A handful of indies bow or expand this weekend as Oscar hopefuls from Poor Things to The Holdovers and American Fiction crowd theaters after nominations earlier this week. Anatomy Of A Fall is getting a big bump. Oppenheimer is back on Imax.
New specialty releases include Daisy Ridley-starring Sometimes I Think About Dying by Rachel Lambert, and Tótem by Lila Avilés. Separately, Sundance has just wrapped up announcing winners from a new crop of independent films.
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What we have post Oscar-nomination Tuesday, is this: Searchlight Pictures’ Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos going wide on 2,226 screens, up from 1,400. The film starring Emma Stone had 11 nominations, second only to Oppenheimer. That Christopher Nolan blockbuster summer release from Universal is returning to 750 Imax screens worldwide, including iconic 70mm film theaters. Oppenheimer led all nominees for the 96th Oscars on Tuesday, with 13.
Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction from Amazon MGM Studios moves to 1,500 theaters from 850. Released Dec. 15. Nominated for five Oscars.
Focus Features’ The Holdovers by Alexander Payne is playing on 1,235 screens, up from 127. The film, released Oct. 27 with a slow rollout through November, received five Oscars noms.
Justine Triet’s Anatomy Of A Fall from Neon, starring Sandra Hüller, is catapulting onto 400 screens from 15. It’s been cleaning up this awards season and nabbed five nominations.
A24’s The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer moves to 311 screens from 82. The Holocaust film, also starring Sandra Hüller, took five noms as well. A24 will be self-releasing in the U.K. starting Feb. 2. And the distributor’s Past Lives, first released in June, will re-emerge on around 320 theaters this weekend after its Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscar noms.
New Theatrical Debuts
Oscilloscope’s Daisy Ridley-starring Sometimes I Think About Dying by Rachel Lambert, opens in New York and LA. The film world-premiered at Sundance 2023 — see Deadline review. Lost on the dreary Oregon coast, Fran (an affecting performance by Ridley, who also produces) finds solace in her cubicle, unable to pop her bubble of isolation until a friendly new co-worker, Robert (Dave Merheje), tries to connect. Written by Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz, and Katy Wright-Mead. Expands to San Francisco, Boston, Portland and D.C. next week.
Tótem from Sideshow/Janus Films opens at the Film Forum in NYC. Writer/director Lila Avilés’ follow-up to her international breakthrough, The Chambermaid. Follows one family over the course of a single day in a story told largely from the perspective of 7-year-old Sol (Naíma Sentíes) as her mother (Montserrat Marañón) and extended relatives prepare for the birthday party of the girl’s father (Mateo Garcia). The Oscar-shortlisted International Feature from Mexico (see Deadline review) world-premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.
Sony Pictures Classics’ beautifully animated The Peasants opens in New York at the Angelika and New Plaza Cinema after a qualifying run last month for Poland’s official Oscar submission. Premiered at TIFF. By DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman, the story of Jagna, a young woman determined to forge her own path within the confines of a late nineteenth century Polish village, was also submitted in the Best Animation category.
Picture of Ghosts by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Bacurau, Aquarius) was Brazil’s entry for Best International Feature. Opens in NYC at Film At Lincoln Center and the Laemmle Glendale next week, followed by a national rollout. A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films co-release. This is a multidimensional journey through time, sound, architecture and filmmaking, set in the urban landscape of Recife, Brazilian coastal capital of Pernambuco, and tolld through the great movie theaters that served as key social spaces during the 20th century.
IFC Film’s American Star opens day and date in 47 theaters. Directed By Gonzalo López-Gallego, written by Nacho Faerna, and starring Ian McShane, Nora Arnezeder, Adam Nagaitis. Seasoned assassin Wilson (McShane) is on final assignment in the island of Fuerteventura to kill a man he has never met. But the target is delayed and Wilson’s plans must change. Instead of following protocol and returning to London, Wilson decides to stay on the island. It’s been a long time since he’s had a vacation.
Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing presents horror thriller The Seeding in 15 locations — the IFC Center in NYC, Laemmle LA, and a handful of other markets including Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. Written and directed by Barnaby Clay. Starring Scott Haze, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alex Montaldo. A hiker lost in the desert takes refuge with a woman living alone, and soon discovers that she might not be there willingly.
Other specialty expansions: Ava DuVernay’s Origin from Neon jumps to 665 runs in 100+ markets, from 125 screens in week one. The film, which premiered in Venice, opened well on 130 screens last week.
Kino Lorber’s Inside The Yellow Cocoon by Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Thien is expanding to Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego after opening in NY/LA (Film At Lincoln Center, the Egyptian) last with strong numbers for a subtitled release. The film, which took the Camera d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, follows a young man’s spiritual quest after a death in the family. Omitted last week so including trailer:
The Breaking Ice from Strand Releasing, which opened at the IFC Center in New York last week, adds the Laemmle Royal in LA. The Cannes-premiering film is written and directed by Anthony Chen.
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