At night in downtown Austin, the Paramount theater blade lights the storefronts between 7th and 8th on Congress Avenue, the street that leads north to the red granite state capitol and south to the Colorado River. The blade, erected in 1930, when the theater was still owned and operated by Paramount studios and ran only that studio’s films, simply spells the name of the theater in incandescent bulbs, and dims each letter in vertical succession in an endless loop—an animation that, when compared to the intricate animations one can see on an LED display today, might be characterized as authentic or quaint, depending on your outlook. The building, painted dark red with white wood shutters on the second story, looks like it might stand in an old-west movie, or reenactment town, not in the heart of one of America’s booming tech hubs. The one-screen theater claims to screen up to 100 films a year, the screenings are never more pivotal than the one week out of the year when Paramount and Stateside, it’s next-door sister theater, become the center of the indie film universe for SXSW Conference (formerly just SXSW, without the ‘conference,’ still known locally as just “South by”).
These are just two of the thirteen screens across seven venues the festival employs to screen its films. The screens are relatively close, though spread across both sides of the Colorado, and someone could reach all the theaters on the festival run shuttles in just 20 minutes. No one ever would though, as a film is almost never running in a festival uncontested. In just nine days, SXSW Films screens over 130 films. If each lasted 100 minutes, a person could not possibly watch every film screened, even if they did nothing but watch 24 hours a day for nine days (they’d need about four extra hours). The scheduling of the festival further compounds the cinema overload, as SXSW screened the bulk of this year’s films by day 7 (Thursday). All this is just to say that an attendee is forced to make viewing choices, and, as I remarked to a man I met from the UK in line to see a film as we traded festival recommendations, two people could see films all day, all week long, and not share one to talk about.
The festival runs several programs to categorize the films. There is, for example, the Narrative Feature Competition, Midnighters, a Shorts Program, Headliners, and more. Though in no way an official festival organizational structure, but it seems certainly an unofficial one, the big, more mainline films get their debuts at either Paramount or Stateside, and move out to the boondocks across the river on their successive screenings. The downtown theaters are undeniably the focal point of the festival, especially Paramount. During the meat of the film festival, those first five or six film excessed days, Paramount hosts the Headliners, and they were about as Hollywood as you could get at SXSW.
Much less glamorous than the two theater fronts, with their old-style marquees, is where the line starts every evening to get into the screenings. Giddy festival attendees line up for films as early as two to three hours before the screenings, around the corner on 8th Street, between Congress and Brazos, just east of the back alleys to the venues themselves, sandwiched by nearly-modern looking office buildings and a Chipotle, hoping to get a good spot in the 1,100-seat theater. Not all the films draw this kind of fanfare. For many, lining up about 45-minutes before will secure you a seat. For the Headliners, though, the bigger budget debuts of the festival, all of which had an established director and at least one Hollywood A-lister attached to it, two to three hours was par for course.
On opening night of the festival, Terrence Malick’s newest film, Song to Song, premiered. Malick, an Austin local, filmed much of Song to Song in Austin. Malick is still a pretty big name in the indie film community, and Song to Song was bound to draw a heavy crowd, a mix of indie devotees and Austin locals, with a press snippet like this: “In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples… chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.” Now, add the film’s principle cast, Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, and Cate Blanchett, and you have yourself a major debut.
There’s this story I tell when someone brings up the paparazzi. I worked in Spain over the summer for an English newspaper, in the expat enclaves along the Costa del Sol. One of the ritzier towns on the Costa, Marbella, attracts English playboys and Russian millionaires to its high-class resorts and restaurants. One weekend this summer, one of its premiere resorts attracted Eva Longoria for a charity gala. The paper got press passes to the red carpet, and my coworker and I showed up to take photos of the stars. I’ve heard the characterization before that the paparazzi treats celebrities like animals. In my limited experience, I’d say the opposite is true. Far from being the human overlords laughing at the dancing pets in the zoo, the mass of men (almost all the photographers were men) crowded at the edge of the red carpet hollering like monkeys at the passing stars; one in particular I’ll remember forever, a hefty man who’d shout ‘guapisima’ (Spanish for ‘pretty woman,’ diminutive) in a voice that was all nose. I don’t see how the photographed could do anything on the inside but chuckle.
