My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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4 items from 2006

'Cloggers' creator hopes steps lead to stardom

13 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Can an unknown actress-turned-writer dance her way to stardom?

That was the dream Julia Fowler harbored last week, standing on the roof of a parking structure on the edge of Beverly Hills with a view of the Hollywood sign.

As she prepared with a series of quick stretches for what would be an unorthodox pitch session, several casually dressed executives gathered in front of a makeshift black floor measuring 20 feet by 14 feet.

Fowler watched as one her three producers began her introductory spiel. Five years of struggling as an actress had led Fowler to this, a weeklong series of pitch meetings designed to win her -- a la Sylvester Stallone and Rocky, Billy Bob Thornton and Sling Blade, Nia Vardalos and My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- the lead role in a movie that she had written.

"This'll be memorable, if nothing else," whispered one seen-it-all exec. (The company where this particular version of the pitch took place declined to be named.)

Fowler stepped forward onto the unconventional dance floor, and then she and a group of costumed dancers exploded into stomping and hopping. The floor of the structure vibrated as if an earthquake were hitting the city. First, the execs' jaws dropped, and then they broke into smiles.

Possum Trot Cloggers is the name of the project for which Fowler hoped to drum up interest. A romantic comedy set in the world of competitive clogging, it has Howard Deutch attached to direct with North Country executive producer Helen Bartlett, Flyboys director Tony Bill and TV movie producer Diane Sokolow all on board to produce.

The project was under option to New Line Cinema, which, after deciding not to go forward with the project, let the producers seek a new home for it. The producers and director -- who believed in their writer-star even before she aced a screen test at New Line -- strategized with their agents at ICM on how best to sell a project about a world mostly unknown to those west of Highland Avenue. »

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Picturehouse enlists Marblestone

5 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Arthur Marblestone has joined Picturehouse as its senior executive vp marketing and distribution.

Marblestone, who will report to president Bob Berney in the company's New York office, has more than 25 years of experience in the film business. He ran a movie theater on Long Island in New York at the start of his career -- as did Berney, who owned a theater in Dallas.

After years working in distribution at companies that include New World Pictures, Marblestone became a partner in Media First International, where he helped arrange film media campaigns, working with the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Berney when the exec was at Newmarket Films, IFC Films and then Picturehouse.

Marblestone was involved in the marketing and distribution of such films as Memento, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Passion of the Christ and A Prairie Home Companion.

"I've known and worked with Arthur for many years," Berney said. "He is a talented professional who instinctually knows what's best for a film." »

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Sales up, profits down at Splendid Medien

30 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- Sales at German distributor-licenser Splendid Medien continued to inch up in the third quarter but profits slipped slightly.

The Cologne-based group booked €6.57 million ($8.7 million) in revenue in the third quarter, up from €5.09 million over the same period last year. Net profit was €217,000 ($287,263), down from €246,000 in third-quarter 2005.

The figures for the first nine months of 2006 paint a similar picture. While revenues at Splendid climbed to €17.7 million ($23.42 million) from €15.1 million in the comparable year-ago period, net profit dropped to just €400,000 ($529,360) from €900,000.

Last year's numbers were pumped up by a retransfer of €1.1 million ($1.46 million) in liability funds that Splendid had set aside in connection with its legal wrangling with Gold Circle Films and LHO over the German licensing revenue to My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Factoring out this one-off effect, Splendid actually saw an increase in profits in 2006.

After teetering on the brink for quite some time, in part due to the Gold Circle suit, Splendid is again expanding, albeit slowly. »

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Sales up, profits not at Splendid Medien

30 May 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- German rights group Splendid Medien boosted sales but not profits in the first quarter as price-cutting in the DVD sell-through market cut into its bottom line. The Cologne-based group booked sales of €5.6 million ($7.2 million) in the first quarter, a 16% jump from the same period last year. Home entertainment accounted for 82% of the company's revenue. Profits, however, slipped to €100,000 ($130,000) from €200,000 in the first quarter of 2005. But Splendid will actually have more in-pocket this year as last year's payment to Gold Circle Films -- over disputed revenues for My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- meant Splendid booked a net loss of €200,000 in the first quarter. Splendid had a quiet Cannes this year, but did pick up a number of video titles, most prominently Jackie Chan's Rob-B-Hood from Emperor Motion Pictures. »

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