The limited theatrical/VOD model is more and more gaining prominence as way to take on challenging or smaller scale films and have them find an audience where a regular multiplex release might see it get buried. We've seen "Margin Call" and "Arbitrage" become success stories, not only finding viewers, but also earning awards season buzz. Magnolia have had success with the model too, and one only has to point to their efforts with Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia," which they managed to bring to over $3 million domestically. Not bad for a tough movie about the end of the world, and it was the best effort at the North American box office for the director since "Dancer In The Dark." And it looks like they'll be getting into bed with him again.
Deadline reports that Magnolia is the frontrunner to make a deal for the already buzzed about "Nymphomaniac," with $2 million said to be the pricetag. Will the advance hype around the movie turn into bonafide box office bucks? That's always the question, but there's no doubt that the curiosity factor around the movie is massive given it's sordid subject matter and provocative imagery. But with a cast that includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Christian Slater, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen and more, the star power will likely help sell an otherwise tough premise centered around a woman recounting her sex life to a stranger after being found beaten in an alley.
Where or not it goes to Cannes is the million dollar question and we'll have to see, but with a distributor circling and footage being screened already in Berlin at the buyer's market, it's much more certain that his will pop up on the festival calendar somewhere this year.