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Specialty Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Lofty $55K PTA In Expansion; Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ Solid

By | Sunday March 16, 2014 @ 11:11am PDT

Specialty Box OfficeThe Grand Budapest Hotel continued to charm audiences as it expanded, cashing in. The Fox Searchlight powerhouse moved into 66 theaters in its second weekend, grossing a cool $3.64M for a still dazzling $55,152 per-theater average. The Wes Anderson film shattered a slew of records last weekend when it opened in four theaters with a $200K screen average. It is still a must-see in its second round and even surpassed Anderson’s last film Moonrise Kingdom in the b.o. in its second week. That film played in 16 theaters in its second weekend after a record-breaking opener $130K-plus average back in May 2012. In its second weekend, Moonrise averaged $53,043 and went on to cume over $45.5M.

Related: Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Looks To Take No. 1 Spot; ‘Need For Speed’ Stalling; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Lackluster, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again

grand-budapest_2813768bBudapest placed 8th in the overall box office. Noted Searchlight Sunday reporting the numbers: “The film is reaching a wide audience beyond the core Wes Anderson fans. While moviegoers have been visiting Art houses and Specialty venues in record breaking fashion this weekend, there have also been great results in the few mainstream multiplexes that we opened as well. It appears that the film has as opportunity to cross over to an audience who may not have seen his films before, but are now ready to check into The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Searchlight will take Budapest to an additional 40 markets next week and will expand in existing cities, taking the feature to 275 – 325 theaters. And it will expand further later in the month and into April. 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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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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Hot Trailer: Jason Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ Red Band

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 2:34pm PST

The comedy from Darko Entertainment, Aggregate Films and MXN stars Jason 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 in Bad Words, which Focus Features picked up for $7 million at Toronto in September and will open in March. Here’s the NSFW red band trailer:

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Focus Features Day 2: Who’ll Stay?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Yesterday’s bombshell that caught everyone at Focus Features by surprise has given way to a collective depression among the people at Focus who watched the abrupt exit of their leader James Schamus, and learned Universal will close the Gotham headquarters after incoming head Peter Schlessel arrives in January. There have been speculative reports about what form Focus might take, but before any of that gets sorted, they need to figure out who at Focus will continue to work there going forward. I’m told that those discussions started today with Andrew Karpen, the 10-year Focus vet who was promoted to co-CEO at the Cannes Film Festival. Karpen flew out to the studio for meetings today and I’m told that the studio would like Karpen to stay; the question is whether or not he will relocate his family. Karpen has been a rock star there, and a catalyst in the Toronto acquisition of world rights on the Jason Bateman-directed comedy Bad Words, which, along with the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life? were the two most coveted acquisition titles and biggest deals at the festival. Karpen has also been involved in Focus’ best Oscar hopeful, the Matthew McConaughey-starrer Dallas Buyers Club, which got stellar notices at Toronto. Schlessel has his own FilmDistrict staff to take care of, but I hope he and Donna Langley … Read More »

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TORONTO TOLDJA! Focus Acquires Jason Bateman-Directed ‘Bad Words’

Mike Fleming

Here’s the official release from Focus Features confirming Deadline’s morning scoop:

TORONTO, September 7th, 2013 – Worldwide rights to the comedy Bad Words, directed by and starring Jason Bateman, have been acquired by Focus Features for a 2014 theatrical release. Focus CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen made the announcement today at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie is having its world premiere.

Bad Words, a Darko Entertainment/Aggregate Films/MXN production, was represented at Toronto by Creative Artists Agency and Hicks Professional Law Corporation, which made the deal with Focus at the Festival. The movie is the feature directorial debut of Mr. Bateman, who last starred in the blockbuster comedy Identity Thief and is currently an Emmy Award nominee for Arrested Development. Mr. Bateman is also a producer of the new movie through his company Aggregate, with Academy Award nominee Mason Novick (Juno) of MXN and Darko’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta. Andrew Dodge wrote the original screenplay; it is his first to be produced, and it was selected for “The Black List” in 2011.

In the movie, Mr. Bateman portrays Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old man seeking catharsis in his life. He seizes the ideal that this will come for him through…the National Spelling Bee; after discovering a loophole in the rules, Guy zealously joins the competition and easily outpaces the pre-teen field in match after match. As reporter Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn of Afternoon Delight) delves into Guy’s story, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a competitor, awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand of Homeland), which may spell things differently for his future. Bad Words also stars Screen Actors Guild Award winner Allison Janney, Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids), Rachael Harris (The Hangover), and Philip Baker Hall (Argo).

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 AM: Focus Features is making a big acquisition of Bad Words, paying in the vicinity of $7 million for world rights, I’m told. It marks the first big money deal at Toronto. The film marks the directorial debut of Jason Bateman, who stars as a man who discovers a loophole in the rules of the National Spelling Bee. He dominates the pre-pubescent competition with keen spelling skills and and a propensity for trash talking. He forms an unlikely friendship with an awkward boy of Indian descent, and all the while a reporter trails him trying to find his real motivation for disrupting the spelling bee world. Read More »

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Toronto: ‘Parkland’ Premieres As Hot Kidman, Firth & Bateman Films Seek Distributors

Pete Hammond

After receiving mixed critical response in its Venice world premiere, the Kennedy assassination docudrama Parkland took on the Toronto International Film Festival and received a good response for a movie that looks at the events of that fateful day 50 years ago from several different perspectives. Those include a young surgeon operating on the fallen President in the emergency room, Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and mother, the FBI, Abraham Zapruder and others. Nicely directed by first-timer Peter Landesman, a former New York Times reporter, the film has the sensibility of a journalist and stays close to the known facts while still illuminating. At the premiere’s afterparty at Soho House he told me, “I wanted to create a visual language in the beginning that would allow the audience to feel like what they were seeing was happening and real… I did want to take the audience by hand and bring them into an idea that what they are watching happening is actually unfolding in front of them,” said the veteran who’s covered many international wars. He dismissed potential complaints that the filmmaker might be exploiting the Kennedy tragedy, particularly on the cusp on the 50th anniversary, by explaining that the emergency room scenes were carefully thought out:”I feel like we cut a very dignified movie. To not have any sense of the violence would be to betray what the movie is about. I actually feel that the cut’s dignified. We actually had cuts in the movie that were a lot bloodier. At the end of the day we didn’t want to alienate our audience.”

Landesman said it came about when he originally wrote a screenplay about Watergate for producer Tom Hanks (who produced this film with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman and actor Bill Paxton). That script has yet to be produced. But it led to Hanks handing Landesman a Vincent Bugliosi book written about those four days in November 1963. So he worked on it and researched it for nearly five years and decided there was a movie there that nobody had ever seen. Although Hanks was busy acting on Broadway, he was very involved. “Gary was there for every frame. And Tom was intimately involved with the development of the screenplay and the casting. You know Tom. His integrity is so important, not only as a brand and a producer but Tom’s sensibilities and instincts are so important,” Landesman said. Read More »

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