RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ & ‘Modern Family’ Rise

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 9:52am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NOLAN GOULD, AUBREY ANDERSON-EMMONS, ED O'NEILL, SARAH HYLAND,  TY BURRELL,With the Top 6 performing, Fox’s American Idol (2.1) last night reversed the recent downward ratings trend, up 11% from last Wednesday’s fast nationals. The singing competition closed the gap with CBS’ Survivor (2.2, even with last week’s fast national) but the CBS reality veteran kept its two-month winning streak over the Fox singing show alive.

ABC’s returning Wednesday comedies came back to originals after a two-week break. Fast nations to fast nationals, The Middle (1.8) was down a tenth from its most recent original on April 2, while Suburgatory (1.6) held steady. Going out of town once again worked for Modern Family. After its Las Vegas episode delivered a ratings bump last month, last night’s Australian episode (3.4) too posted an uptick, +6% from the series’ last original. After being left to fend for itself with no original support for the past two weeks, new comedy Mixology (1.5) perked up with an original lead-in, up 25% from last week but a tenth below its last episode that followed a new Modern Family. ABC aired a Nashville concert special (1.0) at 10 PM, with CBS’ and NBC’ dramas also in repeats. Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.

Seeing RedWith all the shocking twists on CW’s Arrow last night (someone got killed!), the superhero drama couldn’t shake off the ratings blues, matching last … Read More »

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Flex Option For ‘Sunday Night Football’ To Start 6 Weeks Earlier As NFL Unveils 2014 Schedule

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 5:06pm PDT

nfl-logo1The NFL is coming off most-watched program in U.S. TV history with the Super Bowl, and its just-released 2014 schedule arrives today with a couple key differences from last year – one of which is bound to make NBC execs smile. The league said that its “flex” scheduling for the Paeaock’s Sunday Night Football games can begin as early as Week 5, moving up from Week 11 in the past. That means the NFL can move any scheduled day game into primetime to air on what has been the No. 1 show in primetime viewership for four consecutive years and tops in the adults 18-49 demo for six straight. But there is a catch: The flex option can be exercised only twice between Weeks 5 and 10, whichSunday_night_football means Fox or CBS won’t have to give up their best matchups every week during that span. The flex-scheduling say-so remains with the league, which must make the call no fewer than 12 days ahead of time. (Regular Sunday night flex scheduling remains in play after Week 10.) Meanwhile, the NFL also is introducing a plan to “cross flex” Sunday day games on CBS and Fox, which have over-the-air rights to the AFC and NFC, respectively. In previous years, a game between two AFC teams had to be on CBS, but now the league can choose to move those games to Fox (and vice versa). This could help during weeks when one network happens to have the potentially biggest games.

Related: ESPN To Air Cable’s First NFL Playoff Game

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Meg Ryan To Voice The Mother In CBS’ ‘How I Met Your Dad’

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 1:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Meg Ryan How I Met Your DadMeet the future Mother. I have learned that Meg Ryan has been quietly tapped as the narrator in CBSHow I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad. In the way that Bob Saget supplied the voice of future Ted (Josh Radnor) in HIMYM, Ryan will voice future Sally (played by Greta Gerwig) in the spinoff, telling her kids the story of how she’d met gerwigtheir dad. Like Saget, Ryan will never be seen on the show. CBS and How I Met Your Dad producer 20th Century Fox TV declined comment. In the vein of the original series, HIMYD tells the story from a female point of view, that of Sally (Gerwig), and revolves around a new group of friends in New York, played by Gerwig, Drew Tarver, Nick D’Agosto, Andrew Santino and Tiya Sircar. The spinoff pilot has been garnering strong early buzz and is considered a leading candidate for a series pickup for next season. Ryan is with ICM Partners.

