FilmSharks Drives Latin America Remake Boom

‘Upside Down,’ ‘2 + 2,’ ‘Boyfriend’ among deals

GUADALAJARA – For decades, Latin America’s biggest challenge has been snagging theatrical distribution for its movies throughout the region.

Finally, however, pioneers like Guido Rud’s FilmSharks Intl. are discovering one kind of answer: local remakes.

Given the size these days of Latin American markets and the rising quality of original story lines, remakes are a business involving U.S. studios and powerful local indie distribs alike.

In its latest deals, unveiled as Mexico’s Guadalajara Film Market kicked into gear Saturday, FilmSharks announced it has sold Spanish-language remake rights to Brazilian sex comedy franchise “Upside Down,” Brazil’s biggest box office property after “Elite Squad,” to Mexico City’s Spectrum Films.

Produced by Morena Filmes’ Mariza Leao, and turning on a workaholic woman who creates a sex shop chain, the 2011 original grossed $16.0 million in Brazil.

Bowing Dec. 28, “Upside Down 2” is tracking at $24.7 million through Feb. 17, making it the third biggest Brazilian movie of all time. A U.S. version is now under negotiation, Rud said.

In other inter-regional pacts, Brazil’s Total Entertainment and Paris Productions, the production arm of top Brazilian distributor Paris Filmes, have closed with FilmSharks on redo rights to “2 + 2,” the highest-grossing Argentine movie of 2012. Co-produced by Buenos Aires’ Disney-backed Patagonik, “2+2,” the partner swap comedy was the highest-grossing Argentinean pic of 2012, grossed $5.6 million in Argentina.

Paris and former Disney exec Inma Payan have optioned Brazilian and Mexican rights to “A Boyfriend For My Wife,” whose Korean remake, “All About My Wife,” grossed $5 million at Korean wickets.

FilmSharks will also rep remake rights on “Garcia,” produced by Colombia’s Rhayuela Films (“El Paramo”), about a woman who fakes her kidnapping, then absconds with her lover.

U.S., Spanish and French offers for “2 + 2” are now on the table, Rud said.

A Hollywood studio has closed Brazilian, German and U.S. remake rights to Argentina’s “Buena Vida Delivery,” about a woman who seduces a man to provide living quarters in his house for her extensive family.

Said Rud: “More and more producers and studios that trust our instinct for “high concept” Latin American box office or sales hits know they can create a regional version remake. That may open the door for a later American version that can be exploited worldwide.”

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