Red Sea Media Acquires 2 Titles For Marché du Film
Red Sea Media has acquired worldwide rights, excluding North America, for two new titles: horror-thriller Sacrilege and comedic horror pic Hell Baby. Red Sea will introduce both at the upcoming Marché du Film. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Sacrilege is produced by Rick Dugdale of Enderby Entertainment through Enderby’s horror division Tony-Seven Films, Sean E. DeMott through Execution Style Entertainment and Chris M. Bonifay through Limb from Limb Pictures. Sacrilege is about a family who takes back their son 3 years after he is kidnapped & brainwashed by a devil worshipping cult. Now, he would like nothing more than to watch them get murdered. With the cult surrounding their cabin, the family must fight for their lives while trying to undo the damage. No cast has yet been announced. Hell Baby tells the story of an expectant couple who move into a haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a demonic curse. Things spiral out of control and only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team can save them — or can they? Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Riki Lindhome, Rob Huebel, Michael Ian Black, Paul Scheer, Keegan Michael Key, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon star. Darko Entertainment’s Hell Baby was written and directed by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon and produced by Jeff Culotta, Ted Hamm, Sean McKittrick and Peter Principato. READ MORE »
Cannes Briefs: Red Sea Media Picks Up 2; UMedia & ‘Amazing Mr Jones’; Ealing Metro Re-Brands; Lionsgate UK’s Buying Spree; Weinstein Co. Presents Short Film Series
Red Sea Media Acquires 2 Titles For Marché du Film
We’re six days from definitively learning the Cannes Film Festival lineup while hopefuls await a call from fest chief Thierry Frémaux in the hours just preceding Thursday’s announcement. Of the high-profile possibilities, we reported last month that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco would not be ready, and while that intel remains correct, I’m now hearing that footage from the film will turn up on the Croisette. It’s possible it could be part of an officially sanctioned event, but I understand that has yet to be determined.
By Hollywood standards, if that Weinstein Co. footage were to be an official part of the proceedings, it could be one of the most high-profile parts of the selection since the major studios are largely sitting this one out. With the exception of Warner Bros., whose Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby is opening the festival, I’m hearing that either the timing has not aligned or that upcoming studio films don’t jive with Cannes as a platform. “It’s a great place if you have something to promote… But it’s expensive, so it has to be the right thing for the movie,” one insider tells me. Estimates put the cost of an official red carpet Cannes screening and fête at up to $3M and beyond.
Cannes is still considered by Hollywood to be a useful marketing tool, but could it be that’s becoming truer outside of the official selection? Witness TWC, which last year rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to screen about 20 minutes of footage from three of its fall films – Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. The move turned out to be a prescient means to whet the appetite for pictures that TWC was confident would be awards contenders later in the year. If the company repeats that select screening effort – which I understand it might do in a much bigger way – the top picks for this year look to be Salinger, the Shane Salerno feature doc about the Catcher In The Rye author; August: Osage County, John Wells’ Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts-starrer; One Chance, David Frankel’s pic about Britain’s Got Talent’s first winner Paul Potts; Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the biopic starring Idris Elba, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
The above formula proved fruitful for TWC last year in a non-official capacity. However, for the U.S. majors, appearing in official selection is viable to launch Europe, but doesn’t mean much domestically, I’m told by someone who’s been down the road before. Another believes that to merit the whole red carpet pomp & circumstance “it has to be the right movie for the right audience because all eyes are on you. It is not the right place to toe dip… If you’re not going to deliver above expectations, why put yourself in the position?” Even DreamWorks Animation, long termed by Frémaux as a “friend of the festival” and which usually bows a movie in Cannes, won’t be there this year, I understand. Its upcoming Turbo rolls out in Europe in the fall. Typically, high-profile movies that open in Cannes are released theatrically quite quickly after the festival or are films that benefit from a very long lead critical campaign.
