The film, which came out in July 2022 and starred Judi Dench as the title character, has made about $30 million around the world.
It first came out in North America through Focus Features, where it made $10,3 million. The film then went on to make $5 million in the UK/Ireland area, $5 million in Australia, $1.4 million in Germany, and $1.3 million in New Zealand.
Paul Gallico’s novel Mrs. Harris is based on the true story of a widowed cleaning lady who works starves and gambles to earn enough money to go to the House of Dior fashion house in Paris and buy the dress of her dreams.
Jason Isaacs and Lambert Wilson are also in the cast and the movie is nominated for three Baftas (British film, actress, and costume design). Frances Manville is up for a Golden Globe for best actress.
It is a co-production between the UK and Hungary. It was made in Superbe’s London office with Xavier Marchand of MoonRiver. The movie was filmed in Budapest to look like Paris in the 1950s.
The project had an MG from eOne, and when costs went up because of the extra requirements of shooting under Covid protocols, the Hungarian National Film Institute filled in the gap. The rest of the $13 million project was paid for by tax breaks in Hungary and the UK.
Aside from award-winning heads of departments like costume designer Jenny Beavan (from the UK) and production designer Luciana Arrighi (from Australia, Brazil, and Italy), most of the crew for the film was from Hungary.
“Mrs. Harris began as an independent project,” Benski says. “We had the right to do it, and we took the risk.” Focus Features joined EFM in 2021, and it got a lot bigger. Universal did a great job marketing it and simultaneously putting it out almost everywhere.
Paul Gallico has written four books, and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is one of them. The rights to make Mrs. Harris Goes to New York, Mrs. Harris Goes to Moscow, and Superbe and MoonRiver have bought Mrs. Harris MP into movies.
The projects are still in the early stages of making and could become a series of films or a TV show. Benski hopes that Manville will be in the movie, but she has yet to be officially cast.
Superbe was started in 2010 in Paris. In 2021, it moved to the UK and opened an office in London, where the head of development Alice Coulthard, works. Coulthard has worked with Alfonso Cuaron on movies like “Gravity” and “Roma.” The company is responsible for the development, production, structured financing, and physical production.
Superbe is working on several other projects with a lot of attention. One is 100 Days, a live-action coming-of-age story directed by Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age, Rio, Robots), written by Elena Soare (City of Men) and produced by Disney and VentreStudio.
The movie is based on the book One Hundred Days Between Sea and Sky by Amyr Klink. It tells the story of a young Brazilian adventurer who crosses the Atlantic Ocean alone in a small rowboat while looking for his way in life. Benski says the movie is like “127 Hours meets Life of Pi.” It will be shot in Malta and Brazil in May and June. Benski, from Brazil, is producing with Paula Cosenza from VentreStudio.
Superbe is getting ready to make AMIA, the next movie by Amos Gitai. It will be shot this spring and summer in Budapest and Uruguay. The project is based on the true story of an explosion that killed 85 people in 1994 outside the AMIA building.
In the story, which takes place in 2007, a prosecutor tries to find out who made the attack. Gitai wrote it with Sari Turgeman, Marie-José Sanselme, and Ronen Bergman for Fauda. Benski and Joo Quieroz of VentreStudio are producing together.
Benski hopes to film The Conductor this fall, which is about a conductor named Karl Eliasberg. During the siege of Leningrad, his idol Shostakovich asks him to lead the complicated Seventh Symphony.
Ben Skipper and Stephen Raphael are co-producers. Superbe is making a Holocaust drama called Hannah. It’s about a young Hungarian woman who writes poetry while in the Jewish Commando of the British Army and she is being tortured and held in prison.
Budgets for Superbe’s projects range from $5 million to $25 million. Benski says, “We don’t make $2 million auteur films, but our projects stay independent.” Superbe is also making several prestige dramas, like Fukushima, about a group of scientists who risked their lives to stop a nuclear disaster, and Valtesse, which is based on the true story of the life of the Parisian courtesan Valtesse de la Bigne in the 19th century.
Benski called de la Bigne “the first person to have an effect.” Olivier Gorce wrote the script for the movie that Shoni Production worked on together.
Benski says, “We’re interested in both local and international productions that reach people all over the world. We don’t think that borders, nationality, or language keep us from having a good time. We want stories that make people feel something.
We want them to laugh, cry, think, be afraid, and dream.” Since shooting Mrs. Harris, Benski has moved with his family to Budapest to run the Superbe office there as well as work on films being shot in the city.
Budapest is a great place to make movies because it has good crews, lots of locations, studios, low production costs and a high tax rebate, says Benski. The Budapest office is helpful with productions, but all of Superbe’s creative development is done in Paris and London.
People Also Read: