2009 Box Office Review - Italy - Part 3
Local production is comprised primarily of commercial comedies and commercial auteur films, with arthouse films representing another 10-15% of the market over the past decade according to ANICA’s president of the producer section. He noted that the most growth in Italian film market share was in the commercial auteur film segment. Recent contributions by directors such as Gabriele Muccino, Nanni Moretti, Ferzan Ozpetek, Carlo Verdones and Gabriele Salvatores, as well as others who makes films that gross an average of €4-5 million support this idea.
This year the local sector was dominated by wide release blockbusters like Filmauro’s “Christmas in Beverly Hills,” Medusa’s “I Fall From the Clouds” and Filmauro’s “Italians.” But 01 Distribution also scored with “Ex” earning €10.7 million, which is a romantic comedy that mixes tales of ended love affairs across different age groups.
Medusa released Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Baaria” (€10.5 million), “Marilyn and I” (€8.9 million), “The Tangle” (€7.6 million), “A Summer in the Carribean” (€3.7 million) and “This Small Large Love” (€3.7 million).
Smaller local titles with a more limited release also did well like UPI’s political comedy “Different From Who?” (€3.2 million) and “Today Grooms” (€3.3 million).
Warner’s also had one title in the domestic top 20, “The Monsters Today” (€2 million).
Upcoming releases include Filmauro’s Giovanni Veronesi “Parents & Kids — Shake Before Use,” a film about family through the eyes of a 14-year-old. It stars popular actors Silvio Orlando and Margherita Buy. Veronesi’s last three films each grossed between €15 million and €20 million.
Medusa’s Baciami Ancora’s “Kiss Me Again” is the anticipated sequel to Gabriele Muccino’s 2001 hit “Last Kiss” which grossed €13 million in Italy. Vittoria Puccini and Stefano Accorsi star in the story that picks up a decade after the first one ended. “Kiss Me Again” marks Muccino’s first Italian project since he directed “The Pursuit Of Happyness” and “Seven Pounds,” both starring Will Smith.
Silvio Orlando's ”The Youngest Son” is also being released by Medusa and includes Christian De Sica and Laura Morante in a story about the relationship between an absent father and his youngest son after years of separation.
01 Distribution is releasing Ferzan Ozpetek’s Puglia-set “Mine Vaganti” in a drama starring Riccardo Scamarcio that traces the lives of two brothers and the women in their lives.
The exhibition sector must work to resolve quickly an open issue with the government concerning the upgrading of theaters. Many companies that have invested in digitalizing theatres in Italy are at risk because of a tax credit that is set to expire this December. The law has not yet been signed and implemented, which puts future development of exhibition at risk. Both large and small theatres will suffer as digital represents a great opportunity to improve business in a contracting industry.
Ellen Pittleman, http://hybridentus.com, is a veteran studio executive based in Los Angeles. Most recently, she served as SVP, International Co-Productions and Worldwide Acquisitions for Paramount Pictures. She also launched the DVD Premiere group there, with films including Jonathan Demme’s “Neil Young: Heart of Gold” and the sequel to the $100MM+ “Save the Last Dance.” Working from a marketing and distribution perspective, she consults on strategic planning, deal negotiation, acquisitions, film library valuation and feature development with clients from Rio to London to Beijing. She’s also currently developing a feature on George Foreman’s comeback years, among other projects.