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CANNES–A panel of leading animation industry executives gathered during the Cannes Film Market on Sunday to shed light on their strategies for the theatrical release of adult-oriented animated features.
It was a timely conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Five of the 28 animated projects in the Marché du Film are adult audience-focused, including two in the official selection, noted Annemie Degryse, CEO and producer of Belgium’s Lunanime, while moderating “The A-Z Game Plan to Releasing Animated Films for Adults for the Big Screen.” Yet even as adult-oriented animation is enjoying greater critical acclaim than ever before, its commercial prospects are often limited.
Audience - Adult - Movies - Carole - Baraton
“Finding the audience is always difficult for adult [targeting] movies,” said Carole Baraton, co-founder of Paris-based sales agent Charades. While family animation – despite its ups and downs – has had an established model for box-office success since the early days of Disney, adult-oriented animated features are still largely seen as niche-oriented.
“When these movies are released in our theaters, they’re seen more as curiosities, because we have two or three animated movies for adults a year,” said Jan-Willem van Eemeren, manager of Belgian exhibitor Cinema Cartoon’s. “They have to compete with the best arthouse movies there are during the year…[and] people have to choose between them.”
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He continued: “For an audience, [animation] is something abstract. It’s not a unique selling point.” Cinema Cartoon’s most successful adult animation titles in recent years, such as Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” and Charlie Kaufman’s “Anomalisa,” “used animation as a medium,” rather than as the main attraction luring audiences to the theater, said van Eemeren.
In the case of French director and animator Jeremy Clapin’s “J’ai perdu mon corps” (I Lost My Body), which is playing in Critics’ Week this year, Baraton said the film stands out as an “auteur’s statement, something really fresh...
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