The UK’s recently relaunched Icon Film Distribution has appointed former Weinstein Co exec Ben Friedman as Acquisitions Manager. The hire is the latest in IFD’s renewal since it received backing from investment firm New Sparta to return to distribution after pulling out of the business in 2011. Friedman was formerly VP of Acquisitions for TWC, and left in 2010 to consult for Newmarket Films and the Exclusive Media Group, amongst others. Two years ago, he co-founded and became a producing partner in Native State Productions. Icon attended February’s Berlin Film Festival and is heading into its first Cannes since the relaunch. It already has a UK release slate that includes Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s Next Goal Wins; Jim Mickle’s Cold In July; Lynn Shelton’s Laggies; Adam Wingard’s The Guest; Aussie horror pic The Babadook; Richard LaGravenese’s The Last Five Years; and Don Cheadle’s Kill The Trumpet Player. IFD CEO, Ian Dawson, says, “We are thrilled to have Ben joining the Icon team. His experience at the sharp-end of international acquisitions, instinct for finding exciting film projects and relationships with filmmaking talent will fit perfectly with Icon as we grow the business and seek involvement in projects in the earliest stages of production.” Originally formed in 1999, IFD previously released such titles as Paranormal Activity, 30 Days Of Night, Transporter 3, What Women Want, A Single Man, La …
UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Adds $29.2M For No. 1; ‘Noah’ Reigns In Mexico & Korea With $14M; ‘Peabody & Sherman’ Crosses $100M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Muy Caliente; Asian Pics Advance; More
Highlights: Noah (PAR) floods Mexico and Korea with opening cume of $14M; Muppets Most Wanted (DIS) scores $1.5M in eight debut markets; Need For Speed (DIS/var) drives another $29.2M; 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB) seizes further $21.2M; Mr Peabody & Sherman (FOX) at $103M; Rio 2 (FOX) flies to $10.5M in Russia/Ukraine; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FOX) has extra room for $9.7M; Frozen (DIS) nearing Toy Story 3‘s record; Uni’s 8 Apellidos Vascos (aka Spanish Affairs) still seducing Spain; trio of Asian pics enters Top 20…
6TH UPDATE, MON, 12:43 PM PT: Final numbers are in now for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Monuments Men as well as Ride Along, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Lego Movie (which grossed more than previously thought). Final numbers also came in Monday night for Oscar Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave which added another $3.9M to raise its international cume to $121.7M, most of its gross has come from the U.K. with $32.7M; the film has made $178M worldwide. Lionsgate opened Divergent in 18 international markets, but are not releasing numbers as yet. We are using Rentrak which has five small territories (see below for more info on that). Lionsgate, as they always do, pre-licensed international so there are many distributors handling the film in their prospective territories. The big territory rollout for Divergent will be April 4 in the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Mexico, and Finland, followed April 11 by France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Lifts To $88.8M; ‘Non-Stop’ Passes $100M Worldwide; More
6th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:09 PM PT: Updated numbers for Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and Pompeii have been added below. 12 Years a Slave‘s cume internationally is now $104.5M and its worldwide total stands at $157.6M.
5TH UPDATE, MONDAY 12:20 PM PT: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire is now tracking up 11% over the original 300 internationally. Revised numbers have just come in from Warner which says the movie took $88.8M in 58 markets. Some of the major territories were slightly down, but the overall cume was up. The Lego Movie was slightly lower than predicted at $9.6M on 5,585 screens, however the overall overseas cume is $135.4M, a small bolt off the originally estimated $135.6M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added a confirmed $7.5M internationally — down from the estimated $8M — and with $679.7M total; again, a breath away from the previously reported cume of $680M. As ever, numbers are updated in the territory sections below, with more to come as they roll in.
Yann Demange’s debut feature ’71 generated a lot of heat when it premiered in competition at last month’s Berlin Film Festival. The anti-war parable takes place in 1971 and centers on a young British soldier (Unbroken‘s Jack O’Connell) accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast. Unable to tell friend from foe and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety. Roadside Attractions and Black Label Media have partnered to take all U.S. rights on the Gregory Burke-scripted pic and plan an early 2015 release.
