Sep 28, 2021
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‘Splice’ seeks DVD success after polarizing theatre run

TORONTO — “Splice” was a hit at the Canadian box office, but director Vincenzo Natali feels the harrowing sci-fi film should have done even better and thinks it may find a whole new audience when it’s released on DVD on Tuesday.

“This is a movie that a lot of people will feel more comfortable watching quietly alone at home than they will in a public venue, because there is the sort of sexual component to it,” Natali said recently in a telephone interview from his adopted home of Los Angeles.

“I can think of a lot of examples of movies that have that — that don’t really, in North America, play big theatrically but then have this sort of extended life on DVD.

“Splice” raked in more than $2 million at the Canadian box office — a veritable smash. It also took in a modest $17 million in the United States.

But those numbers were still far less than the Canadian director expected given the slick $25 million production, stellar cast of Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, and studio-backed marketing push.

Natali says Warner Brothers spent roughly $25 million marketing “Splice” and notes that a $17 million haul is relatively paltry south of the border.

“It really should have done double that,” Natali says of the U.S. receipts, just a portion of the film’s worldwide take.

“If it had done double that we would have called it a hit. As it was, I think no one loses money but it doesn’t make it a hit, unfortunately.”

“Splice” — a Canada-France co-production — earned sharply divisive reviews when it landed in theatres with a worst-case-scenario take on genetic testing and grotesque sexual twists.

“This was an unusual movie and it was never really intended to be a mainstream hit,” said Natali, who has a view of the Hollywood sign from his rented house. “I always thought it was going to be perceived as something left-of-centre, and in some respects very transgressive and odd.”

The film focuses on a pair of rock star scientists who secretly develop a human/animal hybrid that quickly evolves into a surprisingly complex and captivating creature.

Polley plays the fiercely ambitious Elsa, while Brody is Elsa’s more cautious partner, Clive. They name their experiment Dren (played by French actress and model Delphine Chaneac) and it’s not long before the curious creature draws out the couple’s innate parental instincts, and later, their darker impulses.

Natali said it was mostly likely one specific scene that kept the film from reaching the broad audience he’d hoped for. He said he knew it would be a controversial plot twist from the beginning, but admits that didn’t stop him from diving into dangerous territory.

“It was, in some respects, the raison d’etre of the whole thing for me, was to have that scene. But what I didn’t expect, I have to admit, was the degree of reaction. If you were at any of the screenings, we got some pretty vocal responses. I mean, people just would go bananas and literally shout at the screen,” said Natali.

“They would yell things at Adrien Brody’s character… they would call him sick and perverted, so it really hit a chord,” he continued, laughing.

“Which it was supposed to do. But I was, I think, a bit optimistic at how open-minded I thought people would be about it. I think there’s a large segment of the audience that just isn’t ready for that or will never be ready for it (or) don’t want it.”

Despite the disappointments, Natali nevertheless described the resulting film as “a home run,” noting it took 10 years to pull together, netted a surprise studio acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival and that he enjoyed complete creative control despite the touchy subject matter.

“Splice” ends with the strong suggestion that another chapter is yet to be told. But Natali said he never intended for there to be a sequel.

“I fully admit it feels like one is being set up, and I knew that at the time, but that was not what I was trying to do. I just felt that that was the right ending for this story and for Sarah’s character because really the film comes full circle,” said Natali, currently working on film adaptations of J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise,” the young readers’ book series “Tunnels,” and William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”

“All of my films are like that — they all end with a question. They all end in kind of an open way and that’s just my way of doing things. I like leaving something for the audience to speculate about at the end of the film and I always like the feeling that the end of one story is the beginning of another but that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to tell that other story.”

That was certainly the case with Natali’s surreal 1997 debut, “Cube.” The $350,000 thriller spawned two follow-up films, but each were made without his involvement.

“I could have been involved with the sequels but I chose not to,” he says. “I really had no desire to tell another story in the cube. I didn’t even know what you could do, except repeat the original, so I declined. But they made two movies.”

“With ‘Splice,’ I could see going on to a Part 2 because I feel like it does feel like there’s the potential for another chapter. But that would only happen if the film were a big success and it wasn’t. At least not yet. Maybe if it becomes truly beloved on DVD.

