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Specialty Box Office: Almodovar’s ‘I’m So Excited’ Leads New Indies; ‘Museum Hours’ Bows OK

By | Sunday June 30, 2013 @ 10:52am PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsPedro Almodovar‘s boozy sex comedy I’m So Excited lead an otherwise unremarkable host of newbies in the Specialty Box Office. The feature, which opened the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this month, bowed in 5 locations in New York and L.A., grossing over $100K for a three-day winning $20,546 average. Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours debuted two runs, grossing almost $30K for a decent $14,718, while Tribeca Films’ doc How To Make Money Selling Drugs rolled out in 5 theaters, grossing over $15K. IFC Films’ Byzantium opened with a $3K average in 6 theaters, followed by Drafthouse Films’ A Band Called Death ($2,193 PSA) and Roadside’s Redemption, which floundered with a $959 average albeit in 19 runs.

Insiders speculated over whether the latest feature from Spanish maestro Almodóvar would pass muster from his fans and the art house crowd. The speculation will still linger. Opening weekend numbers were decent although not, to take a cue from the film, orgasmic. Almodovar’s much darker last film The Skin I Live In boasted more recognizable stars and bowed with a $37,187 average in 6 theaters, a figure topped by Broken Embraces in 2009 ($53,556 PSA in 2 runs). 2006′s Volver averaged $39,540 in five theaters on its way to nearly a $12.9 million cume in the U.S. Excited has not flown the way of his most recent films, however, opening in the summer and bowing out of the usual Almodovarian Cannes debut. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘I’m So Excited’, ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’, ‘The Secret Disco Revolution’, ‘A Band Called Death’, ‘Some Girl(s)’

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 12:39pm PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Spain’s maverick filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar returns to U.S. shores with his latest film, which is a departure from his most recent work. I’m So Excited!, which opened the recent Los Angeles Film Festival but skirted Almodovar’s usual Cannes world premiere slot this year, is a throwback to the director’s 1980s comedies, and Sony Pictures Classics begins its opening in platform release. The director called the film recently “his most gay” — perhaps fitting given yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions and the flurry of gay pride events around the country this weekend. The feature will be joined by several documentary newcomers in the specialty arena Friday including Tribeca Film’s How To Make Money Selling Drugs, which includes a host of notables including 50 Cent, Eminem, Woody Harrelson and Susan Sarandon. Screen Media’s The Secret Disco Revolution also boasts figures from the era, which combines storytelling and comic-irony to recall the disco days. A Band Called Death is also a music-focused nonfiction, spotlighting seminal “pre-punk” band Death. And self-distributed Some Girl(s) stars Adam Brody, Kristen Bell and Zoe Kazan in a new comedy-drama.

I’m So Excited
Director-writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Javier Cámara, Pepa Charro, Lola Duenas, Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Miguel Ángel Silvestre
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Almodóvar fans are some of the most loyal around. His most recent film, the dark The Skin I Live In debuted in six theaters in October 2011, with a per-screen average above $37K (nearly $3.2 million cume), while Broken Embraces (2009) bowed in a pair of runs, averaging $53,556 on its way to a $5 million U.S. gross. Those films, however, were outshined at the box office by the Spanish filmmaker’s 2006 release, Volver, which cumed nearly $12.9 million ($39,540 first weekend PSA). His latest, I’m So Excited!, harkens back to early Almodóvar, so how it will be received in 2013 remains to be seen. “I wanted to return to a genre that I was very familiar with in the ’80s,” said Almodóvar at a recent preview screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “It’s a light comedy and discussion… And the discussion is mixed with a lot of alcohol and sex.” The story centers on a group of passengers aboard an ill-fated flight from Spain to Mexico City who look to overcome their anxiety in the face of danger, with hefty amounts of booze, pill-popping and carnal satisfaction as the secrets of their lives are revealed. “Pedro Almodóvar has made the perfect summer movie,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “We’re always thrilled when he wants to switch gears. This is our 10th or 11th movie with him and his instincts are always correct.” Read More »

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LA Film Festival: Almodovar’s ‘I’m So Excited!’ Opens Fest On Lighter Note

Pete Hammond

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off Thursday night with the North American premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s raunchy screwball comedy I’m So Excited! at LA Live’s Regal Cinemas. And if the jaded opening-night LA crowd did not demonstrably respond (there was just small polite applause at the end) with the enthusiasm past Almodovar films have enjoyed from Cannes to New York, it did send off the 11-day fest on a fun note. In no small part that owes to the fact that the pic is about sex and Almodovar himself explained the film’s title as “like being very horny”. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film and was pleased to grab the prestigious opening slot of the Film Independent signature film fest. And of course LA Film Fest was thrilled to get Almodovar.

SPC co-president Michael Barker told me afterwards that this is the first of Almodovar’s films to premiere in North America outside of New York. “The time was right for this one and Pedro was totally on board with coming here with it as well”, he said. In fact an ebullient Almodovar told me he was extremely impressed with the Regal’s massive screen and bright projection even though Sony took him to dinner during the movie. “I actually wanted to stay and watch. I grew up seeing movies in big theatres like this. I love the experience.” According to the two-time Oscar-winning director (All About My Mother, Talk To Her) his latest is the #1 box office attraction this first half of the year in his native Spain. And, as he tells it, that was no easy trick due to the failing economy which has seen double-digit declines and caused a steep downturn in moviegoing. Almodovar suggested people prefer to watch downloads on the Internet rather than pay the money for a moviegoing experience and that saddens him, although he’s glad his film is surviving in Spanish multiplexes despite the hardships. For him this pic was a bit of a lark after the more serious The Skin I Live In, which played in competition in Cannes in 2011. I’m So Excited! is about a jetliner en route to Mexico which encounters technical problems and then all hell ensues — a freewheeling farce that at least one Oscar voter told me later left him with tears running down his face due to laughter. Others were not as enthusiastic. It doesn’t matter. This likely won’t be an awards contender — comedies rarely are — but it returns Almodovar to his initial wild style of humor and that’s always welcome. Read More »

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Pedro Almodovar’s ‘I’m So Excited!’ To Open LA Film Festival

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 11:16am PDT

The North American premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited! has been named the opening-night film of the 19th annual Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13. It comes ahead of the Spanish-language comedy’s U.S. platform release June 28 via Sony Pictures Classics. The pic bowed March 8 in Spain and is currently opening throughout Europe. Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are among the ensemble cast of the comedy, set on an airplane flight where nothing goes right. The fest, produced by Film Independent, teamed with SPC last year to premiere Searching For Sugar Man, which ended up winning the Feature Documentary Oscar. LAFF runs through June 23 and will feature more than 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.

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Academy Toasts Pedro Almodovar In London; Plus Teaser For ‘I’m So Excited’

Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.

Grace Jones, Kristen Scott Thomas and Miranda Richardson were amongst the guests to hear tributes to the Oscar-winning filmmaker (Original Screenplay for Talk To Her) from the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Almodovar’s brother Agustin, Stephen Frears and Sally Potter. Quentin Tarantino was piped in by video to thank Pedro Almodovar for his “heart as big as the Grand Canyon” and “a filmography to beat.” The director came armed with a clip from his new film I’m So Excited (watch below), which Sony Pictures Classics will release next year. He also revealed that he’d tried and failed to nab the rights to books like The Hours, Silence Of The Lambs, The Human Stain and The Reader. Any one would have been his first foray into English-language film, which he said was a bridge he’d likely not cross anymore. “But you have to respect destiny. Perhaps I was not the one to make the movies that I now admire so much.”

Frears enthused about Almodovar’s ability to make everything seem natural. “He creates a coherent world in which all of the elements fit,” he said. “It comes out of his imagination complete. I met him in New York when I was with My Beautiful Laundrette. I felt like an impostor; here was the transgressive real thing. Mine was a charade.” He provoked much … Read More »

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Sony Classics Acquires Pedro Almodovar’s Comedy ‘I’m So Excited’

By | Tuesday June 19, 2012 @ 9:47am PDT

NEW YORK (June 19, 2012) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Pedro Almodóvar’s new comedy currently titled I’M SO EXCITED from El Deseo. The film, an ensemble comedy written and directed by Almodóvar, is set to begin production in July and will be released next summer. The cast includes Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raul Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Willy Toledo, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Blanca Suárez, José Luis Torrijo, José María Yazpik, Laya Martí with special collaborations from Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Paz Vega.

The Sony Pictures Classics team has a long history with Almodóvar that began with WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN at Orion Classics and has continued with seven films at SPC, including THE SKIN I LIVE IN, BROKEN EMBRACES, VOLVER, BAD EDUCATION, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, TALK TO HER and THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET.

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