Sony On Fly Me To The Moon, Spider-Man & Alamo Drafthouse Deal

Sony On Fly Me To The Moon, Spider-Man & Alamo Drafthouse Deal

Sony sat out CinemaCon in April this year, but was the first major studio to present at CineEurope in Barcelona today, culminating in a screening of Apple Original Films’ Scarlett Johansson/Channing Tatum-starrer Fly Me to the Moon which Sony is releasing theatrically.

Before the screening, Sony President of International Theatrical Distribution, Steven O’Dell, cautioned, “Good is no longer good enough. We have to deliver greatness to audiences. The onus is on all of us.”

O’Dell was bullish on the future. Sony, whose Columbia Pictures is celebrating its centenary this year, is “committed to the industry,” he said, noting Sony Pictures Entertainment’s recent “bold move” to acquire the Alamo Drafthouse, as well as its 2021 $1.2B acquisition of Crunchyroll. O’Dell continued that the studio is also “positioned to make some big bets on the future of our industry.”

This reiterated something the exec had said during a CineEurope panel earlier in the day: “The exciting thing is, if anybody wants to doubt that we believe in our future, to invest in cinema is the biggest statement we could make. And we don’t do it to make a statement, we do it to make money, so we’re doing it because we believe in the industry.” O’Dell added, “We trust the existing (Alamo) leadership and couldn’t be more excited about it.”

The move to acquire Alamo Drafthouse puts Sony, which still has its eye on acquiring Paramount Global, in the exhibition business once again after owning the Loews Theater chain back in the 1990s.

As it looks for opportunities to expand, Sony is also betting on content.

During the studio presentation today, O’Dell ran down a diverse slate ahead, highlighting a number of titles including Danny Boyle’s upcoming 28 Years Later, Margot Robbie-starrer A Big Bold Beautiful Journey, Darren Aronofsky’s Caught Stealing starring Austin Butler, Taika Waititi’s Klara and the Sun with Jenna Ortega and the live-action Legend of Zelda collaboration with Nintendo. 

The exec further promised a “distribution pattern never before seen” for Sam Mendes’ four separate theatrical films about the members of The Beatles and added, “We are also in development on some of Sony’s most prized IP including a sequel to Tom Holland’s Uncharted and of course our crown jewel franchise, Spider-Man.” Holland in April discussed the latter project with Deadline.

In Cannes last month, Sony Motion Pictures Group Chairman Tom Rothman told Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr that he was “very optimistic” Quentin Tarantino‘s final feature would be at Sony. Today, O’Dell said, “We are hopeful to have Quentin Tarantino make his next and likely last feature film with us.”

At the end of the presentation, O’Dell introduced Fly Me to the Moon director Greg Berlanti who noted he grew up in the 70s and 80s going to see “big, original, spectacle movies at the cinema.” When he read Rose Gilroy’s Fly Me to the Moon script, Berlanti said it “reminded me of those films” and that he thought he’d “never get another opportunity like this.” 

The CineEurope audience was the biggest to see the film to date, Berlanti said. “If I’m passed out in the back, step over me gently.”

Fly Me to the Moon follows Johansson as marketing specialist Kelly Jones who is brought in to pump up NASA’s historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Interoffice romance shenanigans fly with Tatum’s launch director Cole Davis. Upping the stakes: Jones is tasked with staging a fake moon landing as backup as the countdown begins.

Read original article here.

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