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3 June 2004

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  • ... but Shrek holds North American lead

    According to studio estimates for the first three days of the Memorial Day long weekend, Shrek 2 outperformed The Day After Tomorrow domestically, grossing about $73.1m against Day's $70m - and retained the first place in the box office charts.Shrek 2's performance also broke the record for second-weekend highest grosser, previously held by Spider-Man's $71.4m.The next record in Shrek's sights is the four-day Memorial holiday take of $90
  • ...but Shrek 2 holds North American lead

    Shrek 2 won the Memorial Day weekend battle over Fox's TheDay After Tomorrow, staying top of the US charts in its second weekend asit added a record $92.2m over four days for a $257m running total.Roland Emmerich'seco-disaster picture opened strongly on $86m and took around $70m in its firstthree days, however it wasn't enough to subdue Dreamworks' funny green guy, whocontinued to rack up record figures.The animated sequel grossedthe biggest ever amount for an indi
  • 10 On Ten

    Dir/scr/ed:Abbas Kiarostami. Fr-Iran. 2004. 83mins.Essentiallyan extended lecture on cinema, Abbas Kiarostami's Un Certain Regard entry willbe sure to adorn every self-respecting festival in the world yet, by the sametoken, few commercial exhibitors will ever contemplate selling tickets to apaying audience. Devised as a series of 10 lessons in film-making, the picturefollows Kiarostami as he embarks on a long soliloquy, using even lessaccessories than he d
  • After We're Gone (En Attendant Le Deluge)

    Dir/scr: Damien Odoul. France. 2004. 80minsCannes simply would not be Cannes without at least onehighly-rated French auteur coming a cropper. This year it was the turn ofDamien Odoul, who made a dazzling debut in 2000 with Le Souffle, adream-like rural coming-of-age drama.Havinglost momentum with his prestigiously cast follow-up L'Errance, Odoul no do
  • AUSTRALIA 1 June

    For the third time in four weeks the record for the highestopening weekend for a film released in 2004 has been broken, this time thanksto 20th Century Fox's The Day AfterTomorrow. The film took a massive A$6,664,837 from 402 screens and showed ascreen average of A$16,579.But there was only about 2,000 tickets separating it and Troy, which took A$6,641,426 from 16additional screens from when it was released two weeks e
  • Baker Street Media Finance partners with Mactaggart

    UK tax financier BakerStreet Media Finance has struck a partnership with Ivan Mactaggart and hiscompany Meteor Pictures.Mactaggart will now act asan executive producer on Baker Street-funded films and oversee businessaffairs, effectively replacing Sharon Menzies, who recently departed to joinfellow financier Foresight. Meteor willbe based out of Baker Street's offices."Ivan Mactaggart's wideexperience will be invaluable to us as Baker Street's business continues toexpand year on
  • Bynes signs on for Lovewrecked

    Amanda Byneshas signed to star in Media 8 Entertainment's Lovewrecked, a familycomedy in the vein of Freaky Friday that Randal Kleiser will direct.The picture isdue to begin sh
  • Celluloid Dreams celebrates its 'most successful' Cannes

    HengamehPanahi, head of French sales powerhouse Celluloid Dreams, has confirmed theacquisition of Todd Solondz's upcoming Palindromes.Panahi that the new film is almost complete and will be submitted tothe Venice Film Festival. The acquisition was made just before Cannes.Along with Palindromes, Celluloid also acquiredrights outside the US and UK to Dig,Ondi Timoner's documentary grand jury prize winner at
  • Cronicas

    Dir: Sebastian Cordero. Ecuador-Mex. 2004. 107minsHere comes the next LatinAmerican candidate for Hollywood glory: Ecuador's Sebastian Cordero. His tough,gritty, uncompromising first film, Ratos,Ratones, Rateros (known in English as Rodents)- about punks, thieves and petty criminals living in the streets of Quito - didthe festival rounds several years ago, landed quite a few awards and was asurprising hit on home turf, where domestic cinema is practically non-exist
  • Danish film institute loses production chief

    Lars Feilberg hasdecided to step down as head of production and development at the Danish FilmInstitute from Aug 1, despite recently getting his position prolonged by threeyears."The Danish FilmInstitute has been a highly inspirational and exiting place to work for thepast three years," he says, "and I am proud to hand over a department, which Ibelieve has been improved in several areas. We worked through the standardcontracts with the broadcasters, the recent media and film agreement
  • DENMARK 3 June

