Global Showbiz Briefs: Warner Bros Germany Courts ‘Madame Bovary’; ‘Jamaica Inn’ Off To Strong Start On BBC One; More

Warner Bros Germany Picks Up ‘Madame Bovary’
Warner Bros Germany has acquired all German-speaking rights to Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary from A Company Filmed Entertainment. Based on the classic Gustave Flaubert mia-wasikowska-en-la-pelicula-jane-eyre-novel, the film stars Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans and Ezra Miller. Barthes co-wrote the screenplay with Rose Barrenche. Currently in postproduction, Madame Bovary tells the tragic story of Emma (Wasikowska), a young beauty who impulsively marries a small-town doctor in order to leave her father’s pig farm behind. But after being introduced to the glamorous world of high society, she soon becomes bored with her stodgy mate and seeks excitement and status outside the bonds of marriage. Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino of Occupant Entertainment are producing in association with Aden Films’ Barthes and Aleph Motion Pictures’ Jaime Mateus-Tique. UK-based Prescience is financing with Tim Smith and Paul Brett as exec producers. Co-producers include A Company’s Alexander van Duelmen and Kai Kuenneman, Scope Pictures’ Genevieve Lemal and Left Field Ventures’ John Engel. Radiant Films International is handling foreign sales. A Company has distribution in select territories including Eastern Europe, Russia and Vietnam. Read More »

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‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 8:08pm PDT

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: This story contains many details of Thursday’s season finale episode of ABC’s Scandal.

TONY GOLDWYN, SCOTT FOLEY, KERRY WASHINGTONABC’s D.C. drama, created by Shonda Rhimes, has grabbed big ratings over three seasons with a potent mix of wild plot twists and savvy use of social media. In another signature Shonda shocker, Washington fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tonight watched POTUS Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) become a virtual certainty to lose his re-election bid when a bomb intended for him goes off at the funeral of a U.S. senator who’d been assassinated by Olivia’s terrorist mom Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) in order to get Grant at the funeral, only POTUS isn’t there. But his chief presidential-race rival — and VPOTUS –  Sally Langston (Kate Burton) was there, and survived, and becomes simultaneous ministering angel and Irony Lady at the scene of the blast. President Grant’s day gets considerably worse when he suggests to Olivia that they run away together, marry, move to Vermont and have babies, causing Olivia to have pangs of conscience and spill the beans that Grant’s dad had raped his wife, First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), years ago. Read More »

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Fox Searchlight Sets Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s ‘Birdman’ For October 17 Bow

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 6:24pm PDT
Mike Fleming

birdmanEXCLUSIVE: While there has been speculation that Fox Searchlight and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu would race to make the Cannes Film Festival, Fox Searchlight co-president Stephen Gilula tells Deadline that the film will open Friday, October 17. It won’t complete post production until late May or early June, meaning that it will be eyeing fall festivals.

This is his first black comedy, but Inarritu’s past films have been magnets for festivals, and he should have several choices for a festival that is compatible with the opening of Birdman, which Searchlight made with New Regency and Worldview Entertainment. Searchlight controls worldwide distribution and will release it overseas in January. So start the jockeying, Toronto, Telluride and Venice. Read More »

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AMC’s Revolutionary War Spy Drama ‘Turn’ Unfurls With 2.1 Million Viewers Watching

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 12:18pm PDT

On a very competitive night that included HBO’s Game of Thrones season opener, CBS’s Academy of Country Music AMC's TurnAwards and, yes, WrestleMania 30 on pay-per-view, AMC‘s new crunchy-gravel drama Turn logged a hefty 2.1 million viewers at 9 PM last night. With the repeat viewing at 10:30 PM, that crowd grew to a cumed 3 million viewers.  Among the premiere telecast’s 2.1 mil were 669,000 demo viewers; with the 10:30 PM repeat factored in, that stat grows to  1.1 million. Even better, the quarterly stats throughout the 90-minute premiere remained consistent, which means viewers did not look at a few minutes of the period piece and respond “Yikes!” Read More »

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Amazon Studios Confirms Renewal For ‘Alpha House’, Pickup Of Six New Series

