As the headline suggests, there’s not much to hate about A24, an independent distributor that has helped bring Best-picture winner Moonlight and the mysterious thriller It Comes at Night to the big screen. Yet, there are still plenty of moviegoers that don’t necessarily know of A24’s track record. Let’s break it down …
A24, an independent distribution company rooted in New York City, began in August 2012. Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges started a company that’s aim was to produce films and distribute ’em. According to good ole Wikipedia, the trio who cultivated A24 came from film backgrounds.
In A24’s early years, the company pushed its first theatrical film, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, directed by Roman Coppola. This was limited release, so Coppola’s film made a very modest $45,350. The most notable A24 release within the first full year many know of comes at the heels of director Harmony Korine with Spring Breakers.
Slowly, but surely, A24 began to appear on the more frequent moviegoers’ radars.
After those early years …
It’s the year 2015, and it’s safe to say A24 found their first breakthrough hit with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. The film held its own against other heavyweight films during Oscar season, winning an award for Best Visual Effects and a nom for Best Original Screenplay.
This helped A24 get onto the map, but, like myself, I was still asking, “Who’s A24?”
Then, Room began to pick up Oscar buzz. A24 didn’t simply knock on the door, but it boldly stepped into the room among major film companies. It helped that Room made a splash at the same Academy Awards season, with actress Brie Larson winning Best Actress and a nom for Best Picture.
The year A24 turned the corner
Sure, A24 became a topic of conversation for those in Hollywood, but it wasn’t until last year — 2016 — that the distributor became a household name. They became known as a company that backs quality films and has a track record to prove it. I mean, just look at some of the notable titles released during that year:
- The Witch
- Green Room
- The Lobster
- De Palma
Film fans can’t deny that even Moonlight alone would be a gem for any studio, but no — you take The Lobster, an abstract take on human interaction, that opened the door again for actor Colin Farrell. Green Room brought out Patrick Stewart’s nasty side. Krisha gave director Trey Edward Shults his start, which led to his latest, It Comes at Night.
Moonlight winning Best Picture along with Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor solidified A24 as a studio that almost demands moviegoers’ attention on name alone.
On the horizon for A24 is A Ghost Story, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, which isn’t a horror film as its title might suggest. A horror film that A24 did release this year is It Comes at Night, which succeeded on many fronts. Another upcoming film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, is the second film from Yorgos Lanthimos that A24 feels confident with distributing.
Look, y’all: A24 isn’t Disney. It isn’t Universal. But it is a studio that makes sure if they put out a film, it’ll be worth your while.
That quality-over-quantity mindset is something any cinephile should long for in a studio.