2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – How The Minions Came To Rule Hollywood

Mike Fleming

Well, now that Universal‘s Despicable Me 2 has proven itself 2013′s Most Valuable Blockbuster, the film’s impresario, Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri (below), deserves to take a victory lap. More seriously, the tournament was conducted to give a clearer idea, beyond the weekend and annual box office standings, of the profits and Total Cash on Cash returns that films generate. These are the factors that keep studios in business and keep co-financiers coming back for more. As a final cap, Deadline Hollywood provides readers with the revenue and costs charts of all 16 films that participated in the inaugural tournament. This data was always expected to be the most memorable part of this exercise.

Despicable Me 2 Chris Meledandri Profit

As a refresher, here’s how our tournament played out, with links to each game: Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Championship Game – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 3:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Iron Man 3 Despicable Me 2 ProfitIt’s tipoff time for the championship matchup to determine Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster of 2013. Stay tuned for our version of the postgame show, where we peel the curtain back on the data we commissioned from insiders to determine just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_Final

The Matchup: After surviving a bruising battle with #5 seed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, #1 Iron Man 3 takes the court against #3 Despicable Me 2, a film that came through a pick ‘em matchup with #2 seed Frozen. Read More »

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CinemaCon: ‘X Men’, Other Women, Lots Of Girls And An Ape Steal The Show At 20th’s Big Vegas Show

Pete Hammond

With a chorus line of 40 Samba-dancing Vegas showgirls parading through the audience to the stage for a performance of a song from the upcoming CinemaCon2014_badgeRio 2 (4/11), 20th Century Fox got its CinemaCon presentation off in style. And the studio earned high marks for attempting to put a little showmanship that has been missing from some other presentations this week. Hey this is Vegas. Let’s liven it up, folks. And Fox did.

CinemaCon 2014 - 20th Century Fox Special Presentation Highlighting Its Future Release Schedule This is not to say the rest of their “show” was not all about showing off footage from their 2014 slate. It was, but clearly they put a lot of work into impressing these theatre owners who responded strongly to what Fox was offering. Distribution President Chris Aronson appeared with a feather headdress on (he looked pretty hot) but quickly took it off for a more corporate look as he welcomed the crowd and got things rolling including those previously reported remarks regarding NATO ‘s John Fithian and 12 Years A Slave. He pointed out that the studio’s total worldwide boxoffice was $3.39 billion, the fifth consecutive year they have exceeded the $3 billion mark. He then introduced 20th’s Chairman Jim Gianopulos who expertly hosted the event as he does each year, actually managing to sound like he’s not reading stuff off a prompter – an art both he and Disney’s M.C. Alan Horn have mastered. He launched right into it by announcing “we are starting summer in April this year” and bringing on Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann to introduce clips of their comedy The Other Woman. Then it was time for the “tentpoles” as he intro’d a clip package featuring the opening scene and trailer from X Men: Days Of CinemaCon 2014 - 20th Century Fox Special Presentation Highlighting Its Future Release Schedule Future Past (5/23), extended footage from How To Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13) from their partnership with DreamWorks Animation and a harrowing scene from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (7/11) , the latter really whetting the exhibitors appetite. Let’s just say it involves a couple of drunk guys, a playful-seeming ape and an Uzi. Wow. Even Shailene Woodley, star of  20th’s June 6th romantic drama The Fault In Our Stars, said she was still shaking from the Apes footage when Gianopulos brought her on. Read More »

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CinemaCon: Christopher Nolan Warns Theatre Owners: How ‘Interstellar’ Is Presented Will Be More Important Than Any Film He’s Done Before

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:56pm PDT
Pete Hammond

The large graphic hovering above today’s CinemaCon luncheon filmmaker interview event said “Interstellar THE WORK OF CHRISTOPHER CinemaCon2014_badgeNOLAN“, but any theatre owner who was there anxious to get details of the blockbuster filmmaker’s latest learned very little. Nolan said he is still involved in his favorite part of the process – putting the first cut of Interstellar together – and wants to keep it all under wraps for now. He did praise star Matthew McConaughey’s work just as he did when I saw him at an event on the Paramount lot last week. Today he told the crowd he cast the brand new Oscar winner because he has a sort of “everyman”  the audience could see the story through, saying he got interested in him particularly after seeing Mud. He also said his brother Jonah had MatthewMcConaughey-2__140303064225-150x150actually written the initial script and that he became involved years later incorporating other ideas and elements that shaped the final screenplay. But in terms of real scoops we got none. “Really it’s about travel to other places we couldn’t reach through travel through space because the time expanse is far beyond anything we could conceive of,” was the most detailed description moderator Todd McCarthy could wrest out of him in a 50-minute interview, despite repeated tries. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Final Four – #2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 1:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

