EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to psychological thriller Dead Within from director Ben Wagner, his 3:41am shingle and Aengus James and Colin King Miller’s This Is Just a Test Productions. Pic follows a man and a woman who survive a deadly outbreak by isolating themselves in a cabin. When they run out of resources and are forced to open the door, they must confront the horrors that threaten them from outside and from within. Talk about method filmmaking: Stars Amy Cale Peterson (Wagner’s Southbounders) and Dean Chekvala (True Blood, People Like Us) were locked in a cabin throughout the production in what was filmed as an “immersive” shoot. Pic was scripted by Wagner and his actors with Matthew Bradford. Millennium is plotting a fall multi-platform release while SC Films will distribute internationally. ICM Partners negotiated the domestic and international deal on behalf of the filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has hired Tristen Tuckfield as an agent in its Film Finance & Sales Group, where she will focus on domestic film sales from the agency’s Century City headquarters. Tuckfield moves from Millennium Entertainment, where she had been VP Acquisitions. There, she’d done a lot of work with CAA in numerous film projects and has helped spearhead Millennium’s elevation in the quality of projects they make. Tuckfield will essentially be replacing Dina Kuperstock, a key cog in CAA’s Film Finance & Sales Group domestic sales operation. She has left the industry and returned to school to focus on social work and philanthropic pursuits.
At Millennium, Tuckfield built a theatrical and direct-to-video slate that included such films as Charlie Countryman, The Paperboy, What Maisie Knew, The Iceman, Stuck In Love and Fading Gigolo. Before Millennium, she managed acquisitions and development at Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Cannes: Millennium Entertainment Lands Michael Radford’s ‘Elsa & Fred’ With Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer
Millennium Entertainment closed a U.S. rights deal on the Michael Radford-directed Elsa & Fred, starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. Radford wrote it with Anna Pavigano, and Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth, Jared Gilman and Scott Bakula also star. Matthias Ehrenberg, Nicolas Veinberg, Jose Levy, Ricardo Kleinbaum from Cuatro Plus Films and Edward Saxon produce. Pic is a remake of the 2005 Spanish/Argentinian film the story of two people in the twilight of their lives who discover that it’s never too late to find love and make their dreams come true. After losing his wife, straight-laced Fred (Plummer) is forced by his daughter (Harden) to move into a small apartment where he meets Elsa. From that moment on, everything changes.
EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of its screening at the Marché du Film at Cannes, the pic about three couples dealing with the same reality-shaking event has found a domestic distributor. Millennium Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to Parts Per Billion, starring Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Teresa Palmer, Penn Badgley, Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands as the three couples forced to make life-defining decisions in the face of a biological catastrophe that threatens to destroy the human race. As the pandemic spreads and civilization is thrown into chaos, generations old and young must each make the ultimate decision. Brian Horiuchi wrote and directed the sci-fi drama, which was produced by Molly Hassell, Jennifer Levine and Michael Benaroya. No release date has been set. LA-based XYZ Films handled the Millennium deal and also is doing international sales for the movie, which screened at Hong Kong Filmart last month.
It is the first film Weiner directed since What Do You Do All Day, the 1996 helming debut Weiner made before he developed his edgy voice on The Sopranos and then Mad Men, the celebrated AMC drama which begins its final season Sunday. The film stars Owen Wilson as bored TV weatherman Steve and Zach Galifianakis as eccentric shut-in Steve. The two childhood best friends embark on a road trip back to their hometown after the latter learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father. There they do battle against Ben’s formidable sister (Amy Poehler) and deal with his father’s 25-year-old widow (Laura Ramsey). No confirmation on the deal, but I’m told reliably it’s happening and that the film will come out later this year. The film is produced by Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Scott Hornbacher, and Weiner.
Pic was packaged and sold by CAA and ICM Partners.
This might be as much attention as the straight-to-video pic ever got. Millennium Entertainment, which distributed The Donner Party starring Crispin Glover, is facing a breach-of-contract suit over the 2009 pic. In a lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), Anacapa Entertainment says Millennium “failed to provide proper accounting to Plaintiff and failed to pay a percentage of profits.” Millennium had picked up rights to the film from First Look Studios in November 2010, the suit says. Anacapa is seeking a jury trial and at least $1 million plus damages, fees, etc. LA attorneys Richard M. Rosenthal and Valentina Kudryavtseva are representing the plaintiff.
