‘Intouchables’ Helmers Set To Begin Production On ‘Samba’
The Intouchables helmers Eric Tolédano and Olivier Nakache will begin shooting their next film, Samba, at the end of October. Omar Sy, Best Actor César winner for Intouchables, stars in the social comedy alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac, Melancholia), Tahar Rahim (The Past, A Prophet) and Izya Higelin. French major Gaumont is co-producing with Intouchables‘ Quad Productions. Gaumont will handle French distribution and sell the film internationally as it did with Tolédano and Nakache’s 2011 mega box office hit. Delivery is expected at the end of 2014.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Intouchables’ Helmers Gear Up For ‘Samba’; BAFTA To Host Life In Pictures With Tom Hanks; More
‘Intouchables’ Helmers Set To Begin Production On ‘Samba’
Bryan Singer tweeted today that “the brilliant” Omar Sy of the French film The Intouchables has joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Today’s news about Sy follows a stream of tweets from the director about other castings for the followup to X-Men: First Class including Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore and Hugh Jackman. Deadline also recently reported that Singer was keen on adding Peter Dinklage for a key role. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will also return as Magneto and Professor Xavier. Nothing concrete about Halle Berry yet, however.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Shadyac, once a prolific director of blockbuster comedies before a near-death experience sent him on a life-changing journey chronicled in his feature documentary I Am, is returning to laffer mode. Shadyac is in talks with The Weinstein Company to helm its remake of the Olivier Nakache/Eric Toledano French sensation The Intouchables.
TWC has a script by Paul Feig, and Colin Firth has been circling to star, though casting is not locked. The picture seems primed for remake — it grossed $416 million overseas, and only $10 million domestic. That is a decent number for a foreign film but leaves a lot of room for an American audience to discover the story. TWC released it here and got remake rights as part of the bargain. Feig was once going to make it his directorial follow-up to Bridesmaids but he left the project after writing the screenplay about an aristocrat who, after being paralyzed in a hang-gliding accident, hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker. TWC’s Dylan Sellers has been shepherding the redo.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor.
One Saturday morning in early December, The Weinstein Company chief operating officer David Glasser was facing a very busy day: A noon screening of TWC’s critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook, followed by a 3 p.m. screening of the Christmas Day release Django Unchained, then an evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ fourth annual Governors Awards. Until the February 24 Oscar ceremony, “Saturdays and Sundays are not my own,” the executive jokes.
But in between big events involving big movies, it somehow seemed fitting that Glasser would carve out a little chunk of time to talk about a small but equally important film executive-produced by The Weinstein Co.: The Intouchables.
This $2 million French film, based on the true story about the bond between a wealthy quadriplegic (played by François Cluzet) and the fun-loving younger man from a housing project (Omar Sy) he hires to take care of him, has earned more than $400 million at the boxoffice worldwide and is the official French entry for the foreign-language film Oscar. (The Academy will reveal its shortlist of foreign-language films tomorrow morning.)
Weinstein’s French Import ‘The Intouchables’ Is First Official 2012 Academy Screener Mailed To Members
EXCLUSIVE: Every Oscar season the race is on to see who can put out the first DVD screener sent to Academy members. Well, the race is over for 2012: The Weinstein Company is mailing screeners today of their hit French import The Intouchables to the entire membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association got one over the weekend. The Intouchables, which has grossed more than $360 million worldwide, is the official French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar (screenings of the record 71 films in that contest begin Friday night at the Academy). It is the second-highest-grossing non-English-language film of all time after The Passion Of The Christ.
Last year, Summit was first out of the gate in getting Academy members a screener of A Better Life. The strategy paid off, resulting in a surprise Best Actor SAG and Oscar nomination for star Demian Bichir. Putting those screeners in Oscar voters’ hands early certainly didn’t hurt his chances. Millennium mailed a commercial DVD of Bernie to press a couple of weeks ago with Oscar aspirations attached, but this is the first official manufactured screener for Oscar voters (the Academy has strict rules about packaging and does not allow commercial DVDs to be sent to members).
French feel-good juggernaut The Intouchables has been chosen to rep the country in the foreign-language Academy Awards race. Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the film about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and a man from the other side of the tracks was released by Gaumont in France in November 2011 and ultimately sold nearly 20M tickets to become the third-highest grosser ever in the territory and second-biggest French film of all time. Outside France, it recently became the French-language film with the most global admissions ever. The Weinstein Company acquired Intouchables (and its English-language remake rights) and released it in the U.S. in May; its domestic cume is just under $12M.
