Cohen Media Group Acquires Bérénice Bejo-Starring French Heist Pic ‘The Last Diamond’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 1:40pm PDT

The Last DiamondCohen Media Group has acquired North American distribution and English-language remake rights to Bérénice Bejo-starrer The Last Diamond. Written and directed by Eric Barbier (The Serpent, Toreros), the French suspense drama centers on paroled jewel thief Simon (Yvan Attal) as he plots the heist of a legendary diamond, put up for auction by the family of gem expert Julia (Bejo). Masquerading as a security Cohen-Media-Group-logo-2012__120905004909-275x108consultant, Simon leads the beautiful but vulnerable Julia down a seductive, dangerous path toward a fate neither of them suspected. Jean-Francois Stévenin also stars. The deal was negotiated by CMG EVP John Kochman and Other Angle Pictures’ Olivier Albou. The Last Diamond will have its North American premiere next week at the Colcoa Film Festival in Hollywood. It’s set to open in France at the end of the month followed by an early 2015 release in the U.S.

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Leads Newcomers; Nic Cage’s ‘Joe’ Opens Weak; ‘Railway Man’ Too Disturbing?

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 10:22am PDT

Specialty Box OfficeOnly Lovers Left Alive held sway among Specialty newcomers this weekend, scoring the weekend’s highest average in a fairly crowded box office. The film starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston grossed nearly $97K in four theaters, averaging $24,244. Crowds packed the 268-seat Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center Friday night where director Jim Jarmusch took part in a Q&A for the 7pm screening of the film (he gave a rather interesting theory on William Shakespeare not being the author of his work).Only Lovers Left Alive The weekend results for Lovers outperformed Jarmusch’s previous 2009 feature The Limits Of Control, which averaged $18,607 in three theaters when it opened in May of that year. It went on to cume over $426K domestically. Broken Flowers which starred Bill Murray, Sharon Stone and Julie Delpy had a slightly higher PTA launch, averaging $28,904 in 27 theaters when it opened in August 2005. The Focus Features release went on to total over $13.744M in the U.S.

“It’s a great start, people really seemed to love the film,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker Sunday. SPC will open Only Lovers Left Alive in New York and L.A. this weekend, expanding to San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. the following week before heading to the top 50 markets through spring.

railwaymanTWC opened The Railway Man in several locations, grossing $64,506 for an so-so $16,127 average. “We’re off to a respectable start on Railway Man,” said TWC president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. “Our exit information confirmed [what we thought]. It was a mostly an older audience. There’s some images that are disturbing, but it’s very relevant today with current events in Fort Hood. What we learned from the U.K. and Australia was that the midweek grosses were about as good as the weekends. So we’re just going to let it roll. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Scarlett Johansson Reigns With Sci-Fier ‘Under The Skin’

By | Sunday April 6, 2014 @ 9:51am PDT

Specialty Box OfficeUPDATED: Boasting a bankable Hollywood star in a decidedly unconventional narrative, Jonathan Glazer’s stunning Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson (who also stars in this weekend’s fellow opener Captain America 2) proved a winning mix in the Specialty Box Office for distributor A24 in its opening weekend. The film, Glazer’s first in 10 years, grossed a robust $140K in four L.A. and NYC theaters. That comes in at a $35K screen average, easily the biggest since the The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s bombshell $202K PTA when it opened March 9. Scarlett Johansson Under the SkinUnder The Skin‘s initial numbers also bode well for A24, which opened in 2012 and had a streak of box office successes over last year, including Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, which had an $87,667 PTA when it opened last March ($14.1M cume), The Spectacular Now ($49,354 PTA in 4 theaters last August and a $6.85M cume), The Bling Ring ($42,879 PTA in 5 theaters last June and a $5.8M cume) and Ginger & Rosa ($14,279 PTA in 3 theaters in March 2012, $1M cume).

Said A24 this weekend: “[Under The Skin] opened to rave reviews and sold out shows in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. This unique cinematic event is second only to The Grand Budapest Hotel as the highest limited specialized film opening of the year. Scarlett Johannson, who stars in both Under The Skin and the Captain America sequel, was a box office star this weekend dominating the box office with Captain America and Under The Skin having the highest per screen average in the country.”

