Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.

Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren’s potential Oscar candidate Hitchcock hits theaters this weekend in limited release. The AFI Fest opener will launch a platform release before expanding nationally. A possible non-fiction awards contender, The Central Park Five, made news recently as New York City attorneys sought footage in connection with pending litigation. And previous Best Actress Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard won acclaim along the festival circuit for Rust And Bone which debuted last May in Cannes and  Thanksgiving weekend.

The Central Park Five
Directors – Writers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Subjects: Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Angela Black, Calvin O. Butts III, David Dinkins Jim Dwyer, Ronald Gold
Distributor: IFC Films

CP5 received a flurry of news coverage recently when New York City lawyers subpoenaed outtakes for their defense of a civil suit filed by five men who were wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. “From the minute we saw the film we felt moved and inspired, and we’ve been consistently gratified as we’ve introduced it at festivals that audiences have been too,” said IFC Films’ Ryan Werner. “It was also the opportunity to work with one of the world’s great filmmakers Ken Burns on his first theatrical documentary in 25 years along with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon.”

Central Park Five opens Friday in New York at Lincoln Plaza, IFC Center and the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. The NuArt will open the film in Los Angeles the following weekend with additional select markets on tap for December. It is also available via VOD. Werner said “Media attention will hopefully raise the profile with segments on CBS Morning News, The View, David Letterman, Colbert and Charlie Rose to name a few”.

Director: Sacha Gervasi
Writers: John J. McLaughlin (screenplay), Stephen Rebello (book)
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Shot entirely in LA this past May, this project from Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Picture Company came to Fox Searchlight with Sacha Gervasi already attached. “Hitchcock premiered as AFI’s opening night and prompted spontaneous applause during several pivotal scenes and a thunderous reception for its classic Hollywood storytelling and the performances of Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins), Alma Hitchcock (Helen Mirren) and a strong ensemble,” noted a Searchlight spokesperson. Talent will appear on Today, Live With Kelly And Michael, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon as its theatrical release gets underway.

Searchlight will open Hitchcock Friday and continue with a platform release over a four-week period with a theater count at approximately 50 to 60 locations, and then head into a limited national release December 14th. “This pattern will give the film time to incorporate the media campaign more effectively and allow for word of mouth to build. The national release should find us in approximately 450-550 theaters. Hitchcock will expand relatively rapidly to target the core art-house audience while also providing an alternative to filmgoers in some multiplexes in select metropolitan and suburban areas over the busy Thanksgiving to holiday frame,” according to Searchlight.

Rust And Bone
Director/ co-writer: Jacques Audiard
Co-writer: Thomas Bidegain, Craig Davidson
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Following Jacques Audiard‘s previous project, A Prophet, Sony Pictures Classics was eager to work with the French filmmaker and producer Pascal Chaucheteux again. The company received an early draft of Rust And Bone with one of France’s biggest starsalready committed, further sparking interest. “We’ve been excited by him since A Self-Made Hero”, said Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker. “So after A Prophet we asked about being involved with Rust And Bone early and they sent the screenplay and Marion Cotillard was already in it. It’s not like it jumps out like it’s going to be an exciting film on paper, but when you think of him as a filmmaker it seemed like a perfect match to his talents.”

SPC picked up North American rights in addition to a few other territories. Consistent with the company’s release strategy from the likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Midnight In Paris, it will have a platform rollout, which Barker said gives the title a chance to be “in the zeitgeist before going out further.” Rust And Bone will open Friday in New York, followed by Los Angeles on December 7th. The Friday before Christmas, it will open in 12 additional cities. “We think it will play to the specialized audience,” added Barker. “At the end of January we’ll go wider, but haven’t picked a date. We don’t know where we stand as far as awards, but we think it’s worthy of consideration. A lot of that will help determine how we proceed.”