UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Rio 2′ Soars With $63.4M; ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Blasts Past $300M Overseas; ‘Noah’ Adds $36.2M; ‘Divergent’ Nearing $50M

Highlights: Rio 2 (FOX) has $63.4M weekend, lands $12.6M in China debut; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) crosses $300M international; Noah (PAR) adds $36.2M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) nears $50M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) has 5th No. 1 weekend in Spain…

cinemaworld4th UPDATE, 7:15 PM, PST: The final Divergent  numbers are in, with the film nearing $50M but not yet crossing it; it stands at $48.1M. The film is based on the YA novel of the same name (part of a trilogy) and Lionsgate is hoping it will become another big franchise. This is the same company that launched the wildly successful Hunger Games series. Divergent is at $124.7M in the U.S. after the 3-day weekend for a worldwide gross of $172.8M+.

3rd UPDATE, Monday, 1:52 PM, PST:  New grosses are in for Rio 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 300: Rise Of An Empire, The Lego Movie, Spanish Affairs and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Rio 2 did better than previously expected internationally over the weekend, with a total tally of $63.4M to date; the worldwide cume on the animated family picture is over $100M.

2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 12:45 AM PT: Last weekend, Captain America: Read More »

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UPDATE: James Cameron on ‘Avatar’ Sequel Timetable Following Rupert Murdoch’s Comments

avatar_poster-200x300Update, Saturday 10:25 AM: In a Reddit AMA this morning, Avatar director James Cameron expounded on the franchise’s timetable in regards to the screenplays, writing, “The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously. They’re essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks. There’s always pressure, whether it’s a new film or whether it’s a sequel, to entertain and amaze an audience. I’ve felt that pressure my entire career, so there’s nothing new there. The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable. There hasn’t been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie.”

In a Fortune interview earlier this week, Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch reiterated what Deadline reported back in August: That there will be three Avatar sequels released respectively in December 2016, 2017 and 2018. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Captain America’ Smashes April Opening Record With Estimated $95M For Disney/Marvel, Includes $10.2M Thursday Previews; Year Up 6.8%, Weekend Ahead 23% From 2013

OPENING: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS), smashes April opening records with estimated $95M to $96.2M opening and ended up at $95M.

captain-america-wallpaper-batman-vs-superman-avengers-2-captain-america-2-spider-man-2-is-this-the-golden-age-of-superhero-movies

UPDATED, MONDAY, 1:00 PM: Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s final numbers are in, and it’s on the low end of the estimate to $95M with international numbers still coming in. But what a huge start overseas: The Disney/Marvel franchise has commanded an estimated international cume of $207.1M, with $32.9M coming this weekend from China alone. So worldwide, it already has grossed $302.1M to date. It’s about 47% ahead of the first Captain America, which made $193.9M overseas and ended its run with $370.5M worldwide in 2011.

Domestically, it should be clear sailing next weekend for Captain America as bowing will be the animated kid’s fare Rio 2 From Fox, which has already hit overseas markets to gross $55.4M. It hasn’t swung into China or Mexico yet. The first Rio made $143M domestically and $484.6M worldwide in 2011. But family audiences are growing weary of both Muppets Most Wanted and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which have been in the marketplace for three and five weeks, respectively, so its prime time to come out with another family film. In addition, Lionsgate Films’ opens in wide release the Ivan Reitman-directed Draft Daystarring Kevin Costner, who must be exhausted from the number of press junkets he’s had to go through this year with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days to Kill and now Draft Day. Blumhouse Prods’ horror flick Oculus from Relativity hopes to mirror the success of Evil DeadOculus premiered at Toronto while Evil Dead also went the festival circuit last year at SXSW before bowing in April. In limited release from The Weinstein Company will be opening the Colin Firth-Nicole Kidman starrer Railway Man, the WWII film based on the Eric Lomax’s best-selling book.

1). Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS), 3,938 theaters / 3-day cume: $95M ($10.2M from previews) / Per screen average: $24,129 / Wk 1

2). Noah (PAR), 3,571 theaters (+4) / 3-day cume: $17M (-61%) / Per screen average: $4,773 / Total cume: $72.3M / Wk 2

3). Divergent (LGF), 3,631 theaters (-305) / 3-day cume: $12.9M (-49%) /Per screen average: $3,573 /  Total cume: $114M / Wk 3

4). God’s Not Dead (FREE), 1,758 theaters (+580) / 3-day cume: $7.7M (-12%) / Per screen average: $4,416 / Total cume: $32.5M / Wk 3

5). Muppets Most Wanted (DIS), 3,052 theaters (-142) / 3-day cume: $6.1M (-46%) / Per screen average: $2,014 / Total Cume: $42M / Wk 3

6). The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL), 1,263 theaters (+286) / 3-day cume: $6.1M (-28%) / Per screen average: $4,842 / Total cume: $33.19M / Wk 5

7). Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX), 2,931 theaters (-368) / 3-day cume: $5.1M (-43%) / Per screen average: $1,751 / Total cume: $102M / Wk 5

8). Sabotage (OPRD), 2,486 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.9M (-62%) / Per screen average: $2,486 / Total cume: $8.8M / Wk 2

9). Need for Speed (DIS), 1779 theaters (-926) /3-day cume: $1.8M (-57%) / Per screen average: $1,016 / Total cume: $40.8M / WK 4

10). Non-Stop (UNI), 2,515 theaters (-430) / 3-day cume: $1.7M (-55%) / Per screen average: $1,040 /  Total cume: $88.1M / Wk 6 Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Captain America’ Latenights $10.2M Push It Past $100M Worldwide On Path To $85M+ Weekend; ‘Divergent’ Passes $100M

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 8:22am PDT

captain-america-the-winter-soldier01UPDATED, FRIDAY, 8:20 AM: Captain America: The Winter Soldier late nights (starting at 8 p.m.) nabbed a whopping $10.2M last night to push it well past the $100M mark worldwide. The total includes $1.2M from 344 IMAX locations. Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel grossed $9M in late nights — it started at midnight — and went onto gross over $100M on its opening weekend. Other tentpole late nights were The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug ($8.8M for a $73.6M opening), and Thor: The Dark World” ($7.1M for an $85.7M weekend bow). Estimates for the debut weekend gross for Captain America is around $85M+ now. Divergent (LGF/SUMMIT) took in roughly $1.5M last night on  locations to push its gross to $101M as it heads into its third weekend of release. These two pictures are battling for the same 20-something demo, but Captain America is expected to crush everything in sight. At the moment, it ranks fourth as the top Marvel pre-sellers on Fandango, right behind Iron Man 2 which opened with a $128.1M in May of 2010 and above Thor: The Dark World. The top pre-seller continues to be The Avengers which was, far and away, the No. 1 title.  The $1.5B worldwide grosser opened to over $200M on its debut in 4,349 theaters Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: eOne Names Pair To Its Board; Cast Additions And Changes For BBC One Dramas; More

Allan Leighton, Linda Robinson Named To eOne Board
eOne-Logo__130905022349-275x315Canadian giant Entertainment One has appointed Allan Leighton to its board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman. He replaces James Corsellis as Chairman, though Corsellis will remain a Non-Exec Director. Leighton is a former board director of BSkyB in the U.K. and previously was Chairman of The Royal Mail, CEO of Asda Stores Limited and Walmart Europe, Deputy Chairman of Selfridges & Co and Chairman of LastMinute.com. Also joining the eOne board a little more than a year after its acquisition of Alliance Films is media attorney Linda Robinson as Non-Exec Director. Patrice Theroux, who leads eOne’s global film business, is stepping down from the board to focus on his exec responsibilities. Read More »

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Warner Bros Hit With ‘Conjuring’ Rights Lawsuit By Producer, Lionsgate Exited TV Series Deal

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 11:47am PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGELooks like more than the paranormal are a threat when it comes to The Conjuring. After months in arbitration with Warner Bros over who owns what rights to the sequels and spinoffs of the successful New Line-released supernatural thriller, The Conjuringproducer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media late last week filed a breach of contract complaint (read it here) against the studio and its subsidiary. And it’s not just over movies: the 30-page complaint alleges that because of this dispute with Warners and New Line, Lionsgate eventually pulled out of a proposed Conjuring TV series deal it had with Evergreen in late summer last year. “As a direct consequence of Defendants’ deliberate actions and interference, Evergreen is unable to collect the compensation owed under its agreement with Lionsgate and has suffered monetary damages that reach well into the millions of dollars,” says the complaint filed in federal court in Texas on March 28. Released on July 19 last year,  Conjuring has pulled in more than $318 million globally, and a sequel set for October 2015 was announced last month. Among other claims by DeRosa-Grund and Evergreen is that the producer has not been paid the profit participation he and New Line agreed on out of their use of case-file material the plaintiffs owned of the investigations of Ed and Lorrain Warren.

Related: What’s In A Title? ‘Conjuring’ Producer & New Line In Dispute Over TV Rights

The plaintiffs evoke the names of Bob and Harvey Weinstein in their dense complaint as yet another example of Warner Bros and New Line playing a rights shell game.
Read More »

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CinemaCon: Warner Bros Brings Out Heavy Star Power To Court Theater Owners – Eastwood, Depp, Freeman, Sandler, Tatum Hit Vegas

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT
Pete Hammond

If CinemaCon delegates were waiting for a busload of movie stars to show up at the convention, Warner Bros granted their wish this afternoon delivering, by far, CinemaCon 2014 - Warner Bros. Pictures Invites You To "The Big Picture," An Exclusive Presentation Highlighting The Summer Of 2014 And Beyondmore star power to the stage of the Caesars Palace Colosseum Theatre than the other studios combined. Clint EastwoodAdam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Melissa McCarthy , Morgan Freeman, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis were among the names who were trotted out by the studio to the delight of theater owners in the audience. But sometimes it gets awkward up there. Tatum and Kunis just read their lines off a teleprompter, and CinemaCon2014_badgeDepp couldn’t seem to figure out if he had any. Usually at these things he just walks across the stage and waves. Sandler actually was quite funny, bantering with a very pregnant Barrymore, who was still in tears she said over the preceding clip from Godzilla. Eastwood managed a standing ovation and, in talking about the very high-decibel sound levels of the film clips, charmed his way through a brief introduction to footage from his forthcoming musical Jersey Boys.

warner_bros_logo-2__130321233618__130419003343__131121204956__131213030736__140121202406__140209183407__140215004412The heavy star presence distinguished Warners’ turn in the spotlight, the last of the major studios to come to bat, in a presentation that was otherwise very corporate in its approach. Warners had much to crow about and clearly knew it after coming off a record $5.03 billion year, 10 Oscars and a personal-best 21 nominations. It also had a 2013 summer that produced another record: All seven releases earned more than $100 million each. And Warners touted early results in 2014 as being just as promising, with The Lego Movie earning $400 million worldwide so far and the sequel 300: Rise Of An Empire already up to a symmetrically perfect $300 million. Whether the studio can continue on this kind of roll is anyone’s guess as it has a year ahead that’s almost totally lacking in bread-and-butter sequels. 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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MGM Trumpets Its Strong 2013 Financials Despite A Weak Q4

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:21pm EDT

mgmIt’s easy to see why the studio would rather focus on the 12-month results. With hit films including Skyfall and The Hobbit, and TV series Vikings and Teen Wolf, full-year revenues jumped 11% to $1.53B. Net income at $122.2M fell 5% but would be up 97% if you factor out the company’s asset sales in 2012 including its $55.6M gain from the sale of MGM Networks. “Growth in revenue and profitability was above our expectations and our operating income of $202 million is higher than any known or reported amount in MGM’s 90-year history,” CEO Gary Barber says. But we pretty much already knew that from the results in the first nine months. What about the new figures for Q4? The company has little to say about that. MGM had to report costs tied to the December release of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug before most of the sales rolled in. That contributed to a 69.6% drop in net income to $12.2M on revenues of $463.7M, – 69.6%. MGM appears to be unfazed as it crows about a 2014 film slate that includes 22 Jump Street, Hercules, If I Stay, and The Hobbit: There And Back Again, as well as a TV lineup that includes the new series Fargo.

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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 – #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 – #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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BOX OFFICE: ‘Divergent’ Late Nights Huge $4.9M And On Track For $50M-$60M+ Frame; ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Expected At No. 2; ‘Budapest Hotel’ Expands

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

DivergentDivergent had a fantastic start last night for Summit (Lionsgate’s company), pulling in $4.9M in late-night Thursday screenings that began at 8 PM. That is one of the best preview numbers in recent memory, and compares to starts like BoxOffice_logoUniversal’s Despicable Me 2 at $4.7 million and World War Z at $3.6M and went onto gross $66.4M with a similar demographic. DM2 went onto gross $83.5M but that was fueled by family audiences. The action/adventure film, based on the 2011 Veronica Roth novel of the same name, is appealing to the twenty-something crowd who drive the box office on these kinds of films; it was produced by Doug Wick, Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shahbazian. Interestingly, the book doesn’t have the same kind of readership/fan base as say Hunger Games or even Vampire Diaries, so if this movie opens to its expected $50M-$60M+ (as it has been tracking to over the last couple of weeks), it will be a testament to the efforts of Summit who began marketing this title last July at ComicCon and then placed the trailer before Hunger Games: Catching Fire so it got tons of exposure for those perhaps not familiar with the Roth book. They have also been pushing on social media, but Divergent (starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James) is no Hunger Games. Checking in with social engagement experts RelishMix, “Divergent‘s social engagement is less than 50% (of Hunger Games) with heavy paid impressions not converting to social sharing,” said CEO Marc Karzen. And that is a key marketing indicator as the twenty-somethings who live on social platforms.

Advanced tickets went on sale on March 4 and pre-sales on Fandango sold out half of its tickets in one day, outpacing the first days of sales for the first Twilight when it began its pre-sales, however as we’ve said before no one is expecting this to be a Twilight opening which bowed to $69.6M in its first 3-day with $7M coming from midnight screenings. Also, the first Hobbit grossed $13M in early shows and the second The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug earned $8.8M in early shows and went on to open at $73.6M . The second opened to Divergent will play on 3,936 screens, 346 of which will be IMAX. It will bow internationally on April 4. 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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CinemaCon: Will Confab Be A Calm Moment Before An Exhibition Industry Storm?

CinemaCon2014_badgeIt sure looks that way as exhibition and studio execs prepare to head to Las Vegas next week for the annual confab. There are no obvious, explosive controversies to address this time out — which is unusual. Since 2011, when the meeting formerly known as ShoWest became CinemaCon, “some big issue has blown up,” Cinemark CEO Tim Warner tells us. “I hope that doesn’t happen [this year] because the business is going so good.” Says National Association of Theatre Owners CEO John Fithian: “Sometimes we go into these conventions we go into this with one or two issues, but that’s not the case this year. We’ll be talking about product supply and movies, and how it relates to product returns. We’ll also be talking about technology.”

Related: Deadline Big Media 77 – CinemaCon Preview Podcast

This all comes as the exhibition business is poised for dramatic, and possibly painful, changes as owners deal with consumers who say that ticket prices are too high, a creative boxoffice-moneycommunity that wants better projection and sound quality, studios that want a bigger share of the box office pie, and investors who demand higher dividends.

Cheerleading is to be expected at a trade show, and there’s sure to be a lot as execs look ahead to a tsunami of sequels that could make 2015 a blowout year for box offices. Paramount, Universal, Sony, Fox and Warner Bros will show their product reels. Disney will feature its Jon Hamm-starring sports-themed Million Dollar Arm. Not to be outdone, Lionsgate will feature its sports-themed comedy-drama Draft Day from director Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner, while Universal swings back around with a screening of the comedy Neighbors about newlyweds with a baby who must live next to a fraternity house. And filmmaker Chris Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) will take part in a discussion about his career. The late Tom Sherak will also be honored on Wednesday night at The Pioneers Dinner.

legoOn broad-stroke matters, exhibitors can pretty much cross off their top concern from last year: the dearth of family-oriented titles in Q1 followed by a summer onslaught. Exhibitors wanted family films spaced out better. “We had encouraged the studios to think about that more, and they did,” Fithian says. Family fare from this year’s early months included The Nut Job, The Lego Movie, Mr. Peabody And Sherman, and — this weekend — Muppets Most Wanted.

There’s also been progress on exhibition’s call for more small- and medium-budget movies. As the six big studios cut their output by 40%, Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Rise Of An Empire’ Cumes $159.6M; Universal’s Spanish Comedy Breaks Records; ‘Need For Speed’ China Haul Outpaces Domestic; ‘Frozen’ Hot In Japan; More

cinemaworld2ND UPDATE: 12:35 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are starting to roll in for the weekend’s movies. Holdover 300: Rise Of An Empire was slightly up from estimates, taking $41.6M versus $41.3M from 62 markets for an international cume of $159.6M. Russia remains its top territory with $14.6M. Its worldwide chest is now at about $237.7M. Universal released local romantic comedy 8 Apellidos Vascos in Spain to a better-than-estimated $3.93M at 321 dates. The Emilio Martínez Lázaro-directed movie opened No. 1 on Friday and had a mega 105% bump on Saturday. Its previous estimate was $3.8M for the weekend. Putting that in perspective, its opening was 150% bigger than The Hangover and 43% over the studio’s own Ted in 2012. Local movies were strong this weekend with five titles in Rentrak’s Top 18. The biggest was Dany Boon’s Supercondriaque which continued its run in France adding $4.5M for a $35M cume. Also in France, comedy Fiston scored $4.25M for SND. Movie attendance will get a boost this week as the annual Printemps du Cinéma promotion kicked off yesterday and runs through Tuesday; ticket prices are slashed to 3.50 euros ($4.87) for all showings of all films throughout the country. Along with the above, the other local pics to break into the top group were Korea’s Elegant Lies with $3.5M, and Fox International Productions’ El Crimen del Cacaro Gumaro which took $2.2M in Mexico. Liam Neeson actioner Non-Stop, in its … Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Lifts To $88.8M; ‘Non-Stop’ Passes $100M Worldwide; More

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:09 PM PT: Updated numbers for Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and Pompeii have been added below. 12 Years a Slaves cume internationally is now $104.5M and its worldwide total stands at $157.6M.

5TH UPDATE, MONDAY 12:20 PM PT: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire is now tracking up 11% over the original 300 internationally. Revised numbers have just come in from Warner which says the movie took $88.8M in 58 markets. Some of the major territories were slightly down, but the overall cume was up. The Lego Movie was slightly lower than predicted at $9.6M on 5,585 screens, however the overall overseas cume is $135.4M, a small bolt off the originally estimated $135.6M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added a confirmed $7.5M internationally — down from the estimated $8M — and with $679.7M total; again, a breath away from the previously reported cume of $680M. As ever, numbers are updated in the territory sections below, with more to come as they roll in. Read More »

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Wherefore Art Thou, Juliet? In Latest Pic Migration, She Moves From Sony To Warners

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 9:03am PDT
Mike Fleming

rupert-sanders-directorEXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in, and Sony Pictures and New Regency are out of The Juliet, an adaptation of the Alfred Bester short story that was developed by Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment. The film has a script by Henry Bean that is being rewritten by Paul Haggis, and Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders is attached to direct. At one point it looked like Sony would make it this spring. Atlas’s Roven and Alex Gartner are producing with Frank Beddor of Automatic Pictures.

It makes me wonder, what is going on in Hollywood? I have been around long enough that I actually broke the story of when Warner Bros, clashing with John Hughes over $2 million in budget, allowed Fox to grab Home Alone and turn the $18 million film into a $477 million worldwide gross blockbuster. After that, studios used to never let projects go for fear of being embarrassed, a possibility that was reinforced when Paramount inexplicably let the option lapse on the Twilight Saga, the billion-dollar franchise that built Summit Entertainment. Studios used to keep everything, or heap on overhead costs that made them prohibitively expensive, or attach first-dollar-gross obligations, like the 5 percent that Harvey Weinstein got on The Lord Of The Rings and is trying to enforce on The Hobbit.
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