EXCLUSIVE: As Epic Pictures Group takes it to buyers at Cannes this month, Magnolia Pictures’ genre arm Magnet Releasing has acquired U.S. rights to V/H/S: Viral, the third pic in the horror anthology series that launched with 2012′s V/H/S. Original pic premiered at Sundance and scored with the genre crowd with segments by directors David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Ti West, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence. A second pic also debuted at Sundance with shorts from Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto, Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez, and Adam Wingard. The third V/H/S features segments from Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes), Marcel Sarmiento (ABCs of Death segment “D is for Dogfight”), Gregg Bishop (The Birds of Anger), Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution), and Todd Lincoln (The Apparition).
Before the deal making gets underway at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, here is a review of how the films from last year’s festival fared at the box office. VOD receipts aren’t part of this, and I will add those I get. But you can see that buyers might not want to let the thin air here get the best of them.
Sundance 2013 Acquisitions and Box Office
Acquisition (or M.G.) *
Domestic B.O. *
The Way, Way Back
Domestic, some territories
Domestic and U.K.
mid seven figures
The Spectacular Now
20 Feet From Stardom
low seven figures
In a World…
Roadside Attractions/Sony Wwide
The Kings of Summer (aka Toy’s House)
Inequality for All
Kill Your Darlings
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
U.S., some Intl.
low seven figure
After a buzzy festival run and Toronto pick-up by The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, Ti West‘s Jonestown-esque thriller The Sacrament has been set for a June 6, 2014 theatrical release. Before then it will hit VOD on May 1, 2014. AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley, and Kate Lyn Sheil star in the film which tracks a VICE documentary crew’s visit to a seemingly idyllic agrarian commune with a photographer who hopes to reconnect with his sister. The Sacrament first premiered at Venice. West wrote, directed, and edited the film which is produced by Eli Roth, Jacob Jaffke, Peter Phok, and Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners. His recent films include House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and horror anthologies V/H/S, The ABCs Of Death, all Magnet releases.
Factory 25 has acquired U.S. rights to Joe Swanberg‘s All the Light in the Sky, the director’s follow-up to this year’s indie hit Drinking Buddies. Hung‘s Jane Adams co-wrote the pic with Swanberg and stars as Marie, an actress living in Malibu for whom roles are getting scarce due to her age. When her niece Faye (Green‘s Sophia Takal) arrives for the weekend, Marie’s emotional insecurities escalate and she must confront her fears and complicated relationships, and figure out how to navigate mid-life in Hollywood. As with his previous films, Swanberg tapped frequent collaborators and indie filmmakers for his cast including Kent Osborne (Uncle Kent), Allison Baar (Bad Fever), Simon Barrett (V/H/S), Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), Lawrence Michael Levine (Green), Susan Traylor (Greenberg) and Ti West (The Sacrament). It’s also the latest pact between the prolific Swanberg and indie specialists Factory 25, who released his Silver Bullets and Art History and put out a box set of his collected work in 2011. All the Light in the Sky will debut on cable VOD, iTunes, and other digital outlets on December 3 followed by a December 20 theatrical release in NYC and additional roll-out. Adams is currently filming MGM’s Poltergeist.
Mike Fleming Jr broke this news from Toronto last week that Magnolia was finalizing a seven-figure deal for Ti West’s contemporary found-footage thriller that played in the Vanguard sidebar. Now Magnolia says the pic will go out through its genre distribution label Magnet Releasing sometime in 2014. The release:
Director Ti West is known primarily for his work as a horror helmer, but with Venice and Toronto title The Sacrament – as well as an upcoming project – he’s taking a turn in a different direction. West’s credits include 2009’s The House Of The Devil, 2011’s The Innkeepers and a segment of 2012’s V/H/S. Although it’s presented by Eli Roth, The Sacrament, which received positive notices here, is not really a straight horror movie. It’s a contemporary found-footage film that tweaks the genre and is “the most realism” West has done, he told me this week. But he’s looking to step even further afield with a script he’s currently writing: He wants to do a “traditional western.”