A24 noted that the title, which it acquired out of Toronto last year, is “an art movie that people are embracing.” A spokesperson told me Sunday that they “couldn’t sell more tickets” at its showing in New York’s Union Square. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Raid 2′, ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ Start Solid, ‘Cesar Chavez’ Posts Middling Results

By | Sunday March 30, 2014 @ 10:13am PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The Raid 2 and documentary Finding Vivian Maier found solid footing in their opens this weekend, while Cesar Chavez had a mixed start as holdover juggernaut The Grand Budapest Hotel continued to hold sway as March makes its exit. Sony Classics ventured into the action-thriller genre with The Raid 2 and scored a solid open. The feature by Gareth Evans, a follow-up to his 2012 pic The Raid: Redemption, grossed nearly $177K in just seven locations, by far taking the highest per-theater average of this weekend’s reporting newcomers with a solid $25,272. the-raid-2Raid: Redemption grossed nearly $214K when it opened in March 2012, averaging $15,270. It went on to cume over $4.1M domestically. “There’s a loyal following to the first film, but the word-of-mouth from all the screenings we’ve had have been great,” SPC co-president Michael Barker told me this week. “It was a triumph at Sundance and at SXSW. All these factors foreshadow a good run.” It will head into about 30 theaters in five or six cities this week before heading wide into 1,200 locations.

Related: Box Office: ‘Noah’ Rises, ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises As Schwarzenegger Brought To Knees

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Raid 2′, ‘Breathe In’, ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, ‘Mistaken For Strangers’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 5:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Several newcomers make their way to the Specialty box office this coming weekend, though it is more than certain holdovers will entrench their reign with audiences. Searchlight’s tour de force The Grand Budapest Hotel has been shattering sales numbers and will move into upwards of 675 additional theaters heading into Friday. Last weekend Budapest had a stunning $22,204 PTA in 304 theaters. Also grabbing screens in the last weekend of March will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, three weeks after its launch. The Jason Bateman directorial debut will add over 650 locations. Last weekend it averaged $5,747 from 178 runs. On Friday, Sony Classics will follow up its 2012 The Raid: Redemption release with The Raid 2 in limited runs. Cohen Media Group will bow director Drake Doremus’ fourth feature Breathe In with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones in well over a dozen locations, while Sundance Selects will head out with Finding Vivian Maier, an enigmatic figure in the photography world that has turned into a titan in death. And Abramorama will open Mistaken For Strangers, a music documentary centered on the relationship of two brothers.

The Raid 2theraid2
Director-writer: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Donny Alamsyah, Oka Antara
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

The Raid 2 by Gareth Evans follows his 2012 first installment, The Raid: Redemption. The latest feature follows a short time after the first raid, in which Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his own police force. “From the beginning we wanted to be a part of Raid 2,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “We became involved with [this feature] even before they shot this one, which was still in the script stage at the time.” The project, which SPC worked on with Sony Worldwide Acquisition Group, is building on the momentum of the first Raid, according to Barker. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest’ Extends Reign In Expansion; ‘Nymphomaniac’ Bows So-So Theatrically

Specialty Box OfficeThe Grand Budapest Hotel maintained its box office magic over in its third weekend following an expansion, even as a slew of newcomers bowed with mixed results.

Lars von Trier’s much ballyhooed and anticipated Nymphomaniac: Vol. I culminated with a 25 theater bow this weekend, grossing a so-so $175K for a $7K theater average. Magnolia noted the film, the first part of two Nymphomaniac films (the next opens in theaters April 4) has already been available via VOD and digital platforms, so conceivably a sizable portion of audiences may have wanted to experience the romp in the privacy of home.

On a straight theatrical comparison, Magnolia opened LVT’s previous film Melancholia in 19 theaters, grossing over $257K for a $13,535 PTA in November 2011. nymphomaniacMelancholia went on to cume just over $3.03M domestically. Still, his 2009 release Antichrist opened in just 6 theaters in October 2009, averaging $11,900 ($404,122 domestic cume). Magnolia noted Sunday reporting its Nymphomaniac numbers: “The first volume of Nymphomaniac finally opened after months of buildup and anticipation – from audiences and from us. It did well across the country and lived up to our expectations for it. Combined with a really great VOD take so far, it’s a winner. We’re excited about Volume II, which is on VOD now and in theaters April 4.” On the other end of the spectrum, Freestyle Releasing’s God’s Not Dead blitzed the box office with $8.9M in 780 theaters; read more on that in Anita Busch’s mainstream b.o. report. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Enemy’, ‘Bad Words’, ‘Le Week-end’, ‘On My Way’, ‘Teenage’, ‘Big Men’, ‘Dark House’, ‘Shirin In Love’