In 2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s charmer Amélie began to break records inside France and out. In November that year, Miramax released it in the U.S. and it ultimately became the French-language film with the most admissions ever outside its home country. With 23.1M admissions worldwide, Amélie held its perch until this weekend, when another movie handled Stateside by Harvey Weinstein leapfrogged over it. Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s Intouchables, the story of an unlikely friendship between a millionaire quadriplegic and a young man from the other side of the tracks, has now clocked 23.2M entries globally, French export body Unifrance confirms to Deadline. That figure surpasses the nearly 20M tickets Intouchables sold for studio Gaumont during its theatrical run in France. It’s broken records in other territories and still more people will see it outside France in the coming weeks when it opens in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. In its 16th week in U.S. release, Intouchables has taken $11,570,960 at the box office. Amélie eventually earned upwards of $33M in the U.S.
After two weeks of unimpressive specialty openers, Focus Features‘ Moonrise Kingdom has taken the specialty box office by storm, shattering records over Memorial weekend. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film opened the Cannes Film Festival and then hit theaters in the States, setting a new record for a live-action feature in a regular theatrical run, surpassing Dreamgirls‘ stunning $126K per theater average debut in three theaters back in 2006. Moonrise Kingdom averaged a whopping $130,752 at four locations and an overall four-day $669K gross. Focus, which holds worldwide rights, will take the movie to additional cities in the U.S. each weekend through June, expanding Moonrise Kingdom to several hundred screens. “Moonrise is a story of love’s improbable triumph, and for Wes Anderson and his team a labor of love from start to finish,” said Focus CEO James Schamus. “How wonderful it is to congratulate him, on behalf of everyone at Focus, for this remarkable, record-breaking opening.”
Also opening with gusto, The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables, which averaged over $34K in four theaters. This should bode well for the French-produced film. It has had a spectacular run overseas, breaking records in France and grossing well over $300 million to date.
Among other Memorial Day weekend specialty debuts, Samuel Goldwyn’s Cowgirls n’ Angels screened in 50 theaters, averaging a disappointing $1,314, while Adopt Films launched Mighty Fine at 30 locations, averaging a similarly tepid $1,233. A bit stronger were Fisher Klingenstein’s OC87 which bowed at one location, grossing $7,500, while Strand Releasing’s Oslo, August 31st averaged $5,750 from a pair of theaters.
Specialty Box Office: ‘Cowgirls N’ Angels,’ ‘The Intouchables,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ ‘Oslo, August 31st’
This weekend’s specialty openers in the U.S. include a pair of Cannes Film Festival offerings. Just over a week since its world premiere as the fest’s opening-night film, Wes Anderson’s romantic-comedy Moonrise Kingdom will bow Stateside. The film has been an initial success since opening in theaters in France on the heels of its premiere there. Cannes 2011 title Oslo, August 31st also joins the specialty fray, hoping to repeat its success overseas in the U.S., as is The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables. That film has become one of the largest box office draws in French history and has taken big sums overall abroad. Also this weekend, Samuel Goldwyn Films will forgo the traditional L.A. and New York approach for its theatrical opening of Cowgirls N’ Angels, opting for playdates in the Midwest and South.
‘Intouchables’ Screenings To Be Preceded By Paul McCartney-Directed Short With Johnny Depp And Natalie Portman
The Weinstein Company will show Paul McCartney’s directorial debut short film My Valentine on prints of The Intouchables, the runaway hit French film that makes its U.S. debut Friday. The three-minute short, based on an idea by the director’s daughter Stella, stars Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman. They translate the lyrics of McCartney’s song via sign language through the film and Depp adds a guitar solo, which was recorded live. Take a look:
BREAKING: Just as the French film Intouchables is about to be released in the U.S. after a blockbuster global run, UTA has signed the film’s star, Omar Sy. The picture has had a long run as the top grossing film in France, Germany and Spain and has been the biggest grossing non-English language film since The Passion of the Christ, grossing $339 million worldwide. The film gets its U.S. bow through The Weinstein Company on Friday.
Sy won the 2012 Cesar Award for Best Actor in The Intouchables, his third collaboration with writer/directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. Sy is part of a writing and comedy performance team with Fred Testot, so he has the versatility to do drama and comedy as he broadens his scope to Hollywood. Sy, who continues to be repped by French agent Laurent Gregoire, is shooting the Michel Gondry-directed Mood Indigo opposite Audrey Tatou.
Wildly successful in France, The Intouchables is set to open in the U.S. on May 25, courtesy of The Weinstein Co. The film is based on a true story of a man who was left a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, which transformed him from an aristocratic business and social leader into a helpless, tragic figure. With the help of an unlikely caregiver — an unemployed, hot-headed and uninhibited Algerian immigrant who turned out to be as lonely and lost as his employer — Philippe was able to return to the world of the living. The film gained renewed notoriety recently when ultra right-wing French politician Jean Marie Le Pen condemned it for shining a positive light on France’s immigrant community. That drew a sharp rebuke from TWC’s Harvey Weinstein.
