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Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Awakens To $31.3M Overseas; ‘Transformers’ Adds $100M+ To Crash Past $500M Barrier

Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Awakens To $31.3M Overseas; ‘Transformers’ Adds $100M+ To Crash Past $500M BarriercinemaworldUPDATE, Monday 5:30 PM: Updates are in from Fox and Universal which had the films everyone wanted to know about in the domestic marketplace this weekend as well — Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and the indie favorite Boyhood. Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures’ Transformers: Age of Extinction took in a little less than the $102M estimate, but nonetheless grossed $100.3M from 12 markets, according to the studio, to sail past the $500M market in just three weeks of release. The international cume is now $540.6M. Added with the domestic gross and the go-bots are hitting on all cylinders with $713.4M worldwide.

All other numbers are updated below for those two films as well as for X-Men: Days of Future Past, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Other Woman, Neighbors, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and The Fault in Our Stars and newcomer Rico, Oskar Und Die Tieferschatten. Just received Warner Bros. and Disney final international grosses so more updates below on Tammy, Jersey Boys, Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow, Blended, and Godzilla. Sony has come in at 3 PM with its numbers for 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Heaven is For Real and Think Like a Man Too.

UPDATE, Sunday 2:10 PM PT: With the World Cup winding down tonight, next week will see Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes expand significantly to … Read More »

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Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per Screen

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 1:57pm PDT

Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per ScreenUPDATED, Monday 1:57 PM: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, brought in, as we reported this AM a total take of $72.6M for the three-day weekend (which included $4.1M in Thursday late nights). This, after it took in $31.3M overseas so it has a worldwide total of $103M+ already and it has barely begun its international run.

The Matt Reeves-directed film had a wonderful Saturday and ended up with an A- CinemaScore so audiences loved it as much as the critics. Sunday moviegoing was off for all films, probably due to the World Cup Finals and the nice weather. Fox’s other film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 had a great hold from Saturday to Sunday but will be hit by Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue when it bows next weekend.  Apes should have at least two solid weeks of play before audiences look to Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to keep them entertained when it bows on August 1. Transformers: Age of Extinction — in its third weekend of release — crossed $200M on Saturday.

Sony opens Sex Tape next weekend in hopes of making it pop over its estimated $42M+ budget. I’ve seen it and yes, it starts out raunchy, but it is really funny and even, at times, hilarious. The guys will go to see a naked Cameron Diaz and the girls will go see tall drink of water Jason Segel, but it’s really for couples. Rob Lowe also co-stars in this film from the next generation Kasden — Jake — who directed the two in Bad Teacher.

The other movie opening next weekend is Universal’s horror film, The Purge: Anarchy. And, after seeing the one-sheet, I certainly hope they aren’t running those teaser one-sheets reminiscent of the Joker around the Cinemark Theater in Colorado where it will be in the marketplace during the two-year mark of the theater shooting. To me and others who suffered through that, it’s a hard image to look at … sort of like the geniuses who came up with The Strain one-sheets that people don’t want to see either. “Not for everyone.” Indeed. The Purge is bowing today and over the weekend in 14 overseas markets. The chart follows: Read More »

