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 $17.4M, mostly from China; Rio 2 (FOX) flies past $200M. Noah (PAR) at $197.4M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) at $18.1M  for $75.3M 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.

cinemaworld__140406143949 UPDATED, Sunday, 6:50 PM. PDT: More estimates have been added for Rio2, 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).

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 the UK/Ireland which grabbed $15M. It marks a 49% bigger opening than Winter Soldier in the territory but in 2012, the first installment has a UK opening weekend tally of $17.1M. The same group of market, Sony says, opened comparably to the first installment — and true, some are higher and some are lower. Of note is a huge $2.3M from 50 IMAX screens to equal a monster $47,000 per screen average in the UK/Ireland. The first installment of The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 grossed a total of $40.3M in this territory in 2012, so this is an all-important market for the studio. Since it is a big school holiday in the UK, kids are out in numbers now so perfectly timed to capitalize on the influx.

Spider-Man has done particularly well overseas traditionally, although it has yet to top the $1B mark like other Marvel titles have done. China should be a great box office catch for this film as the first installment did exceptionally well, grossing a total of $48.8M in 2012. It will bow in China on May 4th, two days after the its domestic launch. Latin America is also usually very strong for Spidey. Japan, Korea and Russia — which together brought in $96.8M in 2012 — will be part of the 21 pack of territories it will open in next weekend.

ASM2’s production budget is said to be around $255M, with about $180M to $190M spent on marketing. Read More »

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

Indie FilmsFading Gigolo cashed in at the box office this Easter weekend, catapulting itself to the second-highest theater average of 2014 among specialty releases. The feature directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro, Woody Allen and Sharon Stone opened in five locations in New York and LA on Friday, grossing an estimated $198,399 through Sunday for a solid $39,680 average. That outranks A24′s strong debut for Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, which opened at the beginning of this month. That film, incidentally, passed the $1M cume mark this weekend, with the Jonathan Glazer-directed experimental sci-fi pic grossing $140K in four theaters for a $35K average. The top opener by far of course is Fox Searchlight’s sizzling The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed to a record $202K per-theater average March 9.

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

FadingGigoloThe opening for Fading Gigolo portends a good run for the comedy, which centers on Fioravante (Turturro), who decides to become a Don Juan as a way of making money for his cash-strapped friend Murray (Allen). Turturro told me last week the film had sold to “top notch” distributors worldwide with strong opens in some international territories ahead of its U.S. launch. “It’s a date movie and even people in their 20s like the movie,” he said. “If they like the movie, then anyone will like the movie.” Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee said this morning that Fading Gigolo is performing better than even hoped. “We saw a spectacular jump from Friday to Saturday, which goes to show that audiences were craving a funny and heartfelt film,” he said. Millennium will hold in NY and LA next week expanding the film to 25 runs in both metropolitan areas. It will head to San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami on May 2, then to additional markets May 9.

Related: INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Global Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014

Under The Skin saw a sizable expansion and grossed more than $467K in 176 theaters, averaging $2,656. Last week, the film grossed over $309K from 54 runs ($5,727 PTA). Its cume now stands at $1,086,241.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Fading Gigolo’, ‘The Final Member’, More Read More »

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Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises High; ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell; ‘Captain America’ Will Pass $200M And Flips The Bird As ‘Rio 2′ Perched at No. 2

OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) best opener est. $21.5M to $22M+  (3-day) and $29M+ (5-day); Transcendence (WB) No. 4 with $11M+; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M rounds out top five; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.8M at No. 10 – if it doesn’t get pushed out by holdover Noah.

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Related: INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014

UPDATED: SUNDAY, 7:18 AM: $200M, as expected, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier today as it parades in with a $26.7M weekend on Easter Sunday and $201M+. It now stands at $586.6M worldwide. This is the 12th Marvel film to cross that threshold. Easter weekend is up 8% over last year at this time. The holy holiday brings a couple of other surprises as the best newcomer of the weekend, Heaven Is For Real, is now expected to have a 3-day gross of $21.5M to $22M+ for a $9,200 per screen, far above any other picture in the Top Ten. And, depending how much of a drop off there is today, it may end its 5-day run with $29M+. That’s a nice sum for a picture that Sony says has a $12M negative cost (not including marketing). Captain-America-2-The-Winter-Soldier-TrailerKudos to filmmakers Randy Wallace, co-screenwriter Chris Parker, producers T.D. Jakes and Joe Roth and its stars Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Connor Corum. “The film definitely played not only to a faith-based audience but to a mainstream audience as well,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution. “The title itself provokes dialogue no matter what you believe. It’s based on a book and the true story of this family, so it makes it all that more compelling.”

