Annecy : études de cas sur la sortie du film Le Chat du Rabbin
DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING WORKSHOP
Joann Sfar – France
Presented by Christine Eloy from Belgian distributor, Cineart
Cineart bought the rights at the script stage, because there was a good fan base of the comics, The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar. They did it also for Persepolis, Ernest & Célestine.
The movie has been refused by Cannes in 2010, they’ve seen the completed movie in January 2011 during Unifrance Rendez-Vous. It was good but not perfect because of rhythms problems particularly at the end. So we weren’t totally so excited about it, and the press showed tepid reviews. The other problem was the distribution in Flanders. The comic is in French so it was easy for Bruxelles. They had to decide in which movie theaters put it and finally they didn’t release it in Flanders. Maybe it will be later. There were 6 prints in Belgium (2 in Bruxelles, 4 in Wallonia), 1 in Luxemburg. 2 were in 3D. They set up partnerships to support the movie: Moustique, a cultural TV magazine (122 000 copies), Le Soir, the most important French speaking daily, premieres with Joann Sfar. One week before the theatrical release, they organized a contest with merchandising to win (comics, tee shirts, pressbook). A newsletter has been sent to 26 000 email addresses. The week of the release, they put a banner in all the cultural pages of Le Soir. There has been a book sign with Joann Sfar in Brussels for the comics. The poster winked at the Cannes winner, Of Gods and men (in French, Des hommes et des dieux) by writing the following tagline “Des chats et des dieux”.
The marketing strategy was to target adults, the comics fans, the arthouse audience and the UGC network (as it’s the French distributor). The stereoscopic 3D was not an important element, because it’s more “2.5D” and people got bored. There are other real 3D releases, like Kung Fu Panda 2two weeks later.
They estimated 14 000 admissions but it won’t go beyond 10 000 unfortunately, because of the weather the week-end of the release and the qualitative audience will go to see the Dardenne and Malick movies. In comparison, Waltz with Bashirdid 20 000 admissions, and Persépolis80 000. In Liège, they got a programmation scheduled for 6 weeks, so the movie is booked until Mid August.
In France, the movie had 240 prints with 300 000 admissions so far. Normally, in Belgium, the admissions are 2,5% of the French admissions, but in this case it will 1,1%.
The DVD will be released on October 1st.
The P&A was 33 000€, ⅔ for advertising and ⅓ for the prints.
Now, animation movies are really common, and sometimes, they don’t find their place…
A Norwegian distributor did the clever comment that she’s never heard of this comics: it’s tricky in Scandinavia to sell animation movies for adults if there is not something really strong like the historical conflict in Waltz with Bashir.