NEW YORK - At one of the premiere specialty film festivals, the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, AMC Theatres(R) (AMC) announced the launch of a new initiative designed to advance and expand its guests' interest in independent film. AMC independentTM (AMCiTM) will provide guests with the best independent films and target interested guests through unique promotions and other customized marketing efforts.

"AMCi is our renewed commitment to providing independent film to our increasingly diverse audience," said Bob Lenihan, president of programming for AMC. "We intend to amplify our pledge of bringing these stories to our guests through direct partnerships with independent filmmakers and through film festival participation and promotion, in a more significant way than we have in the past."

Examples of what guests can expect from the AMCi program are evident in the added benefits for each of the following films:

"La Mission" (Screen Media Films) - Film produced by and starring Benjamin Bratt and directed by his brother, Peter Bratt:
• Film's wide release date is April 30; AMC will receive an exclusive AMCi online callout by Benjamin Bratt
"Babies" (Focus Features) - Documentary featuring the lives of four babies from different cultures around the world
• Opens on May 7 (Mother's Day weekend); AMC will be offering a Mother's Day card and photo frame giveaway at select theatres on Saturday, May 1.
"Holy Rollers" (First Independent Films) -Jesse Eisenberg stars in a fact-based story of a young Hasidic man who was lured into the world of international drug trafficking in the late 90s.
• Opens on May 21; AMC will feature exclusive interviews from the movie's stars on AMCTheatres.com and on AMC's Facebook page

This initiative is wholeheartedly welcomed by distribution partners and industry influencers alike.

"Now more than ever before, the landscape for distribution of specialized film is thriving thanks to AMC's efforts to develop programs like AMC Independent," said Tom Bernard, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics.

To help drive the AMCi initiative, AMC added Nikkole Denson-Randolph to its associate roster. Denson-Randolph, vice president, specialty and alternative content, will work closely with distributors and filmmakers to ensure AMC is supporting each film in a way that reaches its intended audience and ultimately elevates interest in each title and the genre.

"AMCi is, in the opinion of Focus Features, a welcome theatrical development for our films to utilize during their releases, said Jack Foley, president of theatrical distribution for Focus Features. "AMCi is a beneficial program for other specialized distributors and for specialized film makers as well. The biggest winner from the AMCi program, however, is the moviegoer who will have convenient access to alternative film programming in many markets throughout the country.

"Ultimately, AMCi will nurture and develop greater specialized film sensibilities among its present patrons; increase specialized film patronage; and simultaneously grow specialized box office results nationally: great achievements to expect from AMCi," Foley added.

For a listing of upcoming titles and participating theatres, please click here. Filmmakers with unique feature-length content can also explore AMC-centric distribution at the website.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood

While little is known about the plot of Sacha Baron Cohen's latest endeavor, the idea of having the rights to any project from the creator of Borat caused a heated battle among the major studios. Paramount won.

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Cohen is teaming with Seinfeld writers/producers Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. The trio also serves as executive producers on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

All that is really known at this time is that there's a character in the film who tends goats.

Cohen last appeared in Bruno, which raked in nearly $140 million worldwide. The actor has also done voice on the two Madagascar films.

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Total tweets for April 23rd Openers

Oceans had 774 tweets reference it on Wednesday, bringing its total for the week to 1,467. Since it opens today it is no doubt going to be a tricky call for the weekend due to lack of direct comparisons and it being the first Thursday opener I've tracked. As I said on Sunday, it should appeal to a pretty broad spectrum of people, but likely slanting slightly to women. The Thursday opening will also push its ratio down somewhat than if it were opening on Friday. All things considered we should be looking at a ratio of around ~500 and $3 million on its opening day.

