Two docs joined the Specialty Box Office ranks this weekend doing OK business in theaters, while holdovers grabbed most of the shine. SPC re-released Tim’s Vermeer after a December qualifying run. The film failed to secure a nomination, but nevertheless bowed fairly well in 4 theaters, grossing almost $58K for a $14,461 PSA. Oscilloscope, meanwhile, opened SXSW ’13 doc 12 O’Clock Boys with less robust theatrical numbers, averaging $2,452 in 21 theaters. The film is also available on demand and the outfit noted it “enjoyed the top performing documentary spot on iTunes throughout the entire weekend.”
Magnolia Pictures once again packaged Oscar-nominated shorts, opening the pack of films in 100 theaters. It has, thankfully, had success in the past with the release and hopefully this year will be no different. Hats off to them for doing so. The shorts grossed $330K for a $3,300 average.
Strand Releasing stuck its neck out with the Cannes Un Certain Regard French-language sexually charged feature Stranger By the Lake. The film opened decently last weekend in two locations and held on in its second round in six theaters, grossing just over $34K for a $5,678 average. Read More »
After a sizable festival run including wins in Cannes, the Hamptons and a big Gotham prize this week, the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis is easily the most anticipated Specialty release of the weekend. The Oscar hopeful will platform release via CBS Films. Tim’s Vermeer had good news ahead of its theatrical roll out this weekend, making the Oscar Documentary shortlist. A Telluride and New York Film Festival premiere, Sony Classics will open the unique film which illusionist/entertainer Teller (of Penn and Teller fame) directed. Producer Adam Shopkorn is self-distributing his doc Lenny Cooke which will make its rounds this month ahead of a hopeful television deal that will move the Tribeca film’s reach into high gear. And also opening is IFC Films’ comedy White Reindeer in limited release.
Inside Llewyn Davis
Directors-writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett
Distributor: CBS Films
The Coens latest has made its rounds online with various trailer releases since its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last May where it won the Jury Grand Prize. The film then headed to the Telluride and New York Film Festivals as well as festivals in Chicago, Austin and AFI Fest. The Gothams gave it its best awards push to date with a Best Film win for 2013, while the National Board of Review gave the Coens a Best Original Screenplay nod and the NY Film Critics Circle recognized Bruno Delbonnel for Best Cinematography. The drama follows the week in the life of a young singer against the backdrop of the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Read More »
Until now Teller of Penn And Teller fame has best been known as the silent one of the comedy team. That’s an act. When it comes to his movie directorial debut , the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, he had a lot to say on the Sony Pictures Classics panel at Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS event. The film is about Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor who set out on an eight-year quest to find out how 17th Century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer could paint so photo-realistically. To do that he paints one himself, and Teller discusses how he paints that (motion) picture in his helming debut. Could it be magic?
Anna Lisa Raya is a Deadline contributor.
The second half of Deadline’s 3rd annual Contenders event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills got off to an energized start after lunch on the outdoor terrace. Deadline Awards columnist Pete Hammond returned with Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi, who had one of the bigger moments of the day when he revealed he ad-libbed his momentous “I am the captain now” line in the Sony film, essentially stealing the scene from Tom Hanks. The film’s producers, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, were spotted in the audience joining in the roaring applause.
Related: Deadline’s Contenders 2013 – Morning Panels
Anyone who’s been waiting for David O. Russell’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle (also for for Sony), will be happy to know the film was locked down today. This is per one of the film’s producers, Richard Suckle, who was on hand to discuss the genesis of the film which is loosely based on the ABSCAM scandals of the 1970s. One of his funnier reveals was that star Bradley Cooper — not wanting to perm his hair for the film — spent hours in hair and makeup every day getting it curled. Co-star Christian Bale, on the other hand, gained 40 lbs. for his role and shaved the crown of his head to perfect his character’s outlandish comb over.
Julie Delpy, co-writer and star of Sony Pictures Classics’ Before Midnight, had a lot to say about the intense writing and preparation that went into making the film appear as improvised and natural as it does. Acting the role was “extremely stressful,” she told Hammond. “There’s no plot. There’s nothing to hold onto but character and emotional arc.” Also for SPC is Tim’s Vermeer — a documentary about one man’s attempt to recreate a Johannes Vermeer painting — which was uncharacteristically directed by Teller (better known as the other half of Penn & Teller). He was thankful for his editor, Patrick Sheffield, who made sense of the over 2,400 hours of footage. Writer Kelly Marcel was on-hand to discuss Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the only film ever allowed to feature Walt Disney as a character. She called the studio “unbelievably brave” in how hands-off they were with her and director John Lee Hancock.
Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
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