A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and We’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees:
It will be an on-screen reunion for the two former stars of That ’70s Show. Mila Kunis is set for a guest appearance on an episode of Two And A Half Men in April opposite her real-life beau Ashton Kutcher, CBS has confirmed. She’ll play Vivian, a beautiful, free-spirited world traveler who shows up on Walden’s (Kutcher) doorstep. Walden feels an instant connection with her, convinced she’s “the one.” The problem is, Walden was about to propose to someone else. Kunis is best known on TV for her roles in ‘70s Show and Family Guy. Her film credits include 2010′s Oscar-nominated Black Swan, Oz The Great And Powerful, Ted, Friends With Benefits, Date Night, The Book Of Eli, Extract, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Max Payne. She can next be seen in Jupiter Ascending opposite Channing Tatum, and Third Person, which will be released in June.
2ND UPDATE, 12:01 PM PT: After much back and forth Saturday involving Sony, Universal and a last-ditch overture from Warner Bros, Sony finally closed its deal for Winter’s Knight, the Viking-mythology-tinged origin story of St. Nick and Christmas. Sony emerged as front-runner when it agreed to pay $1 million to newbie scribes Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, for the biggest spec sale of this year so far. That was the easy part. Deals were then made for producers Marc Platt and Lawrence Grey. More challenging was making a deal with the white hot Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, but that effort was led by incoming Sony Pictures Production President Michael De Luca. His persuasive pitch was that he plans to bring in the next generation of emerging filmmakers, much the way he did at ’90s New Line with the likes of David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson. That, and a precedent-setting mid-seven-figure salary for the directing team, sealed the deal. If Disney can keep to its schedule and get the next Pirates of the Caribbean to set sail before year’s end, the directors will make that after completing the pilot for the Netflix/Weinstein Company series Marco Polo, and Winter’s Knight will come after. Also intriguing is how this movie will lengthen the movie credit resume of L. Frank Baum, best known for The Wizard Of Oz. The subject matter is his 1902 book The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus. Of course, Baum’s work has fallen into public domain, meaning anyone can pillage it for movie ideas. At the rate Baum is going, with all the Oz incarnations and now this work being turned into big money Hollywood films, he might end up spinning in his grave almost as fast as Shakespeare, long Hollywood’s most heavily exploited public domain wordsmith.
23 days. A $250 “budget” for makeup. That’s all Best Makeup Oscar nominee Robin Mathews had to transform her Dallas Buyers Club actors from healthy to sick. To make sure she didn’t bust the budget, at one point during the 4 1/2-week shoot Mathews had a PA drive over and gather up grits and cornmeal from her mom’s house to create the look of the dermatitis rash for the characters. Mathews is from New Orleans, where the film was shot. “As I was applying this mixture of grits and cornmeal to Matthew [McConaughey], I was thinking this could be the end of my career or it’s going to be OK, but I had no idea which way it was going to go.” When she saw it on camera, she could breathe again. “We tried it … and it worked. Had I had my choice, I would have used prosthetics, but we didn’t have the time, help or the money for that.”
Mathews had worked on such films Oz The Great and Powerful and Django Unchained. But Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) was only a $4.5M budget, shot with a handheld camera by director Jean-Marc Vallee and (every makeup person’s challenge) only ambient lighting so Mathews — depending on the scene — had to bring them from health to sickness and back again many times within hours. “Some days, I’d have to take them from their most skeletal, sickest look to the 25-pound-heavier, healthier look five times a day as quickly as possible with little time in between.” For research, she looked at photos provided by an infectious disease doctor, David Hardy, who explained three conditions that people with full-blown AIDS suffer from: muscle wasting, which causes the faces of those afflicted to become very skeletal (sunken eyes, protruding cheekbones and recessed temples); seborrheric dermatitis, which causes a rosacea rash on different parts of the face (red, flaky and dry with boils); and, finally, lesions that can develop anywhere on the body. “Our actors came to us at least 40 pounds lighter each, and they maintained that weight during the entire four-week shoot … so I don’t think people realize that a lot of what they look like is just makeup.”
Los Angeles (January 14, 2014) – Today, the Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional honorary society, announced the nominees for the 12th Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on-the-keys artists who bring this work to life. Nominees were selected by VES members via concurrent events in Los Angeles and within the eight Global VES Sections – New York, Bay Area, New Zealand, Sydney, United Kingdom, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The VES Awards will be held on February 12th at the Beverly Hilton.