EXCLUSIVE: 3D indie action crime thriller Run, starring Chronicles of Narnia actor William Moseley, has been acquired by Millennium Entertainment. The parkour flick follows American teenager Daniel Lombardi (Moseley) who uses his free-running skills to pull off small robberies with his father (Adrian Pasdar) until a new girlfriend (Kelsey Chow) and the promise of going straight encourages him to use his skills for good. Eric Roberts and Boardwalk Empire‘s Edoardo Ballerini co-star as lifelong enemies of Daniel’s dad who start closing in on the duo. As parkour movies go, the art of hurdling urban obstacles exploded with Euro actioners like 2005′s District B13 and filtered into Hollywood blockbusters including Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum – but the trend has slowed down of late. Still, Simone Bartesaghi was so enamored with the discipline and its potential for filming practical stunts that he wrote and directed Run and makes his helming debut with the film, which won Best Screenplay at the Milan International Film Festival and won Best Emerging Director and Best 3D honors at L.A.’s 3D Film Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: I am hearing that Luc Besson‘s EuropaCorp is the lead horse in the quest to acquire Millennium Entertainment, the distribution arm of Avi Lerner‘s Nu Image/Millennium Films empire that was put on the selling block last April. The division, which is run by Bill Lee, retained Los Angeles-based investment bank Salem Partners in April to broker a deal. Lerner owns 60% of the company, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media has a 20% stake and the hedge fund Prentice Capital owns the other 20%. I’m told that there might be one or more other bidders in the mix, but it looks like the deal is EuroCorp’s for the taking and that they are close. Besides a distribution operation, Millennium owns a film library with 665 titles and, according to the company’s release announcing the sale last April, has strong relationships with big three theater chains AMC, Regal and Landmark as well as retails outlets like Walmart, Target, iTunes, and Netflix, and cable systems for its VOD-centric titles. Recent films on the release schedule include What Maisie Knew, the Michael Shannon-starrer The Iceman, the Shia LaBeouf-starrer Charlie Countryman, the James Franco-directed As I Lay Dying and the Woody Allen-starrer Fading Gigolo, directed by John Turturro.
Shia LaBeouf stars as Charlie Countryman, an American who falls for a musician (Evan Rachel Wood) and follows her into a Romanian underworld of violent gangsters where he’s pummeled over and over in his quest to save her. Swedish commercials helmer Fredrik Bond made his debut with the action comedy romance which sold to Millennium after its Sundance premiere. Mads Mikkelsen, Melissa Leo and Rupert Grint co-star. Charlie Countryman hits theaters and VOD November 15. Check out the first trailer:
Millennium Entertainment acquired U.S. rights to Life Of A King from writer-director Jake Goldberger. Cuba Gooding, Jr. stars. Co-written by Goldberger along with David Scott and Dan Wetzel, the film is based on the true story of Eugene Brown (Gooding, Jr.), an ex-con who founded the Big Chair Chess Club for inner city teenagers in Washington, D.C. The film also stars Malcolm Mays, Richard T. Jones, Paula Jai Parker, Carlton Byrd, LisaGay Hamilton, Dennis Haysbert, Kevin Hendricks, Pepi Sonuga, Jordan Calloway and Rachae Thomas. Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly and Animus Films’ Jim Young serve as producers. Steak House, Valerie Stadler, and Mary Vernieu serve as co-producers. The company plans on an early 2014 release. After 18 years of incarceration, Brown (Gooding, Jr.) established the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of.
EXCLUSIVE: The John Turturro-directed Fading Gigolo has sold in a $3 million deal to Millennium Entertainment, I’m hearing. The deal is for U.S. rights, and another source just told me the deal will close between $2 million and $3 million. The film stars Turturro as a man who aspires to be a professional Don Juan in order to raise money to help his friend. Woody Allen plays the pal, and he effectively becomes his pimp. The film premiered Saturday evening at the Isabel Bader Theatre and it also stars Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. QED International and ICM Partners is closing up the deal. I believe that it’s the first time that Woody has played a pimp in a feature film, so this is truly a cinematic first. Jeffrey Kusama-Hunte produced with QED’s Bill Block and Paul Hanson.
The deal will likely be the first of several over the next couple of days. It felt like all the oxygen left the room after the mammoth auctions for the Jason Bateman-directed Bad Words that was acquired by Focus and the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life?, which was acquired by The Weinstein Company after an all-night auction. A bunch of acquisition titles got good reaction, but nobody seems in that much of a hurry to close. Maybe a deal like this will get things moving.
Here is the Fading Gigolo trailer:
Watching movies on opening night from the privacy of your own home just got a little bit bigger as PRIMA Cinema announced today a deal with Millennium Entertainment to offer their film in-house so to speak. So if you have the $35,000 to buy their device that offers rentals of film the day they debut, you’re set. Here’s the release:
Millennium Acquires Shia La Beouf Film ‘The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman;’ Film Preemed In Sundance
EXCLUSIVE: Five months after it premiered at Sundance, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman has sold for U.S. rights and a theatrical release. Millennium Entertainment has paid low seven-figures to release one of the highest profile films in that festival. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger and Aubrey Plaza, and marks the English language feature debut of Swedish commercials director Fredrik Bond. While Charlie Countryman polarized critics at Sundance because of its atmospheric mix of dark humor, violence and love, it has made Bond a director to watch; he was right there in the mix as Disney searched to find a director for Pirates Of The Caribbean 5. LaBeouf plays a young man who goes to Bucharest, meets a mysterious woman on the plane, and falls in love. For his romantic pursuit, he is pummeled mercilessly, again and again, by the vicious gangster who has claimed the young musician. Millennium has been chasing the film since it played Sundance, but it took awhile for the deal to work for Nicolas Chartier, the Voltage Pictures financier who scored the largest Sundance deal with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed comedy Don Jon. This shapes up to be a healthy deal by Sundance standards, and Millennium will start with a platform theatrical release and go from there.
