After scoring with his 2013 indie Drinking Buddies, writer-director Joe Swanberg sold his latest pic to Paramount and Magnolia Pics out of January’s Sundance Film Festival. The latter will distribute the Anna Kendrick starrer Happy Christmas domestically in theaters July 25 and on iTunes June 26, while Paramount Home Media Distribution handles international and U.S. home vid. Kendrick stars as Jenny, a hard-partying twentysomething who after a breakup moves in with her film director brother (Swanberg), his novelist wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their young son. Mark Webber and Lena Dunham also star in the dramedy, which Swanberg also produced with Alicia Van Couvering and Peter Gilbert:
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off today and already the deals are being made. Magnolia Pictures and Paramount announced today that they are collaborating on Happy Christmas. Magnolia will handle domestic theatrical and VOD distribution of the U.S. Dramatic Competition film while Paramount Home Media Distribution will take charge of all international rights and U.S. physical home entertainment. Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham and Joe Swanberg, the Swanberg directed and written film about two siblings striving to re-connect has its world premiere in Park City on January 19. A theatrical release looks likely this summer. “We’re thrilled to be in business with Joe again on this lovely gem of a film,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles in a statement. Magnolia picked up Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, which also starred Kendrick, at SXSW last March. “We are looking forward to bringing this original, fresh film to home viewing audiences in the U.S. and internationally,” said Syrinthia Studer, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Acquisitions, Paramount Home Media Distribution. “Happy Christmas has broad appeal, an exceptional cast and an engaging story that we believe will be well received both here and abroad.” The deal was put together by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Magnolia VP of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg, with Swanberg, Alicia Van Couvering and André Des Rochers of Gray Krauss … Read More »
Written and directed by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies), 24 Exposures stars Adam Wingard as Billy, a fetish photographer who specializes in photographing women in various stages of undress and death, and Simon Barrett as a police detective investigating the murder of one of Billy’s models. Producers are Alexander Motlagh and Alex Orr. IFC Midnight bows 24 Exposures in select theaters and VOD on January 24. Check it out:
After a buzzy festival run and Toronto pick-up by The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, Ti West‘s Jonestown-esque thriller The Sacrament has been set for a June 6, 2014 theatrical release. Before then it will hit VOD on May 1, 2014. AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley, and Kate Lyn Sheil star in the film which tracks a VICE documentary crew’s visit to a seemingly idyllic agrarian commune with a photographer who hopes to reconnect with his sister. The Sacrament first premiered at Venice. West wrote, directed, and edited the film which is produced by Eli Roth, Jacob Jaffke, Peter Phok, and Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners. His recent films include House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and horror anthologies V/H/S, The ABCs Of Death, all Magnet releases.
Related: Venice: Ti West Gets Real With ‘The Sacrament’; Traditional Western May Follow
Factory 25 has acquired U.S. rights to Joe Swanberg‘s All the Light in the Sky, the director’s follow-up to this year’s indie hit Drinking Buddies. Hung‘s Jane Adams co-wrote the pic with Swanberg and stars as Marie, an actress living in Malibu for whom roles are getting scarce due to her age. When her niece Faye (Green‘s Sophia Takal) arrives for the weekend, Marie’s emotional insecurities escalate and she must confront her fears and complicated relationships, and figure out how to navigate mid-life in Hollywood. As with his previous films, Swanberg tapped frequent collaborators and indie filmmakers for his cast including Kent Osborne (Uncle Kent), Allison Baar (Bad Fever), Simon Barrett (V/H/S), Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), Lawrence Michael Levine (Green), Susan Traylor (Greenberg) and Ti West (The Sacrament). It’s also the latest pact between the prolific Swanberg and indie specialists Factory 25, who released his Silver Bullets and Art History and put out a box set of his collected work in 2011. All the Light in the Sky will debut on cable VOD, iTunes, and other digital outlets on December 3 followed by a December 20 theatrical release in NYC and additional roll-out. Adams is currently filming MGM’s Poltergeist.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight has picked up a high-concept feature comedy pitch that will be written and directed Joe Swanberg, who is coming off Drinking Buddies. Shawn Levy will produce through his 21 Laps banner with Alicia Van Couvering and 21 Laps executives Billy Rosenberg and Dan Cohen. They are keeping the logline under wraps, but it’s described to me as a thematic continuation of Swanberg’s films that tackle the complex romantic relationships between people struggling with commitment. Levy just produced The Spectacular Now, the James Ponsoldt-directed arthouse hit that premiered last Sundance. CAA reps Swanberg.
Director Joe Swanberg brought his most accessible film yet to SXSW this year, with name actors Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston starring in the relationship comedy about a pair of Chicago craft brewery co-workers whose platonic friendship veers toward flirtation. Magnolia Pictures has taken notice, acquiring North American distribution rights today. Drinking Buddies has a more traditional look than Swanberg’s previous mumblecore releases, with Beasts Of The Southern Wild DP Ben Richardson doing the lensing. The pic was entirely improvised as the cast worked from Swanberg’s outline. Here’s today’s release announcing the deal, which will see the pic hit theaters sometime this year:
New York, NY (March 19, 2013) – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American distribution rights to writer-director Joe Swanberg’s DRINKING BUDDIES, starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. Produced by Dark Arts’ Alicia Van Couvering and Andrea Roa; Burn Later’s Paul M. Bernon and Sam Slater; and Swanberg, the film premiered this month at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The film was executive produced by Mike Witherill, Ashley Bernon, Jessica Klapman, David Kaplan, Anish Savjani, and Wilde. Magnolia Pictures is planning a theatrical release for later this year.
Read More »
Back at SXSW to premiere his 14th feature, Drinking Buddies writer-director Joe Swanberg brought something new to the festival: A movie with name stars, a polished look, and mainstream sales potential. The relationship comedy stars Tron: Legacy‘s Olivia Wilde and New Girl‘s Jake Johnson as a pair of Chicagoan craft brewery co-workers whose platonic friendship veers toward flirtation. Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick co-star as their respective significant others in the pic which marks Swanberg’s first modestly-budgeted (vs. micro-budgeted) feature.
Drinking Buddies has a more traditional look than Swanberg’s previous mumblecore releases thanks to Beasts Of The Southern Wild DP Ben Richardson. It was entirely improvised as the cast worked from Swanberg’s outline. “Putting dialogue in somebody else’s mouth has always seemed strange to me. The writing process shifted to the editing, so that’s when the script gets written”, Swanberg explained after Saturday’s premiere. Read More »