Today Focus Features opens Tár, the strikingly original return of Todd Field, in four locations in NY and LA. The film premiered at Venice winning star Cate Blanchett Best Actress as musician and conductor Lydia Tár. Early this week, it seemed to mesmerize a sold-out Allice Tully Hall at the New York Film Festival.
A 97% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, Deadline’s review here called Field’s first film since Little Children 16 years ago, a “daring and quite comprehensive immersion in a rarified world [that] features a lead performance the likes of which doesn’t come along very often.” Field wrote the part for Blanchett but at an NYFF Q&A he said he waited to send her the script until it was done and Focus CEO Peter Kujawski “asked me, ‘Who do you have in mind?’ I said I was still thinking about it. Because I was superstitious. That she would say no.”
No risk there. “I had never read a script like it,” Blanchett said of the film that examines the changing nature of power dynamics in the modern world through the lens of a major European orchestra and its flawed leader.
“The screenplay read like a musical score,” she said. But “Todd’s incredible intellect is married to an incredible heart,” so it’s not imperative that the audience “understand every syllable.” She said the film “raised questions I had been thinking about that I didn’t have the answers to. But the screenplay didn’t try to answer those questions simply, it really respected an audience.”
Tár‘s slow platform rollout starts at the Angelika and Lincoln Square in NY and the Grove and Century City in LA. Tentative plans are to open in 12 new markets/30 theaters next week then move to about 100 locations ahead of a wider rollout Oct. 28.
Produced by Field via his Standard Film Company, and Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert for Emjag Productions. Cast also includes Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong.
Also up this weekend, a big one, Neon presents Ruben Östlund’s 2022 Cannes Palme d’or winner Triangle of Sadness in ten markets including NY and LA. The social hierarchy-turned-upside-down comedy was written by Östlund. Produced by Erik Hemmendorff and Phillippe Bober. Starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon and Woody Harrelson. Celebrity model couple, Carl (Dickinson) and Yaya (Dean), are invited on a luxury cruise for the uber-rich helmed by an unhinged boat captain (Harrelson). What first appeared wonderfully Instagrammable ends in catastrophe with the survivors stranded on a desert island and fighting for survival. Deadline review here. It’s 73% with critics and a hefty 94% with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing opens writer/director Carlota Pereda’s Spanish horror thriller Piggy exclusively at 10 Alamo Drafthouse theaters. The Sundance selection and Best Horror Feature winner of the 2022 Fantastic Fest will expand to 25-30 locations and VOD next weekend. Set in a sweltering summer in rural Spain, obese teen Sara is carrying an extra load of agony due to perpetual bullying from peers and alienation at home. A solo dip at the local pool sees an exceptionally grueling bout of abuse at the hands of three classmates, and the presence of a mysterious stranger. As she runs home, Sara witnesses her bloodied tormentors being kidnapped in the back of the stranger’s van and must decide whether to cooperate with police or take her own path. Starring Laura Galán, Richard Holmes, Carmen Machi, Irene Ferreiro, Camille Aguilar, Jose Pastor, Pilar Castro, Fernando Delgado-Hierro, Claudia Salas Produced by Merry Colomer.
Magnolia acquired the film out of Sundance. Distribution chief Neal Block hopes a proven predilection for horror fare will overcome any language challenge. “It’s less of an issue for good genre films – they can more easily cross that language barrier. And Piggy, which simultaneously calls back to classic 80’s horror while subverting pretty much every genre expectation, is particularly well set up to find that audience, whether in theaters this week or at home next,” he said.
Overall, this is a specialty weekend with a breadth and depth rarely since Covid amid cautious optimism heading into awards season of a slow but ongoing arthouse recovery — if you don’t compare it to pre-Covid levels yet (or to A24s indie breakout hit, Everything Everywhere All At Once).
“There’s a lot out. We are going to have to carry the weight. There is nothing coming out in the studio world,” said one indie distributor. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and Amsterdam are the new wide releases.
“It will take a series of films to bring people back” and over multiple weekends, noted another specialty exec. Key arthouse theaters have been shuttered. But baby steps are still steps.
