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Specialty Box Office: Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’ Beats ‘Midnight In Paris’ Debut

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsWoody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine sparkled at the Box Office this weekend, grossing nearly $603K, out-performing Midnight In Paris ($99,834 debut average in 6 theaters), the director’s best-grossing film to date. The Sony Classics feature opened in 6 theaters, averaging a shiny $102,128, placing the film atop the year’s specialty debuts. “It certainly belies the myth opening,” said SPC’s Michael Barker about debuting against the summer blockbusters. “When we first screened the film I remember we heard that people said, “‘Why aren’t you waiting until the fall?’ Our response was that a good serious film will be a good breath of fresh air.” Jasmine edges out Spring Breakers in the averages game in 2013. The To-Do List, meanwhile, became this summer’s largest opening specialty, bowing in 591 theaters, grossing a cool $1.535M. Coming back down to earth, Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s Drug War opened in one theater, grossing a decent $7K, while fellow Sino title Tiny Times averaged $4,167 in three runs.

Blue Jasmine‘s b.o. cha-ching apparently isn’t an aberration. Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back and TWC’s Sundance winner Fruitvale Station continue to lure discerning audiences away from the tentpoles. The company said it would take the title wide this weekend and it really delivered. The Weinsteins pushed Fruitvale out to 1,064 theaters (last week in only 34 runs) and the film by this year’s indie darling Ryan Coogler held up. It averaged $4,377 and the distributor touted its numbers Sunday. And Fox Searchlight added 582 runs for its hit The Way, Way Back, grossing $3.3M ($3,724 average). It’s been noted that the film cost a cool $10M to buy, so it will take some time to make a return for the company, but it is clearly showing momentum. Back has cumed about $9 million to date. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Blue Jasmine’, ‘The To Do List’, ‘Drug War’, ‘Apartment 1303 3D’, ‘Wasteland’, ‘Tiny Times’

By | Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 6:54pm PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Woody Allen joins the summer Specialty newcomers this weekend with his anticipated Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Sally Hawkins. The Sony Classics release marks a return to America and possibly another hit at the box office following his recent titles To Rome With Love and Midnight In Paris (which is his b.o. record to date) and possibly some awards nods later this year. CBS Films is going for it with a hefty weekend bow of its comedy The To Do List, which it financed targeting a predominantly female audience. Veteran Hong Kong director Johnnie To is making rare press appearances in support of his crime-drama Drug War for Well Go USA and Variance Films, which will have an exclusive New York run its first weekend, while Gravitas Ventures will roll out Apartment 1303 3D with Mischa Barton and Rebecca De Mornay in over a dozen markets in both 3D and 2D formats. Also joining the group of limited release newcomers are Oscilloscope’s Toronto ’12 drama Wasteland from first-time director Rowan Athale and China Lion’s stylish Tiny Times, which made a splash at the box office when it opened earlier this summer in mainland China.

Blue Jasmine
Director-writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Tammy Blanchard
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen’s latest Blue Jasmine is the fifth film in a row (and sixth overall) the veteran filmmaker has released with Sony Pictures Classics, of which 2011 Oscar-winner Midnight In Paris scored the highest domestic box office total to date with over $56.8 million (and the filmmaker’s most successful box office title overall), while last year’s To Rome With Love racked up nearly $17 million. His latest film is a strong awards contender, especially for Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins who have received attention in the lead-up to the film’s roll out this weekend, though SPC says awards talk is still too early. “We don’t put the cart before the horse,” said co-president Michael Barker. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Regal, CBS Films, Foursquare Team For ‘To Do List’ Promotion

By | Wednesday July 17, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

In an inventive way to try and get the Comic-Con crowd behind a small comedy entering the fray alongside the blockbusters later this month, CBS Films has joined with Regal Entertainment Group and Foursquare to marketing The To Do List directly to the Con crowd. It is the first time Foursquare has worked directly with a film studio to promote a movie directly to users. When users of the service check in at the convention center, some will get freebies to see the film opening weekend at Regal Cinemas, United Artists or Edwards Theatres. The promotion runs through Sunday. The Maggie Carey-directed film opens July 26. “Foursquare is the app that helps our users make the most of where they are, and where they are going. People love checking in when they go to the movies, so this partnership was a natural fit,” said Foursquare’s Steven Rosenblatt. “Foursquare users who check in at Comic-Con events during the show will receive more information about The To Do List in the app, and get free tickets to see the movie. It’s another way for Foursquare users to be engaged and rewarded for using our service.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The To Do List’

