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Oscars: Mandela Family Coming To The Academy Awards For U2 Performance

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 6:21pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: The Mandelas will be coming to the Oscars.

mandela-long-walkThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have invited Nelson and Winnie Mandela‘s daughters Zindzi and Zenani to attend the Oscars where U2 will be performing the Academy  Award-nominated song, “Ordinary Love” from the film  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Bono and U2 were personal friends of their father, and have been working in the Anti-Apartheid movement through their music since the late 1970s when the girls were only in their teens. In a statement the girls said, “This is especially meaningful to us because of how much our father loved watching movies. This song was inspired by the beautiful letters that my father and mother exchanged while he was imprisoned at Robben Island.”

In addition to the U2 performance the Academy has previously announced all the other nominated songs will also be performed live (by Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Idina Menzel) along with musical performances from Bette Midler and Pink. The Oscars will be held on Sunday March 2nd and aired live on ABC.

mandelaMeanwhile, the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards held tonight in Pasadena added a surprise tribute to the late South African leader with Oprah Winfrey leading the honors. Mandela star Idris Elba is set to join Winfrey in the tribute which will also … Read More »

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OSCARS: U2 Set To Perform ‘Ordinary Love’ At Academy Awards

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:16pm PST

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press RoomIt’s no great shock, but it’s cool nonetheless. Bono and the boys will perform their Oscar-nominated song “Ordinary Love” at the Academy Awards on March 2. U2 recorded the song for the biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and it’s a very personal one: The band, and particularly Bono, had a long friendship with Nelson Mandela — who died December 5 — and their work in the anti-apartheid movement goes back to their beginnings as a band in the 1970s. This is U2′s second Oscar nomination; the Irish band was up for Best Original Song for “The Hands That Built America,” from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, but lost to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” from 8 Mile. But “Ordinary Love” did snag a Golden Globe last month. Here’s the Academy’s release:

Related: OSCARS: U2 Writes One From The Heart For Nelson Mandela; Interview With Bono And The Edge
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Matt Lauer To Host ‘Going For Gold’

NBC announced this morning Matt Lauer will host GoingMattLauer__130326235800-e1364342305297-200x272 For Gold — and yet,  it’s not a Sochi Olympics walk-up. It’s a celebrity-studded walk-up to the network’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards, is an NBC News production, and will air Friday at 8 PM. If it’s Sochi Olympics walk-up you’re looking for, NBC will broadcast Shaun White: Russia Calling on January 25 — an hour-long program examining how the two-time gold medal winner balances work and play while prepping for the Games. It is not produced by NBC News, instead by Shaun White Enterprises, with Shaun White exec producing, and promises, modestly, to be “a rare inside look into the challenges and sacrifices that are made in order to be the best in the world.”

From NBC’s Going For Gold announcement: Read More »

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Oscars: U2 Writes One From The Heart For Nelson Mandela; Interview With Bono And The Edge

Pete Hammond

Although there was plenty of star wattage at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival Saturday nightCN8A9095 there was even more electricity than usual because some genuine rock royalty was in attendance. U2′s Bono and The Edge were on hand to accept the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, which acknowledged their major humanitarian work as well as their iconic musical contributions to the world.  The award was well-timed as, like the rest of the honorees, they also have a song that is making waves this awards season. And it’s a very personal one. The band, and particularly Bono, had a long friendship with Nelson Mandela — who died December 5 — and their work in the anti-apartheid movement goes back to their beginnings as a band in the 1970s. And now they have written a song, “Ordinary Love”  for the film of his life story, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. The Weinstein Company is hoping it will get the Oscar recognition that has eluded U2 before. They currently have a Golden Globe nomination for it, their sixth, with one win for 2002′s “The Hands That Built America” from Gangs Of New York. 

