You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Roadside Attractions acquires ‘Biutiful’

Alejandro Gonzalez pic stars Javier Bardem

Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired U.S. distribution rights to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Spanish film and Javier Bardem starrer “Biutiful,” capping a protracted sale process that saw buyers grappling with how to market the difficult drama.

While the film drew mixed reviews when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Bardem’s performance was widely praised, and he won the fest’s top acting award. Pic’s marketing campaign is likely to highlight that performance, as well as Inarritu’s past credits, including “Babel” and “21 Grams.”

Insiders say Roadside will release “Biutiful” in an awards run starting the last week in December.

Deal for domestic distribution was announced by Roadside co-prexy Howard Cohen and Mickey Liddell of Liddell Entertainment. Pact reunites Roadside and Liddell, who partnered last year on comedy documentary “Good Hair.”

” ‘Biutiful’ joins the growing pantheon of tremendous, groundbreaking work by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu,” Cohen said. “It’s a deeply felt film, guaranteed to rock audiences to their core, and that’s due to the amazing reciprocity between filmmaker and actor. Alejandro and Javier are two halves of the same whole.”

Roadside and Liddell were both intrigued by “Biutiful,” and decided to pool their resources.

Based on a script by Inarritu and Argentine-born scribes Armando Bo and Nicolas Giacobone, “Biutiful” tells the story of a Barcelona crook and single father of two small children who

must get his affairs in order when he learns he’s dying. He also has the ability to speak with the dead.

Roadside’s decision to distribute “Biutiful” with Liddell follows the company’s successful marketing and release of another challenging drama, “Winter’s Bone,” which Roadside acquired at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Directed by Debra Granik and toplining Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone” has grossed $5.2 million at the domestic B.O., a strong showing for a pure arthouse title. Lawrence’s breakout performance has landed her several roles, including one in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming “X-Men: First Class.”

“Biutiful” was produced by Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones in association with Focus Features Intl., with participation from Television Española, Televisio de Catalunya, and support from the ICAA Ministerio de Cultura. Focus Intl. repped international rights.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • Australian Outback

    Legend Media Seeks Trio of West Australia-China Co-Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Perth, Australia-based production company Legend Media is preparing a slate of three feature films to be produced with partners in China. The company styles itself as one that recognizes the opportunities for Asian engagement that have fallen to Australia, through geography, trade and culture. The company aims to make use of the bilateral film co-production [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

  • Thomas Golubic GMS Conference

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Film News Roundup: Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South' Bought for Awards Season Release

    In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.” ACQUISITIONS MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered [...]

  • Bad Education

    What 'Bad Education' Taught Us About the Slow Toronto Film Festival Market

    “Bad Education,” a dramedy starring Hugh Jackman as the embezzling superintendent of district of schools in Long Island, N.Y., was set to be this year’s “I, Tonya.” The movie has the same biting tone, shifting between comedy and tragedy. It received strong reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. And like “I, Tonya,” it even [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content