The streaming service already has booked original spinoff series from DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo, Madagascar and Puss In Boots, and now it’s bringing the Viking gang in on the action. Netflix said today that it will air new seasons of DreamWorks Dragons, the series spawned by the 2010 hit How To Train Your Dragon that has been airing on Cartoon Network. The new episodes are said to bridge the gap between the first film and next month’s sequel How To Train Your Dragon 2 — from the origin of Hiccup’s new flight suit and the secrets of his dragon blade to the young Viking’s budding romance with Astrid. Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid) Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs) and TJ Miller (Taffnut) are reprising their voice roles in the films for the TV series, which will be available in all Netflix territories starting in spring 2015.
SXSW: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘Joe,’ Wes Anderson Q&A Round Out Features Lineup; New Episodic TV Section Unveiled
Universal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.
In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. This year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge.
BREAKING: UTA has made partners of four of its best and brightest. The agency has given partnership promotions to motion picture talent agents Jay Gassner, Chris Hart, and Josh Katz, and also TV Talent Co-Head Mike Jelline.
Collectively, the quartet reps an array of up and coming talent. The client list of the four includes: Aziz Ansari, Morena Baccarin, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke, Dane Cook, David Cross, Chris D’Elia, Nick Frost, Brad Garrett, Maggie Grace, Kelsey Grammer, Anna Gunn, Bill Hader, Dan Harmon, Kevin Hart, Anne Heche, Simon Helberg, Sam Hueghan, Jack Huston, Jake Johnson, January Jones, Keegan Michael Key, Jane Krakowski, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Lucy Liu, Virginia Madsen, Jennette McCurdy, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobby Moynihan, Megan Mullally, Annie Mumolo, Becki Newton, Alex O’Loughlin, Jason O’Mara, Nick Offerman, Nancy Oliver, Aaron Paul, Andrew Rannells, Stephen Rannazzisi, Naya Rivera, Jordan Vogt Roberts, Craig Robinson, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Paul Scheer, Amy Schumer, Jimmy Smits, Rafe Spall, Corey Stoll, Jorma Taccone, Amber Tamblyn, Maura Tierney, Aisha Tyler, Liv Tyler, Vanessa Williams, Paul Walker and Kristen Wiig.
Oprah’s PR Blitz Helps ‘The Butler’ Open #1 With $25M: Soft Box Office As ‘Kick Ass 2′ Falls, ‘Jobs’ Biopic Dies, ‘Paranoia’ Bombs
SUNDAY 8 AM, 6TH UPDATE WRITETHRU: With one exception, this weekend was a disaster zone for three of the four newcomers at the domestic box office. Tanking big-time were Universal’s Kick-Ass 2 based on the comic book, Five Star/Open Road Films’ Jobs biopic about the Apple co-founder played by Ashton Kutcher, and IM Global/Relativity’s Paranoia starring Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford. Total moviegoing this weekend was only around $160 million, or -6% from last year, despite the uber-crowded marketplace. Even the surprise #1 this weekend, The Weinstein Company’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler, opened with $25 million which was down from the $30+M Hollywood projected when the weekend started. ”Everything is coming in softer,” one studio exec warned me Friday night. Love her or hate her, co-star Oprah Winfrey and her big media blitz helped open the pic even if it did little to help her public image by providing more dirt for her detractors. Yet a survey by Fandango found that 72% of Butler ticket-buyers claimed Oprah’s involvement increased their interest in seeing the film which was her first movie role in 15 years. But The Butler still trailed the opening weekend grosses of two recent and similarly race- and civil rights-themed adult pics: 42 and The Help. No one, and certainly not The Weinstein Company, expected director Lee Daniels’ or screenwriter Danny Strong’s biopic (playing in 2,933 theaters) to double its $15M weekend projection much less land on top of the weekend box office. But on Thursday morning it already was the #1 ticket-seller on both Fandango and MovieTickets – a welcome event for such a modest $25M negative cost film. Its 73% Rotten Tomatoes positive reviews and ’A’ CinemaScore from audiences surely helped word of mouth as much as Oprah. (Note that in 1998. at the height of her syndicated power when she could sell anything to anyone, Oprah starred in and produced the film flop Beloved. Now she’s on her struggling cable network. But I’m assured she had no financial investment in the film nor contributed into the P&A nor bought up advance tickets in bulk like the rumors claimed.)