John Gallagher Jr. & Kate Lyn Sheil Set For ‘The Heart Machine’; Gregg Henry Joins ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy,’ Tye Sheridan Heads To ‘Dark Places’
John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom, Short Term 12) and Kate Lyn Sheil (V/H/S, House of Cards) have been set to star in Parts & Labor‘s indie mystery-drama The Heart Machine, from writer-director Zachary Wigon. Gallagher Jr. and Sheil will play Cody and Virginia, a couple in a long-distance online relationship who have never met in person. Cody begins to suspect Virginia’s been living in New York the whole time and sets out to investigate. Filming begins today in NYC. It’s the debut film for Wigon who is a film critic for The Village Voice among other outlets. Lucas Joaqui and Alex Scharfman are producing. Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen of Parts & Labor will exec produce with Abe Schwartz and Jordan Lewis. Gallagher Jr. is repped by Gersh, Station3, and Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. Sheil is repped by APA and One Entertainment.
After appearing in James Gunn’s Slither and Super, actor Gregg Henry is re-joining the helmer in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Henry tweeted the news over the weekend. His official role in the superhero comic book pic has not been disclosed. Last week it was revealed that Vin Diesel was in talks to play Groot in the ensemble. Henry is also set to star opposite Christina Ricci in Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden pic following stints on AMC’s The Killing and ABC’s Scandal. Henry is repped by Domain Talent.
Lava Bear and QED International will finance and co-produce Intrusion, a thriller to be directed by David Bruckner from a script by writer L.D. Goffigan that got a rewrite from Amy Herzog. Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davison will produce the project with Tariq Jalil, Lava Bear, and QED’s Bill Block. QED’s John Hegeman will executive produce. Bruckner helmed the segment Amateur Nights from the anthology pic V/H/S. A young woman’s life begins to unravel shortly after moving to San Francisco, when she realizes she’s being pursued by a disturbed stalker. As the assaults and creepy incidents escalate she realizes that she has become the target of something far more sinister and horrifying. Pic will shoot later this year.
Magnolia‘s Magnet Releasing has not one, but two morbid anthology series churning out sequels. Its summer found-footage follow-up V/H/S 2 features connected segments by Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid), Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way To Die), Adam Wingard (You’re Next), Edúardo Sanchez (Lovely Molly), Gregg Hale (The Blair Witch Project), Timo Tjahjanto (The ABCs Of Death), and Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun). Pic hits VOD on June 6 and opens July 12. Here’s the redband trailer:
Cannes: ‘ABCs Of Death 2′ Lines Up Directors Bill Plympton, Vincenzo Natali, Sion Sono, Larry Fessenden
Magnet Releasing is plotting more ABCs Of Death following its 2012 high concept horror anthology. The sequel’s directors unveiled today at Cannes will include Oscar nominated animator Bill Plympton, Goya winning director Alex De La Iglesias (The Last Circus), and documentarian Rodney Ascher (Room 237), who lead a new lineup of international directors depicting assorted horrible ways to die. Also tapped to direct segments: Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti, whose On The Job debuts this week in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight sidebar (watch Deadline’s exclusive trailer here), founder of Nigerian “Nollywood” cinema Lancelot Imasuen, Lithuania’s Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (Vanishing Waves), Japan’s Sion Sono (Cold Fish), Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube), indie horror icon Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), Marcus Dunstan (The Collection), France’s Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside, Livid), SXSW breakout E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), twin auteurs Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Israel’s Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Rabies, Big Bad Wolves), Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place To Die), Brazil’s Dennison Ramalho (Ninjas, Love For Mother Only), Jerome Sable (The Legend Of Beaver Dam), and BAFTA nominated animator Robert Morgan (Bobby Yeah).
