Italian director Nanni Moretti’s new film “Il sol dell’avvenire” (“A Brighter Tomorrow”), a multi-layered love letter to cinema in the age of streaming giants, is doing booming business at the box office home ahead of its Cannes Film Festival International Premiere.
Moretti’s latest – who usually gets special permission from Cannes to release his works locally before launching them from the Croisette – has already raked in nearly 3 million euros ($3.3 million) from 500 screens in Italy via 01 Distribution since its release on April 20. “Brighter Tomorrow” only came second to “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” last weekend, which was a long frame due to the International Workers’ Day holiday on May 1.
Moretti’s box office result with ‘Brighter Tomorrow’ is being hailed as a major success at a time when Italy is lagging much of Europe in post-pandemic box office recovery . In 2022, the country recorded a measly 44.5 million admissions, a 48% drop from its pre-pandemic average level and a rate of recovery of theatrical releases lower than that of France, Europe. Germany, Spain and the UK.
“Earning nearly three million euros on around 500 screens with an arthouse film is no small feat these days,” commented operator Domenico Di Noia, who heads the national association of cinemas in arthouse, called FICE. “For art house cinemas, it’s a breath of fresh air.”
In “Brighter Tomorrow,” Moretti, who often stars in his films, plays a Roman director shooting a period piece set in Rome in 1956, the year of the Hungarian Revolution when millions of citizens rebelled against the Soviet domination. In this film-within-a-film, a Fellini-style Hungarian circus arrives in the Italian capital just as Soviet tanks are brutally suppressing the Budapest uprising and the Italian Communist Party sides with the intervention, inciting the Italian intellectuals to disillusion communist ideology. .
“Brighter Tomorrow” stars French actor-director Mathieu Amalric (pictured above with Moretti) as the period piece’s producer who goes bankrupt. To save the project, he tries to set it up with Netflix, where in a hilarious meeting, the director (Moretti) is told the script is “a slow burner that doesn’t explode.” The ensemble cast also includes Moretti regular Jerzy Stuhr, Margherita Buy, Silvio Orlando and Barbora Bobulova.
“I’m here talking to each and every one of you in the flesh, with no intention of airing in 190 countries,” Moretti said, snapping a clear shot of Netflix a few days ago during the presentation of his last work in an art house in Bologna.
Moretti, who is 69, called “Brighter Tomorrow” “an act of love and trust towards potential theatrical audiences”, noting that despite the pandemic, “the magic of seeing a film in a theater remains intact”.
“Brighter Tomorrow” is produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango in tandem with Moretti’s own Sacher Galets and RAI Cinema, with French outfit Kinology handling international sales.
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