New York, NY – March 1, 2012 – During a recent television appearance on France 3’s National French Journal, founder and former president of France’s National Front party Jean-Marie Le Pen, as no surprise to the French who’ve witnessed his past tirades, disgraces France by making this analogy comparing the country’s socially progressive current state to the circumstances in the film THE INTOUCHABLES. Le Pen is notorious for advocating that France be a closed community, and he sees this film as a representation of the progression that France is making – which he is vitally against.
“France is like this handicapped person stuck in this wheelchair, and we are going to have to wait for the help of these suburb youngsters and the immigration in general. I don’t subscribe to this point of view. It’s a movie, a novel. And we have to take it that way and not like an example for the future. It would be a disaster if France would find itself in the same situation as this poor handicapped person,” said Le Pen.
THE INTOUCHABLES directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano chose to inspire audiences with this film and its true story by uncovering the philosophy that race, religion and class do not separate people and that they have nothing to do with the humanity of people and their potential for friendship and love.
The Weinstein Company Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein denounced Le Pen’s statement.
“It’s not a surprise to hear such an intolerant statement from the man who founded and
EXCLUSIVE: The wild success of the French film Intouchables and the specter of an English-language remake by The Weinstein Company has sparked Atria Books to secure English-language rights to publish the memoir on which the film is based. Atria will publish Philippe Pozzo di Borgo’s Le Second Souffle (The Second Wind) next year after acquiring world English-language rights.
The book was first published in France 10 years ago, and a revised edition has become the top-selling nonfiction book in France. The film has sold 14 million tickets in France and is on track to become one of the country’s biggest hits. Philippe was left a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, which transformed him from an aristocratic business and social leader into a helpless, tragic figure. With the help of an unlikely caregiver — an unemployed, hot-headed and uninhibited Algerian immigrant who turned out to be as lonely and lost as his employer — Philippe was able to return to the world of the living. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy sent the book to Atria after her husband saw a story about the film’s success on French TV, Atria VP/editorial director Peter Borland read it and Atria acquired world English-language rights from French publisher Bayard. Writers House repped Bayard.
UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Catching Fire’, ‘Frozen’ Strong; It’s ‘About Time’ In Korea + Regional Analysis
UPDATE: TUESDAY PM: Welcome to Deadline’s first dedicated international box office round-up, with me as your host. After last night’s snapshot (below), here’s a look at the past weekend and an overview of what’s going on at the turnstiles in various overseas territories. Feedback, as always, is appreciated:
Internationally, this weekend was down on the comparable frame last year when films like Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 were in the mix. The top 10 titles this weekend saw a drop to about $118M from the Thanksgiving period that scored abroad with $182.7M, according to industry data. The actual holiday isn’t a factor overseas, but it does bring big movies to market. Overall, some European territories are off – to varying degrees – versus the first 11 months of 2012, while Latin America and Asia remain hot spots. This weekend’s big pictures overseas continued to be Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which added $42.9M for a $340.6M cume and Disney’s animated Frozen which added an estimated $30.6M for an international total of $55.9M.
The place that’s highest on execs’ minds is China where “we’re all looking forward to a boom,” one tells me. Catching Fire and Warner Bros’ Gravity are still playing on the Mainland with respective cumes of $26.8M and $63.7M. But both films will taper off as the local industry ramps up a series of homegrown movies for the remainder of December. With quotas filled for 2013, Hollywood will wait until 2014 for the next debut which will be Universal’s Despicable Me 2 on January 10th. As the Chinese box office rolls along on its way to a potential $3.5B tally for 2013, the current top film is local 2D action-road trip pic No Man’s Land. Co-produced by DMG, it opened at No. 1 on December 3rd and won the week with $23.7M through Monday. It came just ahead of another local hit, The Four 2. The rest of the year will see a big push for local films as the territory continues an aim to up its local market share, which is currently at 55%.
Elsewhere in Asia, romantic comedy About Time had a strong No. 1 opening in Korea this weekend with $4M at 289 dates and 28% of the market. Director Richard Curtis has said this would be the last film he helms. It comes squarely 10 years after the movie he’s perhaps most associated with directing, Love Actually. About Time’s opening in Korea is double what that film did there. The low-budget time travel romcom with Rachel McAdams, Domnhall Gleeson and Bill Nighy has had pretty significant legs for Universal. It was first released in the UK in September and now has a cume of $48.3M. Summit’s Escape Plan – the actioner that teams Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – has now muscled its way into 41 international markets, adding Korea this weekend for $925K and a No. 5 slot on 287 screens. Its international total is now $95.9M out of a worldwide gross of $120.5M. This was a slow weekend for local films in Korea despite the territory’s overall strength. Its box office growth in the first 11 months of the year is understood to be at about 7.6% and I’m told the homegrown market share could top out at 60%.