Related: Oscar Contenders Hit The Desert As Hollywood’s Awards Season Moves to Palm Springs

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‘August: Osage County’ Leads Awards At Capri, Hollywood Film Festival

Meryl_Streep_August_Osage_County.png.CROP.rectangle3-largeAhead of today’s WGA Award nom for its adapted screenplay, August: Osage County picked up Best Film of the Year and two other awards at the Italian event. The 18th annual Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival also honored the Weinstein Co pic’s Meryl Streep as Best Actress and gave its cast the Acting Ensemble of the Year nod. “I am thrilled by this news,” Streep said in a statement. capri-hollywood-logo“We all are very proud of this edgy and dark film and are grateful for the recognition and the honor of this award. … Thank you, mille grazie.” Osage co-star Chris Cooper also received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom won three Capri, Hollywood awards, including Best Actor for Idris Elba, and American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave each picked up two.

Related: Meryl Streep, Margo Martindale & Abigail Breslin Talk ‘August: Osage County’: Video

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Harvey Weinstein, Idris Elba, Naomie Harris Honored At Capri Film Festival

By | Tuesday December 31, 2013 @ 7:00am PST

mandelaHarvey Weinstein got a surprise at the 18th Capri-Hollywood Film Festival in Capri, Italy. Weinstein was presented with an unexpected award during a ceremony that followed the Monday premiere of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom which he exec produced. Dubbed “Mr. Oscar” by festival founder and director Pascal Vicedomini, Weinstein was brought up onstage to accept the prize. A reportedly stunned Weinstein told the crowd: “What Pascal doesn’t realize is that I’m not actually Jewish, I’m Sicilian. And I have some friends who are going to visit him in the middle of the night to repay him for calling me up on stage tonight.” Idris Elba and Naomie Harris were awarded Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress prizes during the ceremony for their work in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Their awards were previously announced.

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OWN Licenses Weinstein Co’s ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’

By | Monday December 30, 2013 @ 11:32am PST

mandela5Oprah Winfrey Network has secured the network television rights to Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom from The Weinstein Company, the network announced this morning.

OWN has licensed the first broadcast window, behind pay TV, starting in 2017. The movie, based on the 1995 book Long Walk To Freedom, and former South African President Nelson Mandela, chronicles Mandela’s early life, coming of age, education and 27 years spent in prison before becoming President, and rebuilding the country’s once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus, Luther) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.

OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey’s Harpo company and Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery Communications, also recently licensed the first broadcast window behind pay TV, also beginning in 2017, on The Weinstein Company’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler, in which Oprah was among the cast –  her first movie role in 15 years. OWN president Erik Logan, in the announcement, said Mandela “was Oprah’s hero” and the inspiration behind her school in South Africa.

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Palm Springs Film Fest To Honor U2

By | Monday December 30, 2013 @ 6:00am PST

U2The band U2 will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival next month, where previously announced fellow honorees include Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Steve McQueen, Thomas Newman, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and the cast of American Hustle. The Sonny Bono honors typically go to directors, but this year will be presented to the rock musicians for their “humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice”. U2 (AKA Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.) contributes the song “Ordinary Love” to The Weinstein Co.’s 2014 Oscar contender Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which has already notched a Golden Globes nomination for Best Original Song. U2 was previously Oscar-nominated for the song “The Hands That Built America,” written for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

Related: Was Rushing ‘Mandela’ To Make Toronto A Misstep? (Video)

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Llewyn Davis’ OK As Newcomers Take A Pre-Holiday Hike

Specialty Box Office - Inside Llewyn Davis, Mandela, PhilomenaThe weekend had no new specialty anchors and the few niche films that did open, including Phase 4′s The Crash Reel, Magnolia’s Here Comes The Devil and Janus’ Liv & Ingmar, didn’t bother to report numbers Sunday morning. So cheers to Hobbits and Hustlers this holiday season because the new indies passed out. Inside Llewyn Davis was by far last weekend’s big story and by default receives this weekend’s focus. It opened with the year’s 2nd highest PSA at $100,500 in 4 theaters and perhaps not so shockingly finished its second weekend with less celestial figures. The Golden Globes nominee added 11 theaters, grossing a reported $344K in 15 runs for a $22,931 average, bringing its 10 day cume to $897,504.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘The Hobbit’ Lighter But Strong, ‘Frozen’ Steals ‘Madea’s Christmas’ As ‘American Hustle’ Kicks It On Six Screens

