EXCLUSIVE: Even before the pandemic, the overseas sales market got bogged down with risky bets, namely Roland Emmerich’s over-the-top sci-fi disaster title. moon fall which resulted in a production cost of $140 million (resulting in a world war gross of $44.3 million) and Simon Kinberg’s Spy Woman set The 355 at a cost of $75 million (which grossed just under $28 million WW).
But there’s arguably a surer way to moolah in the foreign sales sphere and that’s out of YA feature adaptations.
Admittedly, it’s been a while since the grand slam days of Lionsgate hunger games series and Summit International Dusk franchise, however, these movies can be made from a low cost single, double or even a box office home run. Or in the worst case, being in the dark simply on their sales to streamers. And if a movie comes out, it doesn’t sting so much as far as a local distributor’s results go.
And YA photos is a turnkey venture that overseas sales company Voltage has embraced aggressively, especially after the spring 2019 success of its After romantic photo based on popular novels by Anna Todd. This prompted Voltage to team up with established social media stars such as Bella Thorne; prepare and launch future male actors like Hero Fiennes Tiffin and further develop the careers of cult film maestros in the YA space like cruel intentions filmmaker Roger Kumble. He left to lead for Voltage them After after, After our collision, and a brand new series for young adults beautiful disaster based on the novels by Jamie McGuire, which the studio takes over the rights to, featuring social media superstars Dylan Sprouse, Virginia Gardner, Austin North and Libe Barer.
This morning at the Cannes Market, Voltage is unveiling a new sales title, love game, featuring Thorne and her Italian singer fiancé Benjamin Mascolo. The duo’s reteaming with Voltage follows their previous romance photo collaboration, Time is up. love game follows Roy and Vivien as they arrive at the former’s childhood home in Sicily to prepare for sales of the family estate. During the visit, a mysterious woman arrives and befriends Vivien, much to Roy’s chagrin. Tensions rise and lines are crossed as secrets from Roy’s past force the couple to confront aspects of their relationship they never knew existed. The pic is directed and co-written by Elisa Amoruso with Marco Borromei and Anita Rivaroli also writing. The producers are Lotus Production (Complete strangers, like crazy), Raffaella Leone, Andrea Leone and Enrico Venti and Voltage, which is the worldwide sales agent for all territories except Italy.
Also new to Cannes, Voltage is rising in international sales on the directed by Martin Owen, written by Piers Ashworth The loneliest boy in the world which had been previously announced. Join the movie are After star Fiennes Tiffin and Pretty little Liars’ Ashley Benson who lead a modern fairy tale with zombies. After the tragic loss of his mother, Oliver (Max Harwood) is threatened with custody unless he finds a new family. And Oliver does just that… He digs one up at the local cemetery. When Oliver wakes up the next day, the corpses have come to life. He must now convince the social workers that he has found the ideal family – which has just broken down. Ben Miller (Bridgerton), Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes), Tallulah Haddon (The last duel), Evan Ross (The hunger Games), Jacob Sartorius, Alex Murphy (young offenders) and Hammed Animashaun (wheel of time) also starred in production for Future Artists Entertainment, Lip Sync and Great Point Media. Future Artists Entertainment’s Matt Williams and Pat Wintersgill produce with EPs like Norman Merry, Doris Pfardrescher, Brad Wyman and Emilio Estevez.
Nicolas Chartier, CEO of Voltage, and Jonathan Deckter, President and COO, believe teen audiences continue to be underserved at the global box office.
“These IP-based properties have built-in audiences,” Deckter says of their emotional appeal, “These fandoms exist among these books, whether After or beautiful disaster.”
While Voltage’s chart includes $95 million romantic comedy Amy Schumer, I feel pretty, and Oscar winners like The Hurt Locker and The Dallas Buyers Club, they hit the ground running with Todd’s first feature film After novel. The pic was produced for $14 million, and even though its potential for domestic ticket sales has been snuffed out by the defunct, financially-troubled Aviron distributor, the pic only grosses the states $12.1 million. -United, After went on to rake in WW$70 million in April 2019, opening at No. 1 in 17 offshore territories, including Germany and Italy.
After follows Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), a devoted student, devoted daughter, and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart. However, when she enters her first semester of college, Tessa’s guarded world opens up when she meets Hardin Scott (Fiennes Tiffin), a mysterious and brooding rebel who makes her question everything she thought. know about herself – and what she wants out of life. .
Voltage followed, After our collision, but the pandemic hit, and so they pivoted the release of the title. They did a limited North American theatrical release and date and day on PVOD, After our collision earn $2.3 million. However, the picture’s greatest riches were also overseas, where its worldwide tally reached $50 million. Of note is the picture’s $5.1 million UK gross, which was built strictly on the back of an exclusive social media marketing campaign.
Speaking of social media machines, Voltage has enjoyed doing business with Throne which controls a reach of over 53 million on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. love game represents Voltage’s fourth feature film starring Thorne.
Todd’s third film, After our fall saw an event theatrical release via Fathom and Vertical Entertainment on approximately one thousand screens, seeing $2.1 million in the US, and again, the biggest sale overseas with $32 million WW . The fourth movie After always happyis currently in post-production, ahead of a September 2022 release.
“What we saw with the After The franchise through its growth is becoming mothers and daughters as well as daughters who grew up with it,” observes Deckter of the show’s growing female audience.
And the biggest consideration for settling on these YA properties is their offshore appeal: “One of the things we look at with book properties is the number of countries in which they have been published,” adds the president and director. of the operation of Voltage.
Cash Cow’s $152 Million Hit After pushed Voltage to delve deeper into the YA romance space. They sold out worldwide on the best-selling YA novel adaptation, Words on the bathroom walls, with Charlie Plummer, Andy García, Taylor Russell, AnnaSophia Robb, Molly Parker and Walton Goggins. With Warner Bros.’ Principle, it was one of the first films to reopen in theaters in August 2020.
The other YA titles handled by Voltage were overseas sales on find you with Katherine McNamara, Tom Everett Scott and Vanessa Redgrave, released in May 2021; the company’s first Italian-language feature film, out of my league (Sul Piu Bello), and A nice girl like you featuring Pretty little Liars’ Lucy Hale as a violinist who makes a life-altering to-do list after her boyfriend tells her she’s too inhibited.
While YA movies have become a staple for streamers like Netflix with their kissing kiosk franchise and Vanessa Hudgens’ holiday series The princess switch, Deckter believes that “with the right films, in the right windows, there is absolutely a theatrical audience for these titles”.
He adds, “These films are all about community and young adults watching them together.”