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Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In Expansion

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 12:08pm PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In ExpansionBoyhood bowed spectacularly this weekend, piling audiences into five theaters for the initial run of Richard Linklater‘s tour de force that was 12 years in the making. As we mentioned earlier this morning, the IFC Films title is coming in with a $360 – 385K weekend estimate for a stratospheric $72K to 77K PTA, depending on how the dust settles Sunday. Friday and Saturday numbers were buoyed by Q&As in both New York and LA, but none are scheduled today. IFC Films was actually conservative reporting their numbers Sunday morning, with an initial $359K gross ($71,800 PTA) though others tracking the numbers had estimates land a bit higher. Whatever the number, the final tally points in one direction — this is a tremendous opening for the Berlin and Sundance festival title (and award winner at both) that had audiences swooning ahead of this weekend’s opening. Boyhood is easily the year’s second-best opener in terms of screen average behind Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened in several locations back in March with a record-breaking $202,792 PTA.  ”We are thrilled with the opening numbers for Boyhood this weekend,” IFC noted in reporting their numbers. “The opening numbers have surpassed our highest expectations for the weekend, as audiences flocked to theatrers for the critically acclaimed film.”
IFC Films financed the film by doling out small amounts each year over its 12-year process of creation. The AMC Networks division has a long-standing relationship with Linklater, having financed Waking Life and Tape. The Austin-based filmmaker and producer John Sloss had approached IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring about what was then dubbed the “12-year project” and, together with his boss Josh Sapan at AMC Networks, committed about $200,000 a year to the film’s editing and shooting. Said Sehring and Sapan: “Back in 2002, we thought Rick’s idea was an extraordinary notion and we believed him to be a great filmmaker.  Putting our creative and commercial fates in the hands of people who are brilliant has proven to be a terrific strategy for the company and we couldn’t’ be happier to have supported Rick’s creative vision. The result is a film for the ages and we can’t wait to bring Boyhood to the rest of the country in the weeks to come.”
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DeadlineNow: Weekend Box Office – ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’, ‘Boyhood’ & ‘Begin Again’ (Video)

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 5:16pm PDT
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'Apes' Sequel, 'Boyhood', & 'Begin Again' Battle At Weekend Box Office

'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' is looking strong and poised for a $63M-$68M three-day take at the weekend box office, Deadline's Anita Busch reports.

Related: Box Office Preview: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swinging Strong As ‘Boyhood’ Delights

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Begin Again’ Continues Strongly, But Hard Rollout For ‘Hard Day’s Night’

By | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Begin Again’ Continues Strongly, But Hard Rollout For ‘Hard Day’s Night’Begin Again continued its strong beginning as it expansed and Snowpiercer did decent business in the second week of a truncated theatrical release as Weinstein-owned companies had solid box-office performances in the Specialty arena amid other titles’ tepid troubles on a rain-soaked holiday weekend. Newcomers, including a doc about Roger Ebert and the 50th-anniversary re-release of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, had mixed results at best

A Hard Day's Night movie poster vertical
Janus Films re-released A Hard Day’s Night, but this time the influential Richard Lester-directed quasi-doc/musical/proto-music video struggled to get the kind of reception that packed the London Pavilion back in 1964. The Beatles feature grossed $20K in its first week back in ’64 at the Pavilion. This week, it made eight times as much but needed 102 theaters to do it, grossing $160K for a $1,569 PTA. Janus said the film sold out shows “coast to coast” and acknowledged that the July 4th weekend is tricky to maneuver. Said Janus’ Peter Becker: “To rack up this kind of gross with a classic film on a busy holiday weekend is astounding, especially since two-thirds of these screens were special-event bookings with only one or two shows. After the strongest repertory opening of the year at New York’s Film Forum and the incredible word of mouth from all across the country, this is just the beginning. We expect to see excited crowds of all ages lining up for A Hard Day’s Night all summer long.” Janus will add 30 theaters in the next week with further expansions planned throughout the summer.