We are down to the nitty gritty on Deadline’s search for Despicable Me 2 Frozen Profit2013’s Most Valuable Blockbuster. This is the second of our two showdowns today. Fueled by the numbers furnished by our insiders, we’ll find out just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_FinalFour

TODAY’S OTHER FINAL FOUR MATCHUP
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

The Matchup: The battle of the year’s biggest animation film hits pits the year’s second-highest global gross film Frozen against Universal and Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment’s hit Despicable Me 2, the year’s third-highest global grossing film. To get here, Frozen beat The Great Gatsby and Monsters University, while Despicable Me 2 beat Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6.

The Box Score: What the numbers say.

The Bottom Line: This is tougher than the other Final Four matchup — and that’s saying something. Read More »

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Late Scribe Budd Schulberg Signs With Gersh

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 11:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

schulbergOn the centennial anniversary of the birth of Oscar-winning On The Waterfront and A Face In The Crowd writer Budd Schulberg, his widow Betsy Schulberg has signed with Gersh to rep his estate. He died at 95 in 2009. The agency plans to steer several adaptations of his novels and reboots of his classic works. Schulberg wrote the Oscar-winning script for Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, and the novels What Makes Sammy Run?, The Disenchanted and The Harder They Fall. The son of a powerful Paramount exec, Schulberg had a boisterous and highly eventful life with his share of controversy. He famously became a friendly witness at the House Un-American Activities Committee, testifying about his time as a member of the Communist Party and naming eight Hollywood colleagues who were also members. He also served in the OSS in WWII and reportedly compiled evidence against and arrested Nazi propagandist director Leni Reifenstahl.

waterfront“Without Budd Schulberg, the Hollywood that we know of today wouldn’t exist, as he created the paradigm for what success stands for in this business as a writer and creative talent,” said Gersh co-head Bob Gersh. “He was an American treasure and a Hollywood legend, and we couldn’t be more pleased at Gersh to work with his estate on future projects that will entertain and inform audiences for generations to come.”

Schulberg’s son Benn is shooting a docu on his dad, Hollywood Renegade: The Many Loves Of Budd Schulberg, which was produced by Stephen Nemeth and executive produced by Ben Stiller and Spike Lee. Stiller long planned to direct a version of What Makes Sammy Run?, planning to play Hollywood hustler Sammy Glick. “Budd Schulberg lived Hollywood history, and chronicled it all,” said Stiller. “He was not one to shy away from controversy, and his work as a writer captured an era in 20th century America that is now fading away. Sammy remains the prototypical Hollywood novel and probably always will.” Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Final Four – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

We are down to the nitty gritty on Deadline’s search for Hunger Games Catching Fire Iron Man 3 Profit2013’s Most Valuable Blockbuster. This is the first of two showdowns today. Fueled by the numbers furnished by our insiders, we’ll find out just how profitable these movies really are.

DeadlineBracket_FinalFour

OTHER FINAL FOUR MATCHUP
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

The Matchup: This battle between Katniss Everdeen and Tony Stark puts the year’s highest domestic-grossing film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, against Iron Man 3, which turned in the highest offshore gross.

The Box Score: What the numbers say.

Robert Downey Jr Iron Man 3

The Bottom Line: #1 seed Iron Man 3 got here by beating The Conjuring and Gravity, while #5 The Hunger Games 2 beat World War Z and turned in an upset by besting The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. According to our experts, Robert Downey Jr received first-dollar gross at around $10 million against 10%, putting his payday around $73 million. The film was the year’s top worldwide grosser with $1.2 million and clocked in as the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, trailing only Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers and the Harry Potter finale. It had the ninth-biggest foreign opening weekend of all time, and the sixth-largest worldwide opening ever. It completely righted the stumble that was Iron Man 2. On the downside, Marvel owed this movie to Paramount as part of that original financing and distribution agreement, so Paramount, which did the marketing and distribution, took in a 9% fee that amounted to $89 million. The film had a net production cost of $200 million, and the global P&A spend was $130 million worldwide.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box OfficeThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire set records of its own. It crushed past records for a Thanksgiving holiday opener — both for weekend and the five-day holiday period. Its $71 million opening day was the seventh-best domestic opening single day total ever, and its $158 million opening weekend was the sixth-highest opening weekend in movie history. Because Lionsgate pre-sells foreign (much like New Line did for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Summit did with Twilight Saga), the mini-major doesn’t reap the full dividends of its international performance the way Disney did on Iron Man 3, and star Jennifer Lawrence was paid $10 million upfront against backend. Between her, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and director Francis Lawrence, our experts place the participations at $21 million. The film had a net production cost of $130 million, and Lionsgate spent $50 million for domestic P&A.