Forest Whitaker, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, and Cuba Gooding Jr helped overcome the uneven script that – depending on your POV – is dumbed-down or condescending, historically important or filled with historical inaccuracies. But the stunt casting of Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan has caused considerable Red State outrage on social media. Like 42 and The Help, this pic was marketed first to African-Americans through outreach in those faith-based communities. Then the campaign widened to the art house crowd and curious general audiences. Rival studios initially speculated that The Butler‘s grosses would be frontloaded since it was so dependent on pre-sales. But its Saturday number went up +10% over Friday’s. The film’s genesis began with a Washington Post profile of the longtime White House black butler Eugene Allen that was optioned by Sony Pictures producer Laura Ziskin. When she died of cancer 3 weeks before shooting began, Cassian Elwes and Pam Williams met with Daniels and, together with CAA, scrambled to put together financing. In all 28 investors came together including Buddy Patrick, Sheila Johnson, Michael Findley, and Len Blavatnick. Harvey Weinstein and his TWC boarded late in the production and banked $4M to help finish the film. Then Harv “helped edit” – we all know what that means – with Daniels. Initially The Butler was a fall film to platform for awards consideration. “But when it tested through the roof, we decided then that we needed to go wide. And we saw a gap in the schedule for adult fare in the summer,” an insider tells me. “In our deal we had a $20M P&A cap, and we had to go to the investor group to get the cap raised to $30M in order to go wide.” I’m told 100% of the P&A money is TWC’s. Along the way, Harvey orchestrated free publicity as he battled Warner Bros over the pic’s title.
Pre-release tracking predicted that Universal’s superhero action-comedy Kick Ass 2 (playing in 2,940 theaters) would be the #1 film this weekend as it made steady gains in key areas with solid interest indicated from younger audiences and males in particular. Instead, it bombed with only $13.6M after looking to open #1, then #2, then #3 on Friday - trailing the Warner Bros/New Line holdover comedy We’re The Millers. Not even its ‘B+’ CinemaScore could help word of mouth after critics savaged it with only 29% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes because it fell short of the original. Fanboys decided to stay away. I predict debate will rage about whether this sequel based on Mark Millar/John S. Romita’s comic book was necessary. Even the 2010 original’s $19.8M opening was considered dismal, only to make up for it as a hot DVD sale and rental and digital download because of its R-rated irreverence and style. Wrongly, the studio believed “there was a committed fan base that could be activated as a core audience for a sequel,” as a Universal exec emailed me. So the studio handled worldwide distribution for the further adventures of Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse respectively). Vigilante crusader Colonel Stars and Stripes is played by Jim Carrey who kicked up a fuss by proclaiming he wouldn’t promote the film because of its ultra-violence. A few weeks later, he got onboard – but not before generating a ton of bad publicity for the pic. (He didn’t make himself very popular in Hollywood with this stunt. Let’s see if his career continues to crater.) From a screenplay by director Jeff Wadlow, pic also reteamed producers Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, Tarquin Pack and David Reid. It was independently financed for only $28M, then acquired by Universal before production began in September of 2012. Film opens day-and-date in 18 international territories including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany and grossed $6.3M at 1,500 dates.
Flopping in wide release (2,381 theaters) was Open Road Films’ Jobs, the much-publicized biopic about the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher. It came in only #7 with a meager $6.7M despite a plethora of TV ad buys. Ashton just isn’t a movie star, period, and the ‘B-’ CinemaScore didn’t generate any helpful word of mouth for the pic directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) and scripted by first-time screenwriter Matt Whitely. Open Road acquired Jobs just before it premiered at Sundance in January from Five Star Feature Films which financed the $12M production. Rotten Tomatoes critics only gave it 24% positive reviews because of its superficial made-for-TV depiction of a complex creative and business icon. Still it’s surprising how many Apple devotees stayed away despite the marketing’s psychographic targeting to them. And digital stunts included the launch of the first-ever Instagram movie trailer and Kutcher ringing the bell at the NY Stock Exchange.
Another tech pic tanked. Dropping from #10 on Friday to #13 by Sunday was the IM Global/ Reliance produced thriller Paranoia (distributed by Relativity into 2,459 U.S. theaters with EOne releasing in Canada). Even starring Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford, and Gary Oldman who all are good in the film, it made only $3.5M or about half what was projected. Both audiences and critics hated on it with a ‘C’ CinemaScore and 4% Rotten Tomatoes positive reviews. ”I think Relativity’s marketing department screwed up,” one insider tells me. “They tried to focus on the youth audience and teen girls in particular, and it isn’t that kind of movie at all. Also, IM Global picked this date, and they never should have opened this kind of film in the summer.”