And so it was as the SXSW volunteers rushed us riff raff, who’d only waited three hours on the street to see the film, past the red carpet in front of the Paramount, as those same bright lights and nasally calls-to-cue photographed Gosling and Fassbender and Mara. This was not quite the indie scene I was thinking of, filled with established celebrities on the red carpet, when I flew to Austin for SXSW. Admittedly, and as pretentious as this is to say, I got some comic relief from the whole red-carpet scene when the actors took the stage before the screening to answer some questions about what it’s like to work with Terrence Malick (consensus: it’s unlike anything else). The relief didn’t come from the prestige or the stunning good looks, but from the girl sitting next to me, whose phone, I’m embarrassed to admit, I peaked at as we waited. She was looking up “sound to sound.” When that yielded no results, “sound to sound ryan gosling.” She didn’t know the name of the film. However, she did know to Facebook live the event, replete with yelps of star-struck surprise, as Gosling walked on stage.
What followed was two maddening hours and one of the least ‘Hollywood’ films I’ve seen in years, though one did not entail the other. Malick is an acquired taste, one which I’ve yet to acquire, but this was certainly stretching the limits of an audience’s collective patience. Don’t get me wrong, a Malick film will never be bad in the way an X-Men or Transformers movie will be bad. It will never be an assault on your intelligence, with dialogue blended together from ads and clichés with an entirely computer generated image on the screen. Malick aspired to tell a contemporary love story, one that is fractured and scandalous. Unfortunately, an unconscionable amount of vapidity got thrown into the mix as well, and we’re left never caring much at all about who ends up with whom, just as long as it ends. As refreshing as it was to see a movie that fails not out of laziness, but out of artistic overreach, it was still not as refreshing as seeing a good movie, and Song to Song’s box office shows accordingly. But Song to Song’s quick flop also shows the influence a festival premiere has on an indie film. Brueggemann, in the piece cited above, attributes the failure to “[d]eclining interest in Malick and most importantly mixed to negative reviews,” despite the film’s star-studded cast.
The main purpose of the Headliners, it seemed, was to draw crowds to the festival. The Headliner slate included, among others, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, starring Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Ansel Elgort; David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, and John Goodman; and James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, starring Franco, his brother Dave, Seth Rogen, and Allison Brie. All these films already had distribution deals or distributors before they debuted at South by. Some of them, Baby Driver, for instance, even had a Big Six studio attached to the project (Sony, in this case) and could have a big opening weekend when they release nationwide. South by was a way to generate (in the ideal world) buzz and positive press for the film. However, for many of the feature films that debuted at SXSW, the festival offered a platform to get seen by distributors, to get distributed, and, ideally, to get a theater run, even if only as a limited release.
A custom animation played at the head of every SXSW film. All the animations, animated and designed by Matt Reynolds and colored by either Maureen Kuo or Elijah Ocan feature zany creatures from an orange and purple universe participating in some part of the film production process, all to the accompaniment of something like a cartoon theme song, sound design by Daniel Eaton. There were three bumpers in total, and in the one whose presence seemed to dominate the Headliner program, purple creatures connect to form a film reel. The reel is capped, then sent off to ‘SXSW,’ in letters that take up the whole screen. However, the bumper that pervaded the Narrative Feature Competition program had a different ethos. Another group of purple creatures stand in their purple caps and gowns in front of a cheering crowd. They’re graduating film school. No sooner than the ‘star’ of the sequence picks up its diploma he is whisked away by some large, looming hand. The creature takes his place in the film production process: as a leg in a big-time director’s chair, of whom we only see the backside. Our graduate sees the director’s megaphone. It grasps at it, but the megaphone is out of reach. The creature has a brilliant idea: “SXSW,” in letters that take up the whole screen. Many of the films in the narrative competition were their directors’ first feature. The idea behind both the competition and the animation that accompanies it is that this is the route to get out from under someone, to make something truly your own and to get your name out there.
