EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has acquired Scare Me, a psychological thriller novel, and is setting Wentworth Miller to write the script. Miller is the actor who starred in the Fox series Prison Break who made his screenwriting debut on Stoker, the Chan-wook Park-directed thriller for Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush. It was brought in by Relativity Media production president Robbie Brenner.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Tribeca Film’s Somebody Up There Likes Me bowed exclusively at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre with the best score among the specialties this weekend with a strong $38,495. The 2012 SXSW Film Festival entry had multiple sold-out showings in the 700-seat theater, with producer and Chicago native Nick Offerman hosting Q&As. The weekend potentially bodes well for distributor Tribeca, although momentum will be better gauged once it hits other cities. It will next head to Cinefamily in L.A. next weekend, according to Tribeca Film. Somebody Up There Likes Me will open San Francisco on March 22 and New York on March 29 with Austin to follow. Paladin/108 Media opened Michel Gondry’s The We And I with an average of $6,140 in a pair of NYC locations. The We And I heads to Los Angeles, San Francisco and 5 other top markets on March 22.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Fox Searchlight’s Stoker just may bring some fresh air into a specialty field that’s been monopolized in 2013 on the money side by two titles, Quartet and Amour. Park Chan-wook’s Nicole Kidman starrer averaged $22,500 in 7 runs. For comparisons, Amour opened in 3 theaters as well, averaging $22,755 (a Christmas period release) while Quartet bowed January 11 in two theaters with a $23,561 average. Both have continued solid runs. This weekend also has a number of other newcomers, including Oscar-nominated War Witch. That film, which won awards at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and was picked up by the festival’s distribution wing Tribeca Film, grossed $10,260 for a $5,130 average. It’s a terrific film, and hopefully word of mouth will carry it further, but its bow is modest. Two other newcomers beat War Witch out in terms of PTA although they were single showings. Cinema Guild’s Leviathan took in just over $10K, while International Film Circuit’s Hava Nagila grossed $9,521.
But it was a Stoker weekend in the limited release arena following the climax of the long, long awards season. Korean director Park Chan-wook found a loyal following in the U.S. with titles Old Boy and I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK, and Stoker is his first English-language outing. Starring Kidman, Matthew Goode, Mia Wasikowska, and Oscar nominee Jackie Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), the feature will add a dozen or so theaters in its current markets next week.
Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s Foreign-Language Oscar nominee War Witch will head to LA next weekend before expanding to 30-plus markets later this month and into April (in addition to VOD). Fellow newcomer A Place At The Table did not fare so well in its bow despite some foodie and Hollywood star power. The doc took in $84K for a $2,400 average, although distributor Magnolia did put the title in 35 theaters. The film, which exposes the crisis of hunger in America featured Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio with the backing of Participant Media. Magnolia and Participant worked together on doc Food Inc., which opened in June 2009 in 3 theaters, averaging $20,171 in its opening weekend. Table may find its legs in the coming weeks, although hunger may be a tough sell. At this weekend’s doc-focused True/False Film Festival, one industry insider noted about the challenges Table faced compared to Food, Inc: “It’s about people who are marginalized and are poor vs. foodies with cash facing down the vagaries of the food industry.”
The True/False Fest is also screening two specialty holdovers this weekend in Columbia, Mo which are holding their own in the overall market. Sony Pictures Classics’ foreign-language Oscar-nominee No added 5 locations in its third weekend, averaging a positive $10,013, while fellow SPC release The Gatekeepers added 27 theaters, averaging $5,549. Last weekend it averaged $8,084 in 19 locations.
A Place At The Table (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [35 Theaters] Weekend $84K, Average $2,400
The End Of Love (Variance) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $2,400, Average $1,200
Hava Nagila (The Movie) (International Film Circuit) [1 Theater] Weekend $9,521
Leviathan (Cinema Guild) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $10,018
Stoker (Fox Searchlight) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $158K, Average $22,500
War Witch (Tribeca Film) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $10,260, Average $5,130
Welcome To Pine Hill (Oscilloscope) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4K
Specialty Preview: ‘Stoker’, ‘War Witch’, ‘A Place At The Table’, ‘Genius On Hold’, ‘The End Of Love’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The first weekend after Oscars brings a variety of specialty films making their U.S. theatrical debuts. South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook‘s first English-language thriller Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, hopes to lure Park fans and new converts, while Tribeca Film hopes to draw audiences for its award winning and Oscar-nominated film War Witch. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges are just two of the marquee names behind hunger documentary A Place At The Table, which Magnolia Pictures rolls out Friday. Fellow doc Genius On Hold looks at a troubled father-son relationship (one a telecommunications genius, the other a jewel thief) in what may be a precursor to a bigger narrative feature down the road. Variance Films also taps the father-son relationship in the drama The End Of Love.
