OSCARS: Paramount Courts Academy Voters For ‘Noah’ And It’s Only April!

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 3:51pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Are you kidding?

Did Paramount just officially start the 2014 Oscar campaign even as we are barely getting the Emmys off the ground and theRussell Crowe as Noah Tonys are two months away? Uh, yes. Looks like it. One top studio exec (not from Paramount) forwarded me an email he got yesterday from the Paramount Awards Office that pronounced free admission starting April 15th - two by two for Academy members and a guest- to screenings of Noah at theaters nationwide – but only Monday thru Thursday since most theater owners usually don’t like to give up seats on the weekends, especially to rich and famous movie types.

Related: Can ‘Noah’ And ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Overcome Oscar’s Greatest Curse: A March Release Date?
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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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Film Business Is Recovering, But It Won’t Be Steady: Analysts

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 8:56am EDT

Wall Street usually shows little love for the movie business with its typically low, and unpredictable, profit margins. Movie MoneyBut in a combined look at the studio and exhibition businesses this morning, MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson and Robert Fishman tell investors that it’s time to take a fresh look — as long as they proceed with caution. They lowered profit estimates for major exhibition chains Regal and Cinemark, citing expectations for weaker domestic summer box office results vs 2013. They project a full-year decline of 1.6% to $10.7B followed by a 5% jump in 2015 to $11.3B and then a drop of 2.6% in 2016 to $11.0B. The analysts appeared more upbeat about the studios. “After several terrible years post the popping of the DVD bubble, we believe the film industry is showing signs of health,” they say. “The combination of fewer releases, greater international focus and lower overhead expenses are all driving studio margins ahead of pre-recession levels. These results show that a good crisis wasn’t wasted in Hollywood.” Revenues fell over the last few years at the big four film studios (Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, and Paramount) as they reduced their output. Yet cash flow margins improved to a little under 12% which is “a tribute to their ability to curb bloated studio expenses.” Read More »

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NBC Acquires ‘Taxi Brooklyn’; Action Series Based On Luc Besson’s Feature Franchise

TaxiBrooklynNBC has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to EuropaCorp Television‘s Taxi Brooklyn for a summer debut. The 12-episode action/comedy series is produced by showrunner Gary Scott Thompson (Las Vegas, The Fast And The Furious) and based on Luc Besson‘s Taxi feature franchise. It stars Grey’s Anatomy alumna Chyler Leigh and Jacky Ido (Inglourious Basterds). Former Blue Bloods co-star Jennifer Esposito, Ally Walker (Profiler), James Colby (Person Of Interest), Bill Heck (Pan Am), Jose Zuniga (Body Of Proof) and Raul Casso (Blue Bloods) round out the cast. Formerly known as Taxi: Brooklyn South, Taxi Brooklyn was shot in English in the titular borough along with Manhattan and Queens. Leigh plays Detective Caitlyn “Cat” Sullivan, who is determined to find the truth about the death of her father, an NYPD detective who was killed in the line of duty. When her stubborn character and recklessness behind the wheel see her demoted to foot patrol, she teams with the highly skilled and charming Marseille-born cabbie Leo Romba. Realizing Leo lied on his immigration form, Cat offers him a deal: in exchange for his driving prowess and taxi, she will help Leo with his papers situation. He becomes her personal driver and police consultant as they race through the streets of New York City solving cases. Read More »

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CinemaCon: NATO Chief Calls For More Family Friendly Films, Spread Through The Year

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 1:44pm EDT

CinemaCon2014_badgeThe 4.7% increase in Q1 admissions and 7.2% uptick in box office shows that it pays to have family friendly films in the early months, NATO‘s John Fithian told exhibition execs at the opening session for the CinemaCon confab. But it’s not enough. “We have a need for more family friendly, quality movies,” he says noting that four hit the top 10 last year vs two the year before leading to a spurt in attendance by kids 11 and under. Fithian adds that “we could sell even more [tickets] if they were spread out…We could still use more calendar diversity.” He also cheered the growth of films featuring diversity in their leading actors, and in the audiences that they target. That’s becoming especially important now that major studios are “shooting for the globe but releasing fewer titles.” But Fithian says he’s encouraged to see Lionsgate rise “to major studio status” while new productions come from the exhibition-backed Open Road, and a new venture led by Bob Simonds. “We will have the titles we need to continue our box office growth,” the NATO chief says.

