New Line International (NLI) has sealed two high-profile package deals in Japan - with Nippon Herald for 15 Minutes starring Robert De Niro and ensemble piece Knockaround Guys, and with Gaga Communications for Jennifer Lopez-starrer The Cell, The Invisible Circus with Cameron Diaz and teen comedy Detroit Rock City.
Rolf Mittweg, New Line's co-chairman of worldwide theatrical marketing and president of NLI, traditionally sells to Japan on a package basis rather than the output deals he has sealed in many other territories to the end of 2001. NLI partners include Kinowelt in Germany, Entertainment in the UK, Aurum in Spain and Svensk Filmindustri for Scandinavia.
Mittweg is also showcasing several new pictures to partner distributors at the AFM, including Boiler Room, Final Destination, Frequency and Love And Basketball. He is also looking to complete package deals in certain key territories - such as France and more in Japan - on upcoming pictures including Adam Sandler sci-fi comedy Little Nicky and Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy which is costing upwards of $200m to produce. NLI is flying several partner buyers to New Zealand next week to visit the elaborate sets.
Meanwhile, Italy remains wide open, with all product still available. Mittweg said that he is meeting with two new players this week to discuss ongoing relationships. "Distributors in Italy know how to kill a film," he said, bemoaning the fact that playing time in Italy is still just September to March each year.
NLI set an all-time company international sales record in 1999 generating $287m, up from $189.4m in 1998.