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March 29, 2020

Gamechangers in Box-Office History: When ‘Titanic‘ Proved Its Dominance, Once and For All

With theaters in an unprecedented nationwide shutdown, we look back at the game-changing titles in play on this weekend in box-office history.

Under normal circumstances, this weekend would likely have been the best of 2020 to date. With “Mulan” (Disney) set to open and “A Quiet Place Part II” (Paramount) in its second week, grosses totaling $200 million were likely.

And in 1998, this was the weekend after the Oscars — a date then known as something of a box-office dead zone. Streaming didn’t exist, and theater windows were longer than 90 days, which meant new films stayed away because they didn’t want to compete with the post-Oscar bump. Today, Oscar movies are no threat since most winners are on some form of VOD, or in wider release.

Avengers Endgame

“Avengers: Endgame”


Last year, this weekend’s box office was dominated by “Avengers: Endgame,” with coverage led by claims that it was the biggest film ever worldwide as well as #2 in domestic history. However, that calculation ignores ticket prices.

Adjusted, “Endgame” is #16 on the all-time list of domestic ticket sales. “Titanic” is #5, one of only 11 films (in current dollar values) to surpass $1 billion (just under $1.3 billion). That compares to $893 million for “Endgame” and slightly more for James Cameron’s later smash, “Avatar.”

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock (5886183bx)Titanic (1997)Titanic - 1997Director: James Cameron20th Century Fox/ParamountUSAScene StillDrama


20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

This week tells much of the story of how “Titanic” achieved its massive total.

• This was its 15th week at #1. It turned out to be the the last one at that rank (“Lost in Space” replaced it), but it remained in the top 10 for another 11 weeks. That brought the film to $600 million in 1998 dollars, around $1.2 billion today. A 2012 3D reissue and other later showings added about another (adjusted) $70 million.

• No other film has spent that much time at #1 from its initial release. “Star Wars” made more than “Titanic,” but it had a more limited opening and dropped below the top spot in early June 1977 before going wider and then staying at the top for six months. “E.T.” also had more total weeks, but in the summer of 1983 it dropped a couple of times in the face of an opening film.

• For “Titanic,” this weekend’s total — $30 million adjusted — was its lowest to date, although it had 500 more theaters than its opening weekend. Repeat viewings built the “Titanic” phenomenon, but it was slowed by its Christmas opening when few theaters could give the 194-minute film two screens. This was very different from “Endgame,” which opened against no other film, at about 1,500 more theaters, and many of those with four or more screens.

• “Titanic” box office dropped 11 percent after its 11-Oscar win. However, it had already benefited as the presumptive winner with a big post-nomination boost. All told, it added another $200 million million adjusted after the win. This year, “Parasite” added $20 million and it was considered a major bump.


The other gross that jumped out on this weekend in 1998 was the #2 position for the 20th-anniversary re-release of “Grease.” The John Travolta musical had long been on home video, and played on TV and cable, yet Paramount was able to lure audiences back for another $25 million (about $55 million adjusted). At $755 million adjusted total, it remains the biggest-grossing musical since “The Sound of Music.”

This was the third lowest weekend of 1998, with an adjusted total of $150 million. Today, that’s considered solid for non-summer periods — but at this time, we’d already begun seeing big post-opening drops for solid titles like “Primary Colors,” “The Man in the Iron Mask,” “Wild Things,” and “U.S. Marshall.”

”The Newton Boys” was the sole new wide release to make the top 10. Richard Linklater’s  period bank-robbery story reunited him with Ethan Hawke and Matthew McConaughey. It fell quickly, amassing around $20 million adjusted.

This weekend in history, there’s no bigger box office story than “Titanic.” However, it’s also worth noting two other Oscar-winning films got a push. “As Good As It Gets,” which won the Best Actor for Jack Nicholson and Best Actress for Helen Hunt, jumped 13 percent to pass $250 million. And “Good Will Hunting,” with supporting actor and screenplay wins, fell just 8 percent, with a total only slightly lower.

Today it’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine audiences responding so fervently to star-driven, Oscar-winning dramedies.