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The shadow of the Oscar season and last weekend’s record shattering theatrical debut of Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel hang over the coming weekend’s releases. Some competitors hailed its success and said they hoped to ride in its wake as they head to theaters this Friday and beyond. A24 will roll out Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Enemy by Denis Velleneuve who has had success in both the studio and indie space. Jason Bateman takes the director’s chair for the first time with TIFF and SXSW feature Bad Words for Focus. Music Box Films will open U.K.’s Le Week-end after delaying its roll out post awards-season. France’s On My Way starring Catherine Deneuve opens in theaters following its premiere at an annual French film series in NYC via Cohen Media Group. Abramorama is opening doc Big Men with the support of Brad Pitt who executive produced. Jason Schwartzman also exec produced a doc opening this weekend, the hybrid Teenage from Oscilloscope. And Paladin and Cinedigm are teaming on indie thriller Dark House, while Shirin In Love takes a bilingual approach as it heads to theaters in the Specialty space this weekend.

Enemyenemy2
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Javier Gullón, José Saramago (novel)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace
Distributor: A24

Québécois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his 2011 feature Incendies, which Sony Classics released with a cast unknown in the States, taking in $2 million-plus domestically. His next feature was crime-thriller Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, a studio film that grossed over $61 million domestically. Gyllenhaal returns with Enemy, a mystery-thriller about a man who seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. A24, which had multiple box office hits in the Specialty arena in its first year, including Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring and The Spectacular Now, first caught Enemy at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Elaine Stritch’ & Oscar Contender ‘Omar’ Bow OK; ‘Beijing Love Story’ Continues To Seduce

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 11:27am PST

Specialty Box OfficeElaine Stritch‘s new docu opened in a pair of New York theaters this weekend to a decent crowd. The Tribeca ’13 doc opened at Lincoln Plaza and IFC Center grossing $30K. Now in a wheelchair and frail, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress/performer nevertheless made headlines last weekend when she delivered the F-bomb on The Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, giving the film a round of publicity in the lead up to its weekend opening. elaine stritch shoot meElaine Stritch: Shoot Me got off to a fantastic start as the film will roll out to the top twenty markets throughout March. “Audiences came out to see the well reviewed documentary about the legendary Emmy and Tony award winner,” noted IFC Films Sunday. It will also be available via VOD soon.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Is Lord Of Business, Costner’s ’3 Days To Kill’ No. 2 Buries ‘Pompeii’

Adopt Films opened its Foreign-Language Oscar nominee Omar in a fairly wide 51 theaters. The Palestinian feature by Hany Abu-Assad won festival accolades from Cannes, London, NYFF and AFI Fest had by far the widest opening among its fellow Oscar contenders that have opened Stateside. Tribeca Film’s Broken Circle Breakdown opened in one theater grossing $7,100 ($158 cume), while Magnolia’s The Hunt bowed in 10 theaters last July, growing $43K ($613 cume). Janus Films’ The Great Beauty is by far the box office winner among the pack, passing the $2 million cume threshold this week. It opened in one location in November, grossing $23,442. Strand’s The Missing Picture from Cambodia will open next month. Read More »

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Col-Coa: Focus On Cédric Klapisch; Tributes To Patrice Chéreau, François Truffaut

By | Wednesday, 19 February 2014 13:32 UK

logo-home-2014The City Of Lights, City Of Angels French film festival will run in LA this year from April 21-28. The 18th festival has unveiled its Classics program and the Focus on a Filmmaker sidebar. Cédric Klapisch will be honored with the latter on April 24 with a special presentation of his 2002 hit L’Auberge Espagnole, and the premiere of his latest film Chinese Puzzle, casse-tete-chinois02the third in the Auberge trilogy. Romantic comedy Chinese Puzzle (Casse-Tête Chinois in local parlance) was released in France on December 4 to strong notices and sold over 1.4M tickets. It stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and Cécile de France. Klapisch will discuss his work following the screening. Col-Coa is also paying tribute to Patrice Chéreau who passed away in October 2013. The homage will include a screening of a digitally restored version of 1994′s Queen Margot starring Isabelle Adjani, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Daniel Auteuil. Cohen Media Group is planning a 20th anniversary digital release in the U.S. this year. Also screening are a digitally restored version of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 Beauty And The Beast; a 30th anniversary presentation of Otar Iosseliani’s Favorites Of The Moon (Cohen Media Group is also releasing digitally this year); the restored version of 1960′s Purple Moon directed by René Clément; and a newly restored version of Henri-Georges Cluzot’s 1942 drama L’Assassin Habite Au 21. Finally, Col-Coa … Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Beijing Love Story’ Solid Niche Opening In Quiet Holiday Weekend

