ROME – Italy’s Cannes Grand Prix winner “The Wonders” is working wonders at the local box office and serving as a confidence-booster for the Italian industry, coming in tandem with good news that the government has raised the cap on the country’s 25% tax credit for foreign productions, considered key to luring more foreign shoots.
After 32-year-old helmer Alice Rohrwacher (pictured) received Cannes’ second prize from Sophia Loren, her sophomore work, on the inexorable evaporation of healthy rural traditions in Berlusconi-era Tuscany, bowed strong at the Italian box office, via BIM Distribuzione, weighing in at number five in the weekend frame, one position ahead of David Cronenberg’s star-studded “Maps to the Stars.”
More importantly, “The Wonders” scored the Italian frame’s second-highest per screen average, Euros 2,528 ($3,441). And attendance rate has since been rising thanks to positive word of mouth, according to a BIM rep. To date, Rohrwacher’s prizewinning pic has pulled Euros 262,522 ($357,375) off 82 screens since its May 22 release. That’s a strong showing considering that the sun is out, and late May is generally considered an uncongenial time to attract arthouse auds in Italy.
News of Rohrwacher’s surprise Cannes coup came just as the Italian government approved a renewal and a raise of film production tax credits, doubling the Euros 5 million cap on the generous 25% tax credit for foreign film and TV productions. That cap is now Euros 10 million ($13.6 million) which means Italy can now aspire to attract big-budget international productions from Hollywood and elsewhere.
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“In the year in which we won the Oscar with ‘The Great Beauty’, and now the Cannes Grand Prix with ‘The Wonders’, the new tax breaks can really help to increase our collaboration with other countries,” said producer Riccardo Tozzi, head of Italy’s motion picture association ANICA.