    Mimicking the situation in the rest of the region the Danishbox-office this weekend was all but swept away by Roland Emmerich's ecologicaldisaster extravaganza, The Day AfterTomorrow. However, with just an admission screen average of just 770 on itshigh 87 prints, it might not have been quite the phenomenon hoped for.But while Troy, VanHelsing, Terkel In Trouble and KillBill Vol.2 slipped one position down the chart, this week's other newcomersw
  • Distributors leap for Somersault

    Sales agent Fortissimo Films has signed off withdistributors from a range of territories on Cannes Un Certain Regard title Somersault,including Metrodome for the UK, Prokino for Germany and Austria, and Vision forFrance.Somersault was the only Australian film inofficial selection at Cannes. It is the debut feature for both writer/directorCate Shortland, producer Anthony Anderson, and his production company RedCarpet Productions, although it had the guiding hand of executi
  • Dolgen resigns from Viacom

    Following the announcementon Tuesday that Viacom president and COO Mel Karmazin will be succeeded by TomFreston and Les Moonves, Viacom Entertainment Group chairman Jonathan Dolgenhas resigned. He will leave the company on July 15.Dolgen, who has overseenParamount Pictures for over a decade, leaves behind a studio which has had atroubled couple of years and has a crucial year of expensive non-sequelreleases ahead including The Stepford Wives, Sky Captain And The World OfTomorrow, Sa
  • Duck Season (Temporada De Patos)

    Dir/scr:Fernando Eimbcke. Mexico. 2004. 90minsFouryears ago, Critics' Week unearthed Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's AmoresPerros. While Temporado De Patos has little chance of emulating theinternational success of Inarritu's film, which grossed over $5m in the US andsold worldwide, Fernando Eimbcke's likeable debut feature looks likely to enjoya long life on the festival circuit.Itshould also have strong appeal for specialist distri
  • Edinburgh sets a date for Motorcycle Diaries

    The Motorcycle Diariesis to open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was announcedyesterday.Walter Salles's epic account of the 1952 motorbike journeyacross Latin-America undertaken by the then 23-year-old Ernesto 'Che' Guevaraand his 29-year-old friend Alberto Granado won the Ecumenical Prize at theCannes Festival earlier this month. Though controversially snubbed for the mainawards, it was among the most enthusiastically received films in Cannes.Salles
  • FINLAND 1 June

    RolandEmmerich's ecological disaster extravaganza, The Day After Tomorrow, easily blew away the other action flicks, Troy, Van Helsing and Kill Bill Vol.2, off the top of theFinnish chart with its impressive Euros 6,199 screen average on its 52 prints.
  • Four senior roles filled at Irish Film Board

    The Irish FilmBoard (IFB) has announced four senior appointments further to a recruitmentdrive launched in January.Paula Mulroe is thenew Development Manager, Noemi Ferrer fills the newly created position ofDeputy Head of Production Investment, while Victoria Pope and Linda McEvoy havebeen named Policy Executive and Business Executive, respectively.Mulroe willsupervise content development at the agency, including draft-by-draft and slatedevelopment, starting in mid-June.F
  • Fox scores slew of Asian rights on Cannes hit 2046

    Fox International has acquired a slew of Asian rights to WongKar-wai's Cannes hit 2046, building on a relationship established by the recent partnershipbetween the director and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
  • FRANCE 1 June

    Brad Pitt and Co. continue to lead the box-office chargewith Troy still at number one in its second week. The film only droppedoff by 12% and has so far brought in over $10m. Kill Bill Vol. 2 is also holding strong at number 2 with a $4.5mtake in just two weeks.Local comedy People,the sequel to mega hit Jet Set,enters the top twenty at number 3 with a disappointing 413,755 admissions on619 screens. Sentimental juggernaut LesChoristes
  • Freston, Moonves step up at Viacom

    Tom Freston and LeslieMoonves have been appointed co-presidents and co-chief operating officers ofViacom, effective immediately, following yesterday's (Jun 1) resignation of MelKarmazin.Both Freston and Moonveswill continue with their current roles within the company and will jointlyoversee all Viacom operations as directed by Sumner Redstone, who remainschairman and chief executive officer and plans to step down within three years.Freston, who has beenchairman and chief executi
  • German home entertainment market hits new heights

