Netflix Execs Headed Back To France For More Expansion Talks
Last week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company was eyeing “substantial” European expansion in 2014. His comments came a little more than a month after execs from the streaming service met with staff of French President François Hollande to discuss an entry into France. According to local media reports, Netflix execs now are due to return to France to meet with industry folk within the next week. Pascal Rogard, head of authors’ rights group the SACD, told Le Figaro that the situation is coming into focus with a possible launch later this netflix_logo2year. Netflix is available in 41 countries including France’s neighbors to the north such as the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. A French launch has been rumored over the years, but moving into the fiercely protected territory is ornery in part due to a complex film-windows chronology that prohibits movies from appearing on monthly SVOD services until three years after a theatrical release. There is no such protection for TV series, but Netflix’s House Of Cards already airs on local pay-TV leader Canal Plus, which would see the service’s arrival as competition. In a conversation with analysts, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was asked last week whether the service would be out of certain markets with its key originals because it had already sold them to local providers. “It depends,” he said. “There’s multiple windows, and we’ll continue to have those negotiations as we get closer to those launches.” It’s expected that should Netflix enter France, it would have to adhere to obligations to invest in local content. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti told Le Journal du Dimanche this weekend, “Netflix should be an additional player, not a stowaway.” It’s also believed that Netflix is eyeing a move into Germany. With regard to expansion, MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson said last week that “it remains difficult to figure out the ultimate size and value of Netflix’s international opportunity” due to the company’s “undisclosed new market entries, minimal transparency and continual reinvestment.”

Patrick Malone Joins Goldcrest Post As Managing Director
The UK’s Goldcrest Post has hired Patrick Malone as its new Managing Director. The exec previously was head of digital intermediate at Company 3, where he was responsible for work on such recent films as Rush, Captain goldcrestPhillips and Skyfall. As part of the move, Goldcrest’s Chris Quested has been promoted to CEO of Goldcrest Post. Based in London, Malone will oversee the accelerated growth of Goldcrest’s digital intermediate department and will strengthen the executive management of the sound facility, whose team shared an Oscar for Les Misérables. The Goldcrest Group also includes Goldcrest Finance and Goldcrest Films which is fully backing and distributing The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, Andre Ovredal’s English-language follow-up to Troll Hunter. The group is also financing and distributing Brooklyn Bridge with Daniel Radcliffe attached. Other credits include The Iron Lady, Skyfall, One Direction: This Is Us and Twilight.

Kristin Davis Joins West End Production Of ‘Fatal Attraction’
Kristin Davis mugSex And The City‘s Kristin Davis is joining Natascha McElhone in Trevor Nunn’s West End production of Fatal Attraction. She’ll play Beth Gallagher and Mark Bazeley will play her husband Dan, whose weekend tryst with McElhone’s Alex Forrest has disastrous consequences. Written by James Dearden, the world stage premiere of Fatal Attraction will open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on March 25. Bazeley was last onstage in Nunn’s production of Scenes From A Marriage. His TV credits include Death In Paradise, The Accused and Mistresses. His feature work includes The Queen, The Damned United and The Special Relationship. Davis is making her West End stage debut in the Fatal Attraction adaptation. In 2012, she made her Broadway bow in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

West End Attendance Up 4% In 2013; Sales Jumps 11%
Also in West End news, The Society of London Theatre has released record 2013 box office figures. Overall attendances increased 4% and gross sales were up 11% to £585.5M. The org puts the hikes down to improved seat capacity and strong advance sales, which jumped by an average of 21% and peaked at more than £70M in December. Major new musicals The Book Of Mormon, the Sam Mendes-directed Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Commitments and Once helped push attendance at tuners up 3%. Charlie recently extended its run until May 20, 2015. The show also recently broke the record for the highest reported weekly gross sales for a second time, taking a total of £1.08M in the week commencing December 30, 2013. Plays that had a strong year included the Michael Grandage Company Season and The Audience starring Helen Mirren.

Foxtel Picks Up Third Season Of Prison Drama ‘Wentworth’
Australia’s Foxtel is moving forward with a 3rd season of prison drama WentworthWentworth from FremantleMedia Australia. Shooting is underway for season two of Wentworth with production on season three starting in March. Wentworth is a reimagining of the classic Australian drama Prisoner Cell Block H that has also aired in New Zealand and the UK as well having sold in more than 20 other countries. A German version is in pre-production. Wentworth is distributed internationally by FremantleMedia International.

Shine International Inks Output Deal With Discovery Latin America
Shine International has entered a distribution deal with Discovery Latin America for more than 290 hours of new and returning primetime programming. Titles in the package include One Born Every Minute, MasterChef Australia and The Biggest Loser. This marks Shine’s largest Latin American overall deal to date.

Sony Pictures TV Sells ‘Release The Hounds’ Format To ProSieben
Hot off a full-series deal with the UK’s ITV, Sony Pictures Television has made its first international format sale on horror/game show Release The Hounds. German broadcaster Release the HoundsProSieben has acquired the format and SPT Productions Germany will produce a two-hour special for ProSieben to air in March. The German version will be called Scream! If You Can and be filmed in partnership with the show’s creators, Gogglebox. Release The Hounds sees unsuspecting contestants enter a forest at dusk where they face terrifying challenges to get their hands on money locked in chests. To do so, they have to out-run a pack of hounds guarding the loot.

Slew Of Deals For Season 3 Of ‘Braquo’
Zodiak Rights has sealed a raft of deals on French cop drama Braquo. The 3rd season of the International Emmy-winning series produced by Capa Drama for Canal Plus has been picked up by Foxtel in Australia, Fox in the UK, Globosat in Brazil, Hot in Israel and Rialto in New Zealand. Other partners who acquired all three seasons include K+ in Vietnam, HRT in Croatia and Viasat in Bulgaria. Braquo has previously been sold to Hulu for the U.S. The third season is written by Abdel Raouf Dafri (A Prophet, Mesrine). Jean-Hugues Anglade, Joseph Malerba, Karole Rocher and Nicolas Duvauchelle star.