Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Despite Searchlight Apathy, Lonergan's "Margaret" Reappears in New York

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik December 21, 2011 at 2:45PM

Critical supporters of Kenneth Lonergan's little-marketed "Margaret" are rejoicing, as the film, which some have hailed as a "masterpiece" (and others "a mess") is returning to a New York movie theater this Friday (the Cinema Village, with shows at 3:50pm and 9:15pm). After 685 advocates signed a petition asking distributor Fox Searchlight to make the film available to critics, a Twitter group called #teammargaret spread the word, and the movie began appearing on top ten lists -- it ranked the 7th best film of the year on the Village Voice's annual poll -- you'd think Fox would have gotten the hint. But the company actually had little to do with the Gotham booking.
2

Critical supporters of Kenneth Lonergan's little-marketed "Margaret" are rejoicing, as the film, which some have hailed as a "masterpiece" (and others "a mess") is returning to a New York movie theater this Friday (the Cinema Village, with shows at 3:50pm and 9:15pm). After 685 advocates signed a petition asking distributor Fox Searchlight to make the film available to critics, a Twitter group called #teammargaret spread the word, and the movie began appearing on top ten lists -- it ranked the 7th best film of the year on the Village Voice's annual poll -- you'd think Fox would have gotten the hint. But the company actually had little to do with the Gotham booking.

"I booked it because i missed it, and figured there were plenty like me that wanted to see it," says Music Box Films' managing director Ed Arentz, who also books the Cinema Village. "I requested a booking and it was granted."

While Arentz says Searchlight was helpful, sending along a poster to put in the theater lobby, "they declined to support it with advertising."

The sordid post-production history of "Margaret" has been already documented extensively by the Los Angeles Times, and the legal wranglings surrounding the film have clearly effected its release.

Though Fox issued a statement to the Times, saying, "We are looking forward to getting the film out to audiences," Searchlight has not marketed the film in a manner commensurate with even their smaller releases.

Writing for the Village Voice, L.A. Weekly film editor and critic Karina Longworth suggests the studio may have been justified in short-circuiting the film's release because of "dismal box-office returns" (making under $50,000 in ticket sales). But everyone knows that a movie doesn't bring in audiences without a marketing budget. Undoubtedly, Searchlight buried Longworth's favorite film of the year.

It's almost as if the company is pretending the movie doesn't exist. A re-release of the Searchlight's own "Tree of Life," also at the Cinema Village on Friday, has been touted by Searchlight's marketing department, on its website and Twitter feed, but there's been no mention of "Margaret's" reappearence on movie screens by the company.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Tony: I saw this with my girlfriend. She was completely taken in by it. This movie is no better than a soap opera. Absolute drivel, pandering to…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 1:03am

By Joe Britz: While rape is a horrible crime, it doesn't mean we simply toss Blackstone out the window. The foundation of our justice system is innocent…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 12:31am

By Amelia: It reminds me of the Dark Ages, where people would accuse a woman of being a Witch and everybody would simply believe the accusation because…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 3:25pm

By Joe: There is no rape culture. Rape is a sickening and illegal act but apparently there are some who want to return to the old fashioned lynch mob…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 1:31pm

By roosevelto: I think that this movie is many things, one of those is political. Even if we suppose that it wasn't Afflec's intention, when has become…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 5:08pm

By roosevelto: I watched the movie with the most naive eyes possible. I said to myself, don't care about facts, don't care about propaganda, don't care abou…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 4:53pm

By Anthony Kaufman: "The Look of Silence" will definitely be on next year's list! It hasn't opened in the U.S. yet.

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Jan 3rd, 2015 1:09pm

By Jakob Tasi Grube Madsen: Thanks for a good selection. You definitely have to see The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer. - The finest documentary of 2014 that I…

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Dec 29th, 2014 5:54am