The trailer for ‘Laggies‘ has dropped, sloooowwwwly, of course. The Sundance selection from A24 stars Keira Knightley as a overeducated, underachieving woman lagging well behind her demographic cohort in life as she dodges responsibility and grown-up things like serious jobs and a marriage proposal. Chloë Grace Moretz plays the high schooler she befriends, then hides out with while dodging said marriage proposal, and Sam Rockwell plays Moretz’s initially bemused and then increasingly intrigued father. The film debuts Oct. 24, unless it lags a bit more, of course. Here it is. Let us know what you think.
UPDATE, 5:35 PM: NBCUniversal released the following statement to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, reiterating it did not turn down an Obvious Child ad for broadcast but acknowledging it did ask the media buyer to remove the word in a digital ad, which NBCU says was a mistake. Planned Parenthood, which by then had collected about 13,000 signatures on its petition telling NBC to knock off the rannygazoo, declared it a major victory, calling it “a huge step forward in the work towards more honesty about women and abortion in TV and movies.” Here is NBC’s most recent statement:
“NBCUniversal has no policy against accepting ads that include the word “abortion.” Several ad proposals for Obvious Child were submitted to our television broadcast standards group for review, and, consistent with NBCUniversal policy and practice, no direction was given to remove references to the word “abortion.” Ultimately, no final ad was submitted or purchased for television broadcast.
“Separately, an online ad was submitted for digital placement and feedback was mistakenly given to remove the word “abortion.” That is not company policy and we are currently reviewing our ad standards processes to ensure they are consistent across all platforms moving forward.
“Our digital platforms will accept the ad as it was originally submitted.”
PREVIOUS: Planned Parenthood says it has 11,000 signatures on a petition chastising NBC for what the health-care group says are reports that the network refused to run an ad for the indie film Obvious Child because it includes the word “abortion.” Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, the movie stars Jenny Slate as a comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the most chaotic Valentine’s Day of her life, and decides to terminate her pregnancy. Read More »
Atom Egoyan‘s The Captive is screening today in Competition here in Cannes. In the second domestic deal this week on a Competition title after Sony Pictures Classics acquired Saint Laurent, the film has been picked up by A24 in partnership with DirecTV. A24 will release in the U.S. this fall. Egoyan directs and co-wrote with David Fraser, based on an original story by Egoyan. Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand and Bruce Greenwood star. Reynolds plays the father of a young girl who disappears from their pick-up truck in a diner parking lot. The psychological thriller examines how the kidnapping destroys the relationships among those involved. Egoyan, Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss and Stephen Traynor are producers. Read More »
The weekend welcomed well over a half-dozen new Specialty releases, though most had tepid theatrical launches at best. A24‘s Locke was the sole exception, opening in several locations and grossing over $89K for a solid $22,302 theater average. The result is another feather in the cap for A24, coming on the heels of its Jonathan Glazer-directed feature starring Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin, at the beginning of April. That film is the year’s 3rd highest opener in terms of averages among Specialties ($35K in 4 locations). Locke sold to virtually every territory ahead of last year’s AFM and had a healthy start in the U.K., opening recently. A24 touted its Locke roll out Sunday when reporting numbers: “Locke had the highest per screen average in the country this weekend opening at $89,210 on 4 screens in NY and LA. Steven Knight’s extraordinary film received rave reviews, particularly for Tom Hardy’s one-man tour-de-force performance that is already garnering awards buzz.” The distributor will move Locke into the top 50 markets on this side of the Atlantic in the coming weeks.
Argentina’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration last year, The German Doctor, had the weekend’s second best PTA among newcomers. It grossed just over $35K in five theaters for a $7K theater average. “It’s a cool thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat,” said Peter Goldwyn this week about the title Goldwyn Films picked up out of Cannes last year. “[Writer-director Lucía Puenzo's] ability to keep this creeping monster in the room is extraordinary.” The German Doctor will expand into major cities throughout May.