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:12pm PST

beijinglovestoryThe Presidents Day weekend was rather quiet for the Specialty Box Office in a holiday otherwise dominated by Legos. Only one newcomer bothered to report 3-day numbers Sunday, though they were decently solid. China Lion’s Valentine’s offering Beijing Love Story brought out its niche following of audiences who gravitate to China’s big screen features. The film grossed $128K for a $14,222 PTA. “We’re in our core communities and pushing our grassroots outreach there,” China Lion’s Robert Lundberg said this week.

Specialty Box OfficeAs of early afternoon EST, other Specialty openers including Girl On A Bicycle (Monterey Media), Lucky Bastard (Cavu Pictures) and Jimmy P. (IFC Films) hadn’t reported their numbers. Here’s hoping IFC Films will back Jimmy P., a film that premiered in competition in Cannes and later debuted Stateside at the New York Film Festival. It has had decent reviews, so hopefully it is not simply being dumped by the distributor. Stay tuned…

Related: Box Office: ‘Lego’ Blocks ’80s Remakes In Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend

Among second weekend holdovers, Kino Lorber continued to reap decent numbers for its doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq, which continued its exclusive engagement at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Docus ‘Afternoon Of A Faun,’ ‘Kids For Cash’ Bow Solid As Oscar Holdovers Hold Sway

Specialty Box OfficeDocumentaries ruled the school this weekend in the Specialty Box Office. Kino Lorber Films’ doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq pirouetted atop the Specialty Box Office among the weekend’s newcomers including fellow docu Kids For Cash and Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. Afternoon of a Faun, which debuted at the 51st New York Film Festival, Afternoon of a Faun ballet documentaryreturned to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for its theatrical roll out, clearly tapping into an audience familiar with the famous ballerina, affectionately known as Tanny. Kino Lorber booked over $4,800 in pre-sales before its opening at Film Society. The film played the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and moved later to the bigger Walter Reade Theater. Noted Kino Lorber’s Gary Palmucci Sunday: “With perfect first positioning by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Afternoon of a Faun certainly blasted off this weekend – we’re all thrilled and getting ready to pirouette into national release in the coming weeks.”

kidsforcashProducer-director Robert May’s SenArt Films teamed with Mark Urman’s Paladin on Kids For Cash, a documentary centered on a scandal that took place in Pennsylvania. The partners kept it local, opening at several locations in and around the Philadelphia area and other cities, tapping into public awareness of the story. The strategy of ducking the usual L.A.-NYC roll out appears to have mostly paid off in its first bow.Kids For Cash grossed $40,800, for a $10,200 PTA. “At the end of February, we’ll take on other major markets,” Urman told Deadline this week. “We’re not sneaking into town to that place that typically plays your usual documentary. It’s a gut punch of a movie and we see no reason to treat it as if it were for the only discerning few.” Read More »

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DreamWorks To Remake French Thriller ‘The Prey’

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 5:49pm PST
Mike Fleming

proiEXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to remake The Prey, the French film that was released in 2011 under the title La Proie. The deal was spearheaded by production president Holly Bario, and the rights were acquired from Brio Films, Studio Canal and Cohen Media Group. Cohen Media Group chairman/CEO Charles S. Cohen will produce the remake and Cohn Media Group president Daniel Battsek will be exec producer. Luc Bossi, one of the writers on the original, will be involved in developing the English language redo.

proiDirected by Eric Valette, La Proie centered around a low-level crook who must break out of jail to save his family from his former cellmate and confidante, who, it turns out, is a sadistic serial killer. The original was written by Bossi and Laurent Turner and produced by Bossi’s Brio Films. StudioCanal coproduced and distributed the original film, and Cohen Media put it out in limited last summer. Bario called the original “an arresting story that had all of us at DreamWorks on the edge of our seats and we instantly saw the potential for a U.S. remake. The team at DreamWorks looks forward to working with Charles, Daniel and Luc to bring this thrilling story to a new audience.” Read More »

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Focus Features Shifts ‘Bad Words’ Release Date

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 10:13am PST

Focus Features said today that Jason Bateman‘s Bad Words will bow in limited release on March 14, badwords2expand out on March 21 and open wide on March 28. On that date it will face off against Open Road’s Haunted House 2, Paramount’s Noah, Cohen Media Group’s Breathe In and Lionsgate’s Cesar Chavez. The comedy from Darko Entertainment, Aggregate Films and MXN stars Bateman in his feature directorial debut. He plays a 40-year-old Guy Trilby, who finds a loophole in the National Spelling Bee rules and enters the competition. As he dusts his preteen rivals, a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) digs into Guy’s story, and he finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a 10-year-old boy (Rohan Chand). Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Rachael Harris and Philip Baker Hall co-star.

