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Magnolia Bringing Un Certain Regard Jury Prize Winner ‘Force Majeure’ To U.S.

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT

thumbThe film premiered on the Croisette this month, winning the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Magnolia Pictures has grabbed U.S. rights to Ruben Östlund’s tragicomedy Force Majuere (Turist), which follows a Swedish family’s Alpine ski vacation that goes very wrong. MagnoliaPicturesWhen news of a looming avalanche sends people fleeing, the mother shields her children — but Dad grabs his phone and makes a run for it. When snow settles, a marriage hangs in the balance. The deal was negotiated for Magnolia’s John Von Thaden Dori Begley closed the domestic deal with Olimpia Pont Cháfer of Coproduction Office. No release plans were announced.

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Hot Trailer: Roger Ebert Docu ‘Life Itself’

By | Wednesday May 21, 2014 @ 7:43pm PDT

Life Itself Roger Ebert documentaryHis career is pretty much summed up in this trailer’s first words: “Roger Ebert was the definitive mainstream film critic in American cinema.” Life Itself is the new documentary about the Pulitzer winner’s career as a lover, defender and eviscerator of movies. The pic follows his career from scripting Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls and writing for the Chicago Sun-Times through his perfectly mismatched pairing with Gene Siskel and the illness he braved until the end. Oscar-nominated Hoop Dreams documentarian Steve James gets some boldfaced names to talk about Ebert, including Martin Scorsese, who gives the critic two thumbs up: “He made it possible for a bigger audience, a wider audience, to appreciate cinema as an art form.” Magnolia Pictures, which acquired the film after its Sundance premiere, will open it day-and-date on the Fourth of July in theaters and on VOD and iTunes. It later will air on CNN. The curtain’s up, so check out the coming attraction:

Related: Sundance: Roger Ebert Docu Debut Draws Cheers & Tears

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Magnolia Acquires ‘Life Partners’ Starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 4:27pm PDT

magnoliaLogo (1)Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Susanna Fogel’s Life Partners, which world premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival. Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Adam Brody (Some Girl(s), The O.C.) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, American Horror Story: Coven) star in the comedy directed by Fogel and co-written by Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz. It tells the story of co-dependent best friends, straight Paige (Jacobs) and lesbian Sasha (Meester), who have spent the past 10 years acting more like wives than friends. Things take a turn when Paige meets Tim (Brody). As their relationship grows, the bond between Paige and Sasha inevitably shifts and eventually they must confront the question: Can their friendship survive growing up? Pic is produced by Red Crown Productions and Haven Entertainment.

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Magnolia Takes North American Rights To Shailene Woodley-Starrer ‘White Bird In A Blizzard’

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 11:40am PDT

magnoliaLogoMagnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to White Bird In A Blizzard, from writer/director Gregg Araki, based on the novel by Laura Kasischke. Shailene Woodley stars as a college-bound teenager who is just discovering her sexuality when her mother disappears. As time passes, Woodley’s character comes to grips with how deeply her mother’s disappearance has affected her. She eventually finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it. Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane and Angela Bassett also star. Magnolia is eyeing a release for later this year. Pic was produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Sebastien K. Lemercier, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Pavlina Hatoupis and Gregg Araki. Film is a co-production of Why Not Productions, Desperate Pictures, Orange Studio and Wild Bunch. Read More »

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Sundance: Magnolia Acquires Roger Ebert Documentary ‘Life Itself’

Mike Fleming

ebeMagnolia Pictures acquired the Sundance documentary Life Itself, which covered the life of beloved film critic Roger Ebert. Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame directed the picture, which is being eyed for summer release followed by a broadcast on CNN.

Related: Sundance: Roger Ebert Docu Debut Draws Cheers & Tears

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Sundance: Paramount & Magnolia Team For ‘Happy Christmas’

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608The 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 13913-1film 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 »

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Lars Von Trier’s Racy ‘Nymphomaniac’ Gets Two-Part Release From Magnolia: Video

By | Thursday December 5, 2013 @ 8:25am PST
Mike Fleming

nympAfter much foreplay in the form of increasingly graphic trailers that to me skate the edges of pornography, the release plan for Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac has come together. Magnolia Pictures has announced that von Trier has cut his work into two films. The first, Nymphomaniac: Part One, will open in theaters March 21 after premiering on-demand March 6. This will climax in the April 18 release of the second film, which first will be on-demand April 3.

Von Trier is no stranger to controversy, as witnessed by the dopey comments he made promoting Melancholia which resulted in getting banned from the Cannes Film Festival, but the subject matter of this film should sell itself. In fact, he has vowed to do no press as both films premiere in Denmark on Christmas Day. Despite that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Magnolia has itself a multi-platform juggernaut that could be reminiscent of Last Tango In Paris, a squarely adult art film with something for everyone. That includes the voyeur crowd, as Magnolia boasts it has an unprecedented amount of explicit sex. The films haven’t yet been rated, but getting an R would probably work against the multi-platform release pattern of this pic.

The first film tells the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is badly beaten and left in an alley. She’s helped by an older bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), who takes her into his home. … Read More »

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Magnolia Pictures To Release James McAvoy Black Comedy ‘Filth’ In North America

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 11:13am PST
Mike Fleming

Magnolia Pictures acquired North American rights to Filth, the adaptation of Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s equally unsettling and rude black comedy that stars James McAvoy as a copper looking for a promotion and willing to go to any lengths to get it. The film is the second highest grossing R-rated film in the UK this year, and it also stars Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Eddie Marsan, Shirley Henderson, and Jim Broadbent. Jon S. Baird wrote the script and directed it and produces through his Logie Pictures banner with Ken Marshall for Steel Mill Pictures, Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray for Maven Pictures, McAvoy, Christian Angermayer and Jens Meurer for Film House Germany, Mark Amin and Will Clarke.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia Director of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with CAA and UTA on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical release in the spring of 2014.

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Magnolia Acquires Border Drama ‘Frontera’ At Baja Int’l Film Fest

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 3:39pm PST

Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. and Canada rights to Frontera, starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña. The drama directed by Michael Berry from his script with Luis Moulinet III follows Miguel (Peña), a hardworking father and devoted husband who crosses the border illegally and is wrongfully accused of murdering the wife of a former sheriff (Harris). Miguel’s pregnant wife (Longoria) lands in the hands of corrupt coyotes as she tries to help her husband, while the ex-lawman investigates his wife’s death and unearths evidence that could destroy one family’s future. Magnolia is plotting a 2014 theatrical release. Ocean Blue Entertainment produced the pic, with Eric Austin Williams exec producing. The deal went down in Los Cabos, Mexico, during the second annual Baja International Film Festival, marking the neophyte but swanky fest’s first major U.S. film sale. Magnolia’s John Von Thaden inked the deal with CAA repping the filmmakers. Myriad Pictures is handling international sales.

Related: Dakota Fanning To Star In Gerardo Naranjo Pic

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Magnolia Acquires Toronto Pic ‘The Double’

By | Tuesday October 15, 2013 @ 10:45am PDT

Richard Ayoade directed and co-wrote with Avi Korine The Double, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska in an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s doppelganger tale that played at last month’s Toronto Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures has picked up U.S. rights and plans a theatrical release in 2014. Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid, isolated man who’s overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams (Wasikowska). The arrival of a new co-worker, James (also played by Eisenberg), serves to upset the balance. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia director of acquisitions John Von Thaden, with WME Global and Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

Related: Hot Toronto Trailer: ‘The Double’

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TORONTO: Magnolia Confirms ‘The Sacrament’ Deal For Genre Label Magnet

Mike Fleming Jr broke this news from Toronto last week that Magnolia was finalizing a seven-figure deal for Ti West’s contemporary found-footage thriller that played in the Vanguard sidebar. Now Magnolia says the pic will go out through its genre distribution label Magnet Releasing sometime in 2014. The release: Read More »

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Toronto: Magnolia Acquires Lukas Moodysson’s Punk Rock Pic ‘We Are The Best!’

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 9:35am PDT

New York (September 18, 2013) – US distributor Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights for Lukas Moodysson’s WE ARE THE BEST! from TrustNordisk, sales agent on behalf of producer Memfis Film. The deal was negotiated between Susan Wendt , Head of Sales at TrustNordisk and Peter Van Steemburg, Director of Acquisitions at Magnolia Pictures.

Read More »

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Toronto: Magnolia Nears Deal For Ti West’s ‘The Sacrament’

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 3:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ti West wrote and directed The Sacrament, the contemporary found-footage thriller that world premiered at Venice before showing at Toronto over the weekend in the fest’s Vanguard section. Magnolia Pictures, which lost on an earlier bidding war here for Joe, is finalizing a deal for the pic reported to be for seven figures. CAA and UTA are co-repping the sale. The latest film from indie director West, whose credits include The House Of the Devil and The Innkeepers, is “presented by” Eli Roth who serves as a producer. It sends frequent collaborators AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg and Kentucker Audley on a harrowing journey into madness and messianic bloodshed that tweaks the horror genre. Patrick (Audley) is a fashion photographer. When his colleagues Sam (Bowen) and Jake (Swanberg), correspondents for Vice magazine, catch wind of a letter he received from his estranged sister Caroline (Seimetz), they decide her story would be a great subject for a documentary — she’s living in a “sober” commune at an unnamed location outside the U.S. While Patrick reunites with his sister, Sam and Jake investigate why members of the isolated community have followed a mysterious leader they call Father off American soil (think Jim Jones). Understandably skeptical at first, the guys slowly come around to the group’s utopian claims.

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Magnolia Acquires Steve Coogan Comedy ‘Alan Partridge’

By | Tuesday August 20, 2013 @ 9:51am PDT

Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures has picked up the UK comedy Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan in the long-running character he created over two decades ago. The Baby Cow/Studiocanal production directed by Declan Lowney is the character’s first feature film foray after numerous appearances in radio and TV. The film finds Partridge, a spoof of British sports reporters and presenters, at the center of a hostage situation when a disgruntled fellow DJ (Colm Meaney) loses his job and takes over their radio station. Pic was released in the UK earlier this month and will get a stateside premiere next month at the New York Film Festival. Magnolia is aiming for an early 2014 release. Alan Partridge is written by Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons, Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham. Kevin Loader and Henry Normal are producers, with Rob and Neil Gibbons, Iannucci, Danny Perkins, Joe Oppenheimer and Christine Langan executive producers. Magnolia SVP Acquisitions Dori Begley and Director of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg negotiated the deal with Studiocanal on behalf of the filmmakers.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Alan Partridge’

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Hot UK Trailer: ‘How I Live Now’

Soairse Ronan stars in Last King Of Scotland helmer Kevin Macdonald‘s How I Live Now. She plays Daisy, an American teenager who’s sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside. But romance and an idyllic summer are interrupted by an escalating conflict in Europe. George MacKay and Tom Holland also star in the film that’s based on Meg Rosoff’s novel. Magnolia Pictures will release Stateside in the fall; eOne is releasing in the UK on October 4.

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Magnolia Acquires Kevin Macdonald-Helmed ‘How I Live Now’ For Fall Release

By | Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 11:05am PDT

New York (July 25, 2013) – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired US rights to HOW I LIVE NOW, the new film from Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Marley) starring Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Atonement), based on the award winning novel by Meg Rosoff. The film was produced by Charles Steel, Alasdair Flind, Andrew Ruhemann and John Battsek. Set in the near-future UK, Ronan plays Daisy, an American teenager sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside. Initially withdrawn and alienated, she begins to warm up to her charming surroundings, and strikes up a romance with the handsome Edmund (George MacKay). But on the fringes of their idyllic summer days are tense news reports of an escalating conflict in Europe. As the UK falls into a violent, chaotic military state, Daisy finds herself hiding and fighting to survive.

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Hot Clip: Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’

In what’s being referred to as an “appetizer”, here is the first clip from Danish bad boy Lars von Trier‘s sex-o-rama Nymphomaniac. The film is broken into eight chapters and the teaser below is from Chapter One: The Compleat Angler. Stacy Martin plays Young Joe, an inexperienced girl who’s learning lessons in seduction from B, her more worldly friend played by Sophie Kennedy Clark. The ensemble cast includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Stellan Skarsgård, Christian Slater and Connie Nielsen. It’s getting a Christmas Day release in Denmark; Magnolia hasn’t dated it yet for the U.S.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Prince Avalanche’

David Gordon Green won the Silver Bear for best director at Berlin for this remake of the Icelandic comedy Either Way. Now the first trailer is out for Prince Avalanche, the character study about a guy (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother (Emile Hirsch) who form an unlikely friendship after they  decide to spend the summer of 1988 painting traffic lines on a very rural highway. Lance LeGault also stars in the film produced by Lisa Muskat, Derrick Tseng, Craig Zobel, James Belfer and Green, who also wrote the script. Magnolia Pictures — which picked up Prince Avalanche after its Sundance premiere in January — opens the R-rated pic in theaters August 9, day-and-date with its iTunes debut:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Drinking Buddies’

By | Thursday June 20, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT

Two couples. Multiple attractions. Plenty of beer. What could go possibly wrong? The relationship comedy Drinking Buddies follows a pair of Chicago craft brewery co-workers (Jake Johnson and Olivia Wilde) whose best-friends status veers toward flirtation as another pair (Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston) complicates things. Writer-director Joe Swanberg’s film will be available July 25 on iTunes, followed by an August 23 theatrical release via Magnolia Pictures, which acquired the pic after its SXSW bow in March. Watch the trailer here:

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