Magazine article Screen International

Italy's Lucky Red Strikes Gold with Ghibli 'Event' Releases

Magazine article Screen International

Italy's Lucky Red Strikes Gold with Ghibli 'Event' Releases

Article excerpt

Since acquiring the company library in 2005, Italian distributor Lucky Red has energised new audiences and found commercial success through a string of two and three-day Studio Ghibli releases (new and old), which are being termed 'event' launches in Italy.

While not 'event' releasing as it is known in the UK, Lucky Red has created itself a lucrative niche in the local market through the short-burst release strategy (which doesn't come with the dressing up or participatory immersion of a Secret Cinema).

In 2011 the two-day release of From Up On Poppy Hill grossed euro162,000 from 132 screens

Last weekend the two-day re-release of 1988 classic My Neighbour Totoro grossed euro71,000 after luring 8,000 customers to 166 screens only seven years after its first release.

Screen averages aren't game-changing but margins are strong.

"Event distribution is effective in proportional terms, not absolute ones," explained Lucky Red founder Andrea Occhipinti.

"The total gross may be equivalent to the traditional release but marketing costs are ten times lower".

"When we re-released Princess Mononoke as an event in 2014 it resulted in euro68,000 at the box office," continued Occhipinti. "That's more than twice what it grossed on its first Italian release in 2000. Obviously there has also been a change in the way Hayao Miyazaki is perceived thanks to an Oscar, a honorary award in Venice and a retrospective at the Rome Film Festival".

New-release 2013 animation The Wind Rises grossed euro1m in only four days from 214 screens. …

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