Boyhood continued to muscle into the Specialty Box Office in its second frame amid an expansion, even while the weekend’s newcomers showed mixed numbers. Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here and Mike Cahill‘s I Origins, second films from both writer/directors, bowed with averages in the low $7K range. IFC Films‘ Boyhood opened last week with the year’s second highest PTA among limited-release titles and only compounded its star status in expansion. The Richard Linklater-directed feature added 29 locations, grossing nearly $1.2 million in 34 theaters, a stellar $35,230 per-screen average and a $1,848,050 two-week cume.
Boyhood’s mid- to long-term momentum appears assured with a 99-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and what IFC Films says is “word of mouth… through the roof, as reflected by eye-popping exit polls this weekend and minimal drop at last weekend’s opening theaters.” IFC, which financed the film throughout its 12-year gestation, said the title played solidly across all demographics, with top scores from teens and from “those in their 60s and beyond.” Boyhood will expand to the top 25 markets next weekend and will continue to widen in coming weeks.
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After it debuted last week to the second-best opening of any specialty film in 2014, Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood is already considered an early Oscar contender that has a chance to cross over as it broadens its run to 10 markets today. It is unprecedented for a narrative film to be shot like this one was. It proved to be a time-lapse process that allows viewers to watch Ellar Coltrane and his castmates age naturally from age 6 to 18 and believably go through the joys and dramas, big and small, inherent in the lives of children. Linklater told Deadline he was lucky nothing unfortunate happened in the lives of the cast and crew, almost all of whom returned year after year. Here, Deadline looks at some of the things that happened to the participants over that span, including in Texas, where Linklater shot the film.
Number of other features, TV movies and shorts directed by Richard Linklater: 10
Number of TV episodes created by Richard Linklater: 6 (Up To Speed)
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IFC Films‘ Boyhood had momentum and expectations building as it headed into its opening weekend after a tremendous run of festival awards and word-of-mouth screenings. Opening in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, it proved to be a very big boy indeed, with one of the year’s biggest box-office debuts among Specialty releases, second behind only Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened March 7 with a nearly $203K PTA in four theaters.
Boyhood, directed and written by Richard Linklater and filmed over 12 years as its star Ellar Coltrane grew up, grossed $360K to $385K for a spectacular per-theater average of $72K to $77K, depending on how much box office drops Sunday. Given that the title opened against Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes on turf typically ruled by studio mush, the numbers bode especially well for the film, which also stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Lorelei Linklater. Given its pre-launch buzz, the film has already been tipped as a strong contender when Awards Season grinds into into full gear this fall.
“I think we knew the movie would play,” IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring told me this morning. “(Fellow producer) John Sloss and I were at screenings with audiences and we were more than gratified by the audience responses. There were dozens of sell outs [in Manhattan, Brooklyn and L.A.]. It was crazy. It wasn’t an old audience, not young, it was a mix of everyone.”
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Emmy nominations may only have been released yesterday, and I know it’s still just July, but with the opening of Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood today I am declaring July 11th the new official start of the Oscar season (at least for this year) with a film that I predict will occupy one of those prized Best Picture slots when Academy Award nominations are announced six months from now. It’s a bold statement considering last year’s first of nine eventual Best Picture nominees, Gravity, wasn’t released until October 4th, and generally with few exceptions of late , most of the nominees still come in the Fall season (although 2009′s Best Pic winner The Hurt Locker actually debuted in late June of that year and rallied later in the game to take it all). Boyhood’s distributor IFC Films also has not been a major player in the Best Picture races, but Boyhood producer John Sloss told me they have made a complete commitment to this film like no other.
A top awards veteran consultant Cynthia Swartz and her Strategy P.R. have been on the movie for months, slowly positioning it for a run. Just last week IFC President Jonathan Sehring, who greenlit it and supported it for a dozen years, told our indie box office reporter Brian Brooks that the film is his favorite project of his entire professional career. “It’s not like anything I have ever been involved with and is my crowning professional achievement no matter how it performs,” he told Brooks. … Read More »
The first thing that catches you about Richard Linklater‘s new movie, Boyhood, is the gimmick: It took 12 years to make. And this wasn’t some Orson Welles-like fight with a studio or money people or an artistic fugue state like those afflicting early Terrence Malick or late Stanley Kubrick. It was done on purpose. And the studio behind the project, IFC, was all for it, doling out about $200,000 a year so Linklater could annually gather his cast and crew to shoot a few days at a time for a dozen years followed by, as Linklater put it, “a big chunk at the end” to finish the film.