Ross Lincoln contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
Kick Ass 2 promises to be every bit as profane and violent as its predecessor, as evidenced by an expanded trailer which premiered today at Comic-Con. Featuring never before seen footage, the body count, blood and gore, and creative profanity was intense even by the standards of the first film. “We put (these characters) through a meat grinder in this one,” director Jeff Wadlow said. It showed. Jim Carrey, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse star in the pic that bows wide on August 16th. Here’s the extended trailer:
The costumed Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl continue to protect the city while knocking the crap out of the bad guys in this follow-up to the 2010 pseudo-superhero flick. This year’s model sees our heroes inspiring a number of copycat do-gooders, including the masked Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). But the newbies are hunted down by a young man with an unprintable name who wants to be the world’s first real supervillain and puts together an army to help him. Kick-Ass 2 returns Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse but not director Matthew Vaughn. Jeff Wadlow takes over the chair for the Universal sequel. Here’s the trailer:
Busy day for Aubrey Plaza: First, her NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation got picked up for a sixth season, then CBS Films set a new domestic release date for her next movie. The To Do List, a comedy about an awkward overachiever who tries to make up for her sexual underachieving in high school before she heads to college, has been moved up from August 16 to July 26. Instead of going up against Universal’s action-comedy sequel Kick-Ass 2, it now will be counterprogramming to Fox’s tentpole The Wolverine. Writer-director Maggie Carey’s film also stars Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg and Connie Britton. It is produced by Jennifer Todd, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, with Mark Gordon, Greg Walter, Tom Lassally, Maggie Carey, Bill Hader and Tracy McGrath aboard as exec producers.
Related: Summer 2013: Sleeper Movie Forecast
EXCLUSIVE: After scoring a seven-figure deal with Universal for their R-rated comedy Townies, Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien sold another pitch over the Easter weekend. This one also went for 7-figures and is based on the Craiglist ad that went viral in February when brothers Mike and Dave Stangle took to the personals in search of wedding dates. The untitled project takes it one step further: When the hard-partying bros finally select plus-ones, their dates end up even being even bigger messes than they are.
The new international trailer for Kick-Ass 2 is Hit Girl-centric, focusing on Chloë Grace Moretz‘s orphaned character as she enters high school and deals with issues of identity. The follow-up to 2010′s original is directed by Jeff Wadlow and also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jim Carrey, as Colonel Stars and Stripes. There’s a July 19 release set for the UK, ahead of Universal’s August 16 slot in the U.S.
EXCLUSIVE: Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who’ve developed chemistry in a popular series of Funny Or Die web videos, are joining forces onscreen. They’re joining Universal Pictures‘ Nicholas Stoller-directed comedy Townies, the upcoming Seth Rogen and Zac Efron comedy that will also star Rose Byrne. Efron plays a frat president and Franco plays his best pal and vice president. Pic is produced by Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver for Point Grey Pictures and Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane are exec producers with Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. GU’s Matt Leonetti and Nicole Brown are co-producers.
Franco is coming off Warm Bodies and has Now You See Me coming out in May from Summit. Mintz-Plasse just wrapped Kick Ass 2 and worked with Rogen in Superbad. Franco is repped by CAA and Miles Levy at James Levy Management, and Mintz-Plasse is repped by UTA and Principato Young.
Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are back for the follow-up to the original 2010 pic, which made $48.1M domestic for Lionsgate. Kick-Ass 2, directed by Jeff Wadlow and now from Universal, also stars Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes, leader of a band of self-made superheroes. It’s due for an August 16 release after the studio pushed back its original date a couple of weeks.
