Studio Dealings

Sony Classics Acquires 'Before Midnight'

My most anticipated film of the year has a home

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight

For the life of me I don't understand why Warner Bros. would not acquire Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. With rights to both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, the marketing possibilities are through the roof. For that matter I don't understand why WB wouldn't jump on Steven Soderberg's Side Effects considering the success of Magic Mike. I guess that's one sign of the kind of films the studio isn't interested in.

As for Before Midnight, it went into Sundance one of the most anticipated films and without a distributor. The film stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as Jesse and Celine and picks up nine years after the last installment. Their story began almost two decades ago with Before Sunrise on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early 40's in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.

Well, after being very well received at Sundance, Sony Pictures Classics has stepped up and will bring it to theaters later this year.

I named it my most anticipated film of 2013 and have done everything to avoid any and all reviews. Now my wait continues.

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  • Ian

    It's sad to see what a huge slide WB has taken. Five or six years ago they were probably the best major studio out there; now they only seem interested in 3D comic book movies. It really started with Clash of the Titans which was accompanied with a statement that all their major tentpoles would be in 3D moving forward. Clearly that hasn't happened, but that mindset sure shows what their intentions are.

    • John Debono

      This is what happens after you lose Alan Horn to Disney. If he was still the head, Before Midnight would have had a release date by now.

      • Criterion10

        I wouldn't be so sure about that. There are many sources that claim Alan Horn was very conservative in his decisions, even having problems with films like The Hangover. He even shut down Warner Independent Pictures, which made mostly dark and offbeat films that he didn't care for. Horn was more interested in family fare, which is WB is currently interested in. His influence there still remains.

      • thisisablogDWI

        I think you're forgetting that the first film, Before Sunrise, was in Sony's hands as the Columbia Pictures division distributed Castle Rock's films domestically. It wasn't until Warner Bros. and Turner acquired the distribution rights somewhere in 1998, thus leading them to release Before Sunset through the now defunct Warner Independent division. So in most ways, I'm pretty happy that Sony Classics picked this one up. It's like a reunion of sorts.

  • SmartFilm

    Great, wonder how long it'll take to it theaters though.

  • Gautam

    Going by the SPC's nuanced and subtle campaign for Amour, I feel Before Midnight has landed into just the right hands. Now I am more sure than ever that Sony is going to go for major award season push with a late year release.
    I haven't seen the film obviously, but if the overwhelming response it got in Sundance, is any indication [and not to forget the cult following that Before films have], I feel it's strong contender for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress nomination next year. And with slate of Best Picture increased upto 10, it might very well have a shot at it too.

    Any thoughts, Brad ? Or will you reserve the judgement until you see the film.

  • Danny

    I can't wait for this movie.... No matter which studio releases it.... Part of me really hopes that once it it comes time for it to hit DVD/Blu-ray, that Criterion gets ahold of all three titles and puts out a nice and loaded three movie set.... They did great jobs for Linklaters Slacker and Dazed and Confused discs....

  • Ron Loyola

    Ecstatic about these news! This gives me hope that BEFORE MIDNIGHT will be a serious awards player next season.

    On a related note, SPC also acquired all rights for KILL YOUR DARLINGS.