EXCLUSIVE: French sales agent and producer Other Angle is leading a showcase of French comedies at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills.
The idea behind the initiative called The French Comedy Club is to generate business for French comedies, including via remakes and acquisitions, and to increase awareness of French genre titles for industry and general public.
Each movie has been recently released in France but will be debuting in the U.S. TF1, Gaumont and Pathé have also offered up movies for the initiative, which has buy-in from French cinema promotion agency UniFrance.
The initial program of French-language comedies comprises Retirement Home, Les Tuches 4, Super Who? and The Wannabes.
Gerard Depardieu and Kev Adams pic Retirement Home, about a convict sentenced to do community service in a retirement home, scored $12M in France last month. Comedy Super Who?, which took $13M last month, follows a struggling actor who finally gets cast as a superhero. Les Tuches 4, the fourth instalment in the hit franchise, took $19M last December despite the pandemic. Meanwhile, The Wannabes, from La Vie En Rose producer Alan Goldman, follows two warring salesmen who decide to team up to compete on TV game shows in a bid to repay their debts.
The movies will screen over the weekend of April 1. Tickets will cost $10.
Other Angle is well-placed to lead the initiative given its strong track record in commercially-successful genre titles. Last year the company’s comedy Spoiled Brats and Jean Claude Van Damme film The Last Mercenary were among the most successful non-English language films on Netflix worldwide with more than 50 million views each.
The Comedy Club initiative is part of the Paris-based seller’s desire to increase its U.S. footprint, which will include working on more English-language projects.
The company’s slate over the years has ranged from Omar Sy comedy On The Other Side Of The Tracks, which was picked up by TWC, to box office hit Babysitting, and more recent Cannes title The Best Years Of A Life.
Company co-head Olivier Albou told us: “For two years the comedy market has been depressed but it is now coming back after the pandemic. The studios may be focused on superhero movies but there is a need for content diversity among the streamers and distributors. This showcase is a great opportunity for distributors, agents, producers and U.S. audiences to get to know some of France’s best recent comedies. If it goes well, we’ll be back!”
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