Sony Pictures Classics

Company finds foreign-language success

B.O.: $43 million

Top pic: “Volver,” $13 million

Exec suite: Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, co-presidents; Dylan Leiner, exec VP, acquisitions and coproductions

Analysis: On a less grandiose scale than “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” SPC managed to breathe a lot of life into the foreign-lingo market with its top two titles of the year, “The Lives of Others” and “Volver.” The past year has seen some non-starters (“American Hardcore,” “Jindabyne”) but nothing dramatic to put much of a dent in the 15-year track record of toppers Barker and Bernard. “Our lineup in Toronto represents where we are as a company,” Barker says. The roster runs the gamut from “The Jane Austen Book Club” and “Sleuth,” both star-laden pics with the broad potential of “Friends With Money,” one of the company’s 2006 titles. Two Cannes favorites, “Persepolis” and “The Band’s Visit,” are being compared internally with “Triplets of Belleville” and “The Lives of Others.” The company, long demonstrated to be one of the savviest pickup artists in the game, is turning to more originals these days. Projects include the David Mamet-helmed “Redbelt” and Jonathan Demme’s “Dancing With Shiva,” starring Anne Hathaway.

Up next:

  • “The Jane Austen Book Club,” Sept. 21

  • “My Kid Could Paint That,” Oct. 5

  • “Sleuth,” Oct. 12

  • “Man from Plains,” Oct. 19

  • “Youth Without Youth,” Dec. 14

  • “Steep,” Dec. 21

  • “Persepolis,” Dec. 25

  • “The Band’s Visit,” Feb. 8

  • “The Counterfeiters,” Feb. 22
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