Most French film folk have come to Cannes from Paris. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud came from Ulaghai, Inner Mongolia. You would expect no less from Annaud, a helmer who shot “The Lover” in Vietnam, Brad Pitt starrer “Seven Years in Tibet” partly in Tibet, and tiger sibling tale “Two Brothers” in Cambodia. A singular director by... Read more »
It only has 3 of the top international markets in release. And it doesn’t open in North American until May 24th. But Twentieth Century Fox’s Blue Sky Studios toon Epic launched with almost no fanfare overseas to $14.5M from 4,674 screens in 16 markets. Mexico ($3.5M from 1,416), Brazil ($2.5M from 616), and Germany ($2.3M from 957) were the leaders with 20 additional international markets opening next Memorial Weekend alongside the U.S. The storyline bears great resemblance to Fox’s juggernaut Avatar and little to Blue Sky’s previous blockbuster franchise Ice Age. “This is an excellent launch in a competitive window,” a Fox exec told me. Epic was #1 in 8 markets, and #2 in 5 markets, because of what has been a long, long draught for family fare in the worldwide market. The last toon in theaters was DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods also distributed by Fox which is playing in 38 markets and whose international cume to date of $375.8M is the 19th highest grossing animated film of all time overseas. Worldwide cume is $552.2M.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's justice minister on Sunday accused an Indian High Commission official and some South Africans of colluding to obtain permission for a plane chartered by a rich family close to President Jacob Zuma to use an air force base to land.
Caustic, surreal, creepy, and blackly funny, Dutch polymath Alex van Warmerdam’s “Borgman” is the trickster god in this year’s Cannes competition pantheon. Tonally similar to recent cultish favorites from Yorgos Lanthimos and Ben Wheatley (“Dogtooth” feels like a particularly close and favoured first cousin), there’s also a little Haneke in its chilly dissection of a perfect bourgeois life. But it’s really its own thing, due to the inspired choice to take recognisable archetypes of evil and mischief-making, and let them loose on a crisply contemporary, contained playground in the form of an aspirational, architect-designed modernist house, its gardens, and the lives of the family who live there. With pitch-perfect performances across the board,and boasting crisp photography and editing, the film never ceases to twist and turn and surprise, taking wicked joy in constantly switching us back on ourselves and our expectations of the characters. Appropriate, then, that it popped up at us...
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