Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
IFC Films‘ Frances Ha had the last laugh this weekend, opening solid in a pair of theaters each in New York and Los Angeles. The critically well-received feature directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig grossed $134K, averaging $33,500. It came fairly close to his last feature, Greenberg, which averaged $39,384 when it opened in March 2010 in three locations. But that film, which also starred Gerwig, also included Ben Stiller, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Juno Temple. Frances Ha inched out Baumbach’s acclaimed 2005 Best Screenplay Oscar-nominated The Squid And The Whale in terms of first weekend PSA. That film opened in four runs, averaging $32,461. Frances Ha‘s fellow newcomers, however did not fare nearly as well.
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Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
After co-writing last summer’s animated box office hit Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Noah Baumbach returns to the Specialty realm with Frances Ha, which debuts this weekend theatrically. Baumbach co-wrote with Greta Gerwig, who also stars in the film. Also opening is veteran TV director Craig Zisk’s The English Teacher, starring Julianne Moore. French period drama Augustine joins Friday’s newcomers, starring Chiara Mastroianni, while Sundance Midnight thriller Black Rock also joins the fray along with Venice Golden Lion winner Pieta and Guy Pearce starter, 33 Postcards.
The English Teacher
Director: Craig Zisk
Writers: Dan Chariton, Stacy Chariton
Cast: Lily Collins, Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane
The feature, directed by Craig Zisk had its World Premiere at the recent Tribeca Film Festival, though distributor Cinedigm caught a private sneak of the film last fall in New York. “We fell in love with the playful wit of the screenplay, the polished direction by Craig Zisk and the terrific performances by the stellar cast, including Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane, Michael Angarano and Lilly Collins”, noted Cinedigm’s co-president entertainment Susan Margolins. “We chose this weekend to follow closely on the heels of the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.” The comedy-drama stars Moore as a high school English teacher who lives in a small town living a simple existence. A former pupil (Angarano) returns after failing to succeed as a playwright in New York, and she convinces him to produce his play at the school. But his overbearing father has other plans. Read More »
Anyone who predicts sleeper hits ahead of the summer is either very brave or very spun. But these are the pics expected to emerge through the cracks of tentpole action: All benefit from obvious counterprogramming, festival hype, and demo-targeted storytelling. In chronological order:
– IFC’s Frances Ha has high awareness among its targeted younger-skewing arthouse crowd and exhibitors. “It’s certainly getting talked about in the right places for the audience they’re going for,” one NATO member tells me. Star Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach are indie darlings and scored a talked-about New Yorker piece last week that boosted their profile as a filmmaking couple. According to an IFC Films rep, it’s the sleeper they’re banking on when it releases May 17. “We think we’re going to get great word of mouth,” they tell me.
– CBS Films has two indie pickups budgeted at under $2M each that they’ve slotted into the summer. Sundance pickup Kings Of Summer (formerly Toy’s House) stars three youngsters and has TV stars Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally supporting. The studio’s hoping for its Stand By Me-esque story to build momentum with a May 31 limited release. “It’s a movie about discovering in general — which people who see arthouse films spark to,” a studio insider tells me. “And discovery is part of what makes a sleeper hit”. CBS Films is hoping it becomes this year’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen which was a surprise success for the studio last year.
– Upstart distrib A24 is new to the summer game and has two more youth-skewing pics on tap after scoring a minor youthquake with the sexploitation Spring Breakers in March. The first is Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring will get a NY-LA limited opening June 14 two weeks after its Cannes premiere.
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Greta Gerwig is front and center (in black and white) in the first trailer for Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, which Baumbach and Gerwig co-scripted together. The actress and director reunite after collaborating on 2010′s Greenberg for the seriocomic character study of a 27-year-old dancer … Read More »
Mike Fleming told you this was coming last week, as IFC Films was this close to making a deal during the Toronto Film Festival, where Frances Ha screened. Here’s the release:
New York, NY (September 20, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 New York Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North and Latin American rights to director Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA. Baumbach wrote the screenplay with Greta Gerwig who stars in the film. Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver and Michael Zegen co-star. Baumbach, Lila Yacoub, Scott Rudin, and Rodrigo Teixeira produced the picture, with Fernando Loureiro and Lourenço Sant’ Anna executive producing for RT Features. FRANCES HA made its world premiere at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival and also played at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
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UPDATE, 12:19 PM: This is the time of a big movie festival when IFC starts taking off the table the titles that didn’t turn into big theatrical release auctions. The company made a big play Tuesday for the Neil Jordan-directed vampire tale Byzantium, and now the distributor is this close to closing a deal on the Noah Baumbach-directed black-and-white film Frances Ha. We’ll post when it’s final.
EARLIER: 11:19 AM:
TORONTO, CANADA (September 13, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Mira Nair’s THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST starring Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Riz Ahmed in the title roles.
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Sundance, Cannes and Berlin are just some of the world’s top festivals where major movie sales are completed. But Telluride is mostly a launchpad for Fall awards contenders. Yet, unexpectedly, this 39th edition is drawing a large number of distributors interested in picking up some great deals. Among the titles for sale here are Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha starring a delightful Greta Gergwig; Canada’s and Sri Lanka’s Midnight’s Children; thriller The Iceman starring Michael Shannon; director Sally Potter’s Ginger And Rosa; the documentary Love, Marilyn based on newly discovered diaries of Marilyn Monroe; and Saudi Arabia’s Wadjda. Of course, 2009′s The Last Station devised an unusual strategy by exclusively premiering in Telluride and also nabbing a Sony Pictures Classics deal plus two major acting Oscar nominations. And in 2010, Fox Searchlight execs saw a secret showing of The Tree Of Life here and quickly nailed rights for the film, which would eventually be nominated for Best Picture of 2011. Read More »