Monday, 30 April 2012

April Round-Up: Part 1

This month, despite the pouring rain that never stopped, I only managed 22 films.  Here is the bottom 11.  Please check back tomorrow for the top 11 featuring classics with strangely similar titles such as The Vanishing,Vanishing Point, A Night to Remember and Night of the Hunter.  And then there's the new films including 21 Jump Street, Tomboy and Cabin in the Woods.  But what will take the top spot?  Come back tomorrow to find out!

22. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Troy Nixey, 2011)
...or this movie.  Actually no do be afraid.  Be afraid that you have just lost a precious piece of your life sitting through it.  It’s ok really.  Just a bit dependent on little CGI monsters that aren’t scary.  And Katie Holmes.  No offence but how does she keep getting work?

21. Apollo 18 (Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, 2011)
Found footage from space.  Whenever a franchise or trend gets tired, they make the next instalment in space.  Jason X was ridiculous fun.  This is a bit too serious for its own good.  Not the worst ‘found footage’ horror ever made but still not that good.

20. Episode 50 (Joe Smalley, Tess Smalley, 2011)
Another found footage horror.  Not great but like most of them, it has a couple of pretty scary moments.  Looks like this and the recent Grave Encounters are very similar.  TV crews in an abandoned hospital full of spooks and the cameras keep rolling to capture all the fun.

19. Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (Tom Six, 2011)
Sick Six Sucks.  But you might admire the director for taking horror to extremes.  If you want to watch sick stuff, this film really pushes the boundaries of taste.  If you know the idea, you’ll be pleased or disturbed to know that this time there are laxatives involved.  Lots of laxatives.  Truly and unbelievably sick stuff.  And this is the cut version fortunately.  Thank you BBFC.

18. Field of Dreams (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989)
Found this quote from IMDb: ‘Field of Dreams is one of the strangest films I've seen, and possibly one of the best. When it throws its subject matter at you, you wonder how a story so preposterous can ever work’ No I don’t.  It didn’t.  Preposterous, overly sentimental and weird.  Not quite sure what the fuss is about.

17. Semi-Pro (Kent Alterman, 2008)
The weakest of Will Ferrell’s sports movies.  Then again I haven’t seen Kicking and Screaming yet. Hoping to right an article about Ferrell's sports movies and their representation of masculinity.

16. Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2007)
Flawed but fun.  Timberlake lip syncing to The Killers is the stand out scene but The Rock also delivers a funny performance throughout.  Great music and some stunning visuals but neither can hide the films obvious messiness.

15. Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977)
Great dancing but deeply disturbing raping.  Despite the still hugely impressive dance scenes and the social realist vibe, the scene where a girl gets raped but then totally forgotten about as the action moves to bridge stumbling antics reeks of misogyny.  Yes the film is about certain attitudes held by many members of society and does tackle this with the father telling the son washing up is ‘women’s work’ but then this rape scene comes along and is almost completely forgotten about moments later.  It felt ridiculous that the girl in question would stick with these guys after being mistreated so badly.  Left a bad taste in my mouth.

14. Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011)
Graphic gay romance.  I might be being a prude as I’ve not seen a lot of gay sex in films before but this film delved deep into two interesting characters before delving deep into their sexual activities.  It’s sweet and engaging but nothing too special.  A very real modern romance.

13. Martin (George A. Romero, 1976)
The magic of vampires takes a stake to the heart in Romero’s realist take on the monsters.  It is dated but still an original and interesting take on the vampire.

12. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall, 2011)
Killer mermaids, Captain Jack and the hunt for the Holy Grail.  BIG DUMB LOUD FUN.

That's it.  See you tomorrow with the top 11 films I watched in April.  What did you think of these movies?  Any surprises here?  Anything controversial?  Let me know below...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

I Love That Blog Post #3

Happy weekend everybody!  I'm off to a wedding!  Love weddings!  Some further weekend reading for you visitors!

An interesting and different take on why cinema etiquette is a problem from Myfilmviews with some brave admissions of former guilt thrown in!

Scott returns with another mumble on mobile phone use in the cinema and introduces me to the terrifying prospect of tweet seats.

If you haven’t seen the new pictures from Django Unchained featuring the devilish DiCaprio, then check them out here at Anomalous Material

GO VOTE on your favourite Nolan film now at The Focused Filmographer!

Ruth’s got the trailer for ‘Lawless’.  This film looks awesome!