The first film I saw as part of the 2017 Narrative Feature Competition was Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund’s La Barracuda. Another film set and produced in Austin, La Barracuda is seven-eighths family drama, one-eighth thriller. I’d picked up an express pass for the film the day before (unnecessary: lesson learned), so I couldn’t tell you exactly how long the line was at the Stateside for the one o’clock matinee, but, like I said, I’m sure 45 minutes would’ve worked just fine. It was part of a two day stretch of rain, and the festival attendees huddled under awnings where they could to get out of the rain. There was none of the hoopla. There was a red carpet inside the lobby of the theater, but it was a red carpet in-name-only, cordoned off by nothing more than a couple of red stanchions. There were no star-struck screams as the actors of the film walked into the theater to take their seats. Instead, two men sitting next to me shouted when they we saw their friend, “Luis Bordanado is my hero.” Luis, who plays Raul, one of the big supporting roles in the film, looked around to see who it was. The guys were waving at him, and he smiled and waved back. A far cry from Beatlemania the night before.
Janet Pierson introduced the film, before introducing the directors, as part of the larger competition. She said it was hard to levy a unifying description to the films, and that, when looking at all the films that apply, SXSW doesn’t look for a single thing, rather, she said the films are “good to be looked at together.” She wasn’t kidding about the films’ lack of a unifying description. The films featured in the narrative competition were so widely varied, I do not believe a single consumer of cinema would have ever seen or heard of all of them unless they were grouped together. There were comedies—Laura Terruso’s Fits and Starts, or Jason Headley’s A Bad Idea Gone Wrong; there were issue movies—Natalie Leite’s MFA and Jessica M. Thompson’s The Light of the Moon taking two wildly different perspectives on the effects of rape on women; and there was the borderline experimental—Rob Mockler’s Like Me, the most visually visceral and daring movie of the program, exploring the peculiarities and horrors of the clash between internet life and the ‘real’ world. Across the films, there were individual missteps, false notes, and outright failures. These were, after all, first features for the most part, and the writers, directors, and writer-directors are still searching for their voices and aesthetics. As with any program of ten films, some will shine brighter than others, while some will make audiences want to pull out their hair. But insofar as the program pulled together these disparate cinematic strands, brought this amalgam of stories into the same room and managed to let them have a coherent conversation, the competition was a resounding success.
All the narrative competition features debuted at Stateside early in the week, and, in the premieres I attended, many of the lead actors and a couple of producers were in the audience and fielded questions after the screening. Each film had three slotted screenings during the festival, with a couple of the films getting ‘Buzz Screenings,’ which the festival says “show the films that have everyone talking.” On subsequent screenings, the film moved out to the Alamo Lamar, part of the Alamo Drafthouse chain of for-profit, indie-tilted theaters. It was less likely that an actor would show up for a second screening, but a few producers might stick around. However, the most consistent presence was the director. From premiere to final screening, the directors of the narrative competition features were on-hand to introduce their films and stayed after the show to field questions (and praise) from the audience. As goofy as it sounds, it was both inspiring and, for lack of a better word, cool to see the driving mind behind the film you just watched stand beneath the screen. They shared their project with us, and their pride, and seemed genuinely excited that we’d have any questions at all about their film.
Jason Headley used to work in the mailroom at an ad agency in San Francisco. Eventually, he became a creative director at the same company. Now, Headley works as a freelance ad director, which lets him pay the bills, but gives him the freedom to take time off when necessary to pursue his passion: filmmaking. His work in advertising has given him time behind a camera, a skill he’s used often in making eight short films. After writing something like eight to ten feature scripts, Headley decided it was finally time to make his first feature. That feature, A Bad Idea Gone Wrong, premiered this year’s SXSW in the Narrative Feature Competition category. I asked him about what it was like to finally make the jump from short to feature films.
I was trying to get to do feature films for a while. I was writing scripts, and trying to get better at it, and trying to figure out my voice, and all that type of stuff. I’d written some scripts that I’d really liked, and I was doing these shorts just to practice and work with different people and get better, you know? Just by doing things, you get better. Finally, I got tired of not making a feature film, and I wrote this script, very much engineered it to be made, to have as few moving parts as possible, to be very production friendly, budget friendly, but also using all the craft—the story craft—that I’d been working on to tell a satisfying story with real characters and real conflict that goes to satisfying, meaningful ending. That was my goal.
