Both pictures sparked fierce bidding when they debuted at the Park City gathering this year, but “Dope,” which centers on a group of inner-city youths, will be in more theaters as it premieres in wide release. Fox Searchlight beat out the likes of the Weinstein Co., CBS Films and Focus Features for rights to “Me and Earl.”
“Me and Earl” will also debut on the same day as “Jurassic World.” Fox Searchlight had previously slated the film to bow on July 1, the same day as “Terminator: Genisys” and “Magic Mike XXL.”
“Me and Earl” centers on a high school student (Thomas Mann) who befriends a girl in his class with cancer (Olivia Cooke). Despite its heavy subject matter, the film is frequently funny and contains a lot of winks at cinephiles. Mann’s character is an aspiring director who crafts parodies of films like “Apocalypse Now” and “Peeping Tom” with his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) on a shoestring budget.
In an enthusiastic review, Variety’s Peter Debruge suggested the film had commercial appeal similar to that of “The Fault in Our Stars,” writing that “Me and Earl” is “destined not only to connect with young audiences in a big way, but also to endure as a touchstone for its generation.”