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David Schulner Inks New Deal With Uni TV, Sets Ancient Egypt HBO Drama With Ridley Scott

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 12:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

David SchulnerDavid Schulner is staying at Universal TV with a new two-year overall deal, his third consecutive overall pact there. Through Uni TV, Schulner has sold hourlong drama Pharaoh to HBO with Ridley Scott attached to direct and executive produce. The series explores an alternate explanation for the foundation and ascent of the ancient Egyptian empire—one in which greatness was bestowed upon us by beings from another world, calling into question what it means to be a ‘god.’ Another ancient Egypt drama, Hieroglyph, has a series order at Fox. Under his Uni TV deal, Schulner also is developing projects for sister networks USA and Syfy. He previously was the creator, executive producer and showrunner of NBC/Uni TV’s drama Do No Harm and served as consulting producer on NBC’s Dracula and Ironside. Schulner began his tenure at Universal TV (then UMS) with stints as co-executive producer on drama series Kings and Trauma, leading to his first overall deal with the studio in 2010. Schulner started off as a playwright before becoming a staff writer on ABC’s Once And Again. He rose to prominence with his high-concept 2007 spec The Oaks, which landed at Fox after a bidding frenzy with Shawn Ryan executive producing. Schulner’s series credits also include the WB’s Everwood, ABC’s Desperate Housewives and ITV’s Marchlands. Schulner, repped by UTA and Myman Abel, also is the author of the comic book Clone.

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Andy Samberg Makes ‘SNL’ Hosting Debut For Season Finale As Part Of NBC Late Night Show’s Symphonic Slate

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 11:02am PDT

snl18NBC’s Saturday Night Live will explode in a Comcast symphony of cross-promotion for its final original episodes of the TV season. SNL alum Andy Samberg will make his hosting debut for the season finale May 17 — Samberg stars in/produces Universal TV’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine for Fox network (Universal and NBC both being divisions of Comcast). Charlize Theron, one of the stars of Universal-distributed Seth MacFarlane movie A Million Ways To Die In The West — will take her second swing as SNL host May 10. The network also made official that Andrew Garfield will make his SNL hosting debut May 3 as his The Amazing Spider-Man 2 premieres nationwide May 2 — Spider-Man being a big attraction at Universal theme parks. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Glee’ Dip, ‘Supernatural’ Surges, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Steady

shakira april 22There were spies on ABC but it was truly show time on Fox and NBC last night. With its first live elimination show of Season 6, last night’s The Voice (2.7/9) rolled out a sizzling performance from mentor Shakira as well as cutting two contestants. Coming off its lowest Monday result ever and with the return of the Twitter instant save for a second season, the singing competition show was down 10% from last Tuesday. That’s a new low for the show in terms of regular episodes. Still, The Voice was the top-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.95 million watching. While NBC likely doesn’t want those standings to change, it might see a change in The Voice’s 18-49 rating later in the day when the final numbers come in – the show has commonly seen an adjustment upward from the preliminaries. With its 9:01 PM Voice spillover start, freshman About A Boy (1.9/6) saw a 6% bop up from last week in preliminary ratings. Fellow newbie Growing Up Fisher (1.5/4) was even with last week’s low.  Getting a 1.8/5 among the 18-49s, NBC was No. 1 last night with an all-encore CBS coming in tops in total viewers with 9.41 million watching. CBS’ NCIS repeat was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime after The Voice with an audience of 10.42 million.
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USA Network Sets Summer Premiere Dates

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

rush_aspot_keyart_2490x1418_0USA Network is shaking things up this summer with a schedule that features four returning series moving to new time slots, joined by two new shows, dramas series Rush and Satisfaction, paired together. This is a rare new drama series launch on USA satisfaction_aspot_keyart_2490x1418_7where the newbies are not slotted behind established series. Rush and Satisfaction (formerly untitled Sean Jablonski) will premiere July 17, airing Thursdays at 9 PM and 10 PM, respectively. Rush, from writer-director Jonathan Levine and Fox 21, examines the world of renegade physician Dr. William Rush (Tom Ellis), a “medical fixer” who privately caters to LA’s elite. Satisfaction, from Universal Cable Prods, stars Matt Passmore and explores modern marriage at its midpoint. (watch the first trailer below). Read More »

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Fox Pushes ‘MasterChef’ Premiere By Week

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 7:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BonesFox is saving an extra original of Bones to run with 24: Live Another Day. In the most recent summer schedule announced last month, veteran Bones was to air its penultimate episode of Season 9 on April 28, leading to the second season finale of The Following. After a week-long break for the two-hour debut of 24: Live Another Day, Bones was slated to air its season finale on May 12, followed by the time slot premiere of 24, with MasterChef taking over the Monday 8 PM slot the following week. Now, Bones will air a repeat on April 28, the night of The Following finale, with the last two episodes for the season paired with the first two regular-slot episodes of the 24 event series on May 12 and May 19. Season 5 MasterChef will debut on May 26.

