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February 9, 2020

‘The Lodge’ Leads Quiet Specialized Debuts as Oscar Bounty Continues for ‘1917,’ ‘Parasite,’ ‘Jojo Rabbit’

With the Oscars at hand, the specialized world will soon need to live without the infusion of titles that started with “Judy” five months ago, and with many successful films that followed. The new blood, though, remains uneven.

The Lodge” (Neon) is more of a genre play not expected to fill in the gaps ahead. It had a decent initial response, but it remains to be seen how much further interest it has. But the potential is there. Otherwise, “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street) had mixed results in its initial expansion. Performing well, though with a shortened window with the early Oscar date, the “2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films”  program had a strong showing. But its shelf-life isn’t long.

Searchlight’s wide release of “Downhill” post-Sundance and the anticipated strong Valentine’s release of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Neon) lead the new films starting next weekend. They are badly needed.

Opening

“The Lodge” (Neon) – Metacritic: 64; Festivals include: Sundance 2019

$78,104 in 6 theaters; PTA: $13,017

A year after its Sundance debut, this thriller from the Austrian directors of the well-received “Goodnight Mommy” debuted in six New York/Los Angeles venues. This was not a typical platform play, with two Alamo Drafthouse theaters, two total overall in Brooklyn, and a more commercial, less arthouse combination. The numbers suggest interest, if not breakout potential. This is the kind of niche item that should expect to be maximized by Neon with appeal to younger audiences.

What comes next: This will expand in stages over the upcoming weeks starting Friday.

"And Then We Danced"

“And Then We Danced”

Music Box Films

“And Then We Danced” (Music Box) – Metacritic: 63; Festivals include: Cannes 2019

$14,078 in 2 theaters; PTA: $7,039

Set in Eurasian Georgia but produced by Sweden (it was their International Film submission), this drama takes place in the dance world where local homophobic mores are confronted by the attraction between two performers. This opened in two New York theaters to on par results for subtitled releases.

What comes next: Los Angeles opens Friday.

“Come on Daddy” (Saban) – Metacritic: 63; Festivals include: Tribeca 2019; also on VOD

$61,381 in 29 theaters; PTA: $2,116

Elijah Wood is another name actor working the Nicolas Cage route of genre titles, having fun and providing the basis for combined theatrical/streaming play.  This actually isn’t a bad result for its multi-city runs with home-viewing competition.

What comes next: This doesn’t look to expand theatrically, but has accomplished what was planned with these dates.

"Cane River"

“Cane River”

Oscilloscope

“Cane River” (Oscilloscope) – Metacritic: 80

$10,240 in 2 theaters; PTA: $5,120

The numbers for the initial theaters — one in Brooklyn, the other in New Orleans, a partial setting for this 1982 film rescued from obscurity after director Horace B. Jenkins died shortly after completion. A romance between two very different young people, it then as now offers a bracing portrait of African-American made life. The theatrical component is important for getting this attention, but this feels like a film that will prosper as well, with nontheatrical play ahead.

What comes next: Until then, this will have a slow multi-city rollout in major cities.

Week Two

2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films (Magnolia)

$825,000 in 535 theaters (+70); PTA: $1,542; Cumulative: $2,655,000

With a truncated awards calendar this year, the annual shorts compilation is about a half million ahead of the second weekend last year. It may fall a bit short of that $3.5 million total, with most interest ramping up before the awards, but in some ways this is just as impressive.

“The Assistant” (Bleecker Street)

$122,585 in 25 theaters (+21); PTA: $4,903; Cumulative: $225,711

Last weekend’s leading platform opener expanded to more major theaters this weekend. Still getting decent reviews, it had a modest response and doesn’t look likely to break out beyond specialized dates.

“The Traitor”

“The Traitor” (Sony Pictures Classics)

$44,567 in 17 theaters (+14); PTA: $2,622; Cumulative: $79,088

Veteran Italian director Marco Bellocchio’s story of a Sicilian mafia informant added top big city theaters to mediocre results.