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Weinstein Company Begins Oscar Song Push For ‘Begin Again’ With Adam Levine’s Voice (Video)

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 2:43pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Weinstein Company Begins Oscar Song Push For ‘Begin Again’ With Adam Levine’s Voice (Video)Starting their bid for a Best Song Oscar nomination early, The Weinstein Company is releasing Adam Levine‘s video for the Greg Alexander-penned song, “Lost Stars”  from Begin Again which expands to over 45 markets tomorrow.  Taking a cue from director John Carney’s Once  which won the Best Song Oscar for “Falling Slowly” in 2007, “Lost Stars” could be a breakout hit, particularly considering the current popularity of Levine who makes his acting debut in the film opposite stars, Keira Knightley (who also has her own version of the tune on the soundtrack and in the film) and Mark Ruffalo.  Here’s the video:

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ Solid

By | Sunday June 29, 2014 @ 11:14am PDT

Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ SolidIt’s no way a shock that Transformers: Age Of Extinction performed spectacularly this weekend, both in the U.S. and overseas, but there are still discerning audiences out there who don’t toe the big-studio line when it comes to their movie-viewing decisions. Begin Again, another tuneful tale from the writer-director of Once, found a sliver of music-minded moviegoers to play along, grabbing the weekend’s highest PTA among newcomers. Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, it grossed more than $148K for a respectable $29,665 average.
“I think that’s solid numbers. We view this exclusive opening as a preview for Wednesday’s [expansion],” said TWC’s Erik Lomis, president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment. The film drew a heavily female audience, with a 67-33 gender split, and a mix of art-house and commercial crowds. “I think it’s a date movie and will even out as it rolls across the country,”  Lomis said. “[Women] just loved the movie.” TWC will expand Begin Again to 175 theaters in the top 45 markets, then add 60 more markets and up to 500 theaters the following week. “We love (writer-director) John Carney and the cast. There’s no explosions or anything like that. It’s a nice movie and counter programming for the summer.”
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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Whitey: United States Of America v. James J. Bulger’, ‘Begin Again’, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’, ‘Siddharth’, ‘The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz’, ‘La Bare’, ‘The Breakup Guru’

Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Whitey: United States Of America v. James J. Bulger’, ‘Begin Again’, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’, ‘Siddharth’, ‘The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz’, ‘La Bare’, ‘The Breakup Guru’Docs join this weekend’s new crop of Specialty releases, hoping to lure audiences in from the heat. Magnolia will open veteran filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s Sundance feature Whitey: United States Of America v. James J. Bulger in a case that shook the FBI and the criminal underworld while FilmBuff and Participant will team on fellow Sundance doc The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz. And Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello returns to the male strip club world with his doc La Bare for Main Street Films. The Weinstein Company is rolling out two films Friday including Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine starrer Begin Againwhich it picked up out of Toronto and Yves Saint Laurent, the French-language film about the legendary and sometimes troubled designer. Zeitgeist Films is opening India-set Siddharth and China Lion will bow China’s The Breakup Guru in limited release. In addition to these films, Lionsgate will open America in three theaters before heading out to over 1,000 locations over the 4th of July weekend. And RADiUS-TWC opens Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s international sci-fi drama Snowpiercer stateside. Interestingly, the film had a unique event this past week in Austin where ticket buyers rode a train somewhat mirroring the film’s premise to a screening outside the city. The film also played BAMcinemaFest Wednesday night in addition to the Film Society of Lincoln Center Thursday night with Bong in attendance leading up to this weekend’s release.

whitey posterWhitey: United States Of America V. James J. Bulger
Director: Joe Berlinger
Subjects: Stephen Rakes, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Tommy Donahue, David Beori, Steve Davis, Dick Lehr, Shelley Murphy
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures, CNN Films (for broadcast)

Filmmaker Joe Berlinger has spent a significant portion of his filmmaking career on stories in which the criminal justice system and/or policing goes awry, most notably with the Paradise Lost doc trilogy. He said he had long been fascinated by James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who spent a long time as Number 2 on America’s Most Wanted List after Osama Bin Laden. Bulger had terrorized Boston for years, seemingly with impunity, despite being connected to multiple murders as well as other offenses that permeated various levels of government. “I had been interested in the [Bulger case] for a long time, but didn’t think I had anything to add, but when he was arrested in Santa Monica, the trial promised to be the biggest legal proceeding in Massachusetts history,” said Berlinger. Read More »

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John Carney’s ‘Begin Again’ Wins Shanghai Fest Prize

By | Sunday June 22, 2014 @ 8:37pm PDT

beginWhen Ivanhoe Pictures and Galloping Horse Beijing acquired the China rights to the John Carney-directed film Begin Again at Cannes, the question was how much relevance would that country find in a music themed story. Last night at the Shanghai International Film Festival, the film won Best Achievement in the category of Music.” Producer Anthony Bregman was on hand to accept the Award.

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Cannes: The Weinstein Company Near Deal For John Carney’s Next Pic ‘Sing Street’

Mike Fleming

begiEXCLUSIVE: After another vigorous bidding battle, The Weinstein Company goes into Saturday morning Cannes time near a deal for Sing Street, the next movie that will be directed by John Carney. The deal is U.S. rights for around $3 million, and it keeps TWC in business with Carney after they first teamed up on the Toronto Film Festival’s biggest deal, for Can A Song Save Your Life, which is being released under the title Begin Again. That film sold for $7 million in vigorous bidding. This film, which had Fox Searchlight and A24 chasing as well after buyers read a script and met with Carney, sounds closer in spirit to Carney’s superb directorial debut Once. Sing Street is described to me as an Irish musical set in a high school. It’ll be populated with unknown actors and U2′s Bono and The Edge are involved. WME Global is brokering this deal and Anthony Bregman is producing the film (he worked with Carney on Begin Again). EBF and PalmStar Media Capital are funding the film.

Related: Harvey Weinstein Defends Actions On ‘Grace Of Monaco’

Cannes2014_badgeIt’s one of three films that TWC bid aggressively on Friday night at the Croisette. As Deadline revealed last night, the bidding is up to $6 million for U.S. rights on The Coup, the John Erick Dowdle-directed thriller that stars Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. The Weinstein Company is the front-runner, but it is battling it out right now with Relativity, with Paramount a lurking dark horse. The Bold Films-backed film was scripted by the director and his brother Drew. It is about an American family that relocates to Southeast Asia, only to find themselves in the middle of a violent coup. They struggle to find an escape route because the new parties in control are executing foreigners as quickly as they can round them up. WME Global and UTA are co-repping that film, which should close Saturday morning.

Related: Cannes 2014: A Look At Hot Titles; Was It Over Before We Got Here And Paramount Made Record Deal?

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CANNES UPDATE: Weinstein Co To Unspool Footage From Host Of Fall Films On Friday

the-weinstein-company-logo-1__140502172505-275x153UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: I’ve just gotten word that added to the below will be a new promo for Macbeth. Justin Kurzel’s version of the Shakespeare tale stars Michael Fassbender as the iconic eponymous antihero and Marion Cotillard as his scheming Lady.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: In what’s become a highly anticipated annual event, The Weinstein Co is gearing up for tomorrow’s screening of first-look footage from its upcoming films. Two years ago, TWC first rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to show about 20 Cannes2014_badgeminutes of three of its 2012 awards contenders: Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. It was a prescient move that got the awards conversation started. Last year, the reel was bumped up to 40 minutes and included clips from such pics as The Butler, The Grandmaster, One Chance, Fruitvale Station, August: Osage County and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Harvey Weinstein has increasingly used this invite-only Cannes reception as a platform to tout the company’s slate and whet the appetite for releases later in the year. He’s also trotted out talent from the movies. This year’s event, co-hosted by Worldview Entertainment, goes down tomorrow at the Majestic replete with cocktails and a special press conference.

