The Weinstein Company's boutique label RADiUS has acquired North American rights to "Blue Ruin," which premiered on Saturday in the Cannes Festival's oDirector's Fortnight.
Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier's whose first feature "Murder Party" was a cult hit, "Blue Ruin" tells the story of a man who finds his quiet life upended by unwelcome news and subsequently sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of revenge. Proving an improbable assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.Related Articles: Cannes Deals: Chinese Mogul Bruno Wu Partners With French Film Vet; Pierce Brosnan to Chase Olga Kurylenko Cannes: The Weinstein Co. Pays $6M for Stephen Frears' 'Philomena'
SATURDAY 4:45 PM, 6TH UPDATE: International for Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot continues way up from the last film with $35M projected for this weekend, led by Russia debuting at $9M vs $2M. That would put the overseas total at a projected $75M through Sunday with just over half of all markets opened.
SATURDAY 8:30 AM, 4TH & 5TH UPDATE: Friday domestic numbers for Star Trek Into Darkness diverged wildly last night as did estimates for the 3-day weekend and 4 1/2-day cume. Heck, they’re still over the place. One thing I can say for sure: despite the passage of 4 years and the addition of 3D and IMAX for ticket premiums, Star Trek Into Darkness even though its release began Wednesday night will not beat 2009′s Star Trek opening 3-day weekend. The new film’s 4 1/2 day number may not even gross bigger than 2009′s $75.2M. Paramount obviously wants to put the best face on an underperforming situation and is still telling me that “when opening day isn’t Friday you get a higher multiple vs Friday”. But the numbers are the numbers, and rival studios have estimates for STID that are dramatically lower. Don’t get me wrong: the movie is still making a lot of money. Just not the $100M cume predicted all week by the studio which is now claiming $22M for Friday, $70M for the 3-day weekend, and $83M for the 4 1/2-day total. Rival studios have numbers of $21.6-$22.0M for Friday, $56.2M-$66.2M for the 3-day weekend, and $69.7M-$75.5M for the 4 1/2-day total. Paramount says moviegoers “are definitely choosing IMAX as it is 14% of the gross” helped by director/producer J.J. Abrams filming 30 minutes of the new sequel using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX audience. “The IMAX screens are selling out early so there isn’t as much late business,” a Paramount exec tells me.
FRIDAY 1 PM, 3RD UPDATE: My sources say early matinees are very strong for Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot. It continued its domestic run today in 3,762 theaters with a refined number of $13.4 million from Wednesday’s 336 IMAX late shows and Thursday’s midnights and then yesterday’s wide release. Today’s grosses are almost double Thursday’s and an early read of noon averages is ranging from $25M to $27M Friday and $80M to $88M for the 3-day weekend - with a prediction of $100M for the first four days. Abrams’ first 2009 installment of the long-running film franchise opened to $30.1M Friday (without a Thursday start) and $79M for the first weekend. Fandango reports the new pic’s ticket sales are outpacing the first movie at the same point in the cycle and 55% of surveyed filmgoers plan to see it more than once. Over 80% of MovieTickets sales are for Star Trek Into Darkness and that’s led to some 430 sold out screenings this weekend. Overseas, the iconic 3D space tentpole’s cume is now $47M through Thursday.
