A Contracorriente nabs Pathe duo

Spanish distrib also signs 12 library pix

MADRID — New Spanish indie distributor A Contracorriente Films has taken all rights to two Euro comedies: “Benvenuti al Sud,” the Italian remake of French blockbuster “Welcome to the Sticks,” and Olivier Baroux’s Gallic B.O. hit “L’Italien.”

A Contracorriente plans a theatrical release of Luca Miniero’s “Benvenuti” for January. “L’Italien,” which has just made a first week B.O. of $2.8 million in France, becoming the second-biggest opener after “Toy Story 3,” will launch in Spain in 2011.

Both titles have been acquired from Pathe Intl.

Pathe has also inked with A Contracorriente on a package of 12 library movies, including film classics such as Jean Renoir’s “Boudu Saved from Drowning” and Marcel Carne’s “Children of Paradise,” plus recent movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth” and Patrice Chereau’s “Queen Margot.”

Launched February by vet Spanish film exec Adolfo Blanco as a popular arthouse film distribbery, Barcelona-based A Contracorriente already owns Spanish rights to around 200 film titles.

“We are in the process of setting up our own film catalog and everybody knows that Pathe has some of the best movies in the history of cinema,” Blanco said.

“Each catalog film has its own release plan and its dominant window,” he added.

Higher revenues for “Children” will come from DVD sell-thru; Claude Berri’s “Manon of the Spring” and “Jean de Florette” could especially work well on TV, Blanco said.

More recent pics such as Christian Carion’s “Farewell,” Jan Kounen’s “99 Francs” and Mark Tonderai’s “Hush” may have a good run in VOD and DVD rental windows.

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