New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves officially announced that the Late Show With Stephen Colbert will remain in New York and continue broadcasting from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater. The agreement includes a commitment by CBS for approximately 200 New York-based jobs to support the daily program’s year-round production schedule. Here’s how CBS spun it this morning:
GLAAD Study Finds Lack Of LGBT Images, Offensive Content In Films From 7 Studios, Sony Columbia Gets Best Grade
GLAAD has released its second annual Studio Responsibility Index that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios during the 2013 calendar year: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers. GLAAD found that of the 102 releases from the major studios in 2013, 17 of them included characters identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. It found that the majority of these characters were minor roles or cameos, and that many of these were outright defamatory representations in films such as Pain & Gain and Riddick.
FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; More
2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 3:20 PM PT: Updated figures for the international weekend have come in with all studios reporting. Among the top movies in the marketplace, Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 4th frame was up from original estimates to $84.6M in 58 territories ($662.6M cume), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was slightly higher than predicted in its 2nd frame with $61.93M on 10,347 screens in 51 markets ($103.6M cume).
Also of note, Fox’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has officially passed $110M internationally, adding $491K in 15 territories this weekend. Meanwhile, Boyhood, which Universal is releasing most everywhere overseas, added 60 locations in its 2nd UK frame. The result was a 0% drop from last week with $537K at 89 dates. The UK/Ireland total is now $1.5M (£892K). With the buzz growing, Universal is looking to continue the pattern by increasing the number of screens in more regional areas this Friday. In the next few days, the studio says the Richard Linklater drama will best the director’s Before Sunset (£932K) and A Scanner Darkly (£995K) to become his 2nd biggest film in the market behind School Of Rock.
Updated throughout the below are figures on the above films as well as Planes: Fire & Rescue, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Step Up All In, Maleficent, Blended, The Fault In Our Stars, 22 Jump Street, Edge Of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days Of Future …
Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend
8th UPDATE, Monday, 1:32 PM: It was a down weekend. After the dust cleared today, we can see the final dips: The calendar year-to-date is down 6% with the weekend of the Top Ten from last year to this year down 25%. All films added in, the business is down 23.9%. Given that all pictures underperformed a bit, here are the final box office numbers as they look this morning. Of all the newbies, The Purge: Anarchy actually was able to gross the high end of yesterday’s estimate and ended with $29.8M. Both Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sony’s Sex Tape took more of a hit, both off just a tad from their yesterday expectations; neither performed well. Meanwhile, Earth To Echo and Maleficent came in only $29K apart and the more exciting part of this box office weekend was that the smaller films did exceptionally well. Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary America from Lionsgate, at No. 12, held quite well, down only 30% as did Jon Favreau’s Chef (Open Road), which even after dropping about 150 locations saw a significant jump on Saturday and ended the weekend at $25.9M. Another bit of sweet news was the solid per-screen number of Richard Linkaleter’s little masterpiece Boyhood (IFC) which held a nice $34,418 per screen; its cume is now $1.785M after two weeks in a platform release. The Top 20 chart follows:
After presenting a slew of series panels for its upcoming series and a sizzle reel for its pilots, director of Amazon Studios Roy Price was bombarded with questions by the press at the Beverly Hilton about Amazon Prime‘s avant garde pilot process and overall strategy as a streaming network.
First gripe by the media: There’s no press site up yet to obtain materials, not to mention there’s an approximate, not exact, set of release dates for upcoming shows, i.e. Jill Soloway’s series Transparent drops in late September, Alpha House in late October, Roman Coppola, Alex Timbers and Jason Schwartzman’s Mozart in the Jungle in December and Amazon’s two dramas, Bosch and Chris Carter’s The After in 2015. Pilots Red Oaks, The Cosmopolitans, Really, Hysteria and Hand of God will be streamed to the site in August. Amazon’s third pilot process entails their customers voting on what they like before proceeding with a series commitment.
EMMY Noms Analysis: ‘True Detective’, ‘Orange’ & ‘Shameless’ Fare Well Amid Category Brouhaha As Free-TV Slips To New Low
In the months leading to this year’s Primetime Emmy nominations, a lot of attention was focused on HBO’s decision to enter the eight-episode True Detective as a drama series, Showtime switching Shameless from drama to comedy series after three seasons, and Netflix entering Orange Is the New Black as a comedy after calling it a drama for the Golden Globes.
