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Jon Stewart Breaks Down FNC, CNN Hillary Clinton “Exclusive” Interviews On Same Day: Video

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 6:50am PDT

“Good get! They should be proud of themselves for scoring an interview from the Salinger-like recluse Hillary Clinton — a woman whose secretive nationwide book tour had restricted her access to NBC, CBS, ABC twice, and the Arlington Virginia Costco,” Stewart noted. Watch here:
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Warner Bros Garners Most Golden Trailer Award Noms

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 11:19am PDT
Mike Fleming

goldWarner Bros set the pace for the biggest number of nominations in the 15th annual Golden Trailer Awards, which will be presented May 30 at the Saban Theater. The awards cover the gamut of trailers, and Warner Bros, with 51 noms for films including Gravity, The Lego Movie, Godzilla and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, set the pace. Universal is second with 32 nominations including Focus Features, for movies that include A Million Ways To Die In The West, Lone Survivor, The Purge and Despicable Me 2. Right behind them is Fox, which includes Searchlight, and which got 31 noms for films that included The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Rio 2 and How To Train Your Dragon 2. Lionsgate got 30 noms and Disney came in with 23. The judge panel includes Frozen co-director Chris Buck, actor Adam Driver, Entourage creator Doug Ellin and castmember Debi Mazar, Raising Hope’s Garret Dillahunt, Divergent helmer Neil Burger, and Evan Daugherty, writer of Snow White And The Huntsman. Here are the nominees in main categories:

Best Action
Brick Mansions “Clash”, Relativity Media, Ignition
Captain America: The Winter Soldier “Fear”, Disney, Trailer Park
Edge of Tomorrow “Believe Again”, Warner Bros., Wild Card
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire “World Event”, Lionsgate, Trailer Park
Star Trek Into Darkness “Illusion”, Paramount Pictures, TRANSIT

Best Animation/Family
Frozen “Forces First Ped”, Disney, Trailer Park
How To Train Your Dragon 2 “Master”, 20th Century Fox, Aspect Ratio
The Lego Movie “The Special”, Warner Bros., TRANSIT
Muppets: Most Read More »

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How Did That ‘Salinger’ Docu Do On PBS? 2 Million Views

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 4:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORKAfter all the twists and turns on the Shane Salerno-directed docu Salinger that began with a January 2010 Deadline reveal that the film had been shot, how did the documentary do? The American Masters version totaled 2 million viewers, including repeat broadcasts and DVR viewers. This was strong considering the film had been released by The Weinstein Company and was in the top 10 of the year’s theatrical docus, and that it was viewable on Netflix at that time. The Simon & Schuster companion book  written by David Shields and Salerno hit both the New York Times and LA Times bestseller lists. And Salerno more than made back the $2 million he invested to make the film, after he made three 7-figure deals with TWC, S&S and American Masters. It didn’t hurt the Salinger estate either, as Catcher In The Rye hit the bestseller charts again, 62 years after its publication in 1951.

“When combined with the incredible sales figures and national social media conversation, it demonstrates the true impact of public television,” said Stephen Segaller, the WNET programming veep in charge of Salinger. “The fact it was the 200th episode of American Masters makes the accomplishment even sweeter.” Read More »

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Hot Video: Tom Wolfe, J.D. Salinger And Charles Portis From ‘Salinger’

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 5:08pm PST
Mike Fleming

salingerTonight at 9 PM, American Masters for its 200th episode unveils the Shane Salerno-directed documentary on the life of J.D. Salinger, followed by Charlie Rose’s interview with the filmmaker who spent a decade and his own money uncovering secrets of the reclusive author. The PBS version of Salinger is 15 minutes longer than the version released theatrically by The Weinstein Company last fall, and here is a fascinating new clip in which Tom Wolfe describes an encounter between Salinger and a young Charles Portis, who went on to write True Grit:

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UPDATED: Sam Worthington & Zoë Saldana To Return For ‘Avatar’ Sequels; Fox Eyeing End Of Year Start

Zoe Saldana Sam WorthingtonUPDATED: Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Zoë Saldana will reprise their roles in the next three sequels to James Cameron‘s 2009 sci-fi fantasy blockbuster, Fox announced today. Worthington returns to the franchise as Jake Sully, the wheelchair-bound Marine who finds new life on the alien world of Pandora with the Na’vi people and Neytiri, a Na’vi huntress, in the first $2.8 billion-scoring film. Saldana will reprise her Neytiri role joining Worthington in Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 which Cameron and Jon Landau will produce via Lightstorm Entertainment. These are new deals for Worthington and Saldana but are basically in line with their previous deals, Deadline is hearing. When a third sequel was added to Cameron’s grand plan, renegotiations were in order.

