‘You Were Never Really Here’ Rides Cannes Praise to Big Indie Box Office Start

Off the wave of strong reviews from critics, Amazon’s Cannes thriller “You Were Never Really Here” got off to a good start at the indie box office, releasing on three screens in New York and Los Angeles and making just under $130,000 for a per screen average of $43,304.
“You Were Never Really Here” got heavy marketing aimed towards the arthouse crowd, with trailers and ads touting the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards the film won for director Lynne Ramsay’s script and Joaquin Phoenix’s lead performance as a trauma-stricken former FBI agent turned hired gun who rescues young girls from sex traffickers. The film holds an 88 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and now has the second-highest PSA of the year behind “Isle of Dogs.”
Speaking of “Isle of Dogs,” Fox Searchlight expanded the stop-motion animated film to 554 screens in its third weekend, which pushed the film into the top 10 among all films with $4.6 million and a PSA of $8,300. Now with a domestic total of just over $12 million, the film will expand nationwide next weekend to over 1,700 screens.
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On the new release list is A24’s horse drama “Lean on Pete,” which made just over $50,000 on four screens in Los Angeles and New York for a per screen average of $12,530. The film stars Charlie Plummer as a teen who bonds with an old horse named Pete after his relationship with his father (Travis Fimmel) ends up on the rocks. When the boy discovers that Pete is scheduled to be slaughtered, he takes the horse and runs away from home.
The film is directed and written by Andrew Haigh and also stars Chloe Sevigny and Steve Buscemi. It currently has a 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Among holdovers is FIP’s “Baaghi 2,” a Bollywood action film starring Tiger Shroff and directed by Ahmed Khan, made $255,000 from 124 screens to push its U.S. cume to $1.17 million. Lastly, IFC’s “The Death of Stalin” added $1.1 million in its fifth weekend from 554 screens, bringing its total to $5.6 million.

From a faux terrorist attack to sharks in the French Riviera, promoters often miss the mark with their gaudy Cannes PR stunts.

Faux “Terror Raid” to Promote OraxyGuests at Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc got a surprise visit by men outfitted in militia-themed gear last year, who approached the hotel by boat. It was a publicity stunt for the Paris-based Oraxy, which describes itself as “the world’s first private global marketplace reserved exclusively for UHNWI,” or Ultra High Net Worth Individuals.

Sacha Baron Cohen Wears Green MankiniIn 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen sported a bright green male thong known as the “mankini” to promote “Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Sacha Baron Cohen Brings a CamelIn 2012, “The Dictator” actor turned up with two model bodyguards and a camel. He even managed to fall off the camel, which bore a license plate with “Wadiya 1” on it – a reference to the fictional North African Republic of Wadiya, where “The Dictator” was set.

T.J. Miller Parachutes in to Debut “Emoji Movie” TrailerTo promote Sony’s “The Emoji Movie,” T.J. Miller parasailed into Cannes before unveiling a trailer for the film, in which he voices Gene, the Meh emoji. Emojis don’t feel very Cannes.
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“The Shallows” Brings in Fake SharksTo promote Blake Lively’s nautical horror film, Screen Gems planted fake sharks in the French Riviera. 

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Faux Snow for “A Christmas Carol”Disney tapped Jim Carrey for a new version of “A Christmas Carol” in 2009 — and decided to bring the holiday spirit to Cannes by covering the Croisette with snow. Not the best example of reading the room or, in this case, the luxurious French beach town in the middle of May. Shout out to Robin Wright and Colin Firth in the background for looking horrified at the faux snowball fight.
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Jerry Seinfeld Flies In to Promote “Bee Movie”In 2007, Jerry Seinfeld took Cannes by air to promote his big animated push for Disney, for which he served as writer and star and recruited pals like Chris Rock. His giant bee costume might have been worse than his notorious “Seinfeld” puffy shirt.
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Angelina Jolie, Will Smith Ride Inflatable SharkWill Smith, Angelina Jolie and Jack Black rode a 14-foot inflatable shark to promote “Shark Tale” in 2004. 
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“Trolls” WigsAnna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake promoted “Trolls” in 2016 with an array of women wearing bright-colored outfits and wigs reminiscent of the costumes in the movie. Also, they’re all in gowns — a play on Cannes fashion? 
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Gaspar Noe’s Graphic Makeout Posters to Promote “Love”Gaspar Noe at first shocked — and then satisfied — critics with his depiction of sex on film. He was praised for depicting the joyous and fervent act and staying mostly out of the realm of straight-up pornography. Promoting the film, however, was a different story. Producers wallpapered Cannes in posters of a saliva-covered triple kiss and an NSFW image of a penis and a woman’s breast after climax.

Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme Hold Impromptu Stage FightBoth “Universal Soldier” actors held a stage fight on the steps of a famed staircase in 1992. Many believed it was real, but Lundgren told The Hollywood Reporter that it was planned.

Dead pigeons for “24 Hour Party People”In 2002, actors impersonating the band Happy Mondays mimicked a scene of the movie by throwing fake dead pigeons from the beach onto unsuspecting victims, who believed thousands of dead birds were falling from the sky, the BBC reported. 

Naked Bike RidesFelix van Groeningen, the filmmaker behind “The Misfortunates,” decided to recreate a scene from his film where a dysfunctional family rides bikes in the nude. Just hours before a press conference, the director and his team disrobed and flew down the Croisette in the buff. A staffer on a motorcycle followed with their underwear, in case French police got a gander at them.
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The glamorous festival has seen some crazy PR stunts over the years

From a faux terrorist attack to sharks in the French Riviera, promoters often miss the mark with their gaudy Cannes PR stunts.

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