Harry Potter fans can drool over Daniel’s write up of the new tour at Warner Bros studios

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Salivating for Sequels: Top Gun and Chucky

A sequel to Top Gun?  A remake and a sequel of Child's Play?  Today is my lucky day.

Completely hetrosexual
No I'm not making it up.  Over 25 years after the original gave us an awesome soundtrack, topless men all greased up and playing volleyball on the beach to a song called 'Playing with the Boys', Tom Cruise riding a motorbike and flying the crap out of super speedy jets, fretting about his Dad, shagging Kelly McGillis in an impossibly blue, slow and sexy, sex scene, Goose getting an all time great death and some karaoke lovin' feelin losin comes this news:

'in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount executive Adam Goodman has confirmed that Top Gun 2 is in pre-production'

Well it's about time.  The US Navy needs another big, dumb, cinematic recruitment advert.  Hmmm.  Shame Tony Scott's back.  I wish he could dial back that attention deficit editing.  The writer of Bad Boys 2 is involved which suggests extremely dumb but fun action scenes that will... wait for it... TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY!  I hope Val Kilmer can make an appearance.  And the ghost of Goose.  Heck why not?

Wanna play?
 Then I hear (two weeks after the news breaks but better late than never) Chucky from Child's Play is going to be back!  Now if this was just another sequel I would be concerned after the attempted horror comedies of Bride and Seed of Chucky.  But I still hold the original Child's Play trilogy in high regard.  I loved those movies as a kid so it pleases me to hear:

'original creators Don Mancini and David Kirschner are cooking up a remake that will stray from the more satiric leanings of recent sequels - the last one featured John Waters, after all – and go for "a darker and scarier retelling of the original film, but one that will offer new twists and turns."'

Still terrifying?
However then I read over at Total Film:

'This new episode in the long-running franchise will be titled Revenge Of Chucky, and will again focus on the killer doll's immediate family, in a similar vein to Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky.

As for the remake, Dourif indicated that original writer Don Mancini is still working on  script, with the theme thought to be a lot lighter and comedic than the original.'

Well I hope they're wrong about the remake.  I want to see Child's Play back to it's dark roots.  I know it seems silly and ripe for comedic treatment but to me Chucky is still a little psycho and a terrifying alternative to Woody and Buzz coming alive when you're not watching.

What do you think readers? Does this news spell the end of the world or are you as excited as I am?

Independent Case Study: Juno (2007)

Over the next few weeks, I will be putting up case studies of Hollywood, Independent and British films to help my A level Film Studies students learn more about the finance, organisation, production, distribution and exhibition of different types of films.  These case studies can be used in their exam when discussing the American and British film industries. This is the third.  The first on Prometheus is here and the second on Attack the Block is here.

Director and writer:

Jason Reitman had only just completed directing Thank You for Smoking but as it was not released yet, he had difficulties acquiring the script for Juno.  He said it was ‘very hard... Thank You for Smoking had not come out yet, so I didn't have much going for me at the time. I was in the midst of finishing Thank You for Smoking, but I didn't have any street cred(ibility) yet’

The script was also written by a first-timer, Diablo Cody.  ‘Before her screenwriting debut Juno received a rapturous standing ovation at this year's Toronto Film Festival, before Steven Spielberg called... Diablo Cody was giving halfhearted lap dances to greasy men at a Minneapolis strip club’,,20157948,00.html

‘When Jason Reitman, who'd made a name for himself with 2006's Thank You for Smoking, read the script for Juno, he scrapped plans to direct his own project to work with Cody instead. ''When I think of the response to Diablo and her screenplay,'' he says, ''the only person I can equate it to in recent history is Tarantino, that kind of overwhelming excitement about a fresh new voice.''’,,20157948_2,00.html

Independent film is where a huge amount of talent gets its big break.  Both Reitman and Cody have gone on to more commercial and bigger films since Juno, working with the likes of Clooney in Up in the Air and Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer’s Body.  Only after Reitman’s first film was a success, did he get the job of directing this feature.  However there were still problems with funding.


Budget: $7.5 million

‘There are a variety of methods and many different levels of independent film financing that can range from multi-million dollar backing from major studios right down to personal savings and credit cards of one individual’

During promotion for the film, the actress playing Juno,  Ellen Page, said ‘I read the script a couple years ago -- it was one of those things that takes time [to get off the ground] -- and I fell in love then, but it kind of just dwindled away, didn't have money, so on and so forth. And then it came back around again, and I got excited all over again’

‘the kind of movie Cody wanted to see initially scared off every major studio. ''A lot of people were worried that we would be protested by right-to-lifers or pro-choice people,'' says producer Lianne Halfon of an early incarnation of the project, which was ushered by her company Mr. Mudd... Even after Fox Searchlight greenlit the film, expectations were modest. ''We thought it was going to be a smaller movie because of the subject matter,'' says studio COO Nancy Utley’,,20175163_3,00.html

The production companies listed on IMDb that financed the film are:
Actor and producer John Malkovich
The involvement of Fox Searchlight demonstrates the modern trend of independent films being made by subsidiaries of the major Hollywood studios.  They take on more challenging and often more complex material but still desire to make profitable films and therefore hope for some mainstream success.  Juno, like so many other modern ‘independent’ films is actually not independent from the major studios and is therefore more independent in terms of its script, characters and story.  A film about a subject like teenage pregnancy is a concern for investors and so funding was hard to come by and expectations for the box office figures are kept low to ensure the film will be profitable.


As early as 1992, Hollywood majors were recognising that in order to capitalise on the potential mainstream success of independent films they needed not only to continue winning the distribution rights to unexpected, alternatively financed hits, but actively seek out the important directors with whom to collaborate. Sony Classics, Paramount Classics and Fox Searchlight were thus created by their respective, internationally co-owned, parent companies to deal with requests for funds. The result of such diversification was that, by the late-1990s, those 'independent' films and film producers winning plaudits were in fact conventionally financed, mainstream pictures; Boys Don't Cry and Election being funded and distributed by multinationals News Corporation and Viacom, with Miramax now a 'major independent' attached to the transglobal Disney corporation. With this, the criteria by which art-house films were marketed and exploited was also fundamentally changed. Higher budgets, increased advertising and wider platform releases all brought the 'independent' sector closer to the high stakes movie-making of the commercial cinema than ever before

Today, every major film studio has specialty departments designed to create offbeat, smart contenders for the awards. They typically are films with modest budgets (usually less than $50 million) and limited promotion — at least initially.

In essence, such films are orchestrated to start off as word-of-mouth favorites among devoted moviegoers. As a result, they can wind up as Academy Award nominees with relatively few people having seen them’

These quotes highlight the studios’ dominating of the independent sector in recent years.  They use their subsidiaries such as Fox Searchlight to make smaller films that can make big money thanks to festivals, competitions and awards.


‘Many independent producers don't watch the market for trends and analyze what movies they are competing with. They simply make a film and put it out. Studios have marketing departments and develop strategies for the best times to release a film’

‘To keep to the budget, high profile stars like Jennifer Garner took cuts in their usual pay’

This happens a lot with independent films.  See also Pulp Fiction.
‘Reitman, whose wife, Michele Lee, is from Vancouver, specifically wanted to film here after having worked here on TV commercials, and not because he was told to for budgetary reasons’

"at the time there was a great deal of excitement about Jason Reitman. When we were just going into production he was being nominated for a Golden Globe. Lots of people were very interested in being a part of it. It was a very modest budget, so a lot of people were working for lower rates. Not low, but lower, and they had tight budget constraints and they did fantastic jobs."

Independent films typically have short shooting schedules and do not use the latest and most expensive technology such as CGI, Imax and 3D.  They do often feature stars but these stars often take pay cuts to appear in what they think will be critically adored and popular films.  It is shot on locations rather than in expensive studios with built sets.


‘Ellen Page starred in the controversial film "Hard Candy" and appeared in "X-Men: The Last Stand". "Juno" is a reunion of sorts for Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, who both starred in the acclaimed Fox comedy "Arrested Development." Jennifer Garner starred on ABC's "Alias" and is known for such films as "13 Going on 30." Olivia Thirlby recently starred in David Gordon Green's Sundance hit "Snow Angels." JK Simmons played Nick Naylor's boss in Reitman's hit "Thank You for Smoking." Allison Janney starred on NBC's "The West Wing" and will soon be seen in the upcoming movie musical "Hairspray." Rainn Wilson plays Dwight on the NBC hit series "The Office."’

‘On the teen appeal front, there’s Superbad‘s own supersensitive Michael Cera, presciently cast as the nominal male lead to the film’s obvious breakout star, Ellen Page (X-Men 3; Hard Candy)’

Lots of the stars here are famous from television and less so from feature films.  This can be typical of independent films that often do not have the budgets to afford the biggest stars.  However the stars they do get will help the film to cross over into the mainstream and be a draw for audiences to see the film.


