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7/15 - eOne slate reveals growing UK ambition

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15 July, 2014 | By Andreas Wiseman

“We can compete with some of the studios,” says MD of eOne UK, which is aiming to release around 35 films per year.

eOne UK is aiming to release around 35 films per year going forward as it looks to cement its position as one of the top five distributors in the UK.

Upcoming films on the slate include The Rover (August 15), A Walk Amongst the Tombstones (September 19), The Homesman

(October), Mr Turner (October 31), Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey? (November), Foxcatcher (January 9) and The Water Diviner (January).

Also on the impressive roster are Steven Spielberg’s The BFG (July 22, 2016), J.A Bayona’s A Monster Calls, Denis Villeneuve’s A Story Of Your Life, Gus Van Sant’s Sea of Trees, Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky, Jay Roach’s Trumbo, Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt, John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine, Daniel Espinosa’s Child 44, court-room drama The Whole Truth and franchise sequel Insurgent.

eOne recorded its biggest box office haul to date in the UK last year, securing the territory’s fifth biggest market-share in the process:

“We feel like the preeminent UK indie distributor right now,” Alex Hamilton, managing director, eOne Films UK, explained to Screen. “We’ve been the leading indie in the UK in three of the last four years. We were fifth overall last year in terms of market share and we are fifth this year. We want to show we can compete with some of the studios. We want to have the marketplace presence of a studio but the nimbleness of an independent.”

The growth looks set to continue, according to Hamilton:

“This feels like a new era again after the Alliance acquisition,” he said. “I think 2016 will be our biggest ever year. We did £100m+ last year and we think we’ll do the same this year but 2016 will be a big year with the likes of The BFG, A Monster Calls, Gods of Egypt…”

The company’s slate combines box office clout with awards prestige. Last year 12 Years A Slave raked in more than £20m as well as a Best Picture Oscar. Which will be this year’s main awards contenders?

“It’s hard to say at this stage. There are a few on our slate. Something like Foxcatcher is dated January 9, which is a day before 12 Years last year. I’m personally very excited about The Water Diviner and we certainly see Mr Turner as an awards contender as well. That goes the same weekend we released An Education four years ago.”

Hamilton confirmed that the acquisition of Cannes buzz title Story of Your Life was “one of the bigger acquisitions” during his tenure at the company and said that the company was still keen on court-room drama The Whole Truth, on which Keanu Reeves recently replaced Daniel Craig who walked off the project soon before shoot.

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