“The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to tell the most amazing stories imaginable,” said Jeffrey A. Okun, VES Chair. “This year, more than ever, we have seen the fantastic become normal, the unimaginable become reality and the artistry of VFX drive box office. The VES Awards is the only place where this amazing work is showcased and honored. We are extremely proud of our nominees!”
The 12th Annual VES Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at the The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The nominees for the 12th Annual VES Awards are as follows:
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, CAA has signed Robert Stromberg, who graduated from production designer and VFX artist to make his feature directorial debut on the Angelina Jolie-starrer Maleficent. Disney releases the Linda Woolverton-scripted film May 30 with Joe Roth producing. Stromberg, who had been with UTA, won two Academy Awards for Art Direction for Alice In Wonderland and Avatar before getting his feature shot. He was also production designer on Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful and also worked on visual effects for such films as 2012, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End and Master And Commander.
Box Office Market Share: Warner Bros No. 1 With $5.035B, 8 films over $100M; Disney, Uni Records Set — But What Does It Matter If All Costs Aren’t Calculated In?
Warner Bros., Disney and Universal Pictures are the leaders in the marketplace for 2013, driven by powerful box office numbers from franchise tentpoles and animated titles. Warner Bros. had a huge market share jump over all others with $5.035B (projected domestic of $1.895B and $3.140B internationally) to take home the market share prize title. It is now the only studio that exceeded $1B for 13 years running; they have consistently ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for nine out of the last ten years. The studio had eight films that grossed over $100M, six of them in a row came from the summer season (The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, Pacific Rim [$310 worldwide], Man Of Steel [$377M], The Conjuring and We’re The Millers). In addition, Gravity (which opened in October to $260M in the U.S. and grossed $408M worldwide) and The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug have been feeding their box office with a vengeance; in its third week, Smaug has grossed $450M worldwide with China and Japan yet to bow. “A lot of us have been working together over for a long while and it’s truly a team effort,” noted distribution president Dan Fellman. “All divisions work extremely well with each other.” No. 2 this year is Disney. Iron Man 3 (Marvel), Monsters University (with Pixar), Oz The Great And Powerful, and Frozen pumped up Disney (Frozen becoming the top animated …
International Box Office Update: Iron Man No. 1 In 2013 With $1.2B Global Take, Best Gross for Marvel/Walt Disney Studios which Tops $3B For First Time; Fox International Down 14% In 2013 But Still Grosses $2.33B; ‘Hunger Games’ Heading Over $400M
UPDATE, 1:54 PM: surpassing $3B (specifically $3.013B) for the first time in its history. Bouyed by the Marvel franchise Iron Man 3 which took in $806.3M (almost double of its domestic take), the animated Monsters University with $476.4M, and Thor: The Dark World with $4.26M, Frozen which bowed late in the year and has racked up $267.3M in only six weeks’ time, and Oz The Great and Powerful ($258.4M), Disney has emerged as No. 2 in overall market share worldwide, under Warner Bros. Iron Man 3 was the number one film in the marketplace internationally and if you add in its domestic gross of $409M, it was a cash cow of $1.215B and the highest grossing film of 2013. It is also the No 5 film of all time globally. Its opening alone was $174M this summer. Universal International’s hit of the year was Despicable Me 2 which grossed $553.2M which helped rocket the studios’ total international cume to $2.258B. The animated franchise grossed a total of $921M globally for the studio. The other titles helping to push Universal into the record books was Fast and Furious 6 which grossed a total of $550M and About Time which has pulled in $65.9M in foreign territories.
Considering that global movie ticket sales reached precedent levels after a particularly robust holiday period and a mostly sizzling summer, 2013 was one of the most turbulent years I can remember in the executive suites of major studios. Studios were overhauled all over town to better compete in an arena that is more of a global pursuit than ever, with victory belonging to whoever can build and maintain the most franchises.
