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Specialty B.O.: ‘Darling Companion’, ‘Downtown Express’, ‘Marley’, ‘Moth Diaries’

By | Friday April 20, 2012 @ 12:06am PDT

Two specialty titles opening this coming weekend might have had studio backing in the past if not for the changing nature of the biz. Darling Companion and The Moth Diaries traveled a more “independent film” route on their way to the screen, bypassing controls that may have lead to very different films — if they would even have been made at all. Downtown Express used music and the backdrop of New York City to tell its story shot on a tight budget, while Kevin Macdonald’s doc Marley found non-financing challenges on its way through production. Also encountering unexpected turbulence during production, Jesus Henry Christ shot north of the border during some particularly crazy events in Toronto.

Darling Companion
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, Meg Kasdan
Cast: Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Lawrence Kasdan’s latest returns his focus to baby boomers reminiscent of some of his past work. In this feature, he spotlights the story of a woman who loves her dog more than her husband. And naturally the situation worsens when he loses the dog. “What we were shooting for is trying to talk to that generation and about their lives as John Updike did in the Rabbit series,” Darling Companions producer Anthony Bregman told Deadline. “It’s along the lines of other [Kasdan] films that check in with that generation.” But unlike the director’s past work including The Accidental Tourist and The Big Chill, studios did not come knocking. “The industry has changed a lot since those films came out,” Bregman said, adding that studios shy away from stories like Darling Companions so the production had to take a different approach in order to get the feature completed. “This time, it was an independent production with a quicker shoot. We didn’t have the same luxuries that are typical of a studio film,” he said. “The challenge was to stick to the agenda while maintaining a high production value and ambitious casting.” Read More »

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EOne Nabs North American Rights to ‘Jesus Henry Christ’

By | Monday February 13, 2012 @ 9:47am PST

A world premiere at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Dennis Lee’s Jesus Henry Christ will open in U.S. and Canadian theaters this spring. Entertainment One (eOne) picked up North American rights in all media from Red Om Films. The feature stars Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine) and Michael Sheen (The Queen) in a modern family comedy that revolves around misfit 10-year-old boy genius Henry James Herman who is kicked out of school (Jason Spevack) and his fervently left-wing single mother (Collette). Meanwhile, 12-year-old Audrey (Samantha Weinstein) has her own problems because of her single university professor father (Sheen), who used her as the test subject for his best-selling book Born Gay or Made that Way? When Henry scores a scholarship to the university as a child prodigy, the two families cross paths.

Julia Roberts and Deepak Nayar executive produced. Producers are Phil Rose, Lisa Gillan and Sukee Chew. Financed by Reliance Entertainment, CAA packaged the film and negotiated the deal with eOne. Worldwide rights for the film are being handled by IM Global. Jesus Henry Christ is eOne’s fifth theatrical acquisition for the US since the company’s expansion of its North American operations.

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