The annual marketing kudos went big for Disney pics Iron Man 3, Wreck-It-Ralph, Monsters University, Brave, and The Avengers at the Golden Trailer Awards Friday night. The GTAs didn’t just fete the best movie promos of the year. They also doled out Trashiest Trailer (to A24′s Spring Breakers) and gave indie comedy Hit & Run the Golden Fleece award, awarded to a trailer better than its actual movie. Here’s the full list of winners:
Rob Schneider and Aisha Tyler will host the 14th annual Golden Trailer Awards on May 3 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. More than 1200 submissions were received this year, an 11% year-over-year increase, in a total of 70 categories, with honors in 16 main Show Categories set to be presented during the ceremony along with an additional trophy for Best in Show. Here are the main categories (see the rest of the nominees here):
THE 14TH ANNUAL GOLDEN TRAILER AWARDS
SHOW CATEGORY NOMINEES
SUMMER 2013 BLOCKBUSTER TRAILER
“Iron Man 3” – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Trailer Park
“Fast & Furious 6” – Universal, AV Squad
“Man of Steel” – Warner Bros., Jennifer Horvath
“Pacific Rim” – Warner Bros., Trailer Park
“World War Z “Day”“ – Paramount Pictures, Buddha Jones
Director Joe Swanberg brought his most accessible film yet to SXSW this year, with name actors Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston starring in the relationship comedy about a pair of Chicago craft brewery co-workers whose platonic friendship veers toward flirtation. Magnolia Pictures has taken notice, acquiring North American distribution rights today. Drinking Buddies has a more traditional look than Swanberg’s previous mumblecore releases, with Beasts Of The Southern Wild DP Ben Richardson doing the lensing. The pic was entirely improvised as the cast worked from Swanberg’s outline. Here’s today’s release announcing the deal, which will see the pic hit theaters sometime this year:
New York, NY (March 19, 2013) – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American distribution rights to writer-director Joe Swanberg’s DRINKING BUDDIES, starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. Produced by Dark Arts’ Alicia Van Couvering and Andrea Roa; Burn Later’s Paul M. Bernon and Sam Slater; and Swanberg, the film premiered this month at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The film was executive produced by Mike Witherill, Ashley Bernon, Jessica Klapman, David Kaplan, Anish Savjani, and Wilde. Magnolia Pictures is planning a theatrical release for later this year.
The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival has announced the second half of its slate for the 12th edition of its festival set for April 17 to April 28 in New York City. The Spotlight section features 33 films – 21 narratives and 12 documentaries. Twenty-three of those films will have their world premieres at the festival. The Midnight section will open with Dark Touch. Special screenings this year include the reintroduction of the Restored/Rediscovered program with Charles Lane’s Sidewalk Stories and a special screening of Alberi by Michaelangelo Frammartino. New to this year’s festival is Storyscapes. The multi-platform transmedia program celebrates new trends in digital media and recognizes filmmakers and content creators who employ an interactive, web-based or cross-platform approach to story creation. Storyscapes will present five selections at a public, interactive installation at the Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination beginning April 19th and running through the 21st. The short film program will be announced the week of March 11. The complete list of films and projects follows:
EXCLUSIVE: Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights‘ QB Matt Saracen) has been set to star with Allison Miller in Devil’s Due, the 20th Century Fox thriller that begins shooting next week in the Dominican Republic and New Orleans. John Davis is producing, and the film will be directed by Radio Silence (Tyler Gillett, Chad Villella, Matt Dettinelli-Olpin and Justin Martinez.) Those guys directed the last segment in V/H/S. Lindsay Devlin wrote the script. This one also has a found footage element to it. Gilford is repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.
EXCLUSIVE: David Linde‘s Lava Bear has set David Bruckner (The Signal, V/H/S) to direct Intrusion, a thriller script written by L.D. Goffigan. Along with Doug Davison, Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter, Lava Bear will produce and production has been set to start later this year.
A young woman’s life begins to unravel shortly after moving to San Francisco, when she realizes she’s being pursued by a disturbed stalker. As the assaults and creepy incidents escalate she realizes that she has become the target of something far more sinister and horrifying.
