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Tag: Margin Call (1-5 of 5)

'Bachelorette' and the video-on-demand revolution: How digital distribution is changing indie cinema

When Bachelorette arrived at the Sundance Film Festival last January, the film’s producers were quite clear-eyed about its prospects. The dark comedy — about three hard-partying high school friends (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan) and their evening of escalating debauchery before the wedding of another friend (Rebel Wilson) — was based on a years-old play by writer-director Leslye Headland. But just as the feature film adaptation was set to go before cameras last summer, Bridesmaids, which shares some pointed similarities, became a massive, zeitgeist-seizing sensation.

“When Bridesmaids hit, I knew, ‘Oh, now [Bachelorette] is going to look like a knock off,'” says producer Adam McKay, who with fellow producers Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum helped champion the film through their production company, Gary Sanchez Productions. So McKay turned his sights beyond U.S. theaters, to the European release (“I thought they’d enjoy the darkness of the movie”), home video, and cable. One thought that did not cross his mind? Video on demand. “No, no,” he says. “I wasn’t thinking VOD at all.”

Even after Bachelorette was snapped up by RADiUS, The Weinstein Company’s brand new label focused on alternative distribution, McKay remained skeptical at the plan to release the film on VOD a full month before its theatrical debut Sept. 7. “It just didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me,” he says with a chuckle. So you can imagine McKay’s surprise when, within 48 hours of its digital premiere, Bachelorette hit number one on the iTunes video-on-demand chart — the first time, it seems, that a film has hit that milestone before hitting movie theaters.

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Inside the Indie Spirit Awards: A brisk-yet-tedious celebration of films we've already been celebrating

With its giant white tent on the sunny Santa Monica, Calif. beach, and the throngs of black-suited, fast-talking Europeans smoking outside, one could easily mistake the Independent Spirit Awards for a Los Angeles annex of the Cannes Film Festival. The event certainly took on an international flavor this year, with The Artist — which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival — taking home four awards, including Best Feature, Best Male Lead (Jean Dujardin), and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius). (Check out the full list of winners here.) The bulk of the folks from The Artist only made it to the Indie Spirit tent in time for Hazanavicius’ win, driving directly from the airport after flying in from the César Awards in France. Actress Penelope Ann Miller, who has a small supporting role as the haughty wife of Dujardin’s silent movie star, ended up accepting both her co-star’s award and Guillaume Schiffman’s award for Best Cinematography.

Should The Artist also prevail at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening, as most everyone predicts it will, the silent film will be only the first film since 1986’s Platoon to win the top prize at both the Indie Spirits and the Oscars. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Puss in Boots' walks all over 'In Time' and 'The Rum Diary' with $34 million debut

The box office had to contend with the World Series, a very early snowstorm in the Northeast, and Halloween festivities across the country this weekend, but audiences still managed to make it to the movies! That being said, grosses for new releases Puss in Boots, In Time, and The Rum Diary, weren’t all that strong. Check out how they performed below: READ FULL STORY

'Margin Call': In which a starry cast tries to make the REAL 'Wall Street 2'

If anyone even remembers Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps anymore, it’s only because the film sat uncomfortably at the center of a miserable Venn Diagram that criss-crossed “Bad Movies Shia LaBeouf Has Apologized for Making” and “Oliver Stone’s Topicality-Porn Directorial Phase.” But most people forget that the first 20 minutes or so of the sequel was a surprisingly kinetic re-enactment of the downward spiral of the American financial system, circa 2008. Wall Street 2 ultimately wimped out into family-drama territory, but I’m hoping that the upcoming Margin Call — which focuses on a 24-hour period leading up to the 2008 crash — will be a bit more incisive. Although, at this point, the most fun part of the trailer is just seeing how many random people are stuffed in here. Oh look, Stanley Tucci! Hey, Zachary Quinto! Whoa, Kevin Spacey? Jeremy Irons? Demi Freaking Moore? Watch and enjoy: READ FULL STORY

Sundance: 'Margin Call,' a Wall Street drama led by Zachary Quinto and Kevin Spacey, powerfully captures the day the money died. Plus, 'The Black Power Mixtape'

Margin-Call-QuintoImage Credit: Jojo WhildenIn the ’80s, the movies that revolutionized American independent film, changing it from something earnest into something hot-blooded and knowing, were modern freakazoid noirs like Blood Simple and Blue Velvet, drenched in sex and violence and tantalizing dread. These days, the subject matter that has the equivalent effect is high finance. Money, and the corruption of money, is the new, sophisticated content porn of the indie world. More than ever, we’re all obsessed with the lure and the false promise of money, and with how so much of it went poof! over the last three years. The cautionary dawn-of-the-economic-crisis message movie has become a genre unto itself — think Up in the Air, The Company Men, and The Girlfriend Experience, the latter two of which premiered at Sundance. (Okay, the genre is still young, but it’s certainly a lot more promising than the post-9/11 where-were-you-when-the-towers-fell? soap opera.) Margin Call, which is set at a fictionalized version of Lehman Brothers, is steeped in the finance jargon of our time (one of its running jokes is that even the people who speak this language will stop to remark, “Say it in plain English!”), but the movie isn’t medicine. It has the avid hookiness of good David Mamet, the into-the-night tension of something like 12 Angry Men. Call it 12 Sleazy Men (and one woman — hello, Demi Moore). READ FULL STORY

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