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Specialty Box Office: ‘Trance’ Mesmerizes, ‘Upstream Color’ And Redford’s ‘Company’ Bow Solid

By | Sunday April 7, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsFox Searchlight’s Trance seduced the Specialty Box Office this weekend, grabbing the top spot in the averages game, though DIY release Upstream Color and Sony Classics’ The Company You Keep both bowed solidly and not far behind. Danny Boyle’s thriller starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson averaged a cool $34K this weekend, not quite the sizzling opening numbers of Boyle’s previous roll out, 127 Hours, but still number one on the limited release slate this weekend. Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color opened at IFC Center in New York in one showing, grossing $31,500. That is numerically a stronger showing than his last film, Primer, which opened back in October 2004. Robert Redford-directed The Company You Keep opened on 5 runs, averaging $29,212. His previous films opened comparatively wider, but on a straight average comparison, the film holds well.

But Searchlight’s Trance held the top spot in specialty theaters in the first weekend of April. Boyle, Dawson and Cassel turned out for a glittering premiere in New York midweek courtesy of the Cinema Society for the filmmaker’s first post-Olympics gig. In the comparison game, however, the film did not shine as brightly as his last film, 127 Hours. That film opened with a $66,213 average in 4 theaters in November, 2010 and went on to gross over $18.33 million domestically. His previous film, Oscar-winning Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire, however, averaged $36K when it opened in November 2008 in 10 theaters. That film went on to gross over $141.3 million in the U.S. alone. “The biggest selling point of this film is obviously Danny Boyle’s name”, noted Searchlight SVP Distribution Frank Rodriguez. Trance will move into about 350 theaters April 12.
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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Trance’, ‘Upstream Color’, ‘Simon Killer’, ‘Free Angela & All Political Prisoners’, ‘Lotus Eaters’, ‘The Company You Keep’, ‘The Brass Teapot’

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 4:26pm PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor

This week’s Specialty newcomers include Danny Boyle’s Trance from Fox Searchlight, IFC Films’ Simon Killer and self-distributed Sundance favorite Upstream Color. Trance will likely be the juggernaut of the group with its star-power in the form of James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel, though Upstream Color could prove a hefty presence due to strong word of mouth and a loyal following from fans of Shane Carruth’s previous film, Primer. And the folks behind 2011 hit Martha Marcy May Marlene are opening Simon Killer, a dark drama set in Paris, via IFC Films. Free Angela & All Political Prisoners is this week’s documentary newcomer, while Lotus Eaters hopes to carve itself a piece of the limited release box office pie. Also set to bow, Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep. The specialty world, meanwhile, took pause today as the news of Roger Ebert’s death spread. The famed critic will be remembered for being a champion of movies big and small and will be sorely missed.

Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Cast: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Danny Sapani
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

As part of its overall deal with Boyle, Searchlight has been on board Trance from the very start. “This is our sixth film we’ve done with Danny starting with 28 Days Later 10 years ago in 2003, and we’ve had a fabulous time,” Searchlight co-president Steve Gilula said in introducing the film at its New York premiere, hosted by The Cinema Society. “The one thing about Danny as a visionary filmmaker is he challenges us and challenges the audience and expects us to go with him…” Boyle introduced co-stars Dawson and Cassel before the screening in Chelsea, noting about the film: “What happens in the movie is deeply, deeply unethical,” he noted to laughs from an audience that included Patrick Stewart, Emma Watson, Kathleen Turner, Gina Gershon and Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson. “But it is clinically possible…”

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Trance’ Read More »

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Sundance: Why Wait For The Fest? Gravitas Ventures Nabs VOD For Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City,’ Shane Carruth Self Distribs ‘Upstream Color’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: After the backers of the Ashton Kutcher-starrer jOBS made a service distribution deal with Open Road well before that film closes Sundance, two other festival films have worked out distribution in advance of their Park City screenings. Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide VOD to Sound City, the documentary by Nirvana and Foo Fighters rock god Dave Grohl that features other music legends who made their careers in America’s great unsung recording studio, Sound City. Neil Young, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Lars Ulrich, and Mick Fleetwood are among those onscreen. Following its Sundance debut, the film will bow worldwide via cable, satellite, telco, online, hotel, and airline VOD operators on February 1. It’ll also get some kind of theatrical release in North America through Variance Films. Read More »

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