The Raid 2 and documentary Finding Vivian Maier found solid footing in their opens this weekend, while Cesar Chavez had a mixed start as holdover juggernaut The Grand Budapest Hotel continued to hold sway as March makes its exit. Sony Classics ventured into the action-thriller genre with The Raid 2 and scored a solid open. The feature by Gareth Evans, a follow-up to his 2012 pic The Raid: Redemption, grossed nearly $177K in just seven locations, by far taking the highest per-theater average of this weekend’s reporting newcomers with a solid $25,272. Raid: Redemption grossed nearly $214K when it opened in March 2012, averaging $15,270. It went on to cume over $4.1M domestically. “There’s a loyal following to the first film, but the word-of-mouth from all the screenings we’ve had have been great,” SPC co-president Michael Barker told me this week. “It was a triumph at Sundance and at SXSW. All these factors foreshadow a good run.” It will head into about 30 theaters in five or six cities this week before heading wide into 1,200 locations.
Related: Box Office: ‘Noah’ Rises, ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises As Schwarzenegger Brought To Knees
Read More »
Three days before the movie’s national release, an audience of about 1,000 farm workers is seeing Diego Luna‘s biopic about the legendary civil rights leader and union organizer at the site where their union began in the 1960s. Cesar Chavez is getting an outdoor screening tonight at the Forty Acres outside Delano, CA, which is depicted in the film and now is a National Historic Landmark. Luna introduced the movie, which stars Michael Pena as Cesar Chavez alongside America Ferrera — who is at the screening — Rosario Dawson, Gabriel Mann and John Malkovich. The film scripted by Keir Pearson and Timothy J. Sexton won an Audience Award at SXSW this month after premiering at Berlin. It also screened at the White House last week. Lionsgate is releasing the pic from Pantelion, Participant Media, Televisa Cine and Image Nation. Participant is advocating for a national day of service on Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, which is a state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado. Here’s how the scene looked tonight:
Read More »
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced their Audience Award-winners today including wins for Diego Luna‘s biopic Cesar Chavez in the narrative spotlight and the Emmy Rossum-starring drama Before I Disappear in the narrative feature spotlight. Also getting a crowd-pleasing boost before its April 6 HBO premiere is Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley which took the Episodic award. Last year’s winner in the narrative feature competition was Short Term 12 which was released by Cinedigm and had some awards buzz this past fall. The SXSW Jury Awards were announced on Tuesday with the Grand Jury Prize going to Fort Tilden and the The Great Invisible, Margaret Brown’s look at the oil industry’s secretive world in the wake of the Gulf Coast disaster, earning the top documentary prize. Below are a list of the SXSW Film Festival Audience Award winners: Read More »
UPDATE: Participant Media has confirmed Deadline’s scoop on the Cesar Chavez pic. Release appears below the original story.
EXCLUSIVE: In a mid-six figure deal, Participant Media’s TV network Pivot is teaming with Univision to acquire Cesar’s Last Fast, the documentary about Cesar Chavez that will make its Sundance premiere tomorrow in the U.S. Feature Documentary category. The deal is the first major one after Participant and Univision last year formed a venture to acquire smart properties to air on both networks.
The film covers the 36-day fast undertaken by Cesar Chavez to bring attention around the world to the dangers of the liberal use of pesticides on farm workers, their families and communities. The 1988 fast, in which Chavez only consumed water, was captured on film by filmmakers James Chressanthis, Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee. It was one of the courageous acts that made Chavez an iconic advocate for farm workers. Read More »
The Kevin Costner football flick will open April 11, a month before the NFL Draft. Lionsgate said today that Draft Day — about the Cleveland Browns GM who tries to save pro football in the city by trading for the No. 1 draft pick — is moving to the date that had been slotted for the mini-major’s supernatural thriller The Quiet Ones, which is moving back two weeks to April 25. Summit and OddLot’s Draft Day, from director Ivan Reitman, will compete against Fox’s toon sequel Rio 2; Open Road’s Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner Sabotage; and The Weinstein Company’s comedy St. Vincent, starring Naomi Watts, Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. Lionsgate today also moved up Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club from May 9 to March 14 and pushed its sex-addiction drama Addicted from that date back to September 5. Capping off the spate of announcements, the company set its biopic Cesar Chavez, starring Michael Pena as the labor organizer and civil rights activist, for moderate release on March 28.