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ESPN Could Rewrite Record Book When It Airs Cable’s First NFL Playoff Game

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 9:15pm PDT

ESPN_logoThe NFL regular-season schedule comes out tomorrow, but we already know something big about the postseason. The league said today that ESPN will air a wild card game during the first weekend of the playoffs in early January. The milestone game will mark the first postseason NFL game on pay TV — and should draw astronomical ratings for the cable universe. Last season’s wild card weekend was a goldmine for NBC, CBS and especially Fox, whose 49ers-Packers contest was the most-watched wild card game on any network since the Reagan administration 49ers_Packers_Footbal_Congwith 47.1 million viewers. Even that weekend’s lowest-rated game — in which the Colts erased a four-touchdown deficit to stun the Chiefs — drew 27.6 million. But that’s more than the largest cable TV audience ever: the 2011 Auburn-Oregon college football title game, which pulled in 27.3 million viewers for ESPN. The sports network, which carries Monday Night Football games, signed an eight-year contract extension with the NFL in 2011 to keep the lucrative franchise through the 2021 season. That pact — which also covers international TV rights to NFL games including the Super Bowl — included an option for the league to give a postseason game to ESPN. The network’s MNF team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden  will call the Wild Card game, which also will be available via WatchESPN.

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Mitch Hurwitz Inks Multi-Year Deal With Netflix For New Series

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

hurwitzEXCLUSIVE: Mitch Hurwitz is staying in the Netflix fold with a multi-year deal, a rare pact with a writer-producer for the streaming giant. Under the multi-tier agreement, the Arrested Development creator will create and produce new original series for the Internet TV network through his banner The Hurwitz Company. Additionally, he will develop projects with other creators as a non-writing executive producer and will consult for Netflix on comedy series. Hurwitz first worked with Netflix on a new season of his Emmy-winning comedy series Arrested Development, which netflix_logo__121008075714-200x92__130701074658was released last year. “We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Mitch’s inventive approach to Arrested Development — one of the top TV comedies of this generation — was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

Related: Netflix Says It May Raise Prices For New Customers

After winning six Emmys for its three-year run on Fox from 2003-06 — including three for Hurwitz, for best series and two for writing — Arrested Development‘s fourth season on Netflix earned three more Emmy nominations for the show, bringing the total to 25. Hurwitz executive produced and co-directed Season 4, and it was that collaboration with Netflix, which Hurwitz describes as being “the best professional experience of my life, even topping some of my favorite unprofessional experiences,” that led to the new deal. “It is incredibly inspiring to get to produce for Netflix, a company that not only doesn’t resist change but is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone in forging it,” Hurwitz said. “The fact that I’m also getting one month of their streaming right to my TV or Xbox free … well, it really takes the sting out of buying that Xbox.”

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Sony Classics To Release ‘Foxcatcher’ On November 14

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 11:47am PDT

Foxcatcher-Steve-Carell-Channing-TatumThe long road of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher to the big screen finally has a finish line. Sony Pictures Classics has set a November 14 release date for the pic starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, which last week landed a competition berth at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a prime awards-season spot for the drama, which tells the true story of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Carell), heir to the DuPont Chemical fortune, that led to murder. Right now it will share the spc logoNovember 14 date with Universal’s Dumb And Dumber To, Sony/Columbia’s Brad Pitt war drama Fury and Relativity’s Blackbird.

