ScreenDaily’s weekly round up of the local and independent openings in key markets.
Neue Visionen has 11 screens nationwide showing the documentary Hotel Sahara about sub-Saharan African migrants looking for a passage to Europe. Director Bettina Haasen appeared at premieres in key cities this week to support the film.
A touch of Spanish glamour was in the air at the German premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s latest feature Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos) when the director and lead actress Penelope Cruz appeared in person. Tobis Film is releasing the Cannes competition film on 79 prints, 72 of which are dubbed, while seven have the Spanish original soundtrack with German subtitles.
Distributor Constantin Film will have several busy weeks ahead with the release of such films as the political comedy Horst Schlämmer - Isch Kandidiere!, the family film Wickie Und Die Starken Männer, and Sönke Wortmann’s medieval drama Pope Joan. This schedule is kicked off with Neele Leana Vollmar’s culture clash comedy Maria, He Doesn’t Like It! which stars Christian Ulmen, Mina Tander, and the legendary Italian comedian Lino Banfi. An adaptation of Jan Weiler’s bestselling novel, sold internationally by The Match Factory, will be released on around 300 prints.
US indie Staten Island was released on August 5 facing tough competition from Paramount’s heavyweight G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra. The mob picture, set in New York’s oft-derided borough, went out on 165 screens through EuropaCorp and had a healthy second-place showing on its first day with 9,234 admissions. Vincent D’Onofrio, Seymour Cassell and Ethan Hawke star in the James De Monaco-directed film.
The Brothers Bloom opened behind G.I. Joe and Staten Island, on 55 screens through SND. Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo star in Rian Johnson’s con-man caper, which created a lot of internet buzz earlier this year but has not yet lived up to its promise.
Drama-romance Silk from director Francois Girard also opened August 4. Set against a period in 19th century France that saw disease wipe out all of Europe’s silkworms, the film stars Michael Pitt as a man who must travel to Japan to recover disease-free silkworm eggs, whereupon he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron. Keira Knightley, Sei Ashina and Alfred Molina also star. Metropolitan released the film on 37 screens.
UK-produced nature documentary The Meerkats is being released through Momentum Pictures from August 7. Narrated by the late Paul Newman, the film follows six months in the life of a family of meerkats in the Kalahari desert.
Monster action film Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus will get a release in London’s West End through Metrodome Distribution. Former pop star Deborah Gibson stars in the film which sees the colossal creatures fight it out off the coast of California.
Soda Pictures are releasing Ursula Meier’s drama Home, about how life in a rural town is threatened by the construction of a major highway, while Revolver Entertainment and Dogwoof Pictures release documentaries Beautiful Losers and The Yes Men Fix The World, respectively.
Local distributor DeaPlaneta will release Peter Cornwell’s US horror film The Haunting In Connecticut nationwide this weekend. The film follows a well worn path with a family moving to a house that proves to be haunted. However, takings have so far been pretty good with $55m in the US and $6m in the UK.
Donald Petrie’s comedy My Life In Ruins stars Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as a tour guide who discovers love on a trip around Greece. Distributed by Manga Films, Ruins was filmed not only in Greece, but also Alicante, Spain, including in the Cuidad De La Luz studios. Manga will be hoping that local audiences are attracted by the familiar scenery and the fact that comedies have been performing well, because to date the film has performed poorly outside of Greece and Australia (home to a sizeable Greek population).
On Pictures will be showing Paolo Virzi’s Spanish-French-Italian comedy drama N: Napoleon & Me. The film focuses on a young, idealist teacher Martino (Elio Germano) who falls in love with the beautiful Baroness Emilia (Monica Bellucci), while working for the emperor Napoleon (Daniel Auteuil). Napoleon made a respectable $1.3m in Italy.