RADiUS-TWC bowed fellow Cannes ’13 title Blue Ruin in 7 theaters in addition to a VOD/digital opening this weekend. Blue Ruin, written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, grossed $31,832 for a $4,547 PTA. RADiUS did not reveal actual non-theatrical numbers, but noted its solid showing in the space Sunday via co-president Tom Quinn: “After multiple awards, rave reviews, and an extraordinary Festival run, Blue Ruin is finally unleashed unto the masses. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Alessandro Nivola will join Jessica Chastain, Oscar Issac and Albert Brooks in J.C. Chandor’s thriller A Most Violent Year for Participant Films and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Nivola is most recently remembered for playing the FBI agent with the slicked-back hair whose ambition was as grand as his sideburns in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, the ensemble film that has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Newly formed distribution company A24 acquired domestic distribution rights to A Most Violent Year at Sundance this year. Written and directed by Chandor, the thriller is set during the winter of 1981 in New York — one of the most violent years on record in the city’s history. The story, according to the distributor, “follows the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.” Nivola will play Peter Forente, a heating oil distributor who is a competitor to Isaac’s character. A24 is looking at the dark drama as a possible Oscar contender for next year and with that cast and writer-director, it seems destined to deliver. Read More »
Tom Hardy stars in the drama thriller that’s garnered critical acclaim on the festival circuit after screening in Venice and Toronto. The single location film is set entirely in a car as Hardy’s eponymous character Ivan Locke, a successful Welsh construction manager, impulsively drives from Birmingham to London while settling personal and professional problems on the phone. Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight directs from his own script; he will reteam with Hardy on S2 of his BBC series Peaky Blinders. A24 is releasing Locke on April 25:
Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien cruising Scotland for hitchhikers in Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi thriller Under The Skin, which premiered last fall in Venice — where it divided critics — and was picked up by A24 at Toronto. Here’s the first full trailer for the pic, which is due out April 4.
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson star in The Rover, the next pic from Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd, about a loner (Pearce) living in the Australian outback 10 years after society has collapsed who hunts down the gang that stole his car with the help of the wounded man (Pattinson) they left behind. Michôd penned the script from a story he hatched with Joel Edgerton. Scoot McNairy also stars in the thriller which A24 will release, date TBA. Check out the first-look teaser: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A24 is hot on the trail of its third film acquisition of the Sundance Film Festival. I’m hearing the label is near a deal for U.S. rights to Life After Beth, a Jeff Baena-written and -directed comedy that stars Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Dane DeHaan, Paul Reiser, and Anna Kendrick. This is going down as part of a deal for international territories that will bring the price to around $3.5 million for all the deals. It includes a DirectTV component that is part of A24′s partnership. The logline: Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love as his world is upended. WME Global and CAA repped the film, which is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and made its debut last Sunday at the Library Theatre. XYZ is brokering the foreign deals. Stay tuned. The film is financed by Starstream Entertainment and Abbolita Productions, and is produced by Liz Destro and Michael Zakin of American Zoetrope, with whom A24 worked on The Bling Ring.
Sundance: A24 Acquiring J.C. Chandor-Helmed ‘A Most Violent Year’
Sundance: A24 Acquires ‘Obvious Child’
XYZ Films has boarded Kevin Smith‘s new horror pic Tusk for international sales and will introduce the project at Berlin’s EFM next month. Demarest Films (A Most Wanted Man, Machete Kills) financed and is producing Tusk in partnership with A24 (Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring). Smith wrote the film, which was borne out of one of his popular SModcasts. Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Michael Parks star. Tusk, currently in production, is described as a modern-day monster movie that follows a journalist named Wallace (Long) who finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses. A24 plans to release it wide in the third quarter of 2014. Read More »
UPDATE: A24 had just confirmed Deadline’s scoop. I’ll attach press release at the bottom of this post.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 am PST: Coming into Sundance, many expected big things for upstart distribution company A24, and the label hasn’t disappointed. A24 is closing the biggest deal so far for the company, acquiring domestic distribution rights from Participant Media to A Most Violent Year, the drama written and directed by All Is Lost and Margin Call helmer J.C. Chandor. The film stars Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Oscar Isaac and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain. I’m told the plan is to release the film wide, late this year, giving A24 a likely horse in the next Oscar race. It starts shooting shortly. I’m told it will be 1200 screens, minimum.
This comes after A24 acquired two of the best liked films at this year’s Sundance: the Lynn Shelton-directed Laggies with Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell, and the Gillian Robespierre-directed comedy Obvious Child, which features a breakout performance by former Saturday Night Live cast member Jenny Slate. Laggies came after an all night auction, and it’s a smart buy because the film will likely be released after TWC unveils Toronto title Can A Song Save Your Life, a breakout film that will cast Knightley in a different career light once audiences see the John Carney-directed film.
… Read More »
UPDATE, 4:34 PM: A24 has made its deal for the comedy official. Check out the release after the original break.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 3:54 PM: In the second big deal of the Sundance Film Festival, A24 has acquired Obvious Child. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, the film stars Jenny Slate as a Brooklyn comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the most chaotic Valentine’s Day of her life. The film also stars Jake Lacy, David Cross and Gabby Hoffman. Elisabeth Holm is the producer. WME Global brokered the sale for the movie, which premiered Friday at the Prospector. The deal was for low seven figures.
