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International Newswire: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Drives Back Opposition in France

Variety logo Variety 7/19/2017 John Hopewell
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In today’s roundup, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” drives back the opposition in an early sortie into mainland Europe, fresh research points to a surge in online video consumption driven by a rise in viewing on mobile devices, and Latin America witnesses an innovation in windowing with the launch of TV series “The Cockfighter.”

BOX OFFICE

Acclaimed by most — but not all — French critics, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” swept away the competition at its first early afternoon screenings in Paris, as it made its commercial bow in one of its first major territories abroad. Tickets sold — 3,145 at 35 locations in the French capital — were nearly three times those for No. 2 release, Sony Pictures Releasing’s “Baby Driver,” according to website cbo-boxoffice.com.

Results were under half those of “Despicable Me 3,” the best first-session Paris bow of this year with 7,359 admissions. But “Dunkirk,” released by Warner Bros., came in seventh-best for the year, despite many Parisians having taken off on holiday. First-session results are a fairly good bellwether for France. Five of the top six midday Paris bows ended up, or are tracking to end up, in the top 10 releases in France for 2017.

RESEARCH

Three reports out this week have shone light on the rising consumption of video online. According to Zenith, online video viewing will surge 20% this year. Global consumers will spend an average of 47.4 minutes a day viewing videos online. This increase will be driven by a 35% rise in viewing on mobile devices to 28.8 minutes a day, while viewing on fixed devices will rise by just 2% to 18.6 minutes a day.

Ampere Analysis found that U.S. internet users are more likely to watch online video than Europeans, and this can be seen across a range of devices: computers (75% in the U.S. vs. 69% in Europe); smart TVs (70% vs. 61%); smartphones (63% vs. 53%); and tablets (52% vs. 40%). In the first quarter of this year, 30% of U.S. internet users watched video on their smartphone daily, compared with 18% in Europe.

The European Audiovisual Observatory discovered that 73% of transactional video-on-demand releases take place in countries where the film has also been released in movie theaters. About one out of seven TVOD releases, 14%, takes place in a country where the film has not been released in cinemas.

CONTENT DEALS

In a novel experiment on one of Latin America’s most awaited TV series, TNT will release “The Cockfighter” (Un Gallo para Esculapio), produced by Underground (“El Marginal”) across Latin America on Aug. 15. One day later, network Telefe will air it on free-to-air in Argentina. On Aug. 17, Cablevisión Flow, the Argentine cable TV’s VOD service, will make available all Season 1’s nine episodes for binging. “This is new windowing and innovative programming strategy not just for Telefe but all Latin America,” Guillermo Borensztein, Telefe international business director told Todotvnews.

EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

After announcing July 14 that it was acquiring 94.7% of Portugal’s Media Capital, Patrick Drahi’s Altice revealed Wednesday that it had appointed Claudia Goya, the former COO of Microsoft Brazil, as CEO of Portugal Telecom, which Altice also owns. This looks like a case of more hands on deck. Paulo Neves, Goya’s predecessor, who is thought to have done a good job maintaining PT’s market share, is now promoted to chairman of the Altice Group in Portugal. His remit, crucially, includes obtain regulatory clearance for a deal which gives Altice, as it drives into convergence, ownership of Portugal’s biggest telco and now its biggest media company, whose assets include broadcaster TVI.

EVENTS

Tilda Swinton will be the guest speaker at a fundraising gala for the British Film Institute on Oct. 3 at London’s Guildhall. The event, titled Luminous, will raise funds for the BFI to develop its work in film education, through the BFI National Archive. The evening will also witness the bestowing of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, whose jury includes Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper. The bursary, worth £50,000 ($65,100), goes toward supporting new and emerging U.K. filmmakers.

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