German Box Office Champion ‘School of Magical Animals’ Sells to China, Japan, Latin America

Feb 1st, 2022

Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has closed further deals in major territories for the family entertainment adventure “School of Magical Animals,” the most successful German film at the local box office last year. Global Screen will also be selling the sequel, it announced Tuesday.

Deals have been closed for China (A-Quest Culture Media), Japan (Fine Films), Latin America (Discovery), Hungary (ADS), Serbia and Croatia (Investacommerce), and Portugal (NOS). Worldwide airline rights were sold to Eagle International.

Previously announced deals include Spain (Flins y Penicuals), Italy (Adler Entertainment), CIS (Voxell), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Israel (Red Cape Distribution), Taiwan (CaiChang), and Middle East (Selim Ramio & Co), with Scandinavia in negotiation.

The warm-hearted adventure with CGI-animated animals is set in an unusual school where the children receive a magical animal as a companion. When Ida moves to a new town with her mother, she is not at all thrilled by the prospect. But then she gets the chance to make new friends at the Winterstein school. She is very surprised when she finds out that there are teachers with magic powers and magical animals. The first pupils to be given such a talking animal are Ida and her friend Benni. Together with Ida’s clever fox and Benni’s 200-year-old turtle, the friends take on the mysterious case of a cunning school thief.

Distributed in Germany by Leonine, the film opened in October 2021 on more than 600 screens with a great start at number two, only beaten by “No Time to Die,” and stayed in the Top 10 charts for 12 weeks. The film was last year’s most successful German film at the local box office, with a gross of more than $12.4 million.

Commenting of the film’s box office triumph, Julia Weber, head of Global Screen, said: “This proves that high-end family entertainment still attracts big audiences to the cinema. This concept of live action and CGI animated talking animals is most attractive to all international audiences, as our sales prove.”

The sequel, “School of Magical Animals 2,” would have “even more magical animals, even bigger budget, and even more fun adventures at Winterstein school,” Weber said. Shooting of the sequel wrapped on Sept. 15, and it is now in animation and post-production. Global Screen plans to present first footage at the Cannes Film Market.

“School of Magical Animals” producers Alexandra and Meike Kordes of Kordes & Kordes Film (Chris Kraus’ “Four Minutes”) adapted the internationally bestselling book series for the big screen, with a budget of almost 10 million Euros ($11.3 million), as a co-production with Wega Film in Austria, and Leonine. The film was directed by Gregor Schnitzler (“The Cloud”) with animation director Tomer Eshed of Lumatic Animation & VFX.

Margit Auer’s books have been published in more than 25 countries. It is the leading book brand for children and young adults in German-speaking Europe, with seven million books sold in Germany alone. The series has grown to 11 volumes, and there is more to come since the author recently said she has “plenty more animals in mind.”

Global Screen credits include animation hit movies “Ooops!” and “Luis and the Aliens,” thriller-drama “The Collini Case,” and arthouse movie “A Thousand Times Goodnight,” starring Juliette Binoche. Current highlights include the World War II refugee drama “The Path” and “The Amazing Maurice,” the 3D animation based on Terry Pratchett’s novels, with a voice-cast led by Hugh Laurie and Emilia Clarke.

Global Screen is a subsidiary of Telepool, which is 100% owned by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc.