Acquisition News: IFC Films Lands THE SHINING Documentary ROOM 237; Magnolia Pictures Acquires Rob Reiner’s THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE

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The 2012 Sundance Film Festival just ended and the Berlin Film Festival is about to get underway, so don’t expect the acquisition stories to slow down. As such, we’ve got two fresh acquisitions to share with you today. First up, IFC Films has picked up the Sundance documentary Room 237. The film examines the numerous theories surrounding the “real meaning” of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The doc was a big hit at the fest (you can read Matt’s review here), but many questioned the logistics of releasing it theatrically due to the fact that it’s comprised of footage from The Shining, which could possibly lead to legal entanglements. IFC’s acquisition is great news and I’m glad to see that us common folk will get a chance to check out the flick sometime soon.

Deadline reports that the film may screen in the New Directors/New Film series in New York, and it’s a likely bet for the Cannes Film Festival. IFC plans on releasing the pic domestically later this year through a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release. If you haven’t surmised from our previous acquisition stories, VOD is all the rage at the moment and is a likely staple in the future of film distribution. Hit the jump for acquisition news concerning Rob Reiner’s The Magic of Belle Isle.

magic-of-belle-isle-morgan-freeman-virginia-madsenAdditionally, Magnolia Pictures announced today that they will handle US distribution of director Rob Reiner’s (The Bucket List) drama The Magic of Belle Isle. The film stars Morgan Freeman as a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door—an attractive single mom (Virginia Madsen) and her young daughters—who help him find inspiration again. Magnolia is planning a theatrical and VOD release via its Ultra VOD program this summer. Madeline Carroll, Kenan Thompson, and Fred Willard also star. Read the full press release below.

New York – February 8, 2012 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today they have acquired US rights to THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE, a warmly funny drama directed by Rob Reiner, starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Kenan Thompson, and Fred Willard. The film was written by Guy Thomas, and produced by Alan Greisman, Lori McCreary, Salli Newman and David Valdes.

Reuniting with his director from the hit film, The Bucket List, Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door—an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters—who help him find inspiration again.

Magnolia plans a theatrical and VOD release in its Ultra VOD program in the summer.

“We’re thrilled to get the chance to work with Rob Reiner on THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “It’s a real pleasure to watch this stellar cast at the top of their game.”

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Head of Business Affairs Chris Matson with John Sloss and Dana O’Keefe for Cinetic Media, and Martin Shafer of Castle Rock.




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  • Gemini71

    What is the latest on one of the movie studio representatives present at Sundance acquiring “Hello I Must Be Going” for distribution? Has one of them purchased it, or is it going to be one of the films screened at the festival that will be left out in the cold?

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