March 27-29, 1998

1. Titanic (Paramount) Week 15; Last weekend: #1

$15,214,000/ $30,428,000 (-11%) in 3,253 (+64); PTA: $4,705/ $9,410; Cumulative: $515,263,000/ $1,030,526,000

2. Grease (Paramount) NEW  (reissue)

$12,705,000/$25,410,000 in 2,064 theaters; PTA: $6,155/ $12,310; Cumulative: $12,705.000/$25,410,000

3. Primary Colors (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend: #2

$7,005,000/ $14,010,000 (-42%) in 1,968 theaters (+3); PTA: $3,559/ $7,118; Cumulative: $22,344,000/ $44,688,000

4. The Man in the Iron Mask (MGM) Week 3; Last weekend: #3

$6,335,000/ $12,670,000 (-43%) in 3,101 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,042/ $4,084; Cumulative: $43,653,000/ $87,306,000

5. Wild Things (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend: #4

$5,668,000 / $11,336 (-41%) in 2,133 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,603/ $5,206; Cumulative: $18,213,000/ $36,426,000

6. As Good as It Gets (Sony) Week 14; Last weekend: #8

$4,302,000 / $8,604,000 (+32%) in 1,564 theaters (-40); PTA: $2,750/ $5,550; Cumulative: $131,786,000/ $263,573,000

7. (tied) Good Will Hunting (Miramax) Week 17; Last weekend: #7

$4,117,000/(+2%) in 1,642 theaters (-163); PTA: $2,507/ $5,014; Cumulative: $121,566,000/ $243,133,000

7. (tied) U.S. Marshals (Warner Bros.) Week 4; Last weekend: #5

$4,117,000/ $8,234,000 (-43%); PTA: $1,689/ $3,378; Cumulative: $49,514,000/ $99,026,000

9. The Newton Boys (20th Century Fox) NEW

$4,110,000/ $8,220,000 in 1,965 theaters; PTA: $2,040/ $4,080; Cumulative: $4,110,000/ $8,220,000

10. Mr. Nice Guy (New Line) Week 2; Last weekend: #6

$2,586,000 / $5,163,000 (-51%); PTA: $1,767/ $3,534; Cumulative: $9,304,000/ $18,608,000

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Source: IndieWire film

March 29, 2020

Krzysztof Penderecki Dies: Influential Composer With Music in ‘The Shining’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ Was 86

Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, whose often disturbing and challenging avant-garde music has turned up in films from “The Shining” to “The Exorcist” and “Children of Men,” and as recently as the TV series “Twin Peaks: The Return,” died at his home in Krakow on Sunday, March 29. He was 86 years old.

Penderecki’s greatest influence on any modern composer can perhaps be found in the work of Johnny Greenwood, the lead guitarist and keyboardist of Radiohead and musician behind the soundtracks for films including Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” “Phantom Thread” and “The Master,” as well as Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “You Were Never Really Here.”

“What sad news to wake to. Penderecki was the greatest — a fiercely creative composer, and a gentle, warm-hearted man. My condolences to his family, and to Poland on this huge loss to the musical world,” Greenwood tweeted on Sunday morning.

Penderecki began composing in the 1960s, going on to produce eight symphonies, four operas, a requiem, and many concertos and choral works, many of which are regarded as notoriously difficult to play. His compositions were often politically motivated, including probably his most famous work, “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima,” which appeared in the films “The People Under the Stairs” and “Children of Men.”

The chilling composition (below) was also used by David Lynch in the landmark Episode 8 of Showtime’s “Twin Peaks: The Return,” set against images of an atomic bomb that appears to birth evil itself into the world. In “Children of Men,” “Threnody” sets off the film’s masterful long-take sequence as Clive Owen rushes to safety through a harrowing warren of chaos. In this piece, 52 string instruments collaborate to create a nerve-shredding soundscape.

Penderecki’s work also appeared in “The Shining,” with terrifying pieces employed by director Stanley Kubrick in lieu of an original soundtrack (though composer Wendy Carlos did turn in a score, it went mostly unused in favor of preexisting music). Penderecki’s works also appear in David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” and “Wild at Heart,” Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist,” and Peter Weir’s “Fearless.” His work even appears in the 1996 disaster movie “Twister” and the Netflix series “Black Mirror.” He also contributed original scores to films as well, including most recently in the 2015 Polish horror film “Demon.”

Head over to The New York Times for a full obituary on Penderecki’s life and work.

Source: IndieWire film

March 29, 2020

Ryan Gosling Heading Back to Outer Space in New Adaptation From ‘The Martian’ Author

Following the recent announcement of a new novel from “The Martian” author Andy Weir, the book, titled “Project Hail Mary,” has already been scooped up by MGM for a cool seven figures. Deadline reports that Ryan Gosling will not only star but also produce the film which, like “The Martian,” pivots on a solitary astronaut who’s assigned a critical mission to save the world. Gosling will produce with Ken Kao, producer of “Mid90s” and executive producer on the Best Picture nominee “The Favourite.”

