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RELEASES Belgium

European mega-productions hit the market

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Just released on Belgian screens, De Griezelbus is the third film from young Dutch director Pieter Kuijpers, no stranger to audience acclaim. This mega-production for children, produced by Bos Bros Film & TV Productions, did not have the success in Holland that the company was banking on, and achieved disappointing results (see news).

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Although Belgium’s Jekino did not repeat the mistake made by Warner Bros NL – which released it at the same time as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Chicken Little – the film is nevertheless up against a more modest children’s title, Pelicanman, from Finnish director Lissa Helminen (which was bought by A-Film Distribution for Benelux). This story of a pelican’s transformation into a human being and his friendship with a little boy has touched children’s hearts and won two Jussi Awards, on top of numerous other festival prizes (see news).

The major French release of the week is Francis Veber’s The Valet [+see also:
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, which was distributed on an impressive 34 screens throughout Belgium by Belga Film.

More modestly, Lumière is distributing The Passenger [+see also:
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, French actor Eric Caravaca’s directorial debut, which screened out of competition at last year’s Venice Festival. A jury member at the recent Francophone Film Festival in Namur, Caravaca also took to the set of The Weakest is Always Right [+see also:
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, the upcoming film from Belgium’s Lucas Belvaux.

Out of Italy, Cinéart has released 15 prints of Roberto Benigni’s latest film, The Tiger and the Snow [+see also:
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, which had a disappointing run in France (457,713 admissions after six weeks) but grossed almost €15m at home.

Last in the line-up is blockbuster US film V for Vendetta [+see also:
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, which – thanks to the involvement of Fünfte Babelsberg Film, a division of Studio Babelsberg, where the film was shot – is also a German co-production, and also benefited from €650,000 in financial support from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

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(Translated from French)

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