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In Expansion

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 12:08pm PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In ExpansionBoyhood bowed spectacularly this weekend, piling audiences into five theaters for the initial run of Richard Linklater‘s tour de force that was 12 years in the making. As we mentioned earlier this morning, the IFC Films title is coming in with a $360 – 385K weekend estimate for a stratospheric $72K to 77K PTA, depending on how the dust settles Sunday. Friday and Saturday numbers were buoyed by Q&As in both New York and LA, but none are scheduled today. IFC Films was actually conservative reporting their numbers Sunday morning, with an initial $359K gross ($71,800 PTA) though others tracking the numbers had estimates land a bit higher. Whatever the number, the final tally points in one direction — this is a tremendous opening for the Berlin and Sundance festival title (and award winner at both) that had audiences swooning ahead of this weekend’s opening. Boyhood is easily the year’s second-best opener in terms of screen average behind Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened in several locations back in March with a record-breaking $202,792 PTA.  ”We are thrilled with the opening numbers for Boyhood this weekend,” IFC noted in reporting their numbers. “The opening numbers have surpassed our highest expectations for the weekend, as audiences flocked to theatrers for the critically acclaimed film.”
IFC Films financed the film by doling out small amounts each year over its 12-year process of creation. The AMC Networks division has a long-standing relationship with Linklater, having financed Waking Life and Tape. The Austin-based filmmaker and producer John Sloss had approached IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring about what was then dubbed the “12-year project” and, together with his boss Josh Sapan at AMC Networks, committed about $200,000 a year to the film’s editing and shooting. Said Sehring and Sapan: “Back in 2002, we thought Rick’s idea was an extraordinary notion and we believed him to be a great filmmaker.  Putting our creative and commercial fates in the hands of people who are brilliant has proven to be a terrific strategy for the company and we couldn’t’ be happier to have supported Rick’s creative vision. The result is a film for the ages and we can’t wait to bring Boyhood to the rest of the country in the weeks to come.”
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‘Boyhood’ The Big Man With Year’s Second-Best Specialty Box-Office Debut

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

‘Boyhood’ The Big Man With Year’s Second-Best Specialty Box-Office DebutIFC FilmsBoyhood had momentum and expectations building as it headed into its opening weekend after a tremendous run of festival awards and word-of-mouth screenings. Opening in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, it proved to be a very big boy indeed, with one of the year’s biggest box-office debuts among Specialty releases, second behind only Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened March 7 with a nearly $203K PTA in four theaters.

Boyhood, directed and written by Richard Linklater and filmed over 12 years as its star Ellar Coltrane grew up, grossed $360K to $385K for a spectacular per-theater average of $72K to $77K, depending on how much box office drops Sunday. Given that  the title opened against Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes on turf typically ruled by studio mush, the numbers bode especially well for the film, which also stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Lorelei Linklater. Given its pre-launch buzz, the film has already been tipped as a strong contender when Awards Season grinds into into full gear this fall.

“I think we knew the movie would play,” IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring told me this morning. “(Fellow  producer) John Sloss and I were at screenings with audiences and we were more than gratified by the audience responses. There were dozens of sell outs [in Manhattan, Brooklyn and L.A.].  It was crazy. It wasn’t an old audience, not young, it was a mix of everyone.”

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‘Boyhood’: 39 Shooting Days, A 4,200-Day Production Schedule

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT

‘Boyhood’: 39 Shooting Days, A 4,200-Day Production ScheduleThe first thing that catches you about Richard Linklater‘s new movie, Boyhoodis the gimmick: It took 12 years to make. And this wasn’t some Orson Welles-like fight with a studio or money people or an artistic fugue state like those afflicting early Terrence Malick or late Stanley Kubrick. It was done on purpose. And the studio behind the project, IFC, was all for it, doling out about $200,000 a year so Linklater could annually gather his cast and crew to shoot a few days at a time for a dozen years followed by, as Linklater put it, “a big chunk at the end” to finish the film.

Boyhood poster horizontalBut here’s the other thing: The movie is really good. And taking all that time might be part of the reason. The film follows the life of a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane in his long-developing but remarkable debut) from age 5 until his first days in college at 18. It also tracks the twists in the lives of his two parents (Patricia Arquette and Linklater regular Ethan Hawke), who split before the film’s start, when Mason and his older sister (played by the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater) were very young.

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Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $52M In China Weekend; ‘Dragon 2′ Fires Up $30M; And How’s ‘Tammy’?; ‘Maleficent’ Dethrones ‘Frozen’ In Japan; More

Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $52M In China Weekend; ‘Dragon 2′ Fires Up $30M; And How’s ‘Tammy’?; ‘Maleficent’ Dethrones ‘Frozen’ In Japan; More5TH UPDATE, TUESDAY AM: Paramount came in with numbers late on Monday evening showing a slight bump in the overseas cume for Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 2nd frame. It was worth to $96.6M, the studio said, although the total overseas figure to date was unchanged at $400.9M. China‘s gross lifted to $52M from the previous $50.9M estimate. That was good for a total box office in the market through Sunday of $212.8M. There is some confusion over the tally, however, as local websites are reporting it had $222.74M through Sunday. That would push it past Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever in China. We’re working to get the exact figures nailed down. All other figures for TAOE are updated in the copy below.

