U.S.-China Deal Was In The Berlin Air: EFM Wrapup

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 12:00pm PST

Late Friday, the White House announced a new deal with China that would allow for more foreign films to be released in the nation’s movie theaters — and more money in the pockets of U.S. studios to boot. After the news broke, Mark Damon, whose Foresight Unlimited sold out on the European Film Market’s hottest title, 2 Guns, told me: “I have a feeling what just happened was already perceived by the Chinese. Buyers were out in full force and paying big numbers for theatrical releases — numbers you couldn’t afford if you were just going to video or TV.” Buyers, Damon noted, were also willing to give up censorship clauses during the EFM, which ran alongside the just-ended Berlin International Film Festival. “Up until now they would do a two-tier deal: X if a movie went theatrical and Y if it didn’t and Y would be substantially less. This time, they weren’t insisting on those.” The new agreement allows foreign studios a 25% share of box office as opposed to the traditional 13% and provides for 14 additional titles outside the 20-film quota. Chinese box office is projected to hit $5 billion from a potential 16,000 screens in 2015. There are currently about 6,200 screens. Talk about a need for product. One European exec tells me they’ve heard that on pictures where you’d normally expect to get, say, $50,000, the Chinese will now pay as much as $500,000. Read More »

Comments (2)

Steven Soderbergh’s Stripper Movie ‘Magic Mike’ Gyrating Toward Warner Bros?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While several studios are in the mix on the Steven Soderbergh-directed Magic Mike, I’m told that Warner Bros has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire domestic distribution rights and that a deal could be done by next week. The … Read More »

Comments 36

FilmNation Grabs Mike Jones Spec ‘In The Event Of A Moon Disaster’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against … Read More »

Comments (15)

Berlin: Echo Lake, Blue Ice Launch Film Fund With Pedro Almodovar First Up

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Echo Lake Entertainment president Doug Mankoff and Blue Ice Entertainment’s Steven Silver  and Neil Tabatznik have unveiled Blue Lake Entertainment, a fund to finance films with budget $10 million and higher. The 8-figure fund is backed by private investors … Read More »

Comments (4)

FilmNation Not Alone In Contracting Scarlett Fever

Mike Fleming

The flood of AFM project packages has started (how many of them actually happen is a question for another day), and FilmNation has announced it will handle international sales for the Jonathan Glazer-directed Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson has been attached to star in the science fiction film scripted by Walter Campbell and Glazer, the latter of whom directed Sexy Beast. She plays an alien on earth, disguised as a mesmerizing woman who uses her voracious sexuality to scour remote highways and desolate scenery to snare human prey. It’s based on a Michel Faber novel. Said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner: “We’re so excited to be working on this arrestingly original movie. How could we pass up the chance to work with a visionary director like Jonathan, especially when combined with the intriguing notion of Scarlett Johansson as a ruthless alien seductress?” Nick Wechsler is producing with James Wilson and Film4′s Tessa Ross is exec producing and the UK Film Council and Scottish Screen are also involved. Read More »

Comments 25

FilmNation Takes On ‘Message’ Movie

Mike Fleming

Message From The King, a thriller that once had Will Smith and Michael Mann circling before it languished when Warner Independent Pictures folded, is generating some new heat. Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has come aboard to produce the action thriller and package it for spring 2011 production start. FilmNation’s Aaron … Read More »

Comments (1)