EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”
How’s this for an Oscar bounce? “Parasite” Neon, per IndieWire sources, grossed $500,000 Monday. It placed as the #4 film overall, with the highest per-screen average of any non-platform release. That’s up from #11 for the weekend, where it grossed $1,560,000. That puts it at $36 million and counting.
It did $159,000 last Monday, so on the same number of screens the gross tripled. Its Sunday gross was $433,000, with an average Monday normally seeing a 70% or greater drop. Instead, it improved. The number appears to be a bigger figure than any day after Best Picture win since “The King’s Speech” in 2011.
And that comes at the same time both Amazon and iTunes list “Parasite” as the #1 movie rental on their home viewing sites. Though not unusual for a next-day response, a subtitled film leading these charts is nearly unprecedented.
That compares to its rival “1917,” which grossed over $800,000 Monday after $9.2 million over the weekend. And of course, “1917” is a theater-only release for now.
“Parasite” is expected to expand to over 1,800 theaters this weekend, its widest count by far for its whole run. That could place it back in the Top Ten with its best-ever weekend gross. And based on the Monday numbers, a $10 million or greater additional haul could be possible.
In recent years, it has been standard for films that debut by mid-November to transition to home platforms by the time they win. But theaters are happy to cater to viewers who prefer seeing winners on screen, although often with truncated schedules. For the last seven years, only one Best Picture added more than $7 million post win: “Green Book.” That film was overall the biggest hit since “Argo,” and had a staggered release pattern that brought it to $69.6 million by Oscar night, then added another $14.5 million just over 20% to reach $85 million. But again, “Parasite” did better its day after winning.
“Parasite” winning four Oscars, including Best Picture the first non-English language film to do this, will have effects well beyond the film itself. In the meantime, It will significantly raise revenue for Neon and its overseas producers.
With $35,532,000 in through Sunday in its 18th week, “Parasite” already lapped earlier independent Best Picture winner “Moonlight” by over $7 million. It is around $10 million under “Spotlight” four years ago, a bit less behind “Birdman,” and far ahead of “The Hurt Locker” which adjusted to current ticket prices did around $21 million.
None of these had the perceived consumer handicap of subtitles....
Fox has ordered a second season of its animated family comedy Duncanville for 2021-2022. The series hails from Amy Poehler and her Paper Kite Productions, The Simpsons veteran Mike Scully and his wife, former Simpsons writer-producer Julie Scully, 20th Century Fox TV and Universal TV.
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Duncanville joins fellow Fox freshman animated series Bless the Harts, which also has already been renewed for a second season.
The network has been ramping up its animated portfolio over the past two years and currently has five series on the air, veterans The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers, and newcomers Bless the Harts and Duncanville, with two more, Housebroken and The Great North, set to join the lineup next season. Animation is one film/TV area that is still going during the pandemic-related Hollywood shutdown, with production done remotely, so work can be done on current seasons as well orders for next season.
“Duncanville is another great addition to our Sunday Animation Domination block,” said Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, Fox Entertainment. “Amy, Mike and Julie have been fantastic partners, as have the teams at 20th and Universal Television. Our thanks also go out to the entire voice cast, including Ty, Ricki, Betsy, Yassir, Zach, Joy, Rashida and Wiz. Duncan may be an average teen. However, the show is anything but, and we can't wait for a brand-new season of Harris family adventures.”
Duncanville has been a soft linear performer, with its Live+Same day rating deliveries among the lowest for a Fox series this season, but it has done well on digital. Season-to-date, Duncanville averages 2.3 million multiplatform viewers and is Fox's most-streamed new comedy this season, Its premiere is Fox's most-streamed animated debut on record 7-day average.
The series follows a spectacularly average 15-year-old boy, voiced by Poehler, with a rich fantasy life, and the people in his world. Duncan can see adulthood on the horizon: money, freedom, cars, girls...but the reality is more like: always being broke, driving with your mom sitting shotgun and babysitting your little sister. He's not exceptional, but he has a wild imagination in which he's never anything less than amazing. Poehler also voices Duncan's mother, Annie, and Ty Burrell voices Duncan's father, Jack. Featured voices also include Riki Lindhome, Betsy Sodaro, Yassir Lester and Zach Cherry, as well as guest voices Rashida Jones, Wiz Khalifa and Joy Osmanski.
Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Universal Television and Fox Entertainment, Duncanville was co-created by the Scullys and Poehler, through her Paper...