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Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; MoreAndré Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
Flying the flag for event cinema, André Rieu’s 2014 10th Anniversary Maastricht Concert became the UK’s highest-grossing music event of all time at the box office this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, CinemaLive screened the concert at 410 locations across the UK and Ireland, grossing $1.42M. The concert also screened at 234 moviehouses in European markets including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Finland and Croatia, bringing the total gross box office figure to more than $2.05M for the weekend. Rieu’s July 2013 cinema concert event set UK records with about $766K. The massive jump this year is one more feather in the cap of live event cinema which has been growing in popularity with music- and theater-loving crowds. Classical violinist Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz”, is known for his energetic and festive live performances. He has sold more than 35M albums worldwide. Further screenings of the concert will take place this coming weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia and South East Asia to ultimately reach more than 1,000 cinema screens in 35 countries. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start adding these to my international weekend box office reports.

'400 Blows' centerpiece of Venice Film Festival PosterVenice Critics’ Week Lineup Revealed
The National Union of Italian Film Critics has unveiled its selection for the 29th running of Critics’ Week at the … Read More »

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AFM Briefs: Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane To Star In ‘Somnia’; Image Acquires ‘Drive Hard’; Myriad To Sell ‘Frontera’ Overseas; ’10 Things I Hate About Life’ Revived; More

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 1:21pm PST

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Sierra/Affinity has added two titles to its lineup for the AFM, both directed by Mike Flanagan, and both originally with the soon-to-shutter Focus Features International. The first is Flanagan’s Oculus, which premiered in Toronto and was acquired by Relativity for U.S. distribution. The other is Flanagan’s follow-up, Somnia, which will star Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane. Flanagan wrote the script with his Oculus partner Jeff Howard (the pair recently sold their original pitch, Peekers, to Lionsgate). Production starts November 11th. Somnia is about an orphaned child whose dreams and nightmares manifest physically as he sleeps. Demarest Films and MICA Entertainment are financing, with Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy and Demarest’s Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson Producing. Mali Elfman and D. Scott Lumpkin are executive producers. Bosworth is repped by CAA, Radius Entertainment, and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern. Jane is repped by Paradigm and Ziffren Brittenham. Flanagan and Howard are with APA, Affirmative Entertainment, and Nelson Davis Wetzstein.

Image Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the actioner Drive Hard starring John Cusack (The Number Station, 2012) and Jane (The Punisher). The pic recently finished production in Australia and is set for a theatrical release next year. Brian Trenchard-Smith directed from a screenplay by Chad and Evan Law about a former race car driver-turned-driver’s training instructor (Jane) who is abducted by a mysterious thief (Cusack) and forced to be the wheelman for a crime that puts both in the sights of the cops and the mob and leads them all on a chase across Australia’s Gold Coast.

Myriad Pictures said it will handle worldwide sales outside the U.S. and Canada on the dramatic thriller Frontera starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña. Michael Berry directed and co-wrote the script with Luis Moulinet III. CAA is repping U.S. and Canadian rights to the pic, which follows the events that take place after a former U.S. sheriff’s wife (Amy Madigan) is fatally injured while riding on her ranch property in the dangerous border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Read More »

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Altitude Launches UK Distribution Arm; Sets Three Titles For Release

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:19am PDT

Will Clarke and Andy Mayson’s Altitude Film Entertainment is moving into the distribution space with the launch of Altitude Film Distribution. Former Momentum exec Hamish Moseley will head up the division whose first titles will be Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary; Morgan Neville’s Sundance debut 20 Feet From Stardom; and The Loch, a horror thriller starring Peter Mullan. The UK has been ripe for new distribution entrants since Momentum was folded into eOne after the latter took over Alliance, and with the disappearance of specialty company Revolver. Altitude Distribution’s launch comes just over a month after Icon UK announced its return to the business. Clarke, who founded Optimum Releasing and left the operation after it was taken over by Studiocanal, says the new company will source a “substantial number” of films from the international marketplace for UK distribution, as well as releasing films from its own production slate. Altitude’s recent production slate has included the James McAvoy-starrer Filth and the currently shooting Big Game with Samuel L Jackson which eOne will release in the UK. The company also has an international arm, Altitude Film Sales, which is run by Mike Runagall.

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