UPDATE: As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported from Toronto on Wednesday, TWC was nearing a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers and The Weinstein Company just made it official. See today’s release below the original break.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: In its second big deal of the Toronto Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is near a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. I hear the deal is around $3 million and covers U.S., Canada, UK and France for the Ned Benson-directed film that stars Jessica Chastain, William Hurt, Viola Davis, James McAvoy, Ciarin Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler and Nina Arianda. The structure on this one is unusual. It’s the story of a married couple that experiences a difficult time in their relationship, as seen in two films. One is through the eyes of the husband, and the other is from the wife’s perspective. The picture made its debut Monday at the Elgin, and the deal is being brokered by WME Global and the TWC team led by Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser and, as has been the case on most of these deals, they went at it all night. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Project Runway producer The Weinstein Co. has teamed with Lifetime for another fashion-themed reality series. Lifetime has greenlighted Million Dollar Shoppers, a six-episode hourlong series set in the exclusive world of personal shopping. It will premiere on October 10, at 10:30 PM, immediately following Project Runway, before moving to its regular time slot at 10 PM on October 24. Each episode of Million Dollar Shoppers will feature three personal shoppers as they try to meet the fashion needs of their rich, famous, powerful and often high-maintenance clients. With their pride, reputation and, ultimately, final commission on the line, the shoppers take close inventory of their clients’ closets and homes before consulting with them about the task, ranging from finding an outfit for a specific event, packing for an upcoming vacation or an entire wardrobe makeover. With the customers’ credit cards in hand, the shoppers use their retail sense and fashion connections to purchase what they believe fulfills their clients’ vision until the clients meticulously review all purchases before approving each and every expense. Each week, viewers will follow the driven shoppers to see who rakes in the most commission and the ultimate bragging rights. Personal shopping has drawn interest from TV recently, with Girls‘ Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner developing a comedy for HBO about long-time Bergdorf Goodman personal shopper and New York institution Betty Halbreich. Read More »
Just call it Weinstein Premiere-O-Rama. The company launched four movies with splashy galas at the Toronto International Film Festival in the span of 48 hours (is this some sort of weird record?). That included Saturday night’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom World Premiere, Sunday’s North American launch of Philomena and last night’s World Premieres of August: Osage County and One Chance directly against each other. When I saw Harvey Weinstein at the combined Soho House after-party for the Monday films I told him he obviously loves Toronto. He was moving fast between his movies showing up everywhere, including on stage for August before it began. ”Everything came together and we just thought this would be the perfect way to get these films out there,” he said clearly beaming at the reaction.
Related: Toronto: TWC’s Epic ‘Mandela’ Debuts To Standing Ovation
All the films won standing ovations, not uncommon in movie-friendly Toronto (people like getting up on their feet here) but even by those standards the raucous, prolonged standing O for August: Osage County was definitely the most enthusiastic I have encountered at this year’s fest. And the John Wells-directed movie adaptation of actor/writer Tracy Letts’ Tony-winning Midwestern-set Broadway play about a dysfunctional family to end all dysfunctional families played like gangbusters with much audible reaction throughout. Star Meryl Streep was a last-minute cancellation due to illness and co-producer George Clooney (with Grant Heslov) didn’t make the trek to Canada for this film or Gravity in which he co-stars with Sandra Bullock since he was back in L.A. still working on posting his latest directorial gig, Monuments Men as well as shooting Disney’s Tomorrowland. But most of the cast was there including Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney and Julia Roberts, clearly the belle of this ball. When I spoke with her afterwards she was definitely on cloud nine over the reaction the film received and obviously excited to be working with this cast and opposite Streep who manages to do the impossible and tops Streep as the bitterly funny, bitingly caustic mother who lets it rip, particularly in the film’s (and the play’s ) signature dinner scene. Roberts is also at her best and both should be major Oscar contenders in the impossibly crowded lead actress category. This would make nomination #18 for Streep. Could anyone ever top her own record?
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The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off this week, Telluride and Venice wrapped up and Fifty Shades of Grey got its leads. If you missed these and Deadline’s other top film stories this week, here’s your chance to check them out now:
Toronto 2013: Will Deals Take Back Seat As Buyers Focus On Fest Oscar Hopefuls?
