×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Pope Francis: A Man of His Word’ to Get Nationwide U.S. Release (EXCLUSIVE)

Focus Features is deploying a nationwide U.S. distribution strategy for “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” the Wim Wenders-directed documentary that launched in Cannes on Sunday as a special screening.

The film’s North American release May 18 has been set at roughly 300 screens thanks to a marketing strategy that largely relies on outreach to churches and religious groups. The strategy is similar to the one used by Newmarket Film Group in 2004 for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which grossed $370 million in the U.S.

Wenders, the maker of “Wings of Desire” and documentaries such as “Buena Vista Social Club” and “Pina,” was given unprecedented access to Pope Francis over a two-year period for “A Man of His Word.” The film revolves around a long dialogue with the pontiff, who answers questions about the chief global challenges facing the world today.

“We got this very exclusive time with the pope speaking directly to the cameras,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features’ president of distribution. “As soon as we had the film, we knew there was obviously [going to be] a lot of interest from religious groups. … We felt it was something that needed to go nationwide.”

Bunnell said that she worked on launching Gibson’s “Passion” in 2004 when she was with Loews Cineplex Entertainment and that her marketing approach for the Pope Francis documentary is “very similar.” Focus has been doing outreach in the U.S. for months, “giving access to the movie privately for group sales” and drawing a lot of interest from younger people, she said.

“Cannes is the icing on the cake” for the film in terms of marketing, Bunnell said.

Outside the U.S., Focus is planning to release “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” in Germany on June 14. Other international markets will follow later in the summer.

More Film

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' First Reactions: 'Most Emotional, Most Epic MCU Film'

    The end is finally here. “Avengers: Endgame” had its world premiere Monday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center and reactions on social media from fans, journalists and critics are already pouring in. The reaction has so far been almost universally positive, with several commentors warning fans of the movie’s emotional elements. Brandon Davis wrote [...]

  • Josh Brolin, Kathryn Boyd. Josh Brolin,

    'Avengers: Endgame's' Josh Brolin: Thanos' Butt Is a 'Beautiful, Purple Peach'

    On the eve of “Avengers: Endgame’s” world premiere, everyone’s thoughts have turned to the one crucial detail that could be the difference between life or death for the Avengers: Does Thanos have a butt? “I don’t know what that whole thing is about! I really don’t!” Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos, told Variety‘s Marc Malkin [...]

  • Tessa Thompson'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    'Avengers: Endgame's' Tessa Thompson Says Valkyrie Would Spoon Captain Marvel, Thor

    Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” had no problem addressing speculation about the character’s sexuality at the “Endgame” red carpet premiere Monday. The “Sorry to Bother You” actress explained that she played her Marvel character as bisexual. “In the canon, [Valkyrie] is bisexual. You see her with [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

    Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday. As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents. “Today the Guild delivered a first [...]

  • BRAZILIAN FLAGFRENCH OPEN TENNIS, PARIS, FRANCE

    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy “Marry Me.” Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Lopez and Wilson both [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content