The Winner: This is a tough one. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #2 ‘Frozen’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Monsters University Frozen ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the fourth of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_2ndRound

Monsters-Frozen (2)The Matchup: Another intramural battle, this time at Disney. Monsters University, which beat another Disney film, Thor: The Dark World, in Round 1, turned in the seventh-highest domestic gross of 2013 films, and was the sixth-highest-grossing film offshore. Its $82 million opening was the second biggest for a Pixar film, was the second largest among G-rated films, and fifth largest for animated films all time. Frozen’s opening was obscured a bit by the record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but it too broke existing records for that holiday. And it just kept going, outpacing The Hobbit sequel and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and another for Best Original Song in “Let It Go.” Its $1.03 billion gross made it the second highest for the year. It handily bested The Great Gatsby in Round 1.

The Box Score: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them.

The Bottom Line: Monsters University didn’t do as well as predecessor Monsters, Inc. on the domestic front, but the film … Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Fast & Furious 6 Despicable Me 2 ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the third of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_2ndRound

Fast6-Despicable-meThe Matchup: This amounts to an internal skirmish within Universal Pictures, between the studio’s most dependable franchise and its next one. Can Gru and a bunch of adorable minions in Despicable Me 2 outmuscle the muscle cars and cast of Fast & Furious 6 including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jason Statham and Tyrese? Luckily for the Minions, this doesn’t involve bench-pressing. Game On.

The Box Score: Here is how the two films project in revenue and costs.

Vin Diesel

The Bottom Line: Fast 6 got here by besting another animated film in the #11 seed The Croods. Despicable Me 2 cruised past #14 film Star Trek Into Darkness. While Despicable Me 2 showed significant improvement over its first film, Fast 6 has steadily built its gross, to the point where its sixth film was the highest grosser both domestically and overseas. But here is where the Minions deliver a beat-down. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #4 ‘The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’

Mike Fleming

Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug Hunger Games Catching Fire ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the second of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_2ndRound

Hunger-Games-HobbitThe Matchup: There are similarities here that go beyond each of these being the second installment of huge global franchises. How huge? MGM, which was frozen in suspended animation not that long ago, is flush and considering an IPO because of the fortunes derived from its share of The Hobbit franchise, and James Bond. On the other side, The Hunger Games is doing for Lionsgate what The Twilight Saga did for its merger partner, Summit Entertainment. It is driving the fortunes of those combined companies, emboldening its creative team to take chances on building new YA franchises as it did with the weekend’s top-grossing film Divergent.

The Box Score: Here is how the films compare in revenue, ancillary projections and profits.

Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #8 ‘Gravity’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

Gravity Iron Man 3 ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the first of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal our numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

DeadlineBracket_2ndRound

Iron-Man-GravityThe Matchup: The top grossing film of 2013, Iron Man 3, opened the tournament by squeaking past The Conjuring, a low-cost movie with no gross outlay that ranks among the highest profit ratio films of the year. Iron Man 3 advanced anyway, and faces off against Gravity, the great anomaly of 2013, a film that most studios would not have made. Gravity made it out of the first round by besting #9 seed Man Of Steel.

The Box Score: Here is how the films stack up against one another, in revenues (some of which have been projected by our experts in ancillary categories), and then costs.

The Bottom Line: Gravity is a remarkable achievement. Consider that its $56 million domestic opening gross was the best ever for an October release. And while moviegoers often regard 3D — especially those shot in 2D and converted after the fact — to be a gimmick designed to dig deeper into their pockets for higher movie ticket prices, they recognized that Gravity was an exception. Read More »

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UPDATE: Paradigm & Frank Balkin Reach Agreement On Balkin’s Exit To WPA

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 8:55am PDT

UPDATE, 8:55 AM: It wasn’t an easy break-up, but Frank Balkin confirms he and Paradigm have resolved their differences and he is now officially aboard at Worldwide Production Agency. Here’s Balkin’s statement: “I am thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Worldwide Production Agency as Partner and Head of Television. My colleague Brian Goldberg is making the transition as well, and both of us are ecstatic to be working with Steve Jacob, Richard Caleel, and the rest of our fantastic teammates at WPA as we collectively take the premiere agency for producers and production artisans to even greater heights.”

