Music Box has acquired German hit tragicomedy Oh Boy from Beta Cinema. The movie won six Lolas earlier this year including Best Film, Best Script, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Jan Ole Gerster’s first film is a Berlin-set ironic portrait of a young man and the city he lives in. Earlier in the market, Beta sold out in all Europea territories along with Japan, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Music Box managing director Ed Arentz said, “We’re thrilled to be working on one of the most entertaining debut films in some time. Writer/director Jan Ole Gerster has created a seemingly off-hand Berlin-set Catcher In The Rye and found a perfect lead in Tom Schilling. With the release of this film in the U.S., we disavow any responsibility for the likely increased influx of American slackers to Berlin.”
New York, NY (March 12, 2012) – Music Box Films announced today that the company is acquiring all North American rights to KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, the latest film from Ira Sachs. The film premiered to critical acclaim at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Subsequently, at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, it received the Teddy Award, the prize for the best film with an LGBT theme.
In his autobiographically inspired, fictional relationship drama KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, filmmaker – and recipient of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize in 2005 for his film FORTY SHADES OF BLUE – Ira Sachs chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men (portrayed by Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth). The film was produced by Sachs, Marie ThereseGuirgis, and Lucas Joaquin, and the stellar supporting cast includes Julianne Nicholson (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), Souléymane Sy Savané (GOODBYE SOLO) and Paprika Steen (APPLAUSE). The film will screen at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival next month.
Written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is an honest, unflinching portrait of a relationship between two men in New York City. Despite meeting through a casual sexual encounter, documentary filmmaker Erik (Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Booth) find a deeper connection and become bonded in an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows and dysfunctional patterns. Through it all, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity and to be true
This French film chronicling the rise of French president Nicolas Sarkozy was directed and co-written by Xavier Durringer and screened out of competition this year at Cannes. Chicago-based Music Box — the U.S. distributor of Tell No One and Sweden’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, among others — also picked up U.S. rights on this one. It opens November 11 in selected markets.
Chicago (Sept. 22, 2011) Music Box Films has acquired all US rights to the French-Canadian film MONSIEUR LAZHAR, Canada’s official submission to the 2012 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. The film won the Audience Award at this summer’s Locarno Film Festival and was named Best Canadian Feature last week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Written and directed by Philippe Falardeau, MONSIEUR LAZHAR tells the story of an immigrant substitute teacher (played by Monhamed Fellag) who brings emotional stability to a middle school class shaken by the suicide of their well-liked teacher. The film is the latest production of Microscope, the same Montreal-based production company that produced the Academy Award-nominee “Incendies.” The deal was negotiated by Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, a partner in international sales agency Films Distribution and Music Box Films’ managing director Edward Arentz.
Toronto has just gotten underway, but the deals are falling from the sky already. I’m hearing that Wild Bunch is close to making a deal for Music Box to distribute Potiche in the U.S. The Francois Ozon-directed French farce stars Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu in what’s been described by critics as a screwball comedy that’s still “arch, knowing, and self-aware”. The film has privately screened for buyers since around the time of the Cannes Film Festival, and it made its fest premiere in Venice. Music Box is starting to make waves, especially after it made a deal for all three Swedish-made films from the Stieg Larsson book trilogy.
SUNDAY AM: Since my weekend box office report puts all its emphasis on the big moneymakers, I want to give smaller movies some love (or hate). Beginning today, I’ll post a separate wrapup for limited releases:
Focus Features released its Julianne Moore/Annette Bening/Mark Ruffalo starring dramedy The Kids Are All Right to the highest per screen average so far this year, $72,127 for 7 theaters (3 in NYC, and 1 location each in LA, SF, Chicago and Toronto), ahead of Ghost Writer and Cyrus. It made $143K ($20,483 per screen average) Friday, and $199K ($28,563 per screen average) Saturday for an estimated opening weekend gross of $504K. Focus said Kids’ +39% increase from Friday to Saturday was driven not only by sell-out prime evening shows, but also by matinees which were also sold out in most markets. The venues were a mix of both smart house and commercial theaters, so these numbers bode well for Kids‘ expansion set for 11 new markets next weekend broadening to 34 engagements.
Music Box Films capitalized on the $100+M big screen success of Stieg Larsson’s worldwide bestselling novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by releasing the 2nd in his crime thriller series, The Girl Who Played With Fire in the U.S. and Canada this weekend. Playing in 110 locations, it made $965K this weekend, finishing in the 11th spot of all movies this weekend, for a per screen average of $8,777. I hear all screenings sold out in LA. Music Box …