"Crash" Producer's Magic Turns "Illusionist" Into Gold

by | September 18, 2006 | Comments

Thanks to Bob Yari‘s crafty marketing, the self-released indie pic has transformed from a middling Sundance selection to a profit-turning surprise success.

The industry analysts over at The Hollywood Reporter examine the "Illusionist" miracle – or, how after distribution deals fell through after Sundance, the Edward NortonPaul Giamatti period piece managed to turn a 51-theater opening weekend into a platform expansion that has earned over $23 million to date.

Ed Norton and Jessica Biel make $23 million worth of magic in "The Illusionist"

THR gives a detailed account of Yari’s various strategies to distribute the Neil Burger through his own Yari Film Group once an offer from Universal Pictures fell apart, including trailer-swapping with Focus Features’ "Scoop," launching a large-scale promotional campaign with marketing materials, and, significantly, making sure to release the pic (albeit on a very limited scale) months before Buena Vista’s rival 20th century magician flick, "The Prestige," hit theaters (the Christian BaleHugh Jackman flick is slated for October 20).

Click here for the full article from The Hollywood Reporter.