A Bad Idea Gone Wrong tells the story of two friends’, Marlon (Matt Jones) and Leo (Will Rogers), attempted burglary of the latter’s ex-fiancé, and the friendship they form with Darcy (Eleanore Pienta), the unexpected house guest, after the amateur thieves trap themselves inside the house. Headley understated it when he said that he tried to make it production friendly. Six actors are listed as the film’s principal cast in the SXSW Film pamphlet (the three above plus Jonny Mars, Sam Edison, and Jennymarie Jemison), but that’s the entire cast. Shot in Dallas in less than a month and at, with what appears to be, only three locations (the burgled house, a diner, and a pizza shop), the budget, Headley told me, was “under a $1 million,” a very low number in the cinema universe, even by indie standards.
The film is, on the whole, a light and witty trip, and the audience for the world premiere rollicked in laughter the whole way through. Matt Jones, who earned some fame for his role as Badger in the acclaimed TV-drama Breaking Bad, adds a tremendous amount of humor—sometimes high-brow, sometimes slapstick—with his deadpan. The film also can delve into moments of thwarted love, and the lack of consideration we give the present in favor of the past, but Headley’s dominant method of dealing with that disconnect is comedy, rather than conflict. Tensions between lovers and friends are dissolved first, then resolved after, which is a perfectly viable chronology when the situational and dialogic comedy is high-quality, as it is in Headley’s film.
The three main characters work well in concert with one another. The insular situation Headley creates, in which the connections between the characters are well-known and free of external influences, develops a palpable chemistry with the troupe. “I think the movie is funny, first. The trifecta, for me, is I like things that are funny, thoughtful, and clever… in that order, for this particular story,” Headley told me, “but everybody has pain—pain that they carry around—and applying comedy to pain is perfectly acceptable.” Headley shaped the story as a bottleneck from its inception. “From the beginning, this [movie] was going to be about three people, who are stuck in their own lives, who end up stuck in the same house.” The scenario’s effectiveness in bringing out great paid off, as A Bad Idea Gone Wrong won the Jury Award for Best Ensemble at the festival awards show, which were more political than the Oscars and more openly drunk than the Golden Globes.
But SXSW, and any film festival of similar stature, means more to the director than just getting audience feedback and acceptance. It means exposure and, most importantly, potential distribution. When Headley started doing shorts, he would submit them to festivals and wait to see if they got accepted, but soon he gave up on that, not understanding the point. As he puts it, “there’s no market for short films.” With an unmarketable product, he began self-distributing. “Why am I submitting these shorts to festivals?” he told me he’d asked himself, “Why don’t I just make things and put them up online? Then you kind of have instant distribution, just for the sake of it. I knew I wasn’t going to hit it big with any of that stuff.” Some of his features, though, did make a decent splash online. “One’s got like, 20 million views by now.”
In making his first feature, Headley caught something of a lucky break, as I think is the case to varying degrees for all people who find success, in any industry. Movies are horrible investments. There are much more fiscally sound alternatives to realize growth on your savings. Investing in a first-time feature director, even with a budget under $1 million, is a big risk. “I was really fortunate in that the people who were behind it, Red Productions, I’d done a commercial project for them in the fall of 2014,” Headley told me. He kept in touch with the company. Six months later, as he was trying to understand how an indie feature got pieced together, financially speaking, he asked Red for a budget for one of their indie films. “They said ‘well, what are you making?’ So, I sent them the script and look-book. They came back and said ‘we could be interested in doing this.” Headley acknowledges the advantages of the connection with the production company, and points to his past work as reason to support the project, but admits, “ultimately, there was a little bit of a leap.”
For Headley, and for his film, getting into SXSW meant a great deal.
“It’s an opportunity, is really what it is, for both. It’s an opportunity for the film to be seen, to be lifted above—not above, but out. There’s a bunch of movies that are made, so when you get to play a festival like this, you have been pulled a little bit to where people will put a little more attention on that movie. It’s like ‘I want to know what that is. Is it worth seeing? Is it worth buying?’ You know, we’re here talking to distributors about buying the movie to put it out in the world, so it’s huge, in that way. And then, for me, it’s a little bit of validation. Somebody can say: ‘Okay, he made a movie, and it’s of some quality—some alleged quality.’ And so when I go to make my next movie, [I’ve] been vouched for, to some degree… From a career perspective, it would be nice if there was a theatrical run, if that run meant that there was some marketing behind it and all that, strictly for the sake of letting more people know about the movie,”
But who distributes the film and by what means the film is released gets at a larger contest currently being waged in the independent film community.