Avatar sequelsThe currently untitled sequels will be filmed back to back with Avatar 2 set to release in December 2016. The subsequent sequels will follow in December 2017 and 2018, respectively. A start date is still TBA but Fox is eyeing December 2014/January 2015 to begin filming through March 2015. They have to give the actors four months of prep. Deadline hears the plan is to shoot the films’ extensive motion capture scenes first, then film all the live-action footage. But a source with knowledge of the production says it’s ultimately up to … Read More »

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‘American Masters’ ‘Salinger’ Director’s Cut To Include 15 Extra Minutes Of Revelations

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 6:21am PST
Mike Fleming

SalingerBREAKING: WNET’s American Masters will open its 28th season by showing a director’s cut of Shane Salerno’s feature documentary Salinger that will be 15 minutes longer than the theatrical version. The prestige program has promised that the longer cut will bare more previously unseen photos, testimony and secrets about reclusive author J.D. Salinger, including his harrowing days fighting the Nazis in WWII.

salingerAmerican Masters was the first to close a deal for the movie, followed by a book deal with Simon & Schuster and then a theatrical pact with The Weinstein Company. The latter later announced it would work with Salerno to develop a narrative movie about the life of the author of such literary classics as The Catcher In The Rye.

Related: Weinstein Co Plans Feature Film Based On ‘Salinger’ Documentary

American Masters: Salinger airs January 21. I’ve watched this documentary come together over the past five years (back when I saw an early cut) and I didn’t really understand some critical resentment over baring the life of an author who was phobic about his privacy, because, after all, isn’t every worthy biographical documentary invasive? Salinger made its theatrical debut at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, with the book and movie fueled by Salerno’s unearthing of numerous bombshell revelations culled from years of research. These ranged from previously unseen photographs to, most significantly, the reveal that Salinger was in fact writing books from his bunker while he was in seclusion, and that those will eventually see the light of day. Read More »

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OSCARS: Original Score Category To Draw From 114 Movies

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 3:42pm PST

Oscar100__120725193608__120830210159__130208010240BEVERLY HILLS, CA — One hundred fourteen scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2013 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 86th Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

Read More »

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Skydance Productions Acquires Shane Salerno Sci-Fi Project In Big Year-End Deal

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 8:09am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In what might be the last big material sale of the year, Skydance Productions has acquired in a pre-emptive seven-figure deal an untitled science fiction project based on an original idea by Shane Salerno, who is currently co-writing one of the three Avatar sequels for James Cameron at Fox. Salerno will write the screenplay, and Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce. Paul Schwake will be executive producer. Skydance confirmed the deal, but would not comment on its size or the film’s logline. “The second we heard Shane’s pitch, we immediately wanted to partner with him on this project,” Ellison offered. “We are thrilled to be on board.”

sal;power_of_dog_1Salerno wrote and directed the feature documentary Salinger, which was released theatrically by The Weinstein Company, and makes its TV debut as the 200th episode of American Masters on PBS. It airs January 21. A book by the same title that he co-wrote with David Shields based on the docu research became a bestseller. Salerno’s also in the middle of several high-profile producing projects including an adaptation of the seminal Don Winslow novel The Power Of The Dog, along with The Lock-Artist and another untitled script being written by Winslow and The Town‘s Chuck Hogan. Salerno is repped by CAA and Robert Offer.

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Dan Rather To Narrate ESPN Special Commemorating 50th Anniversary Of JFK Assassination

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 1:03pm PST

CBS may not be interested in having its former correspondent Dan Rather participate in its JFK assassination 50th anniversary plans, but ESPN is delighted to have him. The network said today that Rather will narrate Rozelle’s Decision-to-Play, one of its pieces planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, set to air this Sunday at 8 AM on ESPN2 and 9 AM on ESPNEWS. The special will be re-aired throughout the week on SportsCenter and the network’s various NFL programming leading up to November 22nd.

