Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.
Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy lead the pack of specialty newcomers with a solid $110,033 at 11 locations and an average of $10,003. That gives the Oscar-nominated director a respectable first showing for his follow-up to his lauded 2009 film Precious, although it falls short of spectacular. Even so, it bested the weekend’s other new titles in limited release. Only Abramorama’s The House I Live In came close with a $9,827 average in 2 theaters. Oscilloscope’s Wuthering Heights bowed in one theater with $8,785, while Drafthouse Films’ Wake In Fright opened comparatively softer with $6,749 in at New York City’s Film Forum. The restored 1972 film (Outback in its original U.S. release) will move to Austin, Washington and Boston next weekend and to Los Angeles on October 19th. IDP/ATO’s The Oranges bowed in 110 theaters with a soft average of $1,636. SnagFilms-Paladin release Decoding Deepak averaged $3,017 in three theaters, while Magnolia’s V/H/S opened in 15 theaters with a modest $2,667 average. Read More »
Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.
A film starring Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Macy Gray, and John Cusack may sound like a packaged star vehicle of some sort, but apparently it’s not. It’s Lee Daniels’ follow-up to his 2009 Oscar-favorite Precious and it has divided audiences with wild supporters and vocal dissenters at festivals since debuting in Cannes. The Paperboy will be hitting theaters after its NY Film Festival debut this week and the rest will be box office history. Veteran actor Matthew Lillard will open his pic, Fat Kid Rules The World, about a suicidal high school dropout who is recruited to join an upstart punk band through self-distribution beginning in New York. Doc The Revisionaries, meanwhile, will use its Texas base to drive a later national roll out. And Magnolia is hoping to scare up audiences with its multi-filmmaker title, V/H/S.
Fat Kid Rules The World
Director: Matthew Lillard
Writers: Michael M.B. Galvin, Peter Speakman, K.L. Going (novel)
Cast: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O’Leary, Billy Campbell, Dylan Arnold
Distributor: Outsider Films
Veteran actor Matthew Lillard made his first foray into directing with a short in 2009 before going behind the camera again for his comedy Fat Kid Rules The World. But he had long considered the filmmaker hat when he first optioned the book 10 years ago. “Finding an opportunity to get it made took so long,” he said. Before launching into his acting career, he took on directing as a high school kid. But, getting the deal done on Fat Kid Rules The World, of course, took more than simply the desire. After the film won an Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival, Lillard and his producers thought they’d be off and running into distribution. “But all we got was a bunch of options to release it on VOD,” he said. “Looking at it and understanding where we were at, we figured we were probably not going to make our money back, but I decided not to stop until we broke even.” So Lillard and crew turned to crowd funding site Kickstarter and promptly raised $158K in 33 days to help self-distribute the title. “We realized we had a pretty extensive reach in the social media world,” Lillard said. “I have fans, [Pearl Jam lead guitarist] Mike McCready who did the music for the film does as well, so we knew we could reach that [audience].” Read More »
Directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), The Paperboy is a sexually-charged tale of desire, ambition, prejudice and crime set in the 1960s swamplands of South Florida. Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman star. It opens on October 5.
Millennium Entertainment will release Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy theatrically on October 5, the distributor announced today. The erotic thriller stars Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray and John Cusack. The screenplay was written by Pete Dexter and Daniels, based on the novel by Dexter. The movie got decidedly mixed reviews in May when it had its world premiere at Cannes. It revolves around a man (Efron) who tries to help his journalist brother (McConaughey) investigate the possible wrongful conviction of a man on death row (Cusack). Kidman co-stars as a Southern tart who likes her men behind bars.
With two movies premiering in the Official Selection on successive nights and big worldwide market pre-sales announced for an upcoming film in which she plays Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman ruled the Croisette in the second half of the Cannes Film Festival this week, and though she looked every inch the glamorous movie star on those back-to-back jaunts up the steps of the Grand Theatre Lumiere, it’s hard work invading the world’s most famous film festival. Perhaps that is why when she arrived Friday morning for Deadline’s interview and entered the Majestic Hotel’s 6th floor suite with its sweeping views of the Cote d’Azur all she wanted to do was take off her shoes and relax for a few minutes. No such luck in the crux of this go-go-go festival.
Kidman has been working a lot lately but all she’s looking forward to next is finally getting back to her ”normal” life again before tackling Grace Kelly’s anything-but-normal life in late Fall here in the South of France. Since making changes in her team a couple of years ago (she signed with Geyer Kosinski who also manages Angelina Jolie), the kinds of movies she’s doing are consistently more challenging and of a risk-taking nature, which is the way she likes it. The Oscar winner (The Hours) has often been drawn throughout her career to edgier material but now it seems to be her mantra. From her role as a Southern trollop in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy which got Cannes twittering on Thursday to her first big … Read More »
The dealmaking story of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival was succinctly summed up this way by Inferno’s Bill Johnson: “Worst weather I’ve ever seen in Cannes, no big headlines, but a solid market with nice product, but probably too much of it. The good news is that distributors around the world opened their wallets, there are plenty of private equity and high net worth investors.”
Last year’s Cannes saw domestic and foreign buyers plunking down big sums to acquire films based on little more than sizzle reels. And for drama, you had Lars von Trier’s bizarre application to the Nazi party, and the wonder of Terrence Malick’s return to directing with Palme D’Or winner and eventual Best Picture Oscar nominee Tree Of Life.
This year, the most widely hyped competition film has been Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, mostly for the graphic, depraved sexual exploits perpetrated by Nicole Kidman’s death row groupie. Then there’s all the free-love doled out by Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Neither film drew raves. Despite a 16-minute standing ovation for Paperboy at its festival screening and enthusiasm in the market, the biggest record set at this festival was for rainfall – and contents of the pockets of those guys selling $50 umbrellas along the Croisette.
