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Thursday, October 13, 2016


Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to the romantic drama MIDNIGHT SUN – starring Bella Thorne (@bellathorne; The DUFF, Boo! A Madea Halloween), Patrick Schwarzenegger (@PSchwarzenegger; Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), Rob Riggle (@RobRiggle; Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life) and Quinn Shepard (Windsor) and directed by Scott Speer – and will release the film nationwide July 14, 2017.

MIDNIGHT SUN, an epic romantic drama, follows 17-year-old Katie Price (Thorne), sheltered since childhood with a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight. Katie’s world opens up after dark when she ventures out to play her guitar for travelers. One night, she meets Charlie (Schwarzenegger) whom she has secretly admired for years. She hides her condition from him, and the two embark on a uniquely powerful romance. Rob Riggle plays Katie’s loving and compassionate father, Jack, who endeavors to give his daughter a good life.

The romantic drama is a heart-breaking, life-affirming story of love, dreams lost and realized over one nearly perfect summer. Based on the Japanese film, TAIYO NO UTA, MIDNIGHT SUN is directed by Scott Speer (STEP UP REVOLUTION) from the screenplay by Eric Kirsten.

John Rickard, Zack Schiller and Jen Gatien are producers. David Boies, James McGough, Alan Ou, Hiroki Shirota and Speer are the executive producers. Katie Silberman and Devin Andre are co-producers. Boies/Schiller financed and produced the film alongside Rickard’s Wrigley Pictures. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international sales.

“We were swept off our feet by this romantic film,” stated Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “The movie had men and women – young and old – in tears, and we could tell immediately how strongly this story, and the fantastic performances by leads Bella and Patrick, would resonate with audiences of all ages.”

“John developed an incredibly powerful script that immediately spoke to both of us, and we knew that we had to make this film,” said Schiller. “Bella, Patrick and Rob deliver outstanding performances and Open Road is the perfect home for this project. It’s clear that they are as passionate about this movie as we are.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by CEO Tom Ortenberg, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Elliott Kleinberg and SVP Acquisitions, Lejo Pet. Bella Thorne is represented by CAA and Thor Bradwell at Thirty Three Management. Patrick Schwarzenegger is represented by Management 360, and Rob Riggle is represented by WME and Principato Young. Scott Speer is represented by WME and Principato Young.

WME Global and Sky Moore at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP represented Boies/Schiller in the sale.

Open Road Films is a leading, independent, theatrical motion picture company, releasing a diverse slate of star-driven films, which has included multiple #1 releases and enormous critical response. The company was founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC) and Regal Entertainment Group (Regal), the two largest theatrical exhibition companies in the United States. The uniquely formed company is widely known as a filmmaker-focused distributor that supports both box office hits and top prestige titles.

Open Road Films led the 2016 critically acclaimed film Spotlight to win the Oscar® for Best Picture, becoming the youngest studio in history to win the big prize. The film, which earned almost $45 million at the U.S. box-office, stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup was directed by Tom McCarthy, who also won the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay, with his co-writer (and executive producer) Josh Singer. Spotlight has won numerous high profile critics and guild awards, including the Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble Award and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature Film. Spotlight also appeared on over 250 critics’ Top Ten lists for 2016.

Other notable Open Road Films releases include: Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which took the #1 spot at the box-office during its opening week and received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, along with a Golden Globe nomination – it was named one of the best films of 2014 by the AFI and National Board of Review and top critics nationwide; the hit film Chef, written by, directed by and starring Jon Favreau along with Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr.; The Nut Job, which opened to over $25 million at the box office as the highest ever opening for an independent animated film; The Grey, directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson, which opened #1 at the box office; End Of Watch, directed by David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, which opened #1 at the box office; Rosewater, written and directed by Jon Stewart; A Haunted House starring Marlon Wayans; and Side Effects, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.

Upcoming Open Road Films releases include: Bleed For This (‪11/18/16), starring Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart and Katey Sagal and directed by Ben Younger; Sleepless (‪2/24/17), starring Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan; Before I Fall (4/7/17), from Awesomeness Films starring Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage and directed by Ry Russo-Young; The Nut Job 2 (‪5/19/17), the sequel to the 2014 hit animated film, featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Bobby Moynihan, Bobby Cannavale, Isabela Moner, Gabriel Iglesias, Sebastian Maniscalco and Peter Stormare; Blazing Samurai (8/25/2017), the animated family film featuring the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Brooks, Michael Cera, George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Aasif Mandvi, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh and more; and Show Dogs (‪11/10/17), a live action family comedy from the director of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Scooby Doo and The Smurfs.

The company, led by industry veteran CEO Tom Ortenberg, is based in Los Angeles.

Boies/Schiller Film Group (bsfgllp.com) was founded in 2012 when Producer Zack Schiller partnered with renowned attorney David Boies. The company’s vision is to finance and produce mid-budget wide release films, filling a void created when the major Hollywood studios began to focus primarily on big budget, tentpole movies.

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