THURSDAY PM, 2ND UPDATE: Still more good news at the start of the Summer 2013 box office as May continues to sizzle. My sources say Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot began its domestic run in 3,762 theaters with at least $14 million including $3.5M in Thursday midnights and Wednesday 336 IMAX late shows. The iconic space tentpole in 3D received a coveted “A” CinemaScore to help word of mouth and 87% positive Rotten Tomatoes score setting it up for a strong weekend. Over 400 screenings offered by MovieTickets.com are sold out for this upcoming weekend. The budget was a costly $190M, but the studio is still predicting a 3-day weekend domestic estimate of $80M and 4-day estimate of $100M. Right now Star Trek Into Darkness is running around 80% of Fandango’s ticket sales today while 75% of yesterday’s sales on MovieTickets.com came from STID. Star Trek Into Darkness is expected to easily beat the director’s first installment in North America and do much better overseas, where the franchise has long underperformed. To do that, Abrams filmed 30 minutes of the new sequel using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX audience, while Paramount dispatched his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk to share 20 minutes of footage with media and distributors abroad earlier this year. The international grosses continue to surprise: My sources say the film’s opening day in Russia looks like $1.4 million, or nearly 4x the starting gross of 2009′s Star Trek. The sequel opened in 7 international markets this past weekend, earning $40M thru Wednesday. The combined figures from these territories are almost 70% greater than 2000′s Star Trek from the same UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. New markets, led by Russia, will open this weekend representing just over 15% of the overseas potential. Total now is just over 50% with 40 markets playing the pic through Sunday. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock in this sequel to Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise, which began as a 1960s TV series. His first grossed $257.7M in North America but only $128M overseas, where most Hollywood tentpoles do far better. Star Trek Into Darkness, based on Gene Roddenberry’s creation, was written by credited scripters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof, who also are producers along with the Bad Robot duo of Abrams and Burk.
Oxbow won the 138th Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Saturday, with a finishing time of 1:57:54. Coming in second was It's My Lucky Day and in third place was Mylute.
It was the third Preakness victory for jockey Gary Stevens. Oxbow had 15-1 odds heading into the race.
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after it made its World Premiere in Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, the Jeremy Saulnier-directed Blue Ruin was acquired by Radius-TWC. Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego bought North American rights, and plan to release the film theatrically this fall. (Watch a clip from the film here.) Saulnier, whose film is one of the few American offerings in Directors’ Fortnight sidebar, here directs a story of a man who finds his quiet life upended by unwelcome news and subsequently sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of revenge. Proving an improbable assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Blue Ruin was produced by Anish Savjani, Richard Peete and Vincent Savino.
Saulnier first directed Murder Party, which Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego released at Magnolia. They called his followup Blue Ruin “a masterpiece and a future cult classic. It is one of the most exceptional discoveries of the last few years thanks to Jeremy’s deft hand. We couldn’t be more excited for our second collaboration.”
Said Saulnier: “Tom and I go way back when he championed my first film…I’m thrilled that my new film has found a home with him. Radius is absolutely the perfect fit for Blue Ruin.” Quinn and Janego negotiated the deal with Memento’s Ram Murali, Emilie Georges and Tanja Meissner.
This gives Radius two films playing here at Cannes; the label is also releasing the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed Only God Forgives, which premieres next week and stars Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas. Footage on that film was shown at a TWC slate sampling, and is was shocking, in Refn’s signature stylized way. Quinn and Janego’s upcoming slate also includes the Aaron Eckhart-starrer Erased, the Errol Morris-directed The Unknown Known, Morgan Neville’s Twenty Feet From Stardom, Stacie Passon’s Concussion, the Rob Epstein/Jeffrey Friedman-directed Lovelace, the Jacob Kornbluth-directed Sundance winner Inequality For All, and Cutie And The Boxer, for which Zachary Heinzerling won the Sundance U.S. Documentary Directing Award.
Maybe this will break the deal making logjam. So far, journalists have been mostly fed press releases for deals that were made months or as long as a year ago; and distributors have only wet socks and ruined shoes to show as they march up and down the Croisette between the Carlton and Majestic Hotels, try to drum up new picture business in the midst of rain that refuses to let up. The only other deals of note made here on the ground so far has been the one The Weinstein Company made for the Stephen Frears-directed Philomena with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, based on seven minutes of footage shown by Pathe. And Lionsgate acquired North American rights to The Quiet Ones. Just before the festival market opened, Warner Bros acquired How To Catch A Monster, the film that marks the directorial debut of Only God Forgives‘ star Gosling.