Nov 24, 2020
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Front Page, Industry News

Cannes market slimmer than usual

The one thing Cannes Market-goers agree on is that there are fewer people here this year.
Cannes feels lighter. Even on the usually jam-packed first Saturday of the confab, the Croisette is less crowded and at almost any given time there are seats available in restaurants and bars.

Execs point to the inclement weather, the astronomical prices charged around town and the weak dollar.

“The costs of coming to Cannes are having an effect on everyone; there are even fewer French producers of the kind that would come for a few days to hang out on the Grand Hotel terrace,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, co-chief of French seller Films Distribution.

The market for films is harder to read, but seems similarly diminished. Sellers can’t agree whether there are fewer buyers or there’s simply less walk-in trade.

Kathy Kim, co-head of sales at Korea’s CJ Entertainment, said, “Our lineup is the best we’ve had at a market for several years, but we are not selling any more than last time. But then passing trade has been dropping for a couple of years.”

The serious buyers, meanwhile, are coming to the market prepared and ready to buy. Several buyers polled said they were making precision strikes in the first few days of the market and some said they were going home as early as this weekend. Benelux distributors RCV, who are newly owned by Canada’s Entertainment One, said they had targeted three films and were pretty much done by day 3 of the market.

CJ’s Kim noted that buyers were focused on two of her titles in particular. In order to hit buyers who may not stay till the bitter end, company was mounting private screenings of its Official Selection film “The Good, the Bad, the Weird,” ahead of Saturday’s public screening.

But it’s not just completed films that will see deals at this market. Prebuys are part of the mix again as well.

Diego Halabi of Sun, a pan-Latin American rights distrib that buys all rights for the 24 territories in the region, said, “We only buy all rights for all of Latin America and we can take the risk of prebuying. Sun pre-bought “Two Lovers” in Berlin and Soderbergh’s Che project two years ago. Both are in Cannes’ Competition this year.

Sebastian Darcyl, Halabi’s TV partner in Buenos Aires-based Sun Distribution, explained, “We’re very focused. We take calculated risks and can be efficient about who we want to be in business with.”

“There is no underlying shortage of buyers,” said Essential Entertainment topper Jere Hausfater. “There are multi-territory distributors, consortia and informal alliances, same as ever. But the days of multiple sales and packages are gone. There is no shortage of money either, but the money people are becoming really careful about who they ally themselves with and which projects they go with. They want more background checks, they want to know if the rights are really there, they want to know who and what they are dealing with.”

“All the contraction going on in the (U.S.) business creates a certain apprehension and unease in the market. People are waiting for the next shoe or two to drop,” Overture’s Chris McGurk added.

There are plenty of local factors at play too. In some overseas territories weak DVD or TV sectors are removing ancillary market support for all-rights buyers. That may be the case in Russia, Brazil and Spain.

In others, the direction and strength of local production is inversely affecting demand for foreign acquisitions. Sellers cited Japan as a territory still plumbed by strong homegrown fare. And weakness at home has made Korea an aggressive new buyer. “I’ve heard some buyers are going crazy and offering three times asking prices, I wish they’d do that for my titles,” Kim Seung-bum, CEO of Korea’s Studio 2.0, said.

And while buyers from dollar territories are especially are hurting, Hausfater noted, “It is not about the currency, it is all about whether they want your movie.”

Source: Variety

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Front Page, Industry News

Cannes market slimmer than usual

The one thing Cannes Market-goers agree on is that there are fewer people here this year.
Cannes feels lighter. Even on the usually jam-packed first Saturday of the confab, the Croisette is less crowded and at almost any given time there are seats available in restaurants and bars.

Execs point to the inclement weather, the astronomical prices charged around town and the weak dollar.

“The costs of coming to Cannes are having an effect on everyone; there are even fewer French producers of the kind that would come for a few days to hang out on the Grand Hotel terrace,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, co-chief of French seller Films Distribution.

The market for films is harder to read, but seems similarly diminished. Sellers can’t agree whether there are fewer buyers or there’s simply less walk-in trade.

Kathy Kim, co-head of sales at Korea’s CJ Entertainment, said, “Our lineup is the best we’ve had at a market for several years, but we are not selling any more than last time. But then passing trade has been dropping for a couple of years.”

The serious buyers, meanwhile, are coming to the market prepared and ready to buy. Several buyers polled said they were making precision strikes in the first few days of the market and some said they were going home as early as this weekend. Benelux distributors RCV, who are newly owned by Canada’s Entertainment One, said they had targeted three films and were pretty much done by day 3 of the market.

CJ’s Kim noted that buyers were focused on two of her titles in particular. In order to hit buyers who may not stay till the bitter end, company was mounting private screenings of its Official Selection film “The Good, the Bad, the Weird,” ahead of Saturday’s public screening.

But it’s not just completed films that will see deals at this market. Prebuys are part of the mix again as well.