Source: CTV News

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Headline, Industry News

‘Splice’ seeks DVD success after polarizing theatre run

TORONTO — “Splice” was a hit at the Canadian box office, but director Vincenzo Natali feels the harrowing sci-fi film should have done even better and thinks it may find a whole new audience when it’s released on DVD on Tuesday.

“This is a movie that a lot of people will feel more comfortable watching quietly alone at home than they will in a public venue, because there is the sort of sexual component to it,” Natali said recently in a telephone interview from his adopted home of Los Angeles.

“I can think of a lot of examples of movies that have that — that don’t really, in North America, play big theatrically but then have this sort of extended life on DVD.

“Splice” raked in more than $2 million at the Canadian box office — a veritable smash. It also took in a modest $17 million in the United States.

But those numbers were still far less than the Canadian director expected given the slick $25 million production, stellar cast of Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, and studio-backed marketing push.

Natali says Warner Brothers spent roughly $25 million marketing “Splice” and notes that a $17 million haul is relatively paltry south of the border.

“It really should have done double that,” Natali says of the U.S. receipts, just a portion of the film’s worldwide take.

“If it had done double that we would have called it a hit. As it was, I think no one loses money but it doesn’t make it a hit, unfortunately.”

“Splice” — a Canada-France co-production — earned sharply divisive reviews when it landed in theatres with a worst-case-scenario take on genetic testing and grotesque sexual twists.

“This was an unusual movie and it was never really intended to be a mainstream hit,” said Natali, who has a view of the Hollywood sign from his rented house. “I always thought it was going to be perceived as something left-of-centre, and in some respects very transgressive and odd.”

The film focuses on a pair of rock star scientists who secretly develop a human/animal hybrid that quickly evolves into a surprisingly complex and captivating creature.

Polley plays the fiercely ambitious Elsa, while Brody is Elsa’s more cautious partner, Clive. They name their experiment Dren (played by French actress and model Delphine Chaneac) and it’s not long before the curious creature draws out the couple’s innate parental instincts, and later, their darker impulses.

Natali said it was mostly likely one specific scene that kept the film from reaching the broad audience he’d hoped for. He said he knew it would be a controversial plot twist from the beginning, but admits that didn’t stop him from diving into dangerous territory.

“It was, in some respects, the raison d’etre of the whole thing for me, was to have that scene. But what I didn’t expect, I have to admit, was the degree of reaction. If you were at any of the screenings, we got some pretty vocal responses. I mean, people just would go bananas and literally shout at the screen,” said Natali.

“They would yell things at Adrien Brody’s character… they would call him sick and perverted, so it really hit a chord,” he continued, laughing.

“Which it was supposed to do. But I was, I think, a bit optimistic at how open-minded I thought people would be about it. I think there’s a large segment of the audience that just isn’t ready for that or will never be ready for it (or) don’t want it.”

Despite the disappointments, Natali nevertheless described the resulting film as “a home run,” noting it took 10 years to pull together, netted a surprise studio acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival and that he enjoyed complete creative control despite the touchy subject matter.

“Splice” ends with the strong suggestion that another chapter is yet to be told. But Natali said he never intended for there to be a sequel.

“I fully admit it feels like one is being set up, and I knew that at the time, but that was not what I was trying to do. I just felt that that was the right ending for this story and for Sarah’s character because really the film comes full circle,” said Natali, currently working on film adaptations of J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise,” the young readers’ book series “Tunnels,” and William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”

“All of my films are like that — they all end with a question. They all end in kind of an open way and that’s just my way of doing things. I like leaving something for the audience to speculate about at the end of the film and I always like the feeling that the end of one story is the beginning of another but that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to tell that other story.”

That was certainly the case with Natali’s surreal 1997 debut, “Cube.” The $350,000 thriller spawned two follow-up films, but each were made without his involvement.

“I could have been involved with the sequels but I chose not to,” he says. “I really had no desire to tell another story in the cube. I didn’t even know what you could do, except repeat the original, so I declined. But they made two movies.”

“With ‘Splice,’ I could see going on to a Part 2 because I feel like it does feel like there’s the potential for another chapter. But that would only happen if the film were a big success and it wasn’t. At least not yet. Maybe if it becomes truly beloved on DVD.

