Foosball goes to Hollywood: Weinstein Co. buys rights to the hit Argentinian 3D film

Director Juan José Campanella with some stills from Foosball.

Director Juan José Campanella with some stills from Foosball.

By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey

Metegol (lit. Foosball) was Argentina’s biggest hit in 2013, a 3D animated family film by Juan José Campanella – director of the Academy Award-winning The  Secret in Their Eyes (2009) – that earned a record-breaking 700,000 viewers in its opening week, over 2 million viewers overall and a spot in Argentina’s Top 5 most seen, highest-grossing movies of all time.

Still from Metegol.

Still from Metegol.

The movie cost $21 million dollars, which by Campanella’s own admission at a press conference in July “the film wouldn’t recoup even if all 40 million Argentines went to see it twice”. Sure enough, the movie grossed a little under $79 million pesos during its local box office run. But now Variety reports that The Weinstein Co. has acquired the distribution rights for the movie in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France, and its worldwide tour will begin in the U.S. on August 27.

Still from Metegol.

Still from Metegol.

The movie will be re-titled Underdogs and feature a British voice cast dubbing over the original Argentinian performances. Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter fame) will dub protagonist Amadeo while British comedians Rob Brydon, Anthony Head and Peter Serafinowicz will voice the trio of foosball figurines that spring to life to help Amadeo fight for his hometown.

This film’s magical story, heart and humor, along with its top notch animation, truly resonated with us and is sure to captivate parents just as much as it will their children,” said producer Harvey Weinstein. “We’re incredibly excited to share it with audiences here in the US and around the world.”

The movie has has the attention of the U.S. public since The New Yorker ran an articled 29 October 2013 about it, titled “Can an Argentine animated film rival Hollywood blockbusters?

You can read that article here:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/10/metegol-argentine-animated-film-juan-jose-campanella-hollywood.html

And the original Variety article here:

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/weinsteins-buy-foosball-re-titled-as-underdogs-exclusive-1201136517/

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