UPDATE:Bullets Over Broadway will close at almost a complete loss of its $15 million-plus capitalization. Here’s the second announcement in a week about a movie-to-Main Stem musical closing. Six days after news surfaced that Rocky The Musical was KO’d comes word that Bullets Over Broadway will go dark August 24. The show, based on Woody Allen’s 1994 film comedy about an idealistic playwright who gets entangled with gangsters in order to see his high-minded play produced on Broadway, will lose most, if not all, of its $15-million-plus capitalization. It also represents the second costly demise, after Big Fish, of a musical from last season that arrived with high expectations based not only on its film pedigree but on the previous record of director-choregrapher Susan Stroman (Contact; The Producers).
But the great-looking, slickly produced, high-energy tuner failed to garner the necessary rave reviews and theatergoer buzz despite a name star (Zach Braff) and six Tony nominations. Last week, an almost universally upbeat one on Broadway, Bullets took in $686,693, equal to just 45 percent of its gross potential, at the St. James Theatre box office. That probably didn’t cover its weekly operating expenses.
Boyhood continued to muscle into the Specialty Box Office in its second frame amid an expansion, even while the weekend’s newcomers showed mixed numbers. Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here and Mike Cahill‘s I Origins, second films from both writer/directors, bowed with averages in the low $7K range. IFC Films‘ Boyhood opened last week with the year’s second highest PTA among limited-release titles and only compounded its star status in expansion. The Richard Linklater-directed feature added 29 locations, grossing nearly $1.2 million in 34 theaters, a stellar $35,230 per-screen average and a $1,848,050 two-week cume. Boyhood’s mid- to long-term momentum appears assured with a 99-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and what IFC Films says is “word of mouth… through the roof, as reflected by eye-popping exit polls this weekend and minimal drop at last weekend’s opening theaters.” IFC, which financed the film throughout its 12-year gestation, said the title played solidly across all demographics, with top scores from teens and from “those in their 60s and beyond.” Boyhood will expand to the top 25 markets next weekend and will continue to widen in coming weeks. Read More »
The Gosnell telefilm, which will be produced by Phelim McAleer, his wife Ann McElhinney and Magda Segieda through McAleer’s Hat Tip Productions, will now hire a director. “We will be bringing in an experienced team skilled in TV drama,” said McAleer. The telefilm is about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for horrifically and mercilessly killing babies of botched abortions who were born alive by driving a scissors into their necks and snipping their spinal cords. It is believed that the practice went on for years. The case rocked Philadelphia and the nation in 2010, and he is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. The story is often used by both sides of the abortion argument to push their individual agendas. Read More »
Zach Braff directed and stars as a 30-something man who finds himself at a major crossroads that forces him to examine his life, career and family. Joey King, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad and Ashley Greene co-star. The Kickstarter-funded Wish I Was Here sold for $2.75 million to Focus Features at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Pic bows wide on July 18. Check out the first trailer that dropped today:
Focus Features will release Wish I Was Here on July 18, 2014 in a platform release in NY and LA before the pic expands the following week and again on August 1. The news was announced via the film’s page on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site that gave life to the Zach Braff comedy that marks the writer-director second feature following the well-received 2004 indie Garden State. Overall the film raised $3.1 million after eclipsing its $2 million goal in three days, and Focus acquired rights for $2.75 million at Sundance after its world premiere there. Kickstarter backers who pledged for advance screenings rewards will be invited to attend early previews in their local markets. Wish I Was Here enters on a thirtysomething man who finds himself at major crossroads that forces him to examine his life, his career, and his family. Braff, Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin star.
Just days after the domestic rights to the Zach Braff-directed and Kickstarter-funded Wish I Was Here sold for $2.75 million to Focus Features at the Sundance Film Festival, there’s a new crowd-funding plan making the rounds here in Park City. While his Passion First Funding isn’t up and running yet, Dogfight producer Richard Guay, who has been part of the New York indie scene for years, thinks he’s found a way that people can actually see some financial return for contributing to future projects like Braff’s movie. “It’s going to bring traditional financing and the power of the crowd together,” he told me today. The idea comes out of aspects of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act that permit general solicitation of accredited investors. The act was intended for startups in general, of which film is but a niche, but in this case people putting money in to a project seeking crowd-funding won’t just be getting a signed poster or set visit but they could actually make their money back as well as profits. Read More »
UPDATED 9:49 PM: Focus has sent out a release about its acquisition of Zach Braff’s pic. Read it below.
PREVIOUS: Focus Features is getting on the board here at Sundance, just closing a distribution rights deal to Wish I Was Here, the film which Zach Braff wrote and directed, and stars as a father struggling to home school his kids. Braff stars with Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons, Ashley Greene, Pierce Gagnon and Joey King. The deal is $2.75 million for a theatrical release over 500 screens, and generous P&A to support it. There is also a strong back end.
Interest in this one kick-started right after the film debuted Saturday night at the MARC. It came in as one of the high profile pics at Sundance, by merit of the Kickstarter crowd funding campaign undertaken by Braff and his producers, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg and Adam J. Braff. The film was repped by CAA with Wild Bunch. Kickstarter and Worldview financed the film.
It’s the first major acquisition since Peter Schlessel took over the shingle.
