×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lucky Red takes Toei Animation’s ‘Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary’ for Italy

Acquisition builds on Italo distrib’s successful release of Toei Animation's ‘Space Pirate Captain Harlock’

MADRID – Lucky Red, one of Italy’s leading independent distributors, has acquired theatrical, TV and DVD rights to Toei Animation’s “Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary,” one of the biggest world premieres at this year’s Annecy Animation Film Festival.

More European titles are under negotiations. Based on the iconic manga and TV series, both first appearing in 1986, “Saint Seiya” has since inspired new TV series, such as 2002’s “The Hades Chapter,” 2012’s “Saint Seiya Omega.”

The original TV series was broadcast in over 80 countries, while the manga series sold 34 million copies, per Toei Animation’s June newsletter. Toei Animation has produced five “Saint Seiya” movies. Helmed by character designer and animation director Keiichi Sato and produced by Masami Kurumada, the manga’s original writer and illustrator, “Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary” is its first CGI feature film.

To see its first commercial release in Japan on June 21, “Saint Seiya” turns on a young woman, Saori Kido (voiced by Japanese idol singer Ayaka Sasaki) who is saved from an assassin by Pegasus Seiya (voice actor Kaito Ishikawa), a Bronze Saint. Learning she is Goddess Athena, with Seiya and his fellow Bronze Saints she heads to the Sanctuary to wage war against its Pope, who once more threatens the world.

Lucky Red is best known for its distribution of art films with crossover potential, such as “Yves Saint Laurent,” ($726,355 this year) or upscale mainstream movies, such “Inside Llewyn Davis ($3.0 million).

But Lucky Red has also released and re-released all of Studio Ghibli’s movies in Italy since 2004. Expanding its relations with Japan, on Jan. 1, Lucky Red bowed Toei Animation’s “Space Pirate Captain Harlock,” helmed by Shinji Aramaki and, like “Saint Seiya,” another celebrated manga-turned-Toei-cartoon, to a standout early 2014 $6.7 million in Italy, the third best result in 2014 for a non-Hollywood studio or non-Italian title.

Toei’s 1978 TV series version of “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” broadcast in Italy.

Gaumont’s live-action movie “Belle and Sebastien,” the highest grossing non-studio/Italian title of this year with a $9.5 million trawl, also saw an earlier anime series, ”Meiken Jolie,” which ran on Italian TV in 1981, creating a present-day nostalgia for the property.

“Following the relationship we built with Toei, it was very natural to release ‘Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary,’ another Toei film based on a TV series hit in Italy,” said Stefano Massenzi, Lucky Red’s acquisitions head.

Lucky Red will bow “Saint Seiya” theatrically in Italy in the late fall on over 200 screens, backed by event promotion, he added.

““We’re targeting broad cinema audiences. There is a big P & A investment because you’re going mainstream,” said Massenzi, adding that “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” played to family audiences, whose parents felt nostalgic about the TV series while also attracting younger auds.

“You need a combination of both audiences to make those numbers.”

Nick Vivarelli contributed to this report

More Film

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

  • Marco Bellocchio The Traitor Cannes

    Director Marco Bellocchio Talks About Cannes Mafia Drama 'The Traitor'

    Cannes veteran Marco Bellocchio’s vast body of work spans from “Fists in the Pockets” (1965) to “Sweet Dreams,” which launched at Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. The auteur known for psychodramas and for bringing the complexities of Italian history, and hypocrisy, to the big screen is back, this time in competition, with “The Traitor,” a biopic [...]

  • Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transylvania Film

    Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transilvania Film Festival Opening Film ‘Parking’

    CANNES–A poet, a romantic, and a stranger in a strange land, Adrian is a Romanian immigrant working as a night watchman at a car dealership in Cordoba. After leaving his old life behind, he falls in love with a Spanish singer who offers him a shot at reinvention. But when a money-making scheme by his [...]

  • Their Algeria

    Lina Soualem’s ‘Their Algeria’ Wins First Docs-in-Progress Award

    CANNES–Lina Soualem’s “Their Algeria” won the inaugural Docs-in-Progress Award, a €10,000 ($11,300) cash prize given out by the Cannes Film Market’s Doc Corner with the support of the Intl. Film Talent Association (IEFTA), which was presented Tuesday at a ceremony at the Plage des Palmes. Soualem’s directorial debut was chosen out of the 24 works-in-progress [...]

  • Film Review: The Orphanage

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Orphanage'

    Amusing, at times poignant Bollywood re-creations are used in “The Orphanage” much as Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat mixed folklore with realism in her award-winning “Wolf and Sheep,” in both cases to add heightened levels of cultural significance and an element of fantasy as necessary correlatives to hardscrabble lives. While Sadat’s second feature is something of [...]

  • Three Identical Strangers

    Film News Roundup: 'Three Identical Strangers' Feature Adaptation Taps 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Writer

    In today’s film news roundup, “Three Identical Strangers” is moving ahead, Skeet Ulrich has been cast with Tom Hanks, the “Minions” sequel has been titled and “Vegas Dave” is getting a movie. MCCARTEN ATTACHED “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten will write and produce the feature adaptation of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Raw, Film4 and [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho, Choi Woo-shik. Director Bong

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Earns Five-Minute Cannes Ovation

    Just days after the announcement of the selection of “Parasite” for main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho warned members of the local press not to expect his film to win the Palme d’Or. He also suggested that the film was “hyper local” and possibly difficult for foreign audiences to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content