‘A slow release (what most indies use) is to release on a limited number of screens in a few key markets and hope word of mouth drives up ticket sales. Then they will expand it (increase screen count) as ticket sales increase. The advantage is that it keeps P&A (prints and advertising) costs to a minimum’

The best movie of 2007 is coming to theatres 9 days earlier than expected. The film, Juno, directed by Jason Reitman was originally scheduled to hit theatres on December 15th, but has been moved up to take advantage of all the incredible advance buzz.  Juno will now hit theatres on Wednesday, December 5th in New York and Los Angeles, and will expand on a platform release in the subsequent weeks’

"Juno" will open in an additional 13 cities on Friday, upping the total theatre count to about 40. Another 17 cities will be added on Dec. 21, and the film will further expand on Christmas Day before going nationwide Jan. 4’

In the film, the protagonist Juno talks to her friend on a phone shaped like a hamburger. It’s a charming illustration of her quirky character, and there’s even a joke about it in the script.
The producers of Juno apparently sent a hamburger phone to journalists to entice them to review the film’

‘Paul de Carvalho, manager of Fox Searchlight in Australia, said the studio brought 100 Juno-branded phones to Australia for use in promotional giveaways’

Distribution for this film is very different to most Hollywood blockbusters.  The film starts out at festivals and on a limited number of screens.  As buzz builds and word of mouth spreads, the film gets a wider release.  It is also released at a time when it is likely to get attention in the awards season.  The marketing is quirkier and less traditional than Hollywood blockbusters.  Note also that the posters and trailers emphasise the critical response to the film and the awards it has won.


‘There are numerous reasons why indie films have small success. One of which is the number of screens they are released on. A typical studio wide release is 3000 plus screens. The Dark Knight was released on 4366 screens1. Most indie films are released with very small screen counts; many times only on 3 to 5 and sometimes a couple of hundred. If an indie gets a wide release it is usually because it already has some buzz. For instance Hostel 2 opened on 2350 screens but it was a sequel to a film that was a huge success’

‘In 2006 Little Miss Sunshine was opened on 7 screens in late July. Within 2 weeks it was expanded to 58 screens. Toward the end of August it began to get Oscar buzz and was expanded to 1602 screens. Of course Little Miss Sunshine went on to win 2 Oscars which helped its theatrical run that ended in March 2007. Although it is not typical for a small indie film ($8M budget) to do this well ($100M+ worldwide gross) it does happen using the slow release’

‘"Juno," playing in seven theaters in Los Angeles and Gotham, scored a boffo per-screen average of $60,016, one of the best on record for that number of theaters and outperforming the openings of previous Searchlight hits "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Sideways."’

‘Fox Searchlight... recently made the decision to start rolling Reitman’s film out on December 14 — which, as screenwriter Diablo Cody ... says on her blog, "is not a messin’-around release date. It’s kind of a scary release date. It’s a we-believe-in-you release date”... The studio’s optimistic judgment call on that release date may not represent a sure Oscar-bait belief so much as an "everybody in the family over 15 will have a good time and go home hating each other less at Christmastime" kind of thing’

 ‘Juno has become a massive crossover hit, sailing past $100 million and landing Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. The Best Picture race may include such high-pedigree contenders as There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and Atonement, but little $6.5 million Juno has surpassed them all’,,20175163,00.html

Total Lifetime Grosses


Juno has been incredibly successful for an independent film.  This is due to a clever script and great characters but also due to a clever distribution plan that has seen it embraced by a mainstream audience.

That's Juno in a nutshell and also hopefully a bit of insight into the state of modern American independent film. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

British Case Study: Attack the Block (2011)

Over the next few weeks, I will be putting up case studies of Hollywood, Independent and British films to help my A level Film Studies students learn more about the finance, organisation, production, distribution and exhibition of different types of films.  These case studies can be used in their exam when discussing the American and British film industries. This is the second.  The first on Prometheus is here.


Joe Cornish ‘first appeared on British TV screens in 1997 as co-star and co-creator of 'The Adam and Joe Show', a home-made comedy show famous for its sketches, songs and animations satirizing pop culture... Cornish has also directed the two Channel 4 comedy pilots 'Modern Toss' and 'Blunder', both of which were commissioned as series, as well as an intimate documentary on the making of the hit BBC comedy show 'Little Britain'.

