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Inside the Fight Over Warren Beatty’s ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Fiasco (Exclusive)

Inside the Fight Over Warren Beatty’s ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Fiasco (Exclusive)

By April 2016, the warning lights were flashing red.

Warren Beatty had just finished “Rules Don’t Apply,” fulfilling a decades-long ambition of making a movie about Howard Hughes. He corralled the investors, wrote the screenplay, directed the film, and starred as Hughes. Now it was up to the distributors, Arnon Milchan’s Regency Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, to figure out how to sell it. Should it open wide, with a costly advertising campaign befitting its star’s pedigree? Or should it be treated like a niche independent film, with a limited release that could expand based on positive buzz?

To find out, Regency ordered two test screenings at the Arclight in Pasadena. The results were alarming. Moviegoers complained that the film dragged in the middle, and most of those under 40 had no idea who Hughes was. According to a report from the testing company, viewers described Hughes’ eccentric behavior as “frustrating,

See full article on Variety