Netflix has secured all rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, to comedy duo Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek’s The Breaker Upperers. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi was an executive producer on the project, having previously worked with directors Sami and van Beek when they acted in his features What We Do In The Shadows and Eagle vs Shark. Netflix plan to release in 2019.
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The Breaker Upperers is enjoying huge local success, and continues it’s rave review streak after a stellar run at SXSW. NZ Herald’s Francesca Rudkin calling it “laugh out loud funny” and the “perfect picker upperer.”
"THE PERFECT PICKER UPPERER..."
The film crossed the million dollar mark at the New Zealand box office after just two weeks, and grossed more in it’s first four days than ‘Bridesmaids.’ It continues to screen in theatres across the country after more than a month of release, with movie goers tweeting and hash tagging up a storm.
Festival darlings Jackie Van Beek and Madeleine Sami continue their post-SXSW festival buzz with Sydney Film Festival’s opening night gala featuring The Breaker Upperers. The film is released in Australia in late July.
Principal photography on JOJO RABBIT has begun in and around Prague, Czech Republic. The film is written and directed by Taika Waititi (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, THOR: RAGNAROK) and stars Golden Globe® nominated Scarlett Johansson (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, LOST IN TRANSLATION), Academy Award® winner Sam Rockwell (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS), Rebel Wilson (PITCH PERFECT, BRIDESMAIDS), Thomasin McKenzie (THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, LEAVE NO TRACE), and introducing Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. The film’s producers are Waititi, Carthew Neal (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE) and Chelsea Winstanley (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS) with Kevan Van Thompson (THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE) serving as executive producer.
“I’m stoked to begin shooting my anti-war satire. We’ve assembled an incredible cast and I couldn’t be more excited to finally ridicule Nazis and their beliefs. This film is going to piss off a lot of racists and that makes me very happy,” said Waititi.
In JOJO RABBIT, writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to a World War II satire. The story follows an awkward young German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) raised by a single mother (Scarlett Johansson), and whose only ally is his imaginary friend Hitler (Waititi). His naïve patriotism is tested when he meets a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) who upends his world views, forcing him to face his biggest fears.
Joining Waititi on the film is director of photography Mihai Malaimare Jr. (THE MASTER), production designer Ra Vincent (THOR: RAGNAROK), editorTom Eagles (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), costume designer Mayes Rubeo (THOR: RAGNAROK) and make-up and hair designer Dannelle Satherley (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE).
The third season of Aroha Bridge has begun production and is set to air on Maori Television in 2019.
As an antidote to Valentine’s Day, here is an exclusive first look at the upcoming sales title premiering at SXSW, from the teams behind “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”, “Boy,” and “What We Do In the Shadows” - THE BREAKER UPPERERS
Fifteen years ago, Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie van Beek) discovered they were being two-timed by the same man. Bitter and cynical they became fast friends and formed The Breaker Upperers, a small-time business breaking up couples for cash. Now they’re in their late-thirties and business is booming. They’re a platonic, codependent couple who keep their cynicism alive by not getting emotionally involved with anybody else. But when they run into an old victim, Mel develops a conscience and their friendship is truly put to the test.
THE BREAKER UPPERERS bring the comedy band back together! Written, directed by and starring Jackie van Beek (What We Do In the Shadows) and Madeleine Sami, the film brings back New Zealand favorites James Rolleston (Boy) and Rima Te Wiata, Cohen Holloway, Oscar Kightley (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), and from across the ditch, Australian comedian Celia Pacquola (Rosehaven).
Executive produced by Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok), the film is produced by Carthew Neal (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Tickled), Ainsley Gardiner (Boy, Eagle v Shark) and Georgina Conder (Free in Deed, Consent) under the Piki and Miss Conception Films banner. THE BREAKER UPPERERS was made in association with the New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Productions and Department of Post.
The film will be co-distributed in New Zealand by Madman NZ and Piki Films and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. Emily Gotto and Carthew Neal of Piki Films are handling sales for the rest of the world.
FAFSWAGVOGUE.COM is an interactive documentary taking you into the LGBTQ vogue dance scene in the world’s biggest Pacific city. Choose striking characters and battle locations to the become the judge in a unique battle, then, choose a winner to unlock documentaries revealing the personal lives of five young Performers.
