Frears’ ‘Philomena’ sells to major territories

Pathe Intl. adds sales for Gans' 'Beauty,' Thompson's 'Saint Tropez'


Pathe Intl., one of Europe’s leading sales companies, has kick-started sales on Stephen Frears’ “Philomena” while closing deals on the rest of its AFM slate.

A market debut, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and now shooting, “Philomena” closed Germany (Square One), Italy (Lucky Red), Scandinavia (Scanbox) and Australia (Hopscotch).

The bittersweet tale about a woman’s search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption also sold to Benelux (Paradiso), Czech Republic (AQS), Israel (Shani) and the former Yugoslavia (MCF).

Pathe distributes in the U.K. and France.

“We were very pleased the script was so well received: It is a compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life,” said Muriel Sauzay, Pathe’s deputy managing director of international sales.

“Philomena” adds to Pathe’s mix of director-driven titles — think Christophe Gans’ “Beauty and the Beast,” which went into production on Monday — and a burgeoning line in thrillers.

Both film types command dedicated networks of distributors and core audiences, whether auteur fans or more testosterone-oriented demos.

Of key pre-sales, Concorde, a weighty German indie, acquired “Beauty and the Beast,” with Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux. Pic has already pre-sold widely.

It Happened in Saint Tropez,” a jet-set comedy from Daniele Thompson (“Change of Plans”) that stars Monica Bellucci and Kad Merad, closed Italy (Made in Italy) after selling to CIS (Paradise) at Toronto.

Another debut, “Diversity: Rise,” featuring Brit dance troupe phenom Diversity, closed five territories.

Already licensed to many major territories, Pathe’s thrillers also clicked.

Eran RiklisStephen Dorff starrer “Zaytoun,” which sees its U.S. preem Wednesday at the AFI Fest, added the Netherlands (A-Film), India (Pictureworks) and the U.K. (Artificial Eye).

Denis Villeneuve’s psychological thriller “An Enemy” closed India (Pictureworks) and Singapore (Shaw); first-timer Omid Nooshin’s kinetic “Last Passenger,” a Cohen Media pickup in the U.S., sold to Australia (Umbrella).

Anchor Bay bought Pathe and WWE’s “No One Lives,” which stars Luke Evans, for North America, U.K. and Australia. Fine Films closed Japan.

More Film

  • The Lion King Teaser

    'The Lion King' Leaping to $185 Million North American Debut

    Disney’s “The Lion King” is heading for a dominant $185 million opening weekend in North America, early estimates showed Friday. Should that number hold, “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and give the sagging domestic box office a badly needed boost. “The Lion King” would replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched [...]

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers Announce 'Grimjack,' Live-Action 'Battle of the Planets' Adaptations

    Joe and Anthony Russo are looking to their youth to populate the development slate at their production company AGBO. A relatively obscure comic book called “Grimjack” will count the Russos as producers for adaptation, they announced at San Diego Comic-Con. They’re also cooking up a live-action adaptation of the animated show “Battle of the Planets.” [...]

  • Chadwick Boseman stars in 21 Bridges

    Watch Chadwick Boseman Hunt Down Killers in New '21 Bridges' Trailer

    Shots are fired in a new trailer for “21 Bridges,” starring Chadwick Boseman and J.K. Simmons, released during a Comic-Con panel today. The heist-thriller, produced by Joe and Anthony Russo of “Avengers: Endgame,” stars Boseman as an NYPD detective Andre Davis who finds himself embroiled in a city-wide manhunt after two cops are accused of [...]

  • David Crosby and Cameron Crowe'David Crosby:

    Cameron Crowe Picks Five Favorite Underrated David Crosby Tracks

    “Music is love,” as David Crosby once sang, and nothing breeds deeper love than a sense that something is overlooked. So that’s why Variety asked Cameron Crowe to dig deep into the Crosby canon and pick not just a triad but five favorites from among the CSN singer’s most underrated tracks. Crowe, of course, has [...]

  • Halloween

    New 'Halloween' Movies Set for 2020, 2021

    Universal Pictures has unveiled back-to-back “Halloween” sequel movies that will open in 2020 and 2021. The studio made the announcement Friday, noting that last year’s “Halloween,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis and directed by David Gordon Green, went on to become the highest-grossing installment in the horror franchise at more than $250 million worldwide. The first [...]

  • Above the Shadows

    Film Review: ‘Above the Shadows’

    Grief-fueled romantic fantasies can be tricky for filmmakers not named Wim Wenders. Everyone aspires to make “Wings of Desire” with its stirring immediacy, beautiful imagery and pressing poignancy, but most wind up delivering something closer to its decent but dreary American remake, “City of Angels” — which could also be said for writer-director Cynthia Myers’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content