“Incitement” (Greenwich)

$30,000 in 9 theaters (+7); PTA: $3,333; Cumulative: $58,409

This Israeli drama recreating the lead-up to the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin added Los Angeles and other theaters to modest results. That said, expect this to get national specialized play at the high end of non-awards-contending subtitled films.

“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” (Blue Fox)

$52,618 in 40 theaters (+17); PTA: $1,354; Cumulative: $157,399

The Supreme Court Justice has his fans, but at least in terms of documentary interest, he’s no match for colleague Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Ongoing/Expanding (Grosses Over $50,000)

“1917” (Universal) Week 8

$9,000,000 in 3,548 theaters (-439); Cumulative: $132,540,000

The last-minute Oscar-viewing rush left the frontrunner down only 5%. With wins expected tonight, $200 million domestic remains possible. It’s hard to imagine a more perfectly played Oscar theatrical run.

“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros.) Week  8

$1,540,000 in 1,315 theaters (-492); Cumulative: $33,390,000

This has fallen just short of the top 10 in recent weeks, but the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx prison-set story continues to do respectable numbers despite not getting hoped-for awards attention.

“Jojo Rabbit” (Searchlight) Week 17

$1,534,000 in 1,096 theaters (-77); Cumulative: $30,281,000

Searchlight decided (atypically for nominees past window minimums) to hold off the home release date until February 4. As a result, they will add about 50% to their gross since nominations were announced.

Parasite

“Parasite”

Neon

“Parasite” (Neon) Week 18

$1,500,000 in 1,060 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $35,472,000

Despite having home availability a majority of the time since the nominations, this high-end performer has added $10 million so far. With potential multiple wins tonight, this could yet reach $40 million.

“Uncut Gems” (A24) Week 9

$658,936 in 1,142 theaters (+650); Cumulative: $49,244,000

Now A24’s biggest grossing film, “Uncut Gems” with no nominations (though that was the play including, the platform release and Christmas release) has grossed more than 10 of the films competing in the top six categories.

“Bombshell” (Lionsgate) Week 9

$237,000 in 272 theaters (-206); Cumulative: $31,273,000

With two acting Oscar nominees and a likely Makeup & Hairstyling win, this Fox News #MeToo recreation has managed to stick around a bit. This will end up at around $32 million.

“The Last Full Measure” (Roadside Attractions) Week 3

$189,400 in 279 theaters (-338); Cumulative: $2,509,000

The remaining theaters for the Vietnam war hero recognition story actually had a higher average than the wider venues last week. But this won’t stick around much longer, topping off somewhere under $3 million.

“Weathering With You” (GKIDS) Week 4

$141,932 in 106 theaters (+15); Cumulative: $7,556,000

This well-received Japanese animated film keeps adding to its, initially at least, event-showing-fueled start.

“Color Out of Space” (RLJE) Week 3

$55,362 in 54 theaters (-14); Cumulative: $677.283

Nicolas Cage’s latest foray into genre film continues to get noticed ahead of its late February home availability.

“Pain and Glory” (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 19;  also streaming

$60,616 in 118 theaters (+59); Cumulative: $4,507,000

Pedro Almodóvar’s Best Actor and International Film Oscar nominee needs to reach $4,580,000 to match last year’s “Cold War” among recent specialized subtitled releases. It might get close, but with home availability in play and no wins expected, it will be a close call. The difficulty in getting to the $5 million mark, other than “Parasite,” among similar films is still a big concern. (Fellow nominee “Les Misérables,” despite a big push, won’t gross a tenth of that).

“The Song of Names” (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$56,710 in 78 theaters (-62); Cumulative: $925,213

Despite mixed reviews and not ever standing out among the holiday releases, SPC might get this post-World War II drama about the search for a lost violinist to $1 million.