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 7:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

alpha-house-amazon__131108080253Amazon Studios today confirmed a second-season pickup of Garry Trudeau’s Washington, D.C. comedy series Alpha House starring John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy as Republican senators living under one roof. Additionally, the service has officially picked up four of its five primetime pilots as well as two kids pilots to series. That includes Amazon’s first dramas: The After from Chris Carter, marking The X-Files creator’s return to series television, and Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly’s Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. Newly picked-up half-hour amazonstudioscomedy series include the Gael Garcia Bernal starrer Mozart In The Jungle, from Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Timbers and Paul Weitz, and Jill Soloway’s semi-autobiographical Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor. Amazon’s fifth pilot, comedy The Rebels, from Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, was put on hold. There’s still no final decision on Amazon’s second freshman comedy series Betas. Its renewal for Amazon Prime has looked unlikely, but there have been talks about moving the project to a free streaming service Amazon has been mulling. The new kids series are Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street, Amazon’s first live-action series for older kids, ages 6-11, and preschooler toon Wishenpoof!

Related: Four Amazon Pilots Go To Series, 1 On Hold, ‘Alpha House’ Renewed

Alpha House is a joy to work on,” said creator Trudeau, who produces the series with Elliot Webb and Jonathan Alter. “It’s fun to dance on the leading edge of streaming video, where audiences converge on server farms at all hours, besotted by John Goodman and free two-day shipping.” According to Ray Price, Director of Amazon Studios, the second batch of Amazon pilots were watched by twice as many customers as the first one. Here is more info on the newly picked-up series: Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Raid 2′, ‘Breathe In’, ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, ‘Mistaken For Strangers’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 5:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Several newcomers make their way to the Specialty box office this coming weekend, though it is more than certain holdovers will entrench their reign with audiences. Searchlight’s tour de force The Grand Budapest Hotel has been shattering sales numbers and will move into upwards of 675 additional theaters heading into Friday. Last weekend Budapest had a stunning $22,204 PTA in 304 theaters. Also grabbing screens in the last weekend of March will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, three weeks after its launch. The Jason Bateman directorial debut will add over 650 locations. Last weekend it averaged $5,747 from 178 runs. On Friday, Sony Classics will follow up its 2012 The Raid: Redemption release with The Raid 2 in limited runs. Cohen Media Group will bow director Drake Doremus’ fourth feature Breathe In with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones in well over a dozen locations, while Sundance Selects will head out with Finding Vivian Maier, an enigmatic figure in the photography world that has turned into a titan in death. And Abramorama will open Mistaken For Strangers, a music documentary centered on the relationship of two brothers.

The Raid 2theraid2
Director-writer: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Donny Alamsyah, Oka Antara
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

The Raid 2 by Gareth Evans follows his 2012 first installment, The Raid: Redemption. The latest feature follows a short time after the first raid, in which Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his own police force. “From the beginning we wanted to be a part of Raid 2,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “We became involved with [this feature] even before they shot this one, which was still in the script stage at the time.” The project, which SPC worked on with Sony Worldwide Acquisition Group, is building on the momentum of the first Raid, according to Barker. Read More »

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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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Global Showbiz Briefs: XYZ Boards ‘Redeemer’; ‘Testament Of Youth’ Gets Underway; ‘Black Box’ Sells; More

marko zarorXYZ Films has joined Spanish-language actioner Redeemer as executive producer and sales agent. The movie, Redentor in Spanish, stars Chile’s Marko Zaror (Expendables 2, Machete Kills). He’s teaming for the fourth time with writer director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza. This time around, the story follows a former hitman who has made a deal with God: Every day he will hold a gun to his own head and pull the trigger; each time he does not die, he will take it as a sign that he is meant to continue hunting down the men he used to work for. Principal photography starts on March 24 in Chile. Zaror is a highly trained martial artist across multiple disciplines who performs all of his own fight and stunt work without any wires or CGI tricks. Espinoza recently was editor on Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno and his credits as director also include Kiltro, The ABCs Of Death anthology and Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman. Espinoza, Zaror and Diego Moral Heimpell are producers. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Enemy’, ‘Bad Words’, ‘Le Week-end’, ‘On My Way’, ‘Teenage’, ‘Big Men’, ‘Dark House’, ‘Shirin In Love’

