Magnolia Acquires, Explains All-Star Freakonomics Doc


With Tribeca's closing-night slot already locked up, the documentary adaptation of the best-selling book Freakonomics has officially found a U.S. distributor in Magnolia Pictures. It's not especially surprising considering the relationship Magnolia has with half the filmmakers involved, having helped boost the likes of Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp) to Oscar nominations over the last few years. Meanwhile non-fiction stars Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong, not to mention his Hollywood narrative debut Four Christmases) are also involved; click through for a breakthrough of which directors are doing what.

Per a release just over the transom from Magnolia:

Alex Gibney takes a visually arresting look at the crumbling facade of Sumo wrestling and exposes searing and violent truths about this ancient and revered sport. Morgan Spurlock offers up a buoyant and revealing angle on the repercussions of baby names. Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing balance levity and candor with an eye-opening profile of underachieving kids incentivized to learn with cold hard cash. Finally, Eugene Jarecki investigates an unsettling theory to explain why crime rates dramatically dropped in the early '90s. Seth Gordon weaves the pieces together with brisk interludes, providing context and commentary from the authors.

"Authors," of course, being Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, who've sold a zillion copies of their brainchild since its publication in 2005 -- a fact to which the NYT attributes that rarest of rare prospects for a theatrical documentary: Likely profitability. Well, yes! It's branded, after all, isn't it? Talk about a no-brainer.

· 'Freakonomics' Documentary May Be a Rarity: Profitable [NYT]