Also noted: 

“Les Misérables” (Amazon) – $29,316 in 38 theaters; Cumulative: $323,210

“Clemency” (Neon) – $12,575 in 25 theaters; Cumulative: $339,489

“Honeyland” (Neon) – $11,387 in 16 theaters; Cumulative: $786,726

 

 

 

 

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Source: IndieWire film

February 9, 2020

‘Dream Horse’ Is Set in Wales, But Its Director Says Its Message Will Resonate for Many Rust Belt Communities

“Dream Horse” is a fact-based movie starring Toni Collette as a supermarket worker living in the Welsh countryside who teams up with her fellow townspeople to realize her dream of owning a champion racehorse. With limited means and no aristocratic background, Collette’s Jan Vokes defies the odds stacked against her, offering an inspirational story that director Euros Lyn says will transcend accents and national boundaries to resonate with people the world over.

“This is a part of the world that’s like a lot of places all over here in the US,” Lyn said at the IndieWire Studio, presented by Dropbox. “It’s part of the rust belt — places where people used to be miners and steelworkers. All those jobs are gone and this community’s left behind without those jobs. With that went their pride and their self confidence and their hope.

“This is a story I hope will speak to a lot of communities across the world that says you can still dream, you can still achieve things. There’s so much talent in those places and your dreams can come true.”

Much has been said in recent years about American communities that feel left behind — look no further than the “Rust Belt” or more perjorative “Flyover state” monikers — as it seems like economic vitality is increasingly concentrated in coastal cities following the decline of American manufacturing.

“Dream Horse” is based on the true story of Jan Vokes, a bartender in a small village about 16 miles outside Cardiff. Vokes dreamed of breaking into a sport that frequently cost millions, to breed and train a racehorse.

The film shows Collette’s Vokes collecting £10 a week from her neighbors in order to save up to buy a foal and raise it into a champion.

“It’s entirely inspirational,” Collette said after the film’s Sundance premiere. “I just found it so empowering and so moving that this woman knows nothing about that world but just has an idea to infuse some passion and some meaning into her life. She puts all of her energy into this horse, she’s so determined.”

That dream helps transform Vokes’ whole village, helping round out an inspirational message.

“Dream Horse” will be released by Bleecker Street in the US May 1 and by Warner Bros. in the UK April 17.

Source: IndieWire film

February 9, 2020

Gay Men’s Chorus at Indie Spirits Confirms What We Knew All Along: Laura Dern Is a Gay Icon

The Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica got a pep in its step when the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles took to the stage inside of the tent and delivered what can only be described as a totally epic and hilarious tribute to the gayest moments in film of 2019. That culminated in an ode to “Marriage Story” Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee and all-around screen icon Laura Dern. Count “Laura Dern ordering a kale salad” and “Laura Dern dressed slutty in court” — referring to her lurid performance as hotshot lawyer Nora Fanshaw in “Marriage Story” — among 2019’s gayest movie moments. Watch the video below.

The Indie Spirits performance — sure to go down in the hall of fame of all-time greatest Indie Spirits moments — followed an otherwise tame afternoon first introduced by deadpan host Aubrey Plaza in a monologue introduction that took aim at the Academy for blowing it in the diversity department. She did her very best to offend everyone involved. “Jennifer Lopez is here you guys. She just played the Super Bowl last weekend. What did you do, Mary Kay Place? Nothing, because you’re a lazy sack of shit! Just kidding, you’re a national treasure,” she said.

Along with the song touting the greatness of Laura Dern, the Spirits show presented images from some of Dern’s most iconic work, from “Wild at Heart” to “Blue Velvet.” “Marriage Story” later picked up the Robert Altman Award. Dern’s prior “Marriage Story” wins — surely to soon include an Academy Award after Sunday night — include the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, the EE BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Since starring as Renata Klein in 2017 on HBO’s iconic drama series “Big Little Lies,” which also earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, Laura Dern has enjoyed something of a renaissance after decades of cult roles in the work of David Lynch.

See all the winners of the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards here, and scroll through a gallery of blue-carpet looks also.