“In his theatrical debut, Fredrik Bond has created a stylish, action-packed ride that hooks you from the first …
Millennium Entertainment, the distribution arm of Avi Lerner‘s Nu Image, is officially for sale, with investment bank Salem Partners brought in to shop a deal. Nu Image holds 60% of the company, while Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media has a 20% stake and hedge fund Prentice Capital has the other 20%. A sale has been in the cards for the past year as Sinclair and East considered buying the part of the company they don’t already own, but a deal did not come to fruition. With the sale now opened to other buyers, Deadline hears there’s been “a lot of activity.” Here’s the official press release:
Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee announced today that Salem Partners, a leading Los Angeles-based investment bank and wealth management firm, has been retained to sell the company.
Millennium Entertainment enjoyed a record year in both revenue and earnings in 2012 propelled by one of 2012’s biggest indie successes, Richard Linklater’s comedy Bernie, which earned Jack Black a Golden Globe nomination.
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon wrote, directed, produced and star in Hell Baby, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and co-stars Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Michael Ian Black. Millennium Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights and said the pic will debut on all VOD platforms in the fall before a theatrical run 30 days later. The story centers on an expectant couple who moves into the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a demonic curse. Things soon spiral out of control and only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team can save them — or can they? Darko Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta, and Principato-Young’s Peter Principato and Paul Young also are producers. John D. Lynch, David Lincoln and Darko’s Edward H. Hamm Jr are executive producers. Darko financed. Millennium VP Acquisitions Tristen Tuckfield brokered the deal with CAA, which negotiated on behalf of Darko and Principato-Young.
Millennium Entertainment has North American rights on What Maisie Knew which debuted in Toronto last September. Scott McGehee and David Siegel direct the film that stars Alexander Skarsgard, Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan and revolves around the 7-year old title character who’s caught in a custody battle between her aging rock star mother and her art dealer father. A spring release is expected. Here’s the new trailer:
The thriller starring Michael Shannon as real-life hitman/family man Richard Kuklinski premiered at Venice last fall and is due for to his U.S. theaters in May via Millennium Entertainment. Ray Liotta, Wynona Ryder, Chris Evans and James Franco co-star along with plenty of ’70s-era mustaches. Kuklinski was a mob killer-for-hire who knocked off more than 100 men before begin caught in 1986, with his family not having the first clue about what he did for a living. The Iceman was written by Morgan Land and Ariel Vromen based on Anthony Bruno’s book. Vromen directed.
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: The Iceman – Official Trailer 2
In a deal that was rumored (and denied) since Cannes, Exclusive Media has acquired a minority stake in Millennium Entertainment. It gives Exclusive a distribution apparatus to go along with its production capabilities. Here’s the release:
Los Angeles, CA (Sept 25, 2012) – Exclusive Media Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East and Millennium Entertainment and Nu Image Founders Avi Lerner and Trevor Short today announced that Exclusive Media has acquired a minority stake in US distribution company Millennium Entertainment.
Under the terms of the deal, Exclusive Releasing, the newly launched US distribution company of Exclusive Media, will have access to Millennium’s home entertainment distribution systems to supplement Exclusive Releasing’s infrastructure.
EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Entertainment is closing a deal for North American rights on What Maisie Knew, the film by Scott McGehee and David Siegel that premiered last Friday at Roy Thomson Hall. Deal is worth around $2 million minimum guarantee. I hear that distribution heavyweight Bob Berney is consulting for Red Crown, which financed the film along with some private equity investors. Berney will help guide the film when it gets released next spring. Millennium Entertainment, run by Bill Lee, is coming off the indie success Bernie and has the Lee Daniels-directed The Paperboy upcoming. The plan is to try and replicate that Bernie success with a similar theatrical platform release.
The film stars Alexander Skarsgard, Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan and revolves around the 7-year old title character, played by Onata Aprile. She is caught in a custody battle between her aging mother rock star and her art dealer father. WME Global’s Mark Ankner is negotiating this deal with Millennium’s Lee and Tristen Tuckfield. It’s the third deal that the agency was involved in today. WME and Cinetic Media rep the filmmakers along with Oasis.