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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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Specialty Box Office Preview: ‘Boyhood’, ‘Land Ho!’, ‘A Long Way Home’, ‘Closed Curtain’

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 8:04pm PDT

Specialty Box Office Preview: ‘Boyhood’, ‘Land Ho!’, ‘A Long Way Home’, ‘Closed Curtain’It’s not every week that a major milestone in filmmaking opens in theaters, but this is one. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a dozen years in the making, finally makes its ways to an initial handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The IFC Films release has a lot of momentum behind it, with word-of-mouth and buzz that should translate into a successful opening; word has it that advance sales are “strong”. It will be joined by a filmmaking milestone of a much different sort in Variance Films’ Closed Curtain, an acclaimed feature created by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who made the film discretely despite being banned from his craft at home and under the watchful eyes of authorities. Sony Classics’ Sundance title Land Ho! provides a comic twist to this week’s opening Specialties, as will Magnolia Pictures’ A Long Way Down.

Director-writer: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater
Distributor: IFC Films

Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking film had ridden a long wave of buzz even before its sneak preview at the Sundance Film Festival and its debut in Berlin this year. Twelve years in the making, the drama centers on the life of a boy, Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane throughout), between ages 5 and 18. The film began in 2002 when Linklater teamed with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. Linklater also tapped his daughter Lorelei Linklater to play Mason’s sister. In Berlin, Linklater said they simply referred … Read More »

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Jafar Pahani’s ‘Closed Curtain’ Collaborators Blocked In Iran, But Film Will Travel

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 1:50pm PST

Kambozia Partovi, the co-director and co-star of banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi‘s Closed Curtain was in Berlin earlier this month to accept a Best Script Silver Bear on Panahi’s behalf. That will be his last international appearance with the film, for now. I’ve confirmed that Partovi and Closed Curtain actress Maryam Moghadam have both had their passports confiscated by the Iranian authorities, meaning they will be unable to travel with the movie as it makes the festival rounds. It is scheduled for closing night duties at the Hong Kong Film Festival on April 2 and has been invited elsewhere. I understand that it will continue to travel, even if those involved in making it can’t be present in support, and that the film has sold in a number of territories. Panahi is under a 20-year filmmmaking ban for “propaganda against the state.” He continues to make movies, however, including 2011′s This Is Not A Film and this year’s Closed Curtain. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Asad’ Actors Oscar-Bound, Hong Kong Fest Lineup

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 10:12pm PST

Two child actors from Somalia are headed to the Oscars on Sunday for their nominated short film Asad after filmmakers and others including U.S. and South African government officials rallied to arrange passports, visas, transportation and lodging. Brothers Harun Mohamed (14) and Ali Mohamed (12) were flying today from Cape Town join filmmakers Brian Buckley and Mino Jarjoura for the Oscars. Asad has won popular acclaim along the film festival circuit since April when it premiered at Tribeca Film Festival where it won Best Short Film. Written and directed by Buckley, the film centers on a war-torn fishing village in Somalia and follows a 12-year-old boy who must decide between the pirate life or becoming an honest fisherman. Asad was inspired by a United Nations short documentary, No Autographs. Thanks to filmmakers Buckley and Jarjoura of the U.S. and South Africa’s Rafiq Samsodien, the boys who had never attended school have received private tuition and enrolled in a home school system in South Africa. Read More »

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Iran Protests Berlin Win For Jafar Panahi’s ‘Closed Curtain’; Festival Says It Would “Regret Any Legal Consequences”

Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi won the Best Script Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday for his competition entry Closed Curtain. Since then, Iran has complained to fest organizers over the award, Iran’s Student News Agency reported, according to Reuters. The head of the country’s national cinema body, Javad Shamaqdari, said Berlin officials “should amend their behavior” and noted, “Everyone knows that a license is needed to make films in our country and send them abroad, but there are a small number who make films and send them out without a license. This is an offense… but so far the Islamic Republic has been patient with such behavior.” In a statement to Deadline, the festival said: “We would very much regret if the the screening of Pardé (Closed Curtain) would have any legal consequences for the filmmakers.”

Related: Jafar Panahi Faces Six-Year Stretch After Sentence Upheld Read More »

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