4th UPDATE, MONDAY, 4:00 PM PT: Paramount Pictures is the only studio that has not reported, and it has, of course, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, which is pounding it way across international markets. So we have finals for everything but the No. 1 pic internationally. The studio is still on holiday in the states. But Sony, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros and Universal have weighed in with updated numbers for their international releases this weekend.

The titles we have final updates for include 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Maleficent, Frozen, The Fault In Our Stars, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Rio 2, The Other Woman, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Edge Read More »

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Final Int’l Box Office: ‘Godzilla’ Thrashes Again With $38.4M Weekend Led By China; ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ Fires Up $24.4M; ‘Fault’ On Fire In Brazil

Highlights: Godzilla (WB) lords over China with $38.4M open; Edge Of Tomorrow (WB) stilil sharp with $37.3M; Maleficent (DIS) adds $37.2M; How To Train Your Dragon 2 enters 28 markets with $24.4M (total $26.1M); X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) flies over $450M; The Fault In Our Stars (FOX) shines with $16.1M; 22 Jump Street cops to $7M; Noah (PAR) enters Japanese waters, crosses $250M; More…

cinemaworldUPDATE, 3:44 PM, PT: Final numbers are in for Sony’s 22 Jump Street, Fox/DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, Tom Cruise’s sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow and Godzilla, Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars and X-Men: Days of Future Past, Universal’s A Million Ways to Die in the West and Neighbors, and the festival fave Boyhood, the animated Rio2, the Viggo Mortenson, Oscar Issac thriller Two Faces of January and local Spanish hit, Spanish Affairs, Paramount Pictures’ Noah in Japan and more.

UPDATED SUNDAY, 4:02 PM PT: This was largely a Hollywood holdover weekend with some new market plays and only one major new entry. Of the Top 15 movies internationally, three were from offshore: Korean action thriller A Hard Day in its 3rd frame, Korean action noir For The Emperor in its 1st frame and Hong Kong’s Overheard 3. This is of course the first weekend of full-on World Cup action, which in Asia is not as all-consuming as in Europe. That’s despite Korea and Japan having teams in the mix. The massive sporting event certainly doesn’t seem to have dented box office in China where Godzilla roared to the best opening of 2014 while Edge Of Tomorrow and X-Men: Days Of Future Past continued to perform (see below). In Europe, on days when the major national teams play, box office can be down by about 50%-60% in the home markets, and by about 20% if the home team isn’t involved. The phenomenon may not be as drastic this year because of the time differences between Europe and Brazil which means most games are airing late at night on the Continent.

godzilla2014-china-poster

However, overseas, across the Top 10 titles, the frame was down 22% on last weekend and 15% on last year. At this same point in 2013, Man Of Steel opened to $71.6M in 24 international markets. After Earth, Fast & Furious 6, The Hangover Part III and Star Trek Into Darkness were also still playing. Plus, Chinese action pic Switch flicked on at home with a $22M+ opening. Overall drops are expected this year during the World Cup play, when very few blockbuster type films open. That, however, opens the door for holdovers to stretch and counterprogrammers to pick up some of the slack. The films that tend to work during this period are ones that skew to female, family and older audiences. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was the only big new opener this week, with $24.4M across 28 territories. It dominated market share, while The Fault In Our Stars continued to woo overseas audiences. In other holdovers, Edge Of Tomorrow, Maleficent and X-Men: Days Of Future Past kept churning. Each of those films has received positive reviews (as has Dragon 2) and so given the studios’ strategic plans, could continue to show legs even if they begin to wobble a bit. Next weekend, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys warbles in the UK, France, Italy and elsewhere. The subject matter of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons may be a bit foreign to foreign auds, but moviegoers less concerned with football are likely to seek out a film by the respected director. TFIOS and HTTYD2 are hitting a bunch more markets next weekend as well; especially the latter which flies forth into about 30 including Australia, Mexico and Brazil, each of which were among the first film’s best territories. In Brazil, kids are also off from school. Maleficent, meanwhile, sees its China bow on June 20. See below the original post for key market breakdowns.

