EXCLUSIVE: StudioCanal has virtually sold out on Nick Park’s prehistoric blockbuster Early Man. In addition to the key territories of the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, which StudioCanal will self-distribute, the French company has closed deals with Svensk in Scandinavia, Impuls in Switzerland, Lusomondo in Portugal, Blitz in ex-Yugoslavia, Myndform in Iceland, Odeon in Greece, IDC in Latin America, Acme in the Baltics, Lumiere in Benelux, Cinemax in Indonesia, Fabula in Turkey, Times Media in South Africa, Panorama in Hong Kong, Cinemax in Czech Republic and CJ in Vietnam.
StudioCanal is negotiating deals with China, Japan and Korea, and offers also have been received for Italy and Eastern Europe.
StudioCanal is in discussions with a number of parties in the U.S. Deadline understands that the film is more likely to go to an independent than a studio. The Weinstein Co. successfully released Paddington domestically, where it grossed $75 million. Lionsgate is releasing Shaun the Sheep, also from Nick Park’s Aardman studio, August 7. It would not be a surprise if Early Man ended up at either company.
Early Man is a stop-frame feature film that sees Park going behind the camera for the first time since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Park also co-directed Chicken Run. Mark Burton and John O’Farrell have written the script. The BFI is also a partner on the film. Set at the dawn of time, when dinosaurs and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of how one plucky caveman unites his tribe against a mighty enemy and saves the day, while also inadvertently inventing the game of football.
The film is part of StudioCanal’s expansion into family fare following the global success of Paddington– $260 million worldwide gross and counting- and Shaun the Sheep.