Afm: First look at Omar Sy in 'Dr Knock'

Afm: First look at Omar Sy in 'Dr Knock'
Exclusive: Sy stars as a conman doctor in the revival of the classic French satire; TF1 is handling sales.

French actor Omar Sy stars in Dr. Knock as a conman doctor who convinces the healthy inhabitants of a small French village they are suffering from previously undiagnosed illnesses to bump up his earnings.

The French-language feature, which is in post-production, is a big screen revival of French playwright Jules Romains 1923 satire Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine.

It was previously adapted for cinema by Guy Lefranc in 1951 in a version starring renowned French actor Louis Jouvet.

Lorraine Lévy directed the new version, budgeted at €12m and produced by Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier. TF1 Studio has kicked off sales at the Afm where it is premiering a first promo.

Intouchables star Sy – who now divides his time between Paris and Los Angeles – is soon to be seen in Ron Howard’s Inferno and French director [link=nm
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French Film Festival UK to open with Chomet

  • ScreenDaily
French Film Festival UK to open with Chomet
This year’s French Film Festival UK, celebrating its 21st edition, will present Sylvain Chomet’s Attila Marcel as its opening night gala.

The touring event, founded in Scotland, will welcome Chomet to screenings in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow of his first live-action film. His producer Claudie Ossard will also attend.

Attila Marcel, which premiered in Toronto, is about a mute young man being raised by his accentric aunts; a neighbour gives him a magical potion that unlocks his repressed childhood memories.

Richard Mowe, director and co-founder of the Festival, said: “We are delighted that Sylvain who continues as patron of the event, will come back with such a wonderful gift. When we saw him at the ceremony for his honorary degree he promised we would have the premiere of his new film - and he has been as good as his word. We are hosting a gala party for him and the film at the Caledonian
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Raphael Berdugo of Cite Films, Paris - France's Most Prolific Distributor?

Faith Connections is a new film by the Director Pan Nalin, an Indian filmmaker living in France which will have its world premiere in the upcoming Tiff Toronto Film Festival Doc section.

The film's background is an amazing Indian pilgrimage ritual which is done only every 12 years and involves 100 million people who gather in a sacred place on the Ganges River to bathe and celebrate religious rituals.

The three interconnected but parallel stories involve a yogi who finds an abandoned baby, a 10 year old orphan who is homeless, and a poor family, villagers, whose 2 year old boy disappears during the pilgrimage and they fear kidnap.

This Indian French co-produciton Faith Connections was being sold and was produced by Raphael Berdugo, it has recently been bought by Sophie Dulac Distribution who acquired the rights for France distribution.

Raphael Berdugo is a very busy guy. His acquired and produced films, sold by his sales agent brand Cite Films are successful, of the highest quality and widely honored. He does his own sales and attends the Markets at Festivals such as Cannes, Tiff Toronto and Berlin.

The Other Son (Fils de l'Autre) 2012 has been picked up for Us by the excellent Us distributor Cohen Media. In Tokyo Ff 2012 it won the Grand Prize and Best Director honors for Lorraine Levy.

Miele 2013 was honored this year at Cannes Film Festival with inclusion in the Certain Regard section.

It concerns Irene, nicknamed 'Honey', she devotes herself to people looking for help, and tries to alleviate their suffering even when they make extreme decisions. One day she has to cope with Grimaldi and his invisible malaise. Italian Directed by Valeria Golino.

The film received a Special Mention at Cannes by the Ecumenical Jury.

It is currently seeking a Us deal and one interested company, among others, has been the Us giant Participant.

Slightly Sane also is by the above Director Pan Nalin is a tough story set during the chaotic 1947 Partition between India and Pakistan. It involves insane people and a man who goes to an asylum seeking revenge for his wife's death against a locked up rapist there.

Code Name Madeleine is based on a true story, final script is pending. Set during WW2 an Indian girl with a Us mom lives in France and decides to return to Indian high family roots after her dad dies. When the War begins she returns to the UK, is recruited as a spy and sent back to German occupied France.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Austin Jewish Film Festival Starts Tomorrow Night

The always-popular Austin Jewish Film Festival is back with a selection of stimulating films. The fest starts tomorrow night (Saturday, April 13) and runs through Friday, April 19 at Regal Arbor. Tickets and festival badges are still available, and some noon screenings are free.