Inside Llewyn Davis Delivering the numbers Sunday morning, CBS Films noted: “To be clear, the film had one of the highest limited openings of all time last weekend so a drop was expected. A $20K+ PSA (15 locations) in week two, against significant competition on both the limited and wide release front.” CBS said it felt good about the numbers and expect the film to continue to play well as it expands. Llewyn grossed just under $97K Friday, jumping 45% to almost $141K Saturday. It will head into wider release in January.

The week was jam packed with news leading up to South African icon Nelson Mandela’s funeral. The Weinstein Company bowed Toronto, Mill Valley, Hamptons and AFI Fest Golden Globe feature Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom three weeks ago in a platform release and it has stuck to that strategy. Read More »

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Nelson Mandela’s Death: Hollywood Reacts

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Hollywood is mourning the loss today of former Southnelson-mandela__130608192219-200x222 Africa President Nelson Mandela. Here are some of the thoughts on his passing:

idris elba mandelaIdris Elba, portrayed Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom:
“I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba’s family. We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth; I only feel honored to be associated with him. He is in a better place now. What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Related: Mandela Death Brings News Schedule Changes

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, U.S. distributor of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom:
“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy. It’s been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history’s greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”

MorganFreemanMorgan Freeman, portrayed Mandela in Invictus:
“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve—a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”
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R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

By | Thursday December 5, 2013 @ 1:45pm PST

Nelson Mandela DeadFormer South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who fought to end apartheid, served from 1994-99 as the first black president elected to office in his country and became a global popular hero, died today. He was 95. Mandela was hospitalized June 8 for a lung infection following a history of recurring health issues, and his family began gathering at his Johannesburg home earlier today. South Africa President Jacob Zuma made the announcement just now in a national address.

The passing comes as the Weinstein Co’s biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is having its UK premiere, with members of the royal family in attendance. The news broke during the premiere screening and was announced to the guests after the credits had rolled when a two minutes’ silence was held.

Related: Mandela Death Brings News Schedule Changes

Jailed in 1962, Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner in his own country before his 1990 release and subsequently led the charge to end apartheid with the African National Congress. His fight made him an international symbol for peace and progress, earning him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Less than five months after his release from prison, Mandela embarked on a grueling, eight-city tour of the U.S., which included an address before Congress and a speech on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. The visit helped cement his hero status, and he became a pop … Read More »

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‘Mandela’s’ Long Walk To Oscar Race: With Renewed Heat And A+ CinemaScore Now Was Rushing It To Make Toronto Fest A Misstep? (Video)

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: When Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom had its World Premiere in early September at the mandela-movie-posterToronto International Film Festival, the critical reaction and audience buzz wasn’t exactly all what distributor The Weinstein Company was hoping for. The epic film, which chronicles the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, was overshadowed by many other films including August: Osage County and Philomena from Weinstein itself. What was hoped to be a significant launch that would ignite Oscar talk instead left the prestige film back in the pack, a rare awards-season misstep for the Oscar-savvy company. For director Justin Chadwick it was a clear disappointment, and the Weinsteins now are second-guessing that decision to rush the film, essentially still a rough cut, into a high-profile Toronto slot before it was ready. Now that it is finished and won top notices last weekend from both the Los Angeles Times and NY Times as well as an A+ CinemaScore from first-night audiences, the director and Weinsteins are hoping to turn around the initial impressions out of Toronto (overall, it has a 58% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes).

