There were plenty of breakout hits from the 2013 Sundance Festival earlier this year, but the one bought for the most money because of its potential mainstream appeal was "The Way Way Back." Starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry and more, the film was the directorial debut of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the writers of "The Descendants" which won a Best Adapted Screenplay award in 2012. Off a relatively small budget, "The Descendants" went on to gross $177 million worldwide for Fox Searchlight, so when the same studio saw Faxon and Rash's latetest effort, they jumped at the chance to distribute it, putting their money where their mouth was with a hefty sum of money ($10 million reportedly).
Now the film has been dated for Fox Searchlight and will receive a July 5th bow. Summer counter-programming has seen positive success in recent years. Focus Features had a similar indie hit in the summer of 2010 with "The Kids Are All Right" and Searchlight themselves obviously had excellent reach this year with "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," released at the end of June last year and "The Tree Of Life" at the end of May in 2011. They'll be looking for similar success with "The Way Way Back" (you can watch a clip from the film here).
A coming of age story dramedy, we called the film "familiar, but crowd pleasing" in our review from Sundance. Can it repeat the aforementioned favorable outcomes? We'll see later this summer. While we're at it, a few other indie dates which we haven't mentioned yet. Fox Searchlight has also dated "The East" for a May 31 debut. The film is Zal Batmanglij's follow-up to Sundance hit, "The Sound Of My Voice" and stars Brit Marling, Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgård, Patricia Clarkson and Julia Ormond among others.
Harmony Korine‘s "Spring Breakers" will now begin a limited run on March 15th, just a few days before its March 22nd wide release. And IFC Films will release Ben Wheatley's hilarious road-trip movie"Sightseers" on May 10th and Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut "Antiviral" on April 12th. Here are our reviews of "The East," "Sightseers," "Antiviral" and "Spring Breakers." Mark 'em down in your calendars now.