Source: IndieWire film

February 7, 2020

Unseen and Unsung: Showrunners Make Television Happen

The post Unseen and Unsung: Showrunners Make Television Happen appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

February 7, 2020

Brit Marling Has Had Enough of Hollywood’s Idea of a ‘Strong Female Lead’

Actress, writer, and producer Brit Marling’s most artistically successful vehicles have been the ones she driven herself, from films like “Another Earth” and “Sound of My Voice” (which she wrote and starred in) to the Netflix series “The OA,” which she co-created with Zal Batmanglij (and also wrote and starred in). That’s because, as she revealed in a recent New York Times op-ed, other roles she’s either lost out on or declined have fallen into a category she’s working to resist: the Strong Female Lead.

“She’s an assassin, a spy, a soldier, a superhero, a CEO. She can make a wound compress out of a maxi pad while on the lam. She’s got MacGyver’s resourcefulness but looks better in a tank top,” Marling writes. Indeed, the complicated, often messy women she’s written and portrayed in her films and on “The OA” (cancelled last year by Netflix after two seasons) don’t resemble this kind of Powerful Woman armed with masculine qualities, recognizable in many a Hollywood tentpole and television series.

“Acting the part of the Strong Female Lead changed both who I was and what I thought I was capable of. Training to do my own stunt work made me feel formidable and respected on set. Playing scenes where I was the boss firing men tasted like empowerment. And it will always feel better to be holding the gun in the scene than to be pleading for your life at the other end of the barrel,” writes Marling, also railing against women being portrayed onscreen as mere victims.

“It would be hard to deny that there is nutrition to be drawn from any narrative that gives women agency and voice in a world where they are most often without both. But the more I acted the Strong Female Lead, the more I became aware of the narrow specificity of the characters’ strengths — physical prowess, linear ambition, focused rationality. Masculine modalities of power,” she writes. “What we really mean when we say we want strong female leads is: ‘Give me a man but in the body of a woman I still want to see naked.’”

Marling also points out a common thread in classic films that tackle gender roles, such as “Thelma and Louise,” where the women, in the end and despite acts of heroism you could even call masculine, must die. Marling doesn’t want to play that dying woman either, or just the male hero’s wife. “I don’t want to be the dead girl, or Dave’s wife,” she writes. “But I don’t want to be a strong female lead either, if my power is defined largely by violence and domination, conquest and colonization.”

In the op-ed, Marling also gets candid about her past, including her time as an investment bank analyst — which subjugated her to men in power — before her days in Hollywood. Marling says that she has carried this experiences with her, and it’s not a position she wants to relive again in front of a camera. (While not discussed in her piece, it’s worth noting that Marling opened up in 2017 about an alleged sexual harassment incident involving Harvey Weinstein.)

“I imagine excavating my own desires, wants and needs, which I have buried so deeply to meet the desires, wants and needs of men around me that I’m not yet sure how my own desire would power the protagonist of a narrative,” she writes. “These are not yet solutions. But they are places to dig.”

Read the full essay over at The New York Times.

Source: IndieWire film

February 7, 2020

With ‘Horse Girl,’ Alison Brie Confronts Her Family’s Real History of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Alison Brie is well known for her comedy projects “Community” and “Glow,” but she turns in her gutsiest dramatic work yet in “Horse Girl.” The psychological drama from “Life After Beth” and “The Little Hours” writer-director Jeff Baena world premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is now available to stream on Netflix. Brie stars in the film opposite Molly Shannon, Debby Ryan, John Reynolds, John Ortiz, and Paul Reiser.

“Horse Girl” stars Brie as a socially awkward young woman named Sarah whose reality is upended after her lucid dreams began taking shape in real life. Sarah’s family has a history of mental illness, and as the character falls deeper into disillusionment she questions whether or not she’s destined for a similar fate of mental illness. Brie co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Baena and told IndieWire at our Sundance studio (presented by Dropbox) that the project was far more personal for her than some might expect. Brie’s family has a history of mental illness, and it was in exploring her own relationship to her family’s history that Brie unlocked the character she plays in the film.

