Deal comes as Spanish comedies sell, sometimes well, to Latin America, occasionally with extraordinary results
GUADALAJARA – Targeting Mexico and Latin America, Film Factory will talk up at Guadalajara sales on the Warner Bros.-distributed “Tenemos que hablar” (“We Need To Talk”), directed by David Serrano, (“Football Days”) and reteaming Film Factory with Warner Bros. and top Spanish production players Atipica Films and Atresmedia Cine.
“We Need To Talk” will be one highlight on Film Factory’s slate at the Guadalajara Film Market, where it will be based out of the European Film Promotion stand.
Released Feb. 26 by Warner Bros. Pictures España, “We Need To Talk” is the latest play for mainstream audiences in Spain, a romantic comedy starring Hugo Silva and Michelle Jenner. As in many breakout comedies in Spain, both made their name in TV: Silva in “When Class is Over” and Jenner in “Paco’s Men” and then “Isabel,” playing Spanish monarch Isabella I of Castile.
Written by Serrano and Diego San José, the co-scribe of “Spanish Affair” and “Spanish Affair 2,” the highest-grossing Spanish movies of 2014 and 2015, “Talk” punched a first weekend €570,297 ($615,920) in Spain off a high-to-middling 270 screen-run, ranking No. 5 at Spain’s Feb. 26-28 box office, per Rentrak.
In “We Need To Talk,” a screwball comedy set against the background of Spain’s fall out from its economic bubble, Jenner plays Nuria, a woman who has it all: A marvelous job, house and fiancée everything except divorce papers from Jorge, a one-time banker, now down-and-out, after his cavalier financial advice squandered Nuria’s parents fortune. ‘ Trouble is, Jorge is an emotional wreck, so when Nuria approaches him, she hides her fiancée, and tries to pretend that her parents, now separated, are still a happy couple, despite Jorge’s actions.
Film Factory sold out the world on Alberto Rodriguez “Marshland,” produced by Atípica and Atresmedia Cine and released by Warner Bros. in Spain to a final €7.7 million ($8.4 million) cume.
Jose Antonio Féliz produces for Atípica, Mikel Lejarza and Mercedes Gamero for Atresmedia Cine, whose recent credits include “Palm Trees in the Snow,” also sold by Film Factory, which has run up a remarkable €16.8 million ($18.1 million) to date in Spain.
Film Factory’s push on “We Need To Talk” at Guadalajara is no coincidence. France has dramatically disproved the industry lore that comedies don’t travel. In fact, they are France’s biggest export fare, per a UniFrance study published in January. Mainstream Spanish comedies work best in Latin America and the U.S. Latino market, though the most frequent buyers are channels such as HBO, said Film Factory founder Vicente Canales.
Underscoring the complexity of the international market, there are also phenomena such as Puerto Rico, where “Spanish Affair,” Spain’s all-time biggest B.O. hit, played for a year at one theater, generating revenues of $300,000, and beating many Hollywood blockbusters. “Now or Never,” also starring Dani Rovira, was No. 1 in Puerto Rico for five weeks, Canales added.