EXCLUSIVE: The John Turturro-directed Fading Gigolo has sold in a $3 million deal to Millennium Entertainment, I’m hearing. The deal is for U.S. rights, and another source just told me the deal will close between $2 million and $3 million. The film stars Turturro as a man who aspires to be a professional Don Juan in order to raise money to help his friend. Woody Allen plays the pal, and he effectively becomes his pimp. The film premiered Saturday evening at the Isabel Bader Theatre and it also stars Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. QED International and ICM Partners is closing up the deal. I believe that it’s the first time that Woody has played a pimp in a feature film, so this is truly a cinematic first. Jeffrey Kusama-Hunte produced with QED’s Bill Block and Paul Hanson.
The deal will likely be the first of several over the next couple of days. It felt like all the oxygen left the room after the mammoth auctions for the Jason Bateman-directed Bad Words that was acquired by Focus and the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life?, which was acquired by The Weinstein Company after an all-night auction. A bunch of acquisition titles got good reaction, but nobody seems in that much of a hurry to close. Maybe a deal like this will get things moving.
Here is the Fading Gigolo trailer: Read More »
Over the past several years, Woody Allen has shuttled between the U.S. and some of Europe’s big cities to make his films. If the mayor of Rio has his way, Allen will be flying to Latin America … Read More »
Woody Allen plays pimp to John Turturro‘s unlikely Don Juan in writer-director-star Turturro’s Fading Gigolo, which was added today to next month’s Toronto Film Festival lineup. Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, and Vanessa Paradis co-star in Turturro’s fifth film … Read More »
Sony Pictures Classics is bumping up the Richard Linklater relationship sequel after a fruitful two month run. The pic has taken in $7.7M domestic and $10.6M globally so far, besting box office grosses … Read More »
The nascent awards season finally got a big shot of adrenaline this past weekend with the record-breaking limited debut of Woody Allen‘s latest, Blue Jasmine and the strong expansions of The Weinstein Company’s Fruitvale Station and Fox Searchlight’s The Way, Way Back. It’s beginning to look like Fall in July as it is clear the appetite for some serious Oscar fare is heating up. After a steady dose this summer of monsters, zombies, superheroes, guns, garbage and Adam Sandler, things are looking up and names like Fruitvale’s Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer and Way, Way Back’s Sam Rockwell and writer/directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash might have reason to celebrate if they can keep the heat of their mid-summer splash going throughout the next few months.
But no one has started 2013 Oscar talk quite like Cate Blanchett‘s unanimously acclaimed performance in Blue Jasmine. The film’s huge weekend opening in six theaters in LA and NY has now only fueled the buzz with the Sony Pictures Classics release grabbing the best per screen average of the year and for any Allen film, even eclipsing his Oscar juggernaut of two years ago, Midnight In Paris to soar over $100,000 per screen. Oscar voters also got to see the film this weekend and turned out in droves to the Academy in Beverly Hills on Saturday afternoon with a near-capacity crowd that, according to my spies, gave the film a strong reception. “Lots of good chatter on the way out. The woman next to me said, ‘well there’s an Oscar nomination for sure’,” said one who was there. SAG Nominating Committee voters also sparked to the film and Blanchett at a packed special screening at Harmony Gold Thursday night where Blanchett, appearing for a Q&A with co-stars Andrew Dice Clay and Peter Sarsgaard, received a standing ovation. The film has a strong 85% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes just to put a cherry on top for SPC.
It’s probably always risky to make a bold prediction about anything Oscar-related in the middle of summer but Blanchett seems a cinch for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role as a New York socialite in the midst of an emotional freefall after losing everything in a Madoff-like financial scandal perpetrated by her husband. It’s the kind of complex stuff awards are made of. In fact if the film, a more serious outing for Allen, can maintain the pace it’s setting Allen himself along with co-stars Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale could be contenders.
I talked to SPC’s Michael Barker the other night about the strategy of going out in summer and he said audiences, particularly adult audiences, are ready at this point. He’s absolutely right as the turnout in theaters and the Academy proves. Also being a fresh quality picture before the glut of Fall releases all start cannibalizing each other for Oscar attention seems like a very smart move - if you have the goods. Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine sparkled at the Box Office this weekend, grossing nearly $603K, out-performing Midnight In Paris ($99,834 debut average in 6 theaters), the director’s best-grossing film to date. The Sony Classics feature opened in 6 theaters, averaging a shiny $102,128, placing the film atop the year’s specialty debuts. “It certainly belies the myth opening,” said SPC’s Michael Barker about debuting against the summer blockbusters. “When we first screened the film I remember we heard that people said, “‘Why aren’t you waiting until the fall?’ Our response was that a good serious film will be a good breath of fresh air.” Jasmine edges out Spring Breakers in the averages game in 2013. The To-Do List, meanwhile, became this summer’s largest opening specialty, bowing in 591 theaters, grossing a cool $1.535M. Coming back down to earth, Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s Drug War opened in one theater, grossing a decent $7K, while fellow Sino title Tiny Times averaged $4,167 in three runs.