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Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Godzilla’ Thrashes Again With $38M Weekend Led By China; ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ Fires Up $24.8M; More

Highlights: Godzilla (WB) lords over China with $36M open; Edge Of Tomorrow (WB) stilil sharp with $37.4M; Maleficent (DIS) adds $37.2M; How To Train Your Dragon 2 enters 25 markets with $24.8M; X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) flies over $450M; The Fault In Our Stars (FOX) shines with $16.4M; 22 Jump Street cops to $6.9M; Noah (PAR) enters Japanese waters, crosses $250M; More…

cinemaworldUPDATE, 4:02 PM PT: This was largely a Hollywood holdover weekend with some new market plays and only one major new entry. Of the Top 15 movies internationally, three were from offshore: Korean action thriller A Hard Day in its 3rd frame, Korean action noir For The Emperor in its 1st frame and Hong Kong’s Overheard 3. This is of course the first weekend of full-on World Cup action, which in Asia is not as all-consuming as in Europe. That’s despite Korea and Japan having teams in the mix. The massive sporting event certainly doesn’t seem to have dented box office in China where Godzilla roared to the best opening of 2014 while Edge Of Tomorrow and X-Men: Days Of Future Past continued to perform (see below). In Europe, on days when the major national teams play, box office can be down by about 50%-60% in the home markets, and by about 20% if the home team isn’t involved. The phenomenon may not be as drastic this year because of the time differences between Europe and Brazil which means most games are airing late at night on the Continent.

godzilla2014-china-poster

However, overseas, across the Top 10 titles, the frame was down 22% on last weekend and 15% on last year. At this same point in 2013, Man Of Steel opened to $71.6M in 24 international markets. After Earth, Fast & Furious 6, The Hangover Part III and Star Trek Into Darkness were also still playing. Plus, Chinese action pic Switch flicked on at home with a $22M+ opening. Overall drops are expected this year during the World Cup play, when very few blockbuster type films open. That, however, opens the door for holdovers to stretch and counterprogrammers to pick up some of the slack. The films that tend to work during this period are ones that skew to female, family and older audiences. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was the only big new opener this week, with $24.8M across 25 territories. It dominated market share, while The Fault In Our Stars continued to woo overseas audiences. In other holdovers, Edge Of Tomorrow, Maleficent and X-Men: Days Of Future Past kept churning. Each of those films has received positive reviews (as has Dragon 2) and so given the studios’ strategic plans, could continue to show legs even if they begin to wobble a bit. Next weekend, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys warbles in the UK, France, Italy and elsewhere. The subject matter of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons may be a bit foreign to foreign auds, but moviegoers less concerned with football are likely to seek out a film by the respected director. TFIOS and HTTYD2 are hitting a bunch more markets next weekend as well; especially the latter which flies forth into about 30 including Australia, Mexico and Brazil, each of which were among the first film’s best territories. In Brazil, kids are also off from school. Maleficent, meanwhile, sees its China bow on June 20. See below the original post for key market breakdowns.

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Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch Against ‘Transformers’ For LA Film Fest Opener ‘Snowpiercer’

Pete Hammond
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Snowpiercers And Jersey Boys And Everything In Between

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off its 20th edition with the arty action pic from Bong Joon-ho. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss what's in store at Hollywood's hometown fest leading up to Clint Eastwood's closing-night film just ahead of its box office bow.

Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn told me Wednesday night’s Los Angeles Film Festival opener Snowpiercer is going to 7ddd396b0cbae471e84f83c1797e9c96have a unique rollout when it launches against formidable competition, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, on June 27. Although that sounds like a suicide mission for another action-oriented picture, Quinn, speaking at the after-party, calls his film from Korean director Bong Joon-ho an “intelligent tentpole” made for a thinking audience who likes its thrills delivered with smarts. He says they will open in 10 markets and follow up the next week on about 150 screens. That’s chump change for the opening Paramount plans for Transformers, but Quinn and co-president Jason Janego were pumped by the LA Fest response and hope to gain attention with a series of premieres, including train trips (for a film that’s set on the ultimate train trip) to Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, plus four separate premieres across New York state. “And when this film, which only could have been made by Bong Joon-ho, opens on the 27th, the only place you will be able to see it in America is on a theater screen,” he said, emphasizing that the company — an offshoot of The Weinstein Company, which opens most of its films day-and-date with VOD — will not be making it 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival - Opening Night Premiere Of "Snowpiercer" - Red Carpetinstantly available for home viewing. “We are plotting a surprising and different way of opening this film,” he said while not committing to any specific date as to when it actually will be available on VOD.

I would guess the VOD date won’t lag too far behind, but Quinn clearly wants to get the word out first that this is a big-screen experience. You might recall that Radius released its Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom theatrically first and that worked out, as it became the top docu at the 2013 box office before hitting home screens.

After seeing the film, which also played the Berlin Film Festival, and LAFF2014which Harvey Weinstein pre-bought and later turned over to his Radius team (Quinn had worked with the director on The Host and Mother), I can say if ever there was a big-screen must-see, it’s this riveting story of the last humans alive after Earth is completely frozen-over and humanity wiped out — except for a few riding aboard a train that never stops and has every conceivable level of class, from its tail section to its super engine, as it continuously circles what’s left of the world. Although it is dark, grimy and claustrophobic, the director clearly knows how to make a classic train picture and his superb cast includes a hilarious Tilda Swinton, chewing the scenery like no one’s business, and Ed Harris in an extended cameo as the Master of this particular world. Both turned up for what was billed as the pic’s U.S. premiere. Read More »

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Intl Box Office: ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ No. 1 With $81M; ‘Fault In Our Stars’ Shines Bright In Brazil, Mexico, Oz; ‘Maleficent’ Adds $61.7M; ‘X-Men’ Crosses $100M In China; More

Highlights: Edge Of Tomorrow (WB) loops $81M in 2nd frame for $111M overseas cume; Maleficent (DIS) spells another $61.7M; X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) adds $41.1M, helps studio over $1.5B GBO mark; The Fault In Our Stars (FOX) twinkles with $16.5M in 17 markets; 22 Jump Street (SONY) uncovers $8.2M; Godzilla‘s cume is now $208.2 … MORE

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FINAL UPDATE, 7:30 PM PST: Grosses for the last film of the weekend, Godzilla, have been added below. All numbers final.

2nd UPDATE, 4:52 PM PST: Grosses are in on everything but Godzilla as we are still waiting to hear from Warner Bros. However, they did report for the Tom Cruise sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow. So, we have updated grosses for every other film but the Big Lizard, including Fox’s The Fault In Our Stars, Sony’s 22 Jump Street, Fox franchise X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Sony’s franchise player The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Uni’s ill-fated domestic comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West and their comedy success Neighbors, as well as Babysitting, Spanish Affairs, Her (which Uni is handling in South Korea), Fox’s The Other Woman and just got numbers in for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood which was a favorite at the Berlin Film Festival this year and has been winning awards at festivals Stateside, too. Uni is handling. All Final updated international numbers are below: Read More »

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Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ Wins 3 Awards At Seattle

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 11.29.00 AMRichard Linklater‘s 12-year filmmaking experiment Boyhood won the Golden Space Needle Best Picture award along with Best Director and Best Actress at the Seattle International Film Festival. Keep on Keepin’ On, directed by Alan Hicks, won the Golden Space Needle for best documentary. Other notable winners from the sprawling 25-day festival include Dawid Ogrodnik for best actor in Life Feels Good; Fool’s Day for best short film; and other competition awards for 10,000 KM, Marmato and Red Knot. The Golden Space Needle Awards are chosen by festival audiences.

