WestEnd Films Seals Multiple Deals For Nicolas Cage Drama ‘Joe’
International sales company WestEnd Films has closed a raft of deals on David Gordon Green’s drama Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. The film debuted in Venice, where Sheridan won the best newcomer prize. The Worldview Entertainment-produced and -financed film then appeared in Toronto, where deals were sealed with Japan (CCC), Australia (Madman), Benelux (Cinéart) and Scandinavia (Non Stop). Artificial Eye picked it up in the UK, and the film had previously sold to 15 territories include France (Wild Side), Germany (Koch Media), Latin America (Swen), China (Media Asia), Israel (United King), and Greece (Spentzos Films). CAA is repping the North America rights, with Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions and Magnolia Pictures being the front-runners as of Friday.

Vodafone Set To Acquire Germany’s Kabel Deutschland For $10.2B
Shareholders of Kabel Deutschland — Germany’s largest cable company — voted Friday to accept Vodafone’s buyout offer of €87 ($115.70) a share, which includes a €2.50 dividend payment. Vodafone, Germany’s top mobile network with 32 million subscribers, said the required 75% minimum of Kabel investors had been met. The deal, which gives Vodafone 7.6 million cable subs, continues its strategy of offsetting declining revenue by selling mobile phone subscriptions alongside TV, landline and broadband services. Reuters reported Friday that three hedge funds that tendered shares enabling Vodafone’s successful Kabel bid plan to sue for a better price for their outstanding holdings.

Rupert Murdoch To Deliver 10th Anniversary Lowy Lecture In Sydney
Native Australian Rupert Murdoch is to give the Lowy Lecture on October 31 at the international policy think tank’s 10th anniversary in Sydney. The annual lecture is the institute’s signature event each year, at which a prominent individual reflects on Australia’s role in the world and the world’s influence on Australia. The lecture has previously been given by Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers and former Prime Minister John Howard.

Danes Buy 32,000 Sneak Preview Tickets For ‘The Keeper Of Lost Causes’
Mikkel Norgaard’s The Keeper Of Lost Causes doesn’t release in Denmark until October 3, but it’s already burning up the box office. The first installment in the Department Q franchise that’s based on the books by Jussi Adler-Olsen has so far sold 32,000 sneak preview tickets. Cineuropa reports it has beaten the advance ticket sales of last year’s Skyfall and is on its way to nearing the all-time record set by , The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second film in the original Millennium trilogy. A Royal Affair’s Nikolaj Arcel penned Keeper Of Lost Causes and the three follow-up films. The second pic, The Absent One, starts shooting this month. Nordisk Film is releasing the police thrillers locally and TrustNordisk is handling sales.

Wild Bunch Testing New Distribution Model With ‘The Spirit Of ’45′
Wild Bunch is testing a new distribution model under the auspices of the MEDIA Program’s “circulation of European films in the digital era” experiment. Via its Speed Bunch label, Wild Bunch has organized the simultaneous release of Ken Loach’s The Spirit Of ‘45 in five European territories beginning today. The release plan covers Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium, where the film goes out today via VOD available on iTunes, and via local services. The film also is opening simultaneously or quasi-simultaneously in theaters in Spain (Vertigo) and Italy (BIM Distribuzione). Loach’s documentary covers the year 1945 and how a spirit of unity that buoyed Britain during the war years carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society. The European Union has committed a total of nearly €2 million to groups experimenting with media chronology as it looks to analyze the viability of day-and-date theatrical and VOD releasing.

France Cuts Tax On Movie Tickets From 7% To 5%
France has moved to slash the value-added tax on movie tickets from 7% to 5%. The new rate will go into effect on January 1. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti made the announcement Friday to the great joy of the National Distributors Federation. There previously had been concerns the tax would be upped to 10%. France had previously cut VAT on theater tickets and books, and this move is seen as supportive of the arts. It should also benefit exhibitors, distributors and producers. Ticket prices overall are unlikely to drop.

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