    The German home entertainment market has postedrecord turnover in the first three months of 2004 thanks to the ever increasingpopularity of DVDs.According to GfK Panel Services ConsumerResearch, the turnover from the sale and rental of DVDs and video cassettessurpassed the previous record of 2003's Euro 334.3m by 8.1% with Euro 361.5m.While sell-through videos generated 39.2% lessturnover - down to Euro 32.7m - compared to the same period a year ago, therevenues from DVDs increa
  • German producer urges local cinema to get global

    Just three weeks before the German Film Awards on June 18,X-Filme creative pool's Stefan Arndt has called for German film producers toshow more self-confidence and a greater global approach.In a guest commentary for the Berlin daily newspaper DerTagespiegel, Arndt writes "producers are not particularly popular inGermany. The first larger financing after GoodBye, Lenin! was one of our most difficult. The upper limit of the budget isoften closely linked to the upper limit of jealo
  • GERMANY 3 June

    German-born director Roland Emmerich's disaster epic The Day After Tomorrow became the secondrelease this year after Wolfgang Petersen's Troyto clock up over 1m admissions on its opening weekend as it entered at No. 1.The 20th Century Fox release, which was the only new entryinto the weekend's Top 15, posted over $ 9.1m from its 991 screens with anoutstanding $ 9,275 screen average. The top three films - The Day Aft
  • Global markets braced for The Day After Tomorrow

    Thespectacle of climatic mayhem will be writ large in the world's theatresthis weekend as Fox International launches The Day AfterTomorrow in 100countries alongside a saturation Memorial Weekend bow in the US.Roland Emmerich's environmental disaster picturehas inspired the biggest ever day-and-date release (and the only true one ofthe season) and plays in 110 markets. Screen counts were unavailable at time ofwriting.Studiopersonnel have planned this rel
  • Green lit - Irish film industry turns to literature

    News from Cannes that Neil Jordan will film his adaptationof Pat McCabe's Breakfast On Plutolater this year may mark the resurgence of the literary adaptation in Irishfilm production. Jordan's earlier adaptation of McCabe's The Butcher Boy is often cited, in Ireland at least, as the bestIrish film of all time and expectations are understandably high for Breakfast On Pluto.Jordan has also optioned Hugo Hamilton's autobiographical
  • Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban

    Dir: Alfonso Cuaron. US.2004. Alfonso Cuaron brings a newstreak of magic to the Harry Potterseries in the third picture from JK Rowling's books, The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Draining the world of Hogwarts of colourand Hollywood trappings, Cuaron delivers a genuinely spooky and emotionallyinvolving adventure which gives the world of Potter much-needed character and atmosphere.Cuaron focuses on everythingwhich Columbus apparently neglected: creating
  • HBO Films racks up Van Sant sales

    HBO Films has pre-sold itsnew Gus Van Sant production, Last Days, to a string of European buyers,most of which bought the director's previous Palme d'Or winner, Elephant.MK2, which racked up 750,000admissions on Elephant, which was also sold by HBO, took France on thegrunge rock story, which stars Michael Pitt, Asia Argento and Lukas Haas. BIMcame on board for Italy, while Vertigo took Spain. Optimum pre-bought the UK,while Scandinavia went to Svensk and Greece to
  • High def DV trio kicks off HDNet film slate

    HDNet Films, the high-definition production division ofTodd Wagner and Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment, has given the greenlight tothree low-budget movies to be shot this year on high definition digital video.* Quid Pro Quo is a dark comedy written and to be directed by Carlos Brooks andproduced by Midge Sanford and Sarah Pillsbury.Brooks previously sold his screenplay Empire to Image Movers, where he is developingit with Robert Zemeckis. Sanford and Pillsbury's pr
  • ICA bags Cannes titles for UK

    Afterone of the busiest Cannes markets in recent years for UK independentdistributors, the ICA (Institute Of Contemporary Arts) has arrived back inBritain with four festival titles in the bag.The ICA acquired:*Kore-Eda Hirokazu's main competition title Nobody Knows,which was the surprise winner in the Best Actor category for 12 year-old YagiraYuya.
  • ICA bags Cannes titles for UK

    Afterone of the busiest Cannes markets in recent years for UK independentdistributors, the ICA (Institute Of Contemporary Arts) has arrived back inBritain with four festival titles in the bag.The ICA acquired:*Kore-Eda Hirokazu's main competition title Nobody Knows,which was the surprise winner in the Best Actor category for 12 year-old YagiraYuya.*Antal Nimrod's
  • IDP, MTV at odds over Super Size Me ad spot