Author Andy Weir’s debut novel was “The Martian,” which famously turned into an Academy Award-nominated film written by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott, and Matt Damon in the eponymous lead role. “The Martian” was originally self-published in 2011 before being rereleased in 2014. It won Andy Weir the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards.

The film version, which grossed more than $630 million around the world following a Toronto International Film Festival premiere, was released in 2015, and became a Best Picture nominee the following year. Novelist Weir followed up “The Martian” with “Artemis,” published in 2017, centered on a part-time smuggler in the first city on the Moon. Weir was reportedly developing “Artemis” into a film with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (writers and producers who haven’t properly directed a movie since 2014’s “22 Jump Street, after they were booted off “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and replaced by Ron Howard). Weir’s novel “Project Hail Mary” will be published in the spring of 2021 by Random House.

Ryan Gosling is, of course, no stranger to suiting up for outer space, as he previously starred as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s 2018 drama “First Man,” in which Gosling also spent a great deal of time alone amid the cosmos. Gosling lost out on a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for the technically impressive film. Matt Damon, however, did receive a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for “The Martian.” The marriage of minds brought together by MGM for “Project Hail Mary” sets this up to be a high-profile project, and the first major film deal announcement amid the total shutdown of Hollywood currently taking place.

Source: IndieWire film

March 28, 2020

Watch Ethan Hawke Read Shakespeare and Explain How to Confront Your Worst Fears

As much as one can in these couch-bound times, actor and filmmaker Ethan Hawke took a breather from self-distancing in upstate New York to join IndieWire’s Eric Kohn for a live discussion on Instagram last week. His candid thoughts ran the gamut, from his heaping praise for Eliza Hittman’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” to the making of “First Reformed” with director Paul Schrader and the possibility of another entry in the “Before Sunrise” series. However, the conversation took an unexpected turn as Hawke offered up a balm for weary souls with a live reading of William Shakespeare.

“When I dropped out of college, I would challenge myself to learn Shakespeare, some soliloquy or poem, because I wasn’t going to school and I felt like a loser,” Hawke said. “I found [a passage] today that I felt was relevant to our situation.”

Hawke put on his glasses and pulled up a copy of “As You Like It,” Shakespeare’s classic pastoral comedy of manners. Speaking from the point-of-view of a duke in exile, Hawke read, “Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in its head. And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

Hawke also added that — “fun” fact — Shakespeare wrote “King Lear” while under quarantine. In the early 1600s, the Globe Theatre shut down during the plague, so Shakespeare took advantage of his time in isolation to pen the epic play. “If he could do it, so could you,” Hawke said.

While hunkering down at home, when he’s not reading, Hawke said he’s been sharing silent movies with his kids while looking for inspiration for his own work. “Why did I used to make fun of this kind of presentational acting?” he said. “One of the things about Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin is they managed to be both completely realistic and believable, but they’re doing slapstick pratfalls. It’s obviously rehearsed. […] I am selfishly showing my kids these movies because I’m studying them.”

In closing, Hawke offered his thoughts on confronting fears, especially at a time of national crisis, tipping first to a quote from Seymour Bernstein, the pianist he profiled in his documentary “Seymour: An Introduction.” “Make friends with your fear. Fear is your teacher.”

“When you say, ‘yes I am afraid, I’m scared of the future,’ then courage can arise. If you’re constantly pretending you’re not afraid, then you’re off-balance,” Hawke said. “This is a scary time, and we will rise and we will handle it. The question that’s more exciting is how. Pretty much nobody throughout history has ever learned anything without suffering. It doesn’t happen. All we want is to have a good time, pursue pleasure, collect more things, have nothing bad ever happen to us. But if it didn’t, we wouldn’t learn anything, and we’re given the chance right now to have a real evolution in thought.”

Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.

Source: IndieWire film

March 28, 2020

Watching Kate Winslet Demonstrate Proper Hand-Washing Is the Salve We Need Right Now

Moviegoers sheltering in place have, to no surprise, turned to Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film “Contagion” for insight? Answers? Entertainment? Who knows what drives viewing habits in these crazy times. The film details, with eerie precision, the complete breakdown of civilization amid a rapidly spreading virus. Not exactly soothing viewing material right now, but it’s nevertheless high on VOD rental charts.

