weekend's two-day previews Potter's UK box office total already stands at $23.3m (£16.3m). Phantom Menace's
  • Re-cut Flower blossoms at blooming Pusan festival

    Local picture Flower Island (Kotsom), by first time director Song Il-gon, was the outstanding winner at the 6th Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea. It scooped the main prize, the FIPRESCI prize and the audience award.The film, a story of three women literally on a voyage of self-discovery, has been substantially recut and shortened by 12 minutes compared with the version presented in the Cinema Of The Present section at Venice. A Korean-French co-production, the f
  • Release patterns: Potter wide, Wars simultaneous

    Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone is set to break records in the US this Friday when it opens in 3,672 US theatres.The previous record for the widest US release was held by Mission: Impossible 2, which opened last year on 3,653 theatres. Shrek still holds the record for the most theatres overall - the film widened to 3,715 after debuting in 3,587 theatres.Harry Potter has already been selling record-breaking volumes of advance tickets in th
  • Scandi films triumph at Mannheim festival

    Scandinavian cinema dominated the awards at the 50th edition of the International Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival in Germany (November 8-17).The Art of Film Award for Best Fiction Feature Film went to Danish filmmaker Tomas Gislason's P.O.V. (Point of View), while Norwegian Erik Smith Meyer received the Award in the Best Short Film category for his seven-minute comedy Sveits (Switzerland). Denmark also provided the winners for the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize -
  • Seafood (Haixian)

    Dir: Zhu Wen. China. 2001. 84mins. This idiosyncratic and extremely personal debut film by the poet-novelist Zhu Wen won't be to all tastes, but its offbeat sensibility and intriguing glimpses of a little-seen side of contemporary China earned it the Special Prize in the Cinema of the Present competition at Venice earlier this year. With this accolade as bait, Seafood should expect to attract bites from further festivals and, perhaps, from more daring niche distributor
  • Soderbergh's next gets new title - Full Frontal

    Steven Soderbergh's next film, formerly known as How To Survive A Hotel Room Fire has been retitled Full Frontal, and has begun production (Nov 6) in Los Angeles.Financed and distributed worldwide by Miramax Films, the contemporary comedy - a sequel "of sorts" to sex, lies and videotape - has an 18-day shooting schedule and will open in the US on March 8, 2002.The film, written by Scott Kramer and Gregory Jacobs from a screenplay by Coleman Hough, features
  • Swiss film award nominations announced

    Thomas Imbach's Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Stefan Haupt's Utopia Blues and Lutz Konermann's Lieber Brad have each received two nominations for the 2002 Swiss Film Awards which will be presented during the Solothurn Film Days on January 16, 2002.Imbach and Haupt's films have been nominated in the Best Feature Film category along with Jean-Luc Godard's Eloge De L'Amour, Christoph Schaub's Stille Liebe and Nino Jacusso's Escape To Paradise. L
  • The New Hollywood style: Part II

    Abstracted from Screen International - Part IITo read the previous article, enter: Mike Goodridge into the Screendaily search barPivotal to the symbiotic relationships developing between the US studios and independent production companies lies the purchasing power of TV. "What international broadcasters want is big-budget movies," explains Jay Firestone, chairman and CEO of Canwest Entertainment, whose Los Angeles subsidiary Fireworks Pictures partnered with Paramount
  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    Dir Wes Anderson. US 2001. 108mins.The same distinctive sensibility that informed Wes Anderson's first two innovative films, Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, is very much in evidence in his new serio-comedy, The Royal Tenenbaums, except that the scope is more ambitious, the budget bigger and the cast more glamorous. With brief, wild strokes, the gifted Anderson paints onscreen a canvas of a three-generational dysfunctional family, headed by an errant,
  • UK documentary awards for Killers Don't Cry

    Clifford Bestall's Killers Don't Cry bagged two awards at the Grierson documentary awards, held last night (Nov 14) at the London headquarters of BAFTA.The documentary, which follows activities at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, came away with the Premiere Grierson and the best documentary on a contemporary subject award. Other winners included Fifteen, a look at the lives of 15-year-old girls produced by Daisy Asquith for Channel Four, which took
  • UK targeted for high volume 'easyCinemas'

    easyGroup, the UK company which operates the no-frills airline easyJet, is contemplating a move into the densely populated UK exhibition sector.easyCinemas, a concept currently being researched by the company, could see the 'easy' concept shaking up the UK exhibition sector with its focus on low-cost tickets and high customer turnover.The size, location and number of potential cinemas is as yet undecided, although the company will look at a ticketing model similar to that of its
  • Universal crosses $1bn in international grosses

    Universal Pictures became the first Hollywood studio this year to cross the $1bn mark in international grosses over the weekend. It is only the second time in the studio's history - 1999 was the first - that the milestone was crossed and continues a blisteringly successful year for the company which releases its films internationally through its jointly-owned distribution outfit United International Pictures (UIP).Leading the pack for the studio was The Mummy Returns which took
  • Universal Studios Japan to top 8m in first year

    Despite a deepening recession at home, the Japanese appetite for US-style theme parks remains undiminished. According to Daniel Jensen, vice president, Universal Studios Japan (USJ), the company's Osaka-based park has "hit a home run" since its March 31 opening, with admissions expected to exceed eight million before the end of the year.Jensen said that USJ parent Universal Studios is in talks with officials in Beijing and Shanghai to build a similar park in China. The success of USJ -
  • US is wild about Harry

    Warner Bros scored the biggest opening in North American box office history over the weekend as Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, the film of the best-selling novel by JK Rowling, grossed a phenomenal estimated $93.5m in the three day period from Friday to Sunday.The film also broke the record for the biggest single-day take (Saturday with $32.9m), as well as the biggest Friday ($31.6m), Saturday and Sunday ($29m) daily grosses on record. It also played in a record number
  • USA Films picks up star-laden Eight Women

    USA Films has acquired domestic distribution rights to Francois Ozon's Eight Women - the all-star French musical murder mystery produced by Marc Missonier and Olivier Delbosc of Fidelite Productions. The deal was made with French sales agent Celluloid Dreams.Eight Women features eight French screen actresses - including the legendary Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Danielle Darrieux and Isabelle Huppert, new goddesses Emanuelle Beart, Virginie Ledoyen and Firmine Richar
  • Winchester kills off fruitless Chuck Gordon deal

    UK sales and financing house Winchester Entertainment, which unveiled interim results on Nov 15, has confirmed that it has ended its vaunted deal with US producer Chuck Gordon The Gordon deal, which first established a Hollywood presence for Winchester, expired without yielding a single film. Winchester spent a year assembling a network of international distributors for the deal, which drew in financing from Cobalt Media Group, but has since struck a string of deals with other US prod