Bruckner directed Amateur Night, the opening segment of the 2012 found-footage horror anthology V/H/S. He made his debut on the 2007 pic The Signal, which he co-directed with Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry.
SXSW 2013: Abigail Breslin In ‘Haunter’, ‘Lords Of Salem’, ‘You’re Next’, ‘Big Ass Spider’ Lead Midnighters
Sixteen-year-old Abigail Breslin leads her first horror pic in Haunter, from director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice), which will world-premiere in the Midnight line-up at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The slate also reunites Innkeepers (SXSW ’11) duo Pat Healy and Sarah Paxton, who star with Ethan Embry and David Koechner in first-time director E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills, while the Greg Grunberg-starring creature feature Big Ass Spider (sold overseas as, ahem, Mega Spider) sends creepy-crawly shivers through the midnight crowd.
Also unveiling for the late-night genre crowd at the fest, held March 8-16 in Austin, are Rob Zombie’s Lords Of Salem, releasing April 19 via Anchor Bay, the festival slasher fave You’re Next, which Lionsgate will open August 23, the anthology sequel V/H/S/2 (re-titled from S-VHS) snapped up by Magnolia last month at Sundance, and Xan Cassavetes’ sexy vampire pic Kiss Of The Damned starring Milo Ventimiglia and Joséphine de La Baume.
Below, descriptions of the nine features in SXSW’s Midnight selection along with the fest’s extensive slate of short films including narrative shorts, doc shorts, and music videos:
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
Director: Vincenzo Natali, Screenwriter: Brian King
Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985. Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, David Hewlett (World Premiere)
Friday night, the first one loaded with the big acquisition titles that forced distributors to scatter their teams to cover all the screenings, gave buyers buyers a lot to think about this morning. I haven’t heard of much action so far (outside of Sundance Selects’ closing a deal for The Summit, the Nick Ryan-directed pic about the attempt by 24 climbers to scale K2, with half of them dying. Just walking up Main Street here makes that an understandable outcome). Everybody’s itching for these deals to start rolling, but sellers are not being hasty. It is hard to land big buck upfront deals, and so they are being extra cautious to extract commitments from potential distributors to make sure these films get a chance to play, with all the platforms available to turn a buck. I saw Don Jon’s Addiction, the writing/directing debut of rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who with this film adds another dimension to what is becoming a most unpredictable and intriguing career path. For one thing, his aerobicized frame and onscreen bedroom prowess here has to put him on the short list for the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey, if that is something he’s even interested in. Don Jon’s Addiction is funny, but Gordon-Levitt plays a buff computer porn addict who gets more gratification from logging on than from his prolific boozy bedroom encounters. Let’s just say a sponsorship from a facial tissue company …
LOS ANGELES (October 31, 2012) – On the eve of the American Film Market, XLrator Media has acquired all U.S. rights to UNDER THE BED, the new horror/thriller from the producers of V/H/S and director Steven C. Miller (The Aggression Scale, the upcoming Silent Night). Starring Jonny Weston, the young star of Chasing Mavericks, and Gattlin Griffith (Green Lantern, Changeling), the film tells the story of two brothers who team up to battle the monster living under their bed. XLrator Media will release the film in theaters next summer. UNDER THE BED was produced by Brad Miska (V/H/S, A Horrible Way to Die), Tom Owen (V/H/S) and William Clevinger (The Devil’s Carnival, Automaton Transfusion) and executive produced by Zak Zeman (The Aggression Scale, A Horrible Way to Die) and Miller. Written by Eric Stolze, the film also stars Peter Holden, Musetta Vander and Kelcie Stranahan. The deal was negotiated by Ehud Bleiberg and Giulia Prenna on behalf of Bleiberg Entertainment and by Gordon on behalf of XLrator Media. Bleiberg Entertainment’s Compound B label will be handling international rights during AFM and recently sold German rights to Tiberius.