But that was a movie, and this real life. In a new series of PSAs about taking care in the time of the coronavirus, cast members from the film have teamed up to record messages for all of us quarantined at home — including the film’s stars Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Jennifer Ehle. Watch the videos below.

Damon is here to tell you about social-distancing and the life-saving benefits of sitting on your couch. Fishburne urges staying at home and pushing out the noise to listen to the experts. Ehle, meanwhile, discusses the possibilities of a COVID-19 vaccine and why a solution won’t be immediate, and Winslet offers the most practical advice in showing you how to wash your hands like your life depends on it.

The initiative comes in partnership with director Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, along with scientists from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

In a recent Slate interview, screenwriter Burns, who worked with the CDC in 2009 and 2010 to research “Contagion,” condemned President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. “I listened to a press conference that the president gave where he described himself as a businessman who didn’t like it when people were just sitting around,” Burns said. “Well, I wonder how he feels about the fire department. I live near a firehouse, and those people spend some time sitting around when there’s no fire‚ but you can’t build a fire department once your house is on fire. Unfortunately, this administration has decided that is what it wants to do, and it puts people way behind. When you look at the amount of testing this country has done compared to other countries, that’s the part that is scary to me.”

Recently, Ian Lipkin, the university professor and epidemiologist who served as the medical consultant on “Contagion,” tested positive for the coronavirus. “If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Lipkin said.

Check out the “Contagion” PSA videos below.

Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2020

You’re Cordially Invited to A Peasant Wedding

Source: Visual Storytelling

March 25, 2020

SXSW Film Alumni Releases – March and April 2020

Discover some of the SXSW Film Festival alumni films on release this March and April such as Motherland: Fort Salem; After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News; Uncorked; and Beastie Boys Story. Add these films and more to your streaming queue – check out the complete list below in order of release date.

And for a binge-watching bonus: Mailchimp and Osciliscope licensed nearly all of the official Short Film selections for SXSW 2020. Watch them, absolutely free, from wherever you are here.

Motherland: Fort Salem

World Premiere, Episodic, 2020

Set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment.

Broadcasting on Freeform and streaming on Freeform Go March 18.

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News

World Premiere, Documentary Feature, 2020

After Truth captures the human toll of false news and conspiracies with unprecedented access to figures in the Pizzagate, Seth Rich, Jade Helm, and Alabama special election cases.

Broadcasting on HBO and streaming on HBO GO March 19.


World Premiere, Narrative Feature, 2020

Elijah (Mamoudou Athie) must find a way to balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations for him to carry on the family’s popular Memphis barbecue joint.

Streaming on Netflix on March 27.

Cursed Films

World Premiere, Episodic, 2020

Cursed Films is a five-part documentary series which explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously cursed horror film productions. From plane accidents and bombings during the making of The Omen, to the rumored use of real human skeletons on the set of Poltergeist, these stories are legendary amongst film fans and filmmakers alike. But where does the truth lie?

Streaming on Shudder April 2.

Tales from the Loop

World Premiere, Episodic, 2020

From executive producer Matt Reeves and based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the town and people who live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe – making things possible that were previously relegated only to science fiction. In this fantastical mysterious town, poignant human tales are told that bare universal emotional experiences while drawing on the intrigue of genre storytelling.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video April 3.


World Premiere, Episodic, 2020

Few people ever experience the momentum that star football player Greg Kelley had going into his senior year of high school. That all changed in the summer of 2013. Greg is accused of a terrible crime that shocked Leander, a suburb of Austin, Texas, leaving the community bitterly divided over whether Greg could have committed such a crime. At 19 years old, he is convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole. As new questions are raised, an investigation unfolds to reveal a shocking story that goes far beyond sports and the criminal justice system.

Streaming on Showtime April 3.

The Quarry

World Premiere, Narrative Feature, 2020

The Quarry is a tense and harrowing tale of sin and redemption, violence and grace, and the lengths to which men will go to outrun their evil deeds. A mysterious new minister (Shea Whigham) takes up residence at a rundown church in a desolate Texas town. Despite the growing suspicions of the townsfolk – the hardened local police chief (Michael Shannon), the drug-dealing brothers caught in the chief’s crosshairs (Bobby Soto and Alvaro Martinez), and the mournful woman who keeps up the church (Catalina Sandino Moreno) – the congregation grows. But how long can the minister keep his secrets safe and who can be forgiven when the truth comes to light? Based on the acclaimed novel by Damon Galgut.

Available On Demand, Apple TV+, Amazon, and additional platforms April 17. (On Digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD June 16.)