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 8:35pm PDT

Those who know Aubrey Plaza from her deadpan ex-intern on Parks and Recreation will see a decidedly different side of her in CBS Films’ The To Do List. The redband trailer has arrived, complete with raunchy jokes, sight gags and “other”. Plaza’s Brandy was her class valedictorian but managed to finish high school with her virginity intact. One raucous graduation party later, she decides to remedy the situation before starting college in the fall. Watch for Brandy stumbling over her unfamiliarity with certain terms of, er, endearment. Director Maggie Carey’s 1993-set comedy boasts the tagline, “From straight A’s to her first F.” Co-starring Bill Hader, Alia Shawkar and Johnny Simmons, it opens July 26:

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CBS Films Moves Up Aubrey Plaza Comedy ‘The To-Do List’

By | Thursday May 9, 2013 @ 4:20pm PDT

Audrey Plaza, The To-Do List, Parks and RecreationBusy day for Aubrey Plaza: First, her NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation got picked up for a sixth season, then CBS Films set a new domestic release date for her next movie. The To Do List, a comedy about an awkward overachiever who tries to make up for her sexual underachieving in high school before she heads to college, has been moved up from August 16 to July 26. Instead of going up against Universal’s action-comedy sequel Kick-Ass 2, it now will be counterprogramming to Fox’s tentpole The Wolverine. Writer-director Maggie Carey’s film also stars Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg and Connie Britton. It is produced by Jennifer Todd, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, with Mark Gordon, Greg Walter, Tom Lassally, Maggie Carey, Bill Hader and Tracy McGrath aboard as exec producers.

Related: Summer 2013: Sleeper Movie Forecast

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Summer 2013: Sleeper Movie Forecast

Anyone who predicts sleeper hits ahead of the summer is either very brave or very spun. But these are the pics expected to emerge through the cracks of tentpole action: All benefit from obvious counterprogramming, festival hype, and demo-targeted storytelling. In chronological order:

IFC’s Frances Ha has high awareness among its targeted younger-skewing arthouse crowd and exhibitors. “It’s certainly getting talked about in the right places for the audience they’re going for,” one NATO member tells me. Star Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach are indie darlings and scored a talked-about New Yorker piece last week that boosted their profile as a filmmaking couple. According to an IFC Films rep, it’s the sleeper they’re banking on when it releases May 17. “We think we’re going to get great word of mouth,” they tell me.

Kings Of Summer CBS Films CBS Films has two indie pickups budgeted at under $2M each that they’ve slotted into the summer. Sundance pickup Kings Of Summer (formerly Toy’s House) stars three youngsters and has TV stars Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally supporting. The studio’s hoping for its Stand By Me-esque story to build momentum with a May 31 limited release. “It’s a movie about discovering in general — which people who see arthouse films spark to,” a studio insider tells me. “And discovery is part of what makes a sleeper hit”. CBS Films is hoping it becomes this year’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen which was a surprise success for the studio last year.

– Upstart distrib A24 is new to the summer game and has two more youth-skewing pics on tap after scoring a minor youthquake with the sexploitation Spring Breakers in March. The first is Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring will get a NY-LA limited opening June 14 two weeks after its Cannes premiere.
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Hot Red Band Trailer: ‘The To Do List’

By | Wednesday August 29, 2012 @ 7:14pm PDT

Here’s Aubrey Plaza (most recently seen in FilmDistrict’s Safety Not Guaranteed) introducing the R-Rated trailer for her Valentine’s Day movie that CBS Films will open on that day in 2013. Written and directed by Maggie Carey, The To Do List also features Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Donald Glover, Bill Hader and Clark Gregg.

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CBS Films Sets Ensemble Comedy ‘The To Do List’ For February 14, 2013 Release

By | Wednesday August 29, 2012 @ 10:07am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: CBS Films has set a February 14, 2013 release for The To Do List, an ensemble comedy written and directed by Maggie Carey (Funny or Die Presents). Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed) plays Brandy Klark, a Type-A, overachiever who comes up with a “to-do list” featuring all the risqué extra-curricular activities she missed out on in high school and wants to complete before college. Rachel Bilson, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Scott Porter, Connie Britton, Clark Gregg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Donald Glover, Johnny Simmons, Sarah Steele, and Alia Shawkat co-star.

Jennifer Todd produced for the Mark Gordon Company along with Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett via Summer Break Productions for their Varsity Pictures banner. Mark Gordon, Maggie Carey, Bill Hader, Tracy McGrath, Greg Walter and Tom Lassally are the Executive Producers. CBS Films financed the film, will handle domestic distribution and has sold all worldwide rights.

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