Yuma faces off against Shoot ‘Em Up

Maple's western starring Russell Crowe takes on Alliance actioner among wide releases, while Anchor Bay debuts old-school horror Hatchet on 12 screens

Alliance Films and Maple Pictures are looking to draw out action-hungry moviegoers Friday with their latest offerings, including the Toronto-shot actioner Shoot ‘Em Up, starring Clive Owen, and the western 3:10 to Yuma, from director James Mangold. (Alliance Films is the new moniker for the former Alliance Atlantis distribution arm.)

Shoot ‘Em Up, distributed by New Line Cinema in the U.S., will bow on 235 screens across Canada. Alliance VP of theatrical sales Rob McKenzie says his company is not concerned about opening the film in the midst of the Toronto International Film Festival.

‘There’s a select, smaller group of people going to TIFF. It could be slightly softer in the downtown core, but on a wide film like this, you don’t normally notice any difference,’ says McKenzie.

Meanwhile, Maple will open Yuma, a remake of the 1957 western, on 205 screens. Christian Bale stars as a struggling rancher tasked with escorting an outlaw, played by Russell Crowe, to an Arizona town to stand trial.

Meanwhile, Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada is releasing the slasher movie Hatchet, from second-time director Adam Green, on 12 screens in cities including Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. The film won the Audience Choice award at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

Anchor Bay marketing manager Susan Curran tells Playback Daily there’s still an appetite for old-school American horror in the tradition of Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

‘I think people are tired of torture porn… tired of seeing people hurt themselves and it being so personal. Hatchet is very graphic, but almost in a cartoonish way… there’s no smoking, drinking, or sex,’ she says.

There’s no word on whether the film will expand next week, but Curran says there will be a follow-up release around Halloween, with plans on doing four-night runs at select theaters in university towns including London and Halifax.

Also opening Friday is the comedy The Brothers Solomon from Columbia Pictures, while Christal Films will release France’s Roman de gare in Quebec on 10 screens in cities including Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke and Gatineau.

Coming up, Alliance will release the drama The Hunting Party, starring Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, on Sept. 14.