Related: Cannes Conflicted Over ‘The Paperboy’ As All-Star Cast Hits Town
That doesn’t mean this wasn’t a very successful festival that demonstrated vibrancy of film around the world. Despite the struggling economies in European countries, sellers all week reported surprisingly strong sales, with Italy and Greece the exceptions. Japan was pre-buying again and the importance of China is growing. These territories weren’t shy about making deals for films that have no domestic deals.
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Some press and critics at the Cannes Film Festival are already having a field day hurling invectives (a favorite pastime here) against The Paperboy, director Lee Daniels’ first film since his Oscar-nominated work on Precious. This one is based on a well-regarded book by Pete Dexter, who wrote the screenplay with Daniels. It’s about a man (Zac Efron) who tries to help his journalist brother (Matthew McConaughey) investigate the possible wrongful conviction of a man on death row (John Cusack). Nicole Kidman co-stars as a Southern tart who likes her men behind bars and singer Macy Gray is the maid in this 1960′s civil rights era-set wallow that takes place mostly in Florida swamp country (but shot in Louisiana).
At Tuesday morning’s buyers screening and today after the first press screening, reactions seem to be vivid. One critic said “it could be so bad it’s good”. Another compared it to the kind of exploitation pictures Roger Corman regularly turned out. For me, it’s one of those movies that is just dripping with Southern sweat and sleaze — you can smell the place. If it’s an over-the-top wallow into the Deep Deep South of the period, it’s a fun one. You either go with it or you don’t. Tennessee Williams this is not, but it’s fascinating material on many levels and all these actors took a kind of risk and just jumped in without a life preserver; they didn’t do this indie for the money. Avi Lerner’s Millennium and Nu Image produced and the film is up for distribution, as Deadline previously reported, although Lerner could decide to distribute it himself if the deal isn’t right. One top distrib who was at Tuesday’s screening told me they didn’t care for Paperboy, while at least two others said the complete opposite. With a starry cast, exploitable subject matter and scenes already being tweeted all over the place — Kidman peeing on Efron to relieve his jellyfish stings is getting lots of action on the net and the Croisette — in the end it may not matter what any of the auteur-mad critics here have to say. Unlike Precious this is not really a critics kind of movie. It is in fact the commercially oriented Millennium’s first competition entry ever. Read More »
So far, the domestic deals at the Cannes Film Festival have been for the most part sluggish, but that might perk up a bit tomorrow. There’s first showing of the Lee Daniels-directed The Paperboy, which is high on buyer wanna-see lists, with a ballsy performance by Nicole Kidman. The other film I’m hearing has action is the Pablo Larrain-directed No with Gael Garcia Bernal. Word is that Sony Pictures Classics is into it. That film, which premiered last Friday in Directors’ Fortnight, is about an ad exec who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum. The deals will have to get rolling considerably for the festival to have a chance at matching last Cannes. Numerous buyers battling the dreary weather feel that the high number of films brought to Cannes has slowed the pace, and there hasn’t been much so far that distributors feel they absolutely had to have. The worthy ones will get deals after the festivals, but some of the packages that didn’t excite buyers probably won’t make it to the start line.
Related: The Scene In Cannes: Wet But Undaunted
Last year, silence truly was golden as the cast of The Artist established themselves as the hit of the festival without having to say, or bark, anything. Below is a rundown of the actors folks are buzzing about this year, out loud:
Matthias Schoenaerts: The star of Belgian hit Bullhead leads Jacques Audiard’s Rust And Bone opposite Marion Cotillard in competition. Schoenaerts has been known at home for a while but Michael R. Roskam’s revenge drama Bullhead, which scored an Oscar nomination, also brought Schoenaerts the FIPRESCI prize for Best Actor in Palm Springs in January. Audiard is a star-maker, having helped Tahar Rahim hit with A Prophet and boosting the international career of Romain Duris with 2005’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. Execs unrelated to the film call Schoenaerts’ performance in Rust & Bone “incredible.”
Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward: The kids at the center of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom are something to be seen. At Wednesday’s press conference, Jared Gilman confirmed that since making the film “life has taken a turn for the better.” Moonrise is the sole credit on both Gilman and Hayward’s resumes, for now. In the film, the duo fall in love and run away together setting off a search during a storm that turns the community upside down. Focus Features’ Alison Thompson tells me Anderson found them after an extensive search … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara, who was announced to be part of the cast in the Lee Daniels-directed drama The Paperboy, has just dropped out of the film. These independent films take forever to come together, and when the start date of the movie got pushed back a week, the schedule conflicted with her day job on Modern Family, whose third season will be getting underway by then. “Modern Family is her first priority, so once she was made aware of the change in schedule, she had no choice but to pull,” said an insider in her camp. Vergara did have time on her hiatus to star for Peter and Bobby Farrelly in The Three Stooges, and she has wrapped that role. Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire star in The Paperboy, which is based on the Pete Dexter novel about a newspaper reporter who returns home to Florida to investigate the possible unlawful imprisonment of a death-row inmate. Millennium/Nu Image picked up the Pedro Almodovar-produced film during Cannes last month.
Millennium Films has picked up rights to The Paperboy, a sexual thriller based on the 1995 Peter Dexter novel that Dexter and Pedro Almodovar developed over 10 years. Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Sofia Vergara and Zac Efron star, and Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels directs and produces with Hilary Shor (Children Of Men). Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort and Cassian Elwes executive produce. The plot centers on an idealistic Miami reporter who returns to his Florida hometown to investigate the possibly unlawful imprisonment of a death-row inmate. The deal was put together by CAA, and Nu Image is handling foreign sales.