Diego Halabi of Sun, a pan-Latin American rights distrib that buys all rights for the 24 territories in the region, said, “We only buy all rights for all of Latin America and we can take the risk of prebuying. Sun pre-bought “Two Lovers” in Berlin and Soderbergh’s Che project two years ago. Both are in Cannes’ Competition this year.

Sebastian Darcyl, Halabi’s TV partner in Buenos Aires-based Sun Distribution, explained, “We’re very focused. We take calculated risks and can be efficient about who we want to be in business with.”

“There is no underlying shortage of buyers,” said Essential Entertainment topper Jere Hausfater. “There are multi-territory distributors, consortia and informal alliances, same as ever. But the days of multiple sales and packages are gone. There is no shortage of money either, but the money people are becoming really careful about who they ally themselves with and which projects they go with. They want more background checks, they want to know if the rights are really there, they want to know who and what they are dealing with.”

“All the contraction going on in the (U.S.) business creates a certain apprehension and unease in the market. People are waiting for the next shoe or two to drop,” Overture’s Chris McGurk added.

There are plenty of local factors at play too. In some overseas territories weak DVD or TV sectors are removing ancillary market support for all-rights buyers. That may be the case in Russia, Brazil and Spain.

In others, the direction and strength of local production is inversely affecting demand for foreign acquisitions. Sellers cited Japan as a territory still plumbed by strong homegrown fare. And weakness at home has made Korea an aggressive new buyer. “I’ve heard some buyers are going crazy and offering three times asking prices, I wish they’d do that for my titles,” Kim Seung-bum, CEO of Korea’s Studio 2.0, said.

And while buyers from dollar territories are especially are hurting, Hausfater noted, “It is not about the currency, it is all about whether they want your movie.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Cannes market slimmer than usual

The one thing Cannes Market-goers agree on is that there are fewer people here this year.
Cannes feels lighter. Even on the usually jam-packed first Saturday of the confab, the Croisette is less crowded and at almost any given time there are seats available in restaurants and bars.

Execs point to the inclement weather, the astronomical prices charged around town and the weak dollar.

“The costs of coming to Cannes are having an effect on everyone; there are even fewer French producers of the kind that would come for a few days to hang out on the Grand Hotel terrace,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, co-chief of French seller Films Distribution.

The market for films is harder to read, but seems similarly diminished. Sellers can’t agree whether there are fewer buyers or there’s simply less walk-in trade.

Kathy Kim, co-head of sales at Korea’s CJ Entertainment, said, “Our lineup is the best we’ve had at a market for several years, but we are not selling any more than last time. But then passing trade has been dropping for a couple of years.”

The serious buyers, meanwhile, are coming to the market prepared and ready to buy. Several buyers polled said they were making precision strikes in the first few days of the market and some said they were going home as early as this weekend. Benelux distributors RCV, who are newly owned by Canada’s Entertainment One, said they had targeted three films and were pretty much done by day 3 of the market.

CJ’s Kim noted that buyers were focused on two of her titles in particular. In order to hit buyers who may not stay till the bitter end, company was mounting private screenings of its Official Selection film “The Good, the Bad, the Weird,” ahead of Saturday’s public screening.

But it’s not just completed films that will see deals at this market. Prebuys are part of the mix again as well.

Diego Halabi of Sun, a pan-Latin American rights distrib that buys all rights for the 24 territories in the region, said, “We only buy all rights for all of Latin America and we can take the risk of prebuying. Sun pre-bought “Two Lovers” in Berlin and Soderbergh’s Che project two years ago. Both are in Cannes’ Competition this year.

Sebastian Darcyl, Halabi’s TV partner in Buenos Aires-based Sun Distribution, explained, “We’re very focused. We take calculated risks and can be efficient about who we want to be in business with.”

“There is no underlying shortage of buyers,” said Essential Entertainment topper Jere Hausfater. “There are multi-territory distributors, consortia and informal alliances, same as ever. But the days of multiple sales and packages are gone. There is no shortage of money either, but the money people are becoming really careful about who they ally themselves with and which projects they go with. They want more background checks, they want to know if the rights are really there, they want to know who and what they are dealing with.”

“All the contraction going on in the (U.S.) business creates a certain apprehension and unease in the market. People are waiting for the next shoe or two to drop,” Overture’s Chris McGurk added.

There are plenty of local factors at play too. In some overseas territories weak DVD or TV sectors are removing ancillary market support for all-rights buyers. That may be the case in Russia, Brazil and Spain.

In others, the direction and strength of local production is inversely affecting demand for foreign acquisitions. Sellers cited Japan as a territory still plumbed by strong homegrown fare. And weakness at home has made Korea an aggressive new buyer. “I’ve heard some buyers are going crazy and offering three times asking prices, I wish they’d do that for my titles,” Kim Seung-bum, CEO of Korea’s Studio 2.0, said.

And while buyers from dollar territories are especially are hurting, Hausfater noted, “It is not about the currency, it is all about whether they want your movie.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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