Germany witnessed the entrance of another aggressive rights buyer this week as leading post-production concern CineMedia unveiled a raft of acquisitions headed by Icon Entertainment International's What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson.
CineMedia acquired rights to product with a total production budget of around $240m, taking all-media rights for German-speaking territories for up to 25 years. One reason behind the move appears to have been its in-house on-line company - www.film.de - offering possible internet distribution of the films in the future.
CineMedia had planned to enter the rights trading arena last autumn, but inflated prices led the company to back-pedal on its ambitious plans. Board member Holger Heims said that: "in the interest of our shareholders, we avoided risky price battles".
The other 15 features acquired by CineMedia have stars such as Harvey Keitel, Patrick Swayze, Kenneth Branagh, Andie McDowell and Gary Oldman attached. But the Gibson romantic comedy, which is expected to start shooting this spring, is one of the most high-profile acquisitions. CineMedia has also picked up WhenThe Sky Falls from Icon. "CineMedia has made the decisive step towards an integrated media concern," Heims added.
Adam Minns in London contributed to this report