Vudu Offering Deal for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Theatrical Tickets

Vudu is hosting a special movie ticket offer toward seeing Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick on the big screen.

Vudu customers can receive a $5 promo code towards a Fandango movie ticket for Top Gun: Maverick with the purchase of participating titles on Vudu. Titles include previous Tom Cruise classics, such as the original Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

The deal runs through May 30.

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Doc ‘Fair Play’ Available On Demand From Gravitas Ventures July 8

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to distribute Hello Sunshine’s documentary Fair Play and will release it in select theaters and on demand on July 8.

About the unequal division of labor in the home, the documentary is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name from author Eve Rodsky.

Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and featuring interviews with Melinda Gates, C. Nicole Mason and Congresswoman Katie Porter, Fair Play takes viewers into the homes of real families that are on a journey to balance their home life. It doesn’t take long to realize that they aren’t really fighting about dishes in the sink. They are fighting about much bigger issues, problems that affect millions of couples and families across the globe. Immersed in these couples’ lives, the viewer sees their struggles, but also their triumphs. They learn how communication and a plan can have a life-changing impact, creating more connectedness with the most important people in their lives — their families.

“The home presents so small but it speaks to a much larger issue which is about reframing the value of time,” said the book’s author Rodsky in a statement. “Is an hour holding your child’s hand in the pediatrician’s office as valuable as an hour in the boardroom? We believe it is. This film aims to spark a conversation that fosters true fairness and healthy partnerships, starting with our most important organization, the home.”

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“Gravitas is proud to partner with Hello Sunshine in the release of Fair Play in theaters and on VOD this summer,” Bill Guentzler, senior director of acquisitions, said in a statement. “We feel that this documentary can be a game-changer for many people by smartly and entertainingly digging into the dilemma facing many households today, balancing tasks and responsibilities.”

Thriller ‘Private Property’ Available Via On Demand and Digital May 13 From Lionsgate

The neo-noir thriller Private Property will be available via on demand and digital May 13 from Lionsgate. It will also be available in select theaters.

The film stars Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”), Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead), Logan Miller (Escape Room: Tournament of Champions) and Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction).

In the film, stuck in a marriage to a rich Hollywood producer (Jay Pharoah, “SNL”), struggling actress Kathryn (Benson, “Pretty Little Liars”) finds herself attracted to Ben, her new gardener. Then she meets Ed, the eccentric millionaire who’s just moved in next door, and a BBQ turns into a drunken party. Kathryn awakens to discover that Ben and Ed have been hiding secrets, and that her home — and life — may now be in grave danger.

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Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Cryo’ Headed to Digital and On Demand June 28

The sci-fi thriller Cryo will be released in theaters June 24 and on digital and on demand June 28 from Saban Films.

In the film, five scientists wake from a cryogenic sleep and find themselves trapped in an underground facility. With no memory of who they are or how long they’ve been asleep, they begin to realize they may have been part of a scientific experiment gone wrong. After a series of strange events, the scientists find themselves being hunted. They do not know who is hunting them or for what reason, but the scientists begin to suspect that one of them may be the killer.

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‘Peace by Chocolate’ Headed to Theaters April 29, On Demand June 10 From Level 33

The Canadian dramatic comedy Peace by Chocolate will be released in theaters April 29 and on demand June 10 from Level 33 Entertainment.

In the film based on the true story, when a Syrian family flees civil war to small-town Canada, the son is torn between his dreams of becoming a doctor and helping his father rebuild his suddenly burgeoning chocolate business.

Directed by Jonathan Keijser, the film stars Hatem Ali, Ayham Abou Ammar, Yara Sabri, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Mark Hachem, Najla Al-Khamri and Mark Camacho.

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Peace by Chocolate, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, won the Jury Award, Best Director, Feature Film, Jonathan Keijser at the Cordillera International Film Festival; Jury Award, Best Actor, Hatem Ali at the Scottsdale International Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature Film, at the Woods Hole Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, at the Naples International Film Festival; Jury Award, World Lens Award, at the Port Townsend Film Festival; Jury Prize, Spotlight Feature Award, at the Loudoun Arts Film Festival; Jury Award at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival; and Audience Choice Award at the Heartland International Film Festival.


Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to Thriller ‘Glimpse,’ Due on Demand May 6

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to the thriller Glimpse, which will be released in theaters and on demand on May 6. 

Written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, the film stars Janet McTeer, Raul Esparza, Erin Darke, Carrie Preston, Jonathan Preston, Michael Emerson, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Ashley Nicole Black, Krysta Rodriguez, Van Hughes and Joseph Collins.

The ensemble thriller explores a sinister world where corporate espionage reaches into the homes and minds of its employees. Panic rises as lives are compromised and controlled by a ruthless oligarch who manipulates reality with unsettling pleasure. 

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“We actually shot the movie on an iPhone during the early days of the pandemic, when everyone in this amazing cast was under quarantine, so the shoot itself was a bit of a high-wire act,” Rebeck said in a statement. “I am in awe of my cast, and also, my iPhone.”

Glimpse was produced by Andrew Carlberg (Academy Award-Winner Skin, Feeling Through) and Rebeck. Alysia Reiner and David Alan Basche executive produced the film with Roxanne Donovan, Mêlisa Annis and Peter Tadros as co-producers.

Paramount Celebrates ‘The Godfather’

Paramount Pictures Feb. 22 held a 50th anniversary celebration of The Godfather on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles. The celebration consisted of a street-naming ceremony on the lot for director Francis Ford Coppola, followed by a panel discussion with Coppola and stars James Caan and Talia Shire and then a screening of the film in the Paramount Theater.

Coppola’s Academy Award-winning classic will have a limited theatrical release in Dolby Vision beginning Feb. 25 exclusively in Dolby Cinema at AMC Theatres in the United States, as well as in international territories around the world.

All three films in the epic trilogy have been meticulously restored under the direction of Coppola and will be made available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc for the first time ever on March 22.

Disney CEO Chapek: ‘Audiences Will Be Our North Star’ Regarding Theatrical/Digital Distribution

On the heels of Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios’ box office behemoth Spider-Man: No Way Home, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the Marvel Studios’ owner would continue to eye the theatrical window for major tentpole titles — but with a caveat: consumer willingness to go to the movie theater.

Speaking on the company’s Feb. 9 fiscal call, Chapek said Disney is not married to the legacy (or shortened 45-day) theatrical window, opting to release a theatrical title concurrently on Premier Access premium VOD via Disney+, or directly on the SVOD platform.

“We continue to see value in the movie-going experience, especially for big franchise blockbusters,” Chapek said.

Bob Chapek

Disney launches its first 2022 theatrical title May 6 with the release of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, directed by Sam Raimi and again featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange.

Chapek said the year would see consumer audiences as Disney’s “North Star” regarding a movie’s distribution pathway.

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“We do not subscribe to the belief that theatrical distribution is the only way to build a Disney franchise,” he said, citing Disney’s success with the animated musical Encanto, which generated $27.2 million at the North American box office through the Thanksgiving weekend.

The movie was made available no extra cost to subscribers on Disney+ 30 days later on Dec. 24, a decision Chapek said ensured the title’s subdued theatrical result ($237.3 million worldwide) would translate into subscriber stickiness on Disney+.

“This quarter audiences proved us right as Encanto became a phenomenon within days of its arrival on Disney+, after families continued reluctance to return to theaters resulted in a muted theatrical performance,” he said.

Chapek said Encanto became the fastest title on Disney+ to reach 200 million hours streamed, in addition to “taking social media by storm.” He said the Encanto hashtag has been viewed more than 11 billion times worldwide.

He said the movie’s soundtrack featuring songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart within days of its debut, including eight songs reaching Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. One of the movie’s songs, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” became the first Disney song to reach No. 1 since Aladdin‘s “A Whole New World” in 1993.

In addition, Chapek said the movie’s availability on Disney+ saw Encanto branded consumer product sales defy traditional post-holiday declines.