Blue Jasmine‘s b.o. cha-ching apparently isn’t an aberration. Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back and TWC’s Sundance winner Fruitvale Station continue to lure discerning audiences away from the tentpoles. The company said it would take the title wide this weekend and it really delivered. The Weinsteins pushed Fruitvale out to 1,064 theaters (last week in only 34 runs) and the film by this year’s indie darling Ryan Coogler held up. It averaged $4,377 and the distributor touted its numbers Sunday. And Fox Searchlight added 582 runs for its hit The Way, Way Back, grossing $3.3M ($3,724 average). It’s been noted that the film cost a cool $10M to buy, so it will take some time to make a return for the company, but it is clearly showing momentum. Back has cumed about $9 million to date. Read More »
BREAKING …The cast of Woody Allen’s latest film is growing. Marcia Gay Harden and Jacki Weaver along with Eileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater and … Read More »
Having returned from his recent cinematic tour of European capitals, Woody Allen sets his new film in San Francisco. Blue Jasmine stars Cate Blanchett as a pampered New York housewife who has it all — until her wealthy husband (Alec Baldwin) is exposed as a crook and … Read More »
It was completely appropriate that AFI‘s 41st Life Achievement Award honoree Mel Brooks made his entrance at the Dolby Theatre to the Steven Sondheim song, “Comedy Tonight”. It set the tone immediately for a very different evening than any that had come before at this annual event. Look at the list of the 40 previous AFI honorees, and there’s not a single solely comedic filmmaker or actor in the whole bunch. Yes, there are some — like Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Hanks — who have made a few classic comedies but no one whose whole screen career is built on laughs. The AFI finally corrected that glaring omission Thursday night.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the American Film Institute honors the art — and the farts — of American film,” said AFI Board Of Trustees Chair Sir Howard Stringer in welcoming the star-studded crowd. “When I telephoned Mel to tell him the AFI had voted him in as the 2013 recipient, he responded instantly, ‘What took you so long?’ Fair enough. Comedy is routinely short-changed at many awards ceremonies , particularly the Oscars. It is often said comedy is harder than drama because funny is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. That makes Mel, without question, Hollywood’s principal lightning conductor.” Read More »
BREAKING: Deadline broke separate stories about Emma Stone and Colin Firth being set for Woody Allen’s next pic. Now, the Woodman has confirmed the news, along with our revelation the film will be set in the South of France. If that part of France stirs Allen as much … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After locking in Emma Stone as the female lead, Woody Allen is in talks with Colin Firth to play the male lead in his next film. The untitled pic will shoot in the South of France, I’m told. … Read More »
UPDATE: Here is a bit more information on Woody Allen’s next film. I’m told he will shoot in the South of France. That country certainly worked out for him in Midnight In Paris.
EXCLUSIVE: Woody Allen has … Read More »
Mickey Rose, who collaborated with childhood pal Woody Allen to write the movies What’s Up, Tiger Lily, Take The Money And Run and Bananas, died April 7 of cancer in Beverly Hills. He was 77. The LA Times obit says Rose, born in Brooklyn, met Allen in … Read More »
Sony Classics will debut Richard Linklater‘s Sundance hit threequel Before Midnight on May 24, 2013 in New York and Los Angeles, Exhibitor Relations announced Wednesday via Twitter. The … Read More »
BREAKING: This hardly qualifies as a cliffhanger, but Sony Pictures Classics has formalized a deal for North American rights to Blue Jasmine, the next film written and directed by Woody Allen. SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard make this their sixth picture and fourth in a row with The Woodman. That includes From Rome With Love and Midnight In Paris, the latest in Allen’s picture postcard tour of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Blue Jasmine, for which Allen returned to his old Gotham haunt to shoot, stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg. It is the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife. The film is produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson, and the deal was made by Gravier Productions. Read More »
Well that’s no surprise – Sony Pictures Classics has moved to have a lawsuit over a William Faulkner quote used in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris dismissed. “Plaintiff’s purported copyright infringement claim does not survive … Read More »
UPDATE, 1:45 PM: One day after the rightsholder to the work of William Faulkner filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sony Pictures Classics over a quote used in Woody Allen’s 2011 film Midnight In Paris, the studio responded:
“This is a frivolous lawsuit and we are confident we will prevail in defending it. There is no question this brief reference (10 words) to a quote from a public speech Faulkner gave constitutes fair use and any claim to the contrary is without merit.” – Ann Boyd, SVP Global Communications Sony Pictures Entertainment.
PREVIOUSLY, OCT. 25, 4:22 PM: The rights holders to William Faulkner’s work say Sony Pictures Classics had no right to use a quote from the author’s Requiem For A Nun in Woody Allen’s2011 film Midnight In Paris. Faulkner Literary Rights filed suit (read it here) today against the studio in U.S. District Court in Mississippi for copyright infringement, commercial appropriation and violation of the Lanham Act. “Sony’s actions in distributing the Infringing Film were malicious, fraudulent, deliberate and/or willful,” says the six-page complaint. “Sony did not have Faulkner’s consent to appropriate William Faulkner’s name or his works for Sony’s advantage,” it adds. In Midnight In Paris, Gil Pender, the disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, says, “the past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party.” The rightsholder say the slightly paraphrased quote could “deceive the infringing film’s viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”
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