An interesting couple of days in indieland, when two high-profile independents, neglected by their initial distributors, have found homes with new companies. Just yesterday, Magnolia Pictures announced they had scooped up the rights to distribute Andrew Jarecki’s “All Good Things” after original distrib The Weinstein Company disagreed with producers on how to release it, and now comes the news that Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have partnered to distribute “I Love You, Philip Morris,” after on-again, off-again distributor Consolidated Pictures Group reportedly defaulted on its commitment to raise the agreed-upon P&A for the film.
What these two deals show us is that producers aren’t settling for what they perceive as lame release plans, and increasingly aggressive smaller entities are looking to fill the gap left by their bigger rivals’ reticence for risky projects.
Earlier in the week, Roadside and Liddell also announced they were releasing Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s latest “Biutiful,” which few people championed after its Cannes premiere in May. Many industry watchers expected ‘Biutiful” to be one of the hottest sales at the festival, but after a muted Cannes reaction, it languished. Despite my dislike for the film (you can read my review from Cannes at IFC.com), it certainly has marketable elements for the art-house audience, and Roadside may have been smart to get the film at a low price. I would be interested to know what Liddell’s interests are in the distribution world, but my guess is that like a lot of producers, they’re increasingly looking to get in on the action themselves.