Distribution rights for Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil have finally been secured by Magnet Releasing. The horror comedy debuted to great acclaim at Sundance last year, and played extremely well at SXSW, where it won the Midnight Audience Award, and other festivals. I saw it at the Dallas International Film Festival, and it rocked the house. For more on Tucker and Dale's release, see Scott Weinberg's post here.
Courtesy of Leisure Time Features, the Russian-language musical Hipsters will enjoy a theatrical run this fall, indieWIRE reports. The film, directed by Valery Todorovksy, debuted in its native land in late 2008 before hitting the festival circuit in 2009 and 2010. Set in 1954 Moscow, when the Cold War was in a very deep freeze, Hipsters relates the tale of a Russian youth movement in which teens copied American music and dance styles -- swing, jazz, bebop, and boogie woogie -- and wore rainbow-colored clothing.
Writing at Parallax View, Sean Axmaker described the film "as a bright blast of underground culture and expressions of individuality in a society where rebels are regularly jailed for much less. The eye-gouging color, flamboyant fashion, pompadours and curls and appropriated style is not just a fashion statement, it’s a cry of individualism and freedom." You can watch a musical number from the film below, which showcases the eye-popping colors.
We watched Morgan Spurlock gorging himself on unhealthy amounts of fast food in Super Size Me; will we turn out to see filmmakers investigating a humanitarian organization in U.N. Me? Directed by Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff, the film boldly declares that the United Nations "has become the clubhouse of dictators, thugs, and tyrants." Samuel Goldwyn Films has picked up the documentary for distribution, according to Variety, and plans to release it September 23. Check out the official site to watch the trailer.
Indie Box Office
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris expanded into 147 theaters last weekend and maintained healthy returns, averaging $18,843 at each location, per Box Office Mojo. In three weeks of release, the film has piled up $6.7 million in earnings from the U.S. alone. Those aren't runaway numbers, but definitely show potential for further success as the film continues to expand in the coming weeks.
The other big indie story remains Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, which is slowly rolling out in advance of a wider release in early July. In its second week, it moved into more cities -- 20 theaters in total -- and earned an average of $30,915. It's impossible to imagine it becoming a runaway success, but at least the film is getting out there and dedicated cinephiles are going to see it on the big screen.
Among debuting indies, Mike Mills' Beginners did substantially better than Richard Aoyade's Submarine, which is probably attributable to the star power of Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer in the former film. I missed Beginners at SXSW, where it seemed to polarize viewers, but the positive reactions have been extremely strong; Submarine may appeal to a smaller audience, yet it's such a fresh, tangy take on the foibles of adolescence, family, and romance that it surely deserves notice as well. In any event, the numbers: $28,268 average per theater for Beginners, $10,458 average per theater for Submarine.
Even smaller numbers were posted for Jean-Luc Godard's latest essay, Film Socialisme ($4,526 at one theater), while Shawn Kuo's school-shooting drama Beautiful Boy ($4,041 per theater at four locations) also struggled for attention.
Trailer of the Week
Speaking of Magnet Releasing, the company is also rolling out Trollhunter in limited release starting on Friday. It's already been available via VOD for the past month. Norwegian film students decide to "capture real-life trolls on camera after learning their existence has been covered up for years by a government conspiracy." I've heard really good things about the movie since it sneak-previewed at Fantastic Fest last year, and, though the budget is minuscule compared to Super 8, this week's other creature feature, the trailer looks like a lot of fun in the Norwegian countryside, with no obvious nods to Steven Spielberg in sight.
You can watch the trailer below.