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

The other surprise of the weekend was that Fox’s animated film Rio 2 didn’t get off the ground as everyone expected at the start of the 3-day; it will make about $22.5M this weekend (down 43%) in its sophomore frame for a total cume of $75.3M (according to Fox) although all others have it higher. And the Johnny Depp starrer Transcendence started its slow descent for Warner Bros. and Alcon when it opened to lackluster numbers on Thursday and then received its C+ CinemaScore on Friday when its core audience got a look-see. The pic will make only $11M+ for the weekend. However, in China, it opened bigger than in the U.S. on 2,180 more screens, of course. It grossed $11.4M in China. Right under that is A Haunted House 2, the comedy/horror film that will end up with $8.8M for the weekend.Heaven Is For Real Open Road Films said it was a $4M negative (not counting marketing costs), so perhaps when this finishes its run, it may make a bit of cash. Btw, Open Road is the only distrib. to expect it to gross higher; they are saying $9.1M.

Related: ‘Frozen’ Is Highest Animated International Grosser Of All Time

Disney’s Nature film Bears slept through the weekend with only $4.8M and may not make it into the Top Ten as Paramount’s four-week holdover Noah may end up in that spot. If Noah rounds out the box office top ten, there will be three heavenly related films — Heaven is For Real, God’s Not Dead and Noah — this Easter Sunday. Noah is tracking at $4.8M by all distribs but Paramount who has it at $5M. Can’t call it for Noah yet. Draft Day, in its second weekend, dropped only 40% and its cume is hovering around $19.5M for Lionsgate (Summit) after another $5.8M 3-day, stepping around Divergent to come up a notch in the standings. The horror film, Oculus, dropped off 56% in its second weekend; it’s cume is at $21.1M. Here’s the chart:

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Veteran Fox TV Executive Fired Over Fundraising Campaign For Relatives Of Missing Malaysia Plane Passengers

By | Sunday April 20, 2014 @ 7:15am PDT

Fox Cable NetworksFox Cable Networks Group VP Standards and Practices Darlene Lieblich Tipton has been fired for using her company email address to organize a fundraising campaign to benefit relatives of passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing last month. “The conduct and communications at issue were not authorized by Fox and were in violation of company policy,” a spokesman said in a statement. “As soon as we became aware we took appropriate steps and, while we cannot discuss the particulars, we can tell you the employee is no longer with the company.” Tipton had been at Fox for 24 years, 11 at Fox Broadcasting and 13 at Fox cable.

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WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel

Keri Russell WonderconWhile fans were allowed to ask questions to the string of talent from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Maze Runner and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 at 20th Century Fox’s WonderCon panel, the one creative talent not fielding questions from the crowd was X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg. While a “no questions” policy wasn’t blatantly announced, Fox gracefully saved its X-Men presentation for the final portion of its nearly two-hour panel. And it was brief next to the half-hour-plus devoted to Planet Of The Apes. Kinberg stepped in at the last minute after the studio pulled Bryan Singer in the wake of the director being slammed with a sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Kinberg promised the crowd that he had footage that was never seen before, but that wasn’t the case: He showed the same clip that was on the MTV Movie Awards last weekend with the young X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Iceman fighting a rather large latex figure who absorbs their powers. Fox, unlike ABC — which pulled Singer’s name off their Black Box TV spots — kept the filmmaker’s name on the trailer that was shown at WonderCon today. The crowd was unfazed when his name came up on screen.

Related:
WonderCon: Warner Bros Still Earns Cheers With Largely Star-Less Presentation & Jaw-Dropping ‘Godzilla’ Tsunami Clip
Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Read More »

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UPDATE: Supreme Court Allows Feds To Argue In Aereo Case Next Week

By | Saturday April 19, 2014 @ 12:48pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEUPDATE, 12:48 PM: Looks like three isn’t a crowd for the Supreme Court when it comes Aereo-logo__130126232434-200x206__131008001115__131212200214__140110201424__140211193750to the upcoming Aereo hearing. The high court has decided to let the Solicitor General’s office participate in the one-hour oral arguments session between Aereo and the broadcasters Tuesday in Washington D.C. “Motion of the Deputy Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument GRANTED,” said the SCOTUS yesterday. The granting of the motion comes more than a month and a half after the federal government’s top legal office filed a brief supporting the broadcasters in their showdown with the Barry Diller-backed streaming service. That was followed by the Solicitor General’s office requesting the time to directly make its points. The broadcasters have given the federal lawyers 10 minutes of their time. Though the broadcasters have a couple of former Solicitors General on their team, the current Solicitor General will not be involved; before he took his present post, Donald Verrilli Jr. argued Hollywood copyright cases before the SCOTUS and hence has recused himself. The likely candidate will be Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, who submitted the March 13 motion. Read More »

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WonderCon: Warner Bros Still Earns Cheers With Largely Star-Less Presentation & Jaw-Dropping ‘Godzilla’ Tsunami Clip

By | Saturday April 19, 2014 @ 12:47pm PDT

Bill Paxton WonderconNext to the all-star fireworks Warner Bros unleashed at CinemaCon last month with Adam Sandler, Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood, the studio kicked off WonderCon’s Saturday movie schedule on a sleepy note with a low wattage of stars. Comparisons to Disney’s previous D23s are inevitable, especially due to the fact that the Mouse House has trotted out such megastars at this same venue — the Anaheim Convention Center Arena — in its previous confabs, i.e. Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Robert Downey Jr. First up for Warner Bros today was a fresh Edge of Tomorrow trailer, spotlighting co-star Bill Paxton as a Kentucky sergeant. Paxton later took the stage, but Edge of Tomorrow star Tom Cruise didn’t show; the crowd Godzilla 2014 logodidn’t seem to mind, though, rolling their cheers in appreciation for the Aliens thespian, but still — Cruise isn’t here. Nor was Godzilla castmember Bryan Cranston, a fave for his panel appearances for Breaking Bad at ComicCon.

Related: WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Falls, ‘Hannibal’ Surges, ’20/20′ Up As ABC Wins Demo For Friday

By | Saturday April 19, 2014 @ 9:58am PDT

kitchen nightmares april 18There was a lot cooking on primetime last night and Friday’s menu was a mix of the undercooked and the more-than-just-right. The second week of Season 6 of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares traveled to the troubled Old Neighborhood Restaurant in Arvada, CO and to a Greek joint in Queens, NY, where the owner couple were in almost as much trouble as their establishment. Unfortunately for the two-hour reality show, the trouble didn’t stop there: the Gordon Ramsay series took a 17% dive from its 8 PM (1.0/4) premiere April 11 and an 18% drop from its 9 PM (0.9/3) broadcast last week. Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: More Early Buzz

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonWe’re heading into the homestretch of pilot season as the broadcast networks are beginning to view and test the completed pilots, a process that will continue for about two weeks before the nets move on to making pickup and scheduling decisions. Based on buzz around town, here are the most talked-about pilots three weeks before the upfronts.

Related: PILOTS 2014: Early Buzz Edition

ABC_logo_2007Every year, there is at least one pilot that comes out of nowhere and surprises everyone. We may have that this season in ABC‘s multi-camera Cristela. It was not even supposed to be a pilot. Developed at 20th TV-based 21 Laps/Adelstein for more than a year, the semi-autobiographical project co-created by and starring rising Latina stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo was sold to ABC last summer with significant penalty. But when pilot-pickup time came along, ABC quickly loaded on high-profile sitcoms, including the 20th TV-produced The Winklers, starring Henry Winkler, and the untitled Kevin Hart project starring Romany Malco. Cristela didn’t get a pilot order, alonzobut the producers, who also are behind ABC’s Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing, decided to take the penalty, which I hear was about $500,000, and use it to shoot a presentation. (ABC called it “proof of concept.”Cristela ended up filming a full-length pilot on the stage of Last Man Standing using that sitcom’s crew, led by director/co-exec producer John Pasquin, with very little time to rehearse and prep. Because it was supposed to be a presentation, Cristela was not budgeted to get a testing, but I hear 20th TV brass liked the finished product and had it tested. I hear the results blew expectations, with Alonzo, who has no previous acting experience, scoring higher than most stars in recent 20th TV comedy pilots, including Allen, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel and The Crazy Ones‘ Robin Williams.