As direct-to-streaming becomes an increasingly prevalent method of distribution for indie films, the debate as to whether the shift in trends is beneficial to the art and the industry grows louder. Maïté Alvarez is an Acquisitions Coordinator for The Orchard, an indie film distributor, based out of Los Angeles. She sees the trend as Janus-faced. The Orchard is a small distributor, even by indie standards. According to Box Office Mojo, the distributor did $7.4 million in gross revenue in 2016. Compare that with some of the larger indie distributors: Roadside Attractions ($75.7), A24 ($65.8), or Bleecker Street ($33.8). The Orchard still acquires films it feels tell essential stories at a price they feel can be profitable, though not as high grossing as the acquisitions of some of their competitors. When Alvarez and I spoke, in January, the acquisitions team was preparing for a string of festivals to attend. “Right now, we’re gearing up for Sundance. Basically, from the start of the year to May is festival season. You’ll have Sundance in January; Berlin in February; South by in March; Tribeca in April; and then Cannes in May,” Alvarez told me. “Depending on the festival you go to, some of them are for finished films, and a lot of them are just markets where you go in and essentially look at packages for scripts. We have the option of coming in at an earlier stage as opposed to waiting for a finished film to go to a festival and see the feeding frenzy you’ll see at a Sundance,” she continued. This early buying strategy is key to The Orchard’s model. As Alvarez explained, it is a great way to avoid bidding wars and other economic hysteria over a film that may not pay off:
“What will often happen at these festivals is that there will be a few films that everybody wants. They will show them at the premieres… You can’t usually prescreen them, because [the agents] are hoping to build a lot of excitement and anticipation about the film when it actually premieres at the festival. Once that happens, then all the buyers are there, there’s a sort of feeding frenzy that happens where the film essentially ends up being overvalued.
So you’ll see a lot of headlines. Last year, ‘the ‘The $17 million film,’ which I think was Manchester by the Sea, I think it was $17 [million]. You know, Nate Parker’s movie [Birth of a Nation], which was like $12 million, or whatever it was. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl the year before that, which hit like $12 million, and Dope which hit $9 million.
There are these really, for the indie world, high prices that are flying left and right, that if they weren’t in the festival, probably wouldn’t be the case. If you take that movie out of the festival [ecosystem], it can flounder. It won’t necessarily have the same value.”
Alvarez pointed out that the real world and the festival world are too very different beasts. “You’ll end up overpaying for something that when you end up putting it in this new ecosystem outside of the festival, and when you expect to see a return on something, sometimes it will end up flat.” Of the films Alvarez cited, only Manchester by the Sea and Dope recouped their acquisition costs in the box office.
Last March, Brent Lang, Senior Film and Media Editor wrote about Amazon Studios’ acquisition of Manchester by the Sea in a way that corroborates Alvarez’s meat market characterization of film festivals.
“…the drama Manchester by the Sea, a finely calibrated portrait of grief and loss, had received a standing ovation, triggering predictions on social media that the picture would be a major Oscar contender. As the credits rolled, potential buyers rushed to the exits…
Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, who was stuck in a long row of moviegoers, had to vault over seats to get out of the packed theater.
Price detailed Amazon Studios’ acquisition goals to Lang, and they are aggressive. If they studio meets the markers Price set for them, “10 to 12” releases a year, all with budgets in the “$5 million to $40 million” range, Amazon Studios will be a major player in the industry very quickly.”
For filmmakers and for independent distributors, Alvarez says that the streaming platforms’ entry into the content acquisition market and their burgeoning role as both platform and acquirer has been “a double-edged sword.” The streaming players can’t be seen as just competitors, as they’re vital to distributors’ bottom lines. Alvarez notes that:
“the way that the independent film distributor survives is by always taking digital rights, because you usually will see a lot more money in the digital market than you will see in the theatrical market, because the theatrical market is definitely dying. How a movie does in the theaters will often dictate what the movie’s worth on platforms, like Netflix and Amazon Prime.”