‘Mandela’ Breaks South Africa Box Office Record
Hot Trailer: ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’

This all underscores the fact that while festivals can be enormously important, they can also be full of landmines as the opening-night Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 17 – The China Box Office Power Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 17Listen to (and share) episode 17 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione.

Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about whether China’s boffo box office can sustain its remarkable growth rates of recent years; a potentially important Sino-British trade accord on film and TV production and what that might mean for U.S. film and TV production; the very warm welcome in South Africa for epic biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom;  and whether a U.S. legal settlement for singer Cheryl Cole might pave the way for her return as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor or even on ITV’s newest music competition, Rising Star.

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 17 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch podcast 17 (.M4A version) Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Mandela,’ ‘Philomena’ Holiday Pushes Pay Off For TWC; Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Bombs (UPDATED)

By Deadline’s Brian Brooks and Jen Yamato.

Specialty Box Office Mandela OldboyThanksgiving weekend yielded a box office bounty for The Weinstein Co. and a turkey for FilmDistrict and Spike Lee in a holiday weekend with slim competition from indie comers. TWC made a pair of bold moves, opening awards hopeful Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom on 4 screens to a strong $100,306 take averaging $25,076 per screen; the drama starring Idris Elba as South African president Nelson Mandela built up word of mouth on the fest circuit at Toronto, Mill Valley, The Hamptons, Chicago, and AFI Fest. TWC also seized the chance to bump last week’s Judi Dench-starrer Philomena from 4 theaters to 835 theaters and the pic subsequently broke into the Top 10 with a $4,538 average and a $3.789M weekend. Dench stars alongside Steve Coogan in the true story of a woman searching for the son she gave up for adoption decades earlier, Spike Lee Oldboy Bomba heartwarming family tale that was primed for holiday viewing. Alas, Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t quite so kind to FilmDistrict’s Oldboy which in its own bloody way is also about the ties that bind. Spike Lee‘s remake of the brutally violent Korean thriller from Park Chan-Wook, stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharlto Copley in a vengeance saga with extreme twists and turns not for the faint of heart. It took in a paltry $850K on the weekend, averaging $1,458 in 583 theaters.

In other openers this weekend, IFC Films’ doc The Punk Singer bowed to a $24K gross in three locations from Friday to Sunday. The company noted that the doc “sold out multiple shows in New York and LA for its debut. The documentary on punk singer icon Kathleen Hanna will roll out to the top 10 markets in December. And Vitagraph opened Caught In The Web in one location. It was a slow start with a $330 gross.

IFC Films added three additional theaters for Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? in its second frame, grossing just under $20K for a $3,390 PSA. The feature averaged $10,620 in its opening last weekend in a trio of locations. Read More »

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‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ Breaks South Africa Box Office Record

By | Friday November 29, 2013 @ 10:05am PST

mandela-movie-posterJust ahead of its U.S. bow today, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has set a record in South Africa where it opened on Thursday — and where moviegoers reportedly took the day off work to attend screenings in cities and in the countryside. The Videovision Entertainment release (through United International Pictures) was No. 1 at the box office with 751,000 rands ($73,747) for a per-screen average of 8,620 rands ($858). That’s about 23,000 admissions and is a record for a non-holiday Thursday according to Videovision. Starring Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom chronicles Nelson Mandela’s journey from his childhood in rural South Africa to his inauguration as the country’s first democratically elected president. The Weinstein Co releases the film today in New York and Los Angeles.

Related: Thanksgiving Box Office: ‘Catching Fire,’ ‘Frozen’

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’, ‘Oldboy’, ‘The Punk Singer’

