Global Village: Spaniards Salivate Over Food Shows; France Debates Mobile Tax, More
“Django” Eventually Unchained
Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” returned to Chinese multiplexes May 12 after being suddenly removed, in some cases midscreening, a month ago. The pic has been stripped of three minutes of nude scenes, but the movie’s China B.O. will suffer less from the cuts than it will from competition from actioners “Iron Man 3″ and “Oblivion,” which are both still playing in the territory.
The nation’s distribs and exhibs have taken a page out of China’s protectionist playbook, aiming to shield the struggling local industry from foreign pics by blocking wildly popular Bollywood films during the Aug. 8 Eid holiday frame. Four Pakistani films are due for release in the period, including Bilal Lashari’s action pic “Waar,” with a budget of 170 million Pakistan rupees ($1.7 million) the most expensive local film ever made. The decision is unlikely to please Pakistani auds. Eid is also a holiday in India, and big-budget pics “Chennai Express,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, and “Once Upon a Time in Mumbai 2,” starring Akshay Kumar — both enormously popular in Pakistan — were due for release. No homegrown films opened in 2012, and only four in 2011. This year sees a revival with 21 local pics due to unspool.
Digital Commerce Climbing
India’s digital commerce market, valued at 473.5 billion rupees ($8.7 billion) in December, is set to grow 33% to $11.6 billion by the end of 2013, according to a report from the Internet and Mobile Assn. of India and research firm IMRB Intl. Still, online entertainment ticketing accounts for less than 2% of the pie.
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Auds Awash in Online Vids
Indian online video consumption has doubled in the past two years to 3.7 billion videos per month, according to the latest ComScore Video Metrix report. Some 54 million viewers watch 431.5 minutes every month. Google sites, driven by YouTube.com, led the surge in March, with 31.5 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook with 18.6 million and Yahoo with 8.2 million.
Nobles Collects Record Coin
Auds continue to flock to “We the Nobles” (Nosotros los Nobles) from first-time helmer Gary “Gaz” Alazraki. The laffer, about a wealthy man trying to get his slacker kids to work, reached $22.3 million at the domestic box office May 14 after seven weeks in theaters, and has remained among the top three films over the past five weekends, beating “Iron Man 3,” “Oblivion” and “The Croods.” The pic, produced by former WB exec Leonardo Zimbron, shot past Mexico’s previous top grosser, 2002’s “The Crime of Father Amaro” ($16.3 million), in five weekends. WB has distribution rights for Mexico and for TV in Latin America. Sales agent Film Sharks expects to close more deals at Cannes.
Pele Gets World Cup Assist
Helmers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s biopic “Pele,” about the Brazilian soccer icon, is being positioned at the Cannes Market as an event film by Exclusive Media, with a release to coincide with the 2014 soccer World Cup tournament, which will be hosted by Brazil. Co-produced by Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures, the feature charts the rise of 9-year-old shoeshine boy Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pele, to the 17-year-old who scored two goals in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup win against Sweden.