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Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ Solid

By | Sunday June 29, 2014 @ 11:14am PDT

Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ SolidIt’s no way a shock that Transformers: Age Of Extinction performed spectacularly this weekend, both in the U.S. and overseas, but there are still discerning audiences out there who don’t toe the big-studio line when it comes to their movie-viewing decisions. Begin Again, another tuneful tale from the writer-director of Once, found a sliver of music-minded moviegoers to play along, grabbing the weekend’s highest PTA among newcomers. Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, it grossed more than $148K for a respectable $29,665 average.
“I think that’s solid numbers. We view this exclusive opening as a preview for Wednesday’s [expansion],” said TWC’s Erik Lomis, president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment. The film drew a heavily female audience, with a 67-33 gender split, and a mix of art-house and commercial crowds. “I think it’s a date movie and will even out as it rolls across the country,”  Lomis said. “[Women] just loved the movie.” TWC will expand Begin Again to 175 theaters in the top 45 markets, then add 60 more markets and up to 500 theaters the following week. “We love (writer-director) John Carney and the cast. There’s no explosions or anything like that. It’s a nice movie and counter programming for the summer.”
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CAA Signs ‘The Newsroom’s Alison Pill

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

CAA Signs ‘The Newsroom’s Alison PillEXCLUSIVE: Alison Pill, who co-stars on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The Newsroom, which is returning for its third and final season, has signed with CAA. She had been with WME. Pill was Tony-nominated in 2006 for her performance in The Lieutenant Of Inishmore and also has a SAG cast nom for the Harvey Milk biopic Milk. Her film credits include Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and To Rome With Love. She is next up starring alongside Chris Evans, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer, which just opened the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the horror comedy Cooties opposite Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson. Pill continues to be managed by Joannie Burstein at The Burstein Company.

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DeadlineNow: What To Expect At LA Film Festival (Video)

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 6:27pm PDT
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Snowpiercers And Jersey Boys And Everything In Between

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off its 20th edition with the arty action pic from Bong Joon-ho. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss what's in store at Hollywood's hometown fest leading up to Clint Eastwood's closing-night film just ahead of its box office bow.

Related: Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch For LA Film Fest Opener ‘Snowpiercer

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: World Cup Has Arrived, Los Angeles Film Festival Underway, Disney Lawsuit (Video)

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 10:46am PDT
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Morning Report, Thursday June 12

World Cup kicks off today in Brazil with the home side taking on Croatia; Los Angeles Film Festival underway with Bong Joon-ho's opening-night film 'Snowpiercer'; Disney Studios targeted in age discrimination lawsuit by former Story Department exec. Dominic Patten reports.

Related:
Disney Slammed In Discrimination Suit By 26-Year Veteran Studio Exec
Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch For ‘Snowpiercer
World Cup Preview: Studios & Networks Play Games Too

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Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch Against ‘Transformers’ For LA Film Fest Opener ‘Snowpiercer’

Pete Hammond
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Snowpiercers And Jersey Boys And Everything In Between

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off its 20th edition with the arty action pic from Bong Joon-ho. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss what's in store at Hollywood's hometown fest leading up to Clint Eastwood's closing-night film just ahead of its box office bow.

Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn told me Wednesday night’s Los Angeles Film Festival opener Snowpiercer is going to 7ddd396b0cbae471e84f83c1797e9c96have a unique rollout when it launches against formidable competition, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, on June 27. Although that sounds like a suicide mission for another action-oriented picture, Quinn, speaking at the after-party, calls his film from Korean director Bong Joon-ho an “intelligent tentpole” made for a thinking audience who likes its thrills delivered with smarts. He says they will open in 10 markets and follow up the next week on about 150 screens. That’s chump change for the opening Paramount plans for Transformers, but Quinn and co-president Jason Janego were pumped by the LA Fest response and hope to gain attention with a series of premieres, including train trips (for a film that’s set on the ultimate train trip) to Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, plus four separate premieres across New York state. “And when this film, which only could have been made by Bong Joon-ho, opens on the 27th, the only place you will be able to see it in America is on a theater screen,” he said, emphasizing that the company — an offshoot of The Weinstein Company, which opens most of its films day-and-date with VOD — will not be making it 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival - Opening Night Premiere Of "Snowpiercer" - Red Carpetinstantly available for home viewing. “We are plotting a surprising and different way of opening this film,” he said while not committing to any specific date as to when it actually will be available on VOD.

