EXCLUSIVE: UK distributor Momentum Pictures has acquired François Ozon’s In The House and Regis Roisnard’s period romcom Populaire, both from Wild Bunch. Ozon’s latest stars Kristin Scott-Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Fabrice Luchini and Inglourious Basterds’ Denis Menochet. The comedy/thriller sees an unusual student create pandemonium in the life of his professor. It’s produced by Ozon’s Potiche collaborators Eric and Nicolas Altmayer via their Mandarin Films. Populaire is a Mad Men-era comedy set around a typing contest that stars Romain Duris, Deborah François and The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo. Tell No One’s Alain Attal is producing the film that’s partly set in New York. Momentum’s Robert Walak tells me the company is very excited to continue to diversify its slate with these French titles, giving the marketing team an extra chance to exercise its muscle. Momentum, which is a member company of Alliance Films, has had a busy EFM with other acquisitions including FilmNations’ A Most Wanted Man for the UK and Spain and Steven Soderbergh’s Bitter Pill for Spain (in Spain the titles go out under Alliance’s Aurum), Kate Hudson-starrer Everly for the UK and Canada from Sierra/Affinity, and John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary for the UK and Canada which Protagonist is selling plus Exclusive’s Can A Song Save Your Life? starring Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson for the UK. Walak describes EFM as “certainly stronger than we expected.” Back at home in the UK, Momentum had a notable weekend with Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman In Black grossing £3.1 million in its opening. That’s the biggest debut ever for a Hammer Films production in the UK and the biggest British independent film opening of 2012.
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