Michel Vaillant in pole position
by Fabien Lemercier
19/11/2003 - Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s production and distribution company, EuropaCorp, is revving up its engines and today it will be releasing the blockbuster Michel Vaillant in French cinemas, in 600 prints. The film was made in two versions, one in French and one in English, to facilitiate international sales, and in fact these have already reached the figure of €10 million, representing 45% of one of the biggest budgets for French productions in 2003 (€22.5 million).
Michel Vaillant is directed by Louis Pascal Couvelaire and stars Sagamore Stévenin, Peter Young Blod Hills and Diane Kruger ( Anything You Say). It is about car rallying, both on and off the track, an unusual genre for an art house film. There’s been a blanket of silence surrounding the film, and there haven’t been any premieres, not even for the critics, who will only be able to see it in cinemas, along with the public. This mega production is also being distributed by EuropaCorp. The company has had many successes in this field over the last year, presenting 11 films that have chalked up a total audience of 4.1 million. These results have gained EuropaCorp 13th place in the list of French distributors, and that’s without including the 6.1 million people who saw Taxi 3, from the association between EuropaCorp and Distribution-ARP Selection.
Apart from the blockbuster Michel Vaillant, French cinemas will be featuring another three, more modest domestic productions on release from today: Variété française by Frédéric Videau distributed by Shellac Distribution in 15 prints; the French, Iceland and Belgium co-production (Agat Films&Ex Nihilo – Blue Eyes Productions – Les Films du Fleuve) Stormy Weather [trailer] by Solveig Anspach, distributed in 40 prints by Diaphana Distribution, and the French-Belgium feature length film, My Winter Journey by Vincent Dieutre, distributed by Films sans frontières in 20 prints.
(Translated from French)