Austin Film Society is co-sponsoring two of the fest's movies this year:

The Other Son (pictured above) (Lorraine Levy, France/Israel, 2012) is a powerful, yet hopeful, portrait of two young men -- one Palestinian, one Israeli -- switched at birth. They learn to transcend cultural, national and religious boundaries after they meet. [screening info]Out in the Dark (Michael Mayer, Israel, 2012) joins the growing list of well-made Israeli films exploring gay life in Israel. In this film, we see the difficulties of love between a young Palestinian student and a slightly older Israeli lawyer. In a well-acted but tough role as a homophobic cop, new Austin resident Alon Pdut proves
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"The Other Son" Overcomes Melodrama and an Identity Crisis

Though an interesting concept for its allowance of demonstrating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of two families, Lorraine Levy's The Other Son (or Le fils de l'autre) finds most of its success as a story of two men figuring out how much of one's identity comes from genetics versus environment. Despite a bit of melodrama stirred up to unnecessarily create more strife from the film's child swap than really makes sense, The Other Son stays on track and gives both boys the room required to think things through and come to terms with their newfound heritages and decide how they're going to affect their lives. Mehdi Dehbi and Jules Sitruk shoulder weight of the film with a lot of support from the couples playing their families (with Emmanuelle Devos doing more than her fair share - if only because most of the story happens on the Israel side
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Blu-ray Review: Lorraine Levy’s ‘The Other Son’ Transcends Cultural Boundaries

Chicago – Remember that episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” where Rob and Laura Petrie become convinced that the baby they took home from the hospital is not their own? Imagine if they were right and that 18 years had passed before they came to this crushing realization. And imagine if the birth parents weren’t a kindly black couple, and instead the Petrie’s sworn enemies?

That’s what occurs, more or less, in Lorraine Levy’s deeply moving French drama, “The Other Son,” in which two sets of parents—one Israeli, the other Palestinian—learn that they’ve been mistakenly raising each others’ child. Instead of devolving into a knee-jerk melodrama where speechifying compensates for character depth, Levy’s film unfolds into a warmly humanistic, richly empathetic portrait of families learning to transcend the boundaries of their culture. Since Levy is neither Israeli nor Palestinian, she’s able to bring a clear-eyed,
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Cohen Media Group Buys Ben MacIntyre’s WWII Spy Tale For Miniseries Treatment

Frozen River producer Charles S. Cohen has acquired rights to Ben MacIntyre‘s bestseller Double Cross: The True Story Of The D-Day Spies, with plans for his production-distribution company Cohen Media Group to turn it into an international miniseries for cable and broadcast. The final installment of MacIntyre’s World War II trilogy is based on the efforts of five Allied operatives who specialized in turning German spies into double agents. They greatly aided the success of the D-Day assault and eventual Allied victory. The first two books in the trilogy from MacIntyre, an editor at the Times Of London, were Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat; Crown published Double Cross in July. Stephen Dembitzer negotiated the rights deal on behalf of Cohen and CAA’s Robert Bookman on behalf of MacIntyre. On the feature film side, Cohen Media recently released Lorraine Levy’s The Other Son, starring Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbe,
See full article at Deadline TV »

Argo & The Other Son: The Discreet Charm of Relevance

As Susan Sontag noted, "Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future." 

Ben Affleck's Argo and Lorraine Levy's The Other Son, both centered in the Middle East, put to use the past to comment on the present and, in a sense, predict the future, with seesawing views of optimism.

Affleck, who turned 40 this past August, has apparently channeled his aging testosterone away from tabloid-worthy lasciviousness and toward life-affirming artistry. After Gone Baby Gone,  The Town, and now Argo, there is no longer any doubt that the star of Chasing Amy and the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter of Good Will Hunting is now permanently ensconced among the A-list of American directors.

