×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amid Box Office Plunge, Italy Gears Up for Summer Releases, Including New ‘Spider-Man’

Italy’s top film organizations on Tuesday announced a concerted initiative to lure more local moviegoers into theaters during the summer months, just as the country’s box office continues to plunge after a disastrous 2018.

The country’s motion picture association, ANICA, which comprises reps from the Hollywood majors as well as Italy’s distributors, producers and exhibitors, said they are jointly launching a push to release more movies between May and August, when Italians traditionally hit the beach en masse.

The dearth of summer releases in the past has been known to cause a glut of releases the rest of the year and is considered a major local impediment to market growth.

Italian distributors’ chief Luigi Lonigro called the country’s 2019 summer lineup the “biggest ever,” noting that “the big [Hollywood] blockbusters will finally be released day and date with the main European territories, along with titles by major Italian and international directors.”

“Distributors have made bold but necessary choices, aware of the fact that they are running the risk of taking a loss on each of these titles,” Lonigro said, “but with the long-term goal of jointly contributing to market growth.”

In terms of U.S. studio fare, Italy’s exhibitors, as previously announced, are boasting a much improved summer 2019 lineup, with 10 Hollywood titles slotted from May to August, including “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “X-Men Dark Phoenix,” “Men in Black: International,” “Toy Story 4,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” “The New Mutants” and the “The Lion King,” which will go out in Italy on Aug. 21.

By contrast, in 2018 only 4 Hollywood tentpoles went out in Italy during the summer. Last year “Hotel Transylvania 3” and “Mission Impossible 6” got Italian releases in the second half of August when the country was already in post-holiday back-to-school mode, whereas in the U.S. and rest of Europe they went out in July.

What’s clear now is that Italian producers and distributors are joining the U.S. majors in the push, albeit with less of a loss at stake.

This summer Italy’s Lucky Red will release Laurel and Hardy biopic “Stan & Ollie,” which though not a fresh film still represents a big gamble in a summer slot; 01 Distribution will launch multi-hyphenate Sergio Rubini’s comedy “The Great Spirit” and veteran helmer Pupi Avati’s chiller “Il Grande Diavolo”; Eagle Pictures will bow biopic “Nureyev: The White Crow,” directed by Ralph Fiennes. Videa is outing Neil Jordan’s thriller “Greta,” starring Isabelle Huppert, which, like “Stan & Ollie,” is not a fresh title but still a prestige pic to which they could have given a more secure play date.

Italy’s summer-releases initiative, somewhat oddly branded “Moviement” for the promotional campaign, comes as box office intake has just suffered a roughly 10% dip in January and February compared with the same period in 2018, a year that saw grosses shrink to €555 million ($631 million), the country’s worst box office result in a decade.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Vanessa Kirby poses for photographers at

    Vanessa Kirby to Star in Drama 'Pieces of a Woman' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hobbs & Shaw” actress Vanessa Kirby is in negotiations to star in the Bron Studios pic “Pieces of a Woman,” sources tell Variety. Kornél Mundruczó will direct with Kata Wéber penning the script. Reps for Kirby could not be reached for comment. Specific plot details are being kept under wraps, but it is known that [...]

  • Suki WaterhouseSave the Children Centennial Celebration,

    Dark Castle, HanWay, Ingenious Team on 'Séance' From 'Blair Witch' Scribe Simon Barrett

    Dark Castle Entertainment, HanWay Films and Ingenious Media have partnered on horror film “Séance,” directed by “Blair Witch” scribe Simon Barrett. Set in an all-girls boarding school haunted by a vengeful spirit, the film stars Suki Waterhouse (“Assassination Nation,” “The Bad Batch”) as Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one [...]

  • The Black List

    The Black List Reveals India Plans

    The Black List, an online yearly survey that features Hollywood’s most popular unpublished screenplays, is all set to make an imprint in India. The survey’s founder Franklin Leonard revealed this during a masterclass at the ongoing Mumbai film festival, where he is also serving as the head of the India Gold competition jury. “One of [...]

  • China Pavilion at TIFFCOM 2019

    'Still Life' Remake Heads for Japan-China Fund Backing

    A Japanese-language remake of British drama “Still Life” could be the first film to flow from a fund created to support Chinese-Japanese joint productions. The fund is operated by WeF Cultural Investment Media, a company founded earlier this year with the backing of government bodies in Beijing and Qingdao — the Chinese coastal city which [...]

  • Kanye West

    Kanye West to Preview ‘Jesus Is King’ Album and Film in Los Angeles on Wednesday

    On the heels of Monday’s announcement that Kanye West’s delayed “Jesus Is King” album will be released on Friday along with a companion IMAX film, the rapper will preview both projects at the Forum in Los Angeles on Wednesday, it was announced this morning. Tickets for the “Jesus Is King Album & Film Experience” will be [...]

  • Isabelle HuppertIsabelle Huppert Life Achievement Award,

    The Arcs Festival Taps Isabelle Huppert to Head The Talent Village For Young Helmers

    Guillaume Nicloux, the French director of “Valley of Love,” is set to preside over the jury of the Arcs Film Festival, while the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) will be the patron of the second edition of the Talent Village. Created last year, the Talent Village is a development workshop and platform for emerging [...]

  • Isaac Perlmutter Disney Marvel

    Does Kevin Feige's Marvel Promotion Mean Ike Perlmutter's Endgame?

    Last week’s move giving Kevin Feige charge of Marvel’s television, animation and print editorial operations should come as no surprise. As the architect of the company’s enormous film success, Feige arguably has the most enviable track record of any contemporary entertainment executive. Extending his creative control over more of the Marvel universe seems like a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content