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Sep 9th
02:39 pm
Me and Orson Welles US distributor announced  
One year after it launched at Toronto, Richard Linklater’s Me And Orson Welles has found US distribution through an alliance assembled by UK finance and production company Cinemanx (NX).

The film will open in select theatres on November 25 through Freestyle Releasing, backed by a campaign by former New Line marketing guru Russell Schwartz’ Pandemic Marketing.

Louisville-based Hart/Lunsford Pictures is funding the P&A costs and Warner Bros Home Video (WBHV) will handle the DVD release. Cinetic Media, who introduced the films to buyers in autumn 2008, brokered the deal with WBHV.

Me And Orson Welles is a coming-of-age story about the time the legendary director staged a Broadway production of Julius Caesar. Zac Efron stars alongside Claire Danes and newcomer Christian McKay as Welles.

“We’ve developed what we believe is an exciting roadmap for distributing this film, one we hope will pave the way for many others to come,” NX chairman Steve Christian said.

“The climate is such that there are fewer homes for films of this quality and budget range and it is important to create new options. By harnessing the power of our partners, experienced motion picture veterans, NX is able to play for the upside of a film we deeply believe in.”

NX recently formed a relationship with Vue Entertainment in the UK to produce and directly distribute titles including Me And Orson Welles.

NX currently has three films in post-production: Heartless starring Jim Sturgess, Clemence Poesy and Eddie Marsan; Wild Target with Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Martin Freeman; and the upcoming Toronto entry The Disappearance Of Alice Creed starring Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston.

screen daily

eta2: From THR.com:

"Cinemanx is pioneering this type of U.S. distribution strategy, and I think that says a lot about the vision of Cinemanx's Steve Christian and Marc Samuelson," Linklater said. "I'm excited about the possibilities, for myself and for other filmmakers."

ETA1: Since we're on the topic of MAOW, it sounds like another screening was held cause this dude twittered about it:

Also this company, Freestyle Releasing, has a variety of films they've distributed. The most well-known is probably The Illusionist and one of the more recent is My One and Only with Renée Zellweger.

If they follow a similar release pattern as My One and Only, MAOW will be limited the first weekend to probably just NY and LA. This past weekend, the third weekend, My One and Only went to 77 theaters and appears to be in most of the major cities across the country. So, if the approach is similar, hopefully most of us (here in the States anyway) will be within a relatively close distance to a theater showing MAOW by mid-December. Fingers crossed :)

eta3: I found another personal blog entry review of MAOW from the Deauville festival... much more appreciative of Zac... but thought the movie was a little too cliche I guess.


Me and Orson Welles m'a moyennement plu, l'histoire dans les années 30 d'un jeune homme qui va croiser l'immense Orson Welles et faire grâce à lui, dans sa propre pièce, ses débuts au théâtre, avec ses illusions et désillusions.L'ensemble est plaisant mais classique, malgré le charme certain de Zac Efron et surtout la révélation, dans le rôle du fantasque et ambitieux Orson Welles, de Christian McKay, étonnant de justesse, et de charisme dans un rôle où il crève l'écran.Un acteur à suivre.

This is an approximate translation via google, babelfish and freetranslation:

Me and Orson Welles I moderately liked the story set in the 30s of a young man who will cross the great Orson Welles and to make thanks to him, in its own part, its beginnings with the theatre, with its illusions and disillusions. Altogether it is pleasant but traditional, in spite of the unquestionable charm of Zac Efron and especially the revelation, in the role of odd and ambitious Orson Welles, of Christian McKay, astonishing of accuracy, and charisma in a role where it bursts onto the screen. An actor to be followed.

Mood: busybusy
38 38 comments Comment
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on September 9th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
i just said this at the end of the last post, but....

zaccy23zaccy23 on September 9th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
I wonder if this New Line guru was recently at New Line? If so wow. It's interesting to see how much Zac/New Line have done for each other!!
butterflybee260butterflybee260 on September 9th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)


I hope it comes to one of the theaters near me. *crosses fingers*
○: zefron is fucking fierce~ohsoglamours on September 9th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
OMG PLEEEEASE OPEN IN ILLINOIS. i want to see this SO bad.
sasha.: mike&scarlett » melody is  the keysashanaa on September 10th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
lmv191lmv191 on September 10th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Pleeeease go see it multiple times guys! The only way it's getting picked up in Australia is if it opens well in the US. *fingers crossed*
Beejeezbee on September 10th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Personally I think you can't really say how much it expands based on the distributor since Freestyle is not a "traditional" distributor but a distributor for hire. They will expand it in a way they get paid for which seems to be determined mainly by that alliance of Cinemanx & Hart/Lunsford Pictures. I do think we will see a decent release in the hundreds but obviously that does depend on the numbers of week one... which depends on P&A.

For everyone who is interested in a bit background... (I'm not an expert so the one or other detail might be slightly off and simplified but overall you should get the correct idea):

Normally when an indie gets picked up for distribution by an specialty arm of a studio (like Fox Searchlight or Sony Classic Pictures) or a traditional indie distributor (like SPC, Apparation, Magnolia, etc), the distributor pays an acquisition fee to the producer (eg SPC often pays between 1-2m for good indies although it's been mentioned in the pre-TIFF09 press that in the current climate that amount is like a lottery win) and in return the distributor pays for actual distribution cost (like creating prints and negotiating with the theaters) and P&A.

Part of most contracts is also the minimum amount of P&A a distributor has to spend and the minimum number of theaters it has to release the film into.

Eg. a distributor could pay $1m for a movie and also guarantees to spend at least $2m for marketing and it goes in a minimum of 100 theaters. Of course depending on the success of the movie, the P&A and # of theaters can become bigger - that's exactly what a platform release does and every distributor hopes. You roll out a movie into 5 theaters in the beginning and hope for a big PTA and good word of mouth. Based on the success of those 5 theaters (ie the money the movie makes in those 5 sites) the distributor expands to more. That pattern repeats as long as the PTA stays healthy. The marketing strategy and positioning is also responsibility of the distributor.

So, if a movie gets picked up by a distributor has a lot to do if the producers are happy with the conditions, in most cases with the commitment of the distributor to invest into marketing and # of theaters as well as the upfront fee.

The deal for Me and Orson Welles is different. What I understand from these articles, they basically raised the P&A money themselves and put together their own marketing plan. They did not hand everything over to the distributor - Freestyle Releasing is really only handling the physical release, ie making the prints and getting them out to the theaters. They don't have much responsibility or risk, they do that for a distribution fee.

You could probably say that Cinemanx is self-distributing the movie and they do that by using several other companies in the market - from Freestyle for the actual distribution to Pandemic Marketing for P&A.

Also, WBHV is clearly one element in their distribution strategy and having a good DVD distributor is an important element considering that the movie probably will make most of its money on DVD. Now the inclusion of the teaser trailer on the 17 Again DVD makes even more sense - they are basically promoting their own movie. Lol.

Anyway, that's what I think about these announcements. :)

I think this is overall a bit more risky strategy since Cinemanx isn't very experienced in distributing a movie, esp in the US but at the same time it's very encouraging since they seem to really want to make it successful and spend some money compared to the distribution offers they probably had which didn't want to commit spending enough money on the release. JMHO.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 10th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
which means, all the more, they should push MAOW on the 17 Again facebook page. TBQH! lol.

ETA: I'm hoping it makes it to at least 77 theaters. That should cover a lot of the country (this is all selfishly in terms of most of us getting access to it, not box office). If it jumps to 200 even better. If it gets to 800, it will be doing really well. IDK we'll have to see. But it is exciting and I like that the distribution strategy will draw some attention to it.

Edited at 2009-09-10 12:15 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jeezbee on September 10th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on September 10th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on September 10th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on September 10th, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)
sorry i havent been around much gang; I am working on my portfolio. lots of paintin.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 10th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
i was actually wondering tbh. :D
(no subject) - glamour_addict on September 10th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on September 10th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - glamour_addict on September 10th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterflybee260 on September 10th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - audrey_za on September 10th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ccmskatechick on September 10th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sashanaa on September 10th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - audrey_za on September 10th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sashanaa on September 10th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - audrey_za on September 10th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
IceGoddess: why so serious dirty little secretccmskatechick on September 10th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Yay for news on distribution. I'm curious to see what their mar/comm budget & strategy is going to be for this taking into consideration all the info we got (ty jeezbee)
jessica3311: Zeftiredjessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
C, can I get a Zac pic spam? Its been a rough day LOL
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 10th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)

(no subject) - audrey_za on September 10th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessica3311 on September 10th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on September 10th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
thanks for all the analysis!

and love this part.....

“The climate is such that there are fewer homes for films of this quality and budget range and it is important to create new options. By harnessing the power of our partners, experienced motion picture veterans, NX is able to play for the upside of a film we deeply believe in.”
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on September 10th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Does it just depend on the project when we get entertainment show movie sneak peeks and early previews?

I've no idea how those come about, but I'm curious if we'll get an on-set "first look" prior to filming of CSC wrapping.
zaccy23zaccy23 on September 10th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
It's like you read my mind sometimes. I was just wondering this last night. Man we had a Beastly sneak peek the week the movie started filming!! I don't know how they determine it. I feel like we didn't get a 17 Again on set look right? I just want a glimpse of Charlie and Tess together--just one tiny look!!
(no subject) - audrey_za on September 10th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zaccy23 on September 10th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)