Focus Features has announced that Spike Lee‘s Black Klansman, which may or may not play the Cannes Film Festival, will open on 8.10.18. Which suggests that Focus is going for the money rather than thinking about an award-season run. They’re probably thinking about the early August openings The Help (8.10.11) and Straight Outta Compton (8.14.15) having reaped $216 and $201 million, respectively.
On the other hand Annapurna’s 7.28.17 release of Kathryn Bigelow‘s Detroit didn’t work out as well.
Three interpretations: (a) Black Klansman is a good movie-movie and not an award-season thing, and that’s cool — nothing wrong with being a solid people-level thing; (b) Black Klansman is an award-season thing but Focus is looking to ignore the traditional Venice-Telluride-Toronto scheme but score nominations regardless; or (c) Focus would rather go for the late-summer revenue potential than endure the award-season gauntlet, which is another way of saying that (a) is the basic reality.
Posted on 4.5: “Set in the late ’70s, pic isn’t literally about a black guy joining the Klan but an undercover investigation of the Klan by Stallworth when he was ‘the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department.’
“After initial correspondence with the Klan, Stallworth received a call in which he was asked if he wants to ‘join our cause.’ According to an Amazon summary, ‘Ron answers the caller’s question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the ‘white’ Ron Stallworth.’
“In Lee’s film Stallworth is played by John David Washington. The ‘Chuck’ character is apparently called “Flip,” and is played by Adam Driver.”
Black Klansman is produced by Lee, Shaun Redick, Jason Blum for Blumhouse, Jordan Peele for Monkeypaw, Sean McKittrick and Raymond Mansfield for QC Entertainment.