I would guess the VOD date won’t lag too far behind, but Quinn clearly wants to get the word out first that this is a big-screen experience. You might recall that Radius released its Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom theatrically first and that worked out, as it became the top docu at the 2013 box office before hitting home screens.

After seeing the film, which also played the Berlin Film Festival, and LAFF2014which Harvey Weinstein pre-bought and later turned over to his Radius team (Quinn had worked with the director on The Host and Mother), I can say if ever there was a big-screen must-see, it’s this riveting story of the last humans alive after Earth is completely frozen-over and humanity wiped out — except for a few riding aboard a train that never stops and has every conceivable level of class, from its tail section to its super engine, as it continuously circles what’s left of the world. Although it is dark, grimy and claustrophobic, the director clearly knows how to make a classic train picture and his superb cast includes a hilarious Tilda Swinton, chewing the scenery like no one’s business, and Ed Harris in an extended cameo as the Master of this particular world. Both turned up for what was billed as the pic’s U.S. premiere. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Snowpiercer’

By | Friday May 30, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT

Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt and Ed Harris star in Bong Joon-ho‘s sci-fi actioner. Snowpiercer, which will open the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, is set in postapocalyptic ice age that forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man risks everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world. The film spurred a spat between its director and Harvey Weinstein over length and pacing, but a truce was struck: The director’s cut — which ran 2 1/2 hours-plus — was kept intact, but it will get a platform release rather than opening wide. Written by Bong and Kelly Masterson, Snowpiercer opens June 27 via Radius-TWC: Here’s the trailer:

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Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’ To Open Los Angeles Film Festival

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 11:19am PDT

snowpRadius-TWC‘s sci-fi pic Snowpiercer has been tapped as the opening-night film at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival on June 11. The pic opens in the U.S. on June 27. LAFF’s full lineup of nearly 200 films will be unveiled May 6. The pic from Korean helmer Bong Joon-ho already has opened in territories including China and earned $3.88M on its first day in Korea. Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, LAFF2014Jamie Bell and John Hurt star in the movie, which takes place in a postapocalyptic society on a train that never stops. This one has an interesting past. The Weinstein Company bought U.S. rights on the movie back in 2012 at AFM on the basis of a script and some sample footage. A wide release was in the contract until Bong turned in a cut of just beyond 2 1/2 hours, and a battle ensued before a truce was made: Bong kept the length of his action film, but instead of a wide release, it will be a platform release with a rollout. Check out the trailer here.

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Bong Joon-Ho And Harvey Weinstein Reach Truce On ‘Snowpiercer’

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 6:35pm PST
Mike Fleming

snowpEXCLUSIVE: A disagreement between filmmaker and distributor Harvey Weinstein over length and pacing of the Bong Joon-Ho helmed Snowpiercer has been resolved, I hear. Weinstein bought U.S. rights on the movie back in 2012 AFM on the basis of script and some sample footage. A wide release was in the contract, until the director turned in a cut of just beyond two and one-half hours. The truce is basically that the director keeps the length of his action film but instead of a wide release, it will be a platform release with a roll out. I am told the picture is not being dumped. The film, which stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer, has done well in Korea and France and has gotten strong reviews. This is the hard part about the kind of buying that is taking place right now in Berlin, where distributors are making decisions based on scripts and sizzle reels, if they’re lucky. When the movie doesn’t deliver what the agents promised, this kind of give and take is inevitable.

Here’s the trailer. Looks pretty crazy:

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