I saw this coming. North American distribution rights for Chocolate have been picked up by The Weinstein Company. Likely it will get a "Quentin Tarantino presents" tagline on the Weinsteins' Dragon Dynasty DVD label.
What I didn't know was just how long ago the deal had actually been made, but was only now just unveiled. More on that is on Bey Logan's blog, which recounts a set visit he had with director Prachya Pinkaew and star Jeeja some months ago, but held back on reporting until closer to the film's release.
Logan, vice-president of Asian acquisitions and co-production for The Weinstein Company - a long-time martial-arts film industry player and commentary provider on countless martial-arts DVDs - was also at the Bangkok press preview. I wondered who that guy was. Duh. Now I know.
Had I known who he was, I might have asked some questions: What goofy new name are they going to give it? How are they going to sex up the packaging? How much of it are they going to cut? Is the RZA going to do a new soundtrack?
According to Screen Daily, Chocolate opened on 121 screens across Thailand, and took in US$183,000, whupping the marquee Chinese New Year release, CJ7 by Stephen Chow, which earned $78,000.
In addition to The Weinstein Company, other deals for Chocolate by Sahamongkol Film International at the European Film Market in Berlin have been made with Showbox Media in the UK, Taewon Entertainment in South Korea, Intercontinental Films in Hong Kong, Innoform in Singapore, Medyavizyon in Turkey and Indo-Overseas in India.
The Innoform deal is encouraging, as they've been a reliable source of no-fooling-around, English-subtitled Thai films on DVD. Previous Innoform releases include 13: Game of Death (also due out on the Weinsteins' Dimension Extreme label) and The Unseeable.
(Via Twitch, Screen Daily)