There was a helping of good news for the French box office on Wednesday when local comedy Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! (Me, Myself And Mum) sold 69,342 tickets to become the strongest debut of the week. It also had the fifth best opening (79,636 admissions including previews) of any French film in 2013. The French box office has had a rough year of it so far: Overall admissions are down 5.5% and French market share has dropped from 42.9% to 32.3%, according to the latest figures from local watchdog the CNC. It looks likely that when January 1st rolls around, there will be only one French film (comedy Les Profs) amongst the top 10 of the past 12 months. That’s a rare occurrence indeed after 2012 closed with three French titles in the top 10 and 2011 boasted not only the No. 1 and No. 2 overall films – The Intouchables and Rien A Déclarer – but also the Oscar-winning The Artist. This year, Intouchables studio Gaumont has Les Garçons, giving it something to crow about after the disappointment of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet. Les Garçons is a virtual one-man show that is written and directed by Guillaume Gallienne in his helming debut. He also plays the two lead roles. It debuted in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight this year where it was a prize winner. Gallienne, who hails from …
EXCLUSIVE: The Emmys aren’t even over yet, but the race to be the first movie awards DVD screener of 2013 to land in Oscar voters’ mailboxes is over. And the winner is…..Mud. The Roadside Attractions (with Lionsgate) late April release starring Matthew McConaughey has been sent to all Academy members with some reporting they received it yesterday. The Blu-Ray/DVD came out in early August and at that time Roadside sent it to some bloggers who confused the issue by saying it was then the first Oscar screener to be sent. Of course Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences rules are very clear in this regard and commercial Blu Ray/DVDs cannot be sent to Academy members as part of a campaign. It must be special, generally very plain, packaging without review quotes etc. That is what Academy members are receiving this weekend.
The Jeff Nichols-directed movie is one of the top independent releases of 2013 earning over $21 million at the box office. In fact until Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine surpassed it recently, it was the number one indie. Roadside picked up the film in August 2012 but held it for a Spring launch rather than rushing it out to compete in last year’s Oscar race. The distributor hopes Oscar voters will remember the film, which played in the 2012 Cannes Official Competition, and by getting the screener out first knows it is already on top of the pile of one for voters who have yet to see it. Being first is a mixed bag as far as ultimate results go. Last year The Weinstein Company sent its French import The Intouchables out as the first screener in Mid-October but it failed to land any nominations. In 2011 Summit won the screener race with an early September mailing of A Better Life and was rewarded for its efforts with a Best Actor nod for Demian Bichir, considered a long shot at the time (Roadside virtually tied for first out that year too with The Music Never Stopped, but it came up empty).
Yesterday’s announcement that Gilles Bourdos’ period drama Renoir would be France’s entry for the Foreign-Language Oscar race was a bit of a head-scratcher. Once it became clear a few months ago that Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color (aka Adèle: Chapters 1&2) would not be eligible, other possible titles were floated including previous Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi’s The Past. But Renoir was not really on the radar — not the least because it had debuted in a Cannes sidebar in 2012. Academy Foreign Language rules stipulate that a film must be released domestically between October 1st and September 30th and Renoir was a fit because it went out in January this year in France. Blue, however, is not releasing until October 9th, meaning it misses the cut-off. Many have wondered why Wild Bunch, which is distributing Blue in France, would not change the October 9th date to qualify. Company co-founder Vincent Maraval tells me today, “There was never any question for us to modify in any way our release strategy to legitimize the stupidity of the Oscar rules. Should we risk our strategy for France for a Foreign Language Film Oscar which doesn’t add anything to a Palme d’Or?” He contends that the Foreign Language Oscar “no longer means anything for a film that was crowned in Cannes” and says the rules are “unique, specific and make no sense. At the same time, no one cares about this category. We’re aiming for (Blue) in all categories, the only ones that count.”
Of Renoir, which Wild Bunch sold internationally, Maraval says it’s “a perfect film for the Academy: classic, esthetic and cultural in the same vein as (1994 Foreign Language Oscar winner) Belle Epoque or (1991 winner) Mediterraneo. It got rave reviews from U.S. critics and it’s the highest-grossing French film in the U.S. this year with $2.2M. Objectively, it’s the most legitimate candidate.”
Los Angeles (May 14, 2013) – Two-time Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds) is joining two-time Academy Award®-winner Robert De Niro (the upcoming Last Vegas, Silver Linings Playbook, Raging Bull, The Godfather: Part II), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Omar Sy (The Intouchables, the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past) in Good Universe’s and Lionsgate’s THE CANDY STORE, a character-driven action thriller by Academy Award®-winning writer and director Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana).
Lionsgate will distribute in North America. Good Universe is handling international sales and presenting the film as part of their slate in Cannes.