Mark Wahlberg strides into theaters this weekend with Joe Bell as the Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men, upcoming King Richard) film debuts on 1,093 screens supported by robust advertising and a star-driven social media campaign.
Roadside Attractions is distributing, having snapped up the film from Solstice Studios which acquired it off of a 2020 Toronto Film Festival premiere but was particularly hard hit by the pandemic and let it go. The drama scripted by the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain team of Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana is the true story of a rough-edged dad who walks across America to speak to heartland adults and students about the evils of bullying as experienced firsthand by his gay teenage son.
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Wahlberg and co-stars Connie Britton and Reid Miller (who plays son Jadin Bell) have all supported it with a robust PR schedule backed by cable and online advertising.,
“We are seeing gradual improvement with box office of specialty movies and are hopeful Joe Bell will continue this trend,” said Roadside’s co-president Howard Cohen.
Roadside released two different trailers in the weeks leading up to release, which both had multiple millions of views and spread on social media, he said. “Wahlberg’s large audience on his socials is especially engaged and excited to see him in this serious dramatic role.”
Producers are Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker, Eva Maria Daniels, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Ryan W. Ahrens, Bem Renzo, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson.
Endeavor Content presents the film in association with Argent Pictures and Rhea Films and Hercules Film Fund, A Stay Gold Features/Nine Stories/VisionChaos/Parliament of Owls Production, A Closest to the Hole/Leverage Entertainment Production.
Roadrunner’s print count is up a bit to 953 from 925. Pig was just selected to open this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival next month.
Elsewhere in specialty:
Randall Emmett’s directorial debut Midnight in the Switchgrass with Bruce Willis Emile Hirsch, Megan Fox from Highland Film Group rolls out on 57 screens. The film is based on the true story of Texas’ most dangerous serial killer, the Truck Stop Killer. FBI agent Karl Helter (Willis) and his partner Rebecca (Fox) are close to busting a sex-trafficking ring that crosses the path of a brutal serial killer. They team up with Texas Ranger Byron Crawford (Hirsch) and he and Karl must rescue Rebecca when she’s abducted by their target.
Produced by Emmett, George Furla, Tim Sullivan, Alex Eckert, Luillo Ruiz.
Shout Factory’s Fear and Loathing in Aspen with Blake Lindsley, Laird Macintosh and Weston Cage Coppola (oldest son of Nicolas Cage) opens in 20 theaters. It portrays Hunter S. Thompson — fed up with local pollution problems — throwing his hat into the ring for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. His attempt to create a third party based around a new, gentler style of law enforcement entranced the national press and made him an overnight celebrity. Based on Thompson’s 1970 article in Rolling Stone.
Documentary All the Streets Are Silent from Greenwich Entertainment opens in New York and will rolls out to several dozen other markets in following weeks. Jeremy Elkin’s documentary on the collision and convergence of two vibrant subcultures: hip hop and skateboarding in the late ’80s and early ’90s on the streets of downtown Manhattan. Narrated by Zoo York co-founder Eli Gesner with an original score by hip-hop producer Large Professor (Nas, A Tribe Called Quest), it examines race, society, fashion, and street culture.
From Magnet Releasing, French comedy Mandibles debuts in 25 theaters including NY and LA (and streaming day and date). Director Quentin Dupieux portrays simple-minded friends Jean-Gab and Manu who find a giant fly trapped in the trunk of a car and decide to train it in the hope of making a ton of cash. World premiere at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
From IFC Films comes sci-fi Western Settlers with Brooklynn Prince, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Sofia Boutella, Johnny Lee Miller and Nell Tiger Free — opening in 25 theaters and on demand. Film takes place on a remote homestead on the Martian frontier where a refugee family from Earth clings to hope for a better life. When strangers appear in the surrounding hills and attempt to run them off, nine-year-old Remmy (Prince) is faced with the desperate reality her mother (Boutella) and father (Miller) have tried so hard to keep from her.
For a taste of Cannes: Val, a film about the life and career of actor Kilmer, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month where Amazon Studios nabbed U.S. rights and is offering the doc, directed and produced by Leo Scott and Ting Poo, in limited theatrical release starting today ahead of a Prime Video streaming date August 6.
For the kids: Atlas Distribution debuts Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat in 30 theaters. Using quirky inventions from a spy backpack, young Bernie Dingledorf, his dog, and two best friends set out to save the world. Directed by Billy Dickson. Written by Bill Myers (based on the book series by Myers). With Paul Johannson, Jason Dolley, Zackary Arthur.
And if you like Christina Ricci and Debbie Harry: Here After with Ricci, Andy Karl, Nora Arnezeder, Jackie Cruz, and Michael Rispoli is on demand and opening in just one theater in NYC – Cinema Village. Written and directed by Harry Greenberger and produced by Greenberger and Carmine Famiglietti, the romantic comedy features new original song “Mysteries of Life” sung by Debbie Harry. A struggling actor, Michael, dies right after a bad breakup, awakening to a singles Purgatory where he must find his soul mate in order to cross over to the other side.