Several newcomers make their way to the Specialty box office this coming weekend, though it is more than certain holdovers will entrench their reign with audiences. Searchlight’s tour de force The Grand Budapest Hotel has been shattering sales numbers and will move into upwards of 675 additional theaters heading into Friday. Last weekend Budapest had a stunning $22,204 PTA in 304 theaters. Also grabbing screens in the last weekend of March will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, three weeks after its launch. The Jason Bateman directorial debut will add over 650 locations. Last weekend it averaged $5,747 from 178 runs. On Friday, Sony Classics will follow up its 2012 The Raid: Redemption release with The Raid 2 in limited runs. Cohen Media Group will bow director Drake Doremus’ fourth feature Breathe In with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones in well over a dozen locations, while Sundance Selects will head out with Finding Vivian Maier, an enigmatic figure in the photography world that has turned into a titan in death. And Abramorama will open Mistaken For Strangers, a music documentary centered on the relationship of two brothers.
The Raid 2
Director-writer: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Donny Alamsyah, Oka Antara
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
The Raid 2 by Gareth Evans follows his 2012 first installment, The Raid: Redemption. The latest feature follows a short time after the first raid, in which Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his own police force. “From the beginning we wanted to be a part of Raid 2,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “We became involved with [this feature] even before they shot this one, which was still in the script stage at the time.” The project, which SPC worked on with Sony Worldwide Acquisition Group, is building on the momentum of the first Raid, according to Barker. Read More »
BBC Defends Its ‘Doctor Who’ Against Accusations Of Racism
A new book calls out the BBC’s sci-fi series Doctor Who as “thunderingly racist,” but the UK pubcaster begs to differ. The Beeb has hit back at the accusations claimed by a group of academics in Doctor Who And Race, and fans have rushed to dismiss the criticisms as “groundless” and “ridiculous.” The BBC noted the 2006 casting of Freema Agyeman as the Time Lord’s first black assistant and Noel Clarke playing Mickey Smith for five years. The pubcaster’s reply came as critics alleged the Doctor’s apparent dismissive attitude toward black companions, his contempt for “primitive” people, and his passion for cricket as proof of a reactionary “whiteness”.
Related: BBC Confirms ‘Doctor Who’ Season 8
Edinburgh Fest Announces 147-Film Lineup
The Edinburgh International Film Festival on Wednesday announced the lineup for its 67th edition, slating 147 movies from 53 countries. The festival, which runs June 19-30, will open with a gala screening of Drake Doremus’ Sundance entry Breathe In, and titles vying for the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film include seven world premieres. This international competition includes such pics as Aleksey Fedorchenko’s Celestial Wives Of The Meadow Mari, Mohammad Shirvani’s Fat Shaker and Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours.
Related: S. Korean Helmer Boon Tops … Read More »
Cohen Media Group acquired U.S. distribution rights to Breathe In, the Drake Doremus-scripted and -directed drama that stars Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan. The film was one of a couple Sundance pics about a teacher who enters into an illicit relationship with a student. Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling of Super Crispy Entertainment produced, along with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush, which also financed the film. QED International remains on board handling international distribution. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. CMG is gearing up for a full theatrical release in fourth-quarter 2013. Read More »
QED International announced today that it will handle non-North American distribution of Drake Doremus’ Sundance Film Festival title Breathe In. President of international sales Daniel Diamond negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group, which represented the filmmakers. “We responded to Breathe In immediately, consider Drake to be one of the most talented new directors working, and look forward to including this exceptional film as part of the growing slate of films we’re bringing to market in Berlin,” Diamond said in a statement Wednesday. Directed and co-written by Doremus, the ensemble drama starring Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce premiered at this year’s Sundance. Ben York Jones co-wrote the screenplay. The director’s last film, Like Crazy, won the 2011 Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Breathe In was produced by Steven M. Rales and Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush, and Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling of Super Crispy Entertainment.