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.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Javier Gullón, José Saramago (novel)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace
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 »
Jake Gyllenhaal re-teams with his Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve in Enemy, a psychosexual thriller about a self-loathing university lecturer who spots his doppelganger, an actor, in a movie; he tracks down the man and the two engage in a spiraling struggle from which only one will survive. Gyllenhaal plays dual roles in the pic, which was shot before 2013 awards drama Prisoners. Melanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon co-star. Enemy is adapted by Javier Gullón from José Saramago’s 2002 novel The Double and will be released by A24 on March 14:
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy is the first picture the satellite company will offer on VOD exclusively for 30 days as part of the new deal with A24, the Wall Street Journal says. DirecTV has committed $40M to co-finance and market indie movies with A24. It will have the right to show them first on VOD to its 20M subscribers. The goal is to help DirecTV distinguish itself from rivals including cable companies and Dish Network. But the films that debut on VOD likely will only be able to move on to theaters that specialize in indie films. Big chains including Regal and AMC typically don’t touch films that are shown first on other platforms. A DirecTV exec told the Journal that it plans to introduce a new movie every month with a “huge marketing push.” It will charge as much as $12.99 for a seven-day rental, with Enemy making its debut early in 2014. My colleague Mike Fleming reported this month from the Toronto International Film Festival that A24 was in exclusive negotiations for the U.S. rights to Enemy, a Denis Villeneuve-directed drama that also stars Isabella Rossellini. He said it was headed toward “a low 7-figure deal with an aggressive rollout to take place sometime in the spring.”
EXCLUSIVE: The late night deal making continued in Toronto Thursday and as the dust clears, I’m told that A24 is in exclusive negotiations to acquire U.S. rights to Enemy, the Denis Villeneuve-directed drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Isabella Rossellini. It’s shaking out to be a low 7-figure deal with an aggressive rollout to take place sometime in the spring and following a pattern of prestige film successes like Spring Breakers, The Spectacular Now and The Bling Ring. Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago, the film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. And then he discovers he has a double, and the other guy starts competing with him. WME Global is brokering the deal. This marks the third deal for upstart distributor A24, which bought the Tom Hardy-starrer Locke, and then the Scarlett Johansson-starrer Under The Skin.
It marks a strong festival for Villeneuve, who came here several years ago with his breakout film Incendies, and also got a strong reaction this week for his new film Prisoners, which stars Hugh Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano.