Gold Reels roll for 26 films

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Nielsen EDI International rolled out its annual Gold Reel Awards on Thursday evening at Cinema Expo International to distributors whose movies have reeled in more than $100 million at the overseas boxoffice in the last year.

This year, three films qualified for the Platinum Reel nod, bestowed on a title that crosses the $500 million mark.

Buena Vista International, the Walt Disney Co.'s overseas distribution division, took two Platinum Reels for the second and third installments of its Johnny Depp-starring "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End." Sony Pictures Releasing International secured a Platinum award for "Spider-Man 3."

Sony, conspicuously absent from this year's awards show with no film presentation event, nevertheless scored five Gold Reels, for "Casino Royale," "Click," "Ghost Rider," "Open Season" and "The Pursuit of Happyness." SPRI senior exec vp Ralph Alexander promised attendees that the studio would be back next year with a presentation.

Warner Bros. Pictures International also scored big with six Gold Reel trophies, for "Blood Diamond," "The Departed," "Happy Feet," "Poseidon," "Superman Returns" and "300."

20th Century Fox International helped itself to five big money-spinner awards with "Eragon," "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties," "Night at the Museum," "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Borat."

In addition to the two Platinum Reels for "Pirates," Disney/BVI also scored Gold Reel plaudits for "Cars" and "Deja Vu."

Paramount Pictures International took home Gold Reels for "Flushed Away," "Over the Hedge" and "Shrek the Third"; Paramount Vantage and Summit Entertainment shared a Gold award for "Babel."

Universal Pictures International, the other half of the post-United International Pictures breakup, secured Gold Reels for "The Holiday," "Miami Vice" and "Mr. Bean's Holiday."

David Garrett, Summit International president, picked up a Gold Reel for this year's only independent movie to be honored: Constantin's "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer." Producer Bernd Eichinger sent a taped message thanking everyone for their efforts on the release of the title.

Nielsen EDI also revealed results of research it had carried out in five key international territories that asked audiences in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and Australia to list five components of movies in order of importance. In every territory, the No. 1 requirement for a movie was "a good story line."

That moved aside other factors, including casting, special effects and comedy, to reach the top spot.

Neilsen EDI International president Nick King said the company honored 29 titles this year in the big-bucks club, which collectively scored around $5.5 billion at the international boxoffice.
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