We’re Here

World Premiere, Episodic, 2020

From creators Stephen Warren and Johnnie Ingram, this six-part unscripted series recruits small-town residents across America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. Renowned drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela Laquifa Wadley will inspire and teach their own “drag daughters” to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag.

Debuts on HBO April 23.

Beastie Boys Story

World Premiere, Documentary Feature, 2020

Beastie Boys Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz tell an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator, and their former grandfather, filmmaker Spike Jonze.

Streaming on Apple TV+ on April 24.

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The post SXSW Film Alumni Releases – March and April 2020 appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

March 24, 2020

The 2020 SXSW Film Festival Announces Jury and Special Awards

Paramount Theater - Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW

Announcing the 2020 Jury and Special Award winners of the 27th SXSW Film Festival, which was canceled by the City of Austin due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. The SXSW Film Festival had several Special Awards juries already in place, and expanded to all juried competitions once the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available.

“When we curated and announced our slate for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, filled with an array of wonderful films we were excited to share with our unique audience, we had no idea of the unprecedented impact that Coronavirus would have on all our lives,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “Our hearts were broken for all the filmmakers who invested so much time and talent in their work, hoping for a transformative experience at our event. We’re honored to at least be able to present our juried and special awards. We know that it’s no substitute for the actual festival’s vitality, enthusiasm, and potential for surprising outcomes – and that it is only available to a small fraction of our program – but we hope it will help garner some well-deserved recognition for these wonderful works.”

Feature films receiving Jury Awards were selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition categories. Short films and other juried sections, including Film Design Awards, were announced along with Special Awards including: Adobe Editing Award, Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award, Final Draft Screenwriters Award, Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, Vimeo Staff Pick Award, and the ZEISS Cinematography Award. Due to the event cancellation, there will be no Audience Awards for 2020.

This year’s program comprised of 135 Features – including 99 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, 5 U.S. Premieres, and 75 films from first-time filmmakers – and 119 Shorts including 22 Music Videos, 12 Episodic Premieres, 7 Special Events, 14 Episodic Pilots in 2 curated programs, 30 Title Design Entries, and 27 Virtual Cinema Projects.

Thank you to our 2020 jurors and congratulations to all of the winners!

2020 SXSW Film Festival Juries

Narrative Feature Competition: Rebecca Keegan, Rodrigo Perez, Kim Yutani
Documentary Feature Competition: Bilge Ebiri, Naomi Fry, Dino Ramos
Narrative Shorts Program: Penelope Bartlett, Monica Castillo, Greta Fuentes
Documentary Shorts: Marjon Javadi, Allison Willmore
Animated Shorts: Katie Krentz, Hana Shimizu, Asalle Tanha
Midnight Shorts: Jonathan Barkan, Derek Kinongo, Brittany Klesic
Music Videos: Jason Baum, Chaka and Qi Dada
Texas Shorts: Denise Hernandez, Jenny Jacobi, Martin C. Jones
Texas High School Shorts: Jonathan Case, Jazmyne Moreno, Barton Weiss
Episodic Pilots: Mitch Hurwitz, Emily Nussbaum, Shelby Stone
Louis Black “Lone Star”: Kathy Blackwell, David Fear, Richard Whittaker
Excellence in Title Design: Ryan Butterworth, Alex Johnson
Excellence in Poster Design: Becky Cloonan, Barak Epstein, Kevin Tong

2020 SXSW Film Festival Awards

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Winner: Shithouse
Director: Cooper Raiff

Special Jury Recognition for Directing: Topside
Directors: Celine Held, Logan George

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Really Love
Director: Angel Kristi Williams
Actors: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing

Documentary Feature Competition

Winner: An Elephant in the Room
Director: Katrine Philp

Special Jury Recognition for Achievement in Documentary Storytelling: The Donut King
Director: Alice Gu

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: Finding Yingying
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi

Short Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Shorts

Winner: White Eye
Director: Tomer Shushan

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Dirty
Director: Matthew Puccini
Actors: Morgan Sullivan, Manny Dunn

Special Jury Recognition: Darling
Director: Saim Sadiq

Special Jury Recognition: Single
Director: Ashley Eakin

Documentary Shorts

Winner: No Crying at the Dinner Table
Director: Carol Nguyen

Special Jury Recognition: Mizuko
Directors: Katelyn Rebelo, Kira Dane

Special Jury Recognition: Día de la Madre
Directors: Ashley Brandon, Dennis Höhne