Also opening, Darryl Jones: In The Blood from Greenwich Entertainment, at Laemmle Monica and the Kerasotes Showplace Icon in Chicago, with concurrent TVOD release. Eric Hamburg’s feature documentary and directorial debut follows the bass player who rocked the Rolling Stones since replacing the retired Bill Wyman, as well as playing with Miles Davis, Sting, Madonna and more. It zooms in on the evolution of Jones, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was introduced early to music and the politics of race. Appearances by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and the late Charlie Watts in one of his last filmed interviews.
IFC Films is presenting Pretty Problems on 27 screens and on demand. Directed by Kestrin Pantera, the 2022 SXSW Audience Award winner follows a struggling couple whose relationship is put to the test when they are pulled along by absurdly wealthy strangers for a wine country getaway that turns into the most unhinged weekend of their lives. Written by Michael Tennant, Britt Rentschler, Charlotte Ubben. Featuring Rentschler, Tennant, J.J. Nolan, Graham Outerbridge, Alex Klein, Charlotte Ubben, Vanessa Chester, Tom DeTrinis, Amy Maghera. Deadline review here.
Cinedigm, in its largest in-house distribution effort, opens Terrifier 2 on 850 screens in partnership with Iconic Events. Written and directed by Damien Leone. Starring Felissa Rose, David Howard Thornton, Griffin Santopietro, Lauren LaVera and Chris Jericho. After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to the timid town of Miles County where he targets a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night.
Vertical Entertainment presents The Storied Life of AJ Fikry based on the bestselling book by Gabrielle Zevin on 322 U.S. screens (and 10 in Canada). Vertical calls it an uplifting film great for date night. Directed by Hans Canosa. Starring Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, Christina Hendricks, Blaire Brown, Lauren Stamile, with David Arquette and Scott Foley. Nayyar, of Big Bang Theory fame, is a bookstore owner struggling emotionally and financially after his wife’s tragic death. He hits rock bottom when his most prized possession, a series of Edgar Allen Poe poems, before unexpectedly gaining a new lease on life and love.
Quiver Distribution presents Bromates on 22 screens, expanding in coming weeks. A buddy comedy from Court Crandall, writer of Old School, stars Lil Rel Howery and Josh Brener. Executive produced and with a cameo by Snoop Dogg. Written by Chris Kemper and Crandall. Notes say Kemper, also an exec producer, is CEO of Palmetto Clean Technology, the employer of Brener’s character in the film. Best friends and polar opposites both break up with their girlfriends at the same time and decide to move in together in a misguided attempt to help each other through.
Strand Releasing opens Adam Kalderon’s gay sports drama The Swimmer at the Quad in NYC, expanding to Los Angeles. North Hollywood and Encino Laemmle locations next week. (This is not Sally El Hosaini’s The Swimmers that made a splash at TIFF). Erez (Omer Perelmen Striks), a rising star in the Israeli swimming scene, arrives at a godforsaken training camp to compete for a ticket to the Olympics. He meets and falls for a rival swimmer Nevo (Asaf Jonas).
Netflix opens All Quiet On The Western Front from TIFF at the Paris in NY and the Landmark Westwood, Los Feliz and Bay theaters in LA, expanding next week. Blonde continues in about 10 theaters, including the Quad in NY and the Bay in LA. In huge news, the streamer yesterday broke through an industry wall with a deal to give Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery a wide theatrical release with AMC, Regal and Cinemark over Thanksgiving. And, as importantly, a dedicated theatrical marketing push.
Here’s teaser for All Quiet On The Western Front, Deadline review here for Germany’s official submission for the Oscar’s International Feature Film.
‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Closes In On $550M WW – International Box Office
Refresh for latest…: In its sophomore frame, Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sent its worldwide cume well past the $500M mark, with an estimated $546.3M through Sunday. The split is $288M domestic and $258.3M from the international box office.
The Ryan Coogler-directed sequel is currently the No. 8 highest-grossing Hollywood release of 2022 overseas. Globally, it is at No. 7.
The second offshore weekend was good for $69.8M in 50 material markets. That’s a 49% drop from opening which is better than the majority of other MCU titles for the same suite of markets, including Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (both -56%) as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home (-60%).