The Back-up Plan came in with a very solid 1,286 tweets yesterday, bringing its week tally to 2,912 so far. By comparison When In Rome had 595 tweets its Wednesday before release, Leap Year had 344, Death At A Funeral had 1,273 and She's Out of My League had 645. Looking very rosy indeed here, but there is one thing I overlooked on Sunday which will set this apart from many others in the genre and that is its title. Due to its pretty unique name it's very easy to capture a very large percentage of its tweets ("the Back-up Plan" OR "the Backup Plan" OR "the Back up Plan"). With that in mind it has a great deal in common with Death At A Funeral which secured a ratio of close to 900. As such I'm going to push my ratio prediction up to 900 here as well and go ahead and predict a $4.5 million Friday and $13 million for the weekend.

Lastly, The Losers has really "insert overused pun here" this week, and Wednesday was no exception as it secured 692 tweets, giving it 1,497 on the week. By comparison Green Zone had 878 tweets its Wednesday before release, and Armored had 246. Yes the film does have a pretty restrictive search string because of its generic name ("The Losers" movie OR saldana OR chris OR evans OR morgan OR poster OR screening OR see OR watch) but still, these numbers are pretty poor. I don't think it will come in as low as Armored's 431 ratio but something in the range of 500 could be in order putting it ~$5 million territory for Friday and $13.5 million for the weekend.

Check back tomorrow to see the Thursday numbers and the final weekend predictions. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets041610.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Source: Deadline New York

The rush of bad publicity that hit Warner Bros. after they converted Clash of the Titans into 3D is not deterring other studios from doing the same.

Sony will send The Green Hornet, which stars Seth Rogen and is directed by Michel Gondry, out in 3D on January 14, 2011. The film was originally slated to hit theaters on December 22, which is a stronger release date.

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Paramount will also be putting The Last Airbender out in 3D. The film's July 2, 2010 release date will remain the same.

While there is certainly more money to be made by selling 3D tickets, this rush of new content could cause moviegoers to tire of the format. It's a tricky situation.

James Cameron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Bay and Peter Jackson have all spoken out about the dangers of converting films from 2D to 3D.

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Morristown, NJ & Los Angeles, CA - Phish 3D, the production of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), AEG NL and Action 3D, made a splash at its April 20th premiere at nine exclusive locations across the country this week, with dedicated Phish fans turning out in droves to experience the groundbreaking concert film. In eight of the nine theatres, the grosses for Phish 3D alone surpassed the combined total of all other movies playing at the same locations that night, proving that demand is high in advance of the film's April 30th official wide release nationwide.

"Phish fans have a passion for their band that is well known, and last night we got to witness it first hand," said Jonathan Dern, President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group. "Our Brooklyn location saw lines out the door a full hour before the showing. 3D adds a layer of realism to films that gives viewers the feeling that they are there at the concert, with the best seats in the house."

"This week's incredibly successful 4/20 sneak peak makes us even more excited to open Phish 3D with a wide release on April 30th," said Jeff Lewis, Action 3D Productions CEO and Vice Chairman. "The band's followers, as well as music fans and moviegoers in general, have made it clear they want more Phish 3D.

Shot in October 2009 at the band's Festival 8, Phish 3D gives viewers the sense that they are not only at the event, but on stage with the group that Entertainment Weekly has called "the biggest cult band in America." During Festival 8, more than 40,000 devoted fans watched as Phish combined two of their most beloved traditions - the multi-day festival and the Halloween album "costume." The band's highly anticipated "musical costumes" are concerts involving the performance of an entire album by another artist-in this case, Phish covered the Rolling Stones' album Exile on Main St. Phish 3D also features fan favorites, never-before-seen cover songs, intimate footage of the band backstage and in rehearsals, songs from the band's first ever full-length acoustic set, and performances taken from six additional sets of music.

Phish 3D will be in theatres for one week in more than 150 cities across the country. Fans are encouraged to check www.phish3dmovie.com for cities, ticketing and event news frequently. Limited seats are available.

Phish will kick off an extensive summer tour on June 11th at Toyota Park in Chicago, IL. An online ticket request period is currently underway here and will end on Friday, March 26th, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, April 2nd. For full details, click here.

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