Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The weekend boasted a hefty number of Specialty newcomers though that translated into mostly unimpressive results. Most new titles this weekend will likely have short big screen lives. The Weinstein Company’s Salinger, however, skirted that 3-day trend with a gross of just under $91K and a cool $22,742 average putting it in the top tier of documentary openers this year, though titles such as The Act Of Killing ($27,450) and Stories We Tell ($27,053) still showed more opening muscle.
“There’s a lot of stuff about Salinger people want to hear and it’s a unique film,” said TWC’s Erik Lomis ahead of this weekend’s release. “It will get buzz and it’s worth the watch.” Following this weekend’s limited roll out, Salinger will head to 60 markets in 175 to 200 theaters the following week.
TWC’s French-language comedy Populaire had another new film in theaters, though its numbers were far smaller. Directed by Régis Roinsard, the feature grossed $16,662 for a slow $5,554 average. “It is strictly art house,” said Lomis about the feature. “I think it will appeal to an older audience but it also has a unique style that might play to people over 35.”
Magnolia Pictures also released two titles this weekend, though its theatrical numbers were blasé. Good Ol Freda grossed $8K giving it the weekend’s second best PSA among the newcomers, though that was only in one theater. Its other film, Touchy Feely with Rosemarie DeWitt and Ellen Page, fared worse, only grossing $4K in two theaters. Even director Lynn Shelton’s smaller budget previous film Your Sister’s Sister had an $8,402 opening weekend PSA in 13 theaters when it opened in June, 2012. Both Good Ol Freda and Touchy Feely were available via VOD/day and date. READ MORE »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Even as attention turns to the next slate of films on the horizon at the Toronto International Film Festival, the coming weekend’s theatrical debuts are beyond plentiful. Magnolia Pictures bows Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, starring Rosemarie DeWitt who starred in Shelton’s previous effort. The weekend also boasts two films with very different stories that center on older woman/ younger man sexual relationships in Adore by Anne Fontaine and Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher. The Weinstein Company is releasing two films, including doc Salinger (which played Telluride and is at TIFF) and French comedy Populaire by Régis Roinsard. Newcomer Active Fox Productions also has a duo with family pic Tio Papi and thriller 36 Saints. And Participant’s 99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film join the weekend’s documentary titles along with FilmBuff’s Red Obsession. And crime-thriller Mission Park joins the fray after screening a number of Latino film festivals earlier this year.
Director-writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Scoot McNairy
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Writer-director Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely came out of the filmmaker’s work with Rosemarie DeWitt in Shelton’s previous film Your Sister’s Sister. The drama, which also stars Ellen Page and Josh Pais centers on a massage therapist who is unable to do her job when stricken with a sudden aversion to bodily contact. At the same time, her uptight brother’s unsuccessful dentist practice finds a renaissance when clients seek out his healing touch. “[Shelton] often develops stories working with actors,” said producer Steven Schardt who has worked with Shelton on a number of projects. “We had been talking to [DeWitt] for sometime.” Production had to move forward a month due to DeWitt’s schedule, which meant kicking the production into gear. It was also one of the “biggest” projects Shelton and Schardt had undertaken, though they still worked with a core of crew from previous shoots. “It was one of the longest shoots by far that we’ve done,” added Schardt. “It was 20 days as opposed to 12 days for Your Sister’s Sister.” They also worked with investors who helped fund Your Sister’s Sister. Read More »
Rosemarie DeWitt reunites with writer-director Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister) in this Sundance 2013 dramedy about a massage therapist who suddenly develops an aversion to human touch. Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Josh Pais, Scoot McNairy, and Ron Livingston co-star in the pic … Read More »