Commercial pitch

Euros polish genre film scripts to gain ground in the market

Last September, the $27.7 million Stateside opening weekend for “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” produced by Germany’s Constantin, proved Europe can produce action titles that stand up to U.S. fare.

Yet Euro action-movie production is no slam-dunk.

“In scale and budget, Europe usually can’t compete with U.S. action films,” says Karin Julsrud, producer of Valencia competition player “King of Devil’s Island.”

“It’s not something that comes so easily because of the size of the market,” says Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin head of film and television.

If a budget hikes north of $30 million-$40 million, Euro action films often need U.S. distribution to recoup. That means high P&A costs.

Shooting in Europe has advantages, however, such as “Europe’s huge talent pool and the richness and variety of its stories,” says Moszkowicz. There’s also the allure of access to soft money and TV sales.

In France, “genre films often have good pay TV pre-acquisition potential,” says Joel Thibout at Paris-based Backup Films.

Also, as Valencia suggests, more auteur films are incorporating genre elements.

“These films are able to reach out to wider audiences,” says Thibout.

It’s a trend that Valencia’s Mostra is banking on.

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