Foxcatcher was being primed for a big AFI Fest bow and an Oscar-season splash last fall before pulling out at the last minute. SPC said the move was so filmmakers “can have more time to finish the film.” It had been set for a December 2013 release. AFI Fest later set August: Osage County for the gala premiere spot. Read More »

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Josh Berman Inks New Overall Deal At Sony

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BermanEXCLUSIVE: Josh Berman tenure at Sony Pictures Television will be crossing the decade mark with a fourth consecutive overall deal. Under the new, three-year pact, Berman continues as executive producer and showrunner of Sony TV’s Lifetime series Dead Drop Diva. He created the dramedy, now in its sixth and final season, under his first overall pact at the studio. He also will continue to develop projects for network and cable. Berman began his career as a junior writer on the first season of CBS’ CSI. He remained on the long-running procedural for six years, rising to executive producer. He went on to create the Fox drama Vanished and spent four years on the network’s veteran procedural Bones. While at Sony TV, Berman, repped by CAA and attorney Ken Richman, also co-created and executive produced the Fox drama Mob Doctor.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’, ‘Dancing’, ‘2 Broke Girls’ And ‘Mike & Molly’ Slip

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 10:16am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

kristen-merlin-lgNBC’s and ABC’s lineups followed a similar pattern last night, with a two-hour reality series posting declines from last week to hit lows and a 10 PM drama returning to originals on par. NBC’s The Voice made a bumpy transition to live shows last night with the first performance edition suffering a mic malfunction in addition to a 15% week-to-week ratings drop. The singing competition (2.9) logged its lowest Monday rating to date, matching a series low. Meanwhile, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.1) was down 9% from last week to a season low. But compared to the same night last spring, the veteran ABC dancing competition was even, while The Voice was down 41%. NBC’s The Blacklist (2.8) and ABC’s Castle (1.8) were both flat with their most recent originals three and four weeks ago, respectively. NBC still won the night in 18-49 (2.9) with Voice and Blacklist as the top two programs, while ABC was tops in total viewers (12.2 million). Read More »

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Chief Justice Slams Aereo At Supreme Court Hearing

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

Aereo Supreme Court HearingIf you thought that the legal dispute between Aereo and the broadcasters was combative, it paled compared with today’s one-hour hearing at the Supreme Court. In oral arguments before the nine Justices, both sides took some heavy blows, but the Barry Diller-backed streaming service definitely took one to the jaw from Chief Justice John Roberts. “Your technological model is based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don’t want to comply with,” Roberts told Aereo attorney David Frederick during the presentation before a packed chamber. “There’s no reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas except to get around the Copyright Act,” he said. Added Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ”You are the only player so far that pays no royalties whatsoever.”

Coming after arguments from the broadcasters by former Solicitor General Paul Clement and current Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, Frederick started off his presentation by saying “this is a reproduction rights issue masquerading as a public performance case.” The Justices didn’t seem to buy it.

Related: The ABCs Of Aereo: What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To The Supreme Court?

supremecourt__121107013841__140419194659Despite Roberts’ comments, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer were by far the most inquisitive during the presentation with concerns over cloud computing taking up almost as much time as the copyright issue at the heart of the lawsuit filed by an armada of Big Media companies — including CBS, Disney, Fox, and Comcast’s NBCUniversal — as well as the federal government. “I don’t understand if the decision I write for or against you will affect other technologies,” Breyer told Frederick. ”It’s not your problem — but it might be,” Breyer deadpanned to a big laugh from the courtroom.

SCOTUSSummary“I think the cloud was the winner today,” MPAA boss Christopher Dodd said after the hearing. “But I think the Justices see Aereo as gimmicky and want to address that.” Dodd’s comments mirrored remarks made by Clement during the presentation.

Related: Aereo Case Reactions: Did CBS Shares Fall In Response To Supreme Court’s Questions?

During Clement’s three-minute rebuttal at the end of the hearing, Sotomayor directly asked the lawyer about the consequences of a potential ruling. “If it’s just a gimmick, then they deserve to go out of business and no one should shed a tear,” Clement said of Aereo’s prospects should it lose at the high court. The lawyer added that if Aereo’s technology was innovative, it would persevere in one form or another regardless.

