The 2005-06 slate aims to deliver, play off its brand
MADRID — When Filmax chairman Julio Fernandez announced an English-lingo scarefare label in 2000 other Spanish producers thought he was either overly ambitious or mad.Five years later, Filmax can point to multiple achievements with Fantastic Factory. It’s sold 15 titles to the U.S., eight to Lions Gate. It produced Brad Anderson’s “The Machinist,” and Jaume Balaguero’s femme teen screamfest “Darkness,” which Miramax opened to $22.2 million Stateside. Balaguero’s next, “Fragile,” with Calista Flockhart, is still available in the U.S. While Fantastic Factory’s first films, featuring sea monsters and alien spiders, sold well on DVD worldwide, times have now changed:
- The bottom is falling out of the straight-to-DVD market. A DVD genre pic used to command $300,000-$500,000 for Japan — it’s now down to $50,000-$100,000. TV sales potential determines buyers’ choices. And ever more picky webs want theatrical titles.
- There’s far more competition out there. In 2000, Filmax was a scarefare pioneer. Now there’s a legion of horror specialists: Rogue, Ghost House, Lions Gate, Taka Ichise’s Entertainment Farm, and more. So audiences want genre with a fresh twist; which is not necessarily a surprise finale.
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