But here’s the other thing: The movie is really good. And taking all that time might be part of the reason. The film follows the life of a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane in his long-developing but remarkable debut) from age 5 until his first days in college at 18. It also tracks the twists in the lives of his two parents (Patricia Arquette and Linklater regular Ethan Hawke), who split before the film’s start, when Mason and his older sister (played by the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater) were very young.
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Richard Linklater‘s 12-year filmmaking experiment Boyhood won the Golden Space Needle Best Picture award along with Best Director and Best Actress at the Seattle International Film Festival. Keep on Keepin’ On, directed by Alan Hicks, won the Golden Space Needle for best documentary. Other notable winners from the sprawling 25-day festival include Dawid Ogrodnik for best actor in Life Feels Good; Fool’s Day for best short film; and other competition awards for 10,000 KM, Marmato and Red Knot. The Golden Space Needle Awards are chosen by festival audiences.
Linklater’s film, which is set for a July 11 release, continued to build momentum for Oscar season, after grabbing the Silver Bear and two other awards at the Berlin International Film Festival and another at South By Southwest. Linklater began shooting Boyhood when its protagonist, played by Ellar Coltrane, was 5 and continued to film off and on for the next dozen years as Coltrane and his character eventually grew into an adult. Patricia Arquette won the Seattle festival’s Golden Space Needle award as best actress, and Linklater won for best director. One other note of minor disclosure: Brian Brooks, who writes Deadline’s weekly coverage on specialty film box office, was on the festival’s documentary jury. Read More »
Gravitas Ventures has taken all North American rights to 21 Years: Richard Linklater, a feature-length documentary directed by Paste Magazine’s Michael Dunaway and co-helmer Tara Wood. Richard Linklater collaborators and actors including Before Sunrise‘s Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, and director Jason Reitman appear in the film which theorizes that the first 21 years of an artist’s work defines their career. For the Oscar-nominated writer-director that’s been quite a creative span, starting with his 1988 minimalist Super8 feature It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books. The doc starts the clock with Linklater’s 1991 Sundance breakout film, Slacker. 21 Years also looks at his latest film, Boyhood, which was shot over the course of 12 years and won him Best Director honors at the Berlin Film Festival. Wood, Dunaway, and Gravitas’ Melanie Miller are producers on the pic. Gravitas’ Nolan Gallagher and Michael Murphy are exec producers alongside Pamela Sutton, Robert C. McGirr, Mario Davila, William Pedroza, & Gregory Norman McGuire. Miller negotiated the deal with Wood for Wood Entertainment. Gravitas and Wood are also selling the film this week in Cannes.
Biblical and Faith-Based Movies: In Hollywood to Stay?
By Anita Busch
After this weekend’s successful opening for Noah, is there any doubt anymore that if Hollywood builds it, they will come?
Writers Rail As Talks Resume: A Deadline Survey
By Mike Fleming, Jr.
As talks are about to resume Monday on the final elements that many hope will lead to a new deal for the Writers Guild Of America, we wanted to lend some perspective and give voice to the TV and feature writers whose fortunes will be tied directly to the deal their union makes. Deadline spoke with 10 film and TV scribes and asked them the following questions: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Boyhood, a time-lapse narrative feature film that Richard Linklater shot over a 12-year period, has been set for a July 11 release through IFC Films, which has stepped up and committed to a theatrical platform rollout and awards campaign. The film played Sundance and Berlin and its makers have positioned it for what they hope will be a long summer run as audiences watch actor Ellar Coltrane and his supporting cast actually grow up before their eyes, and adults Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette mature as his parents.
Related: Berlin Film Festival: Richard Linklater Named Best Director; More
At Sundance, there had been some question of whether a large distributor would take the film off the table, but it only seems right that IFC stepped up. After all, as IFC President Jonathan Sehring told me back then, he was the one who wrote an annual check to Linklater for over a decade, and when his bosses would ask him to explain the expenditure and when they would see a payoff, he’d shrug his shoulders. Sehring’s a producer on the film, and so is John Sloss, who made this deal. “We went to Sundance with the understanding we would talk to other distributors,” Sloss said. “You have to understand when they committed to fund this, IFC didn’t have a distribution arm. So they didn’t have distribution rights, even though they are a co-owner along with Rick and the filmmaking team. This is a very special movie, and we wanted to make sure it has every opportunity for success. We’ve realized this film plays for a young audience and it will need word-of-mouth that comes from staying in theaters for a long time. IFC really stepped up.”