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The shadow of the Oscar season and last weekend’s record shattering theatrical debut of Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel hang over the coming weekend’s releases. Some competitors hailed its success and said they hoped to ride in its wake as they head to theaters this Friday and beyond. A24 will roll out Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Enemy by Denis Velleneuve who has had success in both the studio and indie space. Jason Bateman takes the director’s chair for the first time with TIFF and SXSW feature Bad Words for Focus. Music Box Films will open U.K.’s Le Week-end after delaying its roll out post awards-season. France’s On My Way starring Catherine Deneuve opens in theaters following its premiere at an annual French film series in NYC via Cohen Media Group. Abramorama is opening doc Big Men with the support of Brad Pitt who executive produced. Jason Schwartzman also exec produced a doc opening this weekend, the hybrid Teenage from Oscilloscope. And Paladin and Cinedigm are teaming on indie thriller Dark House, while Shirin In Love takes a bilingual approach as it heads to theaters in the Specialty space this weekend.

Enemyenemy2
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Javier Gullón, José Saramago (novel)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace
Distributor: A24

Québécois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his 2011 feature Incendies, which Sony Classics released with a cast unknown in the States, taking in $2 million-plus domestically. His next feature was crime-thriller Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, a studio film that grossed over $61 million domestically. Gyllenhaal returns with Enemy, a mystery-thriller about a man who seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. A24, which had multiple box office hits in the Specialty arena in its first year, including Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring and The Spectacular Now, first caught Enemy at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Read More »

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Four Amazon Pilots Go To Series, 1 On Hold

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 9:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

amazon_studiosAmazon is officially an original drama series player. A month after Amazon Studios uploaded five pilots — two dramas and three comedies — for users to watch and comment on, the company has quietly notified the auspices of four of them that they are being picked up to series. That includes Amazon’s first dramas: The After from Chris Carter, marking The X-Files creator’s return to series television, and Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly’s Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. Newly picked up half-hour comedy series include Gael Garcia Bernal starrer Mozart In The Jungle, from Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Timbers and Paul Weitz, and Jill Soloway’s semi-autobiographical Transparent. Amazon’s fifth pilot, comedy The Rebels, from Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, is being put on hold. Five pilots yielding four series represents a much higher batting average than Amazon’s first pilot season, when it tested eight comedy pilots, picking up two — Alpha House and Betas — to series. Of them, Alpha House has been quietly renewed for a second season to begin film in July, while Betas will not be retuning. (UPDATE: Amazon says no final decision on Betas has been made yet.) Here are descriptions of Amazon’s newly greenlighted series, whose pickup was first reported by Variety:

Related: 2014 Amazon Studios Pilots

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Arrow Takes UK On ‘God’s Pocket’; Channel 4 Warms To ‘Fargo’; Noah Taylor, Charlotte Riley Join ‘Peaky Blinders’; Amy Poehler At Mip; More

gods pocketArrow Films has acquired UK rights to God’s Pocket starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sold by Electric Entertainment, the film is the feature directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery. Electric acquired it at Sundance. IFC has U.S. distribution and Arrow will release later this year in Britain. Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro and Caleb Landry Jones also star in the film written by Slattery and Alex Metcalf. Based on the Pete Dexter novel, the movie follows a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Arrow’s recent titles include Love Is All You Need, The Hunt and A Hijacking. Read More »

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Tribeca 2014 Reveals Spotlight, Midnight & Special Screenings Slate

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 9:00am PST

tribecaThe Tribeca Film Festival continues to roll out its lineup for this year’s  13th edition, which kicks off April 16. Here is the program slates for the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and Storyscapes sections. The fest’s shorts program will be unveiled Tuesday. Here are today’s films, which include Spotlight spots for Roman Polanksi’s Venus In Fur, the Robin Williams-starrer Boulevard from Dito Montiel, world premieres of films directed by actors Chris Messina and Courteney Cox, and of course the horror comedy Zombeavers:

Related: Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Competition Slate

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Oscars Fashion: Who Wore What

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:20pm PST

Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscars coverage.