Robin Gutch of Warp Films and Angus Lamont of Crab Apple are producers, and the pic is backed by Film4, BFI Film Fund, Screen Yorkshire, and Creative Scotland. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales. The deal was negotiated by CAA on behalf of Black Label and Howard Cohen on behalf of Roadside Attractions, with Mike Goodridge of Protagonist on behalf of the filmmakers. Here’s a clip that made the rounds during Berlin:
Wes Anderson topped himself with another record-breaker this weekend. After premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and last week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far the year’s biggest screen average debut and the biggest-ever opening for a live-action film. Fox Searchlight opened Budapest in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, grossing $800K for a stunning $200K screen average between Friday and Sunday. The number easily surpasses another record holder, The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson, which starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That film opened in September 2012 with five runs, grossing over $736K for a $142,262 PTA. This weekend’s Budapest numbers also top Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed nearly $523K in four theaters when it opened following its Cannes debut in May 2012. A Focus Features release, it averaged $130,749 and went on to cume more than $45.5 million in the U.S.
Last year, animated feature Frozen opened with a $243,490 PTA, but this weekend’s Budapest numbers outgross another 2013 box office juggernaut, American Hustle, which opened in six theaters in December, grossing more than $740K for a $123,409 PTA. It has grossed $148.43M to date. Budapest also debuted this weekend in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film’s profile is sky-high in Germany and elsewhere in Europe after its world premiere as opening-night film last month in Berlin.
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons’, ‘Miele’, ‘Particle Fever’, ‘Bethlehem’
Wes Anderson dazzled the specialty box office in 2012 when Focus Features opened Moonrise Kingdom with one of the year’s highest per-screen averages. Now Fox Searchlight takes the Anderson mantle with The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed in Berlin and took the Siver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Also this frame, Elijah Wood goes indie with the thriller Grand Piano courtesy of Magnolia, while the distributor’s genre label will bow China box office behemoth Journey To The West. Emerging Pictures will oversee an Italian initiative to bring targeted films from the country “nationwide” in the U.S., starting with veteran actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Miele (Honey). Abramorama and BOND360 are collaborating on Sheffield documentary Particle Fever and Adopt Films will open Israeli thriller Bethlehem in more than two dozen theaters Friday.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director-writer: Wes Anderson
Writer: Hugo Guinness
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Tony Revolori
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Anderson’s latest film opens nearly two years after his last film, Moonrise Kingdom. That proved to be an opening-weekend powerhouse, smashing the screen average when Focus Features bowed the title in four theaters at the end of May 2012, grossing a whopping $523K for a dazzling $130,749 average. It went on to gross more than $45.5 million in the U.S. (Anderson’s The Royal Tennenbaums remains his biggest box office grosser to date in theaters, taking in more than $52.3M domestically in 2001. Budapest, the Berlin Film Festival opener, reunites some cast from Moonrise including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton. It centers on the adventures of Gustav H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous Eastern European hotel between the wars, and Zero, a lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Budapest has already launched to strong numbers in France where it grossed nearly $2.8M its opening weekend in 172 theaters for a strong $16,220 average, becoming his biggest opening ever in the country.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More
Eccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom wrap up the overseas perspective on the last big awards shows of the 2013-14 season, beginning with Foreign-Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, which lifted spirits throughout home country Italy even as director Paolo Sorrentino called for more investment in Italian cinema.
At France’s Cesar Awards, the big winner was Les Garcons et Guillaume a Table, though the potential scandale around one nominee proved far more muted than the French press or awards show broadcaster Canal Plus might have hoped. Nancy and David also take a look at the potential global bump in box office for Oscar’s two biggest champs, Best Picture 12 Years a Slave and seven-time winner Gravity.
Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
Focus Features said today that Kill The Messenger will get a platform release on October 10, 2014, and expand the following two weekends. Jeremy Renner stars as Gary Webb, the Pulitzer-winner journalist who uncovered a CIA link to coke trafficking in the U.S. as a way to funnel money to the Nicaraguan Contras. Webb was subsequently discredited by a smear campaign which ruined him and he eventually committed suicide. Michael Cuesta directed the pic written by Peter Landesman. The cast includes Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Josh Close, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Focus picked up worldwide rights ahead of the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.
