The New Year has yet to make its mark on the Specialty Box Office, though 2013 titles continue to show traction in January. CBS Films jumped Inside Llewyn Davis from 156 runs to 729 in the run-up to tonight’s Golden Globes, where the film is vying for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Actor for Oscar Isaac as well as other categories. It grossed $1.876M, averaging $2,573, placing its 6 week cume mostly in limited release at $9,309,126. CBS Films took out a two-page spread this week in the New York Times naming several hundred critics, writers and bloggers who tagged the film as one of their year-end favorites and it has been active generally in touting the Cannes Grand Prix winner this Awards Season. How it will drive audiences as it continues to move into an expansive release is the question mark. CBS Films did note Sunday when reporting the film’s numbers that Llewyn Davis‘ cume has already surpassed the lifetime gross of the Coens’ previous non-studio feature, A Serious Man, which cumed $9,228,768 domestically. Inside Llewyn Davis‘ 9 week cume stands at $9,309,126. Paramount also added theaters for Alexander Payne’s Awards contender Nebraska, moving the film into an additional 281 locations in its 9th weekend in release. It grossed $820K, averaging $1,574. Last week, it averaged $2,792 in 240 theaters. Also up for a Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Best Director prizes tonight at the Globes, Nebraska has cumed $8.15M.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
2014 is kicking into gear with a number of new Specialty titles hitting theaters, though heavy-weight titles in the caliber of August: Osage County and Inside Llewyn Davis, for instance, have yet to make their debuts in the New Year. Kino Lorber will roll out its Tribeca winner The Rocket in limited runs with an explosive story set in Southeast Asia, while IFC Midnight will bow its genre title Raze. Distribution (somewhat) newcomer Big World Pictures will bring Georgia’s foreign-language Oscar entry In Bloom to a pair of New York theaters, while Icarus will open documentary The Great Flood at one downtown Manhattan location. And the director (and a star) of SXSW’s Loves Her Gun will open day and date with a unique DIY strategy for the film’s limited theatrical run beginning this Friday.
Writer/director Kim Mordaunt penned The Rocket over 2009 – ’10. The drama centers on a boy who is thought to bring bad luck to everyone around him and leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. After a disaster-filled journey, he proves he’s not bad luck by building a giant rocket to enter the year’s most exciting and dangerous event, the Rocket Festival. Mordaunt’s previous documentary effort, Bomb Harvest, looked at the legacy of war in Laos and provided a good amount of background in the form of history as well as the mythology from the Southeast Asian country that formed the backbone of The Rocket.
Foreign Language Oscar Preview: A Long List Of Strong Contenders For Such A Shortlist Of Possible Nominees
Last year, I offered up a preview of the 15 films that had the most buzz going into the unveiling of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist. Somehow this year, with a record 76 entries (last year it was 71), I whittled down another 15 films that have a shot at the shortlist which is expected to be finalized later this week. This was not an easy task in one of the strongest fields for foreign film in recent years. While 2012′s eventual winner Amour seemed like a foregone conclusion, this year has any number of possible outcomes. Movies that started their careers in Berlin and Cannes are represented below, but so are others that didn’t make it to those high-profile events. I spoke with the directors of each film about their inspirations and expectations, and in some cases with the U.S. distributor about what gave them the confidence to acquire. Notably, Harvey Weinstein clarifies the controversy surrounding an edit of Wong Kar Wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster. There’s also a lot more here from folks like Paolo Sorrentino, Thomas Vinterberg and Sebastian Lelio, among many others. The rules for selecting the final winner have changed this year with the entire Academy voting body able to weigh in without proving they have seen the films in a movie theater. But the regs for establishing the shortlist remain the same: The Phase I committee determines six of the nine films on the shortlist. The other three titles will be determined by the select Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee. Those three extra titles might have international renown but been somehow overlooked by the larger committee (wink, wink City Of God, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days and others). After that, an uber-committee of 30 higher profile members chooses the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the course of a long weekend. Below (in alphabetical order by title) are profiles of the 15 films that I believe have a shot at the first stage:
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts has set nominations for its 3rd AACTA Awards. The feature prizes, considered the local equivalent of the Oscars, aren’t as young as they seem: they’re a continuum of the Australian Film Institute Awards which were established in 1958. Baz Luhrmann’s Oz-filmed The Great Gatsby scooped 14 nods followed by Kim Mourdant’s foreign language Oscar entry The Rocket with 12. The AACTAs also honor TV and gave 10 nominations to Jane Campion’s New Zealand-set BBC mini Top Of The Lake. Along with Gatsby and The Rocket, the nominees for Best Feature include Tony Krawitz’s drama Dead Europe; Ivan Sen’s thriller Mystery Road; family pic Satellite Boy by Catriona McKenzie; and omnibus The Turning, with directorial efforts by the likes of Mia Wasikowska and Justin Kurzel. Rose Byrne is nominated for lead actress in that pic, along with Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby; Tasma Walton in Mystery Road; and Naomi Watts in Adoration. Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated as Best Actor for Gatsby; Tribeca winner Sitthiphon Disamoe has a nod for The Rocket; Ewen Leslie is nominated for Dead Europe; and Hugo Weaving picked up a mention for The Turning. That film’s ensemble of helmers has a Best Director nomination along with Luhrmann, Mourdant and Sen. The AACTAs will be handed out over two events on January 28th and 30th. Following is a full list of nominees:
Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about The Rocket, the best film to come out of Laos in perhaps ever, and why the Laotian government is banning it; Keshet’s Rising Star continues to rise in the U.S. and U.K.; so-past-rising star Simon Cowell’s newest three-year deal with ITV; what new EU film-support rules may mean for getting more films made there; and a French film debut that may redeem a poor year at the box office for local productions.
Australia’s Foreign Language Oscar Entry & Major Fest Prize-Winner ‘The Rocket’ Banned In Laos, Country Of Its Subject
The Foreign Language Oscar category is rarely devoid of controversy – from the moment individual countries start putting forth their films, straight through to the final nominations cut (and sometimes beyond). Australia’s entry this year, The Rocket, has joined the fray, albeit in a particular manner. The Rocket is in the Lao language, the key element that makes it eligible for the category, and is set in Laos. But that country has banned the film. This doesn’t affect its Oscar eligibility, yet it’s another twist in the world of worldwide filmmaking. The Rocket won three prizes in Berlin including Best Debut Feature, and further prizes in Tribeca including Best Narrative Feature, as well as taking the World Cinema Audience Award at AFI Fest this week. And, yet, it won’t be shown in the country it’s about. Director Kim Mordaunt’s film tells the plight of a 10-year-old boy (Tribeca Best Actor Sitthiphon Disamoe) who is blamed for a string of disasters that kill his mother and deeply affect his community. When his family is forced to move, he leads them through war-scarred land to find a new home. Kino Lorber has U.S. distribution. Mordaunt was in Bangkok today for the film’s Thai premiere and told me over the phone that the ban in Laos “doesn’t reflect the broad Lao response to the film… We’ve seen …