Related: Dan Rather Hoped CBS News Would Include Him In Coverage Plans

President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed 50 years ago next Friday just a few miles from where the Dallas Cowboys were practicing. The decision to play games just two days after the assassination was left to 37-year-old Pete Rozelle, in just his fourth season as NFL Commissioner. Rather, who helped coordinate CBS’ coverage of Kennedy’s trip to Dallas and was the first reporter to confirm Kennedy’s death, narrates the story of Rozelle’s decision — one the late commissioner called the biggest regret of his career, ESPN says.

Among the recollections: Read More »

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Contenders 2013: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Fruitvale Station,’ ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler,’ ‘August: Osage County,’ ‘All Is Lost,’ ‘Place Beyond The Pines,’ ‘12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Gravity’ & More Kick-Off Panels

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline.

Deadline’s 3rd annual The Contenders event kicked off this morning at the shimmering new Wallis Annenberg Center For the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, simultaneously launching the 2013 awards season precisely four months before the 86th Academy Awards. The spotlight fell on seven different studios/distributors and 22 films competing for awards consideration, with an overview of the Weinstein Company‘s impressive offerings getting things started in a highlight reel that felt like an Oscar contender in itself. An assortment of TWC writers, producers and directors were on hand to share anecdotes and tidbits with Deadline’s Pete Hammond, including Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels’ The Butler producer Pam Williams and writer Danny Strong, August: Osage County director John Wells, and the directors of the acclaimed documentaries 20 Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville) and Salinger (Shane Salerno). Hammond quipped that TWC was so stocked with doc contenders this year that of the 151 eligible entries, “149 felt like they were from Weinstein.” Wells recalled how Osage County co-star Meryl Streep showed up to the first table read of ther script having memorized it and going off-book. “Everyone was like, ‘Wow’,” he recalled. “It was, ‘OK, game on’.”

Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery

During a session promoting the Roadside/Lionsgate feature All is Lost starring Robert Redford in what the actor has called the most challenging role of his career, sound editors Richard Hymns and Steve Boeddeker marveled at how the film – with abundant action, a single star and minimal dialogue – was literally a sound editor’s dream. And during the following panel for the Focus Features hopefuls Dallas Buyers Club, The Place Beyond the Pines and We Steal Secrets, the morning theme of patience being a virtue came to the fore. Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner calmly discussed how her film’s journey from script to screen spanned some 20 years – and nearly fell apart at the last minute when Canadian financing dried up. Read More »

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PBS Makes It Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning January 19 At 10 PM, Following ‘Downton Abbey’

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT

UPDATED, 9:30 AM: Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off his feature film flop The Fifth Estate, will return in the better-reviewed Sherlock starting January 19 in the 10 PM time slot following Downton Abbey, PBS announced this morning. In the UK, BBC has not yet announced Sherlock’s return date, but promises the three episodes will launch there before the PBS debut. PBS also confirmed Downton Abbey’s January 5 return. Scheduling Sherlock’s three 90-minute episodes to follow Downton, PBS said in its first-quarter scheduling news, “reinforces PBS’ move into 10 PM programming on several key nights.”

In this morning’s flurry of PBS announcements, the network made a special fuss over “Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office UK) returning as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in the contemporary reinvention of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss. In a separate announcement, Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton cooed, “The genius Sherlock team has done it again,” adding, “These people are GOOD!” The Fifth Estate, in which Cumberbatch received good reviews playing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, has nonetheless gone into the books as having the worst opening weekend this year to date.

PBS also said it was announcing a number of new programs, though we’ve known for ages that American Masters had gotten its hands on the much-ballyhooed biopic Salinger. Anyway, in this morning’s announcement, PBS also says per Nielsen that its 2012-13 primetime programming saw an overall average ratings increase of 7% over the previous season and that PBS now ranks eighth among all broadcast and cable networks “in overall general audience content.” We’ll get back to when we figure out what PBS is talking about, and we advise you not to hold your breath while you wait for numbers. PBS also claimed this morning it is now surpassed, in this PBS metric, by only the four major broadcast networks, USA, Univision, and Disney — overtaking ESPN, History and TNT in the ratings. Previously, PBS says, it ranked No. 11.

PBS’s upcoming primetime schedule is, per usual, thick with Brit on Sundays, science and nature shows on Wednesday, and arts and performance programming on Fridays: Read More »

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James Cameron Has Found ‘Avatar’s Darth Vader: It’s Stephen Lang

By | Tuesday October 22, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Even though Stephen Lang‘s Col. Miles Quaritch character seemed to have run his course in 20th Century Fox’s Avatar, director James Cameron has revealed that Lang is not only returning for the sequel, he’s going to be part of the next three films. It sounds like he’s the closest thing to a mix between Star Wars‘ Darth Vader and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character. “Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back,” Cameron said. “I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.”