Argo, a recreation of a loony, covert CIA plot to rescue six Americans from Iran during the Carter era, is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat-grabbing thriller that works even if you already know the ending.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Ship Of Theseus wins award at Tokyo International Film Festival : Film Festivals & Markets

Anand Gandhi’s debut feature Ship Of Theseus won the Best Artistic Contribution Award for its Director of Photography Pankaj Kumar at the Tokyo International Film Festival that concluded on 28th October 2012. The Grand Prix of the festival went to The Other Son a film directed by Lorraine Levy who also received the best director prize. The audience award went to Flashback Memories 3D directed by Tetsuaki Matsue. Here is the complete awards list and the statements of the winners and the Jury comments Read More...
See full article at Bollywood Trade »

Israeli-Palestinian Drama 'The Other Son' Wins Tokyo Film Fest

  • The Wrap
Lorraine Levy's Palestinian/Israeli drama, "The Other Son," won the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, the top award at the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival, on Sunday night. Levy also took home the best director honors at the festival, which marks the final go-round for festival chairman, Tom Yoda. The special jury prize went to Kang Yi-kwan's "Juvenile Offender." Seo Young-joo, who stars in the film, was awarded the best actor prize. The best actress award went to Neslihan Atagul for "Araf -- Somewhere in Between." Tetsuaki Matsui's "Flashback Memories 3D," about a
See full article at The Wrap »

The Other Son -The Review

The Palestine/Israel conflict is at the center of the well-meaning but predictable switched-at-birth drama The Other Son, a French-Israeli co-production. At times, it’s a moving and inspirational film but it’s also clumsy and a bit dull. Joseph (Jules Sitruk), is an 18-year-old musician about to join the Israeli army for his mandatory military service. He lives at home in a middle class suburb of Tel Aviv with his parents, French doctor Orith (Emmanuelle Devos) and Israel army commander Alon Silbers (Pascal Elbe). When Joseph gets his blood test for the military service, it’s revealed that these are not his biological parents after all. It turns out that during the Gulf War, Joseph was evacuated from a clinic along with another baby, and the two were given back to the wrong families. Oops! While Palestinian Joseph went to Tel Aviv with the Silbers, their actual Jewish son,
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The Other Son | Review

Changelings: Israel Vs. Palestine Gets Nature Vs. Nurture Fable in Levy’s Latest

The age old Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets a dramatic facelift in French writer/director Lorraine Levy’s latest film, The Other Son. This tale of babies switched at birth is basically a fable that one imagines would seem to be a more tragic nightmare scenario in its land of origin than less volatile shores. However, the dramatic arc is not, of course, the switcheroo, but rather that the switch involves an Israeli and Palestinian baby. Now, after eighteen years, the mistake gets discovered, exposing results like those expected of a grand social experiment.

Joseph (Jules Sitruk), a nearly eighteen year old aspiring musician is about to enter into his mandatory military duty with the air force. His mother, the French born physician Orith (Emmanuelle Devos), notices that the blood test results from his physical examinations cannot possibly be correct.
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New Year, New York, Jews in the News, Part I

To my friends and readers: We are about to conclude the Jewish High Holidays which began 10 days ago with Rosh Hashanah and ends tomorrow with Yom Kippur. In the spirit of this season, I must ask everyone, if I have offended any of you, whether knowingly or unknowingly, I ask your forgiveness. If I have not published articles I promised you I would, please forgive me. I meant to when I said I would but have so many other commitments and things I must do. I am sure that the article is not forgotten and I may get to it in the coming year. But I ask forgiveness for overreaching and for commitments and promises I have not kept.

By the way this free ranging stream of consciousness blog will go, it could also be called Jews in the News, the “News” being New Years and New York, and of course films. Imagining this as a new feature, and because it might only run once a year, I am going to use it here as a platform to mention everyone on my mind as they come up as a sort of New Year’s wrap up of things left undone.

To begin, I am writing about all the people and things I saw and did in New York and, again, I hope friends I don’t mention will forgive me. Like Lynda Hansen whom I did see at New York Film Society's Walter Reade Theater…or Wanda Bershan whom I saw across the room at a press screening or Gary Crowdes the editor-in-chief of Cineaste Magazine and whom I meant to greet but didn’t. I saw so many old New York friends and acquaintances and because it was New Years and a time of reflection, I revisited what were my circumstances when I left it in 1985 to return to L.A.