Director: Park Chan-wook
Writers: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Wentworth Miller penned the screenplay for Stoker under a pseudonym, which eventually made its way to producer Michael Costigan and his colleagues. The story centers on India, whose mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to live with her and her unstable mother following the death of her father. India suspects that her charming uncle has ulterior motives although she also becomes increasingly infatuated with him. “We wondered whether [Park Chan-wook] would read Hollywood scripts as did Searchlight,” Costigan said of the Korean-based filmmaker. “So we thought, ‘let’s give it a shot’. Fortunately his group in the U.S. liked it and he wanted to talk about it. And not only did he want to talk, he started pitching ideas.”
Fox Searchlight has set a March 1, 2013 platform release for Stoker, from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook. Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman star in the thriller about about a teen who is mourning the death of her father and must deal with an evil mom and an eccentric uncle who shows up unexpectedly. Here’s the pic’s first trailer, in which Kidman looks to be having a blast as the baddie in a movie of baddies:
Stoker will receive a platform release on March 1, 2013, Fox Searchlight announced. Mia Wasikowsa, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver and Nicole Kidman star in the Park Chan-wook-directed thriller about about a teen who is mourning the death of her father and must deal with an eccentric uncle who shows up unexpectedly. Wentworth Miller wrote the script under the pseudonym Ted Foulke. Scott Free’s Ridley and Tony Scott and former Scott Free president Michael Costigan are producing.
Jacki Weaver, whose murderous matriarch earned her an Oscar nomination for Animal Kingdom, has signed on to star in Stoker, the Fox Searchlight thriller that was written by actor Wentworth Miller under the pseudonym Ted Foulke. Weaver joins Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode in the Chan-wook Park-directed thriller about a teen who is mourning the death of her father and has to deal with an eccentric uncle who shows up unexpectedly. Scott Free’s Ridley and Tony Scott and Michael Costigan are producing. Weaver, who just wrapped The Five Year Engagement for Universal and Judd Apatow, is repped by ICM and Elevate Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Alice in Wonderland‘s Mia Wasikowska is negotiating to star in Stoker, the Fox Searchlight thriller that will be directed by Oldboy and Thirst director Chan-wook Park. The script was written by Wentworth Miller, the Prison Break star who wrote under the pseudonym Ted Foulke. Ridley and Tony Scott will produce with Michael Costigan under the Scott Free banner.
Carey Mulligan had been attached when the script sold, but it be Wasikowska in the lead role when shooting begins this spring. She’ll play an eccentric teen whose enigmatic and estranged uncle returns to the family after the death of the girl’s father. Strange things begin to happen. Jodie Foster had been attached along with Mulligan, but she’s not doing the film, I’m told. When he sold Stoker, Miller had also written Uncle Charlie, a prequel that explores another chapter in the history of a family with a knack for burying secrets as well as bodies.
Is Wentworth Miller a writer trapped inside the body of an actor, plotting an escape? Miller, best known for starring in the Fox series Prison Break, now has two scripts in play, each of which he wrote under the pseudonym Ted Foulke. Foulke’s Stoker, which has Carey Mulligan and Jodie Foster attached, has gotten some ink. It’s the story of an eccentric teen whose enigmatic and estranged uncle who returns to the family after the death of the girl’s father. Foulke (Miller) has also written Uncle Charlie, a prequel to Stoker that explores another chapter in the history of an unusual family that has a knack for burying secrets, as well as bodies. Fox Searchlight is in talks to acquire both scripts, but I’m told they aren’t the only ones circling. The projects, being shopped by Foulke’s ICM reps, will likely land in the same place, since there are overlapping characters. The agency isn’t confirming that Foulke is Miller, but guess which agency reps the actor? Miller, who just wrapped Resident Evil: Afterlife, apparently wants to lead a double life as an actor and scribe.