Francis Ford Coppola's Challenges in Distribution

NBCUniversal Chief Content Officer Donna Langley was there. So does Sony chairman Tom Rothman. Bob Iger was one of the Hollywood heavyweights, but at least he had a good excuse, in the midst of a nasty proxy war with investor Nelson Peltz.

Event: Grand Opening MegalopolisSelf-funded Epic from Legendary The Godfather Trilogy director Francis Ford Coppola to titans of film industry. The March 28 screening — held at Universal's CityWalk IMAX theater at 10 a.m. — was attended by such Coppola-verse talents as nephew Nicolas Cage, The Godfather The series stars Al Pacino and Coppola's ex-nephew Spike Jonze. Two of the film's stars — Shia LaBeouf and Coppola's sister Talia Shire — were also on hand.

The project, which Coppola first began writing in 1983, cost $120 million to produce — financed by the sale of a significant portion of his wine empire (a 2021 contract Reportedly worth more than $500 million) at two hours and 15 minutes, follows the rebuilding of a metropolis after accidental destruction, with two competing visions — one of an idealistic architect (Adam Driver), the other of its pragmatist mayor (Giancarlo Esposito) — clashing. process. References to ancient Rome — including Caesar's haircut on men — abound.

Coppola, 84, has said no decision will be made about the festival bow until the distribution plan is in place. But while there was no shortage of interested suitors – apart from Rothman and Sarandos, Warner Bros.' Pam Abdi, Disney live-action boss David Greenbaum, Netflix's Ted Sarandos and Paramount's Mark Weinstein were spotted — according to multiple sources at the screening. The Hollywood Reporter That Megalopolis Finding a distribution partner faces a steep uphill battle. Says a distributor: “There is no way this movie can be positioned.”

See also  GAZA: Hundreds may die in Gaza hospital bombing, Israeli blockade paralyzes medical services

“Everyone is rooting for Francis and feeling nostalgic,” says another attendee. “But there's also the business side of things.”

A third participant noted “an apparent silence at the end of it,” but stopped short of writing the film off as a failed exercise. “Does it wobble, wobble, go all over the place? Yes. But it's really imaginative and says something about our times. I think it will be a small, niche label [that picks it up].”

But a boutique label like A24 or Neon doesn't have the budget for the massive marketing push Coppola envisions. A source says THR Coppola assumed that a deal would be done very quickly, and that a studio would spend a huge P&A (prints and publicity, including all marketing) of $40 million domestically and $80 million to $100 million worldwide.

That kind of issues big shares Megalopolis A better fit is a studio-backed specialty label like Disney-owned Searchlight or Universal-owned Focus. But Universal and Focus have already pulled out of the bidding, sources said THR.

“I find it hard to believe that any distributor would put up cash and be in the first position to recoup P&A and distribution fees,” says one distribution veteran. “If so [Coppola] I think there will be a lot more interested parties willing to put in P&A or hold back on spending.

Because Coppola was always keen for this to be an IMAX release, the buyer event was preceded by a small screening at the company's Playa Vista headquarters in Los Angeles (the first time the director had seen the film in its entirety on an IMAX screen). when Megalopolis While this was not a “shot for Imax” film — meaning not guaranteed a full Imax release — Coppola used camera technology that would allow him to capture some footage that could fill an entire Imax screen and worked with the company's flagship quality. Experts David and Patricia Keighley advise filmmakers.

See also  Mysterious respiratory illness spreads to North Carolina dogs

Sources close to the project say that IMAX will offer some support to the film if it gets distribution. However, like others, the IMAX film was expected to do very well commercially, sources add.

Following the muted response to the March 28 screening, it is now unclear whether a studio would agree to a negative pickup deal, in which the studio would buy the film outright or distribute the film for a fee. One studio head in attendance described it as “some kind of indie experiment” that could find a home on the streamer.

Most of the speakers THR Describe a movie that is a very hard sell to a wider audience. Two people say it's hard to figure out who's good and who's bad. The big exception is LaBeouf, who they say is the best thing about the movie (he's one of the antagonists).

Many have noted a particularly gruesome scene, with Jon Voight's character in bed, with what appears to be a huge erection; The scene takes quite a turn, but we won't spoil it here.

Not everyone is turned off. “I really liked it,” says a specialty label founder who describes it Megalopolis A “very big picture” that has “real life. … How do you define business? You watch the movie. Blade Runner And it did far more commercially than its opening weekend. Even if the confidence vote is held, Megalopolis His studio can't find a home: “It takes time to find the right fit,” he says.

Another studio head, however, was far less charitable in his assessment: “It wasn't very good, it was sad to watch. Anyone who puts P&A behind it, you're going to lose money. Coppola shouldn't have ended his directorial debut like this.”

See also  Mavs' Luka Doncic dominates Game 5 despite illness, knee injury

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *