First time movie made with eye on American market, prexy sez

BERLIN — German production house and distribbery Constantin Film is set to up its U.S. activities following the stellar Stateside debut of videogame-to-movie franchise, “Resident Evil,” starring Milla Jovovich.

“This was the first time we’ve made a movie with a deliberate eye on the U.S. market, and now we’re going to be giving it much more attention,” said Constantin Film’s prexy and creative topper Bernd Eichinger. “We’ve had success before with ‘Name of the Rose’ and ‘The Neverending Story,’ but they were more European films. Right now, for example, we’ve got three projects with Fox, including Marvel Comics’ ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Silver Surfer.’ ”

Co-produced by Constantin Film and New Legacy Film and released by Sony Pictures/Screen Gems, the $30 million kick-zombie-horrorfest landed in second spot in the U.S. charts, pulling in $18.2 million in its first three days last weekend and making it the most successful U.S. start for a German movie.

At Monday’s European preem, held at the CinemaxX on Berlin’s Potsdamerplatz, home to the Berlin Filmfest, helmer Paul Anderson poured kudos on cast and crew, calling his Teuton stuntmen “the best I’ve ever worked with. I look forward to blowing up more of them again.”

Another Constantin production, Wild West satire “Manitou’s Shoe,” has become the best-performing flick in German movie history, notching up more than 11 million admissions. It is set for a summer re-release.

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