By Mike Fleming Jr - The Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate.
Vin Diesel’s ‘Riddick’ Opens Weak Weekend
By Nikki Finke - Welcome to one of the slowest weekends at the domestic box office. The movie season is off to a weak start – just $70M total filmgoing
Dakota Johnson Lands ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Role
By Mike Fleming Jr - EXCLUSIVE: The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Related: Charlie Hunnam Cast As Christian Grey In ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Read More »
iThe Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate. Today, the acquisitions market should get going with the first screening of the Jason Bateman-directed comedy Bad Words and Saturday’s premiere of Once helmer John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life?
Related: Toronto: Festival Dives Into WikiLeaks Controversy With Powerful ‘Fifth Estate’
Toronto has long served a dual role as a global platform to launch prestige films into the Oscar race, as well as a place where distributors can bolster slates with acquisitions of finished films that need someone to release them. The odd thing about this year’s marketplace: the biggest challenge facing sellers is to get the major buyers to focus, because they are so preoccupied with the films they are launching in the Oscar race from Toronto that dealmaking is a distant second on the priority level. Whether it’s The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, CBS Films or Focus Features, everybody has a viable Oscar horse. Frankly, there is less early chit-chat about deal prospects than there is about how the end-of-year releases of Oscar corridor films will be as crowded and brutally competitive as the summer season that just passed. There are way more films platforming and playing through the winter than was the cast last year. Just as some worthy summer blockbusters underperformed because of the onslaught, upcoming prestige films will be under extreme pressure to perform.
Here, the major distributors that have the funds to create bidding battles have tons of product at Toronto. SPC’s Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have nine movies playing, and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein has six. The challenge facing sellers will be to get those buyers to wrap their arms around new product that will fill slate holes in 2014. Everybody is loaded for bear for the fall and early winter. This won’t be a replay of the times past, when films like Shame, The Wrestler and Rabbit Hole were acquired and launched from festivals right into Oscar season.
Related: Toronto 2013: How Did Last Year’s Films Do?
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The Weinstein Co‘s One Chance is the rags-to-riches story of Britain’s Got Talent‘s 2007 winner Paul Potts. The David Frankel-directed pic stars James Corden as Potts, the cell phone salesman who became an overnight sensation and a successful opera singer. Julie Walters, Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Jemima … Read More »
Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with this drama set in modern Beijing. Man Of Tai Chi follows a young martial artist (Tiger Chen) who must compete in an underground fight club to protect his way of life. Reeves also stars along with Karen Mok in the Michael … Read More »
The Weinstein Company has hired Jamie Schwartz to be president of international marketing. The hire was made by TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and COO David Glasser. Schwartz will head international marketing for TWC releases from their UK offices. … Read More »
As the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival winds down, The Weinstein Company has kept a relatively low profile for most of the fest. But TWC caused a stir in offering up the World Premiere and first public screening ever of Salinger, writer/director/producer Shane Salerno‘s riveting and stunning portrait of reclusive author J.D. Salinger. The documentary begins its theatrical run on Friday and will appear on PBS‘ American Masters in January. It should be a certain Oscar contender for Best Documentary Feature, not only for its superb execution but also as an investigative piece that has elicited major revelations about never-before-known Salinger literary works left behind by the author who died in 2010, which are scheduled now to be released to the world between 2015 and 2020.
Related: J.D. Salinger Docu Bombshell: More Books To Be Posthumously Published
The film got a one-time only “surprise” sneak preview (but was tipped over the weekend by Deadline’s Mike Fleming) at the Palm at 9 AM this morning and was followed by an onstage conversation moderated by filmmaker Ken Burns. Salinger historian David Shields, cinematographer Buddy Squires, one-time Salinger muse and friend Jean Miller were in attendance joined via Skype by Salerno and Salinger friend/one-time editor A.E. Hotchner. Early reaction from the packed screening was thumbs up, even for a movie-satiated crowd who have been watching one great film after another since the festival began on Thursday. Read More »
Several distribution companies were checking out the acquisition title Tracks this weekend as the 40th Telluride Film Festival rolled on. But as Deadline exclusively reported The Weinstein Company had the real inside ‘track’ out of the Venice Film Festival premiere. The film financed by EOne in the UK and Transmission in Australia first screened here last night and again this morning as the filmmakers hightailed it out of Venice to get to the remote Rockies for their next stop.