Related: Bubble Watch 2014: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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Gwen Stefani In Talks To Take Christina Aguilera’s Chair On NBC’s ‘The Voice’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 7:50pm PDT

Gwen StefaniNBC will have two “new” judges for The Voice in the fall as Gwen Stefani is in talks to replace the pregnant Christina Aguilera as a coach for Cycle 7, which starts taping in June. According to informed sources, Stefani also had been in talks for a judge position on ABC’s Rising Star, the interactive singing competition that’s set to premiere June 22. And she has experience on these kinds of shows, having mentored on Fox’s American Idol. The No Doubt singer and fashion icon might have given fans at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival TheVoice__121109194015-200x112__130425000858__130502160756__130516211150something of a Voice fall preview last week when she joined Pharrell Williams onstage for a take on her 2005 solo hit “Hollaback Girl.” NBC announced last month that Williams will join The Voice next season, replacing CeeLo Green, who had announced his departure in February.

Related: Chris Martin Joins ‘The Voice’ As Show Makes A Format Change
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Ryan Seacrest Nears Deal To Continue On ‘American Idol’, Likely To Stay In NBCU Fold

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ryan_seacrest_20110720152348Ryan Seacrest will split his allegiances on May 1 when Fox‘s American Idol, which he hosts, airs against NBC‘s iHeartRadio Music Awards, which his company produces with Clear Channel. The programs involve all three of Seacrest’s major employers: Fox, where he has been making $15 million a year hosting Idol; NBCUniversal, where he has a wide-ranging deal spanning Today, the Olympics and E!; and Clear Channel, where he has his radio show and has been involved in the iHeartRadio franchise as host and producer. Two of the three deals — the Fox and NBCU ones — are coming up in the next few weeks, while the Clear Channel radio pact has another year on it. It seems neither Fox nor NBC has objections to Seacrest promoting programs that compete against each other as both companies are looking to extend their relationship with him. Seacrest is near a deal with Fox to continue on Idol, which is set to return for a 14th season next year despite its ratings slide. He also is expected to reach a new agreement with NBCU, though its scope is still in flux. Seacrest has a long history at both places, which launched his TV career, and loyalty has marked a lot of his business decisions so far.

Related: Jennifer Lopez To Star In NBC Drama Produced By Ryan Seacrest

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Ian Gomez Joins CBS Pilot ‘Cuz-Bros’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 12:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ian GomezEXCLUSIVE: Another actor from a comedy series whose fate is up in the air has boarded CBS’ multi-camera odd-couple comedy pilot Cuz-Bros. Cougar Town co-star Ian Gomez has been cast in the pilot, toplined by Geoff Stults and Parker Young of Fox’s Enlisted. Cuz-Bros, from writers David Caspe and Erik Sommers, Sony TV, CBS Studios and Fanfare, centers on Nick (Stults), a successful, suave ladies man working as a sportscaster for a local Los Angeles TV station whose perfect life gets turned upside down when his mess of a cousin, Barry (Young), needs a place to stay. Gomez, repped by APA, Intellectual Artists Management and attorney Jonathan Moonves, plays Phil, Nick’s boss at the TV station. He is being cast as a guest star as he is in second position to Cougar Town, the way Stults and Young are to Enlisted, making Cuz-Bros a rare pilot where most of the primary cast are formally tied to other shows. Cougar Town‘s fifth season ended its run several weeks ago, but TBS is yet to make a decision on a renewal.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

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Rhys Coiro & Joe Egender Join History’s ‘Texas Rising’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 10:58am PDT

Rhys Coiro (Hostages)joeegender1image001 (5) and Joe Egender (Hunger) have landed lead roles in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Coiro will play Vern Elwood opposite Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Egender will play Beans Wilkins, a Ranger who is always hungry and looking for his next meal. Read More »

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The ABCs Of Aereo: Future of TV & Internet At Stake In Battle With Broadcasters, Says Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia

Editors Note: This is the last of three Deadline posts that lay out the issues in the Aereo case, which Deadline Legal Editor Dominic Patten will cover from the Supreme Court next week. Today: An interview with Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia.

