EXCLUSIVE: UK distributor Eureka, best known for its Masters Of Cinema DVD releases, is upping its presence in the UK theatrical marketplace.
The company has just acquired Geoffrey Enthoven’s comedy-drama/road movie Come As You Are (Hasta La Vista) and will be giving the film (sold by Films Boutique) a 20 screen release in British cinemas in mid June.
Come As You Are is the story of three handicapped Belgians in their 20s who head on a road trip to Spain to lose their virginity.
The film is loosely inspired by the true story of Asta Philpot, an American with arthrogryposis who campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities to have an active sex life.
Eureka is hoping to enlist the Royal National College for the Blind and other charities to support the release of the film, which won the People’s Choice Award at the 2012 European Film Awards.
Another new Eureka theatrical pick-up is Markus Imhoof’s More Than Honey (also sold by Films Boutique) a feature doc looking at the plight of bees around the world. It is set to be released in British cinemas in late July/early August.
Meanwhile, Eureka has also picked up US comedy horror film John Dies At The End from Magnolia Pictures and will be giving it a theatrical release in June/July.
Eureka has been releasing selected titles theatrically for several years. The company handled the UK releases of such films as Junebug, Soul Power and controversial horror The Human Centipede.
However, Eureka’s latest strategy is to increase the number of theatrical movies. Earlier this month, the company released Antonio Campos’ Simon Killer into British cinemas.
Eureka is also picking up further titles through its partnership with Australian company Bounty - a relationship in which two companies jointly acquire selected films.
The most recent film on which they’ve worked together is The ABCs Of Death, out in British cinemas next week.
“We have been releasing films theatrically for some time but I think we are working harder at it,” said Eureka sales director Ian Sadler.
“The general feeling within the company is we either have to grow what we do - ie. broaden our release spectrum - or not do it at all.”
Sadler added that the success on DVD of such TV series like The Killing and Borgen had opened up the market for more foreign language fare.
“The independents are in a much worse situation than the majors because we don’t have the economy of scale that they have”, Sadler added.
“I do believe though, that the audience for quality films, English-language or otherwise, is out there and it’s almost our duty to bring these (often) lesser known films to market; the challenge is always going to be balancing the books.
“It’s not just a vehicle for the DVD/BD release, it has to be more than that. What we do find is that if you can get a decent run - not always day and date - you do get a much longer tale in terms of ongoing sales.”