B.O. CUME: $91 million (through Aug.).
TOPPERS: Nigel and Trevor Green
NEW RELEASES: “The Black Dahlia” (Sept. 15), “The Departed” (Oct. 6), “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” (Oct. 13), “Fur” (Nov. 10), “The Nativity Story” (Dec. 1)
It has not been a spectacular year by the high standards of Entertainment Film Distributors, owned and run with an obsessive eye for detail by brothers Nigel and Trevor Green. But the company’s continued dominance of Blighty’s nonstudio sphere is illustrated by the fact it has handled six out of the top eight indie releases so far.
Distrib’s topper was “Brokeback Mountain,” the only indie this year to break the £10 million ($18.9 million) box office barrier.
Its high-profile release of Brit kid spy pic “Stormbreaker” yielded only a moderate opening, with box office through summer coming in at $11.7 million.
While the Greens were getting on with business, the rest of the U.K. indie sector has seen dramatic upheavals. Redbus was sold to Lionsgate for $35 million; Optimum was snapped up by StudioCanal for $32 million; Artificial Eye was sold to a pair of arthouse exhibitors.
It reflects two paradoxical trends: The strength of the U.K. theatrical and homevid market is attracting buyers; and the structural weakness of the indie sector is producing sellers.
Only the Greens, with their deep pockets and pay TV output deal with Sky, are above the fray.