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The Sundance Film Festival remains the center of American independent filmmaking premieres, a primary source of talent discovery, and a force for representation in cinema. Where that significance no longer registers is at the box office. A total of 21 films that screened at Sundance in 2021 saw a theatrical release. In total, they grossed $15 million — $10 million less than Apple’s record-breaking purchase of “CODA.” Sundance is the most powerful film festival in America, a Good...
Once upon a time, back in 1999, Jim Henson Pictures wanted to make a fantasy movie about a mermaid, the king who tries to steal her immortality, and the illegitimate daughter who comes between them. In 2001, it became a Disney project and development continued for a decade. After “The Moon and the Sun” wrapped production in 2014, Disney was out and Paramount was in until it wasn’t, pulling it from the release calendar weeks before an April 2015 release. The $40 million picture starring...
The abundance of black-and-white films is perhaps this year’s most obvious Hollywood trend, with major awards contenders “Belfast,” “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” “C’mon C’mon,” and “Passing” all choosing to drain their worlds of color. Even filmmakers working in a full palette feel the need to engage with monochrome, whether through selected scenes (“The French Dispatch” and “Being the Ricardos”) or special releases of black and white versions like “Nightmare Alley: Vision and Darkness and...
With an estimated $30.6 million for three days and $35 million for the four-day weekend, Paramount’s “Scream” dislodged “Spider-Man: No Way Home” after four weeks at #1. Adding another $20.8 million, the Marvel sequel is just under a staggering $700 million. “Scream” is a horror-franchise reboot, the first installment since 2011 (the late Wes Craven directed the previous four) and the first from Paramount. It’s likely to be the biggest performer until March 4, when Warner Bros. will release...
The independent film community lost one of its own last month, Jane Alsobrook. Her close friend, Michelle Satter, Founding Senior Director, Sundance Institute Artist Programs, sent us a tribute, with contributions from Alsobrook’s husband, actor-writer Gerard Maguire, and IndieWire contributor Sydney Levine. Jane Alsobrook, pioneering film executive, producer, mentor and breast cancer activist, died at her home in Sedona, Arizona, on Monday, December 13, 2021, mourned by her family...
There’s trouble in Park City, with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for COVID. (Sorry, but I am just dying to see the new “Music Man” on Broadway.) Canceling this year’s in-person Sundance Film Festival created plenty of headaches — grousing about non-refundable condos and passes abound — but in its shadow is another, much larger disappointment that has the capacity to undermine regional film festivals and the organizations that support them. Under the federal government’s...
Here we are, halfway through the month of January and there’s no better time to take a moment and check-in on the state of TV’s winter awards season (and beyond.) Just this week saw the announcement of Golden Globe winners, in addition to nominations for both the Writers Guild Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Plus, the nominees for the Critics Choice Awards and Indie Spirit Awards are still outstanding, so here’s where things stand heading into upcoming weeks, which will see...
The last piece of this week’s TV awards puzzle locked into place Thursday morning as the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the nominations for the 2022 Writers Guild Awards (WGA). And what a dynamic puzzle piece it was, with the organizations bringing plenty of new blood to the awards conversation. Head and shoulders above every other nominated series is Hulu’s delightful freshman comedy “Only Murders in the Building,” the only series...
At the 2020 Oscars, Neon’s “Parasite” grossed $55 million, won four awards, and became the first-ever Best Picture win for a non-English language film. Three weeks later, theaters shut down. “Parasite” looked like the green shoot in the transition of a specialized ecosystem. By breaking out of the declining base of older, upscale viewers for foreign language releases, it offered hope that younger viewers would support acclaimed and cinematically inventive films in theaters. That’s not what...
One of the most buzzed-about films to emerge out of last year’s Tribeca Film Festival was “Catch the Fair One” from writer/director Josef Kubota Wladyka, who won the audience award for this relentless sex-trafficking thriller built around WBA champion Kali Reise. Her bruising performance has earned her a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. Here’s the official synopsis: “Kaylee ‘K.O.’ Uppashaw, a mixed Indigenous boxer, prepares for a championship fight. Her hands...
This weekend’s total box office, around $64 million, represents just under 50 percent of the same weekend in 2020. Even so: It was better than anticipated and brought the four-week running comparison to 76 percent — its highest mark in more than two months. Almost all the credit goes to “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which had a 41 percent drop — significantly less than anticipated. It took in an additional $33 million ($6 million above pre-weekend estimate of $27 million) for a $669 million...
Now that Sundance has answered the question looming over the 2022 festival by going all-virtual for the second year in a row, it’s full-steam ahead. And today the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced the members of its six juries, including Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”), Joey Soloway (“Transparent”), and Payman Maadi (“A Separation”). The 16 jurors will bestow awards upon the festival’s winners January 28, with award-winning movies available for...
Despite having the second-biggest Christmas-period grosser ever with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony), this New Year’s-adjacent weekend plunged decidedly below similar ones. A roughly $95-million total places it far below the normal range, even without adjusting for inflation, of $140 million and above for the three days. “Spider-Man,” at $52.7 million, continues its spectacular run ($610 million domestic, $1.37 billion worldwide so far) with one of the best three-weekend results ever. It...
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