The moves worked fine for all three. True Detective and Orange Is The New Black each netted 12 noms – a very strong showing for freshman series — to tie veteran Downton Abbey and Seth MacFarlane’s documentary Cosmos as the fourth-most-nominated primetime series. Both landed noms in all major categories they were eligible for, including best drama (True Detective) and comedy series (Orange), best lead actor/actress, best writing, directing and casting.
Meanwhile, after a single Emmy nom for each of its first three seasons competing as a drama series — all for recurring guest actress Joan Cusack — Shameless more than doubled its Emmy tally with three noms this year. That includes a break into the lead actor category for star William H. Macy, joined by Cusack, nominated for a fourth consecutive time, and a mention for stunt coordination.
Relativity has closed a deal to to fully finance The Disappointments Room, a psychological thriller in the vein of The Shining that will begin shooting in August with Kate Beckinsale starring for director DJ Caruso. Geyer Kosinski is producing and Robbie Brenner will oversee for Relativity.
Inspired by a true event, The Disappointments Room tells the story of one family’s terror-filled encounter within their own home. Looking for a fresh start, Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David, together with their 5-year-old son Jeremy, move into their dream house, a beautiful old rural home. Hidden within the attic was a secret room. When frightening and unexplainable events lead Dana to discover the long lost key to this room, she accidentally unlocks a host of unimaginable horrors that reveal the house’s past is terrifyingly tied with her own. The ghost story was shopped at AFM, but those entities aren’t involved. The script was written by Wentworth Miller, the Prison Break star who wrote Stoker. Caruso has done the most recent pass on the script.
Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Controversy Erupts As Paramount Stakes Claim To $100M Three-Day Gross, No One’s Buying It
FINAL UPDATE, MONDAY 1:20 PM: Sorry, Paramount, but our Box Office chart will reflect what we believe is the more accurate three-day gross of Transformers: Age Of Extinction. We are also posting Par’s numbers so we can show the industry how they claimed to have gotten there. See below. Also, it is worth noting that with the accurate grosses, it puts Transformers 4‘s worldwide total at $299.6M. With Paramount’s inflated domestic grosses, it puts their worldwide gross at an inflated $302.1M. But what better headlines to please the bosses and shareholders with: A $100M domestic and over $300M worldwide. The only problem? It’s a public company and there are strict guidelines about this type of thing.
10th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:43 AM: The first big controversy of box office in the sixth months since I’ve been reporting erupted this AM as Paramount Pictures put the final three-day domestic cume of Transformers: Age Of Extinction at $100.038M as its opening weekend for the fourth installment. “They’re lying,” said one distribution head at a major studio. Said another, “I don’t get get it. Is it just arrogance? What is the point of inflating your box office numbers? So they can claim the first $100M movie opening of the year? Oh please, who cares? It’s a great opening anyway.”
That being said, the Box Office Chart below reflects both the industry three-day gross for Transformers as well as Paramount’s purported final gross, which, by everyone’s account in the industry is inaccurate and inflated.
One insider at Paramount with knowledge of the financials told Deadline that there have been concerns that there could be more layoffs if Transformers 4 didn’t hit the $100M mark. So maybe that’s what’s going on. Even so, everyone in town — and I mean everyone – has it much less than $100M. Hey, as one my colleagues just said, the movie itself is inflated to 2 hours and 45 minutes, so why not the box office grosses, too?
“TVs are primarily entertainment interfaces,” engineering director Dave Burke said as he introduced AndroidTV to developers at the Google I/O conference today. The company wants app makers to support its effort to tightly integrate Android phone and app capabilities to TV navigation. For example, those with AndroidTV supported sets or set top boxes will be able to use a smartphone or watch to make search commands, including by voice, tailored for TV: If you ask for Breaking Bad, then it will offer to play an episode available for streaming, and provide info about stars. Users also can find programming by making indirect search requests: It can call up Oscar nominated movies from a particular year, or find actors from inquiries about the parts they play. Sony’s 2015 Ultra HD 4K TVs will support the platform as will next year’s models from Sharp and TP Vision. Others on board include Marvell, Intel, and Qualcomm — and Razer and Asus plan to make AndroidTV set top boxes.
Noting that Android phone users check the devices 125 times a day, the company raised the bar in smart watches — a market that Apple’s expected to enter this year. Google’s Androidwear software can respond to voice commands, tell you your heart rate, and provide information tied to what’s on your calendar or where you are. It knows when you’re at home to offer ordinary for reminders. If you’re traveling it can provide flight status, a boarding pass, and weather forecast at the destination.
Vishnu Athreya has been named VP Program scheduling for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Athreya will oversee day-to-day scheduling and strategic positioning of programming for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and branded non-linear program platforms. He will serve as departmental lead for long-range calendar planning, and with developing creative strategies for on-air stunts and special events surrounding the networks’ growing library of original, acquired and classic animated programming. Athreya will be based in Atlanta, reporting directly to Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network, who is based at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which puts on the Daytime Emmy Awards (not to be confused with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, bestower of Primetime Emmy Awards) announced this morning Kathy Griffin will host the 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, from the Beverly Hilton ballroom on June 22. Gfirrin’s hosting gig cannot be seen on TV; this year, for the first time, the Daytime Emmy Awards will be livestreamed on June 22.
“I am beyond thrilled to be hosting what I’m told is the most important television event of the year. Knowing that over 100 million people from every corner of the planet will be watching, I will try to keep my nerves at bay and deliver a great show,” Griffin said/snarked in today’s announcement. “I can only hope that at the end of the evening, critics and fans alike will compare it to the experience they once had watching Neil Armstrong take man’s first step on the moon. My only regret is knowing that this epic evening will distract millions of viewers from enjoying this year’s World Cup. I apologize to FIFA.”
The Daytime Emmy Awards once was must-see-TV, clinching as many as 20-ish million viewers back in Will Susan Lucci Finally Get An Emmy days. Since then, ratings have plummeted to as few as a couple million viewers. After years of clinching last-minute broadcast deals with the CW, CBS and HLN, NATAS failed to secure a broadcast home for this year’s awards and, with just two weeks to go before the ceremony, announced the awards ceremony would not air on TV for the first time in its long history.
That’s appears to be the cable giant’s plan: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote Tuesday on a proposed “certificate of appropriateness” allowing Comcast to install signs with its logo and NBC peacock at the Rockefeller Center art deco landmark, popularly known as the RCA Building. The current one says GE. But it sold the building to Comcast last year as part of a $1.4B agreement that transferred NBCUniversal’s real estate to the cable company when it also bought GE’s 49% stake in the entertainment power. The new signage proposal would replace the 24-foot-high red neon sign on top of the building with 12-foot high LED signs on the north and south exteriors — with the Comcast logo (which includes the NBC peacock) in white capital letters. The western facade would have a 17-foot-high peacock. In addition to the changes at the top of the building, Comcast wants to adapt the marquee on Sixth Avenue to showcase The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The building, completed in 1933, became an official landmark in 1985 and has served as a fixture for shows including Seinfeld and, of course, 30 Rock.
UPDATED: Warner Bros and Village Roadshow were set to open the Wachowskis’ sci-fier Jupiter Ascending on July 18 after moving it up by a week in the summer 2014 tentpole calendar back in December. Now the actioner starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis won’t fly into theaters until February 6, 2015. WB’s action pic Run All Night, starring Liam Neeson as a hitman protecting his family, had occupied that February date but has been moved off the schedule completely as Jupiter slides into its place. I hear the Wachowskis needed more time to complete visual effects work on their CG-heavy space epic, which spans intergalactic worlds and follows the story of a woman (Kunis) who links up with a space warrior (Tatum) and learns she’s the heir to Earth. The shift to February now pits Jupiter Ascending against Johnny Depp in Lionsgate’s Mortdecai and Universal’s fantasy actioner Seventh Son, which ironically endured multiple date changes and millions of dollars in extra fees when its own VFX schedule was thrown into crisis by the Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy.