The advantages these companies bring to the market come with many new challenges as well:
“Essentially, when digital platforms came around they took people away from movie theaters. In a way, it hasn’t been super helpful for filmmakers because it’s a lot harder to get your movie into a movie theater now because distributors have to be extra selective about the stuff that they’re actually putting out there because there’s so much content all over the place—there’s so much competition—that whatever it is we are putting in theaters, we have to make sure is cinematic enough, or has an incredibly specific audience that we’re going after that we know is going to show up at a movie theater. In that sense it’s made it a little more difficult for filmmakers to get their stuff seen there.
It’s great [for filmmakers] because you can have the Netflixes and the Amazons of the world who have nothing but money to throw all over the place who can go directly to a filmmaker and say, ‘Every other distributor is valuing your movie at $100,000, but I’m going to pay $1 million for it. And that happens all the time, just because they can, so it’s been pretty disruptive.
But by the same token, it’s great because you can have the Netflixes and the Amazons of the world who have nothing but money to throw all over the place who can go directly to a filmmaker and say, ‘Every other distributor is valuing your movie at $100,000, but I’m going to pay $1 million for it. And that happens all the time, just because they can, so it’s been pretty disruptive.
For distributors like us, it’s also a double-edge sword, because we license movies to [the streaming platforms] all the time. That’s how we see a lot of money and a lot of revenue, but it’s also difficult because if they want to go after a movie directly and have exclusive rights… and they’re willing to pay a lot more for it than we…. So they really dictate what happens through the market.”
Ahead of SXSW, Amazon Studios employed a preemptive tactic similar to the Orchard’s. However, Amazon’s method of anticipatory procurement highlights their studio’s deep pockets. A week before the festival, a member of Amazon Video Direct’s public relations team sent an email to the festival press corps announcing the continuation of Amazon’s Film Festivals Stars program. “Film Festival Stars, launched prior to Sundance 2017, is designed to establish an attractive distribution model for films screened at major film festivals and provide rights holders with flexibility and control in monetizing their films,” the email read. But beyond just outlining the program’s advantages to filmmakers, the email also served as an offer sheet, sight unseen. Amazon offered a $100k one-time signing bonus to all the Narrative Feature Competition films, $75k to all Documentary Feature Competition films, and $25k to various other categories. In addition to the signing bonus, Amazon also offered the filmmakers $0.30 for every hour of the movie streamed in the United States, and $0.12 for every hour streamed outside the United States.
Headley sees the upside this new player in the market has for filmmakers, but he’s wary of their full-court press. “You see how [this disruption idea] works, and how it doesn’t work,” Headley said, likening what streaming is doing to film to what ride sharing is doing to transportation:
“It was impossible to get a cab in San Francisco, and [the ride share companies] took it, and they made it better for the end user. But then you’ve got all this other bullshit that goes with it, right?
It’s always that way. There’s discomfort. I think what Netflix and Amazon have done are simultaneously superb—I love my Netflix account, you know, that’s how I watch movies… so it’s great that that level of being able to get things out there. Running into people, meeting people, me at a festival or at a film event or something, and they tell me about their movie that I’ve never heard of because it’s really small, and where can I see it? Well, you can see it here. It’s streaming. I can go watch their movie. Like, tonight. So that’s cool.
The other side of it is that, I think the fear is that they’re putting so much money in that they’re going to get all the deals and they’re going to choke the vine, and the other things are going to go away. Then, their motivation to put all that money is also going to go away, and they’re going to be the only people in town, then they’re going to start treating us as such.”
What Headley will decide for his film’s distribution remains up in the air. His film has a lot going for it in terms of potential commercial: a pretty recognizable actor in a lead, Matt Jones; a warm reception at a well-regarded film festival; and a light, enjoyable plot, one that is tight, clever, and at times hilarious. After SXSW, Headley took the film to a few screens in Dallas, where the film was shot, but its future after those screenings, as of this writing, is still uncertain. Will a distribution company take a chance on a theatrical run for A Bad Idea Gone Wrong? Will he continue to pursue such a release, or will he accept the direct-to-streaming offer from Amazon, or some other steaming deal? These are the questions the contemporary indie film director must answer.
This piece originally appeared in Lance’s senior thesis, Adaptation: How Indie Film is Carving Its Niche in a Hostile Environment
All movie financial figures come from Box Office Mojo, used with permission.