‘Eighth Grade’ Lights Up Indie Box Office With Best Per Screen Average of 2018

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

So far this summer, the indie box office has been defined by documentaries. But now scripted films are finally making their mark as A24’s “Eighth Grade” sets a new record for the best per screen average of 2018, while Annapurna’s “Sorry to Bother You” begins its wide run.

Selling out screenings at its four locations in Los Angeles and New York, “Eighth Grade” has gotten off to a huge start with $252,284, earning a per screen average (PSA) of just over $63,000. That beats out Fox Searchlight’s “Isle of Dogs” for the top PSA of the year, as the Wes Anderson stop-motion film earned a $60,000 average back in March.

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Directed by YouTuber Bo Burnham in his feature film debut, “Eighth Grade” follows an awkward 13-year-old named Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she navigates the final days of what has been a very difficult time in eighth grade. Debuting at Sundance this year, the film has earned critical acclaim for its unflinching look at the difficulties of entering adolescence in the age of social media and vlogging. It currently has a 99 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Sorry to Bother You,” meanwhile, expanded to 805 screens after earning $1 million in limited release. This weekend, the film beat tracker expectations and earned $4.3 million, pushing its total to $5.3 million. Like “Eighth Grade,” the darkly humorous satire is a directorial debut — this one comes from hip-hop artist and music video director Boots Riley — and has earned strong word of mouth to finish seventh among all films. The movie will expand to over 1,000 screens next weekend.

Also Read: Can the 2018 Box Office Keep Up Its Record-Breaking Momentum?

Also earning a strong debut this weekend is Gus Van Sant’s latest film, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.” Released by Amazon Studios, the biopic stars Joaquin Phoenix as alcoholic cartoonist John Callahan, who became a paraplegic after a car accident and who struggles through treatment for his addiction. Also starring Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black, the film earned $83,120 for a per screen average of $20,780.  It has an 80 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

While dramas had their moment this weekend, documentaries continued to bring in strong numbers. Roadside Attractions/Miramax’s “Whitney” earned $535,385 to bring its 10-day total to $2.3 million. Neon’s “Three Identical Strangers” added $1.1 million in its third weekend for a total of $2.5 million, while Focus’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” crossed the $15 million mark in its sixth weekend as it added $1.8 million.

Finally, Bleecker Street’s “Leave No Trace” expanded to 311 theaters in its third weekend and made $1.1 million for a $2.1 million total, while Gunpowder & Sky’s “Hearts Beat Loud” crossed the $2 million mark in its sixth weekend, adding $131,000.

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Joaquin Phoenix Teams With Gus Van Sant; Rob Reiner Gives ’Shock And Awe’ – Specialty B.O. Preview

Read on: Deadline.

Joaquin Phoenix stars in his second Specialty release in the last few months with Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot, with Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara. Amazon Studios is opening the title in several locations in New York and Los Angeles…

Maui Fest Unspools Eclectic Slate While Neighboring Volcano Erupts in Distance

Read on: Variety.

The Maui Film Festival celebrates its 19th anniversary this year, and, despite taking place in an ever-more crowded calendar of summer film fests, its popularity continues to grow. The event attracts locals and mainlanders alike, and draws both casual …

Amazon Drops Trailer For Gus Van Sant’s ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ – CinemaCon

Read on: Deadline.

Props to Amazon Studios at CinemaCon. Unlike other studios who drop their whole slate before the press and exhibitors, then hold back on releasing key trailers promptly after, Amazon is providing a look at Gus Van Sant’s latest title which world …

Claire Danes’ ‘A Kid Like Jake’ to Open, Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Don’t Worry’ to Close San Francisco Film Festival

Read on: Variety.

Claire Danes’ family drama “A Kid Like Jake” will open the San Francisco International Film Festival on April 4. The festival also announced that its closing night film will be Joaquin Phoenix’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” which will screen on April 17. The 61-year-old festival, organized through the San Francisco Film […]

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ Dashes To July

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios is moving its Sundance Film Festival premiere Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot from May 11 to July 13.
Given the positive critical and audience reaction coming out of Park City for the Gus Van Sant-directed biopic, Amazon felt that a mid-summer launch was prime, much in the same way that they opened their 2017 Sundance pick-up The Big Sick last June under Lionsgate. That movie legged out to close to $43M at the domestic B.O. and notched an…

How Gus Van Sant’s ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ Evolved From Robin Williams Option – Sundance Studio

Read on: Deadline.

Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot took its Sundance bow at the Eccles last night, introducing the Park City crowd to the tragic story behind Portland, OR cartoonist John Callahan. An alcoholic since his childhood years, Callahan was crippled in a drunken automobile accent, and soon after discovered a passion for cartooning that kept him going as he fought his alcoholism.
Van Sant was familiar with his fellow Portland native. “He was often on the streets…

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ Review: Joaquin Phoenix Shines in Disjointed Drama

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The last time a Gus Van Sant movie premiered at a major film festival, the film was “The Sea of Trees” and the festival was Cannes, where the movie was booed unmercifully at its first screening.

So it’s with a degree of relief that we can report that Van Sant’s new film, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” was met with nothing but applause when it premiered on Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

And to be sure, “Don’t Worry” is a far better movie than the inert “Sea of Trees.” Originally in the works not long after Van Sant made “Good Will Hunting” in 1997, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, the Portland cartoonist who began his career after an auto accident rendered him a quadriplegic at the age of 21.

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The accident that injured Callahan came after a full day of heavy drinking, and Van Sant structures the film like the 12-step program Callahan went through to combat his alcoholism. But it’s hardly as linear as that sounds; the director uses a fragmentary style that jumps around in time and keeps an audience off balance.

The first half of the film is essentially a string of disjointed degradations, many of which Callahan brings upon himself. Then he hits rock bottom and has a hallucination that his mother (who put him up for adoption when he was born) appears to him and tells him to stop drinking. So he does.

Obviously it’s not that simple, though his progress through a 12-step program presided over by a filthy-rich, disconcertingly beatific guru type (Jonah Hill) is marred not by any relapses, but only by his slightly bad attitude.

At the same time, Callahan decides he needs to become a cartoonist even though his control over his hands is limited, and immediately attracts attention with a crude style that fits his transgressive sense of humor. We never see him become as famous and successful as the real Callahan did, but Van Sant is after an impressionistic portrait, not a timeline.

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The post-hallucination section of the film is slightly less disjointed than the opening stretch, as Van Sant’s quirk of choice becomes letting the 12-step sessions run on and on and on. (The movie clocks in at less than two hours, but it feels significantly longer.)

While the director originally discussed the role with Robin Williams, Van Sant ended up drawing flack for casting Phoenix, an able-bodied actor, in a disabled role. The director has said he would have been happy to cast a disabled actor if one was right for the part, though he’s added that Callahan, who died in 2010, wanted to be played by a movie star.

As it is, Phoenix throws him into the role fiercely and gives the transition from rage to peace an emotional punch. Jack Black gets to do his Jack Black thing early in the film, and to tug a few heartstrings later on, and the supporting cast includes everyone from German actor Udo Kier to indie-rock luminaries Kim Gordon and Carrie Brownstein.

The oddest role of all goes to Rooney Mara, who uncharacteristically has a part with no edge at all. She plays a Swedish nurse-turned-stewardess who becomes Callahan’s girlfriend and is so sweetly understanding at every moment that you kind of wonder if she’s another of his hallucinations.

Also Read: ‘The Catcher Was a Spy’: Paul Rudd’s WWII Drama Swings and Misses

But then, Van Sant clearly was out to sow a few seeds of confusion in “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.” (The title, by the way, comes from a Callahan cartoon that depicts a posse of horsemen in the desert coming across an empty wheelchair.)

You can consider this a partial rebound from “The Sea of Trees,” while still wishing that he could have come back all the way.

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‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ Teaser: Wheels Up On Gus Van Sant’s John Callahan Movie

Read on: Deadline.

Amazon today released the first look at Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, a biopic of sorts from Gus Van Sant that stars Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black. The streaming service has already set a May 11 release in select theaters.
Phoenix plays John Callahan, a Portland slacker and drunk who almost dies in a car accident at age 21, becoming a quadriplegic. After he reluctantly enters AA, and with encouragement from his girlfriend (Mara) and a…

Amazon Sets ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ For May Release

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios will release Gus Van Sant’s biopic drama Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot on May 11.
Pic is based on the memoir by John Callahan. He became paralyzed after a car accident at age 21, and turned to drawing as a form of therapy. Joaquin Phoenix plays Callahan. It’s one of two Amazon movies the three-time Oscar nominee has next year in addition to the April crime noir You Were Never Really Here. It’s also Phoenix’s second next spring with Rooney…

Jack Black in Talks to Join Joaquin Phoenix in Gus Van Sant’s John Callahan Biopic

Read on: Variety.

Jack Black is in negotiations to co-star with Joaquin Phoenix in Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” the biopic on quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan. Iconoclast and Anonymous Content are producing the film, which is based on Callahan’s autobiography of the same name. The title is taken from one of Callahan’s cartoons,… Read more »