StudioCanal, Universal Music Group partner for 3D movie

MUMBAI: Two of European media company Vivendi‘s divisions, StudioCanal and Universal Music Group (UMG), have announced a partnership for the upcoming 3D animated feature, Around the World in 50 Years, at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.The film will be released globally in the fourth quarter of next year.

As part of the agreement, UMG will handle all North American theatrical, DVD, television and non-theatrical rights of the movie which has all the hallmarks of classic family film. Moreover, UMG will also handle the soundtrack album on a global basis.

The film, being positioned as a buddy movie, is directed by Ben Stassen Fly Me to the Moon and is being produced at nWave‘s Brussels studio.

The announcement of the deal follows straight after the film‘s presentation to an exclusive, invitation-only audience at Cannes, as part of the international sales rollout. The presentation - which included almost 15 minutes of ‘immersion‘ 3D footage - was crafted and presented by former Dreamworks marketing executive, Peter Dunne who has signed on as an animation consultant for Studio Canal.

StudioCanal CEO Olivier Courson said, "I am delighted about this partnership. We first approached our sister-company Universal Music Group about the soundtrack which is so critical for an animated film, but Doug Morris (Chairman & CEO) was so enthusiastic that he decided not only to come on board for the music but also to become our partner for US distribution.

"We never even took the film to the market. This movie is another important step in our international production: 3D animation. We are happy to have partners within the Vivendi group who can bring together such a strong and diverse team of creative and marketing talent which this project deserves."

Morris says, "When Jolene Cherry (A&R, Universal Records senior VP) first brought the film to my attention, I realised what a true gem it is. It combines the most innovative technology available today with great storytelling to convey an important environmental message. We are thrilled to be working with Olivier and his team on this important project."

The soundtrack album to the movie will be created by Ms. Cherry and Vincent Herbert.

StudioCanal executive VP international distribution Rodolphe Buet stated, "We are thrilled to have secured such a great home for Around the World in 50 Years. We have long recognised that international success in family entertainment relies on a great US release and this deal allows us to begin work right away with our partners in putting together a first-class marketing, licensing and promotional campaign for the film."

StudioCanal executive VP, international sales Harold Van Lier says, "With such a strong commitment from our US partner and our own distribution in the major part of Europe, our sales campaign has got off to a really strong start and I‘m confident that we will secure our other distribution partners very quickly."

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