New Line International (NLI) has closed a round of package deals on its upcoming product and is finalising a new partnership in Italy with start-up distribution company Nexo Pictures.
Nexo, which was formed by cinema-owner Ernesto Di Sarro, contingent on the New Line deal, has taken eight pictures initially - Frequency, The Cell, Town And Country, 15 Minutes, Lost Souls, Final Destination, Knockaround Guys and Boiler Room. It also has options on certain others.
"Like Cecchi Gori and Medusa, he owns his own theatres," explained NLI president and New Line co-chairman of worldwide marketing Rolf Mittweg who has been negotiating with Di Sarro for some time. Mittweg had previously dealt with Cecchi Gori, but late last year was forced to take three 1998 pictures (The Wedding Singer, Rush Hour and Blade) back from the financially troubled company and release them through sister company Warner Bros. A deal with Medusa Film followed.
"It's Ernesto's first foray into distribution and he's taking all the product being released by New Line domestically this year," added Mittweg.
Recapitalised indie Eagle Pictures had approached Mittweg at AFM but he said that the negotiations with Di Sarro were too far advanced by that stage to entertain any other offers. Eagle has stepped into the breech left by Cecchi Gori and has already secured film packages from Summit Entertainment and Intermedia. Miramax International, which had also traditionally dealt with Cecchi Gori, set up its own distribution in Italy last year in partnership with sister company Buena Vista International.
NLI has output deals to the end of 2001 with Kinowelt in Germany, Entertainment in the UK, Aurum in Spain and Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia as well as in a host of smaller territories.
Other package deals closed at or since AFM include:
NEW LINE FILMS MENTIONED:
A cop and a fireman team up to track down a pair of killers on a rampage in New York. Directed by John Herzfeld, starring Robert De Niro, Ed Burns.
Satire set in the world of network television. Directed by Spike Lee, starring Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Rapaport.
True story of cocaine trafficking in the 70s. Directed by Ted Demme, starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta.
High testosterone drama about young turks in an illegal stock brokerage. Directed by Ben Younger, starring Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Affleck.
Serial killer shocker with Jennifer Lopez as a child therapist who journeys into the mind of a murderer. Directed by Tarsem, co-starring Vince Vaughn.
DETROIT ROCK CITY
Teen comedy about four high school kids trying to find some tickets to a KISS concert. Directed by Adam Rifkin, starring Edward Furlong, Natasha Lyonne.
Teen horror movie about a young man who has premonitions of impending disasters. Directed by James Wong, starring Devon Sawa and Ali Larter.
Science fiction thriller about a police officer who is miraculously enabled to communicate with his dead father. Directed by Gregory Hoblit, starring Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel.
THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS (Fine Line)
A girl travels through Europe to unravel the mystery of her sister's death. Directed by Adam Brooks, with Jordana Brewster, Christopher Eccleston, Cameron Diaz.
The four sons of New York mobsters try and retrieve a bag of cash in Montana. Directed by David Levien & Brian Koppelman, starring John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper.
Adam Sandler plays the son of the devil forced to leave hell to go to New York and overcome his evil brothers in comedy directed by Steve Brill.
LORD OF THE RINGS
Peter Jackson's epic trilogy based on the JRR Tolkein novels, stars Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood.
A demonic chiller about a woman trying to prevent a satanic conspiracy which will plunge the world into darkness. Directed by Janusz Kaminski, starring Winona Ryder, Ben Chaplin.
TOWN AND COUNTRY
Long-in-the-making comedy about love and friendship. Directed by Peter Chelsom, starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn
PJ Hogan's latest comedy stars Kathy Bates and Rupert Everett as a housewife and a valet avenging the death of a mutual love interest.