When I first moved to New York in 1980 to work for ABC Video Enterprises, I had spent 5 years practicing Orthodox Judaism. Being in New York represented the apotheosis of all things Jewish (outside of Israel, whose films and festivals will be the subject of another blog - excuse me Katriel Schory of the Israeli Film Fund and Alesia Weston the new director of the Jerusalem Film Festival). In New York, even those who were not Jewish by religion seemed Jewish to me by virtue of living in New York. When I realized this, my own Orthdoxy fell away from me as if I were shedding a cloak. I understood that my Jewish self was Jewish no matter what life style I would live. And I liked the New York life style most of all.

After Tiff 12 (Toronto International Film Festival 2012), Peter and I came for a week of relaxation to New York City. What a city! So New York, in-your-face, loud, crowded, lots of horns honking, and people: People. The best. We saw our friends, we saw New York with New Eyes.

We arrived by train from the airport, straight to our apartment! What great rapid transit, even if it is old and ugly, so blackened by dirt and age. I noticed new decorations on some walls of some stations, some works were better than others. I wish we had such a quick easy way to zoom around our fair city of L.A.

We stayed in an apartment in Chelsea – that of our daughter’s mother-in-law who lives half the year in the apartments built by the Amalgamated Ladies Garment Union. (The other half she spends in Truro.) Such history! Coincidently these are the very apartments I had wanted to live in when I was leaving NYC in 1985.

We were invited to a screening by Hisami Kuroiwa, whose friendship goes back to our early days in Cannes, or back to the days she produced Smoke and Blue in the Face with my other old friend Peter Newman. Araf (Venice Ff, Tokyo Ff, Isa: The Match Factory), which she associate produced, will be presented at the New York Film Festival (NYFF50), September 28 – October 14. The press screening at the new Walter Reade Theater was a great treat. The film’s director, Yesim Ustaoglu, ♀, who also directed Journey to the Sun and Pandora’s Box spoke via Skype at the press Q&A afterward.

Araf in Turkish means “somewhere in between”. The Somewhere in Between in the film is a 24-hour restaurant halfway between Ankara and Istanbul. The young girl whose first job it is; her friend – an “older” woman, not much older than herself who becomes her guide to adulthood; the girl’s childhood friend who works there as a teaboy and whose mother is not much older than the other two women and a truck driver who comes through en route, are the protagonists in this piece which brings to life a very distant place where the people’s most intimate issues are very much like our own to the degree that all the women share the same life issues of sex, love, work and family today in a world where traditions are giving way to the exigencies of modern life.

The issues are so much the same as what we are facing today, namely, our own bodies and all that entails. Parenthetically, these are the same issues in The Patience Stone (Isa: Le Pacte), which takes my prize for the Best Female Film at Tiff 12.

Both of these films deeply affected me in my own ways. When I say “affected”, what I mean is that some thought comes into my head which seems unrelated to the film but comes so suddenly and vividly to me and illuminates some part of my life. When this happens to me during a film, I know the film is really good because it is affecting a subconscious part of me and of something of concern to me. A thought comes to me which makes my life come together in a new way and I sometimes feel transformed by the experience. This is my criteria for what makes a good film. Of course story, script, direction, cast, music, costume and art decoration also count, but in the end, it is the emotional impact a film has upon me as a passive viewer which makes it a winning film for me. The same pertains to me for all art, whether painting, architecture (Wow factor here for NYC on the architecture front!) , sculpture, music, dancing, etc.