“It is a quite personal project for me,” Brie told IndieWire of “Horse Girl.” “A lot of my character’s family history is based on my own family history and my own family’s experience with mental illness. My mother’s mother lived with paranoid schizophrenia and I grew up hearing stories about her and my mother’s childhood and just knowing that mental illness existed in my bloodline. The older I get and the more I have my own bouts of depression and struggles I become acutely aware that this [mental illness] is in my DNA. That was an interesting premise for a thriller. I can’t think of anything more terrifying than not being able to trust your own mind.”

It was also important for Baena and Brie to make a movie about mental illness without having it be a “mental illness movie.” Baena believed that assigning any genre to the film would dilute the impact of its message and its attempt to humanize mental illness.

“We didn’t set out to make a mental health movie in any way,” added Brie. “We delved deep into who this character is and we went on the adventure with her. We want the audience to feel like they’re in her shoes and empathizing with her.”

“Horse Girl” is now streaming on Netflix. Watch IndieWire’s full interview with Brie and Baena in the video above.

Source: IndieWire film

February 7, 2020

Extend Your SXSW Experience for 5 Days of Inspiration, Learning & Connection at SXSW EDU

Education visionaries and thought-leaders converge at SXSW EDU (South by Southwest Education) to explore what’s next and new in learning. We are celebrating the 10th year of SXSW EDU with a can’t-miss lineup of programming and events from March 9-12, 2020.

The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival serves as an on-ramp to SXSW (March 13-22). Extend your experience by purchasing an EDU Badge or add a EDU Badge onto your SXSW Badge purchase – SXSW Platinum, Interactive, Film or Music Badge – at a discounted rate. Once registered, book your hotel through SXSW Housing & Travel for the best available rates.

Check out this preview of SXSW EDU and visit sxswedu.com for a full look at this year’s program.

The post Extend Your SXSW Experience for 5 Days of Inspiration, Learning & Connection at SXSW EDU appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

February 7, 2020

How Millennials and Gen Z are Changing the Sports Experience

SXSW Gaming Tournament - King of the Hill - 2019 - Photo by Travis Lilley

With comparisons between Millennials and Gen Z to the generations that have come before becoming a widespread pop-culture joke, it’s no surprise that Millennials and Gen Z have different wants and expectations from the sports that they follow. With new industries like esports rising up to the decline of the attendance of the younger generations at live sporting events – these new preferences are changing the face of sports as they have been. These conversations and more are taking place in the Sports Track during the SXSW Conference from March 13-16.

Franchises and networks have had to adapt strategies at a rapid pace to adjust to these changes in consumer attitudes – these sessions are breaking down how they’re changing for new generations.

Millennials and Gen Z Changing the Game, Literally

The adrenaline while watching live sports is real. There’s nothing like sitting on the edge of your seat and watching your favorite player score the winning goal, catch a pass near the end zone, or ace their opponent in the final match. Today, live TV streaming platforms are providing sports fans with a way to watch their favorite games without relying on traditional linear TV. While some streamers are partnering with leagues to raise awareness, others are partnering with players. How are streamers attracting fans through strategic and authentic sports partnerships? What do OTT live sports streaming look like? Game, Set, Match: The Rise of Streamers in Sports will look at how streaming services are tapping into live sports in creative and breakthrough ways and the hurdles that currently exist within the industry with Pamela Duckworth (fuboTV), Jacob Feldman, Megan Rapinoe (USWNT), and Michael Schneider (Hulu).

