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Pre-Sundance, Magnolia and Paramount Scoop Up Joe Swanberg’s ‘Happy Christmas’

Pre-Sundance, Magnolia and Paramount Scoop Up Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas'

Ahead of the film’s Sundance premiere this weekend, Magnolia Pictures and Paramount Pictures have announced a collaboration to bring director Joe Swanberg’s new comedy “Happy Christmas” to theaters in 2014.

Starring Swanberg, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham (on the cover of Vogue next month) and Anna Kendrick — who Swanberg directed in last year’s “Drinking Buddies” — “Happy Christmas” centers on twenty-something siblings in Chicago whose quiet lives are rocked by a few surprise holiday visitors.

The modest success of “Drinking Buddies,” also from Magnolia, as well as his typically warm improvisational style, have moved Swanberg out of the mumblecore pigeonhole and onto the map of must-see festival hits. “Happy Christmas” will be Swanberg’s 16th directorial effort. 

Magnolia Pictures is handling U.S. theatrical and VOD distribution, while Paramount Home Media Distribution will handle U.S. physical home entertainment and all international rights. They’re eyeing a summer 2014 release.

Notably, Swanberg directed an episode of the upcoming Bay Area-based series “Looking,” which premieres this Sunday on HBO. “Happy Christmas” made our column CINE-LIST’s most anticipated films in the Sundance lineup. More details about the film here.

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