It’s a collection of loosely related shorts directed by a bunch of different people — we count 13 on one site and it may be more or fewer but at one time the potential tally was considerably higher. Shot rather on the fly when people were available, it has an even longer list of in-front-of-the-camera participants, among them Elizabeth Banks (also one of the directors), Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Common, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, John Hodgman, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. Directors include Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne, and Brett Ratner. Movie 43, from Relativity Media, opens January 25th:
The Santa Barbara Film Festival has announced its 2013 lineup. The 28th edition features films from 49 countries and runs January 24-February 3. The Jason Bateman-starring drama Disconnect is the opening-night film and Rowan Athale’s Wasteland closes it. Here’s the full lineup of movies by category:
Release: January 25, 2013
Directors: Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly, Will Graham, Steve Carr, Griffin Dunne, James Duffy, Jonathan Van Tulleken, Elizabeth Banks, Patrik Forsberg, Brett Ratner, Rusty Cundieff, James Gunn
Writers: Will Carlough, Tobias Carlson, Jacob Fleisher, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Claes Kjellström, Jack Kukoda, Bill O’Malley, Matthew Portenoy, Greg Pritikin, Rocky Russo, Olle Sarri, Elizabeth Shapiro, Jeremy Sosenko, Jonathan Van Tulleken, Jonas Wittenmark, Ricky Blitt
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Common, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, John Hodgman, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Dennis Quaid, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet (Cast listed in alphabetical order)
Producers: Charles B. Wessler, John Penotti, Peter Farrelly, Ryan Kavanaugh
Co-Producers: Kenneth Halsband, Jason Barhydt, Marc Ambrose, Tom Gormican
Executive Producer: Tim Williams, Tucker Tooley, Jason Felts
Co-Executive Producers: Rene Rigal, Brian Kornreich
Release: February 8, 2013
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writers: Dana Stevens, Gage Lansky
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, David Lyons, Cobie Smulders
Producers: Ryan Kavanaugh, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Nicholas Sparks
Executive Producer: Tucker Tooley
21 AND OVER
Release: March 1, 2013
Directors: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Writers: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Cast: Miles Teller, Justin Chon, Skylar Astin, Sarah Wright, Francois Chau, Jonathan Keltz, Daniel Booko, Dustin Ybarra
Producer: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh
Executive Producer: Tucker Tooley, Jason Felts, Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, David Manpearl, Luo Yan
Related: 17 Film Directors Walk Into A Bar…
Here’s a first look at Movie 43, a film that I’ve written about several times here, because I loved those raunchy 70s comedies The Groove Tube and Kentucky Fried Movie, and because the filmmakers who put this together, –Peter Farrelly, Charles Wessler and John Penotti, Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley–assembled such a killer cast of directors and actors for these completely inappropriate comic vignettes. The final cast, in alphabetical order: Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, John Hodgman, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. Relativity Media will release it January 25. Here’s a Red Band trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: CBS is adding some estrogen to midseason buddy comedy Friend Me with the introduction of a new regular female character to be played by Amanda Lund. Created by Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, Friend Me is about two twentysomething best friends who just moved from Indiana to Los Angeles to start cool new jobs. Rob (Nicholas Braun) is eager to embrace the L.A. scene and meet new people, while Evan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) prefers to socialize online at home in his underwear, web-chatting and playing poker with his Hoosier buddies Mike (Parveesh Cheena), Sully and Farhad (Dan Ahdoot). In what is considered the female lead on the ensemble, Lund will play the upbeat and often socially awkward Amanda Baxter, new to Los Angeles, alone after a break-up, and eager to move on with her life. Working for a caterer with dreams one day to be a chef, she finds the first friends of her new life in her neighbors Rob and Evan.
The Croods - March 22, 2013
Turbo – July 19, 2013
Mr. Peabody & Sherman - November 1, 2013
Me And My Shadow – March 14, 2014
How To Train Your Dragon 2 – June 20, 2014
Happy Smekday! – November 26, 2014
The Penguins Of Madagascar – March 27, 2015
Trolls (working title) – June 5, 2015
B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations – November 6, 2015
Mumbai Musical (working title) – December 19, 2015
Kung Fu Panda 3 – March 18, 2016
How To Train Your Dragon 3 – June 18, 2016
BREAKING: Jim Carrey has been set to play the role of The Colonel in the Jeff Wadlow-directed sequel Kick-Ass 2: Balls To The Wall. Deadline broke this August 20 when Carrey had the offer to play a guy who helps galvanize the team of misfit super heroes assembled to fight evil. Wadlow just tweeted the news. The sequel brings back Chloe Moretz, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicolas Cage. Carrey is a big fan of Matthew Vaughn and his original Kick-Ass film. Here, he wore the Kick-Ass costume for a musical duet with Conan O’Brien.
Here’s Aubrey Plaza (most recently seen in FilmDistrict’s Safety Not Guaranteed) introducing the R-Rated trailer for her Valentine’s Day movie that CBS Films will open on that day in 2013. Written and directed by Maggie Carey, The To Do List also features Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Donald Glover, Bill Hader and Clark Gregg.