Midnight Shorts

Winner: Regret
Director: Santiago Menghini

Special Jury Recognition: Laura Hasn’t Slept
Director: Parker Finn

Special Jury Recognition for Creature Design: Stucco
Directors: Janina Gavankar, Russo Schelling

Animated Shorts

Winner: Symbiosis
Director: Nadja Andrasev

Special Jury Recognition: No, I Don’t Want to Dance!
Director: Andrea Vinciguerra

Special Jury Recognition: The Shawl
Director: Sara Kiener

Music Videos

Winner: 070 Shake – ‘Nice to Have’
Director: Noah Lee

Special Jury Recognition for Animation: Mitski – ‘A Pearl’
Directors: Saad Moosajee, Art Camp

Special Jury Recognition for Direction: The Lumineers – ‘Gloria’
Director: Kevin Phillips

Texas Shorts

Winner: Just Hold On
Directors: Sam Davis, Rayka Zehtabchi

Special Jury Recognition: Coup d’etat Math
Director: Sai Selvarajan

Texas High School Shorts

Winner: Wish Upon a Snowman
Director: Miu Nakata

Special Jury Recognition for Narrative: Ultimatum
Director: Kai Hashimoto

Special Jury Recognition for Documentary: Unveiled
Director: Sofia Bajwa

Special Jury Recognition for Animation: The Orchard
Director: Zeke French

Episodic Pilot Competition

Winner: Embrace
Director: Jessica Sanders

Special Jury Recognition for Drama: Chemo Brain
Director: Kristian Håskjold

Special Jury Recognition for Comedy: Lusty Crest
Director: Kati Skelton

Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Winner: Laura Hasn’t Slept
Designer: Olivier Courbet

Special Jury Recognition: The Donut King
Designers: Andrew Hem, Charlie Le

Excellence in Title Design

Winner: See
Designer: Karin Fong

Special Jury Recognition: Why We Hate
Designers: Allison Brownmoore, Anthony Brownmoore

Special Awards

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

Winner: In & of Itself
Director: Frank Oz

Adobe Editing Award

Winner: You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Editors: Paul Rogers, Additional Editing by David Darg

Final Draft Screenwriters Award

Winner: Best Summer Ever
Screenwriters: Michael Parks Randa, Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh, Andrew Pilkington, Lauren Smitelli

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

Winner: Miss Juneteenth
Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples

Special Jury Recognition for Performance: Bull
Director: Annie Silverstein
Actor: Rob Morgan

Special Jury Recognition for Documentary: Boys State
Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

Vimeo Staff Picks Award

Winner: Vert
Director: Kate Cox

ZEISS Cinematography Award

Winner: Echoes of the Invisible
Director: Steve Elkins

2020 Film Awards

A special thank you to our incredible partners for the SXSW 2020 Film Awards: Adobe, Audio-Technica, Bat City Awards, Cinema Printing Company London, The Criterion Collection, Final Draft, Hive Lighting, LEE Filters; Light Iron, Mild2Wild Leather, Oscilloscope, Panavision, Vimeo, and ZEISS.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW

The post The 2020 SXSW Film Festival Announces Jury and Special Awards appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

March 22, 2020

Weekend Box Office Flashback, March 1982: When Raunchy Low-Budget ‘Porky’s’ Ruled

Habits die hard. It’s Sunday, which is usually the time to list and analyze the weekend’s grosses. However, since almost all theaters are closed, I decided to take a look back to this weekend in 1982 — the year when box-office statistics became part of entertainment reporting.

Almost 40 years ago, coverage wasn’t instantaneous. People had to wait until midweek for reports, which inched closer to real time as the years went on. Here, we have the benefit of hindsight — and the title’s performance might offer us some perspective on how these films informed what Hollywood, and box office, would become.

Since tickets cost three times more now than they did in 1982, I’ve included both the original grosses and the estimated totals according to adjusted ticket prices. Among the things to note: Far fewer theaters played films then (most theaters had perhaps three screens); weekly drops were much smaller; and only one film – came close to anything like a sequel or franchise: “Evil Under the Sun,” which was then the latest Agatha Christie adaptation.

The Top Ten

1. Porky’s (20th Century Fox) NEW – Metacritic: 40; Est. budget: $4.5 million/$13.5 million

$7,624,000/$22.9M in 1,148 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $6,641/$19,923; Cumulative: $7,624,000/$22.9M

A much higher than expected for this Canadian-produced hard-R comedy about some virginal teenage boys who set out for revenge after their attempts to hire a hooker are thwarted. Like February’s even bigger opening independent “Private Lessons,” about a housemaid’s seduction of a 15-year-old, this shows audiences are in the mood to have their boundaries pushed. It’s unlikely any other major studio has featured a key scene with a glory hole.

