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“Dragon Tattoo” a gem for the U.S. foreign film biz

By Hollywood News Staff

Hollywoodnews.com: The foreign film business in the U.S. looks like it’s been in a sling, clearly evident in the fact that it’s been 10 years since “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” generated over $100 million-plus – more of an exception for the genre than a trendsetting norm.

Despite foreign titles grossing close to $60 million in 2009, down 36% from their 2008 take, distributors such as Sony Classics remain optimistic about the future.

In addition, foreign buyers still covet a release in the U.S., even if it is not their highest grossing territory. In sum, the prestige, the potential Oscar recognition and the critical embrace of offshore auteurs drive foreign sellers to distribute their films here, even if they make under $1 million.

One of the titles generating plenty of heat currently, is the first part of Swedish trilogy “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” which has generated close to $8 million at the domestic B.O.; the biggest grossing foreign language title in 2010. Overseas, “Tattoo” has collected close to $90 million. Music Box, the Chicago based distributor who handled the French thriller “Tell No One” two years ago is handling the arthouse phenomenon. “Tattoo” is based on the best-selling “Millennium” book trilogy.

Music Box has big plans to release the next two chapters through early fall, synching the sequels releases with the previous chapter’s DVD store dates.

Check out Screen Daily’s analysis here.

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