Sales revenue 50% up on previous record
CANNES — Mini-major Studiocanal has struck bullish Cannes sales on “Paddington,” “Serena,” “Mood Indigo,” “I Give It a Year” and “King of Soho,” consolidating its position as a key European producer-distributor and top sales force.Total sales revenues are 50% up on Berlin’s, the Euro film-TV group’s previous sales record. Sales vindicate Studiocanal’s focus on family entertainment and policy of financing or co-financing with key production partners in the U.S., the U.K. and France. Major Studiocanal titles are distributed directly by Studiocanal in U.K., France and Germany. Tub-thumped by “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman, in Cannes early market for 24 hours, “Paddington,” an upcoming CGI live-action movie version of the British classic kiddie books, sold to Russia (Volga), Benelux (Belga Films), Italy (Eagle), Switzerland (Frenetic Films), Middle East (Gulf Film), Poland (Monolith Films), and the rest of Eastern Europe (EEAP, Blitz Film & Video Distribution). Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), who directed Directors’ Fortnight opener “The We and the I,” talked buyers through the cast and style of his upcoming “Mood Indigo” — Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, and “The Intouchables” co-star Omar Sy. Produced by co-scribe Luc Bossi’s Brio Films, and now in production, Gondry’s take on Boris Vian’s surreal, tragic love story, “The Foam of Days” initiated sales with Japan (Phantom Film Co). Produced by Working Title, romantic comedy “I Give It a Year,” from Dan Mazer, who wrote “Borat” and “Ali G,” was picked up in Korea (TimeStory), Russia (Daro Film Distribution/Cascade Film), Switzerland (Impuls Pics) and Eastern Europe (ITI Cinema, EEAP). Another heavyweight Studiocanal title, “Serena,” Susanne Bier’s period thriller-lover story starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. and produced/co-financed by 2929, closed Russia (Daro) and Italy (Eagle). Of major territories, only Japan, Korea and Australia are outstanding. Sold off a promo, Michael Winterbottom’s “King of Soho,” with Steve Coogan as porn-property baron Paul Raymond, clinched deals with Korea (Timestory), Benelux (Wild Bunch), Russia (Paradise), Australia (Madman) and Poland (ITI). Cannes Competition contender “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” has closed 10 territories, and Directors’ Fortnight player “Ernest and Celestine” has gone to more than 10. Liz Garbus’ docu-feature, “Marilyn Monroe’s Fragments,” has notched up 16 territory sales. Cannes deals include Benelux (Belga), Australia (Madman), Japan (Showgate) and Russia (Volga). Studiocanal’s sales growth isn’t finished yet, exec VP, international distribution Harold van Lier said in Cannes. “We will continue to supply our partners with more ambitious titles at each market,” he said.