We know that Beat readers must be as sick of our 300 coverage as we are by now, but the trades just can’t keep loving up this movie, which is seen by many as a new benchmark for Hollywood action films. Cannes isn’t just a glitzy film festival, it’s also a film MARKET, where production companies go in to sell the international rights to their films. What kind of movies? Well, HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN was an offering at Cannes, back in the day. Anyway, Variety says 300’s the talk of the film market, with numerous quotes from studio execs slavering at the idea of making an international action hit for a mere $60 mil.
As the international film sales community preps for Cannes Market, which kicks off May 16, there’s nothing but love for “300.”
The runaway success of the stylized war actioner, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, is a tonic for international sales slates. With the worldwide box office for “300” headed for “Troy” territory at half a billion dollars, execs expect an upbeat reception for similar projects — and not necessarily those that come from the sword-and-sandals genre.
“I think ‘300’ is an extremely good omen for Cannes,” says Crystal Sky’s sales prexy Daniel Diamond. “In my mind, what’s really notable about it is that it’s a straight action film that’s R rated — and with actors who were not household names. We’ve seen a lot of action films that have been fantasy or comicbook-based that have been succeeding, of course, but this is really in its own genre.”
300’s success has much spillover:
The best example of the “300” effect comes from Odd Lot Entertainment. The shingle has been deluged with calls from distribs interested in a project it’s been developing with the creator of “300”: “The Spirit,” to be directed by Miller, who adapts from Will Eisner’s graphic novel about a detective fighting to prevent the release of a substance that will leave people in suspended animation.
Odd Lot Intl. will be selling the title at Cannes. “Because of ‘300,’ we think we’ve got a great shot with ‘The Spirit,'” says Brian O’Shea, Odd Lot’s exec VP of worldwide distribution. “As we get ready for Cannes, we’re really pitching it as being in the same vein as ‘300.’ There’s nothing out there like this.”
In addition to setting off a new slate of cheap ass action movies, 300 may just start a war!
I was wrong: Iran has decided to outdo the Latin Americans. Their fury has been fuelled by “300,” a recent American movie supposedly telling “the true story of 300 elite Spartan warriors led by their fearless king Leonidas, who repel the charge of Xerxes and his massive Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae” in 480 B.C. Iran’s cultural attache in Moscow, Mehdi Imanipour, said at a news conference at RIA Novosti that “the movie is provoking a confrontation and will most likely lead to a war.”