Purists will decry the fact that Hollywood’s brightest minds are mostly focused on repackaging derivative concepts for maximum global grosses, but evidence of the rewards are right there in the gross charts: Six of the top seven biggest films were sequels that provided the kind of results that keep studio conglomerate parents happy, keep studio chiefs employed, and slate co-financiers coming back for more. Sure, studios will still get involved with awards-season prestige films like The Wolf Of Wall Street, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, but often only when someone else pays to make them. This franchise fever pushed costs of blockbusters to ridiculously high levels, and left top execs and producers explaining, and sometimes packing, when some badly misfired. Add that to internal power struggles at places like Universal and Warner Bros, and you needed a scorecard to keep up with the executive changes — which came fast and furious, especially after the brutal summer blockbuster season. Among them:
*Universal fired film chairman Adam Fogelson in a move that surprised him along with everyone else in town but Ron Meyer and Donna Langley, with whom he engaged in a quiet power struggle. Fogelson was blindsided by the result, coming hours after he presided over the Toronto premiere of Rush. The Comcast-orchestrated move that put Jeff Shell in charge of filmed entertainment after he did well running NBCUniversal’s international operations. Meyer was upped to vice chairman of NBCUniversal and Langley as sole Universal Films chairman and picture picker. Even though the studio placed third in market share and Despicable Me 2 could become the studio’s biggest-ever box office hit when it plays in China, Universal also flubbed franchise launch attempts like R.I.P.D. and 47 Ronin, and Kick-Ass 2 proved that once was enough. Universal has sequels to Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Ted coming, and a new salty adult franchise in Fifty Shades Of Grey for 2015. Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures moved in to hatch pictures and co-fi Universal titles like Jurassic World, hedging the studio’s bets as it moves forward. Langley’s biggest challenge has been retooling the studio’s most lucrative franchise, Fast & Furious, which was halfway completed when star Paul Walker died tragically in a fiery car crash. Right after Fogelson was ousted, longtime Focus Features chief James Schamus was dismissed just as suddenly. He was replaced by Peter Schlessel, the whip-smart former Sony dealmaker who’d been running FilmDistrict and who clearly will be charged with broadening the highbrow Focus slate to include more low-risk high-return genre films like the FilmDistrict hit Insidious. Schamus’s co-chairman, Andrew Karpen, declined to relocate and stay on, dramatically changing the complexion of that prestige company.
*The final shoe dropped after Warner Bros gave the top job to Kevin Tsujihara instead of Warner Bros movie chief Jeff Robinov. At a time when Robinov should have been taking victory laps after his bets on filmmakers paid off so well with Ben Affleck’s Argo, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, Robinov instead left in a frosty exit to form his own moneyed film venture. This, and the equally tempestuous exit of Legendary’s Tull after a lucrative franchise-fueled run, left Robinov’s successors Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll under big pressure to assert themselves to find new franchises. The studio re-upped Village Roadshow Pictures and replaced Legendary with James Packer, Brett Ratner and Steven Mnuchin’s RatPac Dune in a slate co-financing deal that will spread $450 million or more over 75 films. While Warner Bros brass tired of Tull imposing his creative will and cherry-picking Warner Bros titles to co-fi, RatPac Dune will not do that, and I heard the studio was able to exclude certain plum titles from the arrangement. But Warner Bros also gifted RatPac Dune with a co-fi stake in Gravity after it was completed, creating a big windfall for a fledgling venture. It’s ironic given nobody in Hollywood but Robinov seemed to want to make that movie — an expensive auteur effort that has zero sequel potential. One challenge for the new team at Warner Bros: keeping Robinov from peeling away the directors he empowered, from Christopher Nolan to Affleck, Snyder, Luhrmann, The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips and Cuaron to make movies at the new company he and Graham King are expected to launch at Sony. Silverman is respected and Kroll is regarded as arguably the best marketer in town and the studio’s global distribution and marketing operation is as good as there is, but the pressure’s on even though Warner Bros topped other studios in market share. It also has what seems like a strong year with franchise launches in Godzilla and LEGO, another installment of 300 (so what if everybody died in the original?), and a Hobbit finale. Beyond Hobbit, New Line continues to do its part on the franchise front, hatching a Horrible Bosses sequel for 2014 and gearing up another installment of its sleeper 2013 road trip comedy We’re The Millers.