Said Frederick in a statement after the presentation: “We’re confident, cautiously optimistic, based on the way the hearing went today that the Court understood that a person watching over-the-air broadcast television in his or her home is engaging in a private performance and not a public performance that would implicate the Copyright Act.”

Originally scheduled to start at 11 AM ET, today’s hearing was pushed back 30 minutes because of readings of other opinions from the bench. In the sundrenched chamber with its strategically lit red velvet drapes and engraved marble walls, almost all of the nine Justices asked questions from their high-backed chairs. As is common, the only Justice not to ask a question was Clarence Thomas, though he did take time during the presentation to whisper asides to Justice Antonin Scalia.

The court likely will rule by late June. Read More »

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INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014; ‘Captain America’ Passes $500M; ‘Frozen’ Highest Animated Grosser Ever; ‘Rio 2′ passes $200M Overseas

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) opens in 14 markets with $47M; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) passes $500M; Transcendence (WB) opens to $17.1M, mostly from China; Rio 2 (FOX) flies past $200M and is burning it up in Latin America. Noah (PAR) at $197.4M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) at $18M  for $74.7M cume; The Other Woman (FOX) bows with $5.3M in four markets; Spanish Affairs (UNI) phenom as Spain’s top local-lingo pic ever, still No. 1 … twice the marketshare of Spider-Man 2′s bow.

Related: Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises High; ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell

cinemaworld__1404061439493rd UPDATE, Monday, 10:50 PM PDT: Final numbers in for Transcendence, Divergent, Rio 2, The Other Woman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. All grosses for the movies have changed.

2nd UPDATE, Sunday, 6:50 PM. PDT: More estimates have been added for Rio 2, Divergent, and further analysis on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There will be another update tomorrow, but no territory by territory breakdown this week. It’s always interesting to see a snapshot of the top international pictures so far in 2014. Disney’s has the two lead spots right now with  Frozen $462M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($385.1M), followed by The Wolf of Wall Street ($262.5M), which is being handled by Universal and many other distribs. The difference between the No. 2 and No. 3 pictures is a substantial $122.6M so far. Surprising, no? Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’  duo The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($244.5M) and 300: The Rise of an Empire ($223M).

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening; ‘Under The Skin’ Passes $1M

Amazing Spider-Man 2PREVIOUSLY, 10:27 AM, Sunday, PDT: Marking the biggest opening internationally of 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has taken the markets by storm, grossing an estimated $47M as it bows in such major territories as the U.K., Spain, Germany and Belgium, Mexico and Australia. All told, 14 markets. It was a big box office weekend internationally with several major pics playing well throughout the world. But all eyes are on Spider-Man, which opened strong in territories earlier in the week. The top market for the Sony franchise is Read More »

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Woody Allen Star Not ‘Fading’ As Moviegoers And Oscar Voters Ignored The Scandalous Headlines And Embraced The Movies – Analysis

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 3:36pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Hey Woody Allen haters:gigolo2 if you were hoping his rare sojourn as strictly a hired actor in writer/director/star John Turturro‘s new comedy, Fading Gigolo, would flop due to his latest scandal and controversy you have to be sorely disappointed today. Not only did Gigolo NOT fail, it drew the second highest opening weekend gross for a 2014 indie release and reviews, though mixed for the movie are particularly good for Allen’s turn as a “pimp” for the aging lothario played by Turturro. With nearly $200,000 at just five theaters and a sterling $39,680 per screen average it came in only behind Wes Anderson’s hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel in terms of limited debuts this year. Millennium’s Bill Lee told Deadline Sunday the film was performing even better than they had hoped. It starts expanding next weekend. Now why is this significant?

