IFC Films‘ Boyhood had momentum and expectations building as it headed into its opening weekend after a tremendous run of festival awards and word-of-mouth screenings. Opening in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, it proved to be a very big boy indeed, with one of the year’s biggest box-office debuts among Specialty releases, second behind only Searchlight’sThe Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened March 7 with a nearly $203K PTA in four theaters.
Boyhood, directed and written by Richard Linklater and filmed over 12 years as its star Ellar Coltrane grew up, grossed $360K to $385K for a spectacular per-theater average of $72K to $77K, depending on how much box office drops Sunday. Given that the title opened against Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes on turf typically ruled by studio mush, the numbers bode especially well for the film, which also stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Lorelei Linklater. Given its pre-launch buzz, the film has already been tipped as a strong contender when Awards Season grinds into into full gear this fall.
“I think we knew the movie would play,” IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring told me this morning. “(Fellow producer) John Sloss and I were at screenings with audiences and we were more than gratified by the audience responses. There were dozens of sell outs [in Manhattan, Brooklyn and L.A.]. It was crazy. It wasn’t an old audience, not young, it was a mix of everyone.”
Emmy nominations may only have been released yesterday, and I know it’s still just July, but with the opening of Richard Linklater‘s Boyhoodtoday I am declaring July 11th the new official start of the Oscar season (at least for this year) with a film that I predict will occupy one of those prized Best Picture slots when Academy Award nominations are announced six months from now. It’s a bold statement considering last year’s first of nine eventual Best Picture nominees, Gravity, wasn’t released until October 4th, and generally with few exceptions of late , most of the nominees still come in the Fall season (although 2009′s Best Pic winner The Hurt Locker actually debuted in late June of that year and rallied later in the game to take it all). Boyhood’s distributor IFC Films also has not been a major player in the Best Picture races, but Boyhood producer John Sloss told me they have made a complete commitment to this film like no other.
A top awards veteran consultant Cynthia Swartz and her Strategy P.R. have been on the movie for months, slowly positioning it for a run. Just last week IFC President Jonathan Sehring, who greenlit it and supported it for a dozen years, told our indie box office reporter Brian Brooks that the film is his favorite project of his entire professional career. “It’s not like anything I have ever been involved with and is my crowning professional achievement no matter how it performs,” he told Brooks. … Read More »
The NYC-based distributor has acquired writer-director Victor Levin’s romantic dramedy that premiered at Tribeca in April. IFC Films hasn’t set a U.S. release date for 5 To 7, which stars Anton Yelchin as an aspiring novelist who has an affair with a French diplomat’s wife (Berenice Marlohe). Cultures, worldviews, personal ethics and dietary preferences clash as love deepens. Olivia Thirlby, Lambert Wilson, Frank Langella and Glenn Close co-star in the film produced by Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis for Mockingbird Pictures, Sam Englebardt and William Johnson for Demarest Films. Executive producers are David Greathouse, Ruth Mutch and Benjamin and Theresa Castellano-Wood. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions at Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with CAA and WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Films bought North American rights to the TrustNordisk title The Salvation. The film premiered in the out of competition Midnight section of Cannes. A couple distributors chased the film, which stars Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Kristian Levring directed the Western. Set in 1870s America, pic starts when a settler kills the man that murdered his family. That unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. Then it’s a fight to the death.
EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has taken all North American rights on SXSW Gamechanger Award winner Kelly & Cal, a first time feature by Jen McGowan. At the same time, Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has picked up all international rights and will sell the pic in Cannes. Juliette Lewis stars in the comedy/drama that was penned by Amy Lowe Starbin. Lewis plays Kelly, a former rocker who’s now a suburban mom nostalgic for a life she can no longer have and uncertain of a future where she doesn’t yet fit. Cal, played by Jonny Weston, is a 17-year-old frustrated at his lack of control over a recent life-altering incident. When the two strike up an unlikely friendship, it’s the perfect spark needed to thrust them both back to life. Cybill Shepherd also stars. Adi Ezroni and Mandy Tagger-Brockey of Spring Pictures are producers. Electric’s Head of International Distribution, Sonia Mehandjiyska, will shop the title this week while IFC is planning a North American release for later this year. “Juliette Lewis delivers a brilliant performance in Kelly & Cal and I think fans around the world will consider this one of the best roles she has played,” said Mehandjiyska. Marc H. Simon of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with Mehandjiyska for Electric and with Arianna … Read More »
Here’s the official trailer for Michael C. Hall‘s first post-Dexter project. He plays Richard, a small-town guy who’s hailed as a hero after he offs a burglar. But then the crook’s ex-con dad (Sam Shepard) shows up with vengeance on his mind and Richard’s family in his sights. But do the cops know more that they’re saying? Cold In July also stars Don Johnson as a private eye. Director Jim Mickle’s pic premiered at Sundance, where it was acquired by IFC Films. Scripted by Nick Damici and based on Joe R. Lansdale’s book, the film hits theaters and VOD on May 23. Take a look:
EXCLUSIVE: Boyhood, a time-lapse narrative feature film that Richard Linklater shot over a 12-year period, has been set for a July 11 release through IFC Films, which has stepped up and committed to a theatrical platform rollout and awards campaign. The film played Sundance and Berlin and its makers have positioned it for what they hope will be a long summer run as audiences watch actor Ellar Coltrane and his supporting cast actually grow up before their eyes, and adults Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette mature as his parents.
At Sundance, there had been some question of whether a large distributor would take the film off the table, but it only seems right that IFC stepped up. After all, as IFC President Jonathan Sehring told me back then, he was the one who wrote an annual check to Linklater for over a decade, and when his bosses would ask him to explain the expenditure and when they would see a payoff, he’d shrug his shoulders. Sehring’s a producer on the film, and so is John Sloss, who made this deal. “We went to Sundance with the understanding we would talk to other distributors,” Sloss said. “You have to understand when they committed to fund this, IFC didn’t have a distribution arm. So they didn’t have distribution rights, even though they are a co-owner along with Rick and the filmmaking team. This is a very special movie, and we wanted to make sure it has every opportunity for success. We’ve realized this film plays for a young audience and it will need word-of-mouth that comes from staying in theaters for a long time. IFC really stepped up.”
IFC Films took North American rights to Peter Sattler’s directorial debut film Camp X-Ray, which made its debut at Sundance. Pic stars Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi and Lane Garrison, and was produced by Gina Kwon, and executive produced by Emmy Ellison, Lindsay Williams, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, David Gordon Green and Sophia Lin. Stewart plays a soldier who gets assigned guard duty at Guantanamo Bay, where she strikes up a friendship with a detainee.
One of the highlights of Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip was a Michael Caine-off between stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The duo is back again in Winterbottom’s The Trip To Italy, and so are the Caine impressions. The film just premiered in Sundance and will be released by IFC Films later this year. It will also air on the BBC in the UK. The previous film saw Coogan and Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves on a restaurant tour of Northern England. In the follow-up, the pair sets off to Italy eating at some of the best gastronomic establishments and improvising along the way. This has been a strong year for Coogan who is nominated for an Oscar for co-writing and producing Best Picture nominee Philomena. The first Trip has a cult following and earned about $2M at the U.S. box office. Reviews out of Sundance have been strong and Coogan’s growing notoriety in the U.S. could help give the sequel a boost. Here’s a clip of Coogan and Brydon as they riff on Caine and the cast of The Dark Knight Rises.
UPDATE: IFC has confirmed Deadline’s scoop on this deal. Release appears below the original break.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 1:00 am PST: It took awhile, but the Sundance deals are now moving faster as the festival heads toward its final weekend. IFC is closing a deal for Cold In July, the Jim Mickle-directed drama that stars Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw. I’m hearing the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million for North American rights, with WME Global negotiating. Hall plays a small town Texas man who kills a home intruder and finds his life unraveling into a dark underworld of corruption and violence when the dead man’s father insists on eye for an eye justice. The film premiered last Saturday in the Library Theater, in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. This is the second IFC deal tonight, as the label is also closing God’s Pocket, the Philip Seymour Hoffman-starrer that marks the feature directing debut of Mad Man star John Slattery.