We were given a week’s guest pass to The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers by Alan Adelson whose documentary about James Joyce's hero, Leo Bloom in Ulysses, In Bed with Ulysses, is an exciting new film which I hope to see in the upcoming festival circuit. At the dinner, prepared and served by Alan and his wife Katie Taverna, an editor, who also has a new documentary about to surface, I was astounded by their home - so New York. Only in New York could someone live in Tribeca’s 19th century warehouse district in such an architecturally unique home amid such astounding works of art. Docu filmmaker, Deborah Schaffer and her late dear husband, the N.Y. architecht, Larry Bagdanow, introduced us to Alan several years ago. He also publishes Jewish Heritage Press, and he gave me a beautiful book entitled, The Last Bright Days: A Young Woman’s life in a Lithuanian Shtetl on the Eve of the Holocaust . Beile Delechy who, along with her brother, were the photographers for a small town called Kararsk in Lithuania, brought her photographs with her when she left Europe for the U.S. in 1938. They show the everyday reality for Jews and Lithuanians during the 1930s. Published by Jewish Heritage and Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, this book embodies my own aspirations. If I could have my books on my family published in such a way as this, I would die happy.

Speaking of Lithuania and this blog, being Jews in the News, must also cover some other Eastern European news because like New York, its innate character still seems Jewish, even though there are very few Jews there. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in the subject however, among the third generation since the Shoah.

Kaunas International Film Festival’s Tomas Tangmark, who heads distribution for the festival, is also a filmmaker whom I met at Wroclaw’s American Film Festival last November. By now his 12 minute short films should have wrapped. In Cannes, when we met again, he showed me his financial plan for “Breshter Bund – A Union Forever” which has received Development Support from the Swedish Film Institute and money from Swedish TV, has a production budget of around €25,000. It is about the workers at the Vindsberg factory in Vilkaviskis, Lithuania in 1896. Influenced by the current events in the world, the workers at the factory organize a strike. Their demand is a 10-hour working day. Whether they win, or lose, the outcome could change The Russian Empire. It was to shoot on location in Vilkaviskis, Lithuania in Yiddish this year.

This 12 minute short is only 1 of the 2 Yiddish language films we have heard about. Peter also heard about a feature which will be entirely in Yiddish. Thank you Coen Brothers whose A Serious Man opened the way!

When I was in Cannes this past year, I heard about Jewish Alley (Judengasse) at The Short Film Corner. Unfortunately Blancke Degenhardt Schuetz Film Produktion GmbH did not include any contact information on the brochure I picked up. Judengassse tells of the ordeal that the Jewish family Blumenfeld undergoes from 1933 to 1938. It is shot in B&W from a single camera position and presents the Holocaust and thoughts for the coexistence of different cultures in our modern society.

Also in Cannes I was so sorry to miss Raphael Berdugo’s second film since he left his company, Roissy Films, in the hands of EuropaCorp in 2008. The Other Son (Le fils de l’Autre) (Isa: La Cite, U.S.: Cohen Media Group) directed by Lorraine Levy ♀ about a man preparing to join the Israeli army who discovers he is not his parents’ biological son. In fact, he was inadvertently switched at birth with the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank.

Returning to the subject of Eastern Europe in Cannes, Odessa comes to mind. Odessa cinema tradition began in 1894, a year and a half before the Lumiere brothers showed on the Boulevard des Capucines and its first studio opened in 1907. Serge Eisenstein made Odessa legend. On the very place where Battleship Potemkin was filmed, the Odessa Film Festival holds an open-air screening for 12,000 with a view of the sea. During their first year, there were 30,000 attendees. By year three, there were 100,000. It takes place in an opera house on a level of that in Vienna, but their emperor did not pay as in Austria; the people themselves paid for the building. There are $15,000 cash prizes giving for Best Film, Best, Director, and Best Actor. Tomboy won last year. It has a small market for Russian and Ukrainian films, a pitch session and a “summer school” where the students live in tents at attend master classes and a sort of Talent Campus. There is good food by the sea! Don’t you want to attend? I’m hoping to find a way to go, especially after Ilya Dyadik, the program director, so graciously showed me all that goes on there and introduced me to Denis Maslikov, the Managing Director of the Ukrainian Producers Association. It takes place in July.