Fox took great care with what seemingly feels like a throwaway B-picture more likely to come from Roger Corman’s New World. They ran test dates in two small markets last November to surprising success. This gave them confidence to give this a major push, and one before the summer (when drive-ins would be expected to be its natural home)  would be open.

It’s a long way to then, but this start suggests this might be more than a flash in the pan. We’ll see. But this and last week’s #1 Richard Pryor concert film suggest that as Oscar season wraps up with the awards a week from Monday, regular moviegoers are looking for laughs, not this year’s (mostly successful)  serious adult dramas.

2. Richard Pryor on the Sunset Strip (Columbia)Week 2; Last weekend #1

$6,197,000/$18.6M (-20%)  in 1,277 theaters (no change); PTA: $4,853/$14,559; Cumulative: $17,021,000/$51.1M

Already second to “Woodstock” all-time among concert films, thehold this weekend reflects both that this top star’s appeal is broad and the word of mouth for this amazingly self-critical and hysterically funny comedy performance is unabated after his recent recovery from burns. It a
lso, combined with “Porky’s,” suggests a wide swath of the American public isn’t paying much attention to the ascendant Moral Majority as the country enters the second year of the Reagan administration.


3. On Golden Pond (Universal) – Week 16; Last weekend #2

$4,117,000/$12.4M (-14%)  in 883 theaters (-132); PTA: $4,662/$13,986; Cumulative: $69,943,000/$209.8M

Another great hold for this certain Best Actor winner, with hopes for more. It remains a huge hit, with its current gross (a third of “Raiders of the Ark,” the top grossing Best Picture contender) now close do double front runner ”Reds” (which is no longer drawing much interest).

4. Deathtrap (Warner Bros.) NEW – Metacritic: 54; Est. budget: $15 million/$45 million

$2,239,000/$6.7M in 341 theaters; PTA: $6,566/$19,698; Cumulative: $2,239,000/$6.7M 

The more sophisticated appeal of Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of Ira Levin’s comedy thriller play led to Warners going somewhat limited in major markets. Though not as strong as “Quest” as a more limited film, it ranks as the director’s best start for a film since “Network” (“The Wiz” opened wider and with a higher gross, but ultimately disappointed). Credit the cast for helping this for overcoming the far more middling reviews than the very similar “Sleuth” a decade ago. That like this also starred Michael Caine, with Christopher Reeve joining him now for his first film since “Superman II” over a year ago.

The complicated plot, full of sleights of hand as it tells the apparent story of a writers’-blocked playwright who schemes with a budding writer to produce a hit. In a late winter period in which two other studio released films – “Making Love” (20th Century Fox) and “Personal Best” (Warner Bros.), the subplot here involving the two characters’ attraction, including an intimate kiss between Caine and Reeve – likely shocked some viewers and could play a role in its ongoing response.

5. Quest for Fire (20th Century Fox) Week 6

$2,171,000/$6.5M in 223 theaters; PTA: $9,737/$29,211; Cumulative: $6,260,000/$18.8M

Expanding wider after initially more limited play (as well as a wider break in Canada, which co-producing country with France as well as site of its locations), Jean-Jacques Annaud goes from arthouse director (he made the Oscar Foreign Language winner “Black and White in Color”) to studio-friendly. That’s very rare for non-British European directors, even more those whose work has been specialized. Fox attained a top-notch slate of upscale, sophisticated theaters, but also crossed over with college audiences. It’s an impressive achievement, more so the same weekend as they scored with the quite different “Porky’s.”

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Polygram/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock (5882232s) Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon Missing - 1982 Director: Costa-Gavras Polygram/Universal USA Scene Still



6. Missing (Universal) – Week 6; Last weekend #4

$1,891,000/$5.67M (-18%) in 632 theaters (-101); PTA: $2,991/$8,973; Cumulative: $4,732,000/$14.2M

In its second week of wider play after initial more limited dates, Costa-Gavras’ highly charged Chile-set political thriller (similar to his earlier ”Z”) is getting most of its interest from Jack Lemmon’s acclaimed performance. It looks like an early contender for next year’s awards.