Holds were strong in parts of Europe — Germany and Netherlands were each off by 31%, the UK down 48%. Elsewhere, Australia dipped 39%, Brazil was down 43%, and Mexico and Taiwan off 45% apiece. BP2 remains the No. 1 non-local movie in all markets.
The Top 5 markets to date are the UK ($27.1M), Mexico ($22.8M), France ($21.6M), Brazil ($14.2M) and Korea ($14M).
The IMAX international cume is $13.6M with $34.9M global.
In its global opening frame last weekend, Wakanda Forever scored the 3rd highest start for any Hollywood title during the pandemic era, as well as the 2nd biggest global opening of 2022 to date and the 5th highest international launch weekend posted by any Hollywood film of the pandemic era.
Last Tuesday, BP2 propelled Disney across $3B at the worldwide box office, the 14th year that the studio has achieved the milestone.
Audiences Gobble Up ‘The Menu’ Thursday Night With $1M+; ‘Wakanda Forever’ Ends First Week With $220M+
EXCLUSIVE: The Searchlight absurdist genre comedy got off to a promising start with $1M+ last night in previews, we hear. That number is up there with recent comps as Barbarian which did $850K on its Thursday night before a $10.5M opening, and The Northman, another Anya Taylor Joy movie, which posted $1.35M before a $12.2M start. The opening weekend estimate for the Mark Mylod directed movie which also stars Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult and John Leguizamo among others is around $8M. If this movie gets to $10M, it would be a nice oasis for counterprogramming in the face of Disney and Marvel Studios’ mammoth Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which is expected to do a second weekend in the $70M-range. That preview number for The Menu includes some cash from Wednesday and previews that began at 5PM yesterday. The Menu is 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and currently has a good audience score of 83%.
Wakanda Forever posted a $7.5M Thursday, -8% from Wednesday for a first week of $220.7M. The pic crossed $400M worldwide on Wednesday.
Universal’s movie about the New York Times reporters who exposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, She Said, isn’t expected to do much this weekend, in the low single digits. Previews from 1,600 theatres that began at 5PM were only $160K. Remember, despite any low grosses from these arthouse-type films, in the post-pandemic era, their awards season chances won’t be slowed. I mean, some of the big awards contenders don’t even report their box office grosses. She Said is 85% certified fresh critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 92% audience score from the few who’ve seen it.
Deadline’s Deep Dive Into ‘Bones And All’, ‘She Said’, And More New Releases – Take Two
Editor’s note: Deadline presents the 40th episode of its video series Take Two, in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films just opening in theaters every weekend. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature and thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
This week we look at the new releases Bones And All , She Said, and Polish International Film entry EO. Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, and Mark Rylance star in director Luca Guadagnino’s award winning Bones And All, an unlikely love story set against the world of cannibalism, but what is it really about? Guadagnino won the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival for this, his first film shot in America, specifically the American midwest with a story that goes in unpredictable directions but does it really work? It will be playing wide for Thanksgiving holiday and beyond. What is the appetite for it?
And find out what we say about She Said, the kind of critically acclaimed and serious drama Harvey Weinstein used to champion at Miramax and The Weinstein Company. That won’t be the case here for this Universal release because Weinstein’s criminal role is at the center of it, an authentically told story of the New York Times journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey who broke open the case against Harvey in getting the multitude of women victimized by his various sexual assaults finally getting to have their say. Many of them are even in the film that stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as those courageous journalists, and even includes Ashley Judd playing herself. Directed by Maria Schrader and written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, this is a film about women, in front of and behind the screen, who went against the odds to be able tell an extraordinary story. How well do they succeed, and will audiences even bother to see it even as Weinstein is on trial again, this time in Los Angeles after being sentenced to 23 years in prision in New York. Find out what we say about him and why this is a must see.
Finally we do a deep dive into one of the year’s finest international films, the official Oscar entry from Poland, veteran director Jerzy Skolimowski’s moving, wry, and compelling EO. The film focuses on a donkey and his wild journey, but is it really about humanity and the people he meets along the way. It won a prize at Cannes where it debuted in May, and now it hits theatres.
To watch our conversation just click on the link above.
Hammond has been Deadline’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, Hollywood.com and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.
McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.
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