Joey King Joins Lifetime’s ‘Outlaw Prophet’; Steven Cree In Starz’s ‘Outlander

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz The Great And Powerful) joeyking1has been cast in Lifetime’s original movie Outlaw Prophet from Sony Pictures Television. It focuses on the true story of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect who spent more than a year on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, eluded authorities and was ultimately caught by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper. Based on Stephen Singular’s book When Men Become Gods, the movie chronicles Jeffs’ rise to power after the death of his father, Rulon Jeffs (Martin Landau). King will play Elissa Wall, the battered young woman who brings Jeffs (Tony Goldwyn) to justice. King, repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and Meredith Fine at Coast to Coast Talent Group, will next be seen in FX’s Fargo and Zach Braff’s indie Wish I Was Here.
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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: Disney’s Alan Horn Says ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Is Highest Testing Movie He’s Ever Had

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 5:16pm PDT
Pete Hammond

CinemaCon2014_badgeAlthough Disney devoted a good chunk of its CinemaCon presentation today to talk of Star Wars and The Avengers and clips of upcoming movies including first looks at the live-action re-telling of Cinderella and Pixar’s Inside Out, theater owners left the near three-hour session really singing the praises of one of the lesser-known films on the slate: the May 16 release Million Dollar Arm. It stars Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, who received the convention’s Excellence In Acting award from studio Chairman Alan Horn just before a full screening of the movie, which Horn told the crowd has scored higher than any movie he has ever tested Jon Hamm Alan Horn handshakeat Disney, or Warner Bros before that. “And that includes the first Harry Potter, which was so highly anticipated,” he said. Judging from the reaction in the Caesars Palace Colosseum theater and comments afterward, those test scores would seem to be justified. This is the kind of increasingly rare non-animated family film that should play across the board. “It’s comical, it’s emotional, it has great music” was what one exhibitor was heard saying as he walked out. That music, by the way, is from two-time Oscar winner A.R. Rahman, who scored Slumdog Millionaire.

Related: Hot Trailer: Jon Hamm In ‘Million Dollar Arm’

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AMC Greenlights First Comedy Pilot, Sets Projects From Chris Carter, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg And Kevin Smith, Adds Dave Erickson To ‘The Walking Dead’ Spinoff

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 1:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

amclogo4As part of its upfront, AMC as usual is making a slew of programming announcements. They include an increased focus on comedy development, including a first pilot green light to a half-hour project, We Hate Paul Revere, written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner, and several comedy projects in development including one from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End) and half-hours toplined/written by John Leguizamo and Wyatt Cenac. On the drama side, AMC’s development slate includes projects from Chris Carter, Amy Lippman and Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner and producer Aaron Kaplan.

Related: AMC Sets Projects With John Leguizamo & Wyatt Cenac As Part Of Push In Comedy

Kevin SmithAMC also announced the renewal of Kevin Smith’s unscripted series Comic Book Men for a fourth season.The network is expanding its relationship with Smith to include the development of a late-night project, Hollywood Babble-On, starring Smith and his co-host of their popular podcast, Ralph Garman, to be produced by Wilshire Studios and executive produced by Smith, Ralph Garman and Gary Auerbach. Additionally, AMC is also working with Smith on the development of a docu-series featuring super-collector and Comic Book Men regular Robert Bruce. Produced by Original Media and Smith’s Smodcast Pictures, and exec produced by Dan Laikind, Charlie Corwin, Elyse Seiden and Smith, Bruce and his fellow experts scour the country searching real estate sales, auction houses and flea markets on a quest to find rare items that will feed the needs of his demanding clients and add to Bruce’s own colossal collection.

AMC also has made an overall deal with Dave Erickson (Sons Of Anarchy), who will co-write, along with Robert Kirkman, and serve as an executive producer on the unnamed The Walking Dead companion series. “AMC is introducing more hours of original programming and the most robust, diverse development slate in our network’s history,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. Unwavering is our commitment to the eclectic, quality dramatic series that have come to define our brand and to the unconventional unscripted worlds we love to explore. And today we also happily dive head-first into our first-ever scripted comedy pilot.”  Here is AMC’s full slate, which includes drama, comedy and unscripted projects as well as two books optioned for series: 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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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: 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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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’

 

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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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MTV Movie Awards Nominees Unveiled

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:00am PST

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 MTV Movie AwardsWe’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: Read More »

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Mila Kunis To Guest Star With Ashton Kutcher On ‘Two And A Half Men’

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 12:29pm PST

mila2014It 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.

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Sony Finally Closes ‘Winter’s Knight’ As L. Frank Baum Keeps Racking Up Credits From Grave

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 12:01pm PST
Mike Fleming

tv-scripts-200X2002ND 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-logo__130125035333-200x312 (1)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. Read More »

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