7. Chariots of Fire (Warner Bros.) – Week 26; Last weekend #4

$1,827,000/$5.5M (-10%) in 435 theaters (-12); PTA: $4,199/$12,597; Cumulative: $25,322,000/$76.0M

Though it opened limited in September, the slow roll out of this British period sports biopic continues to thrive six months later. It remains a long shot for Best Picture behind three other contenders (“Reds,” ”Pond,” and ”Raiders”), but if  it pulls off an upset credit Warners’ great release plan and a public that has gotten  behind it at exactly the right time.

8. Evil Under the Sun (Universal) – Week 3; Last weekend #6

$637,000/$1.9M (-47%) in 283 theaters (-281); PTA: $2,252/$6,754; Cumulative: $4,659,000/$14.0M

The EMI production team’s latest Agatha Christie all-star production, now released by Universal after earlier placed through Paramount, is falling short of the previous success with ”Murder on the Orient Express” and ”Death on the Nile.” Week three sees a  drop of half of its theaters. The amount of adult alternatives at the moment has hurt this.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Orion/Kobal/Shutterstock (5882181p) Dudley Moore Arthur - 1981 Director: Steve Gordon Orion USA Scene Still



9. Arthur (Warner Bros.) – Week 36; Last weekend #11

$560,000/$1.68M (-9%) in 395 theaters (-54); PTA: $1,418/$4,254; Cumulative: $87,797,000/$263.8M

Last year’s fourth biggest hit continues its modest return engagements pegged to John Gielgud’s expected Supporting Actor win next  week. Still making the Top Ten in its ninth month is impressive for this sophisticared comedy with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.

10. Absence of Malice – Week 18; Last weekend #10

$541,000/$1.6M (-17%)  in 443 theaters (-37); PTA: $1,222/$3,666; Cumulative: $263/$82.8M

Paul Newman’s quest for a long overdue Oscar looks like it is on hold for the even more overdue Henry Fonda, but meantime Sydney Pollack’s legal drama also starring Sally Field is still playing since its initial Christmas release.



Victor Victoria (MGM)  – Metacritic: 84; Est. budget: $15 million/$45 million

$139,634/$418,902 in 3 theaters; PTA: $46,545/$139,635

Blake Edwards hasn’t had a platform release in years. But this musical comedy starring his wife Julie Andrews in its three initial New York/Los Angeles dates show the strategy worked. These are great numbers, double that of “Chariots of Fire,” also initially in three last fall. This will get a chance to test broader interest when it goes wide April 2.

Source: IndieWire film

March 22, 2020

After SXSW Cancellation, a Drive-In Theater in Austin Comes to the Rescue

When SXSW was forced to cancel its 2020 edition due to the current pandemic, it was a hard hit for the film community and especially for those filmmakers now left without a home for their new projects. The Austin festival was set to run March 13 through 22, but now participating filmmakers are scrambling to land their movies elsewhere.

However, even at a time when movie theaters around the nation have shut their doors en masse, drive-in theaters are unexpectedly having a moment. That includes the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, open year-round in Austin, Texas, whose founder, Josh Frank, is doing his part to help out SXSW filmmakers left adrift.

Last week, as highlighted in a story from Ars Technica, the Blue Starlite polled SXSW filmmakers who might want to see their films premiere at the drive-in, kicking off the first in a series of screenings dubbed “SXSocial Distance: A Night of Short Films.” The first of four planned evenings was a success, thanks to filmmakers offering to premiere their shorts at the venue.

“So I kind of expected this to happen, but the feature [films] didn’t write back,” Frank told Ars Technica. “Features aren’t going to do a throwaway event because festivals want to say it’s the world premiere or the U.S. premiere.” That makes sense, as feature films are likely looking to land at festivals down the line — though with Cannes now postponed, the circuit is going to be more clustered and competitive than ever.

“I started getting emails back from the shorts, which makes sense. Those are the guys that are the most fucked,” Frank said. “They have the hardest time getting any attention, and this festival and the newsworthiness of that premiere would’ve been huge to them. So they realized it could be salvaged: they could still show their movies in Austin and also do something newsworthy. Maybe they didn’t get to show at SXSW, but a drive-in offered its screens.”

“I never thought I’d say this, but we’re literally the only movie theater operating in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas. I never expected that to be the truth,” Frank says. “In a lot of people’s minds, it kind of revalidated what a drive-in could be for society.”

The next SXSocial Distance screening is set for this Thursday, March 26. But the Blue Starlite has plenty of other great programming lined up, as seen on the theater’s Facebook page. Screenings include “The Princess Bride,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Uncut Gems,” “The Big Lebowski,” and more.

Source: IndieWire film