Hollywood Studios International (HSI) has acquired worldwide sales rights excluding Venezuela to the record breaking thriller The Zero Hour (La Hora Cero).

Eric Christenson, president of the Hollywood Studios International Films division, swooped and will commence sales at the EFM. 

The Zero Hour has become the biggest earner of all time at the Venezuelan box office and held on to number one for 15 weeks. The story centres on a hitman who takes control of a hospital to save his injured pregnant friend during a 24-hour health strike.

Ruben Zapata aka rapper Zapata 666 stars alongside Venezuelan talent Amanda Key, Erich Wildpret, Laureano Oliveres and Marisa Roman as well as US actors Alejandro Furth and Steve Wilcox.

According to sources three crew members were kidnapped during the Caracas shoot, an actor was killed prior to principal photography and first-time director Diego Velasco was held up at gunpoint.  

Carolina Paiz wrote the screenplay with Velasco and produced the film with Rodolfo Cova. Sergio Aguero and HSI CEO Steven served as executive producers. Both Velasco and Paiz have signed on with HSI’s wholly owned management company Artist International.

“We’ve been on the look-out for great, distinctively original films with mass commercial appeal and The Zero Hour has it all,” Christenson, who joined HSI in January 2010 and previously consulted for Voltage Pictures and handled international sales for Graham King, said.

“The film brings a raw edginess that audiences are drawn to and appreciate, as evidenced with its record breaking success in Venezuela.”