After playing the Toronto International Film Festival, the biopic about one of boxing’s greatest comebacks, Vinny Pazienza, will go wide on November 18 rather than the planned limited release on November 4. Open Road just made the announcement about the Ben Younger-directed movie starring Miles Teller as “the Pazmanian Devil.”
Bleed for This will vie to lure older adults and guys turned off by Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which of course will top the box office that weekend and stuff people into auditoriums. There’s also STX Entertainment’s smart teenage comedy The Edge of Seventeen too. Nonetheless, the Thanksgiving moviegoing traffic starts that weekend prior to the holiday.
Following TIFF, distrib execs mentioned that the fall/holiday release calendar would get shaken up based on audience and critics’ reactions to the festival in the great white north. Among some of the switches we’ve seen with titles that played TIFF: Focus Features moved A Monster Calls off the cutthroat date of Oct. 21 to Dec. 23, Lionsgate pushed La La Land back by a week to Dec. 9 away from Fox Searchlight acquisition Jackie which jumped on Dec .2.
Bleed for This as a limited release would have fought against Focus Features’ Loving had it remained on its Nov. 4 date; that was the pic’s true threat on the specialty circuit.
Soon after becoming a two-time world champion boxer, Pazienza was in a near-fatal car crash in 1991. Nearly paralyzed with a severe neck injury, he found himself with four screws and halo-healing device strapped to his body. Doctors advised him never to box again. But the Pazmanian Devil secretly lifted weights despite the pain and returned to the ring within a year to win three more titles, twice beating Roberto Duran.