empphoto_9021_1265830368PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FEB. 11 AM: Paradigm’s longtime production department co-head Frank Balkin, who reps below-the-line talent, has left the agency for a partnership at 3-year-old Worldwide Production Agency – but Paradigm is refusing to let Balkin out of his contract. paradigmsmall Nonetheless, Balkin is currently working out of the WPA offices as the dispute continues. At the same time, Paradigm is answering Balkin’s office phone saying that they are taking messages for him. Threats of litigation have been levied as Paradigm has apparently insisted he return to the agency, but progress has been made to let him out. I called Paradigm and asked about this about two weeks ago. At that time, Balkin was still working out of the Paradigm offices and the talent agency said they were hoping to work it out with him. Oh well. It’s unclear what Paradigm is hoping to get but commissions if the agent has already bailed. He had been with Paradigm for over a decade. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’; #2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

The fourth of four posts today Frozen Thor: The Dark World Profitin Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#4 ‘Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’
#5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#7 MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Vs. #10 THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Monsters-ThorHow They Got Here: Monsters University might well be the most stealthy of all the films that grossed more than three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide. The film was the seventh-largest domestic grosser of the year, and did near double that abroad. Pixar’s representative in the tournament turned thorin the second-largest gross of all films from the John Lasseter hit machine, second-largest G-rated film, and is Pixar’s third biggest overall film ever. Thor: The Dark World continues the Marvel superhero juggernaut, and it did particularly well in China, Russia and the UK. While the hammer-wielding hero pales compared to Iron Man, the sequel bettered the original film in both domestic and overseas for a total tally of $645 million.

The Bottom Line: Thor 2 cost $170 million to make, per our experts, and because Marvel is so stingy to everyone but Robert Downey Jr, there are modest participations here that amount to around $12 million. Monsters University cost $200 million, and that include pricey paydays for returning voicers like John Goodman and Billy Crystal. Participations clocked in at around $13.5 million.

The Winner: Neither gains much of an edge because each is MonstersIncthe second installment of a franchise, though Thor 2 probably amps up expectations of the next installments of Marvel’s biggest jewel, The Avengers. So we go to the profit numbers. According to our experts, Monsters University will return $179.8 million to Disney, besting the $139.4 million that Thor 2 returns to Disney. Total cash-on-cash return edge goes to Monsters University, at 1.36 to the 1.32 turned in by Thor 2. Disney is the big winner here, but Monsters University advances.
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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’; #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’

Mike Fleming

The third of four posts today in Fast & Furious 6 Despicable Me 2 ProfitDeadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#4 ‘Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’
#5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#6 FAST & FURIOUS 6 Vs. #11 THE CROODS

Fast-CroodsHow They Got Here: Fast & Furious 6 is the last one directed by Justin Lin, who took this off franchise life support. His finale was the ninth-highest domestic grosser of the year and eighth-biggest worldwide grosser with a $789M global tally. It continued the momentum of Universal’s most valuable live-action franchise, and of course all this happened before the tragic death of stalwart Paul Walker, which has dramatically A scene from The Croodsimpacted the next film that will resume production at month’s end. Up against it is #11 grosser The Croods, another powerhouse animated film from DreamWorks Animation that got an Oscar nom for Best Animated Picture.

The Bottom Line: Both films are burdened by high production costs, with Fast & Furious carrying more in talent participations, and The Croods paying an 8% distribution fee to Fox. Our experts peg the Fast & Furious budget at $260 million, a huge number that is much higher than what the studio admitted to. The Croods tab was $175 million in production FastFurious6costs.

The Winner: Per our experts, this one turns out to be a close call. Our experts say that Fast & Furious 6 made $135.1 million profit for Universal, while The Croods turned in $106.5 million in profit to DreamWorks Animation. Given the durability of the race car franchise, I’m going to give this round to Fast & Furious 6.
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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’; #4 ‘Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Hobbit Smaug ProfitThe second of four posts today in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#5 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Vs. #12 WORLD WAR Z

HungerGames-WWZHow They Got Here: Talk about two completely paths to success. When Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released last Thanksgiving, the only question was how high Katniss Everdeen would soar. She didn’t disappoint, as the film blew past the holiday record for three-day and five-day totals, and it was just about as strong domestically as it was foreign. Contrast that to World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt- survives-a-zombie-plague movie had all kinds of troubles during its production, and the last act of the movie got scrapped after it was shot because test audiences and Paramount Pictures didn’t like it. It was redrafted and reshot. That added $20 million or more to an already highWorldWarZ budget, but worse, the buzz around the film was that it was going to be awful. Surprise. The film’s ending worked very well, and the action shots of zombies collectively swarming over walls like insects made it the most visually compelling zombie film since Night Of The Living Dead. Is that enough to topple The Hunger Games sequel?

