Medusa (Italy)

Foreign distribution report

B.O. cume: S44 million ($54 million), through Aug. 24

Toppers: Giampaolo Letta, managing director/exec VP; Mario Spedaletti, head of production; Paolo Pozzi, head of distribution.

Upcoming releases: “The Island,” “Seven Swords,” “Guess Who,” “The Amityville Horror”

Analysis: Italy’s sole distributor with the firepower to engage with the U.S majors, Medusa (owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi) rules the local roost thanks to a savvy mix of mainstream and arthouse titles, both Italian and international. This year’s top grossers so far have been “Kingdom of Heaven” and Italo social drama “Sacred Heart.” While Medusa has suffered from Italy’s current box office slump — down some 15% compared with the same period last year — it’s equipped with a well-oiled marketing machine and consistently manages to milk the most out its titles, keeping well ahead of local competitors Filmauro and RAI Cinema.

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