Re-releases reliably dot the theatrical calendar and this week have a standout. Oldboy, the 2004 Cannes prize-winner, re-released by Neon on its 20th anniversary restored and remastered, grossed $235k on Wednesday and $150k Thursday — for a total cume $385k on 250 screens heading into the weekend.
San Francisco, NYC and LA, led by Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, are the top-performing cities so far for Park Chan-wook’s classic film — the first screening in U.S. theaters since its original North American release in 2005.
Oldboy follows Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik), who, after being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, is released but must find his captor in five days. The critically acclaimed film is the second installment of Park’s The Vengeance Trilogy, preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and followed by Lady Vengeance (2005). Oldboy won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival (jury president, Quentin Tarantino). It grossed $15 million worldwide, and saw a 2013 English-language remake by Spike Lee.
The Korean helmer has a strong following and this is a nice opening at a complex time for arthouse film and foreign-language fare theatrically even amid a box office boom. Specialty titles are vying for screens with each other, and with Barbie, Oppenheimer and a steady stream of new wide releases hitting each weekend.
The director’s latest, 2022 crime drama Decision To Leave (Best Director at Cannes last year), grossed $2.18 million U.S./$20.87 million international.
New specialty openings: Luminosity Entertainment presents Back On The Strip, an R-rated comedy by Chris Spencer, on 1,300 screens. The directorial debut of the actor, comedian and writer follows the antics of a group of past-their-prime black male strippers, who get a taste of what they once were when a young ringer joins their group. Stars Tiffany Haddish, JB Smoove, Bill Bellamy, Gary Owen and Faizon Love, with Kevin Hart. Independently produced, financed, marketed and distributed by Black-owned and led companies. Luminosity, GVN and 5120 are financing and releasing the film. It was the first movie set by Luminosity, launched in 2021 by Elie Samaha, Daniel Diamond and Geno Taylor.
MGM presents sci-fi drama Landscape With Invisible Hand in 304 theaters. Written and directed by Cory Finley, based on the Book by M.T. Anderson. With Asante Blackk, Kylie Rogers and Tiffany Haddish. Premiered at Sundance, see Deadline review.
Years into a benevolent alien occupation of Earth, the human race is still adjusting to a new world order and overlords called the Vuvv, whose advanced technology initially held promise for global prosperity, but rendered most human jobs obsolete. When a 17-year-old artist Adam Campbell (Blackk) and new girlfriend Chloe Marsh (Rogers) discover the Vuvv are fascinated with human love and will pay for access to it, they livestream their budding romance to make extra cash.
IFC Films/Shudder open Laura Moss’ Birth/Rebirth, a re-imagining Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein with a contemporary twist, and a meditation on motherhood. Marin Ireland stars as antisocial pathologist Rose, obsessed with reanimating the dead. Judy Reyes is a maternity nurse, Celie, who’s built her life around her small daughter Lila. The two head down an increasingly dark path after the girl suddenly falls ill and dies. Moss will be doing Q&As in NYC tonight at IFC Center and in LA tomorrow at the Laemmle Noho 7. On Shudder later this year. Premiered at Sundance, Midnight Section, see Deadline review.
The Adults from Variance Films opens on 62 screens including the Quad Cinema in NYC and, in LA, Alamo Drafthouse, Laemmle and AMC Orange 30. Other major markets include Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix, San Diego, Nashville and Detroit. Written/directed by Dustin Guy Defa. With Michael Cera, Hannah Gross and Sophia Lillis as three siblings. Eric (Cera) returns home for a short visit and finds himself caught between reuniting with his sisters and chasing a victory with his old poker group. As the trip extends, Eric, Maggie (Lillis) and Rachel (Gross) are faced with the divide between their childhood selves and the adults they are now. Premiered at Berlin, see Deadline review, and screened at Tribeca as well.
Strand Releasing present Sundance breakout Mutt in NYC, expanding to LA next week. The trans coming of age film written and directed by Vuk Lungulov-Klotz stars Lio Mehiel, Cole Doman and MiMi Ryder. World premiered at Sundance, where Mehiel won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Acting. Deadline’s review called it a “pitch perfect performance.” He plays Feña, a trans man, who, over the course of one day, rekindles his relationships with his foreign father, his straight ex-boyfriend and his estranged younger half-sister, after having lost touch with them since his gender transitioning.
Samuel Goldwyn Films opens French biopic Simone: Woman Of The Century by Olivier Dahan in NY (Angelika Film Center) and LA (Laemmle Royal). Starring Elsa Zylberstein, Rebecaa Marder, Elodie Bouchez. The life story of the philosopher, Holocaust survivor, feminist and political activist from her childhood to her major political battles, seen through the pivotal events of the twentieth century.
Psychological drama Madeleine Collins, from Greenwich Entertainment, opens at IFC Center in NY, Laemmle Royal in LA and Laemmle Town Centre in Encino. Premiered in Venice 2021, see Deadline review. Directed by Antoine Barraud. Starring Virginie Efira, Quim Gutiérrez, Bruno Salomone, Jacqueline Bisset. Judith (Efira) leads a secret double life split between two households in two countries. In Switzerland, she lives with Abdel, with whom she is raising a little girl. In France, she lives with Melvil, with whom she has two older boys. Gradually this fragile balance, based on lies and back-and-forth trips, begins to veer dangerously off the rails.
Alternative engagement: Metallica and Trafalgar Releasing present Metallica M72 World Tour Live From Arlington, TX – A Two Night Event From Texas’ tonight and Sunday. These live broadcasts from concerts are in cinemas globally, including 633 screens in the U.S. and 43 in Canada. Live shows at 9:15 P.M. EDT. Encore screenings August 19 & 21.