The Bottom Line: When it was released, many thought Catching Fire would burn long enough to surpass the billion-dollar gross mark. It didn’t come that close with an $864 million worldwide gross, but it did improve upon the first film’s tally, which is exactly what the second leg of a continuing story is supposed to do. Considering all its hardships, World War Z is lucky just to be in this tournament. Usually, when you hear a film is going to be a train wreck, it usually turns out to be just that. Catching Fire Box officeIt was laudable to see a studio be willing to pull a film out of a prime release slot, and throw more money into it to rescue it, even if naysayers questioned why it took everybody that long to realize it didn’t work and needed to be fixed. Paramount was happy enough with the results to put elements on a sequel, even if that became creatively complicated by the first film essentially solving the zombie problem.

The Winner: It’s Hunger Games in a walk. Our experts peg the World War Z budget around $269 million, though Paramount argues it was considerably less. Tack on another $160 million to market it, and Pitt’s first-dollar gross deal, and, according to our experts, this film barely broke even. You don’t invest $430 million to make and market a film just to break even, especially when it became the biggest opening of a film starring Pitt, and the biggest-grossing film in his career. Good luck on that sequel. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

Mike Fleming

Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, Iron Man 3 Gravity Profitbut which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ? This is hard to ascertain. We can reliably track box office grosses domestic and offshore, but studios routinely spin cost factors like production, P&A budgets, and talent participation. Capturing the spirit of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament that just got underway, Deadline has bracketed 2013’s 16 highest-grossing films and they will play off against one another. Our tournament will play out over five rounds. As is the case with the NCAA, the top-earning films face the bottom earners in the first round, leaving room for upsets for setting up brutal behemoth collisions later in the bracket.

boxoffice-moneyInstead of relying on numbers from studios that would make us susceptible to spin, we instead confidentially engaged two separate experts from entities that regularly create revenue models. We assure you, these are top-level insiders. We have used the results to create a formula that encompasses the wisdom of both. Films that advance to the next round will do so partly by the profit they create for their sponsoring studios, but other intangibles will be considered on close call decisions. Those include films that launch or grow franchises and create ancillary revenues, variables that have become the core of the studio business these days. The detailed descriptions and analysis of the … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More

the end turkeyEccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version. Read More »

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As Predicted Here, Warner Bros Promotes Film Execs Jon Berg & Courtenay Valenti

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 11:32am PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: As Deadline was first to reveal after the CourtenayValentiJonBergexits of Lynn Harris and Sarah Schechter, Jon Berg and Courtenay Valenti have been promoted to EVP Development and Production at Warner Bros Pictures by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production. Both execs, who’ve worked forever with Silverman, will report to him. Duties will be expanded for Valenti, a 25-year studio vet, and Berg, who has been rising in the ranks since arriving in 2008. They will take grater roles in oversight and management of Warner Bros’ development team and budget, as well as managing the studio’s film projects.

Related: Warner Bros Moving To Elevate Production Pair After Lynn Harris’ Exit

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OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Our Past And Our Future And Hits Just The Right Notes

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PST
Pete Hammond

In the end the Academy Awards fell right into place with every other awards show this season. Gravity got LOTS of love but it ended with 12 Years A Slave‘s Steve McQueen making the big Oscars selfie Ellenacceptance speech of the night for Best Picture — just like it went at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, BAFTA, PGA and others. It’s a weird year when a blockbuster picture like Gravity can win seven Oscars including Best Director yet lose the big one. But science fiction is not a category the Oscars have ever embraced in that way, and this year was no exception. In 1977 Star Wars also won seven Oscars yet lost in the end to Best Pic winner Annie Hall, which only picked up four awards overall much like Slave’s haul of three nods this year. The record still stands though with 1972′s Cabaret winning eight Oscars but losing ultimately to The Godfather which won only three including Best Picture.

Related:
OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
OSCARS: 2014 Winners Photo Gallery

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowHow do you explain it? It’s called spreading the wealth but wanting to save your most important award for a movie that has real gravitas, one that breaks barriers over what the Academy has ever done before. A movie directed by a black person has never before won nor has a film that so harrowingly details one aspect of the black experience. 12 Years A Slave may have depicted the dark side of this country in a way Oscar had never before recognized, but the Academy wanted to spotlight that and reward it with its highest prize in a year of great films about the black experience. In fact the whole show was full of diversity including numerous black presenters and the Best Director award to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.

Related:
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
Backstage At The Oscars

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