‘Sorry To Bother You’ And The Overseas Distribution Dilemma

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Image Courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

Whitlock: So I know we kind of talked about this a couple of weeks ago, but in between all of my summer travel and crazy day job transition I got to see two movies that focus on the stories and lives of non-white protagonists – Sorry To Bother You and Crazy Rich Asians. They’re wildly different in scope, tone, and focus, but I thought it was really satisfying to see these perspectives told on screen in a way that said “Hey, we have interesting stories to tell that are worth your $16.50 [well, those are average NYC ticket prices]. I think you get CRA across the pond sometime this autumn, but not really sure when you’ll get to see Sorry To Bother You…any release dates for you yet?

Pope: They wised up and bumped CRA up to September (it comes out today), but Sorry to Bother You has had some difficulties. But the breaking news is… (drum roll) it looks as though Universal has picked it up in the UK for distribution later this month:

That’s a big relief, because as recently as last month Riley was stressing the difficulties he was facing:

Now, there was some talk that Black Panther would help put an end to that attitude. Was that naive?

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The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #25-11

25. Snowpiercer (TBA US & UK)
Snowpiercer (2014)

In an icy post-apocalyptic world, the only survivors live on a train powered by snow that it funnels in through its front, or something.  In fact, I hear it runs on “a perpetual motion engine.”  Perhaps, like the shark in Annie Hall, it needs to keep moving forward or it dies.

We love high-concept sci-fi here at W&P… but WAIT, the high concept gets even higher, and conceptier.  There’s some kind of carriage-based class system, and when a sooty Chris Evans – stuck at the back of the train – becomes unhappy with his lot he decides to battle through to first class.  So: snowy Marxist allegory fun, starring Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer and directed by Bong Joon-Ho (the guy who did The Host – the Korean monster movie, not the Twilight alien movie thing).

Could this work?  Ask the audiences in Korea and France, where it’s been out for a while.  Elsewhere it’s being cut from 120 minutes to 100 because Harvey Weinstein isn’t just content with chopping up The Grandmaster–he won’t rest until he’s hacked apart every crossover Asian movie he can get his scissors to.  HE WILL NOT REST. –AJP