I spoke to Harvey Weinstein in Toronto after The Weinstein Company’s The Master won 3 big awards at the Venice Film Festival and about the latest jury scandal there. Weinstein explained that the panel wanted to give The Master the top Golden Lion prize and also acting awards. But when …
EXCLUSIVE: Juliette Lewis is in negotiations to join August: Osage County. The actress would play the role of Karen, the self-deluding youngest daughter, in the dark family comedy …
Buying is already getting underway in Cannes with films acquired on the eve and first day of the market. There is a lot of quality product out there and many distributors with already packed slates are eager not to miss an opportunity. Execs are calling it a buyer’s market, but one important company may be sitting this one out. Here’s a look at some key players in town this year:
The Weinstein Company: Harvey Weinstein often sets the pace of the market here in Cannes. When he spends, everybody else seems to also. If that holds true this year, it will mean vibrant activity on the Croisette. On the eve of this year’s Cannes, The Weinstein Co announced it had picked up Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires, the Australian feel-good film that’s screening in official selection. They’re also close to a deal on hunt for Bin Laden pic Code Name Geronimo. The company has 2 pictures in the competition, Lawless, which it acquired last year (when it was still called The Wettest County In The World), and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly (which also used to go by a different name, Cogan’s Trade). The timing of the Sapphires announcement is reminiscent of the Weinsteins’ pick-up of The Artist last year. TWC has a packed roster for 2012, but COO David Glasser tells me, “Last year we had a busy slate going into the market and we ended up buying. We’ll buy for this year if the picture is there, but we also have a keen eye for 2013.” Last year, TWC’s deal on The Artist came after the company already had Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master in its pocket, but that didn’t stop pick-ups of The Iron Lady and Lawless. “We’re as aggressive as the product allows us to be,” says Glasser. TWC also has August Osage County with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook coming up.
Related: Cannes 2012: Producers To Watch
Lionsgate: Patrick Wachsberger is looking ahead to 2014. The takeover of Summit by Lionsgate which was announced in January has had the international biz concerned the consolidation would eliminate an important supplier of product as well as an important US partner. Wachsberger tells me at Cannes he doesn’t think “we’re up to a lot and the why of it is we have something like 18 movies to release. So, frankly, we have no need for product. Of course if there’s something really great, we’ll go for it.” The ‘new’ Lionsgate also recently greenlighted a handful of movies that includes sequel RED 2, the Dirty Dancing remake and has Hunger Games follow-up Catching Fire which is finalizing deals in the remaining foreign territories. Wachsberger says that the influx of new sales companies with such a variety of product leads him to wonder where the films are going to go domestically. “There’s not that many companies. We might have great opportunities of picking up movies that we like, but buyers are going to be able to tell distributors they’re going to have to put up their own P&A. For us and the other domestic distributors it’s gonna be fantastic.” He adds that for 2014, “we definitely need product. We’re loaded for 2012 and I don’t think we have any room left for 2013, but you always find room for something great.”
Related: Cannes 2012: Directors To Watch
May 15, 2012 – New York, NY – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that they have acquired from Goalpost Film worldwide rights, with the exception of the UK & Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Israel, Portugal and airlines, to THE SAPPHIRES. The film, directed by acclaimed Aboriginal actor and theater director Wayne Blair, stars funnyman Chris O’Dowd (BRIDESMAIDS, FRIENDS WITH KIDS), Deborah Mailman (RADIANCE, OFFSPRING), who was the first Aboriginal actress to win the AFI Award for Best Actress, Jessica Mauboy (BRAN NUE DAE), an Australian pop artist who was the runner-up on Australian Idol in 2006 and breakout stars Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell. The screenplay was written by Aboriginal playwright Tony Briggs, whose mother and family members were part of The Sapphires group, and Keith Thompson. Warwick Thornton, previous winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for SAMSON AND DELILAH, is the film’s Director of Photography. The announcement was made today by TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, COO David Glasser, and Co-SVPs of Acquisitions Negeen Yazdi and Dan Guando.
LOS ANGELES (May 3, 2012) __ Former Weinstein Company executive Laine Kline has joined Twentieth Century Fox as senior vice president of business affairs Fox International Productions. The announcement was made today by Fox’s executive vice presidents of business affairs Stephen Plum and Mark Resnick, to whom Kline will report. At Fox International Pictures, Kline will negotiate many of the company’s development, acquisition, co-productions, partnerships, financing and tax driven agreements and structures.
With buzz already building for Tom Hardy‘s high-profile turn as uber-villain Bane in Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises, the Weinstein Co. today unveiled the trailer for his starring vehicle, Lawless. Joining Hardy in the Depression-era crime drama are Shia LaBoeuf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain.
The Weinstein Co won its appeal of the MPAA’s rating for Blue Valentine last year, but the distributor missed this one today. The filmmakers and Harvey Weinstein were looking for a PG-13 rating so they could show the documentary about bullying to middle …