Alliance Atlantis plans to release its fully-financed caper picture Foolproof on 225 screens on Oct. 3, the widest-ever release for an English-Canadian film.
The company distributed current record-holder Men With Brooms, which was released on 207 screens in 2002, backed by a P&A spend of more than C$1m
Describing the Foolproof marketing campaign as "groundbreaking", Jim Sherry, executive vice president and general manager, AAC Motion Picture Distribution, told Screendaily the new film's P&A spend would be "well north" of the Men With Brooms figure. He said AAC does not release exact P&A figures.
Key to the campaign is the inclusion of the Foolproof trailer on prints of The Matrix Reloaded, which opened last week in Canadian cinemas. AAC estimates two million viewers saw the trailer over the national holiday weekend.
The trailer promotion was part of a marketing package provided by exhibitor Famous Players worth US$370,000. Nuria Bronfman, Famous Players vice-president, corporate affairs said the trailer is being treated as a commercial, with national coverage. The Viacom-owned exhibitor's largesse is part of a mandate to build the audience for Canadian film.
"A picture like Foolproof has all the elements for box office results", said Bronfman, "but they need US-style exposure so that they have the best possible platform for success." The company provided similar promotional support for Men With Brooms and Denys Arcand's Cannes competitor The Barbarian Invasion, which was released earlier this month in Quebec.
In addition, Foolproof will be promoted on CHUM Television, which holds free-to-air broadcast rights, as well as its specialty channels including video-clip service MuchMusic. Sherry said Foolproof star Ryan Reynolds is in negotiation to serve as a guest VJ on the channel.
Written and directed by Bill Phillips, Foolproof stars Reynolds opposite David Suchet and is produced by AAC and Atom Egoyan's Ego Film Arts. AAC execs Bill House and Seaton McLean are producers. Executive producers are Peter Sussman and Atom Egoyan. AAC is selling the picture worldwide and distributing in Canada through Odeon and in the UK through Momentum Pictures.