Cameron has been working out brainy plot details throughout his career — how many times has the time travel concept from the original Terminator film been swiped over the years — so I’ll bet he’s come up with something thrilling. As for Lang, he’s been turning in memorable performances since going back to the Michael Mann TV series Crime Story and in character roles in films like White Irish Drinkers. Good on Lang, who’s repped by Innovative.

Related: ‘Avatar’ Sequels Upped To 3; Trio Of Writers Set To Spearhead
Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Metallica’ Master Of Newcomers; Gandolfini’s ‘Enough Said’ Expands Strong

By | Sunday September 29, 2013 @ 10:20am PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsPicturehouse re-opened shop with its first title, Metallica Through The Never, opening exclusively in 305 IMAX theaters over the weekend. The action/concert feature grossed over $1.67 million, easily the weekend’s highest grossing specialty newcomer, averaging $5,482. The weekend’s gross is already more than the cume of the previous film centered on the popular heavy metal band. Docu Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster cumed over $1.22 million domestically in 2004. It opened in three theaters in July of that year, averaging $15,453.

“It’s our first film and it’s going to be totally different as a release because it’s going to be in all IMAX theaters – a first time for an indie,” said Picturehouse chief Bob Berney this week. “It will be in IMAX for a one week exclusive. We think IMAX and Metallica is such a perfect match.” Predators helmer Nimród Antal directed the pic. Picturehouse will expand Metallica Through The Never to 650 runs next Friday.

The weekend’s biggest grosser, however, was a second week holdover. Fox Searchlight‘s Enough Said held strong with a significant expansion. The film directed by Nicole Holofcener added 223 theaters in 67 markets in week 2, grossing $2.1 million for a solid $9,317 PSA. Noted Searchlight Sunday: “It is a very well written film which appeals primarily to the underserved adult audience, however we are beginning to see that a wider and somewhat younger demo of moviegoers are becoming fans of the film. This is evidenced by the strong showing in suburban theaters and upscale multiplexes nationwide.” The film also placed 11th in the overall box office. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: James Gandolfini Pic ‘Enough Said’ Bows Strong, ‘Thanks For Sharing’ OK

By | Sunday September 22, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

It was all about Fox Searchlight’s Enough Said in the Specialty Box Office. The feature directed by Nicole Holofcener starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini easily scored the weekend’s highest numbers, taking in $240K in 4 theaters for a $60K average. That is one of the highest PSAs of the year among limited-release titles and a career high for Holofcener. Her previous film, Please Give, opened in April 2010 in 5 theaters, averaging $23,625, while Friends With Money (April 2006) had a $21,047 PSA though that film bowed with 28 runs. It went on to cume over $13.3 million.

The average gives Enough Said bragging rights as one of the year’s best specialty openers, though the likes of Blue Jasmine ($102K average in 6 theaters), Spring Breakers ($87,667 in three theaters) and The Place Beyond The Pines ($69,864 in 4 theaters) remain at the top in terms of opening-weekend averages. Searchlight was naturally happy with the weekend results, noting the film has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and heaped praise on the filmmaker and cast. “Audiences have been waiting for a well-written film for adults, and besides Nicole’s core audience, she seems to be reaching a new set of moviegoers who are discovering and appreciating her work,” the distributor said. “We are very happy with the outstanding opening weekend grosses, and while we knew all along that we would do well at the box office, these figures are beyond our wildest expectations.” The company will expand Enough Said to 65 new markets on Friday, while widening in NY and LA. It will head to 180-220 locations.
Roadside/Lionsgate’s Thanks For Sharing had the weekend’s biggest release, opening in 269 theaters and capitalizing on the film’s cast of recognizable names including Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink and Tim Robbins. The offering proved less than addictive, however, with a $2,255 average and a weekend gross over $607K. Read More »

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Susan Sarandon To Guest On ‘Mike & Molly’

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT

Warner Bros has set Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) to guest in an upcoming episode of Mike & Molly. She’ll play JC Small, a literary icon and Molly’s idol, described as part JD Salinger with a touch of William Faulkner and a sprinkle of Gore Vidal with a beautiful mind and tortured soul. The famed novelist gives Molly a lesson in writing that neither she nor her family are soon to forget. Mike & Molly, starring Melissa McCarthy, Billy Gardell, Katie Mixon, Swoosie Kurtz and Reno Wilson, returns midseason on CBS. Sarandon is repped by ICM Partners.