A24 was expected to be a strong buyer here at Sundance and it hasn’t disappointed. This is its second deal after acquiring the Lynn Shelton-directed Laggies. Hopefully, this will break the logjam for acquisition deals. Several films are in play, including the Midnight title Cooties, which has Lionsgate and several others in hot pursuit. Read More »
UPDATE: A24 has confirmed Deadline’s Laggies scoop. See official release below original story.
EXCLUSIVE: Another night and another big movie deal. A24 is near a deal to acquire domestic rights to Laggies, the Lynn Shelton-directed film that stars Chloe Moretz, Sam Rockwell and Keira Knightley. I’d heard since shortly after the film’s Friday night Eccles Theater premiere that A24 was going to buy this but kept being told that five bidders were in the mix. When I first heard it, the numbers were in the $2 million range. I’ll try to get a better number. A24′s deal calls for a theatrical release. Read More »
A24 and Demarest Films have teamed up on Kevin Smith’s latest film Tusk. The film, which stars Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, and Haley Joel Osment, was born out of one of Smith’s immensely popular SModcasts. The modern-day monster movie, which Smith also wrote, is currently in production. Sam Englebardt, David Greathouse, and Shannon McIntosh are producing. The film will be released third quarter of 2014.
Related: ‘Clerks III’ Script Complete, Tweets Kevin Smith
Fledgling A24 has hired Heath Shapiro, an industry veteran who most recently worked at Radius-TWC and before that for a long stretch at Samuel Goldwyn Films. He will work out of the NY office of the distribution-financing-production company, which launched last year and has since released Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. A24 said today Shapiro will transition into his new role with a focus on distribution and marketing 2014 releases, which include Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, Steven Knight’s Locke starring Tom Hardy and David Michod’s The Rover. “A24 has done such a fantastic job with their films up to this point,” Shapiro said. “I’m incredibly excited to join the team, and help bring these movies to the widest audience possible.” Shapiro during his career has shepherded films like Super-Size Me, The Squid And The Whale, Only God Forgives and this year’s documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy is the first picture the satellite company will offer on VOD exclusively for 30 days as part of the new deal with A24, the Wall Street Journal says. DirecTV has committed $40M to co-finance and market indie movies with A24. It will have the right to show them first on VOD to its 20M subscribers. The goal is to help DirecTV distinguish itself from rivals including cable companies and Dish Network. But the films that debut on VOD likely will only be able to move on to theaters that specialize in indie films. Big chains including Regal and AMC typically don’t touch films that are shown first on other platforms. A DirecTV exec told the Journal that it plans to introduce a new movie every month with a “huge marketing push.” It will charge as much as $12.99 for a seven-day rental, with Enemy making its debut early in 2014. My colleague Mike Fleming reported this month from the Toronto International Film Festival that A24 was in exclusive negotiations for the U.S. rights to Enemy, a Denis Villeneuve-directed drama that also stars Isabella Rossellini. He said it was headed toward “a low 7-figure deal with an aggressive rollout to take place sometime in the spring.”
EXCLUSIVE: The late night deal making continued in Toronto Thursday and as the dust clears, I’m told that A24 is in exclusive negotiations to acquire U.S. rights to Enemy, the Denis Villeneuve-directed drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Isabella Rossellini. It’s shaking out to be a low 7-figure deal with an aggressive rollout to take place sometime in the spring and following a pattern of prestige film successes like Spring Breakers, The Spectacular Now and The Bling Ring. Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago, the film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. And then he discovers he has a double, and the other guy starts competing with him. WME Global is brokering the deal. This marks the third deal for upstart distributor A24, which bought the Tom Hardy-starrer Locke, and then the Scarlett Johansson-starrer Under The Skin.
It marks a strong festival for Villeneuve, who came here several years ago with his breakout film Incendies, and also got a strong reaction this week for his new film Prisoners, which stars Hugh Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano.
EXCLUSIVE: In its second deal of the festival, A24 is closing U.S. rights for a bit more than $1 million on Under The Skin, the Jonathan Glazer-directed atmospheric thriller that stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien who preys on hitchhikers, who get a one-way ticket to her planet. Nick Wechsler and James Wilson produced it and Walter Campbell wrote the script. The film premiered Monday at the Princess Of Wales and talks went on through last night. A24 made the fest’s first deal with an acquisition of Locke. CAA and WME repped the title.