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 … Read More »
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 … 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 … Read More »
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:
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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 … Read More »
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 … Read More »