Block is the directorial debut of Joe Cornish, a sometime writer partner of Edgar Wright who worked with the filmmaker on The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and Ant-Man. Wright is even an exec producer on the film, which has a pretty high budget for a U.K. pic’

Though this is a British film with a relatively small budget compared to Hollywood blockbusters, Attack the Block still has a high budget for a British film.  Investors would normally be reluctant to give first time filmmakers £13 million to make a British film with a cast of mostly unknowns, set in a tower block and featuring characters that open the movie mugging an innocent nurse.

However Joe Cornish has had a great deal of experience in television and has developed a strong following with his radio and television shows.  He is also co-writing Spielberg’s latest film with Edgar Wright who recently had a huge international hit with Shaun of the Dead.  Like that film, Attack the Block takes very English characters, stars and settings and mixes them with a popular genre.  So the science fiction element could help to draw in bigger crowds and therefore make investors feel more comfortable putting in £13 million.  Also casting Nick Frost might draw in international fans of Shaun of the Dead, helping Attack the Block sell worldwide.


‘The film is developed by Big Talk with Film4 through a slate deal jointly funded by Film4 and the UK Film Council’

Production companies:

Studio Canalis the pan European film, production and sales distribution arm of French media group, Canal+. The UK arm, formerly known as Optimum Releasing, has established a reputation for an innovative approach to distribution and has enjoyed success with a varied mix of film titles across all genres... 2011 has seen the company enjoy its biggest ever box office returns in the UK with successes… Duncan Jones’ Source Code’ 
 Film4 ‘is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most innovative talent in the UK, whether new or established. Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the best UK films of recent years, films like Slumdog Millionaire… Hunger… Nowhere Boy and Four Lions’

‘Since its creation in 2000 the UK Film Council has backed more than 900 films, shorts and features, which have won over 300 awards and entertained more than 200 million people around the world generating £5 for every £1 of Lottery money it has invested. 
British films developed and funded over the past 10 years by the UK Film Council include The King's Speech… This Is England, Touching the Void… Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin and Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights’

Big Talk Productions ‘is a multi-award winning Film and TV Production Company… Its credits include Spaced, Black Books… and the hit movies Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, as well as last year’s critically acclaimed Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

In October 2007 Big Talk's film arm, Big Talk Pictures completed a slate development deal jointly funded by Film 4 and UK Film Council under which it developed Attack The Block, and in September 2009 the company completed a first look financing and distribution deal with Optimum/Studio Canal to continue to expand its film ambitions.  

Big Talk's most recent release is Paul - written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and directed by Greg Mottola for Universal/Working Title Films’

No funding from the Hollywood studios but mostly financed by British companies and the UK Film Council which is a funding body set up to help produce films that promote British culture and tell British stories.  Interestingly two of these companies are very involved in television which suggests Joe Cornish is likely to have had a working relationship with them before shooting his first feature film.


Attack The Block takes place in Wyndham House in South London, but there's no point trying to find it on Google Maps. It doesn't exist. Instead, it's a composite of a number of London locations – a bit of Islington here, and a lot of the Heygate Estate in Elephant & Castle there. Heygate has been seen in the likes of Hereafter and Harry Brown and gave director Joe Cornish exactly what he was looking for’

Shooting on location adds to the realism of this British film that makes it stand out from much of Hollywood’s science fiction output.  It also will save the producers money as less sets have to be built.

“I don’t think there’s enough movement and action in British cinema” Joe Cornish, Production notes


ATTACK THE BLOCK started filming in March 2010, for eleven weeks. Six of those were on location... “The technique we used is quite old-school,” Cornish concedes. “I didn’t want to do CGI creatures because a) we couldn’t afford them and b) I wanted there to be something in front of the camera. I’m fed up with the aesthetics of CGI creatures”’ Production notes

ATTACK THE BLOCK’s Visual Effects Supervisor Ged Wright received an Oscar nomination this year for his work on Iron Man 2.’ Production notes

the visual effects aren't terribly impressive, but they're also not crucial -- the movie's focuses instead on the quirky character dynamic and the related social ramifications’

Cornish: ‘I knew they [the aliens] had to be practical. I knew we couldn’t afford CGI creatures. And I wanted them to be practical, because I love the practical work in movies that I saw when I was growing up. I wanted to use some digital, but with a lightness of touch. I always feel digital is best used to enhance what’s already present, than to create it from the ground up... They designed this terrific costume-suit, and then we shot that, and then there’s a little bit of enhancement by a company called Digital Negative, and a very brilliant European company called Fido. So the end result is a combination of practical, with a little bit of digital


A fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters, Attack The Block stars Jodie Whittaker (St. Trinians, Venus) and newcomers John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones and Simon Howard. The supporting cast includes Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Luke Treadaway (Clash Of The Titans)’

 ‘Frost first came to prominence as the gun-mad character Mike Watt in Channel 4’s Spaced. Since then, Frost has become one of the U.K.’s most sought-after actors.  He earned a nomination for Most Promising Newcomer by the British Independent Film Awards for his role in the cult zombie movie Shaun of the Dead, starring opposite Simon Pegg.  Frost again starred with Pegg in the hugely successful hit comedy Hot Fuzz. Frost’s other film credits include Kinky Boots, Penelope, Wild Child and The Boat That RockedProduction notes

The use of unknowns is risky for investors, meaning the budget has to be little compared to international star filled Hollywood blockbusters.  However, there is also more realism if unknown actors are used and many horror films do not have stars in order to make it less obvious who will survive and who will die.  The inclusion of Nick Frost does help the film and he was featured prominently in much of the marketing.  The supporting cast of Jodie Whittaker and Luke Treadaway may also be known to British audiences as they have appeared in plenty of television and theatre work.

Ratings and classification:

Attack the Block is rated 15 in the UK.  As it has a much lower budget than a Hollywood blockbuster such as Prometheus, it can afford to have a higher rating.  It does not have to convince families and younger audience members to come and see it as it does not have to make such a huge amount of money to be profitable.  In fact, as it is a horror/science fiction, it might make it more appealing to the target audience if they know it is going to be more ‘adult’.


A great summary of the marketing including posters, trailers, premiere, interviews, merchandise and website can be found here

The marketing of the film is interesting, attempting to push the film onto a real cross-section of audiences. Produced by Nira Park, Britain’s go-to producer of ‘indie’ comedies with appeal across the pond (Shaun of the Dead [2004], Paul [2011]), the film also strives to appeal to a Kidulthood (2006) youth market, including the working class teenagers which are its focus’,5,295

Some great interviews with cast and director

International sales are being handled by Studio Canal International. Distribution is through Studio Canal's direct territories: Optimum Releasing UK, Kinowelt Germany and Studio Canal France’

The movie doesn't have a distributor... American execs are wary...  There is talk of having subtitles for any North American release.

More than that, there is even excited talk of getting the movie's remake rights and making a U.S. version of the film.

SXSW has proven to be a venue where a strong showing can lead to a release deal. Last year, Gareth Edwards' Monsters had its U.S. premiere there and its strong showing led to an acquisition by Magnet Releasing’

‘thanks to Sony Pictures Worldwide and Screen Gems, audiences here in America are going to be treated like adults who can actually decipher an accent or two, and "Attack The Block" will be released’

Nick Frost, the science fiction genre elements and ‘from the producers of Shaun of the Dead’ are all highlighted in much of the marketing.  But the distinctive British location, language and characters are also emphasised.  Film festivals are often essential for spreading word of mouth about smaller films.  They can win competitions, awards and gain valuable attention from film fans and the press.


Our new film Attack the Block written and directed by Joe Cornish has premiered to the world at in Austin, Texas at world renowned music, film and interactive festival South By Southwest to critical and audience acclaim’

The stars of British action-adventure Attack The Block will ‘tool-up’ for the UK premiere in London’s prestigious Leicester Square on Wednesday 4 May... Attack The Block will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday 11 May by Optimum’

$137,580 (USA) (31 July 2011) (8 Screens)
£1,133,859 (UK) (15 May 2011) (352 Screens)

Opening weekend figures were very low compared to Hollywood blockbusters.  It was also released on far fewer screens than a Hollywood blockbuster would be.  The distributors will hope for the release to go wider as word of mouth spreads as they will not spend as much on marketing as the biggest blockbusters do. 


In places it’s as good as many of the films that Cornish has noted inspired it, such as Critters, Gremlins, and The Warriors.  It’s scary, funny, exciting, with great performances and memorable characters. The largely practical special effects are brilliant and inventive. The score is fantastic. It looks as good as any action film from the past decade’

A great deal of the reviews and interviews highlighted the films debt to American genre films.  This would no doubt help the film to appeal to international audiences who are fans of Hollywood blockbusters.

And that's Attack the Block in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoyed it and find it useful.