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Paramount Sets Xmas Day Limited Release for Ava DuVernay's 'Selma' Before Nationwide Roll-out (Oscar-Qualifying Run?)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 20, 2014 1:53 PM
6 Comments
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mlk

Paramount Pictures and Pathé have set a Christmas day initial limited release date for Ava DuVernay's "Selma," which will be followed by a nationwide theatrical expansion on January 9, 2015. 

The early limited roll-out suggests an Oscar-qualifying run for the film, which shouldn't be a surprise, given the material, and the talent involved, both in front of and behind the camera.

Telling the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic voting rights struggle, the film’s release will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the landmark legislation.

David Oyelowo leads a cast that includes Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Colman Domingo, Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Keith Stanfield, Andre Holland, Tessa Thompson, Kent Faulcon, Oprah Winfrey and more, in a film produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Christian Colson (who won an Oscar for producing "Slumdog Millionaire"). 


Paramount Pictures will release the Pathe UK-backed project.

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More: Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo

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6 Comments

  • ALP | June 20, 2014 8:37 PMReply

    My prediction: this will do what "The Butler" did. Good box office, but no Oscars.

  • Ol' Skool | June 21, 2014 10:32 AM

    ALP, you may be on to something.

    I copied the following from Jai Tiggett's post "Review: "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story"--> "And while this film explores a true story, that story is told in such a traditional and typical style that it doesn't distinguish itself much from all those other tales"

    Although Jai was referring to The Frank Morgan Story (great review btw), I was reminded of the journey in front of Ava Duvernay's 'Selma', what can she do to distinguish "Selma" from the other tales of black icons. That said, it should be noted that black icon's of MLK's status traditionally do not well at the box office. Case in point, Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" and "Ali" starring Will Smith, although both films were entertaining, well acted and inspirational for the black community, Malcolm X barely turned a profit and Ali lost over 40 million. Why?

    Well, I could wax poetic in my best politically correct voice in an attempt to white-wash the truth or appease the sensibilities of whites, but truth be told, many whites can't stand the truth when it's being delivered by a black man. Also, whenever a black person is speaking up for other people of color and encouraging them to take a stand against racism, bigotry and oppression, they are not viewed - by many - as honorable citizens speaking against injustices that affect all mankind, they're viewed, instead, as the enemy of the dominating race. Consequently, there goes the fate of the films "Ali", Malcolm X and now "Selma". Why would whites rush to see a film on another black enemy of the state? They never have so what's new?

    Now ALP, considering the above, I am hesitance to agree with "Selma" doing good box office. Well, along with the above dynamics, haven't we all seen THIS story already? Haven't we seen the news clips of blacks being forced to the ground by powerful water hoses and attacked by vicious dogs? Who hasn't heard MLK's famous speech "I Have A Dream" or read his "Letter From The Birmingham Jail" where he was imprisoned as a participant in a nonviolent protest? Speaking of protest marches, anyone who is remotely familiar with the marches during the Civil Rights Movement, have etched in their minds the vivid images of Dr. King and other clergy walking together, arm in arm in the heat of the south while singing "We Shall Overcome". We've all seen those news clips over and over again, so what's new? More importantly, what would behoove whites to wrap their arms around this story? I believe that's the formidable task in front of Ms. Duvernay; how can she attract white viewers to the tale of a powerful black icon who many saw as their enemy?

  • . | June 20, 2014 4:29 PMReply

    .

  • Ol' Skool | June 20, 2014 4:19 PMReply

    "It has "Oscar bait" written all over it"

    Hmmm... "Oscar bait", what exactly does that mean?

    I mean, since most will agree that this is a "black" film, shouldn't we say "black Oscar bait?"

    If so, lets take a look back at the Black Oscar bait the Academy adores so much.

    1. First, who can forget Denzel's roles in "Glory" and Training Day. In Glory, he was convinced by a white officer to give his life (by running of a damn hill of no return) for his country, a country in which he was not even considered a human with the same rights as whites. In Training Day... well... that Oscar bait was the image of a dirty, crooked, dope smoking black cop.

    2. The Help. Well, the title speaks to the flavor of that Oscar bait.

    3. A nasty, conniving, dysfunctional black mother and her obese daughter is the bait of this film - Precious.

    4. Miss Daisy wrecks her car, her son, Boolie hires a black man, Morgan Freeman, a chauffeur who drove for a local judge until he recently died. Yum, yum, the good ol' white woman gives Morgan the job as her chauffeur. And, it gets tastier. When Miss Daisy finds out that Hoke is illiterate, she teaches him how to read. Yummy, Driving Miss Daisy is top shelf black Oscar bait.

    5. Who wraps their arms around poverty way down in the Louisiana Bayou? I've heard there's some mighty good fishing down there. Yep, yum-yum, however, catfish and shrimp are not the Oscar bait the Academy found so endearing. I believe the images of a nappy haired, half dressed black child and her alcoholic father, living in a squalor was the delicate morsels the Academy found so delicious. The Best Of The Southern Wild sho was stimulating, tantalizing and tasty - wasn't it? Now that's Black Oscar Bait.

    6. BRUTAL VIOLENCE! RAPE! HANGINGS! Slavery and the white savior is a double-bubble treat the Academy goes coco over - 12 Years A Slave.

    7. Who doesn't love a little brown sugar in their coffee? Well, apparently the Academy loves their brown sugar when is being flipped and flopped (fked doggie style) at the hands of a white man. OH YEA... naked ass is always Oscar bait, especially when that as@ is on the body of one of the leading black actresses of the day. YUM-YUM, lets give a rousing applause for the monster's balls.

    Yuck, puke, i'm about to barf but I have to ask the question, if "Selma" is "Oscar bait", how so, and which way will Ava Duvernay go?

  • sergio | June 20, 2014 1:59 PMReply

    I knew they were going to try to get a Oscar qualifying run for the film. It has "Oscar bait" written all over it

  • Bread Free | June 20, 2014 4:34 PM

    You thought it was going to Cannes. Projects like this are prestige bait.

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