Cate Blanchett croppedClearly, God loves a red carpet. How else to explain how the torrential rain miraculously ceased by noon today so we wouldn’t have to see actresses with frizzy hair and streaked mascara in belted trench coats? Instead, this year’s Oscar red carpet brought us a bevy of gold beaded dresses, dozens of bare shoulders, an al fresco Jennifer Lawrence pratfall and many leading men in blue.

Related:
2014 Oscars Gallery
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog

That red carpet also brought about $2.3M to our local economy, according to a recent study from a Los Angeles consulting firm that tallied wardrobe expenses for women attending the Academy Awards. (Of course, nominees and presenters don’t have to buy anything — all is custom designed or borrowed.) Celebrity stylists, however, can earn up to $10,000 per day for prepping, pulling looks and fitting clients. (Having co-written a book with Rachel Zoe last year, I can attest to stress of the task. However, any monthlong job that earns enough money to buy a Tesla is no crap gig, eh? )

Related: Oscars Winners List

Sandra Bullock croppedThis year, beaded metallics reigned. Cate Blanchett in pale gold Armani Prive, Angelina Jolie in sparkly Elie Saab Couture, Sally Hawkins in Valentino and Lady Gaga wearing Atelier Versace were reflective. With barely any sunlight, the flashes of paparazzi made these women sparkle. Bare shoulders also were a major trend, and the ones who did it right opted for dramatic bodices and necklines, including Charlize Theron in Christian Dior, Sandra Bullock in navy Alexander McQueen and Amy Adams in Gucci Couture. The lack of straps also makes a great canvas for diamond necklaces, as we saw on Lawrence in $2 million worth of Neal Lane sparklers.

Related: Backstage At The Oscars

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Deadline’s Oscars Blog: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Gravity’ And Boredom Reign Supreme

By and | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

Oscars Live Blog
Here we are again after the Golden Globes,  Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions

That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetThen there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.

Read More »

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OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

Pete Hammond

This column originally ran Thursday.

With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the mostOscar Predictions 201480th Academy Awards NYC Meet the Oscars Opening unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to  muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. The top three contenders—12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity—are in a real dog fight, which means a dark horse like The Wolf Of Wall Street, PhilomenaDallas Buyers Club or Nebraska could sneak in if a true three-way split occurs, although I don’t think that scenario is too likely. Never say never though. In 1981 for example no one was expecting a small British film called Chariots Of Fire to sneak in and take Best Picture but indeed it did. The last huge upset in the Picture race was probably Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2005 but judging from voter interviews that year I saw a tidal wave of last minute support. This year I don’t get that. There are lots of opinions out there and it looks like … Read More »

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PILOT SEASON 2014: The Overachievers

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 4:06pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

overachieversHere is Deadline’s annual list of The Overachievers Of Pilot Season. For anyone, landing a pilot is a major accomplishment. These selected few individuals/production companies took that achievement to the next level.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!

3artslogoWith marquee comedy clients including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart, 3 Arts has been building a strong TV production business. The management/production company has set a new personal record this season with nine greenlights. That includes one straight-to-series order for the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy Tooken at NBC, one pilot/series track order at Fox for Cabot College, from Matt Hubbard, Fey and Carlock, and five more pilots: the comedies untitled Kevin Hart project at ABC, Amy Poehler’s Old Soul and Love Is Relative at NBC and Tom Papa’s More Time With the Family at CBS, plus untitled Richard LaGravenese drama at ABC. Additionally, three 3 Arts pilots from last season, Mulaney and Mr. Robinson, recently received series orders for next season.
AmblinTVAmblin TV has one pilot/series track order at Fox for drama Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, and pilot orders for drama The Visitors at ABC and comedy The Money Pit at NBC. Additionally, the company scored a straight-to-series order this season for sci-fi drama Extant, which landed Halle Berry as the lead, for a summer launch.
Related: PILOT SEASON: How Many Orders Is Each Broadcast Network Eyeing This Year
Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly‘s Timberman-Beverly has a straight-to-series order at ABC for untitled David O. Russell/Susannah Grant drama and three pilots at CBS, comedy The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry and untitled John Cusack and David Marshall Grant drama projects.
kapitalAaron Kaplan‘s one-man indie shop Kapital Entertainment landed a pilot order with series penalty at ABC for Secrets & Lies, toplined by Ryan Phillippe, and pilot orders for drama The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing at NBC and comedy Dead Boss starring Jane Krakowski at Fox. Read More »

