'The King Speech' Helps Germany's Senator to Solid First Half

© Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company's Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth sends profits and sales soaring at Berlin-based group.

BERLIN - The King's Speech corrected the bottom-line defect at German distributor Senator, which enjoyed a 15 per cent jump in revenue and nearly 80 per cent boost in profits in the first half thanks to the Oscar winner. Tom Hooper's royal period drama starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush earned some $24 million at the German box office this year, enough to revive Senator's fortunes. The Berlin-based group booked $19 million (€13.1 million) in sales and $578,000 (€400,000) in net profits in the first half of 2011, a substantial improvement on last year.

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Senator had less luck with David O. Russell's double Oscar-winner The Fighter, which went down swinging in Germany, earning just $1.2 million theatrically. But with The King's Speech set to bow on DVD in September, Senator expects the riches will keep coming and is forecasting a boost in both sales and profits for the year.

Senator has a few U.S. titles remaining on its 2011 slate, including Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Derby Girl, starring Ellen Page and the sci-fi horror thriller Apollo 18. But the company is betting most heavily on European productions, including Swedish thriller Easy Money, the French romancer Beloved and Brit period rom-com Hysteria starring Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rupert Everett.