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European Box Office Regains Lost Ground


Cinema TicketDespite soccer fever eating deep into June receipts, European box office in the first half of the year regained much of the ground lost in 2005, with France and Italy notably roaring back with double-digit growth. First-half receipts in 2005 were down 12%-19% in major territories, the only exception being the U.K., which was flat.

The single common factor, according to industry observers, was the strong lineup of films, with several Hollywood titles performing well across the region plus some strong local titles swelling numbers in individual territories.


Pirates Sails To Top of UK Chart


Pirate - Johnny DeppThe Pirates of the Caribbean sequel has sailed to the top of the UK and Ireland box office chart after the best UK opening weekend of the year. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, with Johnny Depp, took £11.47m from Friday to Sunday, according to Screen International figures.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban holds the record for a UK and Ireland opening, taking £23.9m when it was released in 2004.


Wippit Moves Into Movie Downloads


Wippit logoThe UK's movie download scene is to brighten with the Wippit online music store signing a deal with Universal to offer download-to-own features. The link-up will bring a welcome range of new releases, including King Kong and Jarhead, as well as some back-catalogue films available for UK downloaders when it launches later this month.


Indie Filmmaker Releases Award-Winning Feature as a Download for Keeps


Crooked Features now available as a segmented download with no DRMWhilst the Big Studios grapple with Apple over pricing, independent filmmakers are racing ahead to exploit this emerging revenue stream. Now independent producer HARP28 has released a segmented feature-film, Crooked Features, for digital download in conjunction with Lulu, the world's fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books and hosted digital video pay-to-downloads.


Hollywood Awakens to the Geriatric Demographic


The Rediscovered -Older Filmgoers- Still Count as Bums on Seats


"Boynton Beach Club" - Romance blossoms in a home for the elderlyWhen Hollywood marketing gurus speak about "the older audience," they generally don't mean older by much. Box office tallies, for instance, are often reviewed with an eye to the percentage of moviegoers over and under the age of 25. Yet change is afoot. Some filmmakers and smaller distributors have discovered a secret society of mature moviegoers, and they have decided that this audience may actually be worth courting.


The Works To Distribute Shortbus in the UK


PJ Deboy and Paul Dawson in a scene from Cameron Mitchell's "Shortbus"The Works U.K. Distribution has secured UK rights to the new movie Shortbus. A sexually explicit, strikingly artistic and ultimately hopeful new film, "Shortbus" is the story of a group of New Yorkers, straight and gay, male and female, coping with life and love in the modern day big city. They come together weekly at a Brooklyn salon that is both polysexual and bohemian, which features music, art and yes, sex. The follow-up to Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus features an ensemble cast who workshopped the project and engage in graphic on-screen sex scenes.


CROSS CULTURAL FILMMAKING - Guerrilla Movies in the Philippines

Cavite - shot guerilla-style in the Philippines for $7,000 A Spirit of Independence award-winning feature, shot with Panasonic DV cameras, costing less than $7,000 open this weekend in the US. The cameras were sold on eBay to finance post production. Cavite was filmed guerrilla-style in the Philippine city of that name by Asian-American co-directors Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana. James MacGregor looks at cross cultural filmmaking in the Philippines.