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‘Gravity,’ ‘Captain Phillips’ Nab MPSE Sound Editing Awards

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:15pm PST

MPSE-Golden-Reels__130118024549-150x150Gravity and Captain Phillips took home the big feature awards tonight — for Best Sound Effects & Foley work and Best Dialogue/ADR, respectively — as the Motion Picture Sound Editors doled out annual awards recognizing achievement in sound editing. HBO’s Game of Thrones, AMC’s Breaking Bad, FX’s The Bridge and FX’s Sons of Anarchy took home honors on the TV side. Feature films, long- and short-form TV, animation, and docus were on the docket at the black tie affair at L.A.’s Bonaventure Hotel where George Lucas presented the annual MPSE Career Achievement Award to Skywalker Sound’s Randy Thom and Ray Dolby was feted in a special tribute introduced by Walter Murch. Scroll down for full list of winners: Read More »

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OSCARS: Acting Races Head Into The Homestretch — So Who’s Got The Best Shot For The Gold?

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 12:27pm PST
Pete Hammond

It’s a banner year for Oscar newcomers in the uber-competitive acting races. Outside of the veteran-AwardsLineheavy lead actress contest, 13 of the 20 nominees in lead and supporting are receiving either their first or second nominations. Considering how often the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tends to play favorites, it is good to see new blood. As voters enter the final balloting period before the March 2 ceremony, the guilds and other precursor awards have provided two fairly solid lead-category frontrunners—one of whom is a first-time nominee.

Related: SAG Awards: American Hustle Gets A Big Boost

matthewmccon1__131129221532-e1385763361431With wins at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey has leapt to the front of the pack in the incredibly tight best actor race, which has see-sawed all season. But storm warning ahead, Matthew: The all-important British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards are still to come on Sunday, and you didn’t even snag a nomination there, leaving an opening for your chief rivals: The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Leonardo DiCaprio, a four-time acting nominee looking for his first win; 12 Years A Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor (who is British and a first-time Oscar nominee); and Nebraska’s Bruce Dern, enjoying his second nom. American Hustle’s Christian Bale, who won a supporting Oscar in 2011 for The Fighter, rounds out the category.
Read More »

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Berlin: Warm Weather & A Record Deal Can’t Fully Thaw Market Chill; Is EFM Worth It?

Berlinale 2014 badgeWhile the normally freezing weather in Berlin is an annual lament, this year’s unseasonably balmy clime became a major focus of conversation. And, as they say, when people have nothing else to talk about, they talk about the weather… The notably lackluster European Film MarketGERMANY-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-FESTIVAL-BERLINALE boasted a small handful of buzz titles and only a few headline-grabbing deals. As such, the usual whispers of “Do we really need to be here?” grew louder in the last week. Another talking point was the early-in-the-market news of a shake-up at Exclusive Media, the production and foreign sales company headed by well-respected veterans Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. And, reliably, Lars von Trier’s director’s cut premiere of Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 was a head-turner, albeit for star Shia LaBeouf‘s pre-screening antics here.

Berlin: Slow-Forming Packages, Timing & Talent Issues May Lead To Soft Market

martin gropius bauDistribution consultant Jason Resnick mused yesterday, “It was the warmest Berlin ever, and yet the coldest Berlin ever.” Yet, no one was particularly shocked by the way business went here. Offshore and domestic deals were done, but folks roundly agreed there was a serious lack of oomph. As one exec told me ahead of the market, “Everybody is asking where the projects are.” Read More »

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