European distributors have finally set their lineups for an autumn avalanche of Hollywood hits, and most say “Jurassic Park” won’t be the only pic pulling dino-size audiences into theaters this fall.
Action-pic superstars Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the hit thriller based on the 1960s TV show “The Fugitive” and the ’30 s throwback romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle” are all looking good to Euro execs.
“That’s what makes this fall different from other years — a bigger number of big films,” said Vito Mattassino, marketing director for United Intl. Pictures in Rome.
Besides “Jurassic,” reps from England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany are looking for big things out of “In the Line of Fire,””The Firm,””Sleepless in Seattle,””Last Action Hero” and “The Fugitive.”
The question marks are “What’s Love Got to Do With It,””Hocus Pocus,””Dave” and, surprise, “Last Action Hero.”
Most are positioning films to counter the heavy male skew the leading action pix will present.
“In the Line of Fire” is being unleashed Aug. 27 in the U.K., a week earlier than the original date. “That gives us a head start on the September competition , which is the most crowded month,” said Columbia TriStar ad-pub director Jon Anderson.
The distrib wanted a cushion between the Wolfgang Petersen thriller and “The Firm,” slated for Sept. 10. Col TriStar believes “In the Line of Fire” will do far more business in the U.K. than the traditional Eastwood vehicle, based on its domestic success, the popularity of the thriller genre in the U.K., and because he plays a highly sympathetic character.
“Line of Fire” debuts Oct. 28 in Germany and is expected to appeal to the Eastwood following without being too specifically American. Equally important is the marketing value of director Wolfgang Petersen, a German and a media star in his own right.
“Line” is expected to cash in big in Italy on Eastwood’s post-“Unforgiven” popularity, plus, older moviegoers remember him from his days starring in Sergio Leone’s now-classic spaghetti Westerns.
“We’re expecting big biz in Spain with ‘The Firm,’ ” Col’s Spanish topper Ernest Victoria said. “The film will open the San Sebastian Film Festival on Sept. 16, as part of a big promotional push, and open around Spain soon thereafter.”
In Germany, where “The Firm” opens Oct. 14, star Tom Cruise’s popularity will be accented. Both “Top Gun” and “Cocktail” were enormously successful and his role in “A Few Good Men” seems to have established him with an older audience, according to one UIP marketing exec.
Another name entering the fray late in the states but quickly overseas is Harrison Ford, who’ll be working hard to promote “The Fugitive.”
“All the ladies will see ‘Sleepless’; all the boys and ladies will see ‘The Fugitive,’ ” WB topper Maj-Britt Kirchner said. “The Fugitive” appears to have the role as the Continental competitor against “Sleepless in Seattle,” which Col TriStar is already calling “the love story of the romantic ’90s.”