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DAILY NEWS: “Blair’s” Big Weekend; Roodman to; Manga’s Anime; IFC’s “Performance”

DAILY NEWS: "Blair's" Big Weekend; Roodman to; Manga's Anime; IFC's "Performance"

by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

>> Buzzworthy “Blair Witch” Takes in $2 Million in Second Weekend

The Blair Witch Project” is striking an unmistakable chord with moviegoers
and the media. While some audiences have resorted to passionate online
debates about the “reality” of the film, press outlets are starting to
focus on the marketing and its perceived similarity to other movies. The
growing buzz is clearly helping at the box-office, even though the film is
still in limited release.

Based on its second weekend grosses, Artisan Entertainment‘s release of
Haxan Films‘ “Blair Witch ” appears poised for a stellar national
box-office expansion. The film’s release, which grew slightly to 31
screens this weekend, earned approximately $2,000,000 for a per screen
average of $64,500, according to Reuters. The low-budget indiefilm from
Orlando, FL will expand to a reported 1,000 screens on July 30th. Last
weekend, the film earned approximately $1.5 million on 27 screens for an
average of more than $57,000 per screen.

Anticipating the expansion, Variety‘s Andrew Hindes and Chris Petrikin
reported last week that Hollywood studios are wary of the Artisan release’s
gross potential. The Hollywood trade indicated that Universal has moved the
release date of “Mystery Men” to August 6th and Warner Bros. has shifted
its “Deep Blue Sea” opening date up two days to July 28th. While a
Universal exec would not confirm the impact of “Blair Witch” to Variety, a
Warners exec told the trade the movie was a factor in his company’s
decision to alter the opening date.

In a conversation with indieWIRE last weekend, Artisan president Amir Malin
told indieWIRE that his company is spending about $8 million to market the
film’s upcoming expansion. The push includes a TV campaign which was
clearly evidenced on MTV this weekend. Artisan is targeting the movie at
the 18 – 29 age group.

In “Blair Witch” filmmaker Dan Myrick’s indieWIRE diary from Cannes ’99, he
indicated that the Artisan executive team has promised the Haxan Films crew
a competition grade foosball table if “Blair Witch” breaks $10 million at
the box office. Commenting in his diary, Myrick wrote, “Now the odds are
that this day will never come, but I still like the image of (Artisan’s) Bill
searching through a Valley Sports catalog looking for the best deal on a
foosball table. I wonder what the Fed Ex limit is on stuff like that?”

Artisan should have FedEx on standby, by my estimation, the foosball table
would be due in Haxan’s Orlando office sometime this Saturday evening at
the latest.


(Jul 19, 1999) DAILY NEWS: “Blair Witch” Opens Big

(Jul 14, 1999) An Interview with “The Blair Witch Project’s” Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick

(Jul 14, 1999) DAILY NEWS: “Blair Witch” Madness Continues

(Jul 12, 1999) DAILY NEWS: Artisan and Haxan: Gettin’ “Witchy” Wit’ It

(May 20, 1999) “Blair Witch” @ Cannes ’99: A Diary

(Aug 15, 1997) “Split Screen’s” First Season Ends With A “Blair Witch” Cliffhanger

>> Roodman Exits Miramax Again, This Time for New Broadband Developer

The six-week old broadband network channel developer,, has hired
former Miramax exec Joel Roodman as its VP of development. Roodman left
Miramax in 1995 to form Gotham Entertainment and recently returned to the
IndieWood company after Gotham shut its doors. He will focus on developing
“strategic relationships with the major studios” for the company’s movie
channel, according to an announcement. Based at Manhattan’s Tribeca
Film Center (also headquarters for Miramax), the company plans to launch
its first high-bandwidth channel, On2Movies, in the fourth quarter of this

[For more information, visit the company site at:]

>> Manga To Release Three Anime Movies

Palm Pictures’ animation brand, Manga Entertainment, announced that it will
distribute three Japanese anime films, Osamu Desaki’s “Blackjack,” Satashi
Kon’s “Perfect Blue,” and “X” from Clamp Studios. “Blackjack,” which is
based on the work of Osamu Tezuka, will be released in theaters this
summer, while “Perfect Blue,” will be released in NYC late next month. “X”
will be released early next year.

[For more information, visit the company site at:]

>> IFC to Offer Encore “Performance” of Cammell/Roeg Cult Classic

Acclaimed British cult film, “Performance” (aka The Performers) by Donald
Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, will air on television next month — for the
first time in ten years — as part of a retrospective of Cammell’s work on
the Independent Film Channel (IFC). Released theatrically in the U.S. in
1970, the film explores sex, drugs and violence in 1960’s London, and
features James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, and Michele Breton.

An IFC press release announcing the August 13th screening acknowledges
Cammel’s “insatiable appetites in London’s underground world of sex, drugs,
and music,” and adds that his “peculiarities and voracious sexual appetite,
which were a matter of public record, became a catalyst for his creativity
throughout his career.”

Cammell has also directed “Demon Seed” (1977), “White of the Eye” (1988),
and “The Wild Side” (1995). Cammell committed suicide three years ago in
Los Angeles, at the age of 62.

[For more information, visit the company site at:]

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