The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival unveiled 47 of its 89 feature-length films in its lineup today in the World Narrative and Documentary Competition selections as well as the out-of-competition Viewpoints pics. Thursday will see the remainder in the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special sections. The fest kicks off April 16 with the already announced opening-night film, the Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic. Dior And I will screen opening night for the World Documentary competition, the Rory Culkin-starrer Gabriel from U.S. writer-director Lou Howe will open the World Narrative competition, and Summer Of Blood will open Viewpoints — all world premieres and all to screen April 17. The fest runs through April 27. Here’s the lineups in the three sections:
UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Has No. 1 Japan Opening; ‘Lego’ Builds to $121M Overseas; ‘Frozen’ Crossing $1B Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Takes $20.5M In China; More
6th UPDATE, 9 PM: Final numbers are in for The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Pompeii and this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. All have been updated below. Slave grossed another $7M over the weekend in 55 markets to bring its total international cume to $89.93M and its worldwide to $140.5M. Its top grossing market is the UK, followed by France and Spain where it had a terrific jump of 56% at the box office. It also had a nice 20% bump in Australia. It will open in Japan on Friday, the first territory to open since winning the Oscar. The other big winner at the Oscars with 7 statues, Gravity is still playing to bring its international cume up to $436.9M for a worldwide total of $707.3M. The breakdown of grosses territory by territory are below.
5th UPDATE, Monday 12:33 PM: Ride Along numbers have been updated as have some of grosses of The Wolf Of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Dallas Buyers Club, which won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar is currently in its Latin American run and film has a cume of $1.16M in 10 markets, grossing $354K on 221 screens. It only has one more territory in Latin America to open before it completes its international run and to date has a worldwide total of about $32M on a $5M budget shot over only 23 days. Interesting to note also that Universal’s 47 Ronin is still playing in 23 territories for a total cume to date of $107.4M with four more territories to open over the next couple of months, including Italy and France.
SANTA MONICA, CA, March 3, 2014 – As part of the continued expansion of its worldwide distribution infrastructure, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has entered a multifaceted output agreement with fast-growing Leone Film Group in Italy covering feature films from its Lionsgate and Summit labels, the two companies announced today. Italy was one of the last remaining major territories not previously covered by one of the Company’s output arrangements. The agreement, which was finalized at the Berlin Film Festival, also includes Lionsgate’s exploration of worldwide promotional opportunities on a case by case basis with Leone’s Pacmedia promotional group.
Prolific award-winning filmmaker Alain Resnais passed away on Saturday night in Paris, his producer Jean-Louis Livi said this morning. He was 91. The Hiroshima Mon Amour director’s latest film, Aimer, Boire Et Chanter (Life Of Riley) was recently in competition at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. It is due to be released in France on March 26. A giant of French film whose career spanned six decades, Resnais was born in 1922 in Brittany. He began making 8mm shorts at age 12 and later attended film school, training as an editor. Of his 1958 short, Chant Du Styrène, Jean-Luc Godard once wrote, “Alain Resnais is the 2nd best editor in the world after Eisenstein.” Resnais first appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in 1947 with Nicole Védrès’ Paris 1900 on which he collaborated. In 1956 his influential documentary Night And Fog, about Nazi concentration camps, was shown out of competition in Cannes despite difficulties with French censors and protests of France’s West German embassy. It later screened in Berlin and also won the prestigious Jean Vigo prize. Resnais later attended Cannes with Toute La Memoire Du Monde and in 1959 was in competition with Hiroshima Mon Amour, which was part of the French New Wave. Marguerite Duras’ screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and the …
UPDATE: Int’l Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ Builds $93.5M Overseas; ‘Desolation Of Smaug’ Sets Records In China; ‘Frozen’ Hits $980M Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Big In Brazil; More
3rd UPDATE, 3:20 PM PT Monday: The Lego Movie has upped its overseas weekend cume to $24M in its 48 markets due to stronger UK and France numbers. It now has an international total estimated at $93.5M. Key building block territories yet to bow include Russia, Japan, Australia and Germany. In the UK, Lego took the wind out of the box office with a 55% share among the top five films and its gross actually increased 1% from opening weekend. It has taken $36M in the UK since its debut. The French opening also came in higher than expected this frame with $3.1M from 521 screens. With U.S. cumes this weekend (where it was No. 1 for the third week in a row), the worldwide total is now $276.5M. Also via Warner Bros, Best picture Oscar contender Gravity‘s new cume worldwide is $703.6M after this weekend with international repping $434.4M. We are still waiting on confirmed opening weekend numbers from China for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
2ND UPDATE, 2:10 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are trickling in with no huge surprises in the bunch so far. Universal added figures for Ride Along, the Ice Cube/Kevin Hart action comedy that’s been so hot Stateside. It bowed in Iceland and South Africa this weekend with $20K at seven dates and $87K at 50 dates, respectively. Its …
This marks the 12th film from Chinese director Zhang Yimou to be distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics. The negotiations were one of the worst-kept secrets at the Berlin Film Festival. The studio made it official today, a day after Zhang signed on to helm Universal’s adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel The Parsifal Mosaic. Here’s the release:
NEW YORK (February 18, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand to Zhang Yimou’s COMING HOME starring Gong Li. The film, currently in post-production, is produced by Bill Kong and LeVision Pictures’ Zhang Zhao. Lava Bear Films’ David Linde executive produced.