That had a digital spillover effect for less high-profile projects, Braff says. “The analytics show what drove [backers] there, be it my Facebook, my Twitter or an article on Deadline, but then you see what they did. They didn’t just go on my site. They spent a fair amount of time pursuing the site for other movies they might want to fund.” Read More »
It’s a long way from Kickstarter to Park City, but that’s where Zach Braff is going next month. The Sundance Film Festival said today that the Braff-directed Wish I Was Here has been added to its Premiere selection. This is the first crowd-funded film picked for a World Premiere in the Sundance section and joins 17 previously announced films in the sidebar for the January 16-26 festival. The sure-to-attract-attention comedy-drama about a struggling thirtysomething actor seeking meaning in his life and marriage after the death of his father stars Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, Ashley Greene and Joey King. The former Scrubs actor co-wrote the screenplay with his brother and raised more than $3.1 million for it in a somewhat controversial Kickstarter campaign this spring. Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg produced the pic through their Double Feature Films. Worldview Entertainment stepped in to provide gap financing.
Sundance also announced today that Kevin Smith’s Clerks will join the previously announced Hoop Dreams in its Collection “Class of 94” selection. Both films debuted at the festival two decades ago. Read More »
After 30 days and several big name castings, Zach Braff’sWish I Was Here Kickstarter campaign ended today up $1 million over its initial ask. The final result was just over $3.1 million. When it launched on April 24, Braff initially sought $2 million for the indie film which surpassed its $2M fundraising goal in just three days. ”Thank you, thank you, thank you. I won’t let you down! Lets do this,” posted Braff on Twitter, along with the pic to the right, after the campaign closed on Friday. The crowdfunding effort ended up with 46,520 backers including 3 who pledged $9,000 or more and 1 who pledged $10,000 or more. Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad will join Braff in the film about a thirtysomething actor who is trying to figure out who he is. The former Scrubs star co-wrote the screenplay for Wish I Was Here with his brother and will direct the film. Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg are producing the pic through their Double Feature Films. Worldview Entertainment has stepped in to provide gap financing for the film.
Kate Hudson has been cast as Zach Braff‘s wife in Wish I Was Here, the indie film Braff will direct that landed funding via Kickstarter in a campaign that surpassed its $2M fundraising goal in three days. Braff wrote the script with his brother Adam. It centers on Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff), a struggling actor, father and husband who at 35 is still trying to find his identity and a purpose for his life. He and his wife (Hudson) are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he’d always dreamed he’d be as a little kid. Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad have already joined the cast. Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg are producing the pic through their Double Feature Films. Read More »
Homeland‘s Mandy Patinkin has signed on to Zach Braff’s Kickstarter pic Wish I Was Here. Braff announced the casting today on the film’s Kickstarter page where the film surpassed its initial $2 million goal in just four days. Braff directs and stars in the film which is based on an original screenplay he wrote with his brother, Adam Braff. Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg (Django Unchained, Contagion, Garden State, Erin Brockovich, Pulp Fiction) are producing through their company Double Feature Films. Wish I Was Here tells the story of Aidan Bloom (Braff), a struggling actor, father and husband who at 35, is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he’d always dreamed he’d be as a little kid. Patinkin will play Braff’s character’s father. His feature film credits include Yentl, The Princess Bride, Everybody’s Hero, Pinero, Lulu On The Bridge, Ragtime and Dick Tracy. Patinkin is repped by ICM Partners. Read More »
A day after video surfaced of Zach Braff discussing why he loves Kickstarter and used it to finance his next project, the founders of the crowdfunding site posted a missive whose title asked a simple but controversial question: Who is Kickstarter for? Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler note that their “mission is to help bring creative projects to life,” and they argue that goes for anyone. The trio deflected criticism aimed at their service — along with Braff and Veronica Marscreator Rob Thomas — saying that high-profile projects merely “bring new backers to other projects.” Agree or not, the trio is in spin-control mode amid the backlash as crowdsourcing continues to be the latest cyber-Wild West. Watch the lengthy Braff clip, extracted from Jason Cooper and Jay Armitage’s upcoming documentary feature Kickstarted, below:
3RD UPDATE, SATURDAY: Reaching $2M today Zach Braff just scored the second major Kickstarter success in recent months, with 26 days to go.
2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: The prognosticators who’ve been telling me that Kickstarter is a game-changing enterprise for movies, are proving to be so Kreskin-like, I will next challenge them to bend spoons with their brains (dated reference). Just a couple days into his attempt to raise $2 million to finance his film Wish I Was Here, Braff is already up to $1,766,130 and counting, from 25,245 people who’ve committed cash for a variety of tchotchkes. The game plan was to use Kickstarter funding, and foreign sales, to raise the $5 million needed to make the movie. Braff, producers Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg planned to work practically free, upfront. At this rate, Braff will reach his funding goal by the weekend. And with 28 days to go, they’ll likely wind up with enough dough to fund the whole movie without making pre-sales, and maybe enough to pay participants a little bit. This is startling, that so many people are betting on a filmmaker, and not donating because they just want to see a movie version of a favorite TV show like Veronica Mars. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Scrubs star Zach Braff is returning to the single-camera comedy series arena, this time as a writer-director. After fielding interest from multiple networks, half-hour Garage Bar, from Braff and 20th Century Fox TV, has sold to ABC, where Scrubs finished its nine-season run.
Braff will write, direct and executive produce Garage Bar, said to combine a workplace idea with the heart and humor of Braff’s 2004 feature Garden State. It will center on a group of friends who start to experience the ups and downs of fame when one of them becomes a pop star. Braff is with CAA, Management 360 and Ken Richmond.