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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthouse Audit: 'I'm So Excited' Scores Decent Opening, 'Museum Hours' Is Surprise Success

Summer isn't the usual launchpad for subtitled films, but this weekend two June openers both show promise. "I'm So Excited" (Sony Pictures Classics), from the most consistently successful foreign language director Pedro Almodovar, opened solidly, if below his usual level. The much less-heralded "Museum Hours" (Cinema Guild) scored an above-average per screen average in two New York theaters. Both should gain attention across the country in upcoming weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 30, 2013 3:55 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics' Bernard & Barker Feted and Roasted at MOMI's First Annual Envision Awards

Lotta love in the room last night at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York for Sony Classics co-chiefs Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, recipients of MOMI’s first annual Envision Award, and who were roasted, but not to the point of combustion. “They hold a record,” Focus CEO James Schamus began, and paused …. was he going to mention Bernard-Barker’s 135 career Academy nominations? A list of filmmakers that includes Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke and Asgar Farhadi? Their taste? Their balls? Their good looks?
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 12, 2013 2:34 PM
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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 12:58 PM
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Mike Leigh Will Make His Long-Planned Turner Biopic, Helped By Sony Pictures Classics

Mike Leigh is finally going to make his passion project, a biopic on painter J.W.W. Turner: "I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 19, 2013 11:55 AM
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Spain Gets 'Excited' About Almodovar's Latest Before U.S. Release (TRAILER)

Pedro Almodovar’s new comedy “I’m So Excited” (“Los Amantes Pasajeros”) opened to the highest take of any his films in his native Spain last weekend in its initial release. The film, to be released in the U.S. on June 27 by his usual American distributor Sony Pictures Classics, grossed about $2.6 million on 295 screens for the number two position behind “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (which grossed close to $2.7 million on more than twice as many screens). The per screen average for “Excited” though was slightly better than what “Oz” had, even though this was the widest release ever for an Almodovar film opening in Spain.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 14, 2013 6:29 AM
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Arthouse Audit: Sony Pictures Classics Rolls Out Oscar Bounty

Sony Pictures Classics is looking forward to a big Oscar night with foreign contenders "Amour" and "No" as well as two leading documentary entries, "Searching for Sugar Man" and "The Gatekeepers." The question is where the specialty box office goes after the awards. "No" and "The Gatekeepers" are both rolling out well in their initial stages, giving hope for success in further markets in upcoming weeks, whatever wins tonight. "Amour" is amassing less than spectacular numbers given its high profile.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 24, 2013 3:47 PM
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Oscar Watch: 'The Gatekeepers' Pops the Lid Off the Israeli/Arab Conflict, Dror Moreh Q & A (VIDEO)

Things aren't getting any easier in the Middle East. Filmmaker Dror Moreh decided to look at the Israeli/Palestine conflict from another angle. He went to the six living men who have run Shin Bet, Israel's Secret Service, from 1980 through 2011. Backed by Israel, France, Germany and Belgium, "The Gatekeepers" was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and has been a hit on the festival circuit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 31, 2013 1:57 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics Nabs 'For No Good Reason,' Documentary on Gonzo Cartoonist Ralph Steadman with Johnny Depp

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American rights to Charlie Paul's directorial debut, "For No Good Reason." The documentary centers on British cartoonist Ralph Steadman, best known for his artwork with author Hunter S. Thompson, and features Johnny Depp observing Steadman's working process at his home studio.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 30, 2013 11:44 AM
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Linklater, Hawke and Delpy Return to Sony with "Before Midnight'

John Sloss did the right thing. The Cinetic Media chief was pacing the second floor of Zoom in Park City Monday night as his annual Sundance Film Festival party raged around him. He was weighing the offers that had come pouring in for "Before Midnight," the third film in Richard Linklater's trilogy about Celine and Jesse, who first met 18 years ago in "Before Sunrise," and reignited their romance nine years ago in "Before Sunset," which nabbed an Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2013 2:46 PM
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Sundance Deal: Sony Pictures Classics Nabs 'Kill Your Darlings,' Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Young Allen Ginsberg

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all U.S., Australian, New Zealand, South African, African TV and Eastern European rights to John Krokidas' debut feature "Kill Your Darlings," which stars Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg and is a dramatic competition feature at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 23, 2013 12:12 PM
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