Source: CTV News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

‘Splice’ seeks DVD success after polarizing theatre run

TORONTO — “Splice” was a hit at the Canadian box office, but director Vincenzo Natali feels the harrowing sci-fi film should have done even better and thinks it may find a whole new audience when it’s released on DVD on Tuesday.

“This is a movie that a lot of people will feel more comfortable watching quietly alone at home than they will in a public venue, because there is the sort of sexual component to it,” Natali said recently in a telephone interview from his adopted home of Los Angeles.

“I can think of a lot of examples of movies that have that — that don’t really, in North America, play big theatrically but then have this sort of extended life on DVD.

“Splice” raked in more than $2 million at the Canadian box office — a veritable smash. It also took in a modest $17 million in the United States.

But those numbers were still far less than the Canadian director expected given the slick $25 million production, stellar cast of Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, and studio-backed marketing push.

Natali says Warner Brothers spent roughly $25 million marketing “Splice” and notes that a $17 million haul is relatively paltry south of the border.

“It really should have done double that,” Natali says of the U.S. receipts, just a portion of the film’s worldwide take.

“If it had done double that we would have called it a hit. As it was, I think no one loses money but it doesn’t make it a hit, unfortunately.”

“Splice” — a Canada-France co-production — earned sharply divisive reviews when it landed in theatres with a worst-case-scenario take on genetic testing and grotesque sexual twists.

“This was an unusual movie and it was never really intended to be a mainstream hit,” said Natali, who has a view of the Hollywood sign from his rented house. “I always thought it was going to be perceived as something left-of-centre, and in some respects very transgressive and odd.”

The film focuses on a pair of rock star scientists who secretly develop a human/animal hybrid that quickly evolves into a surprisingly complex and captivating creature.

Polley plays the fiercely ambitious Elsa, while Brody is Elsa’s more cautious partner, Clive. They name their experiment Dren (played by French actress and model Delphine Chaneac) and it’s not long before the curious creature draws out the couple’s innate parental instincts, and later, their darker impulses.

Natali said it was mostly likely one specific scene that kept the film from reaching the broad audience he’d hoped for. He said he knew it would be a controversial plot twist from the beginning, but admits that didn’t stop him from diving into dangerous territory.

“It was, in some respects, the raison d’etre of the whole thing for me, was to have that scene. But what I didn’t expect, I have to admit, was the degree of reaction. If you were at any of the screenings, we got some pretty vocal responses. I mean, people just would go bananas and literally shout at the screen,” said Natali.

“They would yell things at Adrien Brody’s character… they would call him sick and perverted, so it really hit a chord,” he continued, laughing.

“Which it was supposed to do. But I was, I think, a bit optimistic at how open-minded I thought people would be about it. I think there’s a large segment of the audience that just isn’t ready for that or will never be ready for it (or) don’t want it.”

Despite the disappointments, Natali nevertheless described the resulting film as “a home run,” noting it took 10 years to pull together, netted a surprise studio acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival and that he enjoyed complete creative control despite the touchy subject matter.

“Splice” ends with the strong suggestion that another chapter is yet to be told. But Natali said he never intended for there to be a sequel.

“I fully admit it feels like one is being set up, and I knew that at the time, but that was not what I was trying to do. I just felt that that was the right ending for this story and for Sarah’s character because really the film comes full circle,” said Natali, currently working on film adaptations of J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise,” the young readers’ book series “Tunnels,” and William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”

“All of my films are like that — they all end with a question. They all end in kind of an open way and that’s just my way of doing things. I like leaving something for the audience to speculate about at the end of the film and I always like the feeling that the end of one story is the beginning of another but that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to tell that other story.”

That was certainly the case with Natali’s surreal 1997 debut, “Cube.” The $350,000 thriller spawned two follow-up films, but each were made without his involvement.

“I could have been involved with the sequels but I chose not to,” he says. “I really had no desire to tell another story in the cube. I didn’t even know what you could do, except repeat the original, so I declined. But they made two movies.”

“With ‘Splice,’ I could see going on to a Part 2 because I feel like it does feel like there’s the potential for another chapter. But that would only happen if the film were a big success and it wasn’t. At least not yet. Maybe if it becomes truly beloved on DVD.

Source: CTV News

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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