By John Hopewell
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Closing Japan with Medallion and French-speaking Canada with Axiom and fielding offers for the U.S., China and the U.K, “The Beasts” is on track to shortly sell well over half the major territories in the world for sales agent Latido Films.
In further new deals, the Spain-set modern-day Western has also now been swooped on by HBO Eastern Europe and has licensed Poland (Aurora), Hungary (Cinefil), Portugal (Outsiders) and the Baltics (Capella).
These pacts add to prior acquisitions by Movies Inspired in Italy and Imagine in Benelux, Kino Mediteran in ex-Yugoslavia territories and Transilvania Film for Romania.
A Cannes Premiere world bow co-produced by Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pictures and Sorogoyen’s Caballo Films with France’s Le Pacte, “The Beasts” ran up 327,125 ticket sales – over €2 million ($2.1 million) – in France for Le Pacte in an extraordinary 14-week run. It opened on Nov. 11 in Spain to a buoyant first 10-day €1.2 million ($1.2 million) in Spain for indie distributor A Contracorriente and swept the Tokyo Festival, walking off with best picture, director and actor (Denis Menochet) consolidating Sorogoyen’s status as one of Spain’s preeminent international directors.
After a muted early 2022, “slowly but surely, over the last three months, our movies are finding their place in the market,” Latido Films head Antonio Saura told Variety.
Several factors may be at play. Festival success can be crucial. The Tokyo trophy trifecta “triggered interest from more reluctant clients,” Saura said.
Of other Latido movies, Daniel Calparsoro’s “All the Names of God” – a propulsive, high-octane action thriller from Tripictures, Second Gen Pictures and Wanda Films, scheduled for delivery in 2023 – has closed the Baltics with Capella, following on prior pre-sales pacts with France’s Kinovista and Koch Media in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
“The new film, is generating huge interest and apart from the pre-sold territories, new offers are coming that we are assessing with the producers – whether to pre-sell or wait until the film, which looks amazing, is completed,” Saura reported.
“Virus 32,” a novel zombie movie from The Silent House director Gustavo Hernández, has now licensed MENA with Oceana Studios and Poland with Media 4 Fun.
A high-profile title to track since it was first unveiled at the virtual Cannes Market in 2020, pre-selling Japan to AT Ent., “Virus 32” prior deals include a release on AMC Networks’ streaming platform Shudder in the U.S., U.K., other English-language territories, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. With such deals, “Virus 32” has snow old out over half the world.
Notably “Virus 32,” “All the Names of God” and “The Beasts” are all genre, or have strong genre tropes, “The Beasts” a modern day thriller-Western framing the tensions sparked when a cultured French couple – the strangers in town – settle in a remote valley in rural Galicia, and refuse to bow to local power hierarchies.
“These are movies that make independent distributors sit up and dream they can lure audiences back to theaters,” said Saura.
Also, with streamers recalibrating ever more as general interest TVs, one mounting question, said Saura, is whether the old world of theatrical distribution followed by a TV window will return once more. “I think some distributors could be looking at what’s happening and thinking: ‘Maybe we have a chance of survival,’” he added.
Movies marketing impact is still huge, he added. And scale matters. Juan José Campanella’s Oscar winner “The Secret in Their Eyes” has clinched deals with the Baltics, Benelux (September Films) and Poland (Media 4 Fun).
“Several movies are having a good run in the market, in what is proving a great association with A Contracorriente’s library that we are now offering in the market,” said Saura.
“If we put together our catalogue as Latido with what A Contracorriente has given us to sell in international, we are talking more than 500 titles, with some of the best Spanish and Latin American films of past years,” he added, noting that streaming platforms had “lately shown a renewed interest in some of our titles after MipCancun” and that October’s Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market had proved “very interesting indeed.”