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Specialty Box Office: ’12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘All Is Lost’ Hold Strong; ‘Armstrong Lie’ Tops Newcomers

Indie FilmsHigh profile awards contenders had big expansions over the weekend, easily dwarfing the roll outs of lower profile new comers this weekend. Fox Searchlight’s big Oscar hopeful 12 Years A Slave, Roadside/Lionsgate’s All Is Lost and Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club headed into more theaters and markets with mostly strong results. Searchlight moved 12 Years A Slave into 1,144 theaters, an increase of 734 from the previous week. It grossed $6.6 million in its 4th week of release, averaging $5,769 and placing 7th in the overall box office.

Roadside/Lionsgate’s All Is Lost, which had its U.S. debut earlier this month at the New York Film Festival, headed into 401 runs grossing over $1.2 million and averaging $3K. Last week, it grossed nearly $600K in 131 locations. Focus added 26 theaters for Dallas Buyers Club‘s second frame. The film starring Matthew McConaughey held nicely, grossing $629K, averaging almost $18K. Focus noted the film had a 61% increase from Friday to Saturday, which the company touted Sunday morning. “This bump far exceeds the 45% to 50% bump which is the norm for a roll-out,” said a Focus spokesperson. “This big bump on Saturday shows momentum with Saturday’s habitual adult – Boomer, Gen X and sophisticated younger patrons. For the second week in a row, the film over performed on Saturday. Clearly it is connecting with the core adult audience.” Focus added that increases also took place in last week’s theaters as well.

Among newcomers, Sony Classics’ The Armstrong Lie took the weekend’s highest PSA, though from a slight threshold. The Venice and Toronto documentary grossed $30,904, averaging $6,181. This is the second film to head to theaters this year from veteran filmmaker Alex Gibney, whose late May release We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks averaged $6,922 when it bowed in 4 theaters. That film went on to gross over $166K in the U.S. SPC will expand The Armstrong Lie into several additional markets next weekend, while also adding runs in Los Angeles. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Reigns In “Smart-House” Debut; Controversial ‘Blue’ Loses Steam

Indie FilmsDallas Buyers Club cinched the top spot in the Specialty Box Office, grossing over $264K, averaging a strong $29K-plus in 9 theaters this weekend. The Toronto debut starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof who took on the medical establishment illegally importing promising drugs from abroad after learning he was HIV-positive.

“The word-of-mouth is stimulating the box office momentum which we see in the big increase from Friday to Saturday,” noted Focus Sunday. “Dallas experienced a strong increase in box office on Saturday with a 71% overall bump from Friday to Saturday. Yesterday’s increase is a strong indication that the film’s popular and box office momentum is working well. Grosses in the U.S. houses are strong with Dallas the #1 ranked film in 4 of the 6 opening houses.” Focus added that “smart-house films” historically increase in the upper 40% range from Friday to Saturday.

The distributor had more flush results from The Place Beyond The Pines earlier this year, grossing over $279 in 4 theaters in April, averaging nearly $70K. Had Dallas only opened in its 6 U.S. theaters, the average would have been $35K. The film also bowed in 3 Canadian locations this weekend. The result is an auspicious send off to the “Specialty” incarnation of Focus lead by James Schamus. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: NC-17 Import ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Scores Solid Open

By | Sunday October 27, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

After the Palme d’Or, public spats and talk about “that scene,” Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color opened with solid numbers this weekend in New York and L.A. The feature grossed just over $101K in 4 theaters, for a $25,279 average – easily the highest of the weekend and one of the year’s highest for a foreign-language film.

Sundance Selects said it was “thrilled” by Blue‘s performance and that the drama about two young women who fall in love appealed across genders this weekend. “From the moment it screened in Cannes to its opening engagements here in the United States the film has received enormous publicity and critical acclaim for the film and for the lead actresses’ performances,” said IFC Films/Sundance Selects’ Mark Boxer Sunday. “Now filmgoers in New York and Los Angeles have had the opportunity to see what generated so much excitement and controversy and the turnout was quite impressive in a very crowded marketplace.”