From the report ‘em as we get ‘em file: Universal Pictures has announced release dates for three Blumhouse Productions horror flicks, continuing the fruitful relationship between Uni and the indie horror house through 2016. Blumhouse’s first-look deal with the studio started with microbudgeted high-yield $89M hit The Purge. Mark your calendars as the partners stake their claim with dates for unspecified projects Untitled Blumhouse Horror 1 on September 25, 2015, Untitled Blumhouse Horror 2 on January 8, 2016, and Untitled Blumhouse Horror 3 on October 21, 2016.
Study: Stephen Colbert More Effective Than Journalists At Explaining Campaign Financing During Last Election Cycle
A new report warns just how much this country stands to lose when Stephen Colbert shutters his Comedy Central late-night show to take over for David Letterman at CBS. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, viewers of The Colbert Report who watched Colbert set up a super PAC and 501(c)(4) organization during the last presidential election cycle were better informed about campaign financing and the role of money in politics than viewers of actual news channels and other, actual-news shows.
“It’s the first study actually showing that Colbert is doing a better job than other news sources at teaching people about campaign financing,” crowed Bruce W. Hardy, lead author of the study and a senior researcher at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Consistently, we found that Colbert did better than every other news source we included in our model.”
The published study tested The Colbert Report against CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and broadcast nightly news — as well as talk radio and newspapers – as sources of political information. The study, appropriately called Stephen Colbert’s Civics Lesson, was based on phone survey data from 1,232 adults 18 years or older who were interviewed between December 13-23, 2012.
Catch up Marvel’s Ant-Man director saga and more from the week in movie news:
‘Ant-Man’ / Edgar Wright Lessons: Kevin Feige’s Vision Rules Marvel; Time To Get Excited About ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
A couple of things to consider in the divorce between Edgar Wright and Marvel over Ant-Man. In my mind, Wright’s surprise exit Friday over creative differences shows that while Marvel certainly will try to tap strong directors for its superhero properties, the power at that studio clearly resides with one person, Kevin Feige.
Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
Marvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him).
Relativity Acquires ‘Fearless’ For Film On Navy SEAL Team Six Hero Adam Brown
By Mike Fleming Jr.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Relativity has acquired Fearless, based on the Eric Blehm bestselling book on SEAL Team Six operative Adam Brown. Brown battled personal demons, including drug addiction and jail time, to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a Navy SEAL.
Sony Imageworks’ Flight To Vancouver Latest Blow In VFX Subsidies Battle
By Jen Yamato
Sony Pictures Imageworks announced late Thursday that its headquarters will relocate to Vancouver, leaving the fate of its 270 Culver City VFX workers in question.
Back in November, the studio said its latest take on the Friday The 13th franchise would be unsheathed on March 13, 2015. Check that. Paramount announced today that it has pushed the horror pic back to November 13 — the next Friday the 13th on the 2015 calendar — and instead will begin its Scouts Vs. Zombies jamboree on March 13. Director Christopher Landon’s horror mashup will face off against Disney’s live-action Cinderella and Warner Bros high-seas drama Heart Of The Sea. The date change leaves Friday the 13th‘s Jason to battle the Untitled New Line Comedy, the only other pic currently slated for that weekend. Apologies to any triskaidekaphobics who were disturbed by the repeated use of the number 13 in this post. Send your complaints to Paramount.
UPDATED, 2 PM: Instead of slowing down after hitting its stated $1 million goal in less than one day, LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow as a web series seems to be picking up steam — hitting $2M early this afternoon.
Watch Burton’s reaction when the campaign hit $1M:
PREVIOUSLY, 2:38 PM Wednesday: Hours after its launch this morning, a Kickstarter campaign launched by LeVar Burton to bring back Reading Rainbow as a web series hit its goal of raising $1 million dollars. The campaign had set a deadline of Wednesday, July 2 to raise the cash, using incentives that range from offers of Reading Rainbow mugs and calendars, to passes to the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas in July, to (for $10K) a private dinner with Burton at which you could wear the “one-and-only original visor” he wore when he played Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would reach our goal on the very first day,” Burton told Deadline. “People are getting involved — it’s been pretty overwhelming. ”
On the Kickstarter page, Burton wrote the $1 million will get the web series launched and into 1,500 classrooms, “but once we get there, we’ve got some big ideas for stretch goals!” Reading Rainbow aired more than two decades on PBS.