STXinternational made its first-ever CineEurope presentation here in Barcelona with President David Kosse touting the overall company’s brand of “highly-commercial, star-driven films” that “take the studio model apart and rebuild it.” Since launching internationally, the offshore division of STX Entertainment has set 33 output partners around the world and its own distribution hub in the UK. Kosse, the former longtime Universal exec, tells me this seemed like the right time to show off STXi’s wares at the European exhibitors conference particularly as the company is launching its first full summer slate.
Its latest title, Baltasar Kormakur’s sea-faring adventure/romance Adrift, has grossed $24.4M worldwide to date and will roll out abroad throughout June and July, primed to act as counterprogramming to the World Cup. It was a highlight of STXinternational’s presentation in Barcelona, and also its April CinemaCon show, and washes into the UK on June 29 where STX will directly distribute.
There was also exclusive footage from action spy thriller Mile 22, the latest teaming of director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg. Via video, Wahlberg noted “This is the first time we’re not doing (a film based on) a real story, so I got to go crazy.” Indonesian actor and martial artist, Iko Uwais, showed off his skills in an exclusive look at an extended fight scene. It releases in August.
Also highlighted were a first-time look at extended footage from Jennifer Garner revenge thriller Peppermint with the former Alias star back in kick-ass mode, as well as Melissa McCarthy-starrer The Happytime Murders. The latter is an R-rated mash-up of puppets and humans from the Jim Henson company. In it, a group of depressed and downtrodden puppets are the center of attention in a noirish murder investigation. The Barcelona crowd got a first-look at a day in the life of puppet PI Phil Phillips, followed by the red-band trailer that demonstrates why this is a movie for adults. It has an August release — and is believed to be going to Saudi Arabia where one expects certain cuts will have to be made.
Among the other upcoming offerings touted were the animated Ugly Dolls with some of the first songs from the film; Jennifer Lopez-starrer Second Act; and The Red Sea Diving Resort which stars Chris Evans and is currently in post.
After the presentation, Kosse told Deadline, “This is what we want an STX slate to be, with stars in signature roles.” The plan is to make 8-12 films per year which are fully-financed and distributed and with budgets in the $20M-$80M range. The UK division also acquires third-party pick-ups such as it did last year with Wind River, Home Again and London Film Festival opener Breathe.