Linklater’s film, which is set for a July 11 release, continued to build momentum for Oscar season, after grabbing the Silver Bear and two other awards at the Berlin International Film Festival and another at South By Southwest. Linklater began shooting Boyhood when its protagonist, played by Ellar Coltrane, was 5 and continued to film off and on for the next dozen years as Coltrane and his character eventually grew into an adult. Patricia Arquette won the Seattle festival’s Golden Space Needle award as best actress, and Linklater won for best director. One other note of minor disclosure: Brian Brooks, who writes Deadline’s weekly coverage on specialty film box office, was on the festival’s documentary jury. Read More »

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R.I.P. Helma Sanders-Brahms

helma-sandersbrahmsProlific German filmmaker Helma Sanders-Brahms passed away in Berlin on Tuesday following a long illness. She was 73. The director, screenwriter and producer was born in 1940, and began her career as a model and TV presenter. In 1969, she met Italian giant Pier Paolo Pasolini on a movie set where he told her, “You are going to make films!” She stuck around the set and later said it helped her discover her love of the craft. She ultimately became a key representative of German post-war film, directing both narrative features and documentaries. Eight of her works screened at the Berlin Film Festival including 1980′s Deutschland, Bleiche Mutter (Germany, Pale Mother) which premiered in competition. Just this year, the now classic film, narrated by a German woman who tells the story of her parents before, during and after World War II, was screened in a digitally restored version as part of the Berlinale Classics section. Her other credits include 2008′s Geliebte Clara; 1997′s My Heart Is Mine Alone; 1975′s Under The Beach’s Cobbles; and 1976 TV drama Shirin’s Wedding. Sanders-Brahms was known for exploring political and social issues in her films including topics like feminism, immigrant workers and German history. “Helma Sanders-Brahms was a radical and committed filmmaker who had a lasting impact on German cinema,” said Berlin Film Fest director Dieter Kosslick. She was “a tremendous director.” Under former Festival Director Moritz de Hadeln, she was … Read More »

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Cannes: Final River Phoenix Pic ‘Dark Blood’ Finally Gets U.S. Release

DarkBloodLionsgate has taken North American rights to the last film starring River Phoenix. Existential Western Dark Blood was originally shot in 1993 but had lingered in a rights quagmire from which director and co-writer George Sluizer had been trying to extricate the pic. Apparently that has been done, and Lionsgate is planning a VOD release after it screened in 2013 at the Berlin Film Festival and has made the fest rounds since then. Cinemavault sold the pic at Cannes.

dark bloodThe film has a storied history. About 80% of it was shot before Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside the Viper Room in West Hollywood. At the time, the unfinished product reverted to the film’s insurance company before Sluizer recovered it and sequestered it away. In Berlin, he explained that in 1999 he learned the footage was going to be destroyed and within two days was able to save it and take it back to Holland. Sluizer said the material “laid in my care for many years waiting for something to happen with it. I was making other films at the time and it was safe.” But when he learned he had a life-threatening aneurism in 2007, he decided, “Before I die I want to put Dark Blood together as best I can.” For the scenes that were not completed at the time of Phoenix’s death, Sluizer provides his own voice-over. Read More »

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Cannes Briefs: Film Movement Takes ‘Stations Of The Cross’; Greenberg Traurig Expands Entertainment Practice; Lightning Buys Michael Jackson Docu; Charlotte Mickie Segues To Mongrel; More

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stationsofthecrossFilm Movement has acquired lauded festival award-winner Stations Of The Cross, from director Dietrich Brueggemann. The religious drama about a 14-year-old girl on a mission to become close to God premiered this year at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear and took home the Ecumenical Jury Award. Modern day-set tale is told in 14 single shot tableaus paralleling Christ’s journey to the crucifixion. Film Movement is plotting a theatrical, digital and home video release for 2015. Film Movement’s Adley Gartenstein made the pact with Beta Cinema’s Thorsten Ritter.

