CANNES — In further evidence of a generally more robust high-end international sales market at this year’s Cannes Film Market, outside China at least, Studiocanal, has secured distribution in 70% of major territories worldwide on $25 million “Around the World,” its banner new animated feature.
Written by “Ice Age 2’s” Gerry Swallow and directed by Academy Award-nominated Samuel Tourneux (“Only Pidgeons Go To Heaven”) “Around the World” is produced with Studiocanal by Federation Entertainment’s Cottonwood Media in its first animated feature production.
Of major territories, Studicanal has closed CIS (Volga), Scandinavia (Svensk), and South Korea (JoyNCinema). Releases for France, Germany, the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand are guaranteed for “Around the World” given Studiocanal’s direct distribution territories.
Also clinched are Switzerland (Impuls), ex-Yugoslovia (Blitz), Portugal (Lusomundo), Greece (Spentzos), Middle East (Salim Ramia), Poland (Monolith) Eastern Europe (Vertical), Taiwan (Moviecloud), Vietnam (Blue Lantern) and Israel (Red Cape).
“We will probably close around 70% of the world at this market,” said Anne Cherel, Studiocanal head of international current movies sales.
She added: “The feedback from distributors was really positive on the package. The fact we had the team with us on board in Cannes definitely helped us sell some territories with strong distributors.
“Korea is key for animation so it’s great to already have a Korean partner onboard,” she also noted.
Studiocanal will handle the release in its direct distribution territories unless it receives offers for territories which it can’t refuse. Studiocanal will release “Around the World” directly in France.
Of Studiocanal home territories, one still to be decided is Germany, “one of the territories where everyone needs to take more time to decide and see more before joining the project,” said Cherel. “It will obviously be one of the most strategic of the Studiocanal territories because animation is a strong-playing genre in Germany.”
On “Gunpowder Milkshake,” produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman at The Picture Company (“Non-Stop,” “The Commuter“), having just sold Hong Kong (UA) before the Cannes Film Market, Studiocanal struck an important deal for China (Wingsight) at Cannes.
Spain (Vertice), Scandinavia (Svensk), Middle East, Greece, Turkey and India (Italia Film), CIS and the Baltics (Volga), Japan (Kino Film) and South Korea (Playlist) are already licensed.
Distribution for France, U.K, Germany, Australia/New Zealand will be handled by Studiocanal.
Benelux (Belga), Switzerland (Impulse) Poland (M2), Eastern Europe (Prorom), Israel (Red Cape), South Africa (Empire), Taiwan (Moviecloud), and Thailand (Sahamongkol are also closed.
A female empowerment action thriller, directed by “Big Bad Wolves’” Navot Papushado and described as having “high-octane stylized fight sequences” and “bold humor,” “Gunpowder Milkshake” turns on a multi-generation sisterhood of hitwomen who join forces in an avenging war against those who took everything from them, the synopsis reads.
“The world is almost sold out except for South America, North America and Italy, which is a really exciting place to be on a film like this,” Cherel said.
“Plus we got much positive feedback from the U.S. in Cannes following the cast announcements” of Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino, who join Lena Heady [“Game of Thrones,” “300”], Karen Gillan [“Guardians of the Galaxy”], Angela Bassett [“Black Panther”] and Paul Giamatti [“Billions”],” she added.
“‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is a unique and special project, and generating much excitement out of the U.S., one of the last available territories, said Anna Marsh, Studiocanal EVP, international distribution.
“Three of my favorite co-stars working together @carlagugino @karengillan & Paul Giamatti with an amazing cast of bad ass women. This script is fantastic. Can’t wait to see the movie!” tweeted “The Rock’s” Dwayne Johnson.
“We are a 100% women sales team so to see this amazing kick ass women movie with a prestigious cast is very exciting for all of us,” Cherel said.
Studiocanal will handle direct distribution in its four home territories.
On French-language titles, “Black Box” has closed strong pre-sales, such as with Kino Films for Japan and the Alibaba Group for China, Cherel said, noting that Studiocanal continued sales at Cannes on other French-language films such as “My Dog Stupid,” “Someone, Somewhere,” and “The Perfect Nanny,” while sales on “Samsam,” begun at Berlin, were “strong” at Cannes.
“We really want to have films that have a European DNA, French, Spanish or German, but that can travel,” Cherel said.
That ambition has driven it to link with some of France’s most powerful production companies, such as Pascal Caucheteuz at Why Not Productions (“The Perfect Nanny”) and Didier Brunner’s Folivari (“Samsam”).