Magazine article Variety

High-Profile Pics Draw Deals at Lively Euro Film Mart

Magazine article Variety

High-Profile Pics Draw Deals at Lively Euro Film Mart

Article excerpt

CONFOUNDING INDUSTRY pessimism, Berlin's 2018 European Film Market proved the most vibrant in years, led by titles such as "Green Book" with Viggo Mortensen, "Kung Fury" with Michael Fassbender, "Afterburn" with Gerard Butler and Roland Emmerich's epic "Maya Lord."

The surprising buoyancy can be ascribed to a flurry of last-minute announcements of big new projects. Emmerich only presented "Maya Lord," a historical drama budgeted in the $60 million-$70 mil- lion range, to buyers Thursday, the first day of the EFM. Even later came news of Arnold Schwarzenegger's attachment to "Kung Fury," and of the director (Jung Byung-gil) and sales agent (Capstone Group) for "Afterburn," a $60 million futuristic action adventure.

By the weekend, there were at least a dozen big titles "which everyone, one way or another, is trying to get," said Ivan Boeing of Brazil's Imagem, talking about mainstream distributors.

Buzzy deals include the announcement Monday of distribution in most major territories for Lionsgate Intl.'s drama-comedy "Green Book," from Peter Farrelly. It should sell out by market's end. Lionsgate had reportedly started pre-sales even before the market began on a powerful slate topped by "Green Book," Keanu Reeves' "John Wick: Chapter 3" and sci-fiactioner "Hummingbird" with Milla Jovovich.

STX Intl. revealed it is selling out on Alicia Vikander psychological thriller "The Marsh King's Daughter," Jake Gyllenhaal crime thriller "Finest Kind" and "Killer's Game" with Jason Statham.

John Friedberg, head of sales at STX, noted, "It has been a busy market for us, and I hear for other companies like FilmNation. We may have had two of the top titles in the market in 'Finest Kind' and 'The Marsh King's Daughter.' And we were very pleased by the reception for our animation presentation in Berlin at the Adlon Hotel, which included new title 'Ugly Dolls.' "

STX itself bought "Finest Kind" and "The Marsh King's Daughter" for the U.K., where it is a distributor. The rest, Friedberg said, was sold through output deals and sales won't be announced title by title.

Studiocanal's family adventure "Mia and the White Lion," produced by Jacques Perrin ("Winged Migration"), will be almost sold out after the market, the company's Anne Chérel said.

Other high-profile films sparking large distributor interest included Cornerstone's "After the Wedding" starring Julianne Moore, FilmNation's "Personal History of David Copperfield" and Sierra/Affinity's "Ben's Back" with Julia Roberts. …

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