The character’s stunning reinvention had its world premiere in Mexico in January, where it grossed nearly $1 million in two weeks, and some industry analysts say it could break box office records. and which opens on March 2 in Argentina, has already provoked death threats from angry fans and could test the limits of copyright law. “This is crazy,” Rhys Frake-Waterfield, director of “Winnie the Pooh: Honey and Blood”. “I received petitions to stop the film. his on-screen friends Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger have been licensed to Disney for decades, the copyright on AA Milne’s first books had recently expired, and the small independent British studio Frake-Waterfield seized the opportunity. Rare images of “Honey and Blood”, in which the sinister, human-sized Pooh and Piglet loom menacingly behind a young woman relaxing in a hot tub, quickly went viral last year Now, the flesh-and-blood film, made on a budget of less than $250,000, is aiming for a wide world premiere. Initially, Frake-Waterfield expected a very limited distribution, but now he thinks he can surpass the horror film “Activity”. Paranormal”, from 2009, which cost 15,000 dollars and was at the origin of a saga that grossed more than a billion, making it one of the most profitable films in the history of cinema. “I really believed in that idea. Others don’t (…) and now it’s going very well”, says the filmmaker, with a smile.
“Not suitable for families”
According to American law, copyright expires 95 years after the first publication of a work. The first book of “Winnie the Pooh” was released in 1926. Only this version is in the public domain. In addition to the rights, which prevent the unauthorized copying of a creative work, but which are limited in time, the feature film goes beyond trademark law. Disney’s license, renewable indefinitely, prohibits the launch of a product related to the teddy bear and that could be confused with the original. In this case, the absurdity of a Pooh as the protagonist of a horror film helps the film’s producers. Aaron J. Moss. “Simply because it’s very unsuitable for families, and it’s not something that (viewers) would expect Disney to be involved in. So any potential potential trademark claims are much harder to prove,” he explained.Frake-Waterfield said he never intended to be close to Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. “On the contrary. (…) I want Winnie the Pooh to be big, menacing, scary, intimidating and horrible. beautiful”, he added. In the film, Winnie and Piglet are abandoned by their friend Christopher Robin. Disappointed and enraged, they become embroiled in a spiral of murderous madness. Regardless of its quality, the publicity surrounding the film has reached such a level that Frake-Waterfield is already preparing a sequel, as well as horror films based on the books by “Bambi” and “Peter Pan”.