*After two costly summer misfires in After Earth and White House Down, a lackluster Smurfs sequel that fizzled the franchise, and disappointing returns on the Matt Damon-starrer Elysium, Sony Pictures chairman Amy Pascal found herself in the cross-hairs of minority activist shareholder Daniel Loeb. The result: seismic changes in its executive structure and game plan moving forward. The studio dropped marketing head Marc Weinstock, corporate PR chief Steve Elzer and home entertainment chief David Bishop, and then added former New Line president-turned Fifty Shades Of Grey producer Michael De Luca to share president of production duties with Hannah Minghella. The studio vowed heading into its fall investor meetings that it would cut $250 million in costs through 2016, and make fewer movies in 2014 and pour the money into TV. I keep hearing that was temporary window dressing, and after adding former Fox chief Tom Rothman to revive TriStar, which creates another buyer on a lot full of them, Sony will continue to try and create franchises to go along with its Spider-Man and 007 stalwarts. Sony secured a big slate co-fi investment from John LaViolette and Joseph Singer’s Blue Anchor that begins with George Clooney’s The Monuments Men. And then there is the prospect of the venture by Robinov/King which would give Sony huge movies to release and gain market share and bragging rights, without actually having to fund them if they don’t want to. If 22 Jump Street and especially The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit as well as is hoped, some of that pressure could be alleviated as the studio presses ahead with reboots of past franchise successes Ghostbusters and Men In Black.
Disney announced today that it has broken the $1.547 billion domestic box office record it set just last year. The landmark comes after Disney became the first studio to reach $1 billion in 2013 and then hit $2 billion internationally for the fourth consecutive year. Disney also broke its own international all-time record of $2.302 billion and its global all-time record of $3.791 billion in 2013 in large part to brand acquisitions Marvel and Pixar, with Marvel’s Iron Man 3 raking in $409 million domestic and $806.3 million internationally ($1.215 billion worldwide), Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World adding $198.2 million domestic and $423 million internationally ($621.2 million worldwide), and Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University taking in $268.5 million domestic and $476.4 million international ($744.9 million worldwide). Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful added $234.9 million domestic and $258.4 international ($493.3 million worldwide) while recent opener Frozen has taken in $164.8 million domestic and $103.7 million international to date ($168.5 million worldwide). Dave Hollis, president of distribution for Disney noted that the driving force has not been in the number of releases, but that the studio has created a number of branded tentpoles that have done exceedingly well at the box office. Indeed, two of the pictures were Marvel-branded properties, one Pixar and the last one Oz. Not mentioned among today’s back-slapping, however, was Disney’s big box office flop of the …
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — One hundred fourteen scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2013 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 86th Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:
The Studio previously announced it had reached a record high on November 12, when it surpassed the $3.791 billion set in 2010. In July, Disney was the first studio to reach the $1 billion domestic box office milestone for the year, a threshold it has achieved for eight consecutive years. In August, in record time, Disney reached the $2 billion international box office threshold for the fourth year in a row, and in early November the studio surpassed its previous all-time international box office record of $2.302 billion, also set in 2010.
“With incredible results from our Marvel, Disney and Pixar brands, this is a phenomenal achievement and we still have seven weeks and three exciting films to go this year,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. “What all of our films have in common is not only quality but great characters and universal stories that connect with people around the world, which is so important to us.”
In July, Disney was the first studio to reach the $1 billion domestic box office milestone for the year, a threshold it has achieved for eight consecutive years. In August, in record time, Disney reached the $2 billion international box office threshold for the fourth year in a row, and in early November the studio surpassed its previous all-time international box office record of $2.302 billion, also set in 2010.
The announcement comes as Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues to dominate the global box office. The film opened domestically November 8 with $85.7 million and has earned $348.5M million worldwide since beginning its international rollout October 30.
EXCLUSIVE: The year of Wizard Of Oz continues with the sale of another high-profile Oz-themed drama project. Lifetime has put in development Red Brick Road, from the Wolper Organization, Vertigo Entertainment and Warner Horizon. Written by Tim Schlattman (Dexter) based on an concept by artist Rob Prior and executive produced by Roy Lee and Adrian Askarieh, Red Brick Road is described as an edgy, Game Of Thrones take on the world of Wizard Of Oz. In the classic 1939 feature, when Dorothy set off for the Emerald City, she followed the Yellow Brick Road. But among the yellow bricks at Dorothy’s feet, there was also a swirl of red bricks. They’ve been there the whole time in plain sight. Unnoticed. Unexplored. Which raises the question — just where do they go? Red Brick Road will answer that by following Dorothy down that fateful path, taking her to the oldest, darkest and most dangerous parts of Oz to find what became of her friends who all have gone missing.
EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project. I’ve learned that the CW is in negotiations for Dorothy Must Die, a drama from the Heroes trio of creator/exec producer Tim Kring and exec producers Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster. Written by Armus and Foster with Kring supervising, I hear the project is based on the upcoming young adult novel Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. It is a revisionist take on the classic tale set in present day, 80 years after Dorothy Gale supposedly came home. In reality, the magically-ever-youthful Dorothy has stayed in Oz, presiding over a now fascist fairyland with her perfectly manicured iron fist and the help of her henchmen – the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But when another young woman from Kansas is swept up in a tornado and magically dropped into this war-torn Oz, our hero discovers a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings only to learn that she is destined to lead their people in the fight to reclaim Oz from a power-hungry Dorothy’s ruthless clutches. The book will be published by HarperTeen next April, with digital prequel novella, No Place Like Oz, available now. The property originated at James Frey’s book-packaging company Full Fathom Five, with him and Todd Cohen, President of Film and Television, exec producing alongside Armus, Foster and Kring.
Dorothy Must Die, which is yet to be laid off at a studio, is the fourth Wizard Of Oz TV project sold in the past two months. It joins NBC drama Emerald City, a dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones from writer Matthew Arnold, CBS’ Dorothy, a medical soap inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard Of Oz, and Syfy’s miniseries Warriors Of Oz from director Timur Bekmambetov, a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. The great interest in Wizard Of Oz is not entirely unexpected as the title has been getting a lot of attention in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the 1939 feature, which will include a 3D re-release of the Judy Garland starrer. It also comes on the heels of the success of Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this year.
The Roundabout Theatre Company has set Alan Cumming to play Emcee and Michelle Williams to make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in a limited run revival of Cabaret. Sam Mendes is directing and Rob Marshall is co-directing and choreographing, returning to the roles they played in the 1998 production that won the Tony Award. The book is by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, based on the John Van Druten play and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Since Cumming starred in that version, the new wrinkle here is Williams, the three-time Oscar nominee who’s coming off Oz The Great And Powerful.
Look out Eminem — Superman and Batman are heading to Detroit. The Michigan Film Office today announced that Warner Bros’ untitled Man Of Steel sequel has been awarded a state incentive of $35 million to film there in early 2014. The office says that the sequel — in which Ben Affleck debuts as Batman and Henry Cavill reprises his Superman role from this year’s blockbuster — is expected to have $131 million worth of in-state expenditures when it films in and around Motor City. The now-bankrupt Detroit will serve as both Metropolis and Gotham in the first feature team-up between the two top DC Comics heroes. “Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie,” said director Zack Snyder in a statement Thursday. “Detroit and the entire state of Michigan have been fantastic collaborators and we are looking forward to working together on this film.” The Man Of Steel sequel is set to be released July 17, 2015.
NBC Buys ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama From Matt Arnold As Frank Baum’s Classic Becomes The Hottest TV Property This Season
EXCLUSIVE: A century after the release of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard Of Oz series, the books have become the toast of this TV development season. NBC just nabbed Emerald City, an Oz-themed drama from Siberia creator/showrunner Matthew Arnold. Two weeks ago, CBS put in development Dorothy, a medical soap inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard of Oz. I hear there is another Oz drama making the rounds from Heroes alums Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster, with Heroes creator Tim Kring supervising. And just last month, Syfy picked up for development a miniseries titled Warriors Of Oz from director Timur Bekmambetov, a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. The great interest in Wizard Of Oz is not entirely unexpected as the title has been getting a lot of attention in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the classic 1939 feature, which will include a 3D re-release of the Judy Garland starrer. It also comes on the heels of the success of Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this year.
Emerald City, which Arnold is writing and executive producing through Universal Television, is described as a dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from Baum’s original 14 books.
The milestone for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures — hit yesterday — marks the fastest time the studio has reached $2 billion in overseas grosses and the fourth year in a row. Disney is on track to have its biggest year internationally; still to come in 2013 is the remainder of the territory rollout for Disney’s Planes as well as Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World (it begins releasing overseas November 8 ) and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen (international release starts November 20). This year’s releases of course include Oz The Great And Powerful, Iron Man 3, Monsters University and The Lone Ranger, the latter of which has made $130.1M of its disappointing $217.8M global cume overseas.