New York, NY - IFC Films, one of the leading foreign and independent film distributors, today launches a new genre label called IFC Midnight. IFC Midnight will offer the very best in international genre cinema, including horror, sci-fi, thrillers, erotic arthouse, action and more. Four new IFC midnight films will premiere each month on video-on-demand; select titles will also be released in theaters at the same time as their VOD premiere. In addition, an IFC Midnight branded line of Blu-ray and DVD product will be released via a distribution arrangement with MPI Media Group

President of IFC Entertainment Jonathan Sehring said: "Many of our most successful VOD titles are those that might fall under the Midnight label - not just films that are straight up horror, erotic arthouse or genre films but also ones that shock audiences, push boundaries and stir up controversy - so officially creating IFC Midnight was the logical next step. While we as a company continue to focus on a diverse range of films, this is one particular area which we are going to heavily brand and promote."

The IFC Midnight label will continue to build on the company's past successes with films such as Lars Von Trier's controversial drama ANTICHRIST, Kim Jee Woon's THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEIRD, the Nazi zombie film DEAD SNOW, the supernatural thriller DARK MIRROR, the envelope-pushing erotic dramas THE EXTERMINATING ANGELS and A L'AVENTURE, and Larry Fessenden's environmental thriller THE LAST WINTER. Some of the titles that will play or premiere under the IFC Midnight label in the next few months include the following:

The Human Centipede (First Sequence). Written and directed by Tom Six, the film is a truly one-of-a kind horror film about a mad scientist who achieves his sick lifetime fantasy of creating a human centipede. Entertainment Weekly wondered if this may be "the most disgusting horror movie of all time?" The film -- a winner at Fantastic Fest for Best Horror Film and Best Actor, and a winner of Best Film at Screamfest LA -- premiered theatrically on April 30 and will premiere on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning this month.

Cell 211. Directed by Daniel Monzón and winner of 8 Spanish Goya Awards, including Best Picture, this taut prison drama tells the gripping story of a rookie prison guard who becomes trapped in a cell during a violent riot and must convince the prisoners he is one of them. The film, an official selection at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals, will premiere exclusively on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in June.

Doghouse. Directed by Jake West, this riotous British horror comedy follows ravenous, blood-thirsty female zombies as they wreak havoc on a group of guys trying to enjoy a male-bonding weekend. The film, which premiered at last year's Edinburgh Film Festival, will premiere exclusively on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in June.

Don't Look Back. From director Marina de Van (IN MY SKIN) comes this tense psychological thriller about a beautiful, best-selling author (Sophie Marceau) who loses her grip on reality as she slowly morphs into the body of another woman (Monica Bellucci). The film, an official selection last year at the Cannes Film Festival, will premiere exclusively on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in June.

Valhalla Rising. Director Nicolas Winding Refn (BRONSON, THE PUSHER TRILOGY) delivers an action-packed epic about a savage one-eyed Viking warrior and a young runaway who embark on a dangerous odyssey. Starring Mads Mikkelson, the film -- an official selection at Venice and Toronto last year and a featured selection at the upcoming BAM Cinemafest -- will premiere in theaters and on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in July.

Exam. In this gripping thriller, director Stuart Hazeldine follows eight strangers as they enter a ruthless competition to get the job of a lifetime, where the stakes soon become life or death. The film, which screened at Fantastic Fest last year, will premiere exclusively on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in July.

The Horde (La Horde). Directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, this French zombie movie follows a posse of crooked cops, malevolent gangsters and a horde of walking dead through an action packed story of escape and revenge. A hit at the Venice Film Festival, London's FrightFest Film Festival and at this year's COLCOA (City of Lights City of Angels), the film will premiere in theaters and on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in August.

Vengeance. From acclaimed director Johnnie To (ELECTION 1 and 2, EXILED) comes his first English language film starring French superstar Johnny Hallyday along with To regulars Anthony Wong, Simon Yam, and Lam Suet. The film, a revenge thriller, was screened in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and screened as an official selection at last year's Toronto and San Francisco Film Festival. In the film, Hallyday plays François Costello, a Parisian restaurant owner who is in Macau at the request of his daughter-to avenge a savage attack on her family. The film will premiere in theaters and on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in August.

Enter the Void. Filmmaker Gaspar Noe's long awaited follow up to the controversial IRREVERSIBLE is a cinematically audacious exploration of the connected nature of sex, drugs, life, and death that was one of the most talked about films on the festival circuit in the past year - playing at Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and SXSW. Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the film follows Linda (Paz De La Herta of THE LIMITS OF CONTROL) and her brother Oscar (Nathan Brown) on a spiritual journey through the city of Tokyo where the past, present and future merge into a hallucinatory maelstrom. The film will premiere in theaters and on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in September.