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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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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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Shine Pictures, BBC Films Buy ‘The Farm’; Thriller By ‘Child 44′ Author Tom Rob Smith

By | Monday, 10 March 2014 10:15 UK

the farmJumping on the popular Scandi crime wave, BBC Films and Shine Pictures have jointly acquired rights to Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith’s recently published The Farm. Shine’s head of film, Ollie Madden, will produce the feature adaptation with Christine Langan executive producing for BBC Films. The psychological thriller centers on Londoner Daniel, who believes his parents are living a peaceful life on a farm in rural Sweden. After the shocking revelation that his mother has escaped from a mental hospital, she pleads with him to allow her the chance to tell her story. Daniel must decide whether she is a victim of a terrible conspiracy, or, as his father fears, is suffering a psychotic episode. He soon becomes entwined in an urgent tale of secrets, lies, and a horrible crime that implicates his own father. The novel debuted last month to strong reviews in the UK and also launched as a bestseller in Australia, Germany and Israel. It has a further 13 major territories sold. Smith’s Child 44 series has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. The first installment was made into a feature starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Vincent Cassell and directed by Daniel Espinosa. Summit/Lionsgate will release later this year. The author also created the five-part BBC miniseries, London Spy, a contemporary thriller that sees an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of espionage … Read More »

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‘Jack Strong’: Polish Spy Thriller Shows Muscle At Local Box Office (Video)

jack strongDirector Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s Jack Strong has taken the box office in Poland by storm since its release on February 7. The Polish, English and Russian-language film made about $1.5M in its debut and increased over the next two frames. It’s now passed the coveted 1M admissions mark, according to the Polish Film Institute, and has about $6M in takings. It’s the top film of the year and is expected to continue to have legs. The Cold War period thriller stars Marcin Dorocinski who was in last year’s top Polish grosser Drogówka (Traffic Department), American actor Patrick Wilson and Maja Ostaszewska. It’s based on the true story of Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, a high-ranking officer in the Polish army. Privy to the most classified operations of the Warsaw Pact, he become a CIA asset and from 1971 to 1981, Kukliński provided the West with over 40,000 pages of classified documents. Helmer Pasikowski (Aftermath) wrote the screenplay based on CIA documents, interviews with witnesses and never-before-seen materials from the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance. The Glos Wielkopolski newspaper called Jack Strong, “a very good thriller” somewhere in between “the intellectual complexity of Tomas Alfredson and the lightness of James Bond.” The film was produced by Scorpio Studio and co-produced by Vue Movie Distribution (formerly ITI Cinema), Orange Polska, and Tauron Polska Energia with co-financing from the Polish Film Institute. A limited run in the UK and Ireland … Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Has No. 1 Japan Opening; ‘Lego’ Builds to $121M Overseas; ‘Frozen’ Crossing $1B Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Takes $20.5M In China; More

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, 9 PM: Final numbers are in for The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Pompeii and this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. All have been updated below. Slave grossed another $7M over the weekend in 55 markets to bring its total international cume to $89.93M and its worldwide to $140.5M. Its top grossing market is the UK, followed by France and Spain where it had a terrific jump of 56% at the box office. It also had a nice 20% bump in Australia. It will open in Japan on Friday, the first territory to open since winning the Oscar. The other big winner at the Oscars with 7 statues, Gravity is still playing to bring its international cume up to $436.9M for a worldwide total of $707.3M. The breakdown of grosses territory by territory are below.

5th UPDATE, Monday 12:33 PM: Ride Along numbers have been updated as have some of grosses of  The Wolf Of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Dallas Buyers Club, which won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar is currently in its Latin American run and film has a cume of $1.16M in 10 markets, grossing $354K on 221 screens. It only has one more territory in Latin America to open before it completes its international run and to date has a worldwide total of about $32M on a $5M budget shot over only 23 days. Interesting to note also that Universal’s 47 Ronin is still playing in 23 territories for a total cume to date of $107.4M with four more territories to open over the next couple of months, including Italy and France.
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Int’l Box Office: Wavering ‘Wolf’ Reports, ‘Lego’ Building Big Numbers, ‘RoboCop’ No. 1 In 15 Markets, ‘Endless Love’ Opens in 25 Markets and ‘Monuments Men’ in 19

Box office7TH UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 5:50 PM: Most numbers for The Wolf Of Wall Street are now in, putting the overseas cume at $225.5M in 48 markets, according to Red Granite. That number was hard-fought this evening and we’ve spent several hours verifying it. Initally this weekend, Deadline was told the overseas cume was $175M, then we heard $225M, with a pit-stop at $212M. When we inquired as to the potential discrepancy of $50M or therabouts we were ultimately told that differences in reporting times were the culprit. In any case, Wolf openings this week included Taiwan with $988K, Ukraine with $346K and Hong Kong with a three-day take of $550K. Individual territories are updated below with local cumes.

6th UPDATE, TUESDAY 5:00 PM: A flurry of new grosses and big territories added below including Germany, Australia, Japan and Korea. Top five film grosses are available now in each market. All numbers updated, but The Wolf of Wall Street total cumes worldwide.

5th UPDATE, MONDAY, 2:25 PM: Updated grosses on The Lego Movie show that the Warner Bro. film, which is in playing in 42 markets, is higher than previously thought, raising the weekend take to $28.4M for a international cume of $52.3M in only two weeks of release. That means that the animated film is poised to pass the $200M mark worldwide in just a couple of days as the domestic cume is expected to rise to $143.7M after the U.S. Presidents Day holiday weekend. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has a total international cume of $604.2M. Adding in the domestic take of $256.2M and worldwide the second Hobbit picture has grossed $860.4M. The first in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, grossed $714M in its international run, which amounted to 70% of its total worldwide cume of $1B. Smaug is on the same track, with 70% of its box office coming from international markets. It has yet to debut in two major territories: China and Japan. It will hit theaters in China on Feb. 21 and Japan on Feb. 28.

New grosses are added below and will be continually updated in the copy below as they come in throughout the afternoon and evening and into tomorrow.

Related: Domestic Box Office: ‘Lego’ Blocks ’80s Remakes In Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC Two Picks Up Tom Rob Smith Thriller Series ‘London Spy’; EU Admissions Down 4.1% In 2013; More

BBC Two Acquires Tom Rob Smith Thriller ‘London Spy’
Child 44
author Tom Rob Smith has created a new drama series that’s been picked up by BBC Two. London Spy is a five-part contemporary thriller that sees an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of BBC_Two_logo1espionage. In the center of London is a street with the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service on one side and the headquarters of gay clubbing on the other. A chance romance between two people from opposite sides of that street takes a turn when one of them disappears. The series will shoot this year and air in 2015. Smith is producing; Juliette Howell, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are exec producing for Working Title Television. Polly Hill exec produces for BBC Two. Smith’s Child 44 is being adapted as a feature directed by Daniel Espinosa and produced by Ridley Scott. The film stars Tom Hardy, who signed on Friday for the second season of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Love & Air Sex’, ‘Kids For Cash’, ‘Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq’, ‘Cavemen’, ‘The Attorney’, ‘The Pretty One’

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 5:59pm PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The weekend is offering a bounty of Specialty newcomers, though most will likely see out their releases in a niche capacity. Tribeca Film is bowing Bryan Poyser’s Love & Air Sex, combining a contest with a not quite real simulation to accompany its roll out. SenArt and Paladin are teaming for a unique release for Kids For Cash in Pennsylvania, while fellow doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq will go a more traditional route. Well Go USA is doubling up with Cavemen and The Attorney, though there should be very little audience overlap, while Dada will open The Pretty One in limited release. Also opening this weekend is Drafthouse Films’ Field In England. The specialty distributor will open the film in select cities theatrically as well as on VOD/digital platforms.

Love & Air Sexloveairsex
Director-writer: Bryan Poyser
Writers: David DeGrow Shotwell, Steven Walters
Cast: Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, Michael Stahl-David, Addison Timlin, Marshall Allman, Justin Arnold
Distributor: Tribeca Film

Director-co-writer Bryan Poyser debuted his latest film in his hometown, Austin, at last year’s SXSW Film Festival. The comedy centers on Stan who attempts to alleviate his broken heart by flying to Austin for the weekend, hoping to “accidentally” run into his ex-girlfriend Cathy. When he arrives, he finds his best friends Jeff and Kara in the middle of their own vicious breakup. “It’s a script that came to me through Preferred Content and optioned through a couple of writers,” said Poyser. Read More »

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International Box Office: ‘Robocop’ Stomps Into Asia; ‘Monkey’ Is King In China; Russian ‘VIY’ Breaks Records; ‘Smaug’ Hits $600M