    Weeks after Morgan Spurlock's documentary Super Size Me wonan MTV documentary prize at the Full Frame Film festival the network has reportedlyrefused to carry an advertising spot, claiming it would be disparaging to fastfood restaurants.The picture's distributors Roadside Attractions and Samuel GoldwynFilms were preparing to place television ads before the picture expands overMemorial Day Weekend.However it is understood MTV executives rejected the spo
  • Increased cinema-going prompts new cinemas in Malaysia

    Withthe robust growth in cinema attendance, Singapore-based exhibitor CathayCineplexes is beefing up its presence in Malaysia with plans to add 13 newcinema screens across the straits.A 10-screenmultiplex with over 2,000 seats will be sited at Cineleisure Damansara, anentertainment complex in Kuala Lumpur similar in concept to Cathay's Singaporeflagship nine-screen Cineplex.Another threescreens with over 900 seats will be built in Kota Kinabal

    It was no surprise that 20th Century Fox's The Day After Tomorrow swept across thebox office landscape this weekend as it saw the biggest ever simultaneousrelease for a non-sequel.The film seized a colossal 52% of the weekend'sinternational gross and combined with Troyto net 77% of all receipts. If the UK's Monday May 31 figures for Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban(see s
  • Intertainment lawsuit takes a new twist

    One of the longest andugliest legal fights in independent film business history took yetanother stunning turn on Thursday when the former co-managing director and leadcounsel for Intertainment Licensing attempted to virtually destroy the case ofhis one-time boss, Intertainment CEO Rudiger 'Barry' Baeres."I'm here to make sure justice is done", said formerIntertainment lawyer David Williamson as he testified as a friendly witness forFranchise Pictures in a Santa Ana, California federal
  • Int'l doc market celebrates 15th anniversary

    The international documentary market Sunny Side of the Docwill celebrate its fifteenth anniversary when it runs from June 19-22. Set inMarseille, the market will welcome 1,800 professionals from the world over andhas added a day in order to meet growing industry demand and interest.In 2003, 284 buyers and commissioning editors travelled tothe port city with 300 expected this year. So far, 328 companies have signed onto participate including an increased presence by the BBC, Canal Plus
  • IRELAND Production Listings - June 1 2004

  • Italian distributors stock up on Cannes titles

    Italian distributors have returned from Cannes laden withfilms, including Terrence Malick's TheNew World, Thomas Vinterberg's DearWendy, and Spike Lee's She Hate Me.Eagle Pictures picked up all Italian rights to hot markettitle The New World, which is sold byNew Line. The upcoming film, about Pocahontas, American natives and Europeanexplorers, stars Colin Farrell.Rome-based Eagle has also acquired Italian rights to ThomasVinterberg's Dear Wendy
  • ITALY 3 June

    20th Century Fox Italia's ice age fantasy The Day After Tomorrow swept into theItalian box office at number one, grossing $3,675,270 from 543 screens for astrong screen average of $6,768.The weekend's four other new releases paled in comparison:Istituto Luce's Argentinian film, LostEmbrace (El Abrazo Partido) opened in seventh position, grossing $65,169from 49 screens for a weak average of $1,330 per screen.Ital
  • Lasorsa, Kelley get promoted at New Line Home Entertainment

    Matt Lasorsa and PamelaKelley have been promoted to executive vice president of marketing andexecutive vice president of sales respectively at New Line Home Entertainment.Lasorsa and Kelley haveshepherded tentpole titles such as The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and key franchises including AustinPowers, A Nightmare On ElmStreet, Rush Hour and Blade and played a role in the launch of the division's premiumDVD label, infinifilm.Lasorsa will be responsiblef
  • Lions Gate, IFC, Showtime join Bob and Harvey's 9/11 coalition

    Fahrenheit 9/11 will be released theatrically in the US on Jun 25through a coalition of Harvey and Bob Weinstein's fledgling FellowshipAdventure Group, Lions Gate Films and IFC Films.Pay-TV rights will behandled by Showtime, Lions Gate's pay-TV partner, leaving an announcement stillpending for home entertainment. Focus Features and Columbia TriStar HomeEntertainment are the lead contenders for clinching those rights, which wouldmake the Weinsteins' proposed "coalition of the wil
  • London cinema claims int'l record haul for Day After Tomorrow