Inspired by Yan Geling’s “THE CRIMINAL LU YANSHI with a screenplay written by Jingshi Zou, COMING HOME is a romance drama chronicling the journey of a Chinese dissident (Chen Daoming) from the 1920′s to the 1990′s.
EXCLUSIVE: Alexandre Desplat earned his sixth Academy Award nomination for his lilting score to Philomena, but is the sixth time the charm for this most in-demand of film composers? He’s never won even though his previous nominations generally all came with high profile films including two Best Picture winners, The King’s Speech and Argo as well as Best Pic nominees The Queen and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Another nomination came for the animated Wes Anderson film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The prolific musician is currently represented on screen with The Monuments Men (in which he also displays his acting chops in a small supporting role) and Anderson’s upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel which just won a major prize at the Berlin Film Festival. He starts recording the score for the May release, Godzilla in a couple of weeks. How does he do it all? Here is a look at the working process of Desplat as he went about creating the score for Philomena:
Berlin Film Festival: ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’ Wins Golden Bear; ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Takes Grand Jury Prize; Richard Linklater Named Best Director, More
UPDATE, 11:00 AM PT: Chinese director Diao Yinan’s noir thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice was a big winner tonight in Berlin. It took the top prize Golden Bear and also scooped the Best Actor Silver Bear for Liao Fan. The film follows a former detective investigating a string of related deaths, but who also begins to fall in love with the person that connects them. It was a big night for Asian film in general – notable after a lack of titles in competition last year. Cinematographer Zeng Jian won the Silver Bear for Oustanding Contribution for Lou Ye’s Blind Massage and a clearly stunned Haru Kuroki won the Best Actress prize for Japanese director Yoji Yamada’s drama The Little House. Richard Linklater‘s much-loved Boyhood brought the filmmaker a Silver Bear for directing. He accepted the prize “on behalf of the over 400 people who worked on my movie over all these years.” Linklater made Boyhood in short stints over a 12-year period. Wes Anderson‘s crowd-pleaser The Grand Budapest Hotel was the Grand Jury Prize winner. Anderson wasn’t on hand but sent a note thanking the festival for the “first full-scale and genuinely metallic” prize he’s ever won from a film festival. A big surprise tonight was the complete shutout of Yann Demange’s ’71, one of the heavy favorites. Click over for the full list of winners.
After fielding some half dozen TV offers, former Awake star Jason Isaacs has signed on as the lead of USA Network’s six-episode event series DIG, an action adventure drama from Heroes creator Tim Kring and Gideon Raff, creator of the Israeli series on which Showtime’s Homeland was based. Kring and Raff co-created DIG, which centers on Peter (Isaacs), an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder of a woman archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making that threatens to change the course of history. The series is a production of Keshet Media Group for UCP in cooperation with the city of Jerusalem. It will start filming in Jerusalem and other oversees locations in May for a premiere on USA later this year. Kring and Raff are exec producing with Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir and Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. Isaacs, repped by Gersh, Silver Lining Entertainment and and Karl Austen, is filming NBC’s miniseries Rosemary’s Baby and indie Stockholm, Pennsylvania. He was at the Berlin Film Festival last week with his film Things People Do.