By | Wednesday November 27, 2013 @ 8:11pm PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)There’s a parade in New York that might get weathered out. Disney’s Frozen is icing up across the country and even TWC’s Philomena is nearly wide. Good, here are some alternatives. TWC likely has this weekend’s obvious choice among the Specialties with film festival favorite Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. By the way, this won’t be the last film-going aficionados will see of the South African icon. South African filmmaker Khalo Matabane’s A Letter To Nelson Mandela debuted at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), the world’s biggest doc fest. Just saying — no doubt there will be a lot said about one of the biggest historical figures in recent decades. Also this weekend, FilmDistrict is launching Oldboy, the American remake courtesy of Spike Lee. Originally made in movie form by Korean director Park Chan-wook (2003) this Oldboy stars a good plethora of starrage from Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and more. On the doc front, IFC Films will open a SXSW premiere, The Punk Singer in limited release theatrically in NYC and LA (along with that ever elusive VOD/digital). The distributor says it expects it to do well across all platforms.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedommandela
Director: Justin Chadwick
Writer: William Nicholson
Cast: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Terry Pheto, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Simo Mogwaza
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

South Africa’s maverick anti-Apartheid leader turned President Nelson Mandela has been the focus of worldwide reverence for years and it has more recently gone into full throttle as the now 95 year-old leader’s health deteriorates. Based on the 1994 autobiography of the same name, the Toronto/Mill Valley/Hamptons/Chicago/AFI Fest (and more) bio-drama Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom chronicles the near saintly figure’s journey from his childhood in rural South Africa, activism and long imprisonment on Robben Island through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Read More »

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Weinstein Co. Partners With Fandango On Free Movie Tickets For SAG Award Voters

By | Wednesday November 27, 2013 @ 9:54am PST

fandangoThis is not a new practice for studios to offer free tickets to eligible voters in an effort to get their awards-season movies seen on the big screen — Warner Bros has done this in the past too. It also cuts down on the number of screeners to send around, in this case to more than 100,000 eligible SAG-AFTRA voters. But this is the first such deal with the Weinstein Co. and Fandango. idris-elba-mandela__131010180215-200x112__131104203725The studio will offer a pair tickets to any of the company’s films that receive 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and are still in theaters — that will include hopefuls like Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Philomena. In the initiative announced today, voters will be able to access the offer through a Fandango Rewards webpage that goes live after the noms are announced December 11. The SAG Awards are January 18.

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Hillary Clinton To Co-Host ‘Mandela’ Screening With Colin Powell & John McCain

Once again, Nelson Mandela is breaking down barriers. This time it is American political barriers for the upcoming Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom. The Weinstein Company said today that former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell as well as 2008 GOP Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain will co-host a special screening of the Justin Chadwick-directed film at the Kennedy Center. It will take place in DC on November 20 with Weinstein Co co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, Chadwick and co-star Naomie Harris set to attend. This latest Mandela screening in DC comes the same day college students will be able to see the film for free in Georgetown as part of an 8-city tour the Weinsteins and Coke-Cola are offering across the country. It also comes just over two weeks after a special screening of the film was held at the White House with star Idris Elba among those in attendance with President Obama and longtime supporter Weinstein. Read More »

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Weinstein & Coca-Cola Team Up For Free ‘Mandela’ College Screenings

By | Wednesday November 13, 2013 @ 1:07pm PST

Nelson Mandela is touring America. In conjunction with Coca-Cola, the Weinstein Company will be offering free screenings of its biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom to college students. The eight-city tour starts tonight in NYC with a 6 PM screening at AMC Lincoln Square for Columbia and Fordham students. Harvey Weinstein will introduce a Q&A session with leads Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Mandela, and director Justin Chadwick. Student screenings also will be held at UCLA on November 18 and Georgetown in DC on November 20. Dates will be announced later for schools in Seattle, Houston, New Orleans, Boston and Atlanta. “I’m thrilled that Coca-Cola is going to enable thousands of college students to see Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and learn about the life story of Nelson Mandela,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement. “They are helping a new generation of leaders be inspired by our greatest.” The Anant Singh-produced pic opens November 29 in LA and NYC and goes wide on Christmas Day.

Related: Obama Hosting White House Screening Of ‘Mandela’ ‘Mandela’ Sets Royal Screening To Benefit UK Charity Toronto: ‘Mandela’ Debuts To Standing Ovation

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