    London Leicester Square cinema Vue West End says it hasbroken the record for the biggest single cinema premiere in the West End for TheDay After Tomorrow, with 2350 guests filling eight screens for the event.Inthe first five days after film opened, Vue West End also says it was thebiggest grossing cinema worldwide, outside the US, taking £166 076. It wasbeaten only by AMC, New
  • Magnolia takes Ong Bak for US

    Thai action film Ong Bak has been acquired for the US byMagnolia Pictures.The film was a smash success in its native country beforebeing released by EuropaCorp in France in April. In its first week of release,Ong Bak averaged $10,000 per screen and has now amassed $6.4 million inreceipts.The film is set for a wide November release. Magnolia Pictures said the film's star Tony Jaa has sparked the interest of several top US directors. Jaa just began shooting Tom-Yu
  • Malaysia censor approves Kill Bill - but only Vol 2

    Quentin Tarantino's KillBill Vol 2 has been passed by Malaysia's censorship board with a 18certificate - although Kill Bill Vol 1 was never released in theterritory.Local distributor SunnyFilm, which is releasing Vol 2, didnot even bother to acquire the first part, knowing that it would never beapproved by the censorship board, said director of theatrical distributionGerald Lim.Vol 2 stood a better chance because it is not as violent -however, it stil
  • Mattison signs to The Third Wish

    Jenna Mattison is set to star in the romantic comedy The ThirdWish, which will be directed by Shelley Jensen and is due to beginproduction in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Jun 8.Cinema Libre Studio has picked up domestic distribution rights andwill release the picture theatrically in October.Based on a screenplay by Mattison, The Third Wish is arags-to-riches story about a bookshop worker who receives three wishes afterdiscovering a first-edi
  • MGM Channel prepares for Spanish launch

    MGM Networks andMedia Park will re-launch and re-brand Media Park's existing canalstar channelin Spain as the MGM Channel this summer.The channel willbe dubbed into Castilian Spanish and augments Media Park's current offering ofseven channels to Spanish multi-channel subscribers.The MGM Channelin Spain will transmit from Media Park's facilities in Barcelona, presentinground-the-clock content from MGM's 4,0
  • MIPCOM to launch DVD awards

    TheMIPCOM TV programmes market is to launch a series of awards for innovation inDVD content at its forthcoming show (4-8 October).Organisedin partnership with the DVD Association (DVDA, USA) and the International VideoFederation (IVF) the prizes will be awarded in seven categories: TV series(English-language); TV series (origi
  • Mondovino

    Dir:Jonathon Nossiter. US-France. 2004 159minsSomewherewithin Jonathan Nossiter's bloated, self-indulgent new documentary Mondovinothere may lurk a fascinating hour-long offering, perfectly suitable for a spoton cable TV, that explores the contemporary world of wine but one would be hardpressed to find it. Thedirector of the genuinely affecting Sunday (1997) and the ambitious iffatally pretentious Signs And Wonders (2
  • NEW ZEALAND 1 June

    The Day After Tomorrowdid huge business in New Zealand on the weekend. The 20th Century Fox eventfilm grossed NZ$1,040,090 from 68 screens to record a screen average ofNZ$15,295.Roadshow's Troygrossed NZ$446,928 from 73 screens in its third weekend on release to takesecond place and it was followed by Columbia TriStar's You Got Served, which took NZ$145,752 from 14 screens and UIP's Van Helsing, which too
  • Odeon Cinemas heads for auction

    The UK's Odeon Cinemas isreportedly going up for auction just a year after it was taken over by aconsortium including Nigel and Trevor Green's Entertainment Group, propertytycoon Robert Tchenguiz and German bank West LB.One of the leading likelybids, from Tchenguiz, is reportedly £50m less than the original price tag.The auction comes after theGreen brothers and Tchenguiz apparently failed to agree on a deal to buy outthe third owner, WestLB. Under the terms of a shareholder agr
  • Oz exhibition player mulls German cinemas stake

    Australia's Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL), owner of Kieft& Kieft, has signalled that it is reviewing the 50% holding that the Germanexhibitor has in joint venture company Neue Filmpalast GmbH & Co KG.The joint venture operates the Ufa circuit consisting of 187screens at 31 sites across Germany. AHL has said that its current exposure, inthe event of an exit, is about US$4.9m (A$7m).The news came as AHL notified the Australian Stock Exchangethat it had decided to write-down $
  • Picture This! readies Same Sex Parents DVD bow