By | Monday, 3 February 2014 03:46 UK

cinemaworld1There are strong debuts and holds for Hollywood in the international marketplace this week, despite a drop of about 25% from the similar frame last year when Django Unchained was the top film overseas. (Last week, international box office was off about 50%, so that’s an improvement of sorts.) Still, a fair few movies are making, and breaking records — especially in China. While Monday-morning quarterbacks have been gearing up for today’s Super Bowl, in the rest of the world where football is played without shoulder pads and where the Big Game isn’t due til this July, audiences flocked to movies in such diverse places as China, Russia, Germany, Korea and France. Notably, the Chinese New Year began on January 31 and with it came The Monkey King. The film took $46M in seven territories, and broke records at home, while TV reality series transfer Dad, Where Are We Going? grossed $34M (more below).

roboopThe only new studio entry on the international scene this week was MGM and Columbia Pictures’ Robocop which blasted its way into three territories in Asia. The movie, starring Joel Kinnaman, strategically bowed in Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore – taking advantage of the Chinese Lunar New Year – and scored a strong opening with $5.5M and a No. 1 trifecta. Robocop does not yet have a China date, although that’s expected to be clarified shortly. … Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Overseas Cume Nears $75M Led By France; ’12 Years A Slave’ Rises In UK; ’47 Ronin’ Crosses $25M In Russia; More

cinemaworld1UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 3:58 PM: I’ve earlier reported strong international numbers for The Wolf Of Wall Street based on the several territories where Universal is handling the film with all No. 1s across the board. But this is a movie that also has a lot of independent distributors around the world. Wolf backer Red Granite now has chimed in with its latest figure for the ex-U.S. cume, including Universal’s patch, and it’s an impressive $74.7M from 52 territories (for those keeping score, that’s 1,245 times what Jonah Hill says his payday was for the film). Domestic, the movie is at about $91M and notably, Wolf‘s strongest overseas market to date by far is France. It’s released there by the Hadida brothers’ Metropolitan Filmexport. The French take according to the latest numbers I have is $21.17M. Although it opened on Christmas Day in France, it has taken more than half of its 2.4M admissions in 2014 and had a drop of only 12% in its 4th week that ended January 21. In the UK, the movie took an impressive $7.5M in its opening this past weekend; there it’s rated 18 which is basically an NC-17, and in France, where the ratings board tends to take sex scenes with less issue, it’s rated so that anyone over 12 can be admitted. That’s a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio fans. There’s for sure heat on this movie given the controversies surrounding it, but as I’m often told — and as I have experienced over 20 years here — a director’s name means a helluva a lot, and coupled with a major star, in a country of cinephiles like France it’s not surprising that they are lapping up this latest. Outside France and the strong Universal territories noted below, The Wolf Of Wall Street is also hot in Belgium ($2.49M) Holland ($3.56M) and Poland ($3.58M) as of the latest figures.

Related: Jonah Hill Says He Was Paid Only $60,000 For ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 9:51 AM PT: With Universal’s final figures in for The Wolf Of Wall Street overseas this past weekend, the international cume from its territories is now $28.5M. Actuals were a touch off in the UK ($7.5M vs an estimated $7.6M), but higher than expected in Germany, Spain, Austria and German-speaking Switerland. In other Universal news, 47 Ronin has been having a strong run in Russia despite its underperformance elsewhere. In its 3rd frame there this weekend, the film placed No. 3 and broke the $25M barrier. Fox’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty also had a better than previously estimated weekend, with an international cume to date of $106.2M. And the heavily Oscar-nominated 12 Years A Slave added $7.62M for an international take of $23.92M and a worldwide haul of $64.2M. It’s currently playing in 21 international markets with Belgium and France opening today. The first 2 PM showing in Paris this afternoon sold 2,400 tickets on 32 screens, outperforming Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises and Stallone/De Niro vehicle Grudge Match. The Martin Luther King holiday slowed the release of some final international weekend figures, but numbers have been updated as they’ve come in below: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: BFI Details Yearlong Initiative To Bolster Relationship With China; Docu ‘Web Junkie’ Coming To UK TV Via BBC Storyville