Estonia is another country on my mind. During Tiff A Lady in Paris (Isa: Pyramide) warmed my soul. Starring Jeanne Moreau, and costarring Laine MÄGI, an actress who reminds me of Katie Outinen, (Kaurimaki's favorite actress) the film was about women and love and oh so French! How could you not love the imperious Jeanne Moreau wearing Chanel and being won over by an Eastern European drudge who, under Moreau’s tutelage transforms herself in a vividly chic woman. And ,Patrick Pineau, who plays the owner of of those upscale cafes you like to have lunch in when in Paris, only needs to take one small step toward Laine, and oh la la, you too fall in love with him!

Edith Sepp, the film advisor for the Estonian Ministry of Culture, met us originally at the Vilnius Film Festival in Lithuania and we had a lot of fun hanging out there. We already had a connection to Estonia because the Estonian American documentary The Singing Revolution was our client’s film. We introduced our client to Richard Abramowitz in 2006 who did extraordinarily well with the film’s theatrical release. Edith invited us to their Cannes reception at Plage des Palmes and we continued our conversation. At Tiff 12 and Karlovy Vary, their film Mushrooming screened, but the one I am really eager to see is In the Crosswind. It shot through four seasons. The director is a 23 year old young man and this is his first film. It cost 700,000 Euros which went into historical costumes, extras and a new technology he is creating to make a profound drama about the relocation of whole populations by the Soviets, a theme which has shaped European history. I hope to see it in Berlin…or Cannes…or Venice.. The film is a sort of documentary story, somewhat similar to Waltz with Bashir, but it is old in live action and with still photography. During Cannes, they were seeking 200,000 Euros to complete the film. There is much to say about both of the Eastern European countries with their new generation of articulate and talented filmmakers. I hope they will be the subject of another blog or two in the coming year.

One last note on Eastern European films. A veteran Czech producer, Rudolf Biermann whom we know since the early days of Karlovy Vary's freedom from the Soviet bloc, is still producing young, fresh comedies like the one one that showed at Tiff 12, The Holy Quaternity by Jan Hrebejk (Isa: Montecristo). This romp brings marital sex which has become boring to a new and simple solution between two couples who have been best friends throughout their marriage. It's risque and sweet and plays with two generations' differing views on the sex games we play for fun.

But I have digressed from New York...And now I must go to Yom Kippur services for the rest of today. This blog will be continued tomorrow!! Watch for Part II which will be about New York!
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The Other Son Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Title: The Other Son (Le fils de l’autre) Cohen Media Group Director: Lorraine Lévy Screenwriter: Lorraine Lévy, Nathalie Saugeon Cast: Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi, Areen Omari, Khalifa Natour, Mahmoud Shalabi Screened at: Review 1, NYC, 9/5/12 Opens: October 21, 2012 The other day I posed a question to myself. Osama bin Laden, like hundreds of millions of fellow Muslims, believed that Christians and Jews and most people in the West are infidels. Let’s imagine that bin Laden had been born in Paris of parents who are both French Catholics. What would his religion be? Catholic, of course. Conclusion? What a person believes theologically depends on geography [ Read More ]
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Exclusive: Watch The First Trailer For 'The Other Son'

Exclusive: Watch The First Trailer For 'The Other Son'
Having children switched at birth is difficult enough for the families involved, but imagine if the hospital mix-up wound up unmooring the parents' core beliefs. That's the conceit of "The Other Son," which tells the story of two families -- one Israeli and one Palestinian -- whose sons were accidentally swapped at birth.

Directed by French filmmaker Lorraine Lévy, "The Other Son" stars a multi-national troupe of actors -- Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi, Areen Omari, Khalifa Natour, Mahmood Shalabi and. Bruno Podalydes -- something Lévy felt should extend to the crew as well.

"We wanted it to be a project that brought people together," the director said in press notes. "I asked our Israeli executive producer to give a copy of the screenplay (translated into English) to each of the crew members. It was very important to me that the electrician or grip working on this
See full article at Huffington Post »

'Hancock' tops overseas boxoffice

'Hancock' tops overseas boxoffice
"Hancock" replicated its powerful No. 1 domestic opening with an estimated $78.3 million overseas from 5,444 screens in 50 markets for a mighty average of $14,382 per screen. The five-day worldwide gross stands at $185.6 million.

Will Smith's homeless superhero finished on top in 47 of the 50 territories it played, according to Sony, and outpaced in those same markets the comparable results of such international hits as "The Simpsons Movie," which grossed $343 million over the life of its foreign run; "Transformers" ($387 million); "I Am Legend," also with Will Smith ($324 million); "Spider-Man 2" ($411 million); and the original "Spider-Man" ($418 million).

"I feel comfortable that we will (wind up on the overseas circuit) in the mid-$300 million range, hopefully more," said Mark Zucker, distribution president of Sony Pictures Releasing International. He attributed "Hancock's" strong opening to a mixture of aggressive foreign promotion via personal appearances by Smith and a determination to be "one of the first pictures to open in Europe after the conclusion of the European Soccer Championships."

The biggest markets for "Hancock" were the U.K., where the weekend produced $19.3 million from 876 screens; Germany, $12.4 million from 983 sites for a 61% market share; Korea, $8.5 million from 503 situations; Australia, $7.3 million from 354 sites; China, $5.5 million from 461 screens; Brazil, $3.4 million from 400 spots; and Taiwan, $3.1 million from 150 sites or an average of $20,666 per screen.

Another newcomer -- Universal's "Mamma Mia!" -- played an exclusive one-week engagement at London's Odeon Leicester Square theater as well as at 155 situations in Greece. The romantic comedy set in Greece, starring Meryl Streep and featuring music by the '70s Swedish pop group Abba generated $1.8 million from the two territories.

The weekend's No. 2 title was DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures International's "Kung Fu Panda," which opened smartly in 20 territories. The biggest market was the U.K., where it grossed $10.7 million from 443 sites. Its overall take was $38 million from 5,448 spots in 44 markets; the overseas total is $151 million, and the worldwide cume is $344.4 million.

The No. 3 film, Disney's "The Chroncles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," debuted at No. 1 in seven territories and finished on top in 10 of the overall 42 markets it played. The gross was $24.3 million from 5,000 screens. The international cume stands at $194 million, while the global tally is $332 million.

Universal's "Wanted," No. 4 on the weekend, bowed in first place in Italy ($2.2 million from 249 locations), while the action vehicle with Angelina Jolie remained strong in Russia. The weekend tally was $18.8 million from 2,312 screens in 23 markets for an international cume of $64.2 million (worldwide, $155 million).

In fifth is Pixar/Disney's "Wall-e," which continued its gradual international rollout with an animated $12.9 million from 1,645 screens in 11 markets. The early international total stands at $18 million; the worldwide total is $146.1 million.

New Line's "Sex and the City" pushed past the $200 million overseas mark, elevating its cume to $209.3 million as it lured an estimated $7.3 million on the weekend from 5,403 screens in 55 territories.

Warners' "Get Smart," with Steve Carell, also tallied $7.3 million from 2,100 screens in 22 markets for an international cume of 34.3 million. Globally, the spy spoof has garnered $132.4 million.

Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" upped its overseas total to a whopping $429 million thanks to a $7.1 million weekend from 3,400 sites in 62 markets.

Virtually tied were Fox's "The Happening" and Marvel/Universal's "The Incredible Hulk." The M. Night Shyamalan thriller drew $5 million from 2,700 screens in 64 markets for a cume of $79 million, while the Marvel comics superhero landed $4.9 million from 3,753 situations in 56 territories for an overseas total of $95.7 million.

Adam Sandler's latest comedy via Sony, "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," pushed its international total to $23.3 million thanks to a $2 million weekend from 885 screens in nine markets. In another tie at an estimated $1.5 million each were 20th Century Fox International's "What Happens in Vegas" and Sony's "Made of Honor." The former romantic comedy played 750 screens in 22 markets for an overseas cume of $127.5 million, while the latter turned up at 1,180 sites in 29 territories for a cume of $50.6 million.

The biggest new local-language title in France was Pathe's "Mes Amis, Mes Amours," a romantic comedy co-scripted and directed by Lorraine Levy, which opened at No. 2 in Paris and grossed an estimated $2.3 million from 500 spots nationwide.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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