January 31, 2007 |
JOHN SLOSS has been called independent filmmaking's consigliere. He's part lawyer, part salesman, part problem-solver who became an avid film buff watching a movie a day as a projectionist and usher while attending the University of Michigan. Honored films he's been involved with include "Boys Don't Cry," which won Hilary Swank her first acting Academy Award, best documentary Oscar winner "The Fog of War" and current best picture nominee "Little Miss Sunshine."
June 20, 2011 |
"The Art of Getting By," about a high school slacker more interested in a girl than in his homework, barely lived up to its name this weekend at the box office. The film, which stars young actors Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts, had what even distributor Fox Searchlight acknowledged was a "disappointing" opening. According to a studio estimate, the movie collected only $700,000 from 610 theaters for a dismal per-theater average of $1,148. "The Art of Getting By" — previously titled "Homework" when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January — did worse than two other independent movies that opened this weekend and also played at the Utah event.
May 25, 2010 |
Focus Features remains one of the rare specialty film companies tied to a major studio. And at the moment, it has more to brag about than its parent Universal Pictures. Focus celebrated Mother's Day with the better-than-expected debut of its feel-good documentary "Babies," which chronicles the lives of four infants around the world from birth to first steps. The movie company, known for such unconventional hits as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lost in Translation," also has one of the most anticipated independent movies of the summer coming July 7, the family comedy-drama "The Kids Are All Right" starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose two teenage kids seek out their sperm donor.
November 7, 2011 |
It's not uncommon for independent movies to debut on video-on-demand the same day they are released in theaters. Most of the time, however, such low-budget films are playing in only about half a dozen theaters nationwide. That wasn't the case, however, with "Margin Call. " The Wall Street drama debuted in 56 theaters three weeks ago and simultaneously became available to cable subscribers who wanted to watch the picture from the comfort of their own homes. The movie has since expanded to 178 theaters and has brought in $2.5 million since its opening, according to an estimate from distributor Roadside Attractions.
October 3, 2009 |
Walt Disney Co., looking to rein in costs at its Hollywood studio as it focuses on mainstream movies, is slashing staff by 70% at its Miramax Films specialty label and is substantially reducing the number of pictures it releases. The retrenchment, which has been foreshadowed in Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger's strategy to emphasize family and "branded" films, comes quickly on the heels of the recent ouster of former Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook. The former movie chief left abruptly last month under pressure from Iger, who had been unhappy with the studio's direction and performance.
November 30, 2013 |
Some jobs - catching fastballs, singing pop songs, dancing en pointe - are a lot easier when you're young. Add to that list directing independent movies, where it's not the physical demands that wear out many filmmakers but the financial stresses. At some point, most indie directors tire of the never-ending hustle for the money to make and release their movies and repair to the more lucrative worlds of television and studio fare. That's what makes the career of John Sayles so remarkable.