Bollywood’s ‘Animal’ Roars, ‘Eileen’ With Anne Hathaway & ‘The Sweet East’ In Limited Release, ‘Dream Scenario’s Big Expansion – Specialty Preview


Animal, with Thursday previews of just over $1.25 million, looks set for the biggest North American Bollywood opening day since Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva last year. Both star Ranbir Kapoor.

The Hindi revenge thriller by Sandeep Reddy Vanga about a son’s toxic relationship with a father he idolizes opens on 700 screens (nearly 100 in Canada) with the subtitled trailer below at 81 million views. Co-stars Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna. Opening numbers look especially good since the film is violent (it has the equivalent of an R rating in India), likely taking som families out of the mix.

Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Pranay Reddy Vanga, Murad Khetani, Krishan Kumar. Distributors are Moksha Movies and Nirvana Cinemas.

Neon presents Sundance-premiering Eileen with Anne Hathaway from director William Oldroyd (Lady Macbeth) in limited release at six theaters. Based on the 2015 debut novel by Otessa Moshfegh, the film is set during a bitterly cold 1964 Massachusetts winter when young secretary Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie) becomes enchanted by the glamorous new counselor Rebecca (Hathaway) at the prison where she works. Their budding friendship takes a twisted turn when Rebecca reveals a dark secret — throwing Eileen onto a sinister path. Shea Whigham, Marin Ireland and Owen Teague also star. Adapted for the screen by Moshfegh with Luke Goebel.

Opens in NYC (Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brookly, AMC Lincoln Square, Angelika Film Center); Los Angeles (AMC Century City, AMC The Grove); and Austin (Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar). Expands to 400-600 screens next week. 

Utopia opens The Sweet East, the directorial debut of NYC cinematographer Sean Price Williams at IFC Center in NYC. The distributor is anticipating a $20K+ weekend for the film, which debuted at Cannes and was well received on the international festival circuit from Deauville to BFI London.

A “road show” release, select cast on hand, will move from East to West – Long Island NY, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus — to build word of mouth, arriving in LA (Landmark Nuart) on Jan. 26 ahead of a larger expansion in early February. Utopia (Shiva Baby, Holy Spider) has a solid fan base and a range of social activations in place including by cast and on Letterboxd amid enthusiasm with Shawn’s directorial debut, said distribution and marketing chief Kyle Greenberg, as the distributor continues working to “cultivate an audience of cinephiles” in a crowded market.

Talia Ryder stars as Lillian, a high school senior from South Carolina separated from her schoolmates on a class trip to Washington, D.C., who begins a picaresque journey through the cities and woods of the U.S. Eastern seaboard, her first glimpse of the wider world and present-day unreality of contemporary life. With Earl Cave, Ayo Edebiri, Simon Rex and Jacob Elordi.

Greenwich Entertainment presents Pianoforte in NYC, expanding to LA Dec. 15. Jakub Piatek’s documentary follows young musicians from around the world who have prepared since childhood to compete in the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition, held every five years in Warsaw, Poland. A behind the scenes look backstage at the triumphant highs and crushing lows of competition.

Expansion: Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario from A24 and starring Nicolas Cage takes a leap to 1,500 screens from 124 last weekend. It’s been a slow rollout for the dark comedy which debuted at six theaters Nov. 10. Cage, playing a nerdy professor who suddenly starts appearing in random people’s dreams, will be making appearances at screenings in LA.

Amazon/MGM’s Saltburn is on 1,566 screens and Focus Features’ The Holdovers on 1,311.

Bradley Cooper’s Maestro from Netflix expands to 40 theaters in ten markets. The streamer’s May December by Tod Hayves continues in 40 theaters in 15 markets. And its Leave The World Behind by Sam Esmail starring Julia Roberts continues in 40 locations in 20 markets.

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