    Picture This! will release Laurence Katrian's French teen drama SameSex Parents on DVD on Jul 27.The story centres on a young girl's convoluted personal life witha gay father, lesbian mother and confused boyfriend. When she returns home oneday to find her mother in bed with her girlfriend, all hell breaks loose.Louise Monot, Julie Fournier, Elisabeth Bourgine, Lucas Bonnifaitand Samuel Labarthe star.The release is timely bearing in mind that Mas
  • Porchlight strikes US DVD deal with Questar

    LosAngeles-based Porchlight Entertainment has signed a deal for the homeentertainment release of 27 of its family-oriented titles through Chicago-basedproduction, marketing and distribution outfit Questar.Among the titlesincluded in the agreement are family kidnap drama A Month Of Sundays starring Rod Steiger, the faith-baseddrama Small Miraclesstarring Jonathan Pryce, and the wartime drama Love And War (formerly known as War Bride), whic
  • Potter smashes UK opening record

    Harry Potter And ThePrisoner Of Azkaban has smashed opening day records in the UK.Released yesterday (May 31), a UK holiday Monday and thefirst day of school half-term holidays, the film grossed a colossal $9.2m(£5.03m) from 535 locations.This gave the third instalment in the franchise the biggestopening day and biggest single day grosses of all time in the territory.Prisoner Of Azkabanis the first film ever to gross over £5m on a single day in the UK.
  • Rialto announces five Cannes pick-ups

    Cannes Grand Jury winner OldBoy, the thriller by director Park Chan-Wook, is one of five films pickedup for distribution in Australian and New Zealand by Rialto Entertainment.The distributor is likely to release Old Boy this year but hold the controversial The Woodsman, the debut feature by director Nicole Kassell starringKevin Bacon, until early next year.Two comedies have also found their way onto Rialto'sschedule as a result of Cannes, including the Briti
  • Searchlight, Paramount, MTV team up on Napoleon Dynamite

    Fox Searchlight has teamed up with Paramount Pictures and MTVFilms on the release of Jared Hess' comedy Napoleon Dynamite.The picture will open domestically through Fox Searchlight inselect cities on Jun 11, while Paramount and MTV Films will handle internationaldistribution.Fox Searchlight picked up worldwide rights to the picture atSundance, where the story of an eccentric high school student received itspremiere and became a crowd favourite.H

    Unlike in themost of the international territories, TheDay After Tomorrow has not managed to open at number one in Serbia andMontenegro. Roland Emmerich's disaster monster sold 14,565 admissions to gross$60,776 for Tuck. The same distributor's Troyhas held the pole position in its third weekend, adding 19,081 admissions tothe total of 138,657 with cumulative gross of $450,582.Millennium's Intolerable Cruelty is
  • Shanghai fest selects sixteen for international competition

    Sixteen features have been lined up to compete for the ShanghaiInternational Film Festival's (June 5-13) main international competition.The event will also have a special focus on Nordic, UK, Irish, Spanishand New Zealand cinema. 1200 guests from 51 countries are expected to attendthe festival.This year's competition jury is presided over by Chinese director DingYinnan (Deng Xiaoping) who is joined by filmmakers such as Korea's ParkChul-soo (Push Push), Australia's
  • Shrek 2 stays top over record Memorial Day weekend

    Shrek 2 won a record Memorial Day weekend clash ofthe titans, beating Fox's The Day After Tomorrow into second place as itadded the biggest second weekend of all time to comfortably pass $250m.The Dreamworks animatedsequel added $92.2m for $257m over the four-day holiday weekend here, thebiggest ever Memorial Day weekend gross for an individual picture that passed JurassicPark: The Lost World's $90.2m in 1997.It also set a new secondweekend mark that
  • Somersault

    Dir/scr: Cate Shortland.Australia. 2004. 106 minsA haunting little story ofsex, guilt, love and all the confusion in between, Somersault marks aquietly impressive feature debut from writer-director Cate Shortland after astring of award-winning shorts. The interaction between a number of complex,interestingly d
  • Spain allies with France in piracy move