Our digital experience uses a gaming methodology; drawing the audience into the story through intuitive interactions, while learning about vogue culture. These interactive elements allow users to control aspects of the experience, involving them in the story and allowing them to play an active role throughout. Through interactivity, our audience naturally becomes more engaged with the characters and will spend more time learning about them. Directed by Tanu Gago. Produced by Morgan Waru & Carthew Neal. Interactive by RESN
Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami’s comical feature film The Breaker Upperers has been announced today to receive its world premiere at the prestigious SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.
A hilarious comedy about two best friends who run a business breaking-up couples for cash, The Breaker Upperers was written, directed and stars ‘triple threats’ Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami as well as the welcome return of Boy and Pork Pie star James Rolleston to the big screen. Carthew Neal (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Tickled), Ainsley Gardiner (Boy, Eagle v Shark) and Georgina Conder (Free in Deed, Consent) have produced the film under the Piki and Miss Conception Films banner with Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnorok) an executive producer. The film will premiere at the festival in March before opening in New Zealand theatres on May 3rd.
Jackie van Beek commented, “I’m so excited to be premiering our new comedy at SXSW amongst a great line-up of other films. I’m an avid lover of country music, so premiering in Austin, Texas is a double whammy for me.”
Madeleine Sami continued, “Jackie and I set out to make a LOL film about two women who make a lot of mischief. I’m hoping we can make a lot of mischief in Austin too!”
With buzz around the film already building, The Breaker Upperers is set to be the smash hit Kiwi film of the year. Today’s announcement also sees the release of the films first still showing van Beek, Sami and Rolleston with newcomer Ana Scotney in action.
The Breaker Upperers was made by Piki Films and Miss Conception Films in association with the New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Productions Limited and Department of Post Limited. The film will be co-distributed in New Zealand by Madman NZ Limited and Piki Films Limited and in Australia by Madman Entertainment Pty Limited.
Taika Waititi's “Thor: Ragnarok” has topped the $650 million milestone in worldwide grosses in less than three weeks.
The weekend saw the third Thor movie dominate the worldwide moviegoing business for a second consecutive weekend. It hit $75.9 million internationally to total $438.5 million with a take of $56.6 million domestically for a total of $211.6 million.
Globally, “Thor: Ragnarok” has already topped the lifetime totals of both 2011’s “Thor” ($449 million) and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World” ($644 million). The international total has also eclipsed the earlier 2017 releases of Fox’s “Logan” at $391 million and Warner’ Bros.’ “Wonder Woman” at $409 million, to place it as the ninth biggest release of 2017 internationally.
Disney said Sunday that “Thor: Ragnarok” is tracking 12% ahead of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and +21% ahead of “Doctor Strange” at the same point of its release.
Aroha Bridge will begin production with Jessica Hansell, Morgan Waru and Simon Ward at the helm. The season is funded by New Zealand on Air for 18 x 8min episodes to screen on Maori Television in 2018.
THE BREAKER UPPERERS is written and will be directed by van Beek and Sami who will also play the lead roles of Jen and Mel, a pair of cynical misfits who earn a living by breaking up unhappy couples for cash. Australian comedian Celia Pacquola joins the cast along with Kiwi favourites including Rima Te Wiata, Cohen Holloway and Nic Sampson. This feature also marks the return to the big screen of actor James Rolleston who joins the cast playing a young man desperately in need of THE BREAKER UPPERERS services to break up with his overbearing girlfriend Sepa (played by newcomer Ana Scotney).
Sami and van Beek are looking forward to shooting the feature which at its core tells the story of two woman working out life’s many twists and turns and choosing their own path rather than one prescribed to them.
“When Jackie came to me with this premise I loved it,” says Sami. “After years of workshops, raising kids (Jackie not me), maintaining long distance relationships (me not Jackie) and hours of writing in cafes all over Auckland it's exciting to have the opportunity to bring this story to life with the help of our talented cast and crew.”
“After being friends for so long, Madeleine and I thought it might be time to convince the world to let us co-write, co-direct and co-star in our own movie. And now we have an amazing team of people supporting us to do just that!” adds van Beek. “Most of our key cast and crew are women which feels exciting. And many of our heads of department are job sharing in order to fulfill their filmmaking ambitions whilst also raising families. If this film helps to establish this model as a popular way of working I'll be extremely happy.”
THE BREAKER UPPERERS will be produced by Carthew Neal (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Tickled), Ainsley Gardner (Boy, Eagle v Shark) and Georgina Conder (Freed in Deed, Consent) under the Piki and Miss Conception Films banner. Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is acting as executive producer.
“I’m so happy that our second Piki film is going into production,” says Waititi. “Madeleine and Jackie are two of the smartest and funniest people I know and I can’t wait to see what they do with this hilarious script. Women are hugely under represented in the film industry so I’m very proud that two of our best comedians, who just happen to be women, are getting to make their movie. I’m also particularly over the moon that we get to see James Rolleston in front of the camera again.”
THE BREAKER UPPERERS will be made with investment by The New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Productions and Department of Post. The film will be distributed in New Zealand by Madman Entertainment and Piki and in Australia by Madman Entertainment in 2018.
Empire Magazine names Hunt for the Wilderpeople #1 film of 2016! Read the article here.
The film smashed it at the UK & US box office and still plays on in theatres now. Sam and Julian attended the UK launch and caused their usual trouble. Watch them being hilarious on the ONE show here. Julian also travelled to the US & AUE for its launch.
The film continues to play in festivals around the world. Recently winning at a Bali festival and a German festival selling out six sessions in one night.
The film is available in many countries now on this link.
Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople script won the New Zealand Writer's Guild SWANZ award for best feature.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople has been a huge success. Here are some highlights
- It is New Zealand’s #1 NZ film of all time and #6 film at the NZ box office ever!!!! And still showing on over 50 screens in week 15. Wild Pork and Watercress has also been in the #1 adult fiction charts for many weeks. The soundtrack also hit the charts in week 1.
- Wilderpeople holds the record for the highest grossing NZ film at the Australian box office, and it’s still showing on 142 screens. Australian Film Critic John MacDonald even said he wished he was a kiwi when watching the film, which is pretty skux!
- Just this week HFTW placed among the top 100 films of all time on the Rotten Tomatoes website, with a 100% Fresh rating with over 100 reviews, joining the likes of Citizen Kane, the Wizard of Oz and The Terminator (the one before she could do chin ups)!
- The film has been winning Audience Awards internationally at The Independent Film Festival of Boston, The Montclair Film Festival, The San Francisco International Film Festival, The Wisconsin Film Festival.
- The film was New York Times and LA Times Critic's Pick.
- The film won Audience Award at Edinburgh Film Festival (previous winners include Muriel’s Wedding, The Full Monty and Amelie). The film opens in the UK on the 16th of September.
- The rest of the world will be released by Sony, who are working on the festival release at the moment.
- The New Zealand DVD/VOD release is 26th September when many other countries will also have it available on DVD and VOD.
Aroha Bridge, the six part web series created by writer and musician Coco Solid (aka Piki writer Jessica Hansell) has been released online to celebrate the launch of Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, Maori Language Week.
Aroha Bridge is an six part web series following animated characters Kowhai and Monty Hook as they navigate the complex but hilarious circumstances they find themselves in growing up in the bicultural, eclectic Aroha Bridge. The series is voiced by a talented multi-racial (and hilarious cast) including Madeleine Sami, Frankie Stevens, Matai Smith (Rongowhakaata, Ngai Taamanuhiri and Ngāti Kahungunu), Scotty Cotter (Tainui), Jessica Hansell (Ngāpui) & Rizván Tu’itahi. Smith's character of 'Uncle Noogy' is set to be a crowd favourite with him speaking solely in Te Reo across the season.
All six episodes are available now to view online at arohabridge.com or via the Aroha Bridge social media. Aroha Bridge was funded by NZ On Air.
Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople has cemented its place in the record books overtaking the 2010 Kiwi classic BOY (which Waititi also directed) to become the largest grossing local film at the New Zealand Box office.
Already holding the record for the highest opening weekend for a local film ($1,263,035 - March 31st – April 3rd 2106) and the highest single grossing day for a local film ($528,896 – Saturday April 2nd 2016), this result is the icing on the cake for Waititi.
"I make movies for New Zealanders so it’s humbling and validating to know my work has an audience,” says Waititi. It’s proof that we still have relevant and entertaining stories to tell and that kiwis believe in the worth of those stories. It fills me with pride and joy to have two films, Māori films, in the top box office positions, and I thank everyone who helped us get to this place in time.“
“However this is the happiest and saddest day of my career,” continues Waititi. Not only has Wilderpeople become the highest grossing film of all time, but BOY has just lost its place as highest grossing film of all time. I both hate and love this achievement simultaneously. To all the people who worked so hard on Wilderpeople, congratulations! To all the people who worked so hard on BOY, I’m sorry. To the people of New Zealand… THANK YOU!!!"
