Germany

Constantin Film

2008 CUME: $60 million*

TOPPERS: Fred Kogel, CEO; Martin Moszkowicz, production director; Torsten Koch and Oliver Koppert, co-managing directors of Constantin distribution

UP NEXT: “Der Baader Meinhof Komplex” (Sept. 25), “Anonyma — Eine Frau in Berlin” (Oct. 23), “Im Winter ein Jahr” (Nov. 13), “The Women” (Dec. 11)

Constantin Film remains Germany’s top indie distributor thanks to a broad slate of inhouse productions and acquired mainstream fare, teen-targeted comedies and hard-hitting, critically acclaimed dramas.

Overall, Constantin held an 8.8% market share between Jan. 3 and Aug. 10, ranking fifth behind Warner Bros., Universal, Fox and Disney, but ahead of sixth-place Sony.

The producer-distrib is set to release what’s arguably Germany’s most anticipated film of the year — Uli Edel’s terrorist drama “Der Baader Meinhof Komplex” — on Sept. 25. The Bernd Eichinger production has received massive buzz and is certain to generate plenty of box office with its story of the rise and fall of West Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction.

Another upcoming high-profile release is Max Faerberboeck’s postwar drama “Anonyma — Eine Frau in Berlin,” which premieres in Toronto and hits local theaters Oct. 23.

Constantin’s biggest 2008 hit so far, with a box office gross of $22.5 million, has been “The Wave,” Dennis Gansel’s edgy drama about a high school political science experiment that goes awry. Also contributing to Constantin’s strong performance was hit French laffer “Asterix at the Olympic Games” ($12.5 million); Jon Chu’s booty-shaking “Step Up 2: The Streets” ($8.6 million); and Ute Wieland’s teen comedy “Freche Maedchen” ($5.4 million).

With uber-producer Eichinger exclusively contracted to Constantin through 2014, the company is likely to remain one of Germany’s top performers for years to come despite continued reshuffling at the executive level.

Constantin recently promoted Torsten Koch and Oliver Koppert to oversee distribution operations following the exit of Thomas Peter Friedl earlier this year. In addition, Bernhard Burgener, CEO of Constantin parent group Highlight Communications, is set to replace Constantin’s outgoing chief exec, Fred Kogel, at year’s end.

Looking forward, the group moved early on to land a foothold in digital distribution by partnering with Deutsche Telekom’s video-on-demand divisions and digital platforms such as Glowria and Video Buster, in an effort to maintain a steady course in the rapidly changing market. It has also expanded into other significant areas, such as TV production, in recent years.

* to Aug. 10

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