Cannes2014_badgeAttorneys Tom Ara and Robert Sherman have joined the Entertainment and Media Practice at Greenberg Traurig and will be based in the LA office. The hires are part of the firm’s strategic expansion of its entertainment and media finance practice. Ara and Sherman’s clients include The Weinstein Company, Indomina, Cutting Edge and AMBI Distribution. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, both attorneys, who are here in Cannes this week, were partners in Reed Smith LLP’s entertainment and media finance group. Associate Rosalind H. Read has also joined the firm and will work with Ara and Sherman.

MichaelTheLastPhotoShootsLightning Entertainment has acquired international sales rights to Craig J Williams’ documentary Michael: The Last Photo Shoots, a behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jackson’s final magazine cover shoots and the struggles he endured to make them happen. The docu captures the September 2007 sessions with Vogue and Ebony Magazine as Jackson prepared for his 2007 U.S. comeback after years of living in seclusion overseas. The deal was negotiated by Lightning EVP and GM Ken DuBow and general counsel AnaLisa Valle with producers Ray Markovich and Williams.

charlotte mickieCharlotte Mickie has joined Mongrel International as president. The veteran exec will oversee acquisitions and sales and is in Cannes with Mongrel’s first title, Aisling Walsh’s Maudie. Toronto-based distributor Mongrel Media launched the new international division earlier this month to focus on Canadian and world cinema. Mickie has previously had posts at Alliance Atlantis, Celluloid Dreams and most recently eOne. She exited eOne Films International as EVP in January. Read More »

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Cannes: Gravitas Ventures Acquires Career-Spanning Docu ’21 Years: Richard Linklater’

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 11:18am PDT

LinklaterGravitas Ventures has taken all North American rights to 21 Years: Richard Linklater, a feature-length documentary directed by Paste Magazine’s Michael Dunaway and co-helmer Tara Wood. Richard Linklater collaborators and actors including Before Sunrise‘s Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, and director Jason Reitman appear in the film which theorizes that the first 21 years of an artist’s work defines their career. For the Oscar-nominated writer-director that’s been quite a creative span, starting with his 1988 minimalist Super8 feature It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books. The doc starts the clock with Linklater’s 1991 Sundance breakout film, Slacker. 21 Years also looks at his latest film, Boyhood, which was shot over the course of 12 years and won him Best Director honors at the Berlin Film Festival. Wood, Dunaway, and Gravitas’ Melanie Miller are producers on the pic. Gravitas’ Nolan Gallagher and Michael Murphy are exec producers alongside Pamela Sutton, Robert C. McGirr, Mario Davila, William Pedroza, & Gregory Norman McGuire. Miller negotiated the deal with Wood for Wood Entertainment. Gravitas and Wood are also selling the film this week in Cannes.

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Charlotte Lebon Joins Robert Zemeckis’ Philippe Petit Pic

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 11:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

'Yves Saint Laurent' Press Conference - 64th Berlinale International Film FestivalCanadian actress Charlotte Lebon, who is upcoming in Disney/ DreamWorks’ The Hundred Foot Journey, is in talks to join Joseph Gordon-Levitt in TriStar and Robert Zemeckis‘ untitled movie about high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. She will play Petit’s girlfriend Annie in the feature based on Petit’s memoir To Reach The Clouds. Annie is described as a wafer-thin street-performing mime who becomes angry with Philippe for stealing away her audience. She agrees to forgive him on the condition that he buys her a glass of wine, and the two fall quickly in love. Ben Kingsley and James Badge Dale are also in the cast. Read More »

