×

Buyers proceed with caution at Cannes

Pre-buy footage generating best reactions

In this jittery market, buyers are proceeding with caution, but some of the screenings generating the best reaction are those offering footage to entice pre-buys.

The tepid reception to fest opener Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness,” which sold 42 territories at last year’s Cannes market, is making some nervous. On the other hand, they recall that Picturehouse grabbed its Oscar-winner “La Vie en Rose” off Cannes market footage.

But foreign fare is a tough sell to specialty numbers crunchers. No matter how commercial the film might be theatrically, there’s little upside on DVD and television.

Pre-buys require buyers to make advance bets on how a movie turns out — or take the chance that a rival will scoop up the film before it’s finished.

Buyers are upbeat on the Jaco van Dormael’s imaginative $45-million “Mr. Nobody,” starring Rhys Ifans in a futuristic tale. Kinology screened 18 minutes of footage of Jean-Francois Richet’s two-part $80-million French gangster biopic “Public Enemy Number One,” starring Vincent Cassell, which generated a boffo response at marketing screenings. Buyers also responded to “The Other Man,” Richard Eyre’s edgy relationship thriller, from ICM.

Also getting thumb’s-up from market advance looks are Odyssey’s ’60s mother-daughter tale “An Education,” from director Lone Scherfig, written by Nick Hornby and starring Rosamund Pike, Peter Saarsgard and Emma Thompson; Europa Corp.’s third “Transporter” installment, starring Jason Statham; and Jane Campion’s in production, $15-million John Keats drama “Bright Star,” starring Abbie Cornish, Paul Schneider and Kerry Fox, which Pathe is selling. Wild Bunch financed and is selling Darren Aronofsky’s $8 million “The Wrestler,” starring Mickey Rourke, who replaced Nicolas Cage when the film’s budget became too unwieldy.

Cinetic Media is selling Richard Linklater’s “Me & Orson Welles,” starring Zac Ephron as a teenager cast in a Welles’ Shakespeare production, and is teaming with 6 Sales to handle worldwide sales on Sally Potter’s fashion-house expose “Rage,” starring Jude Law, Judi Dench, Dianne Wiest, John Leguizamo and Steve Buscemi.

If buyers are too wary to step up in advance, sellers will just have to wait and see how well the films turn out.

More Scene

  • Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time

    Margot Robbie Says 'Barbie' Movie Will Put 'Positivity' Into the World

    Over the last 10 years, Margot Robbie has stepped into the skates of Tonya Harding, taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn and, next up, she’s playing the world’s most famous doll, Barbie. The live-action film is due out in 2020 and set to be written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, while Robbie serves [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Opens New Downtown Los

    Alamo Drafthouse Storms into L.A. with New Location

    “Cinema is alive and well tonight!” Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League declared at the theatrical venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday night, where a gathering of 160 employees cheered and sliced into a strip of 35mm film in keeping with the company’s tradition. Despite dire predictions heralding the end of the theater-going experience, League was upbeat [...]

  • America Ferrera'Superstore' TV show photocall, Comic

    America Ferrera Blasts 'Send Her Back' Chant: 'Embarrassing and Shameful'

    America Ferrera has been a longtime political activist who has focused a large part of her work on immigrant rights. She’s now speaking out about the chant of “send her back” targeting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was shouted at a President Donald Trump rally earlier this week. “It’s devastating and shocking and embarrassing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content