 

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kristenstewart.pngFandango.com has announced that tickets for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will go on sale on Friday, May 14.

The third movie in the popular Twilight Saga film franchise is Fandango filmgoers' most highly anticipated movie of the summer, according to an April online survey of more than 1,400 of the site's moviegoers.

Last November, The Twilight Saga: New Moon became the #1 pre-seller of all time on Fandango. It's safe to say that Eclipse has a very real shot at dethroning it.

 

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romanpolanski.pngSource: AP

Things are not looking good for Roman Polanski.

The attempt by Polanski's lawyers to have the secret testimony of the original prosecutor of his case unsealed was rejected by a judge on Monday. Judge Peter Espinoza said there are only two ways it could be unsealed: if Polanski returns to the states or if Roger Gunson, the original prosecutor, is unable to testify.

Polanski is certainly beginning to feel the intense urgency of his situation, because he recently released a direct statement.

The Ghost Writer, a film that could very well be Polanski's last work, has raked in nearly $15 million domestically since opening on February 19.

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Total tweets for May 14th Openers

upcoming051410.jpgJust Wright had a solid return Monday of 935 tweets, picking up where it left off last week. This accounted for 1.8% market share of relevant movie buzz, with Iron Man 2 still taking the lion's share there as expected (57% on Monday). For the purposes of my analysis I include holdovers for only 2 weeks after release, and with a monstrous $~130 million opening frame Iron Man 2 is sure to be at or near the top for its two weeks post release before it is wiped off the boards. In terms of buzz quality, Just Wright was solid but unspectacular, coming in at 21.6% positive (202 tweets) and 5.24% negative (49 tweets). By comparison, Why Did I Get Married Too had 1,059 tweets its Monday before release, Our Family Wedding had 293 and Death At A Funeral had 855. This was pretty much in line with my Sunday expectations column as it appears set for a ~5,000 tweet week. I do think that it might come in at the high end of my 1,000 - 1,200 prediction due to a number of reasons including its very low theatre count and unique name. Low double digits looks likely.

Letters to Juliet started the week with 784 tweets, or 1.5% market share. At face value this appears to be lagging behind Just Wright but considering that the audience here will include much more of an older demographic thanks to Vanessa Redgrave, its target markets are not fully represented on Twitter, something which much be taken into account. That and the fact that its tweet quality is by far the best of all openers this week, coming in at 40.3% positive (316 tweets) and 7.14% negative (56 tweets). Considering that it had sneak peeks on Sunday this is a solid sign that they were receptive. However, since people who want to watch a film already generally go to sneaks it has to be taken with a grain of salt. By comparison, Dear John had 2,103 tweets its Monday before release. All appears to be set for ~4,500 tweets for the week and with an estimated ratio of around 900 expect a solid mid-teens opening here.

Lastly, Robin Hood led all three openers as expected with 1,376 tweets, 2.7% market share. In terms of tweet quality it came in at 29.43% positive (405 tweets) and 7.92% negative (109 tweets). A pretty solid showing as it really pulled ahead of the other two openers as expected after it spent most of last week neck and neck with them. It does have the highest negative percentage this week but at ~8% it is hardly a figure worth worrying about and its positive percentage of near 30% is pretty comforting especially given a lot of the lukewarm reviews that have been floating around. My Sunday estimate was for 10,000 tweets for the week but given Monday's tally 8,500 might be more realistic. Its ratio should definitely be the lowest of all films this week for a few reasons, namely it is opening in the largest amount of theatres, has the broadest appeal and its search string was much more restrictive to zero out irrelevant tweets. In looking at other relevant films: 2012 had 2,290 tweets its Monday before release, Avatar had 4,040 and The Book Of Eli had 1,101. I expect it to perform similar to (ratio-wise anyway) The Book Of Eli and come in around ~600 - 700. Upper $30s seems likely but this might drop slightly if it doesn't pick up its pace and hit the 8,500 tweet mark for the week. 

Check back tomorrow to see the Tuesday numbers and more comparisons. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

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

alltweets050710.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.

Market share is calculated by looking at all tweets for wide releases opening in the next 4 months as well as all wide release films in release for less than two weeks. Sometimes limited release films of note are included in the numbers if they might expand wide at a later date or are a release of note.

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