'Chloe' a big ticket item at Berlin market

Gallic mini-major StudioCanal, one of Europe’s biggest film companies, has rolled out strong sales in Berlin on the Atom Egoyan-helmed thriller “Chloe.”

Pic stars Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried, and is produced by Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock through their Montecito Picture Co. banner.

With few new big-ticket titles at this year’s Berlin market, “Chloe” — along with “New Moon,” “The Cross,” “Centurion” and “The Rum Diaries,” to mention a very few — is about as big as Berlin gets this year.

“Chloe,” which started filming Feb. 6 in Toronto, has notched deals in 27 foreign territories, including licensing pacts with Scandinavia (Nordisk), Eastern Europe (SPI Intl.), Korea (Mars), and Latin America (a combo of Gussi, Playarte and Alfa).

StudioCanal will directly distribute “Chloe” in France and release it through its U.K. and German distribution companies — Optimum Releasing and Kinowelt, respectively.

StudioCanal has also seen upbeat sales interest on its “The Red Riding Trilogy,” which comprises three related thrillers produced by Revolution Films (“A Mighty Heart”), and on its Gallic comedy “Change of Plans.”

Directed by Brit helmers Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker, the “Riding” pics, which on the same murder and corruption case but are set in 1974, 1980 and 1983, respectively — have been licensed to a score of territories including Scandinavia (Nobel) and Brazil (Playarte).

“Change of Plans” has sold to Germany (Prokino), Camera Film (Denmark) and CCV (Norway), among 12 territories to pick up the film. A feel-good comedy in a time in which distribs are looking for upflifting fare, “Plans” co-stars Dany Boon, director and star of Gallic B.O. recordbreaker “Welcome to the Sticks.”

StudioCanal’s sales are a barometer of what appears to becoming a two-tier international indie marketplace, with bigger, stronger companies holding up fairly well amid the global fiscal woes.

Owned by Vivendi’s paybox Canal Plus, StudioCanal is not exposed to the credit crunch: As with “Chloe,” it fully finances most films so doesn’t have to rely on pre-sales to greenlight a project, or on the market to supply it with films.

StudioCanal, Optimum and Kinowelt are all producing local productions, but StudioCanal sees itself more as a collaborator than a competitor with the U.S.

“For movies over $40 million, we will be looking for partnerships with the U.S.,” said StudioCanal chairman Olivier Courson. “But an already-established U.S. distribution deal is not necessarily a prerequisite.”

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