Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Last week, Inside Llewyn Davis opened to the year’s second biggest screen average among Specialty releases and was clearly the ‘big indie’ heading into the weekend. This week the film will expand into over a dozen locations on the heels of its Golden Globe nominations this morning. This week’s new Specialties will still have to contend with Llewyn and other popular holdovers like fellow nominee 12 Years A Slave, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club as well as Philomena, which will likely dominate in the absence of a new star-boasting title that has built momentum out of the likes of Cannes or first tier fall festivals in North America. Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker should find some momentum among non-fiction fans for her latest feature The Crash Reel, which has picked up festival awards will begin its theatrical phase this weekend via Phase 4 Films. Magnolia’s thriller Here Comes The Devil will also begin in L.A. and New York, while Janus Films will begin a New York exclusive run of doc Liv & Ingmar. And Sweet Talk will open in downtown L.A. Friday, followed quickly by a VOD launch. Of note, Sony/Columbia’s American Hustle and Buena Vista’s Saving Mr. Banks begin their theatrical releases in limited engagement, but will expand to well over 2000 screens the following week.
Twice Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker may possibly head down the red carpet a third time the Dolby Theater in March with The Crash Reel. The film, which made the doc short list, follows the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who became the number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. “The [project] came from meeting Kevin at a retreat for extreme sports. [At times] you are smack hit with someone and know it has to be your next film,” said Walker about the film’s origin three-and-a-half years ago. “But on the other hand, I always wanted to do a film about people adapting to spinal injuries in addition to extreme sports.” After getting Pearce on board for the project Walker tapped Julian Cautherley to join her on the project. (more…)