Producers Carthew Neal and Leanne Saunders are thrilled the spirit of the film has resonated so well in the hearts of the nation.
"We have always felt the spirit of Barry Crump while making this film - In Taika's confident, anarchic style and the cast and crews 'give it a whirl' attitude. Its great the NZ audience have embraced this too."
With demand still high, Hunt for the Wilderpeople continues to play strong sessions in cinemas nationwide. Mark Chamberlain, Theatrical Sales Manager at Madman Entertainment says it’s a testament to the collaboration with cinema operators around the country.
“We’re so proud to have been involved in bringing this now iconic film to New Zealanders. We wish to acknowledge and sincerely thank all the cinema owners and operators around the country who collaborated with us on this journey”.
The film is set for theatrical release in Australia on May 26th and then in the US on June 24th. The film will also be released globally thanks to international distribution deals announced today at the Cannes Film Festival.
Dave Gibson, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission is thrilled of the success of the tile at home and is excited about its next chapter on the world stage.
"It's great that New Zealander's love this film and have turned up in droves to see it. And now we have the added bonus of worldwide audiences getting to see something uniquely Kiwi."
Written and directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders, Matt Noonan and Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Inspired by Barry Crump’s novel, Wild Pork and Watercress, the film recounts the story of misfit kid Ricky Baker who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive in this heartwarming adventure comedy.
KEY FACTS AND FIGURES:
Hunt for the Wilderpeople current NZ Box Office (As at close of trading Sunday 15th May 2016): $9,650,074
Number of weeks at the NZ Cinema: 7 (and counting)
Number of weeks in cinemas as the number one film: 3
Estimated number of tickets sold: 650,000
BOY final NZ Box Office: $9.322 M (26 Weeks in NZ Theatres)
The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has hired Leanne Saunders as its new head of production and development.
Saunders arrives with 15 years’ experience in film and television production and will start in late May, replacing Lisa Chatfield who recently left the NZFC for a role at local production outfit Pukeko Pictures.
Saunders’ feature film credits include The Weight Of Elephants, Born To Dance, The Devil’s Rock, Christmas and Desert. Most recently she co-produced Hunt For The Wilderpeople with Piki Films co-founders Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi.
NZFC chief executive Dave Gibson said: “Leanne is one of New Zealand’s most experienced film producers and I am delighted she has accepted this key role at the NZFC.
“Her regular attendance at international festivals and markets, combined with her extensive development and production experience, makes her an ideal addition to the NZFC team.”
Taika Waititi’s adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople has broken New Zealand box office records by opening with largest opening weekend ever for a New Zealand film with a box office take of $1,300,000 NZD.
We’ve bet BOY’s opening weekend box office which made me kind of sad. But then I got over it really quick and now I’m stoked!” says director Taika Waititi. “There’s nothing like seeing a film the way it was meant to be seen; on a giant screen with other people and we couldn’t be more proud and happy that kiwis are heading along and all our hard work is being appreciated. Thank you New Zealand!
Alongside breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend (Previously held by Lee Tamahori’s What Became of the Broken Hearted), the film has also taken the record for the single highest grossing day for a NZ film with the film taking over $528,000 on Saturday April 2nd.
“We’ve had reports of cinemas sold out across the country, theatres full of applause and people seeing the film three or fours times already,” says co-distributors from Piki Films, Carthew Neal and Leanne Saunders. “We are blown away by this level of support and thank everyone for coming out on the weekend. This film is being seen in the way it was intended - on the big screen with whanau and friends.”
Mark Chamberlain, Theatrical Sales Manager at Madman Entertainment NZ is humbled by the support that New Zealand has shown to the picture.
“It has been so humbling to see how everyone in NZ has embraced the film all the way from Kaitaia to Invercargill. With the way the film is tracking its already set to be a kiwi classic”
Head of the NZ Film Commission Dave Gibson was quick to send his congratulations to Taika and the Wilderpeople Team.
“Congratulations to the Wilderpeople team for a great opening weekend. We’re seeing groups of people of all ages -sharing the experience and coming out for this film. It’s good for everyone, especially the film industry.”