Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute Stalingrad in Russia, with a date to be set. The first Russian-made feature to go out in IMAX 3D is an epic love story set during the devastating WWII battle for Stalingrad that lasted more than six months and ended with the German army surrendering in 1943. Machete Kills‘ Alexander Rodnyansky produces with Sergey Melkumov for Non-Stop Production and Dmitry Rudovsky for Art Pictures. Inhabited Island helmer Fedor Bondarchuk directs from a script by Iliya Tilkin and Sergey Snezhkin. Here’s the trailer:
‘Arthur Christmas’ Slays ‘Em In The UK
Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman’s Arthur Christmas jumped to the top of the UK box office this weekend – in its fourth week of release. This bit of holiday magic came courtesy of a £1.9 million weekend take for a cume of £11.5 million. The film has been holding steady in second place since it bowed on November 11 and this weekend faced off against Happy Feet Two for the family audience. Largely positive notices and the British voice cast — including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton — have no doubt been a local draw. Sony Pictures Releasing UK’s Peter Taylor said: “Opening a movie at No. 1 in such a competitive market as the UK is difficult enough, but to reach the top of the chart in the fourth week of release is almost unprecedented. We are all delighted.”
Tom Hooper Decides Against 3D For ‘Les Miserables’
Although director Tom Hooper flirted with the idea of filming the new movie version of the hit stage musical Les Miserables in 3D, the Oscar-winning helmer of The King’s Speech has decided to stick with 2D. Hooper told the BBC he had been “very tempted” to use 3D but worried that some audiences might “physically struggle” with the format. Not to worry, purists. “I can definitely announce it’s good old-fashioned 2D,” Hooper said at the British Independent Film Awards. “I wanted to make a film that would touch everyone. I believe the story is so strong, 3D is not essential.” Hooper added that the casting of Eponine and Cosette would be announced soon. “I’ve never done a film where big star actors are as obsessed with being in it as this.” Starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert,
Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures Of Tintin has been winging through the world on its way to U.S. theaters since late October and has just flown to a $207 million international cume. Sony Pictures Releasing International and Paramount Pictures International are sharing most distrib duties abroad ahead of Paramount’s North American release on December 21, four days before Spielberg’s other Oscar hopeful, War Horse, goes out on Christmas Day.
Tintin began its run in Belgium, the native land of the comic’s creator Hergé, where it’s now taken $8.7 million. In neighboring France, the film jolted the box office in October with the best opening of any film this year, selling over 3 million tickets to leap ahead of the Harry Potter finale. Its cume there is $51.8 million. Sony has the pic in both territories. The UK and Ireland have also been big contributors to the effort for Paramount where the film now boasts a $24.3 million cume after falling just 24% in its 5th frame. Paramount also has China, where Tintin opened last weekend and just added $3 million for a $14.5 million total. Overall, the tally currently stands at $161.5 million for Sony and $45.5 million for Par releases across more than 50 territories.
Mark Zucker Retiring As President of Sony Pictures Releasing International; Steven O’Dell Tapped To Replace Him
CULVER CITY, Calif., October 19, 2011 – Mark Zucker is retiring from his role as president, Sony Pictures Releasing International, and Steven O’Dell has been promoted to fill that role, it was announced today by Rory Bruer, president, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Zucker’s retirement comes after 36 years in the industry and 27 with Sony Pictures. He has worked closely with Bruer and Jeff Blake, chairman, Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, to build an international distribution team that is among the very best in the business. Among the many, many hits in his career, Zucker orchestrated the international releases of the Spider-Man franchise, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, as well as the two most recent James Bond films, which were the highest-grossing films in franchise history. In recent years, Zucker has overseen the distribution of such international smash hits as The Smurfs® (which spent eight weeks atop the international box office charts), 2012, Hancock, and such upcoming releases as The Adventures of TinTin. Under Zucker’s leadership, Sony Pictures has surpassed $1 billion at the international box office in 11 of the past 12 years, including 2011. Since Zucker took over the reins of international distribution in 2001, SPRI has delivered 36 $100 million-plus releases and over $14 billion in box office.
O’Dell joined Sony Pictures in 2005 as a vice president and was promoted to senior vice president in 2009; in his most recent role, he oversaw Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, and Scandinavia. Prior to joining Sony, O’Dell started working in 1994 with United International Pictures (UIP) in Central America and the Caribbean. He held management posts for UIP in Chile, Austria, Brazil and Mexico. He returned to the US in 2001 to join consultancy Nadia Bronson & Associates.