UIP, U will kick off ‘Pele’ in Brazil

Pic on legendary soccer star to go out on 150 prints

HOLLYWOOD — “Pele Eterno,” the first co-production backed by UIP and Universal Home Video in Brazil, will hit local cinemas June 25.

UIP, which owns the worldwide rights to the Anibal Massaini-helmed docudrama about Brazil’s legendary soccer player Pele, will release the pic on 150-200 prints in Brazil.

It might schedule a European release toward the end of the year, followed by Japan in January, according to Jorge Peregrino, UIP prexy, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Universal Pictures owns domestic rights, but has yet to decide which division will handle it in the U.S.

Universal Home Video Brazil expects the pic to break VHS and DVD sales records, estimating sales of 500,000 copies domestically.

Pic traces the career of Pele, now 64, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, and who is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time.

Like its counterparts in Brazil, UIP has been lured into local film production by tax incentives. Distributors have the option to pay taxes on their remittances to the parent company or invest 70% of these dues in local film production.

UIP and Universal Home Video also have backed “An Evil Hour,” a drama based on a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, directed by Ruy Guerra and now in post.

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