“Sales actually increased following the film’s release on Disney+ on Christmas,” he said. “A franchise engine for the next generation of Disney storytelling.”

FilmRise Acquires N.A. Distribution Rights to ‘The Justice of Bunny King’

FilmRise, the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired North American digital, broadcast and theatrical distribution rights to The Justice of Bunny King.

Starring Essie Davis (The Babadook, Assassin’s Creed) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Last Night in Soho, The Power of the Dog), the film is New Zealander Gaysorn Thavat’s feature directorial debut and follows the triumphant and heart-breaking story of a mother who tries to battle her way back from the bottom to regain custody of her children.

In the film, Bunny King (Davis), a headstrong mother of two with a sketchy past, makes a living by washing windows at traffic lights. Using her razor-sharp wit to charm money from gridlocked motorists, she saves every cent in order to try to regain custody of her two children, who have been placed in foster care. After promising her daughter a birthday party, Bunny must fight social services and break the rules to keep her word, but in doing so she risks losing her children altogether. Accompanied by her niece Tonyah (McKenzie), a fierce teenager running away from home and desperate for her aunt’s help, Bunny is in a race against the clock and headed towards an epic showdown with the authorities.

“This is another set of excellent performances that will be added to our ever-growing library of diverse and independent films that tell often overlooked stories,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “Through a rawness of someone who has hit rock bottom, both Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie convey through the very real struggles that many families face on a daily basis.”

The film, produced by Emma Slade of Firefly Films, had its worldwide premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Mention for the Nora Ephron Award. The film was an Official Selection at the 2021 Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, where Essie Davis was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress award.

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The deal was negotiated by Katie Carroll Manager, independent film acquisitions for FilmRise, and Jonathan Walik, international sales executive for Protagonist Pictures.

“Essie Davis gives yet another tour de force performance in what has become a career full of them in this critically acclaimed debut,” Walik said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that The Justice of Bunny King has found a home with FilmRise in North America and have no doubt that their expertise in handling outstanding independent film will allow the film to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

Gravitas Ventures Picks Up N.A. Rights to Doc ‘The End of Medicine’

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to distribute the documentary The End of Medicine.

The company plans for an early summer release in theaters and in homes.

Executive produced by Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, The End of Medicine explores the link between treatment of animals and emerging health threats such as pandemics and antibiotic resistance. Documentary filmmaker Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy, What the Health) and BAFTA Award-winning director Alex Lockwood (73 Cows, Test Subjects) teamed up with Mara and Phoenix to create the documentary about zoonotic diseases (germs and viruses that spread between human and non-human animals), which threaten the health and lives of the entire human population.

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The End of Medicine began production in October 2019, months before COVID-19 was making headlines around the world. It includes interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists whose research and testimonies conclude that the public health emergency we are presently facing was inevitable and is far from over.

“We are pleased to serve as executive producers of The End of Medicine to raise awareness about the third leading global cause of death — antimicrobial resistance,” Mara and Phoenix said in a statement. “We became fans of director Alex Lockwood after seeing his BAFTA-winning documentary short 73 Cows, and were touched by his thoughtful and determined approach to storytelling. Together with producer Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy, What the Health), The End of Medicine explores how dangerously close the human population is to complete antimicrobial resistance, the government’s complicity and collaboration with the animal agriculture industry, and how unprepared we are for what’s to come if we continue to ignore the evidence around us. The animal agriculture industry props up its business of keeping thousands upon thousands of animals housed in soiled conditions by the overuse of antibiotics. We cannot exploit and manipulate other animals on a massive scale without corresponding and terrifying consequences.”

“We have been frustrated with the failure of mainstream media to properly address the threat of disease coming from animal agriculture, both before and during the current pandemic,” said Lockwood and Kuhn. “The End Of Medicine is an alarm bell and warning of what is to come if we don’t change.”

The End of Medicine is an incredibly timely documentary with an important message that directly addresses the relationship between the treatment of animals and pandemics. Gravitas is proud to be able to share it with audiences,” Brett Rogalsky, Gravitas Ventures manager of acquisitions, said in a statement.