Barrie Baeres' pan-European rights-broker Intertainment AG has sold two of its specialised Franchise Pictures titles - Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her and The Green Dragon - in France, signalling a move by Baeres to sell off select pictures in certain territories where appropriate. Lisa Wilson of Franchise Pictures sold the territories on Intertainment's behalf.
Bac Films in association with Yves Chevalier's CCI bought all rights to Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her, the female ensemble piece which has just secured a slot in Un Certain Regard in Cannes. And Le Studio Canal Plus bought French rights to The Green Dragon, the Bui Brothers film to star Forest Whitaker and Patrick Swayze. Both were all rights deals.
Intertainment struck a pan-European three-year output deal with Franchise at Cannes last year, securing all of Franchise's current and future slate which covers a minimum of 60 pictures (adding to another 10-picture deal with David Kirkpatrick's Original Voices).
After Cannes, Intertainment signed a five-year pan-European distribution deal with Warner Brothers for 60 titles of Intertainment's choice in addition to a ten-year distribution alliance with 20th Century Fox. Both deals covered theatrical, video and pay-TV rights, but Intertainment retains free TV rights to all the pictures.
Baeres said that Intertainment invests in the Franchise movies, both as a rights-buyer but also as a co-financier "where rights aren't an issue". On the latter, Franchise then acts as an agent to sell the product on a picture by picture basis. So while Battlefield Earth, Get Carter, The Art Of War and The Pledge go through either Warner or Fox, Baeres says that other pictures in which he is a co-financier - such as 3000 Miles To Graceland with Kevin Costner or Caveman's Valentine with Samuel Jackson - might be sold off to independents.
Baeres couldn't confirm which other movies would be up for sale, but the strategy certainly frees up some of the Franchise product which many European buyers thought was unavailable to them. And while Intertainment has free TV rights on all the pictures, the two French deals were for all rights. "It will work on a case by case basis," said Baeres.