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RELEASES France

Babylon A.D. explodes onto screens

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Babylon A.D. explodes onto screens

Preceded by an explosive reputation fed by rumours of a turbulent shoot in Prague, Mathieu Kassovitz’s science-fiction feature, Babylon A.D. [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, hits French screens today, launched by StudioCanal.

Starring an international cast (Vin Diesel, Mélanie Thierry, Michelle Yeoh, Mark Strong, Gérard Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling), the film will then be released in the US, UK and Russia on August 29; in Portugal on September 4; in Austria and Germany on September 11; in Spain the following week; in Holland on September 25; and in Italy, Finland and Norway on October 3.

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Adapted by Kassovitz and Eric Besnard from Maurice G. Dantec’s novel Babylon Babies, this is the sixth feature by the director of Hate and The Crimson Rivers. Babylon A.D. centres on a mercenary who escorts a mysterious young girl from Russia to New York on behalf of a powerful religious order. The Eastern European mafia try to thwart the mission against a background of apocalyptic stakes involving ecology, biology, DNA and arms.

The dramatic storyline has nonetheless failed to win over French critics who have described Babylon A.D. as a US-style action film without real added value. Produced by Légende Entreprises, MNP Entreprise, Studio Canal and 20th Century Fox, the title was made on a budget of €50.82m. This included €3.2m in co-production investment and pre-sales from M6 Films and pre-sales from Ciné Cinéma and Canal+.

Among the seven new releases hitting French screens this Wednesday, Anne Fontaine’s off-beat comedy La fille de Monaco [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(“The Girl from Monaco”, distributed by Warner) has received an enthusiastic response from the press. Starring Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem and Louise Bourgoin, the feature retraces the misadventures of a lawyer who battles against an ambitious weather presenter and a body guard. The film was produced by Soudaine Compagnie in co-production with Ciné@ for a budget of €8.37m.

Finally, among the European releases, Bac Films are launching Solveig Anspach’s Icelandic production Back Soon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see news). The film was co-produced (25% investment) by French company Ex Nihilo for an overall budget of €1.51m, including support from the National Film Centre (CNC) foreign-language film fund.

At the box office, Safy Nebbou’s Mark of an Angel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Diaphana Distribution – 286 screens) has garnered 177,000 admissions in five days and Rémi Bezançon’s The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
has attracted 578,000 viewers during its four weeks on release. Meanwhile, Cannes prize-winner Gomorrah [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
by Italian director Matteo Garrone has got off to a good start with 96,000 admissions (Le Pacte - 121 screens) in five days.

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(Translated from French)

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