Related: Weinstein Acquiring ‘Tracks’ As John Curran Pic Has Double Premiere At Venice And Telluride Fests
The true story of Robyn Davidson’s 1977′s 2000 mile solo trek with four camels and a black dog across the Australian desert to the Indian Ocean stars Mia Wasikowska, was directed by John Curran (The Painted Veil), and next heads to Toronto. Producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who won Oscars for The Weinstein Company’s The King’s Speech two years ago, told me they are relieved after the enthusiastic reception the film has received in both Venice and now Telluride. Curran said the nerves were flowing for him as well before the North American debut here but he also is happy with response so far. Several specialty film distributors checked out the film in Telluride and two top execs I spoke with after the screening were impressed but obviously Weinstein is doing the deal. After seeing the film I thought this fascinating adventure picture would have no trouble at all finding domestic distribution. If it did we should all get out of this business. It’s that good. I don’t think Weinstein will want to release in this crowded awards season and their plate is already full. Spring seems right to me. Read More »
UPDATE: The Weinstein Company has confirmed Deadline’s scoop about the acquisition of U.S. rights to Tracks. Release has been added below original story.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that the first major acquisition on the ground at the weekend festivals will … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing there will be a surprise late entry to the Telluride lineup that was announced earlier this week. There will be a sneak screening of The Weinstein Company-distributed documentary Salinger on Monday, September 2. … Read More »
Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is set for a high-profile Gala slot October 16 at the BFI London Film Festival, which runs from October 9-20. The relationship drama about a mother’s search for her long-lost … Read More »
The Weinstein Company acquired Carol at the tail end of Cannes this year. At the time, Mia Wasikowska was attached to star opposite Cate Blanchett in the story of a burgeoning relationship … Read More »
After The Weinstein Company early this morning announced a new deal that makes Netflix its exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run films starting in 2016, Netflix stock was trading at above $268, nearly +9 points (+3.4%) … Read More »
UPDATE, 5:10 PM: Despite a $10 million copyright and trademark suit field on Tuesday, Lovelace is still coming out on Friday. US District Judge Thomas Griesa today rejected Arrow Productions request for a temporary … Read More »
Lawsuits aside, can Lovelace become the latest high profile theatrical/VOD release to also get Oscar attention? I was thinking about that after attending the splashy Monday night Hollywood premiere of the Radius/TWC – Millennium film at the Egyptian. The movie has a name ensemble cast all delivering terrific performances, but two are true standouts. Amanda Seyfried as notorious Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace and a de-glammed supporting turn by Sharon Stone as her mother could have strong appeal to the Academy’s actors branch. The film is not the type to gain traction in the Best Picture race but the actors might go for it if they see it. Radius (the VOD arm of The Weinstein Company) co-President Tom Quinn tells me the company quietly opened the film in Encino for a week in order to make sure it qualifies before the big simultaneous theatrical/VOD run starts Friday. However Academy rules, as I read them, seem to indicate the film would be eligible anyway so long as the VOD premiere does not precede the opening day of the theatrical run.
In any event with the Video On Demand component for increasingly high profile movies such as Lovelace or the Ryan Gosling starrer, Only God Forgives which Radius opened day and date with VOD in July after playing in competition in Cannes, awards talk would seem to be a natural. The Academy’s rules only seem to punish a film that first plays VOD or other non-theatrical formats and arrives in theaters later. Nevertheless most distributors still play it safe and qualify these movies in traditional ways. With the Academy, you don’t want to take a chance. Quinn says they also did a week-long qualifying run for Only God Forgives in Encino and grossed $7000 without anyone really even knowing it was playing there. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Meryl Streep is poised to join Jeff Bridges and a fast growing cast in The Giver, an adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel that Phil Noyce will direct. Streep is in talks to join a … Read More »