Summertime blues

Tentpoles look to beat Italy’s seasonal doldrums

ROME — Aiming to end Italy’s summer box office blues, Hollywood majors and Italo distribs have agreed to release a rich offering of A-list U.S. pics between May and July.

A persistent dive in summer moviegoers separates release patterns in Italy from those in the rest of Europe and causes a glut of product during the rest of the year. The country is the only major territory where “Shrek 2” has yet to unspool; it will be a Christmas pic.

“After years of fruitless talk and real sacrifices, Italy will no longer have a summer problem,” vowed UIP Italy chief Richard Borg, who also heads Unidim, the country’s distributors org.

The breakthrough, which revolves around six U.S. titles going out in Italy day-and-date with the rest of Europe, was announced during an annual distributors and exhibitors confab.

The films are Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven” via Medusa and Fox’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which will unspool in May; “Batman Begins” from Warner Bros. and UIP’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” in June; and Sony Pictures Releasing Intl.’s “The Longest Yard” and Fox sci-fier “Fantastic Four” in July.

The Rome confab also celebrated a 10% rise in Italian admissions for 2004 to date, with total ticket sales expected to reach 125 million by year’s end.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading