‘Sasquatch Sunset’ Bigfoots 800+ Screens In Week 2 Expansion: “It’s A Wildcard” – Specialty Preview

Nathan Zellner and David Zellner’s Sasquatch Sunset is stomping into circa 850 theaters this weekend after debuting in 9 with a solid opening for a film many could find weird. A tribe of Sasquatch, possibly the last of their kind, live and love in the woods of northern California, where it was shot.

“We are taking Bigfoot to America. We have high hopes that the broader market will embrace the movie,” says Kyle Davies of distributor Bleecker Street, calling it “a very different” kind of movie and “a bit of an unknown.”

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“It’s a wildcard.”

Marketing was mainly through social activations. “I wouldn’t call it traditional marketing. It doesn’t really fit in that box,” Davies adds. The Sasquatch standees in theaters are fun. And Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar is displaying a baby Sasquatch sitting in a glass case with umbilical cord and placenta.

This is “a polarizing film. Some don’t want to get it. Some people see its brilliance,” Davies says. Bleecker has hopes for the latter group as the film expands to more arthouses and into smarthouses, and multiplexes in big markets.

Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner are unrecognizable as the hairy tribe of Sasquatch that had Sundance buzzing as filmmakers imagined the creatures’ daily life – hanging around, eating, fighting, grunting and more. It’s comedic and poignant, despite being dialogue free. Written by David Zellner, executive produced by Ari Aster.

The film has no recent comps although some have mentioned Swiss Army Man (2016) or Quest For Fire (1982). “We learned over the last few years it’s important to embrace new and different, and that’s what this movie is,” says Davies.

Limited releases: Neon opens Sundance-premiering dramedy Stress Positions exclusively at the IFC Center in NYC — a New York movie kicking off a theatrical release in its hometown. By Theda Hammel, starring Hammel, John Early, Qaher Harhash, Amy Zimmer, Faheem Ali and Rebecca F. Wright. Bahlul (Harhash), a queer Moroccan-American model is sidelined by a broken led and recovering at his uncle’s apartment in Brooklyn, surrounded by a cast of eccentric characters. See Deadline review.

We Grown Now from Sony Pictures Classics debuts in NY, LA and Chicago. The-coming-of-age drama from writer-director Minhal Baig  (Hala) nabbed the Toronto Film Festival’s Changemaker Award  Expands nationwide May 10. Set in 1992 Chicago, wide-eyed and imaginative best friends, Malik (Blake Cameron James) and Eric (Gian Knight Ramirez) traverse the city, looking to escape the boredom of school and the hardships public housing. Their unbreakable bond is challenged when tragedy shakes their community. Also starring S. Epatha Merkerson, Lil Rel Howery and Jurnee Smollett, the film is produced by Baig and Joe Pirro. Exec producers include Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren for Participant, James Schamus for Symbolic Exchange, Carrie Holt de Lama, and Smollett.

Egoist from Strand Releasing opens in New York at the IFC Center. Based on Makoto Takayama’s semi-autobiographical novel, director Daishi Matsunaga’s film is a sexy and heartfelt drama about family. Kosuke, a fashion magazine editor in his mid-30s, revels in the blessings of his comfortable lifestyle. When he hires Ryuta, a personal trainer, he gets more than he bargained for. Stars Ryohei Suzuki and Hiyo Miazawa.

Moderate releases: Cycling drama Hard Miles from Blue Fox Entertainment, on 480 screens. Directed by RJ Daniel Hanna, who co-wrote with producer Christian Sander. Stars Matthew Modine (Oppenheimer, Stranger Things), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Leslie David Baker (The Office), Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (Average Joe, Bosch).

The uplifting true story of the bicycling team at Rite of Passage’s RidgeView Academy, a medium-security correctional school in Colorado. Film follows beleaguered coach Greg Townsend (Modine) as he rounds up an unlikely crew of incarcerated students for a seemingly impossible bike ride from Denver to the Grand Canyon. The young leads are Jahking Guillory, Jackson Kelly, Damien Diaz and Zachary T. Robbins.

Comedy Villains Inc. from Purdie Distribution debuts on 290 screens. After the death of their super powerful villain boss, Beatrix, Cain and Harold are left destitute living in an abandoned grocery store. Beatrix is determined to strike out on her owns and take on the world by any means necessary. Directed by Jeremy Warner, who co-wrote with Jason Grey and Matt Moen. Starring Mallory Everton, Colin Mochrie and Jason Grey.

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