British Film Institute Strengthening Industry’s Ties To China
In December, British Prime Minister David Cameron visited China on a mission to strengthen ties across many sectors, the film industry among them. During the trip, an agreement was made in principle to support the conclusion of a union-jack__130327194249-200x123UK-China co-production treaty. The British Film Institute is now moving forward with further plans to increase its relationship with the world’s No. 2 box office market. The new initiative is going by the moniker Electric Shadows — the Chinese term for movies. The program will encompass a year of business, trade, and creative and cultural China-flagcollaborations between the UK and China and is designed to grow mutual economic and cultural benefits for film from both countries. Part of the aim is to bring previously difficult-to-access Chinese cinema to UK audiences and, in turn, to make British cinema available to Chinese audiences. The moves fall in line with the BFI’s International Strategy, in which China is a key priority territory. In February, Personal Tailor and Back To 1942 director Feng Xiaogang will visit the UK to accompany a retrospective of his work, a gala screening of Back To 1942 and to be interviewed about his career at BFI Southbank. The BFI and the British Council also will work closely with the Beijing International Film Festival in April to lead a trade delegation and present British films at the event. From June through October, the BFI will stage an exploration of Chinese cinema in the UK, and in the fall, a selection of contemporary and classic British film will be shown in Beijing. Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Despicable Me 2′ Has $14.4M Weekend In China; ‘Frozen’, ‘Smaug’ Hit Milestones; ‘Book Thief’ Steals Spain; Scorsese Scores In Denmark; More

cinemaworld1UPDATE, MONDAY 12:39 PM PT: Actuals from the overseas weekend box office are starting to roll in with Universal among the first to report. Despicable Me 2‘s China opening weekend ended higher than the studio had predicted with $14.4M as opposed to the estimated $13.8M. The original estimate was based on a screen count of 3,000 and ultimately, Universal is now reporting the movie played at 4,500 dates, including all 141 IMAX screens, as previously noted. (It’s not unusual for screen counts to shift so drastically in China from what’s expected at the outset to what becomes reality.) In any case, DM2’s opening is the 3rd biggest ever for an animated film (on regular and IMAX screens) behind Kung Fu Panda‘s $16.2M in 2008 and Ice Age: Continental Drift‘s $19.4M in 2012. The gross in China, which is DM2‘s last international territory, brings the overseas cume to $567.8M and the worldwide cume to $935.8M. Today, DM2 will pass Finding Nemo to become the third highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide. As for other notable updates, The Wolf Of Wall Street, which Universal has in nine territories, upped its score in Denmark in the actuals with $1.1M versus a previous estimate of $961K at 74 dates; it’s the best opening ever for a Martin Scorsese film in the country. Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug offically passed the $800M mark with a worldwide cume now … Read More »

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UK’s Cineworld To Acquire Cinema City Intl, Creating Pan-European Exhibitor

cineworld logoBritain’s Cineworld Group has announced a proposed deal to acquire the movie theater business of Netherlands-headquartered Cinema City International that values the latter at about £503M ($828M). Cinema City, which trades on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, operates in seven countries across Central and Eastern Europe and Israel. Cineworld is the UK and cinema-cityIreland’s leading cinema group in terms of box office revenues and also operates theaters under the Picturehouse brand. The tie-up would create the second-biggest exhibition business in Europe with the No. 1 or No. 2 postition by number of screens in each of the regions where it is involved. The combined company would have 201 sites and 1,852 digital screens. Cineworld says Cinema City brings “attractive growth opportunities in developing economies and markets in which multiplex screen penetration is relatively low, with low admissions per capita, high population per screen and low average ticket prices.” Cinema City grew its revenue by 14.2% in the period 2009-2012 and has plans in place for screen openings. The deal, which needs to be approved by shareholders, will see Cineworld chairman Anthony Bloom continue in that role for the enlarged group. Mooky Greidinger, currently CEO of Cinema City, will be CEO of the new entity.

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Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing? Tasty Danish Offerings; French Film Biz Blues; Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its TV programs while it also continues to plumb it as a source of original drama to be remade in the U.S. Across the Channel, after a wake-up call in the waning days of 2012 by France‘s influential Vincent Maraval of Wild Bunch, the local industry spent 2013 debating its rich subsidy system that’s spent big (too big?) on talent. Germany‘s local share of the box office is expected to be down for 2013, only slightly, but it’s been fertile ground for the studios working in local language. Meanwhile, Olympics host Russia is seeing its star rise while Italy and Spain are still undergoing financial woes. And yet, nothing seems rotten in the state of Denmark where the box office is top heavy with local films and a new drama series could be the Danes’ answer to Downton Abbey. Here’s a look back at 2013 and some glimpses of what 2014 may hold:

UK
ukflagThe British government has strongly backed the film and television business by increasing tax breaks this year. But in so doing, has it backed the industry into a corner? Arguably one of the biggest stories out of the UK in … Read More »

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