Gen Z sports fandom is different from any generation before. They no longer solely follow teams – they instead identify with the athletes themselves – and are more likely to root for the person, no matter the team. Gen Z is looking for a new crop of contemporary role models who are inspirational yet relatable. Athletes now create their own individual media brands through their social platforms. Learn how to create multi-dimensional content utilizing athletes, to touch on passion points that are appealing to Gen Z’s action-oriented mindset from former NFL player Anthony “Spice” Adams, Michael Cohen, president of Whistle, an entertainment and sports media company, Harish Sarma, global strategic partnerships & corporate development at TikTok, and Jaymee Messler, co-founder of (co)laboratory in From the Field to the Screen: Casting Athletes.

Over the last decade, millennial sports fans have contributed to a decrease in live TV ratings and attendance at live events – instead opting for highlights, web analysis, podcasts, or other media they can consume for free. When they do arrive, they are often distracted, using personal devices to engage with the team and stadium and stay up to date with friends. If millennials are the generation that values experiences – one study found that 75% value experiences over material items – why the decline in live sports? Sideline Action: What Millennial Fans Want From Live Sports features Jacob Feldman, Brad Griffith (Gametime), Anne Marie Rowe (Boston Red Sox), and Michael Williams (3ice) and explores potential causes, what young fans actually want out of their live events, and strategies applicable to teams and venues across leagues to get fans off the couch and back into the stadium.

Browse More Sports Track Sessions

For more sessions that cover the trajectory of longtime favorites as well as new sensations in the face of new tech and enthusiastic fans, browse through the Sports sessions.

This Convergence Track gives primary access to all SXSW Badges.

Browse all sessions on the SXSW Schedule and add events to your Favorites list to start planning your SX adventure.

Browse Sports Sessions

Attend SXSW 2020

Join us for SXSW 2020 from March 13-22 in Austin, TX. Check out how to attend, plan your housing, and stay up to date on SXSW 2020 news by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Featured Image by Travis Lilley

The post How Millennials and Gen Z are Changing the Sports Experience appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

February 7, 2020

Celebrating Love For Valentine’s Day

Love comes in many forms — great loves, unexpected loves, old loves. In the following collection of stories, people discuss the love they have known in their lives — and the many surprising shapes and places it has come in.

Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Listening to Love

story


"If you live to be 100, I’d like to be 100 less one day."

0:00 / 0:00

For Better Or For Worse

Nearly 45 years after marriage, Claudia and Bill Dewane reflect on their marriage, their love, and what “for better, or for worse” means to them.

Originally broadcast February 10, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition. Read the full transcript here.

 

story


"That was the only thing we could do to legalize our relationship."

0:00 / 0:00

To Protect Our Love

Despite the legal restrictions on same-sex marriage in the 1970s, civil rights leader Bayard Rustin and his partner Walter Naegle found an unconventional way to legalize their relationship. Walter Naegle remembers their love nearly 33 years after Rustin’s passing.

Originally aired June 28, 2015, on NPR’s Weekend Edition., on NPR’s Morning Edition. Read the full transcript here.

 

story


"I was the preacher's wife…"

0:00 / 0:00

Loving, Despite Judgement

Sandra Sowder and Marcia Sutton discuss the judgement and social estrangement they face in pursuing their love for each other.

Originally aired September 21, 2014, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Read the full transcript here.

 

story


"I think I might want to be straight with a nice husband, but, of course, I don't have any idea what it's like to have kids, 'cause I am a kid myself."

0:00 / 0:00

Really, Truly?

At 10 years old, Kaitlyn imagines her future family, while speaking to her mother Lynne Lande about love and parenthood.

Originally broadcast May 7, 2004 on NPR’s Morning Edition. Read the full transcript here.

 

story


“I remember never being so afraid and so excited in my entire life.”

0:00 / 0:00

A Teenage Romance, Rekindled After Three Decades

As teenagers, Lori Daigle and Liz Barnes shared a kiss that left them with a feeling of “crazy, chaotic excitement.” After 30 years apart, they found their way back to each other.

Originally aired March 8, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition. Read the full transcript here.

 

Love in Motion

 




Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Source: SNPR Story Corps

February 5, 2020

How to Tell Visual Stories Like A Media Company?

Source: Visual Storytelling