Icon Entertainment, Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's production outfit which successfully launched UK distribution outfit Icon Film Distribution in 1999, is doing the same in Australia - creating a local distribution company
The Icon offshoot could go up against Village Roadshow as an indie giant if the Australian results of Icon's What Women Want are anything to go by. That grossed A$21m for Roadshow. Mark Gooder, formerly head of distribution at The Becker Group, will head up the new company.
The Australian move comes after a highly successful year for Icon's UK distribution arm under Nick Hill. Along with scoring a number one hit with What Women Want, the operation took UK comedy Kevin And Perry Go Large to more than $10m. While Thomas And The Magic Railroad was a disappointment, Hill milked respectable performances from titles including The Little Vampire and Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Meanwhile Jamie Carmichael has been promoted to head of international distribution at London-based sales arm Icon Entertainment International, effectively taking over from Ralph Kamp, who recently left the company. Carmichael's headline picture at the AFM is Icon's next Gibson picture, We Were Soldiers Once -And Young.
Written and directed by Braveheart writer Randall Wallace, the true story of a battle between 400 green American recruits and a battalion of 3,000 elite Viet Cong starts shooting March 5. 'If that was what women want, this is what men want,' he said.