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Weinstein Co Plans Feature Film Based On ‘Salinger’ Documentary; New Footage Coming As Docu Expands

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 11:05am PDT

BREAKING… Salinger distributor The Weinstein Company said today it is partnering with the documentary’s director-producer Shane Salerno to develop a feature film adaptation of the film. The live-action narrative will focus on the period in JD Salinger’s life between his service in World War II and the publishing of Catcher In The Rye, examining the effects war can have on an artist. Salerno is already signed on to pen the film’s screenplay. Salinger the docu opened September 6 in a platform release, grossing $22,742 per screen. TWC said today it will add new, never-before-seen material about Salinger’s life, his complex relationships with young women, and footage of the iconic author to its 62-city expansion this Friday. Salerno and David Shield’s companion book, also titled Salinger, debuted at No. 6 on The New York Times bestseller list. “This documentary has been an incredible journey and truly epitomizes what it means to be a passion project,” said Salerno in the release announcing the news today. “I’m beyond excited to share more of the fascinating material we discovered in its new special edition, and look forward to continuing my relationship with Harvey and TWC in developing a narrative film about this brilliant, intriguing man.” Added TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein: “Shane has created an amazing documentary about one of the most beloved but enigmatic literary figures of our time. We are glad he was able to take the … Read More »

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‘American Masters’ Creator Susan Lacy Departs PBS For HBO

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 9:50am PDT

Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of PBSAmerican Masters series, has signed a multi-year deal to produce and direct documentaries for HBO. PBS said today it plans to continue the docu series Lacy created in 1986. She has produced a library of more than 190 titles in that stretch, exploring the lives and creative journeys of American writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers and actors. It just landed its latest Emmy nomination for its most recent profile Inventing David Geffen. “It’s exciting to have someone as talented as Susan Lacy bring fresh ideas to HBO,” said HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins in a release today announcing the hire. “I’ve long admired her film portraits, which have been consistently stellar over the years. We look forward to great things from her.” Lacy is longtime PBS veteran, first with key roles in Great Performances and American Playhouse, and she later left to serve as head of the East Coast office of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. She rejoined NY pubcaster WNET in 1986 to launch American Masters, which has won a total of 14 Emmys in 67 nominations, 12 Peabody Awards, three Grammys, and a pair of Producers Guild Awards. The 200th film in the series, Shane Salerno’s biography of JD Salinger, is in theatrical release and slated to air early in … Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Mother Of George,’ ‘Blue Caprice’ Solid In Single Theaters; ‘Plush’ & ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ Crash

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsWhile the weekend’s higher profile directors tanked at the indie box office with new pics, several smaller films opened in one theater and the tactic appears to have mostly worked in their favor. Oscilloscope bowed Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother Of George in one theater, handily scoring the weekend’s top PSA with $22,456. The film about a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn lured packed crowds. “[Mother Of George] played to sold out shows throughout the weekend and drew an extremely diverse crowd on the heels of unanimously positive reviews,” said an O-scope spokesperson Sunday about the film which picked up a Cinematography prize at Sundance in January. “We look forward to expanding over the coming weeks.”

Sundance SelectsBlue Caprice, which bowed at Sundance and New Directors/New Films earlier this year and stars Isaiah Washington, opened IFC Center in New York, taking the weekend’s second highest PSA with $15,200. The distributor plans a slow roll out for the film which recalls the shooting spree in and around Washington, D.C. in 2002. Sundance Selects said it will expand Blue Caprice to the top 15 markets throughout September.

Also doing solid business in one run was Submarine Deluxe‘s documentary GMO OMG, reporting a $15,121 weekend gross. Read More »

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‘Salinger’ Hits Bestseller List And ‘Catcher In The Rye’ Gets Second Wind

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 6:31am PDT
Mike Fleming

After all the secrecy that went into the deal making for the book and documentary about reclusive author J.D. Salinger, it is all off to a strong start. The book by David Shields and Shane Salerno is debuting in the sixth slot of The New York Times bestseller list. The Salerno-directed documentary Salinger, which launched last Friday in four theaters, finished with a $22,742 per screen, which was tops in the marketplace. Even Salinger’s work benefited: The Catcher In The Rye hit the top ten on Amazon.

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