Peter Dinklage’s Singing ‘Cyrano,’ ‘The Godfather’ 50th Anniversary & Oscar Shorts Enter Parched Market For New Releases – Specialty Preview

Joe Wright’s Cyrano twirls onto 797 screens, the highest-profile specialty release in weeks (as the market awaits Focus Features The Outfit with Mark Rylance and Sony Pictures Classics Mothering Sunday). But the well reviewed period musical romance from UAR starring Peter Dinklage is landing in a tough place. Industry estimates anticipate a low single digit opening given the inconsistent reception for movie musicals and the fact that its key older demos, especially women, have been the slowest to return to theaters.

Cyrano is based on Edmond Ronstand’s late 19th century drama Cyrano de Bergerac – itself loosely based on a French nobleman known for bold adventures and a large nose. It premiered at Telluride last year, had a weeklong LA theatrical run in Dec. and garnered an Oscar nomination for Costume Design (and BAFTA nom for Outstanding British Film of the Year). It’s 86% Certified Fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Deadline review here.

“We love this movie. We are proud of it. We believe in Joe Wright, and the cast is amazing,” said UAR distribution boss Erik Lomis.

Previous adaptations include the 1950 Michael Gordon film with José Ferrer; a 1974 Broadway show with Christopher Plummer; Steve Martin as Cyrano in Fred Schepisi’s 1987 Roxanne; and the 1990 Jean-Paul Rappeneau film with Gerard Depardieu. This Cyrano, from MGM in association with Bron Creative, comes from the 2019 Off Broadway musical adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt, also with Dinklage in the title role. Music by Aaron and Bryce Dessner, lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. Schmidt wrote the screenplay. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Guy Heeley are producers.

Cyrano, brilliant of word and sword, is madly in love with close friend, Roxanne, played by Haley Bennett, but too self-conscious about his appearance to speak of it. Roxanne falls for handsome Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), who thrills her with love letters written by a tormented Cyrano. Ben Mendelsohn also stars as one of Roxanne’s suitors.

Playing to its lavish period costumes, music and romantic theme, the pic’s traditional media/digital marketing was enhanced by campaigns targeting drama/romance and arthouse audiences across social, video, audio/podcast and with ticketing partners (including costume displays at select theaters). Sweepstakes tied to ticket sales with AMC and Landmark offered Paris trips and getaways, as did promotions with retailers including 1-800 Flowers.

Also this weekend, Paramount Pictures is giving Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather a 50th anniversary limited re-release on 154 theatres. Exclusively in Dolby Cinema at AMC theaters in the U.S. (and international territories around the world.)

All three films in the trilogy – The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, and Coppola’s recently re-edited version of the final film, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone – have been restored under the direction of Coppola and will be made available on 4K Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time ever on March 22.

The blockbuster stars Marlon Brando as the patriarch of the Corleone family in the first installment of the saga — a dramatic portrait of the Sicilian clan’s rise and near fall from power in America. With Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall.

In a nod to the upcoming Academy Awards, Shorts TV with Magnolia presents the 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films. Live action, animation and documentary shorts will be available in over 350 theaters in 100+ markets including NY and LA, before expanding to over 500 theaters.

Elsewhere in specialty:

Screen Media presents Family Squares, written and directed by Stephanie Laing. Starring Henry Winkler, June Squibb, Ann Down, Margo Martindale, Billy Magnussen, Judy Greer, Casey Wilson. An extended family divided for years comes together during Covid when matriarch, Grandma Mabel (Squibb), dies suddenly. Feuds and resentments play out through FaceTime and Zoom as the family eventually finds its way back together.

Magnet Releasing presents Norwegian disaster thriller The Burning Sea by John Andreas Anderson. Written by Lars Gudmestad, Harald Rosenløw-Eeg. In 1969, the Norway discovered of one of the world’s largest oil fields in the North Sea, launching a prosperous period of offshore drilling. Fifty years later, a crack has opened on the ocean floor — the start of a possible apocalyptic catastrophe.

Altered Innocence presents French comedy drama My Best Part. Nicolas Maury (Call My Agent) directs and stars in this Cannes competition coming-of-age dramedy as Jérémie, a hypersensitive actor grappling with personal loss, a love life in shambles and a faltering career, who turns to his clear-headed mother (Nathalie Baye) for support. Written by Maury, Maud Ameline, Sophie Fillieres.

Big Gold Brick from Samuel Goldwyn Films. A drama/comedy written and directed by Brian Petsos. With  Emory Cohen, Andy Garcia, Megan Fox, Lucy Hale, and Oscar Isaac. The story of fledgling writer Samuel Liston and his experiences with Floyd Deveraux, the enigmatic middle-aged father of two who enlists Samuel to write his biography under bizarre circumstances.

Butter from Blue Fox Entertainment, written/directed  by Paul A. Kaufman. A smart, funny but obese high school junior befriends the prettiest girl in school via social media by pretending to be a jock from another school and plans a wild social media stunt. With Alex Kersting, Mira Sorvino, Mykelti Willliamson, Brian Van Holt, Ravi Patel, Annabeth Gish, McKayley Miller, Jack Griffo, Adain Bradley, Natalie Valerin, Jake Austin Walker, Matthew Gold, Monte Markham and Jessie Rabideau.

Documentary Let Me Be from Greenwich Entertainment follows the Westphal family’s journey.  Autistic 6-year-old boy Kyle is withdrawn and constantly wrapping himself in fabric and blankets. His parent, determined to connect, compassionately join Kyle in his unique behaviors. He eventually becomes a fashion designer, forging connections with friends and family. Directed by Dan Crane and Katie Taber.

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