Related: Palme d’Or Winner Ineligible For Foreign Language Category
Why Wild Bunch Wouldn’t Budge On ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Release For Oscar Eligibility

Blue opened stateside with an NC-17, though NYC’s IFC Center very publicly said it would admit high schoolers to the film. The title also trumped last year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner and fellow Palme d’Or winner Amour, which had a $22,755 in 3 locations last December. That film went on to gross over $6.7 million in the U.S. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’, ‘Spinning Plates’, ‘Capital’, ‘Not Yet Begun To Fight’

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 4:45pm PDT

Blue Is The Warmest Color has had more press, public spats, anticipation, praise and momentum than any foreign-language film in memory. The latest flap involves New York’s IFC Center deciding not to honor the NC-17 MPAA voluntary rating, allowing young people under 18 to see the film. Now the Palme d’Or winner is heading out to theaters in the U.S. courtesy of Sundance Selects. The film has already grossed nearly a cool $4.5 million in France since opening October 9. The weekend’s roster of newcomers are far fewer than previous bows this fall. Among the new Specialties hitting theaters along with Blue Friday are The Film Arcade’s Spinning Plates by Food Network host Joseph Levy as well as fellow doc Not Yet Begun To Fight by Shasta Grenier and Sabrina Lee’s, which they will self-distribute, and Cohen Media Group’s Capital. And listed in last week’s Specialty Preview is Jehane Noujaim’s Toronto and NYFF debut, The Square, which will open at Film Forum in New York.

Blue Is The Warmest Color
Director-writer: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Julie Maroh (story), Galia Lacroix (adaptation)
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salée, Benjamin Siksou
Distributor: Sundance Selects

Much has been talked about the 2013 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Blue Is The Warmest Color. The festival, lead by festival juror Steven Spielberg even gave recognition to the film’s two leads, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux with special Palme d’Ors of their own. The film centers on Adèle, a young woman who meets Emma, with whom she falls in love with as the pair embark on a passionate relationship.

Related:Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Is France’s Top Local Opener Of The Year
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Global Showbiz Briefs: New Vision For BBC Worldwide’s Future; UK Culture Secretary Meets With U.S. Execs; More

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 10:00pm PDT

CEO Tim Davie Reveals Vision For Future Of BBC Worldwide
In an address to employees, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns around the globe. It includes a £200M investment in premium content, the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions – spanning the genres of premium factual, factual entertainment and drama — and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, license fee payers and the wider industry alike,” he said. “But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets.”

UK Culture Secretary Spends The Week Meeting With U.S. Showbiz Execs
During a visit to the U.S. this week, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller met with senior executives at Disney, Warner Bros and other showbiz companies to discuss collaboration and hear suggestions on how UK filming conditions could be made more attractive to American productions. She also sought reaction to the UK’s recent extension of tax credits and talked with HBO about its Game of Thrones production model and with Lucasfilm about its plan to shoot the new Star Wars film in the UK and whether there could be other ways to help support the local film industry.  Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Turkish TV Host Sacked Over ‘Unacceptable’ Cleavage; DistribFilms Has ‘Just A Sigh’ For U.S.; More

By | Thursday, 10 October 2013 06:00 UK

Turkish Game Show Host Fired For ‘Unacceptable’ Cleavage
A popular TV host in Turkey has been fired for showing too much cleavage on the air. Gözde Kansu donned a revealing black top during a recent episode of music game show Velaiht, and the ruling Justice and Development Party was unamused. “We don’t intervene against anyone, but this is too much,” said Hüseyin Çelik, a spokesman for the socially conservative party. ”It is unacceptable.” He didn’t mention Kansu by name, but his subject soon became clear and she dismissed soon after.

DistribFilms Picks Up U.S. Rights To French Rom-Com ‘Just A Sigh’
DistribFilms said Wednesday that it has acquired U.S. rights to the French romantic drama Just a Sigh, starring Gabriel Byrne and Emmanuelle Devos. Writer-director Jérôme Bonnell’s film follows an actress who meets a mysterious Irishman on a Paris-bound train. She then follows him and falls in love with him, before facing what could be a new life. The film has played festivals including Tribeca and Karlovy Vary and will unspool at the Chicago Film Festival next week. The deal was negotiated by Scippa-Kohn and Camille Neel, head of international sales at Le Pacte, on behalf of the filmmakers. Read More »

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