Apple Finally Releases ‘The Banker’; ‘First Cow’, ‘Run This Town’, ‘Extra Ordinary’ Open Theatrically – Specialty B.O. Preview

A24 is ready to milk the weekend with their new film First Cow from director Kelly Reichardt. The film isn’t about a presidential cow, but it is about a special bovine creature.

Set in the 19th century, the film follows a lone cook (John Magaro) as he travels west with a group of fur trappers. Out of all of them, he connects with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) and they collaborate on a lucrative business that hinges on the participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow. Through her distinct vision, she tells what seems like a peculiar story but is, in fact, a tale about America and the sensitive depiction of the friendship between two men. All the while, First Cow builds suspense in its own special way.

Co-written by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, the film debuted at Telluride in 2019 before making stops at the New York Film Festival and most recently the Berlin International Film Festival. Reichardt is known for minimalist films that serve a slice of Americana via intimate portraits of rural working-class communities. She directed pics such as Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves and most recently the critically acclaimed Certain Women, which sits at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and banked $1,087,585 during its theatrical run.

Her films have leaned more into auteur territory rather than box office grabs, but with A24’s recent success with strong films like Lulu Wang’s The Farewell which grossed over $22 million worldwide and the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems banking over $50 million, First Cow might just earn coins for the indie distributor.

First Cow debuts this weekend in select theaters with an expansion to follow. Watch the trailer below.

After jumping over a couple of hurdles, the George Nolfi-directed The Banker is finally making its way into theaters this weekend. The Banker tells the story that is relevant now as it was in the Civil Rights era when the film is set. Based on the true story of Joe Morris (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie), The Banker follows their trailblazing entrepreneurial story in which they hired a working-class white man (Nicholas Hoult) to pretend to be the head of their business empire while they posed as a janitor and chauffeur.

The pic was poised to be an awards season contender last year, but after troubling allegations about Bernard Garrett Sr.’s son, Bernard Garrett Jr. surfaced, it put a delay on things. He was originally a co-producer on the film but his name was removed from all promo materials. As a result, it was pulled as AFI’s closing night film and Apple ended up moving its theatrical release from December 6 to March 6. On top of that, Linda Garrett, Garrett Sr.’s second wife after Eunice Garrett (portrayed by Nia Long in the film) had some choice words to say about the film.

Nonetheless, The Banker has shed all of its baggage and is ready to tell Garrett Sr.’s story — and when looked at as a film about marginalized voices overcoming major obstacles, it is one worthy of being told.

The Banker had a premiere event at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis earlier this week. It opens in 55 markets with plans to expand. It is set to hit Apple TV+ on March 20. Watch the trailer below.

 

After premiering at SXSW last year, Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Ricky Tollman’s feature film debut Run This Town starring Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen, The Politician), Mena Massoud (Aladdin, Reprisal), Nina Dobrev (XXX: Return of Xander Cage, Lucky Day), Scott Speedman (Animal Kingdom, Felicity), Gil Bellows (Scary Stories, Shawshank Redemption), with two-time Tony Award winner Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, Contagion) and Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Damian Lewis (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Billions, Homeland).

Run This Town tells the story of naive, young newspaper intern Bram (Platt), who finds himself stuck writing clickbait-y listicles instead of breaking hard-hitting stories like he dreamed of — until he stumbles upon potentially scandalous information regarding the city’s populist mayor, Rob Ford. Sensing an opportunity to prove himself, Bram begins his hasty investigation — unknowingly linking his life and livelihood to Ford’s aides, Kamal and Ashley, who are trying to support their boss while maintaining their integrity. As Bram, Kamal, and Ashley weave their way through a scandal none of them were trained to handle, they struggle to keep their heads above the rising waters of debt, familial pressures, and moral complications.

O-Scope collaborated with Twitter for the release. The social media platform had exclusive content distribution to support the film, using integrated promotions, along with a large digital push on the platform. The release will also take advantage of Twitter’s deep analytics to see where the film is activating the most engagement, providing audience insights ahead of theatrical booking. This weekend we will be able to see how this partnership paid off.

This weekend sees a large batch of titles entering the specialty box office space. The Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman horror-comedy Extra Ordinary starring Maeve Higgins, Claudia O’Doherty, Barry Ward and Will Forte is set to stir up some scares and laughs in its limited release this weekend. The Good Deed Entertainment film, which currently sits at a certified fresh 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, is set in Ireland and follows Rose (Higgins), a lonely, single driving instructor who happens to have supernatural medium abilities to communicate with the dead. Rose is stunned when widower Martin (Ward) asks her to help save his daughter from former rock star and one-hit-wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) who has cast a spell on Martin’s daughter in an effort to resurrect Christian’s career. The film also stars Risteárd Cooper, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler, Katie Holly, Yvonne Donohoe, Ailish Bracken and Mary McCarthy.

Roadside Attractions and Screen Media will release Hope Gap starring Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor. Written and directed by William Nicholson, the film follows the end of a 29-year marriage between Grace (Bening) and her husband (Nighy) and the emotional fall out with their only son (O’Connor).

The Burnt Orange Heresy features an impressive cast including Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland, Claes Bang and Mick Jagger. The Sony Pictures Classics neo-noir thriller set in the art world was directed by Giuseppe Capotondi and written by Scott Smith and premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

Other films opening this weekend include Diao Yinan’s gritty Chinese noir thriller The Wild Goose Lake starring Hu Ge and Gwei Lun-mei, which is currently playing at New York’s Film Forum with a national rollout planned. Director Ahmed Khan brings Bollywood fare to the packed specialty box office this weekend with Baaghi 3 while Greenwich Entertainment will debut D.W. Young’s documentary The Booksellers, which chronicles the fascinating world of antiquarian booksellers. Also in limited release in the forthcoming week is the Stephon Marbury documentary A Kid From Coney IslandDirected by Chike Ozah and Coodie and produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s Significant Productions, the docu follows the life of the NBA superstar-turned-Chinese basketball icon. The film is set to do a theatrical event on March 10 across Regal Cinemas in New York and New Jersey before then expanding to additional theaters in the forthcoming weeks.

 

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