You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Quebec pics still on a winning streak, while DVD and TV improve

Montreal — The Canuck indie distribution sector has been marked by several huge success stories in recent months. Most notably, though perhaps unsurprisingly, Alliance Atlantis scored big with the last installment of “The Lord of the Rings,” and feisty microdistrib Equinoxe Films raked it in with “The Passion of the Christ.”

2003 STATS
Top film: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Alliance Atlantis; $30 million)
Top indie: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Total B.O.: $714 million
Indie B.O.: $194 million
Total releases: 529
Indie releases: 342
“Bad Education” (Seville)
“Crimson Rivers 2” (TVA)
“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” (Capri)
“Podium” (Christal)
“Something Borrowed” (Equinoxe)
“Super Size Me” (Odeon)

But surviving as an indie distrib in Canada remains a tough proposition. The biz continues to be dominated by the Hollywood studios and Alliance Atlantis, which controls the flow of other major fare via output deals with Miramax and New Line.

That said, indie product is booming in Quebec. Local French-language cinema has been on a box-office roll for over a year now and it shows no signs of slowing down. Homegrown pics grabbed an astonishing 13% of the overall box-office action in Quebec in 2003 and, so far in 2004, ticket sales for local films are holding at about the same level.

Already this year, there have been a number of big Quebec hits, including William Hurt-starrer “The Blue Butterfly,” crime thriller “Le Dernier Tunnel” and sci-fi spoof “Dans une Galaxie Pres de Chez Vous.”

“Now the public has confidence in Quebec films,” says Christian Larouche, president of Montreal-based distrib Christal Films. “We’re producing movies that people want to see.”

Bryan Gliserman, prexy of Odeon Films, is upbeat that things are slowly improving for English-lingo Canadian cinema with help from funding agency Telefilm Canada’s new policy of supporting more commercial fare.

“In terms of English-Canada, there are signs of life, but we have to be realistic,” he says. “We have C$100 million ($75 million) coming from (Telefilm Canada) and that’s the average budget of a Hollywood release.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian biz is thriving in other areas such as DVD. And TV sales are increasing thanks to the rapid-fire growth of digital cable and DTH services in the country.

More Scene

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content