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Ben Friedman Joins UK’s Icon Film Distribution As Acquisitions Manager

iconThe UK’s recently relaunched Icon Film Distribution has appointed former Weinstein Co exec Ben Friedman as Acquisitions Manager. The hire is the latest in IFD’s renewal since it received backing from investment firm New Sparta to return to distribution after pulling out of the business in 2011. Friedman was formerly VP of Acquisitions for TWC, and left in 2010 to consult for Newmarket Films and the Ben Friedman 1Exclusive Media Group, amongst others. Two years ago, he co-founded and became a producing partner in Native State Productions. Icon attended February’s Berlin Film Festival and is heading into its first Cannes since the relaunch. It already has a UK release slate that includes Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s Next Goal Wins; Jim Mickle’s Cold In July; Lynn Shelton’s Laggies; Adam Wingard’s The Guest; Aussie horror pic The Babadook; Richard LaGravenese’s The Last Five Years; and Don Cheadle’s Kill The Trumpet Player. IFD CEO, Ian Dawson, says, “We are thrilled to have Ben joining the Icon team. His experience at the sharp-end of international acquisitions, instinct for finding exciting film projects and relationships with filmmaking talent will fit perfectly with Icon as we grow the business and seek involvement in projects in the earliest stages of production.” Originally formed in 1999, IFD previously released such titles as Paranormal Activity, 30 Days Of Night, Transporter 3, What Women Want, A Single Man, La Read More »

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Q&A: Richard Linklater Firms Summer Release, Talks 12 Years Making ‘Boyhood’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 4:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

ricklinkEXCLUSIVE: Boyhood, a time-lapse narrative feature film that Richard Linklater shot over a 12-year period, has been set for a July 11 release through IFC Films, which has stepped up and committed to a theatrical platform rollout and awards campaign. The film played Sundance and Berlin and its makers have positioned it for what they hope will be a long summer run as audiences watch actor Ellar Coltrane and his supporting cast actually grow up before their eyes, and adults Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette mature as his parents.

Related: Berlin Film Festival: Richard Linklater Named Best Director; More

At Sundance, there had been some question of whether a large distributor would take the film off the table, but it only seems right that IFC stepped up. After all, as IFC President Jonathan Sehring told me back then, he was the one who wrote an annual check to Linklater for over a decade, and when his bosses would ask him to explain the expenditure and when they would see a payoff, he’d shrug his shoulders. Sehring’s a producer on the film, and so is John Sloss, who made this deal. “We went to Sundance with the understanding we would talk to other distributors,” Sloss said. “You have to understand when they committed to fund this, IFC didn’t have a distribution arm. So they didn’t have distribution rights, even though they are a co-owner along with Rick and the filmmaking team. This is a very special movie, and we wanted to make sure it has every opportunity for success. We’ve realized this film plays for a young audience and it will need word-of-mouth that comes from staying in theaters for a long time. IFC really stepped up.”

Related: SXSW Unveils Jury Award Winners

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Adds $29.2M For No. 1; ‘Noah’ Reigns In Mexico & Korea With $14M; ‘Peabody & Sherman’ Crosses $100M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Muy Caliente; Asian Pics Advance; More

Highlights: Noah (PAR) floods Mexico and Korea with opening cume of $14M; Muppets Most Wanted (DIS) scores $1.5M in eight debut markets; Need For Speed (DIS/var) drives another $29.2M; 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB) seizes further $21.2M; Mr Peabody & Sherman (FOX) at $103M; Rio 2 (FOX) flies to $10.5M in Russia/Ukraine; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FOX) has extra room for $9.7M; Frozen (DIS) nearing Toy Story 3‘s record; Uni’s 8 Apellidos Vascos (aka Spanish Affairs) still seducing Spain; trio of Asian pics enters Top 20…

cinemaworld6TH UPDATE, MON, 12:43 PM PT: Final numbers are in now for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Monuments Men as well as Ride Along, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Lego Movie (which grossed more than previously thought). Final numbers also came in Monday night for Oscar Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave which added another $3.9M to raise its international cume to $121.7M, most of its gross has come from the U.K. with $32.7M; the film has made $178M worldwide. Lionsgate opened Divergent in 18 international markets, but are not releasing numbers as yet. We are using Rentrak which has five small territories (see below for more info on that). Lionsgate, as they always do, pre-licensed international so there are many distributors handling the film in their prospective territories. The big territory rollout for Divergent will be April 4 in the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Mexico, and Finland, followed April 11 by France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Read More »

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