Related: Cannes: Matthew McConaughey Talks First Movie Since Oscar Win

begin againAmong those set for the preview reel are Toronto sensation Begin Again, the John Carney-directed pic starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine. Ivanhoe Pictures and Beijing Galloping Horse just acquired the Chinese theatrical and all platform rights. It opens in North America and Europe this summer. Also due is a new trailer from The Giver, the feature adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian young-adult novel that stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, the disappearance of eleanor rigbyKatie Holmes and Taylor Swift. It releases in August. Also with an August release, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is getting a teaser trailer, and animated soccer movie Underdogs is screening a new trailer. Un Certain Regard title The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby is unspooling a new trailer. The movie screens in UCR on Saturday in the third version to appear at a festival after two versions played Toronto, one titled Him and the other Her. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain star as a married couple whose relationship disintegrates.

Related: How New Version Of  ‘Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’ Found Its Way To Cannes

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Cannes: Toronto Sensation ‘Begin Again’ Gets China Deal From Ivanhoe, Galloping Horse Beijing

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 8:44am PDT
Mike Fleming

beginIvanhoe Pictures and Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co have acquired the Chinese theatrical and all platform rights for the John Carney-directed Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine, Begin Again is a comedy about a dejected music business executive who forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival and opens in North America and Europe this summer. Ivanhoe and Galloping Horses’ acquisition of the title will bring it to Asian markets.

While Begin Again (then titled Can A Song Save Your Life) was the biggest deal at Toronto when The Weinstein Company acquired North American rights, how will Carney’s music-infused film fare in China? Ivanhoe is fullish, partly as co-star and Maroon 5 frontman Levine is very popular in China. Some of that is through the appetite for The Voice. A version of the show is produced for China, but the version on which he’s a host also has awareness even though it isn’t on the dial there. It’s the first major acquisition for Ivanhoe Pictures since it was also launched out of the 2013 Toronto Film Festival to fund and produce film and TV projects with global appeal, particularly in China, India, Korea and Japan. The venture was hatched by financier Robert Friedland and vet producer John Penotti and Beijing based executive Ray Chen. The company is also in development on Kevin … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Keira Knightley & Mark Ruffalo In ‘Begin Again’

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 5:36pm PDT

Here’s the official trailer for the film that until last week was known as Can A Song Save Your Life? The Weinstein Company picked up the comedy after an epic bidding war following its Toronto premiere, and now it’s set to close the Tribeca Film Festival. The newly retitled Begin Again stars Mark Ruffalo as Dan, a fired music exec who stumbles upon his second chance in Gretta (Keira Knightley), who gets cut loose by her musician boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) after he signs a major-label deal. Hailee Steinfeld, James Corden, Catherine Keener and Levine’s former The Voice colleague CeeLo Green also star in the film from writer-director James Carney (Once). Begin Again‘s tour of theaters starts July 4. Have a look and a listen:

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Tribeca To Close Fest With John Carney Pic Formerly Known As ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’ – What’s Up With Name Change?

songJohn Carney‘s comedy was known by the much more intriguing title Can A Song Save Your Life? when it was one of the buzz titles last fall at its Toronto Film Festival premiere. That’s where The Weinstein Company acquired it in an epic and rich bidding war. Now the music-driven NY-set pic starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine has been renamed Begin Again and has been tapped to close the 13th Tribeca Film Festival on April 26. TWC releases the pic July 4. No word from the company today on the reason for changing the name, which really seemed to nail the idea of the film. The pic is infused with the same love of music as Carney’s charming Once, but this one has the star power and broader scope to reach a crossover audience to tell its story of what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Here’s hoping some focus group didn’t have anything to do with this.

Tribeca runs April 16-27 and opens with the Nas rap documentary Time Is Illmatic.

Related: Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Competition Slate

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