Santiago Segura’s “Father There Is Only One 2” has punched €2.14 million ($2.5 million) across its first five days in Spain over July 29-Aug. 2, according to Comscore, maintaining its bid to become Europe’s first COVID-19 era blockbuster.
With some cinema theater takings still to come in, the box office trawl is at least 21% up on opening figures for the family comedy franchise’s first installment, which went on to become Spain’s biggest movie release of 2019, earning a final €14.2 million ($16.1 million) from an Aug. 1 bow.
This year’s opening box office has been made on one more day at the box office, with the sequel bowing on a Wednesday, and the first installment on a Thursday. But “Father 2” grossed $2.5 million from 23% fewer screens in Spain, according to Comscore — some movie theaters remain closed because of COVID-19 — and largely over a weekend that caught many Spaniards going on or returning from vacation.
Dominating Spain’s cinemas, “Father There Is Only One 2,” from Sony Pictures International Productions, drove the country’s total box office to a total which comes in 2.4 times larger than the U.K. and eight times that of Italy’s total takings. Of Europe’s big five markets, only France bested Spain.
Popular on Variety
Capitalizing on the wave of increased commissions from U.K. broadcasters looking for new content, Scottish company Red Sky Productions has hired Jacqui Hayden in the newly created role of director of development.
Hayden comes from Matchlight where she was director of development working on popular returning series such as “The Highland Midwife,” “Night Force,” “My Baby, Psychosis and Me” and many others.
For their part, Red Sky hasn’t let the COVID-19 crisis slow them down. The company recently won commissions for series “Autumn at Jimmy’s Farm,” “Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue” and a second season of “Tiny Lives.” During lockdown, the company also developed follow-up series “Spring at Jimmy’s Farm” for Channel 4 and a new series, “Socially Distant with Susan Calman” for BBC Scotland.
U.K. non-profit Beats, an org founded by and for British East and South Asians working in the screen and theater sectors, has teamed with industry-led skills organization ScreenSkills to launch the Beats Fellowship Program, a new mentorship program for producers, directors, playwrights and screenwriters in the British screen industry to help promote talent from British East Asian and Southeast Asian communities.
Launched Monday, the nine-month program pairs 20 high profile industry professionals with mentees who will receive support, guidance and advice on how to move their careers forward. Apart from the mentoring, participants will also be invited to take part in a number of masterclasses and networking events over the next nine months.
The Beats Fellowship Program is backed by funds from the National Lottery awarded by the British Film Institute as part of its Future Film Skills program. It will join other initiatives as part of the wider ScreenSkills Mentoring Network.
“Ray Winstone’s Sicily,” the popular British actor’s first go at factual programming, has been picked up for U.K. broadcast on free-to-air network Blaze in a deal between A+E Networks U.K. and Banijay Rights, the new distribution arm of Banijay which includes the company’s new Endemol Shine assets. The series will premiere this fall on Blaze, as well as the network’s website and app.
Chris Stewart, commercial director at Banijay Rights, and Dan Korn, VP of programming at A+E Networks U.K., brokered the deal.
Having been deeply impacted by the culture and way of life of the Sicilian people, Winstone sets out to find out what it is about the island that has always held such a special place in his heart. Accompanied by restaurateur Bruno Zoccola and TV presenter Matt Lorenzo, the trio visit Sicily’s most famous kitchens, historical sights, churches and vineyards.
Australia’s Seven West Media is ready to ramp up its hit game show “The Chase,” a local adaptation of the U.K. ITV original, with the upcoming primetime special event series “Beat the Chasers,” where more than $500,000 AUD ($354,000) will be on the line.
Hosted by Andrew O’Keefe (“Deal or No Deal”), this late-night version will look to play off the success of the year’s most popular new format in Australia, where “The Chase: Australia” has come in as the top-rated program in the 5pm slot each week of 2020 to date.
The show pits contestants against a professional quizzer called The Chaser, who attempts to eliminate each player before they can claim any prizes. The original has been a massive hit for ITV, ranking as one of the network’s most-watched daytime shows ever and scoring several National Television Awards nominations.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.