GHENT, Belgium, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Ghent-based production company Marmalade generated a gross profit of more than 11 million euros last year. Since its establishment in 2013, this media and entertainment company has appealed to a wide audience and attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers and visitors with its successful films, TV series, music and musicals.
The creative jack-of-all-trades Marmalade has proven to have a good sense of what viewers want. Nearly all of the films released by the production company drew more than 100,000 visitors to the cinema, with record sales of 190,000 tickets for ‘Wat Mannen Willen’. The successful prison series ‘Gent West’, the second season of which is being aired on VIER this year, invariably attracts more than 200,000 viewers, occasionally as many as 320,000. The musical ‘Beauty & the Beast’ was seen by 65,000 musical enthusiasts in only three weeks’ time. The production company has also achieved considerable success with the new youth group CoolKids.
Thanks in part to a financial injection, 2018 was once again a successful year for the company. Marmalade generated a gross profit of 10.6 million euros and sales of 22.5 million, while Marmalade Live achieved a gross profit of 739,000 euros and sales of 1.3 million.
Music and TV drama
In 2018, Marmalade took the entertainment world by surprise with CoolKids. Its new youth group, comprising twenty cool teenagers who sing catchy tunes and show off their dance moves, represents the first ambitious steps taken by the production company in the music world. The group released four singles that together have been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube, where they have their own highly popular channel. CoolKids has once again made Dutch music cool among young people. The group produces pop tunes with a good beat that are a bit out-of-the-box and deal with issues and themes of interest to kids. The members of the group receive support from top coaches.
With the suspenseful prison series ‘Gent West’, Marmalade has proven that it has mastered the format for a TV series to perfection. An entire prison was built in a warehouse for the show. The first series was broadcast in 2017 and has attracted loyal viewers. VIER is airing the second season this year, which can also be seen on Telenet and DVD.
Marmalade’s first feature film ‘Wat Mannen Willen’ from 2015 was an immediate hit. The directing debut of Filip Peeters, this rom-com about six Ghent inhabitants looking for happiness and love succeeded in attracting large numbers of visitors to the cinema, despite the competition of such international box office hits as ‘The Hunger Games’ and the Bond film ‘Spectre’. The cast comprised famous Flemish actors like Jonas Van Geel, Evelien Bosmans, Nathalie Meskens, Louis Talpe and Jan Decleir.
In 2017, the production company once again launched a romantic comedy entitled ‘Allemaal Family’, this time directed by Dries Vos and with Bart Peters behind the title track.
Disney + Marmalade = success formula
In 2016, Marmalade entered the world of live entertainment with its musical version of ‘Beauty & the Beast’. The production company obtained permission from Disney to give the magic of the musical an innovative twist. Ish Ait Hamou was responsible for the choreography and the leading roles were performed by Josje Huisman and Jan Schepens. Audiences came out in droves and were very enthusiastic about this stunning spectacle.
The big shots at Disney turned out to be greatly pleased with the creative approach of the Ghent production company, clear from the fact that only a year later, Marmalade miraculously transformed the Flanders Expo Gent into an underwater world for the production of ‘De Kleine Zeemeermin’ (The Little Mermaid). The result was once again spectacular, with scene changes and lots of visual effects. In addition to Ianthe Tavernier as Ariel, the rest of the musical cast also earned a curtain call among both viewers and the trade press.
These successes have inspired the company to continue its efforts. “Not surprisingly, we look towards the future with confidence and have only one ambition: to continue producing top entertainment,” says CEO of Marmalade Yoshi Aesaert.