Previous ABCs Of Aereo Reports:
What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To Supreme Court?
Aereo Wants “Something For Nothing”, Former U.S. Lawyer Says

Aereo Supreme CourtBroadcasters challenged Aereo‘s legality almost from the moment in early 2012 when it launched in NYC. It is a David and Goliath contest: the tiny, Barry Diller-backed streaming service defending itself against attacks from CBS, Disney, Fox, and Comcast’s NBCUniversal among other companies as well as the federal government’s Office of the Solicitor General. The plaintiffs say Aereo steals their property by selling their over-the-air programming without paying them. They liken it to a cable or satellite distributor and say that it packages channels and then redistributes them — in legal terms creating a public performance that, since it isn’t authorized by the broadcasters, violates the “transmit clause” of the Copyright Act of 1976. But Bloomberg Panel & Reception - 2012 Tribeca Film FestivalAereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia says there’s no violation. He simply leases to consumers the antennas and technologies they need to privately exercise their right to watch broadcast signals for free. He sees next week’s Supreme Court hearing as a fight for his company, as well as a struggle to protect public control of the airwaves, and consumers’ ability to harness the power of the Internet.

DEADLINE: Barry Diller has said that if you guys lose at the Supreme Court, it’s basically game over. Are you turning off the lights if the Supreme Court rules against you?
KANOJIA: It’s going to depend on what the nature of the scope of the conclusions from the Supreme Court happens to be. If it’s a straight up, wipeout loss — and the Supreme Court shows the 2nd Circuit’s analysis of the transmit laws and, as a result, the idea was private performance is incorrect — then it will be very difficult for Aereo to be in business. For us, along with a lot of other companies that buy DVRs or cloud solutions, it will be a very difficult climate for sure. One result may very well be that we cease to operate.

Related: Barry Diller Says Aereo WIll Be “Finished” If It Loses Supreme Court Case: Video

DEADLINE: What if it goes in your favor?
KANOJIA: It’ll mean business as usual for everybody. I think the broadcasters will continue to grow and succeed. I think Aereo will continue to sell to consumers who don’t consume broadcast TV from cable or satellite but use antennas or are not part of the system. Then I think overall the pie will continue to grow.

DEADLINE: What do you think the broadcasters will do if they lose?
KANOJIA: Oh, they’re going to come back for a Round 2. They may go to Congress. The strategy of this industry is, “Let’s litigate, legislate. And if you can’t figure that out, then see how to make money from basic knowledge.” Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Scandal’, ‘Parenthood’ & ‘Community’ Finales Up; ‘Crazy Ones’ Down

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandal-season-finaleOn a night of season finales, Scandal‘s closer dwarfed them all, drawing a 3.4 in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million total viewers Thursday. The twisty ABC drama was up 13% in 18-49 and 14% in viewers from last week to log its second highest numbers ever in both categories and the highest-rated finale to date.

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

Against the Scandal closer, the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood (1.3) was up 18% from last week. But versus last year’s finale, which aired in January in nbclogothe series’ previous Tuesday 10 PM slot, it was down 24%. Community (1.0) also inched up in its season finale, up 11% from last Thursday. (Compared with last May’s finale, it was down 23%). The bumps help as both shows are being considered for (possibly partial) final-season orders. Community edged the only NBC comedy already assured a return next season, Parks And Recreation (0.9), which slipped a tenth (10%) from last week to hit a series low. Hollywood Game Night (0.9) was down 18% from its most recent original two weeks ago, also marking a series low.