Here is release:
IFC Films announced today from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Jim Mickle’s COLD IN JULY. The film, with a screenplay by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, stars Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, and Wyatt Russell.COLD IN JULY was produced by Linda Moran, René Bastian of Belladonna Productions, Marie Savare de Laitre and
IFC Films has acquired from Worldview Entertainment the U.S. distribution rights to the Arnaud Desplechin-directed Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian. The film, which stars Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric, premiered at Cannes and just screened at the New York Film Festival. Desplechin and Kent Jones and Julie Peyr adapted the script from the George Devereux book Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian. It is about the author’s relationship and multidisciplinary study of Jimmy Picard, a Blackfoot Indian, who fought in World War II and suffered from psychological distress. Pascal Cauchetuex and Jennifer Roth produced while Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners executive produced with Patrick Milling Smith and Ben Limberg. IFC is expected to release the film in early 2014. Arianna Bocco brokered for IFC, while CAA repped Worldview.
IFC Films acquired U.S. rights toLucky Them, the Megan Griffiths-directed pic that stars Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church and Oliver Platt. Scripted by Emily Wachtel and Huck Botko, the pic premiered at Toronto last month. Collette plays an unconventional rock journalist who dates musicians and is assigned to explore her own pasts. It’s a cathartic assignment. IFC’s Arianna Bocco made the deal with Cinetic Media’s John Sloss.
NEW YORK, NY (September 17, 2013) – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring US rights to Liza Johnson’s HATESHIP LOVESHIP. The film, based on a short story by Alice Munro with a screenplay by Mark Poirier, stars Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld, Nick Nolte, Christine Lahti, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sami Gayle. HATESHIP LOVESHIP was produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Jamin O’Brien, Dylan Sellers and Cassian Elwes and executive produced by Jacob Pechenik, Michael Raimondi and Abigail Disney. The film made its world premiere as a special presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
IFC Films acquired North American and Latin American rights to Peter Strickland’s The Duke Of Burgundy, which starts in Hungary later this month. Written and directed by Strickland, the film will star Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D’Anna. The dark melodrama will be produced by Rook’s Andy Starke and will be executive produced via Rook by filmmaker Ben Wheatley, Film4’s Anna Higgs, BFI’s Lizzie Francke, and Pioneer’s Ildiko Kemeny.
EXCLUSIVE: In what promises to be a moving, adult romance (remember those?) Annette Bening stars as a widow who learns to love again with an art teacher played by Ed Harris who is a near-double for the husband she lost. What happens leads to surprising consequences and unexpected turns. Bening and Harris are said to both turn in terrific performances and IFC is hoping buzz will build out of Canada as they finalize release plans for The Face Of Love, a Toronto International Film Festival World Premiere. Here’s your first look at the film which debuts here on Tuesday.
EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has pre-bought U.S. rights toThe Trip To Italy, with director Michael Winterbottom just getting underway. The film is the follow to the 2010 road trip comedy The Trip, which Winterbottom also directed. IFC released that film, and original stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back for the second road trip. The Trip To Italy is a semi-fictional improvised tour of Italy, reuniting Rob and Steve (Brydon and Coogan). The film follows them as they travel through the countryside, talking about life, careers, and the world. The friends often got on each other’s nerves in the original. Melissa Parmenter is producing for Revolution Films, and Andrew Eaton and Henry Normal are exec producers. Pic is currently in production in Italy, a co-production with Babycow and Small Man Ltd. Read More »
The first trailer has come out for the David Lowery-directed drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. The film, which IFC picked up at Sundance this year, stars Casey Affleck as a man who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, Nate Parker and Keith Carradine fill out the top flight cast. IFC Films have set the movie to come out on August 16. Check out the trailer here now.