×

Annecy: Gaumont to launch ‘Boy and the Beast’ Jan. 13

Five-minute promo premiered at Annecy January 13

ANNECY, France — Underscoring its ambition for Mamoru Hosoda’s “The Boy and the Beast,” French studio Gaumont will release the much-awaited title on 200 screens in France on Jan. 13.

Screen count is four times the number of locations in France of Hosoda’s latest film, “Wolf Children.”

The U.S., U.K, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux, and Switzerland will also see the film released theatrically with the same ambition, making “The Boy and the Beast” a breakthrough film for Mamoru Hosoda, said Yohann Comte, deputy head of international sales at Gaumont, which handles international sales, after a Work in Progress screening of ‘Boy” at France’s Annecy Festival.

At the Annecy Work in Progress session, Gaumont sneak-peeked for the first time a five-minute promo of “The Boy and the Beast” — to the delight of a fan-packed auditorium.

Seji Okuda, “Boy’s” producer at Nippon Television and deputy head of international sales at Gaumont Yohann Comte talked the audience through the production.

Hosoda’s devotees present, mainly animation students, appeared to love the promo, which had echoes of “Karate Kid,” distances apart, given Hosoda’s strong auteurist visuals.

Produced by Studio Chizu and Nippon TV, Hosoda’s animated tale “Beast” is a coming-of-ager centering on lonely lad Kyuta and Kumatetsu, a lonesome beast who lives in Jutengai, an imaginary world. One day, Kyuta enters this universe and Kumatetsu becomes his master and friend.

“Wolf Children” was the second-highest grossing movie in Japan on its debut in July 2012, defeating Disney-Pixar’s “Brave,” which bowed the same date. “Children” cumed  a final $53 million in Japan.

Mamuro Hosoda is gaining increasing recognition abroad as an outstanding disciple of Hayao Miyazaki, especially after Miyazaki announced his retirement.

Gaumont has sold “The Boy and the Beast” to, of major territories, FUNimation Entertainment for the U.S., Studiocanal in the U.K., Italy’s Lucky Red, Madman in Australia and A Contracorriente in Spain. Sales were announced during the past Cannes fest.

Gaumont’s interest in Japanese animation centers on Hosoda and Studio Chizu projects, said Comte. The French company also has close connections with Nippon TV.

“France has always been a country of cinephiles and the first country in Europe to pay attention to Japanese cinema after the war,” Comte said.

He argued that there are also a lot of common features in the two cultures: a certain refinement and love for complexity, and probably a social pressure that lead people to need outlets and fantasies.

“More concretely, a lot of people grew up with the French-Japanese co-produced TV series of the ’70s and ’80s, like ‘Ulysses’ and ‘The Mysterious Cities of Gold.’ ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ partly directed by Miyazaki, was also co-produced in Europe,” Comte concluded.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Minions Rise of Gru

    'Minions: Rise of Gru,' 'Sing 2' Release Dates Pushed Back, 'Wicked' Indefinitely Delayed

    Universal Pictures is shaking up its release calendar, setting new dates for Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Sing 2.” The “Minions” sequel will now hit theaters next summer, on July 2, 2021. “Sing 2,” originally set to open on that date, has been pushed to Dec. 22, 2021, leaving “Wicked,” an adaptation of [...]

  • Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named

    Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named CEO of WarnerMedia

    Former Hulu chief Jason Kilar has been named CEO of WarnerMedia, giving him oversight of Warner Bros., HBO, the Turner cable assets and the company’s nascent HBO Max streaming platform. Kilar succeeds John Stankey, who was upped in September to AT&T president and chief operating officer. Kilar’s name had surfaced as a contender for the [...]

  • Cargo

    'Cargo': Film Review

    Another word for “Cargo,” a truly unique blend of Hindu mythology and mid-concept science fiction about a futuristic new process by which the recently deceased are beamed onto a spaceship far away in order to have their memories wiped and their souls cleansed for reincarnation, might be “baggage” — as in, dead people show up [...]

  • HTC Headset

    Taiwan Launches Int'l Grant Scheme to Boost VR Content Production

    Taiwan has launched a grant scheme to boost the island’s status as a global hub for virtual reality production. It is offering finance to projects co-produced by companies established in Taiwan and internationally, but excluding those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The three-year Immersive Content Grant for International Joint Ventures or Co-Productions under [...]

  • Extinction

    Coronavirus Causes 85% Crash in Asia Box Office

    Theatrical box office in the Asia-Pacific region tumbled a massive 85% in the first two months of the year. The coronavirus caused cinema closures, audience hesitation, and a halving of the number of film releases. Asia is home to the five of the top ten cinema markets outside North America. According to data from the [...]

  • Lindsay Lindenbaum on 'Tomboy,' Female Drummers,

    How 'Tomboy' Filmmaker Used SXSW Cancellation to Fine-Tune Her Film

    “Tomboy” filmmaker Lindsay Lindenbaum spent five years following four female drummers trying to make it in a male-dominated world. Lindenbaum profiles Bobbye Hall, a drummer who started at Motown Records in the late ’60s and later toured with Bob Dylan. Samantha Maloney, whose obsession with MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” as a teenager led her to fall [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content