    Spain's new culture minister Carmen Calvo has lent herSocialist administration's support to long-held French moves to lower statetaxes on cultural products including DVDs and CDs in a bid to counter piracy.The French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, whois spearheading the move, said he was delighted with Spanish support but stillbelieves "that there are many other European countries who could lend us a handin this matter." He also said he hoped this increase in support woul
  • Spanish broadcasters pledge to invest in film

    Spain'sregional public broadcasters have signed a pact to invest Euros 30m over thenext three years in the acquisition, production and co-production of Spanishfeature films, TV movies, pilots, animated series, pilots and short features.The dealis a renewal of the accord struck in 1999 between FORTA, an umbrellaorganisation for eight regional publ
  • Stepford Wives scoops two Golden Trailer awards

    Adam Agard's trailer for Paramount's upcoming release of TheStepford Wives won the most original and summer 2004 blockbuster awards atthe fifth annual Golden Trailer Awards in Los Angeles (25).Dave Parker work on New Line's Elf won the best comedyprize while Jennifer A Horvath's trailer for New Line's The Lord Of TheRings: The Return Of The King won the best drama category.Kevin Childress's won best animation/family honours for WarnerBros
  • Taiwan authorities bust underground piracy lab

    Taiwanese authorities have uncovered a massive illegal optical disc lab andmore than a quarter of a million pirate discs in the biggest raids yet to bestaged in the country.Officers from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB)swooped on three sites in Changhua City and the Taichung area on May 25 as partof a coordinated crackdown on piracy syndicates.Six men were arrested as officers also found an illegal DVD-R/CD-R lab, oneillegal warehouse,
  • The Day After Tomorrow thunders across the world

    Fox International's TheDay After Tomorrow grossed an estimated $82.7m at the weekend internationalbox office, thundering across the globe with the kind of elemental ferocitythat defines Roland Emmerich's effects-laden story.Executives at the distributorsaid the amount was the biggest international opening of all time for anon-sequel, adding that the figure included some previews. Adding in the $70mdomestic bow, the picture amassed an estimated $150m-plus at the worldwide boxoffi
  • TLA picks up three more for video from Cannes

    TLA Releasing has picked up three more pictures for domestic videodistribution from Cannes, bringing its tally of festival acquisitions to seven.The titles are Alain Guiraudie's surreal Austrian-French roadmovie No Rest For The Brave, Gael Morel's French sibling drama ThreeDancing Slaves and Lasse Nielsen and Ernst Johansen's landmark 1978 Danishfilm about love in a boys' boarding school, You Are Not Alone.TLA vice president and director
  • Tomorrow, Troy feast at international box office

    It was no surprise that 20th CenturyFox's The Day After Tomorrow swept across the box office landscape thisweekend as it saw the biggest ever simultaneous release for a non-sequel.The film seized a colossal52% of the weekend's international gross and combined with Troy to net77% of all receipts. If the UK's Monday May 31 figures for Harry Potter AndThe Prisoner Of Azkaban (see separate story) are any indication of theanticipation for the Warner title, however, then
  • Touch Of Pink, D.E.B.S. bookend Frameline 28 festival

    Frameline28, the 28th San Francisco International Lesbian &Gay Film Festival, will open on Jun 17 with Ian Iqbal Rashid's romantic comedy TouchOf Pink and close on Jun 27 with Angela Robinson's action comedy D.E.B.S.Overall the festival will screen more than 80 features including10 world premieres and more than 180 shorts from 25 countries.In Touch Of Pink a closeted Ismaili Muslim man living inLondon and guided by the spirit of Cary Grant tries to hide his
  • Tropical Malady (Sud Pralad)

    Dir:Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Fr-Thai-It-Ger. 2004. 118minsDeeplysubmerged within Apichatpong Weerasethakul's often impenetrable andoccasionally boring fable Tropical Malady, is a wonderful exploration of a perennialtheme: what makes a human being more than an animal' It begins promisingly witha passage from novelist Ton Nakajima: "All of us are by nature wild beasts andour duty as hum
  • Troy passes $200m at international box office

    Troy passed $200m at the international box office at theweekend with an estimated $39m haul on 9,764 screens in 58 countries thatraised the Warner Bros picture's running total to $216mKey drivers were $4.1m on 506 screens in its second weekendin the UK for $18.9m and second place behind Fox's The Day After Tomorrow,a number one hold in Italy on $4m on 825 for $12.9m, and $3.8m on 568 in Japan for $14.4m.In Korea Troy remained top on $3.3m on 305 for $11.3man
  • Troy passes $200m at international box office