Related: SXSW Unveils Jury Award Winners
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Diane Ladd and Eden Brolin have signed on to star in writer-director Katie Cokinos’ comedic drama I Dream Too Much. This is Cokinos’ debufeature. Danielle Brooks (Orange Is The New Black, Girls) Christina Rouner and James McCaffrey (Rescue Me, Revenge) co-star in the pic that tells the story of an imaginitive college student (Brolin) who volunteers to care for her formidable great aunt (Ladd), as they both face challenges that threaten their independence. Brooks plays Abbey, a singer looking for her big break, Rouner plays Helen, a closet legal eagle and Brolin’s mother, and McCaffrey plays Nikki Sommers, a legendary music producer.
Richard Linklater is executive producing with producers Jay Thames for 77 Films and Ed McWilliams for Attic Lights Films in association with Pantheon of Women. The film will begin photography in New York in February. Read More »
There are 20 films out of 23 in the Competition section that will vie for the Golden and Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival. Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, will have its international premiere in competition this year after Linklater and Hawke were in town in 2013 in support of Before Midnight‘s out-of-competition berth. Christophe Gans’ Beauty And The Beast with Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux, also will have its international premiere, albeit out of competition. Rachid Bouchareb’s English-language Two Men In Town, starring Forest Whitaker, Harvey Keitel, Brenda Blethyn and Luis Guzmán, is a world premiere. The official section is low on movies from U.S. directors with only Boyhood and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel scoring competition slots. Budapest Hotel opens the festival and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men is screening in the main group, but it is not competing. China is well-represented with three films vying for prizes, including Blind Massage, the latest from provocative helmer Lou Ye, and recent hit No Man’s Land. The fest runs February 6-16. A full list of the titles announced today is below; the previously announced films can be found here:
Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice)
People’s Republic of China
By Yinan Diao (Night Train, Uniform)
With Fan Liao, Lun Mei Gwei, Xuebing Wang
By Richard Linklater
With Patricia Arquette, Ethan … Read More »
Sundance has added the 121st feature film to its 2014 festival that starts Thursday. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood will have its premiere Sunday, January 19 at the Eccles Theatre as part of special preview screenings for the pic from Linklater, who wrote and directed this one coming on the heels of Before Midnight. This movie shot in short periods over 12 years and explores the life of a family — it centers on the son, Mason, who with his sister Samantha go on an emotional and transcendent journey through the years from childhood to adulthood. Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater star.
Sundance Premieres & Documentary Premieres 2014 Lineup
Sundance Reveals U.S. & World Cinema Competition Slates
The IFP said today that Richard Linklater will receive the Director Tribute at the 23rd annual Gotham Awards in December. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker most recently helmed Before Midnight, the third film in a drawn-out trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, which Sony Pictures Classics released in May. His other credits range from Slacker and Dazed and Confused to Fast Food Nation – a 2006 Palme d’or nominee at Cannes — and last year’s Bernie. “Richard Linklater’s unique vision and voice, in addition to the special characters he has created, place him among the most prolific and poignant directors working today,” IFP Executive Director Joana Vicente said in a statement. “We are honored to celebrate his work.” Linklater also serves as the Artistic Director for the Austin Film Society, which the Houston native founded in 1985 to showcase films from around the world. The Gotham Independent Film Awards will be handed out December 2 at Cipriani’s New York. Nominees will be announced October 24.
Related: Sony Pictures Classics Expands ‘Before Midnight’ Run
Just ahead of its premiere here in Venice, documentary Double Play: James Benning And Richard Linklater has been set by FilmBuff for a 2014 digital U.S. release. Gabe Klinger directed the docu that follows the eponymous filmmakers as they riff on sports, art and friendship over the course of a weekend in Austin, Texas. The movie also combines the chats with extensive archival material. The pair first met in 1988 when Benning was the Austin Film Society’s first out-of-town filmmaker invitee. At the time, his credits included 1977′s One Way Boogie Woogie and 1984′s American Dreams: Lost And Found. Linklater was making shorts when he met Benning and went on to direct cult 1991 hit Slacker. When Linklater started working on bigger films, his and Benning’s paths diverged with the latter continuing to make micro-budget movies and avoid the film industry at all costs. The doc explores how their career choices have influenced the course of their lives. FilmBuff is also handling worldwide sales. The movie bows in Venice on September 3.
