Sales co. picks up rights for four

FilmSharks Intl., a leading sales company in Latin America, has picked up worldwide rights to sell remake rights for four films, an expanding business as studios turn to tested products to cut costs and risk.

“Studios realize they can buy a remake for the same or less than hiring a scriptwriter for a new production,” FilmSharks topper Guido Rud told Variety. “And the remake comes with the guarantee that it has worked in another territory.”

His Buenos Aires outfit has 17 titles in its catalog for remake rights, a business that accounts for 25%-30% of its revenue.

Its latest pickup is comedy “Chance,” in a deal with director Abner Benaim of Panama’s Apertura Films and Matthias Ehrenberg of Mexico’s Rio Negro Prods.

“Chance,” which outperformed “Avatar” in Panama during its 2009-10 run, is about two maids who kidnap their aristocratic employers to demand their wages only to find out the family isn’t as rich as they thought.

Another is helmer Roberto Santucci’s Brazilian comedy “De pernas pro ar” from Morena Filmes, about a workaholic businesswoman who finds a new life running a chain of sex shops.

“Viudas” (Widows), directed by Marcos Carnevale and co-produced by Disney-backed Patagonik and Argentina’s Aleph Media, traces the growing friendship between a man’s widow and his mistress. “76-89-03,” directed by Cristian Bernard and Flavio Nardini, has become a cult comedy since its 2000 release with a story in the vein of “The Hangover.”

Rud is marketing rights in the U.S., Europe and Asia. U.S. studios are buying options at 10% of the value of a final deal, estimated at six to seven figures, he said, adding the options can be renewed after 12-18 months, a slower but potentially more lucrative deal.

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