The likes of Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Tilda Swinton, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce and more have films joining the Specialties in theaters this weekend in what could possibly be a big draw at the box office — hopefully. TWC will bow The Railway Man, a period drama set against WWII, while SPC will open Jim Jarmusch’s vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive. David Gordon Green returns to theaters with Joe from Roadside and Lionsgate, while IFC Films will bow Hateship Loveship. The distributor will also open doc Dancing In Jaffa. Also joining the pack in a fairly packed weekend is Entertainment One’s Cuban Fury, starring Nick Frost. Also opening is A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, And Jayson Blair At The New York Times, an ITVS backed doc that will have a self-distributed theatrical run ahead of its broadcast on PBS.
The Railway Man
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson, Eric Lomax
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Michael MacKenzie, Jeffrey Daunton
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
With a high-profile cast, bio-drama The Railway Man centers on a former British Army officer who was tormented as a young prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II. Later he discovers the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him. “We’re big fans of … Read More »
Rio 2 will fly into theaters this weekend from Fox and easily peck away the rest of the flock of openers that includes Lionsgate’s Draft Day, the third Kevin Costner starrer this year,, and the horror film Oculus from Relativity. The current thinking is that the animated sequel will do roughly $40M to $42M while the second weekend of Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier will play out to mid-to-high $30M number, but it might surprise. According to Fandango, both Rio 2 and Captain America are neck in neck with ticket sales, each representing roughly 25% of total sales. It really depends how much Captain America drops from its second weekend. Captain America grossed $95M with $10.2M coming from Thursday last weekend (its debut), so if it holds at 50%, it grosses $42.4M. The first Captain America dropped 61% in its second weekend, the first Thor dropped only 47% while its sequel Thor: The Dark World dropped 57%. The first Iron Man dropped only 48.1%, but subsequent sequels dropped 59.4% and 58.4%, respectively. All Marvel titles. Given the stellar reviews for Captain America, it might surprise.
Related: Intl Box Office: ‘Winter Soldier’ Crosses $200M Overseas; ‘Rio 2′ Breaks Brazil … Read More »
UPDATE, 2:40 PM: The Weinstein Company just made this deal official (see the release below the original break).
PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:37 AM: Harvey Weinstein has done it again. The Weinstein Company is acquiring U.S. distribution rights for around $2 million to The Railway Man, director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama that stars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It’s the true story about a British Army officer who is tormented at a Japanese POW camp. Decades later, he discovers the Japanese interpreter responsible for the brutality is alive. He sets out to confront him and his haunting past. The deal for the film, which premiered Friday at Roy Thompson Hall, was brokered by CAA. Andy Paterson and Chris Brown produced. It’s the third buy for TWC after the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life? and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. All of them will be released in 2014. Read More »
The Railway Man debuted to a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival, Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote over the weekend. Present at the screening was Patti Lomax, the widow of Eric Lomax, the real-life subject of the story about a man who confronted his Japanese tormentor decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays Patti in the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed film, opposite Colin Firth as Eric. Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada also star. It doesn’t have a U.S. distributor, but there were several buyers checking it out in Toronto. CAA/Lionsgate is repping North America and Lionsgate UK releases in Britain on January 3.
After receiving mixed critical response in its Venice world premiere, the Kennedy assassination docudrama Parkland took on the Toronto International Film Festival and received a good response for a movie that looks at the events of that fateful day 50 years ago from several different perspectives. Those include a young surgeon operating on the fallen President in the emergency room, Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and mother, the FBI, Abraham Zapruder and others. Nicely directed by first-timer Peter Landesman, a former New York Times reporter, the film has the sensibility of a journalist and stays close to the known facts while still illuminating. At the premiere’s afterparty at Soho House he told me, “I wanted to create a visual language in the beginning that would allow the audience to feel like what they were seeing was happening and real… I did want to take the audience by hand and bring them into an idea that what they are watching happening is actually unfolding in front of them,” said the veteran who’s covered many international wars. He dismissed potential complaints that the filmmaker might be exploiting the Kennedy tragedy, particularly on the cusp on the 50th anniversary, by explaining that the emergency room scenes were carefully thought out:”I feel like we cut a very dignified movie. To not have any sense of the violence would be to betray what the movie is about. I actually feel that the cut’s dignified. We actually had cuts in the movie that were a lot bloodier. At the end of the day we didn’t want to alienate our audience.”
Landesman said it came about when he originally wrote a screenplay about Watergate for producer Tom Hanks (who produced this film with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman and actor Bill Paxton). That script has yet to be produced. But it led to Hanks handing Landesman a Vincent Bugliosi book written about those four days in November 1963. So he worked on it and researched it for nearly five years and decided there was a movie there that nobody had ever seen. Although Hanks was busy acting on Broadway, he was very involved. “Gary was there for every frame. And Tom was intimately involved with the development of the screenplay and the casting. You know Tom. His integrity is so important, not only as a brand and a producer but Tom’s sensibilities and instincts are so important,” Landesman said. Read More »