ROME — Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “The Hateful Eight,” Bradley Cooper-starrer “Adam Jones,” Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” and Dennis Villeneuve’s Cannes standout “Sicario” are among promising U.S. pics lined up by Italy’s Rai Cinema, which is coming off a banner 2014-15 theatrical season as the country’s top local distributor, after Warner Bros. and Universal.
The film distribution and production unit of Italo pubcaster RAI unveiled an impressive slate on Monday in Rome, dominated by Italian titles, as befits a government-funded outfit, but still strong on international fare, especially from Hollywood.
Deal for “The Hateful Eight” was finalized in Cannes by Leone Film Group, which will co-distrib with RAI, marking the first time Rai Cinema will release a Tarantino pic. Rai Cinema topper Paolo Del Brocco said the Italian release of Tarantino’s Civil War-era Western is planned in early 2016, following its U.S. outing via the Weinstein Co. on December 25 in limited release on 70mm format and in digital release January 8.
Leone and Rai Cinema have teamed to co-release several other hot Hollywood pics, including Justin Chadwick’s Christoph Waltz-starrer “Tulip Fever,” Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw” and the already mentioned John Wells-directed “Adam Jones” and “Sicario.”
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Rai Cinema topper Paolo Del Brocco said it has Euros 65 million ($74 million) earmarked to invest in movies this year, mostly for Italian pics, which made up 80% of its 2014 lineup and will continue to constitute the bulk of Rai Cinema product going forward. In 2014 Rai Cinema scored a 13.5% market share, amounting to a total take of $86.5 million, while its current 2015 market share is 12.5%.
As for Italian titles that Rai Cinema will be releasing, standouts include Giuseppe Tornatore’s previously announced upcoming romancer “The Correspondence”; Marco Bellocchio’s vampire pic “Blood of My Blood”; Claudio Cupellini’s Italo-French co-prod “Alaska”; and Ferzan Ozpetek’s Istanbul-set “Rosso Istanbul,” based on the Turkish-born Italian director’s eponymous book.