    Troy passed $200m at the international box office at theweekend with an estimated $39m haul on 9,764 screens in 58 countries thatraised the Warner Bros picture's running total to $216mKey drivers were $4.1m on506 screens in its second weekend in the UK for $18.9m and second place behindFox's The Day After Tomorrow, a number one hold in Italy on $4m on 825for $12.9m, and $3.8m on 568 in Japan for $14.4m.In Korea Troyrema
  • Troy, Van Helsing await Tomorrow's deluge

    Despite a slew of new entries no impact was made against the one-twointernational punch of Troy and Van Helsing this week.For the second week running the pair accounted for two thirds (67%) ofthe international market.Troy added a further 11 territories to its count, including Japan, SouthKorea and Italy as well as expanding in the UK from a one screen platform to504 locations, putting it at 58 in total.Troy's swift ten day $146.9m cumulative gr
  • UK's Parasol Peccadillo picks up five features at Cannes

    UK distribution outfitParasol Peccadillo picked five titles during the Cannes Film Festival forrelease.Three of the films willbe released through distribution arm Parasol Peccadillo Releasing (PPR), whichfocuses on arthouse titles, while two will go through Peccadillo Pictures,which focuses on niche gay and lesbian interest titles.The three films picked upfor release under the PPR banner are:Gael Morel's 3 Dancing
  • Van Helsing raises international total to $131m

    Universal's VanHelsing added an estimated $6.5m on 4,300 screens in 42 territories at theweekend, raising its industry-wide international running total to $131m.It grossed$6.2m on 4,100 in 39 UIP territories for a $122.2m UIP total.
  • Vivendi Universal reports improved Canal Plus results

    The CanalPlus Group has reported first a quarter operating income of Euros 74m for 2004- a Euros 29m improvement on the first quarter of 2003. Figures were releasedThursday by parent company Vivendi Universal.Canal Pluswas a strong presence at Cannes this year with a blowout bash in a secludedvilla and broadcasting a live TV show from the Croisette every nightreminiscent of the group's heyday when the set of flagship show Nulle Part Ailleurs was
  • Warner set to take the world Prisoner with Harry Potter

    Warner Bros Pictures International will unload its second majorrelease in three weeks when the eagerly anticipated Harry Potter And ThePrisoner Of Azkabanopens in 24 countries this weekend.
  • Warner strikes three-picture deal with Italy's Vanzina brothers

    Warner Bros Pictures Italy is to collaborate with the celebratedVanzina brothers, through their production company International Video 80, onthree Italian-language pictures.
  • Weinsteins secure rights to Moore doc through Fellowship Adventure Group

    Harvey and Bob Weinstein have concluded the buy-back of MichaelMoore's Palme D'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11 from The Walt Disney Co and are free tohire a domestic distributor or distribute the picture personally in the US.
  • Winterbottom not shooting Goal!

    Michael Winterbottom hastaken an early bath on Goal!, the football film starring Diego Luna thatthe British director was pre-shooting in Newcastle.Revolution Films, thecompany Winterbottom runs with producer Andrew Eaton, this week confirmed localpress reports that the British director had left the project, citing creativedifferences.The first film in a plannedtrilogy was set-up as a three-way co-production between Milkshake Films, IconEntertainment and Revolution, with E
  • Wong Kar Wai takes on kung fu grandmaster

    Acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai has set his sights on the life story of Ip Man (pictured), the real life kung fu master of the legendary star Bruce Lee, as the subject of his next film. A spokesperson of Wong's production outfit, Jet Tone Films, said that Ip's family has agreed to serve as consultant to the new film and has allowed Wong access to rare video footage of the master. Originally from China, Ip dedicated his whole life in teaching Wing Chun, a form of m
  • Yari takes on sales for big budget Oz feature

    Bob Yari Productions is tohandle international sales on an ambitious $US 26.7m (A$32m) Australian film, ClancyOf The Overflow, a story about a quintessential bush hero to be directed bySimon Wincer.The producers are Yari, afinancier and partner in the Stratus Film Company, Wincer and Mark Pennell.Patrick Edgeworth has written the script and Michael Edgley and Michael Sanchezare the executive producers.No cast have been named butthe production company a