Related: On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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Box Office: Lukewarm Thursday Bow For ‘Transcendence’, ‘Rio 2′ Might Get Its No. 1 Weekend Yet; ‘Heaven Is For Real’ May Surprise

transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppEven with taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s IMAX theaters this weekend, the fact that it is a new sci-fi thriller, Johnny Depp’s the lead and it’s the only real newcomer with a shot at No. 1, Transcendences debut near the top of the box office is doubtful this weekend based on Thursday night’s grosses. Bets are on that Fox’s Rio 2 may end up with around $26M, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America 2 next with $22M-$23M and Warner Bros.’ Transcendence at No. 3 with around $18M-$20M. Those predictions come as Transcendence grossed only $850K on Thursday.

HeavenisforrealtheaterposterA question mark is Sony’s Heaven Is For Real and how many infrequent moviegoers (i.e. faith-based crowd) may boost attendance numbers. Sony noted this morning that it seems to be crossing over to a faith-based crowd and word is spreading on social media. It certainly seems to be. The film has an overall CinemaScore of A and an A+ with the under-35 demo. Right now the Greg-Kinnear-starring film based on the bestselling book is tracking around $12M-$14M for the three-day, similar to Marlon Wayans’ Haunted House 2 from Open Road. Heaven Is For Real took in a stellar $3.7M — on a Wednesday — and last night took in another $1.37M for a two-day cume so far of $7M, which puts it in line for a 5-day gross of around $20M for the Randall Wallace-directed drama.

Tonight’s business should be strong because today is Good Friday, but come Easter Sunday, moviegoing traditionally slows on the Christian holy holiday. Easter is unlike strong holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Read More »

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Accusations Prompt ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon Fanfest

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Bryan Singer WonderCon CancelEXCLUSIVE: In the wake of shocking allegations of sexual abuse against Bryan Singer that surfaced five weeks before the launch of the new X-Men film, Singer has cancelled a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s WonderCon in Anaheim, Deadline hears. Fox instead will send Simon Kinberg as the studio prepares to launch the Singer-directed blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg wrote and produced the film and has been a part of the X-Men universe since the beginning.

WonderCon logoSinger had been scheduled to be on hand to do interviews for the film that Fox opens May 23. It seems fairly obvious that right now he’s not going to get the kind of questions that will help the movie, or that he could answer. Singer had been scheduled to represent X-Men among a bunch of big Fox movies vamping this weekend, appearing along with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and director Matt Reeves from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes; Jay Baruchel and writer-director Dean DeBlois from How To Train Your Dragon 2; and Dylan O’Brien, writer James Dashner and director Wes Ball from The Maze Runner.
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Stephen Lang Joins WGN America’s ‘Salem’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:04pm PDT

Stephen Lang (Avatar)stephenlang2 has been tapped for a recurring role on WGN America‘s drama series Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, it explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of the ancient, ailing but very wealthy George Sibley (Michael Mulheren), one of Salem’s town Selectmen. Innovative Artists-repped Lang will play Increase Mather, an old-line, hard-core Puritan who led the way across the ocean to the Promised Land in the late 1600s. Intellectually, spiritually and politically, he’s the most influential man in the country — and the most feared. Read More »

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ABC Pulls Promos For New Series ‘Black Box’ Featuring Bryan Singer’s Name Amid Controversy

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

With Hollywood director Bryan Singer at the center of accusations ofblackbox molesting a minor 15 years ago, his name will not be used to promote new ABC drama series Black Box. A small portion of the promos in circulation for the series, which premieres next Thursday, featured the X-Men director’s name. They have now been pulled, at least for the time being, according to sources. Former House executive producer Singer serves as an executive producer on the straight-to-series drama starring Bryan Singer USCKelly Reilly as a famous neuroscientist who is bipolar. Below is the official long trailer for the show, widely available online, in which Singer is indirectly referenced as Black Box being “from the executive producer(s) of House.”

Related: ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon

In addition to Black Box, Singer also executive produces the upcoming CBS drama series Battle Creek, from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and House creator David Shore. On that direct-to-series project he also directed the opening episode. Singer just completed work on the pilot, which has been getting good early response. CBS is yet to start airing promos for Battle Creek, which is not slated to launch until fall. On the feature side, Singer has his next movie, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, opening in five weeks.

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