Before Midnight director Richard Linklater was awarded a special surprise Berlinale Camera trophy on Monday night. The film festival began awarding Cameras in 1986 to people or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted. The award was presented to Linklater at the official screening of Before Midnight which has sold out internationally during the EFM. Linklater’s first film in the Julie Delpy-Ethan Hawke trilogy, Before Sunrise, won the Silver Bear for best director in 1995. He then brought sequel Before Sunset to the fest in 2004. …
XYZ Films is hanging a sales shingle. XYZ International will handle world sales on some of XYZ’s in-house titles and on third-party projects that are filmmaker-driven, elevated genre pics with broad commercial appeal. It will also handle North American sales on foreign films. The first slate will be unveiled for Cannes. XYZ partner Nate Bolotin will oversee. XYZ’s productions include The Raid and The Raid 2 and Killers. It’s also exec producing Aguas Rojas which Participant Media is financing.
UPDATE, 12 PM: Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed Deadline’s Sundance scoop that it acquired North American and UK rights to Before Midnight, the Richard Linklater-directed film that captivated fest audiences and continues the relationship between characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as the travel the world. The official release appears at the bottom of the original exclusive break.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 10:52 AM: I hear Sony Pictures Classics has closed a Sundance deal for Before Midnight, the third installment of the Richard Linklater-directed series that began with 1995′s Before Sunrise and continued with 2004′s Before Sunset. You don’t get many trilogies at Sundance, but this one premiered to raves last Sunday at Eccles Theatre in the Premiere category, and seven buyers have slowly been nipping at it ever since when they haven’t been distracted by the other auctions. This deal is well into seven-figures for North America and multiple territories including the UK, I hear. It shapes up as one of the big deals of the fest. SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard also bought Kill Your Darlings and Austenland (which was bought by Sony Worldwide Acquisitions), so it was a most productive festival for them. Read More »
Traditional methods of getting a project made and finding an audience are evolving rapidly toward smaller screens, a panel of directors and producers agreed today at the Sundance Film Festival “Every time I’ve had a movie I couldn’t get financing for recently, the next question is always ‘could this be a TV series?’ It’s a business model. It’s boring but it’s real,” said Richard Linklater. “It does feel like great quality is going to TV and online… because the studios make tentpoles and not adult dramas,” added Fast Five director Justin Lin, who also co-created the YOMYOMF YouTube channel. Linklater and Lin were appearing on the Power of Story: Independence Unleashed panel along with Enlightened co-creator Mike White and director Jane Campion. Linklater is back at Sundance this year to premiere his Before Midnight, the second sequel to 1995’s Before Sunrise. Campion also returns to the Festival with her seven-part crime mystery BBC/Sundance Channel TV series Top of the Lake starring Holly Hunter and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. White is at the Festival as one of the producers of Writer/director Sebastián Silva’s Magic Magic. Lin is a Sundance alumni, having had his directorial debut Better Luck Tomorrow premiere here back in 2002.
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EXCLUSIVE: Buyers arriving at the Toronto Film Festival tomorrow already have a lot of sales titles to consider (more on that tomorrow). Here’s another title to add to the mix: Richard Linklater just wrapped shooting in Messinia, Greece on Before Midnight, the third film in a series that began with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.
Before Midnight, which has Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reprising their roles as star-crossed lovers Celine and Jesse, was once again scripted by Linklater, Delpy and Hawke, the same team that got an Oscar nom in 2005 for Before Sunset. Linklater shot the film quietly, as many didn’t think it would happen before 2013.
There won’t be a sizzle reel or script to read at Toronto, because the film wrapped late last night. But Cinetic Media’s John Sloss will be handling domestic sales once again and he will be at Toronto with other films. Before Midnight is produced by Linklater’s Detour Filmproduction, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos and Sara Woodhatch of Faliro House and Jacob Pechenik of Venture 4TH, together with Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer of Castle Rock Entertainment. Sloss is exec producer. Read More »