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening
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‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Launch Plan Puts Focus On Stars: Video

XMenMarketingFox is pulling out all the stops for the global launch of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with stars Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy stepping up to bat for a week’s worldwide premiere tour billed as the “X-Men X-Perience.” The trio — who respectively play Wolverine, young Magneto and young Dr. Charles Xavier in the film — made a web video announcement today (see below). After the New York premiere, they will be joined by castmembers Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy and Nicholas Hoult for tour stops including London, Moscow, Singapore, Melbourne, Beijing and Sao Paulo — though who will wind up where is still a secret. The X-Men franchise has morphed into a cash cow overseas, with the most recent titles — last year’s The Wolverine and 2011′s X-Men: First Class – pulling in well over 60% of their global box office haul from territories outside the U.S. and Canada. This is a marketing move typical of 20th Century Fox’s prowess in foreign markets, and since the days of Titanic and Braveheart it has always globetrotted talent in an effort to raise a film’s profile and maximize moolah. X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens day and date worldwide May 25.

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Box Office Final: ‘Heaven’ Is Real Deal Behind ‘Captain America’ Which Shoots Past $200M; ‘Rio 2′ Perches At No. 3; ‘Transcendence’ Short Circuited

OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) stellar at $22.5M (3-day) and $29.5M (5-day) for No. 2; Transcendence (WB) despondent at No. 4 with $10.8M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.7M.

Box Office Weekend Results5TH UPDATE, 2:45 PM: The final numbers are in for the box office Top 20, and Sony/TriStar has a lot to celebrate this weekend as peeps flocked to Heaven Is For Real this Easter holiday with a final tally of $22.5M (three-day) and $29.5M (five-day). Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a very good chance of being No. 1 for four weekends in a row as there is nothing in the hamper next weekend to stop it. captain-america-wallpaper-batman-vs-superman-avengers-2-captain-america-2-spider-man-2-is-this-the-golden-age-of-superhero-moviesNot since Lionsgate unleashed The Hunger Games in 2012 has that happened, and before that, the last time was in 2008 when Warner Bros introduced The Dark Knight. Rio 2 is No. 3 in its second weekend out, dropping 44%, and racking up $75M in two weeks. Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-starring sci-fi film, short-circuited this weekend and should have been retitled Despondence as it came in under $11M for Warner Bros. and Alcon. Uh, no peeps cared for that one. transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppSurprising coming from Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister who made his directing debut and delivered such a bomb. The trailer was confusing and hard to follow. Seemed like it was just a bunch of shots of Depp in different states of duress instead of selling futuristic sizzle. The one sheet was a headshot of Depp with digits on his head. And the production stills made him look like American Hustle‘s Bradley Cooper in perm rods. It’s like Lawnmower 2 for the YK2 generation. Yes, in fact, there is actually a Y2K joke in there … so 2000.

Leaving no question about Divine Intervention: Heaven Is For Real - Connor CorumNoah jumped up two notches yesterday over opener Bears and God’s Not Dead to round out the Top 10 … and … Draft Day (which dropped 42% this weekend) scored better in its sophomore frame and juked Divergent this weekend to get the No. 6 spot. A Haunted House 2 from Open Road creaked its way to No. 5 and $8.8M in its debut while Oculus dropped 57% in its second weekend. Opening next weekend: the Cameron Diaz-Kate Upton-Leslie Mann comedy The Other Woman (Fox), Brick Mansions (REL) which stars the late Paul Walker, and the horror film The Quiet Ones (LGF). Expanding from five theaters to 25 runs in LA and NY will be the John Turturo’s comedy Fading Gigolo (Millennium). Here are the final weekend box office numbers: Read More »

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OSCARS: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Return To Produce In 2015

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowWe’re hearing the Academy is aiming for consistency and has nailed down Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce the Oscarcast for a third year running. Here’s how much consistency: the Academy announced the pair was returning for the 86th Oscars almost exactly a year ago (and they announced Ellen DeGeneres as host that August). It’s the first time since 1997-1999 (Gil Cates) that the Oscars has had the same producer three years in a row. In March, Meron, Zadan and DeGeneres together built a show that drew 43.7 million viewers with a 13.1/33 rating in adults 18-49, the most watched Academy Awards since 2000 and the highest-rated in the demo since 2010. The speculation right now is if the Academy wants consistency with the producers then they’d seek it with a host, but nothing has been set. Here’s today’s release:

Oscar_badge__140302212232BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Motion picture, television and theater producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” said Boone Isaacs. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”

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