DAILY NEWS: The Figures, Sundance's Move, New Indie Distrib. and Canadian Film Series Takes a Tour
with articles by Eugene Hernandez, Matthew Ross and Jacque Lynn Schiller/indieWIRE
>> "Rain" and "Dogtown" Draw Crowds on Opening Weekend; IFC Solid with "Y Tu Mama" and "Greek Wedding"
(indieWIRE: 04.30.02) -- Christine Jeff's "Rain" debuted strongly this past
weekend, buoyed by some solid reviews. The picture, which Fireworks/IDP
released at the Angelika in Manhattan, earned $15,222 on one of the smaller
houses at the venue, exceeding the good expectations for the festival hit.
Opening wider was Sony Pictures Classics' release of the Stacy Peralta
skateboarding doc, "Dogtown and Z-Boys." The movie, a winner at Sundance last year and at this year's Spirit Awards, was especially strong in L.A.,
according to SPC co-president Michael Barker. It earned about $20,000 at
the hometown Monica in Santa Monica. The film, a production of Vans shoe
company, has been marketed heavily to the younger skate crowd; an MTV special
last weekend created additional exposure.
Barker told indieWIRE that in releasing the picture they are targeting
the art houses as well multiplex screens in key areas. Barker added
that the doc will open this week in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well
as in Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Boston, and Minneapolis. He explained
that he hopes to roll out the movie at a rate of about 10 cities per week.
In its second weekend, Sony's "Nine Queens," the Argentine film, faired
well earning $94,201 on 16 screens for a total of $153,029.
IFC Films was clearly pleased by the ongoing solid performances from "Y Tu
Mama Tambien" and the two-week old "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." The Spanish-language road movie, "Y Tu Mama," brought in just over another $1 million
this weekend on 282 screens for a new cume total of $7,244,423. IFC's "Greek
Wedding" stayed on track, earning $804,683 on 141 screens, bringing its
total to $1,626,751.
Among the other new entries this weekend were "Vulgar" from Lions Gate, which opened on one screen each in NY and LA with a gross of about $9,300. Meanwhile,
Lot 47 Films' "Some Body" was met with small crowds at Landmark's Sunshine Theater in Manhattan, earning only $2,042 in its first weekend.
>> Sundance Film Festival Moves To New Digs
(indieWIRE: 04.30.02) -- Not yet too big for its britches but apparently
suffering from some growing pains, the 2003 Sundance Film Festival happily
announced that it's moving its headquarters to the recently renovated Park
City Marriott located on Sidewinder Dr. in the Prospector Square area. The
Eccles Theatre, Prospector Square, Yarrow Hotel, and the newly completed Holiday Village Cinemas are now just a short walk away from the fest's HQ.
"We're excited to have the opportunity to move our headquarters into a larger
venue that can accommodate the film festival's growth," commented Geoffrey
Gilmore, who was named Director of the Sundance Film Festival in February
following the departure of former Co-Director Nicole Guillemet. The 2003
event is scheduled for January 16 - 26.
Along with a screening room, the space will house filmmaker and guest services,
press and sales offices, sponsor services, and volunteer departments, as well
as logistical and administrative offices.
The relocation comes on the heels of another Sundance milestone, the 20th
anniversary, celebrated last week with a party at the swank Cipriani
restaurant in midtown New York. [Jacque Lynn Schiller]
[For more information visit http://www.sundance.org.]
>> Hollywood Execs Team for New Indie Distribution Outfit
(indieWIRE: 04.30.02) -- Hollywood studio veterans Mike Marcus, Andy Gruenberg, and Craig Baumgarten have joined forces to form a new distribution outlet, MAC Releasing, that aims to release indie films. The venture, which is based in Los Angeles, is launching this week with a service deal to release "A Shot at Glory."
In a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, Gruenberg (whose younger brother
Tom works for Madstone) said, "We think there is a great opportunity." He added
that the company plans to have a festival presence, starting to scout for films
later this year at the Toronto Film Festival. The outfit will sit out next
month's Cannes Film Festival.
MAC's service deal for "A Shot at Glory," starring Robert Duvall, will debut on 225 screens this weekend. Gruenberg indicated that the pact is not
necessarily indicative of types of deals that the company will always pursue,
as it intends to acquire films as well. An announcement yesterday projected
that the outfit would release about 10 to 12 movies per year.
Among the deals already in place for the new venture are long-term output
pacts with Showtime and Lions Gate Home Entertainment, as well as a deal with Deluxe Labs for theatrical prints.
Gruenberg, who served a brief three-month stint as president of domestic
distribution for Miramax, spent eight years in distribution at MGM where he worked for Marcus. Gruenberg worked with Baumgarten at Columbia and Lorimar.
Concluding the conversation with indieWIRE, Gruenberg quipped, "We-re a
start-up with a bunch of old trained dogs who've got to learn some new
tricks!" [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Canadian Film Series Kicks Off U.K. Tour
(indieWIRE: 04.30.02) -- U.K. audiences will get a taste of some acclaimed
Canadian films this summer thanks to a new traveling screening series.
Beginning yesterday and running through July 30, "Toronto -- The Idea of
North," a selection 16 features and six shorts, including work from Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg will tour 26 cities in England, Scotland, Ireland, and
Wales. The program was organized by Canada's Film Circuit, a division of the
Toronto International Film Festival Group, with Scotland's Edinburgh Filmhouse and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Liane Balaban, the star of "New Waterford Girl," Gary Burns, the writer and director of "waydowntown," and Anais Granofsky, the writer, director and star of "On Their Knees" will accompany the tour, which includes Egoyan's "The Adjuster" (1991), David Cronenberg's short film "Camera" (2001) and Phillip Borsos' "The Grey Fox" (1982), among others. [Matthew Ross]