After pulling a few strings, Roadside Attractions has set Robert Benigni’s new PINOCCHIO movie for a Christmas Day stateside release. Per the arrangement, the live-action film from filmmaker Matteo Garrone will open on 2,000 screens. This, of course, is welcomed news for theater owners, who have seen their attendance numbers plummet since the coronavirus pandemic made it all but impossible to cater to large crowds in confined spaces.
While a number of moviegoers remain hesitant to frequent theaters, this past Thanksgiving weekend proved that a selection of brave souls is willing to risk it all for the silver screen. If it’s proof you’ll be needing, look no further than the box office returns for THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, which earned $14.2 million during its five-day opening.
In this live-action version of PINOCCHIO, Benigni will play Geppetto, the lonely woodcarver who wishes for his most treasured creation to become a real boy. Starring as Pinocchio will be nine-year-old newcomer Federico Ielapi.
“We love the emotional and fantastical storytelling of this new Pinocchio, and, with what’s shaping up to be a challenging holiday season for families, we think this English language version will be a welcoming escape for any kids and parents with a nose for adventure and mischief,” said Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.
Previously, Benigni wrote, directed, and starred in a 2002 Miramax version of Pinocchio, in which he played the title character. The funny and fanciful film grossed $44.3 million worldwide, making the film another successful spin on the classic cautionary tale.
Matteo Garrone’s PINOCCHIO, starring Roberto Benigni, will dance and sing in select theaters on Christmas Day.