Days after yet another round of filings in the Black Swan interns’ class action, Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group got some traction and some status quo out of the overseeing federal judge. The traction this week came out of Judge William Paley III granting (read the order here) the Fox companies’ June 25th request to limit the time period in which potential class action participants can be considered qualified to join the suit. Instead of stretching from September 28, 2008 to September 1, 2010 as originally granted on June 11, the qualifying period will now be from a much tighter January 18 to September 1, 2010. The case was modified down to less than nine months in range due to the three year statute of limitations and the fact that plaintiff Eden Antalik, didn’t join the initial September 2011 action by Black Swan interns Alex Footman and Eric Glatt until an amended complaint was filed in late 2012. While Glatt and Footman worked on the 2010 Darren Aronofsky-directed film, Antalik was an unpaid intern in Fox Searchlight’s NYC corporate office. This order on August 26 could now see the number of people who can actually join the class action cut quite severely – which is a carving up the case that works for Fox.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected five students to participate in its 2013 summer internship program, with placements at the Tech Council, Dolby Laboratories, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The only one of its kind, the Academy-sponsored program is designed to nurture the next generation of motion picture technologists by providing real-world experience to students interested in careers in motion picture technology and scientific research.
The 2013 Science and Technology Council summer interns and their internship hosts are:
Victor Mateevitsi, University of Illinois at Chicago – Pixar Animation Studios
Ritvik Menon, University of Pennsylvania – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Jaclyn Pytlarz, Rochester Institute of Technology – Science and Technology Council
Wei Wang, Texas A&M University – Pixar Animation Studios
Xi Xu, University of Illinois at Chicago – Dolby Laboratories
Interns Win Key Ruling Against Fox Searchlight In ‘Black Swan’ Lawsuit; Studio Says It Will Seek Reversal
Two former Black Swan interns today got a big legal boost in their favor against Fox Searchlight. In a dense order issued Tuesday, a federal judge in New York granted Alex Footman and Eric Glatt a summary judgment (read it here) saying they were in fact treated as Fox employees in their internship under the definitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. Perhaps more importantly for Hollywood at large, Judge William Pauley III also certified a class action that will look at the way the intern programs at Fox really work and whether they actually provide educational experience. Fox obviously does not like either decision. “We believe they are erroneous, and will seek to have them reversed by the 2nd Circuit as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement Tuesday.
Fox may disagree with what he ordered, but the judge was clear in his definitions. In Pauley’s view what Footman and Glatt were actually doing while on director Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film wasn’t particularly educational. “The benefits they may have received — such as knowledge of how a production or accounting office functions or references for future jobs — are the results of simply having worked as any other employee works, not of internships designed to be uniquely educational to the interns and of little utility to the employer. They received nothing approximating the education they would receive in an academic setting or vocational school,” Pauley wrote in the 36-page order.
#1 ‘The Purge’ Surges For $15M Friday And $34.5M First Weekend, #2 ‘The Internship’ Fetches $7M For $20M
SATURDAY 3 AM, 5TH UPDATE: This is turning into a wild and wacky overperforming weekend at the North American box office For Universal’s The Purge. My sources saw a big Friday for its moviegoing helped by Tropical Storm Andrea which worked its way up from Florida at midweek to the MidAtlantic’s East Coast and is dumping rain. That’s means people flocked to movie theaters so bigger-than-expected grosses. Insiders say Universal‘s small miscreant horror pic The Purge (in wide release in 2,536 theaters) is opening $15M Friday. This includes $3.4 million at Thursday 10 PM late shows and Friday midnights from 1,751 theaters which tops The Hangover Part III ($3.1M) and even Star Trek Into Darkness ($3.3M). That’s a huge number, even more so considering the R-rated crime spree thriller’s budget was only $3M. Estimates now are to reach $32.5M this weekend – a completely unexpected welcome. It’s the first movie in Universal’s overall deal with Paranormal Activity franchise producer Jason Blum. One reason for the rush to see it was the huge social media response to its creative and digital marketing campaign. It stars Ethan Hawke and Game Of Thrones Lena Headey, and was both written and directed by James DeMonaco (The Negotiator), and produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. It’s DeMonaco’s original spec script that he developed with producer Sebastien Lemercier and second feature as a director. On Thursday, Fandango said The Purge comprised 54% of online ticket sales, and Movieline 60%, as the #1 horror seller of the year. Fandango called it “a true phenomenon”.
And in #2 is the other wide release movie opening today, Twentieth Century Fox/New Regency’s PG-13 buddy comedy The Internship (3,365 theaters) which also is exceeding expectations. My sources say it made $7M Friday and $20M for the weekend for a budget pegged at $58M. Those grosses include $800K in Thursday late shows and Friday midnights which beat The Campaign’s $625K which also was a laugher starring two big but older stars ”so things are looking up,” an insider tells me. Reviews were awful for the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson starrer from director Shawn Levy with every critic complaining it’s a 2-hour commercial for Google. How high grosses go may depend on the CinemaScore to see if moviegoers like the execution of an intriguing high-concept. The studio sneaked the film in 300 theaters around the country for 7 PM shows last Saturday night to help word of mouth. But pre-sales have been soft: pic was passed for the #2 spot in online ticket sales Thursday by last week’s holdover, Lionsgate/Summit’s Now You See Me which right now looks like #4. Hollywood wasn’t expecting The Internship to make $20M – which is the minimum that stars should open a pic – and more like $15M. Hard to believe it’s been 8 years since these actors first teamed up for Wedding Crashers. Even harder to understand why New Line never did a sequel for that. Fox grabbed the June 7th date last October, or 3 weeks earlier than The Internship was supposed to release. Now it’s the first original comedy of the summer.
Here’s the Top Ten based on Friday estimates:
UPDATED: The Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson buddy comedy about middle-aged interns inside Google doesn’t open in 3,000-plus North American theaters until June 7th. But Twentieth Century Fox has quietly decided to sneak director Shawn Levy’s The Internship tonight for one prime 7 PM show around the country. Sign of desperation or confidence? “Word of mouth screenings have been phenomenal and preview screenings have scored unbelievably. Better than tracking would suggest. Thus the sneaks,” an insider tells me. The studio also may hold another round of sneaks on Monday in honor of National Intern Appreciation Day. Fox grabbed the June 7th date last October, or 3 weeks earlier than The Internship was supposed to release. Now it’s the first original comedy of the summer. Hard to believe it’s been 8 years since these actors first teamed up for Wedding Crashers. Even harder to understand why New Line never did a sequel for that or Toby Emmerich didn’t snap up Vaughn’s original script for this. I’ve asked and received no satisfactory answer on both. (“Toby really missed the boat on this one,” one insider noted to me.)
David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said it was a concern for improving the image of computer programming that led the web giant to participate in filming Fox’s The Internship, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as unemployed salesmen who talk their way into coveted internships at the company. “I’m not sure we had a choice” about participating, Page said at Google’s I/O developer conference today. “Computer science has a marketing problem. We’re the nerdy curmudgeons. (But) the guy who plays the head of search [in the movie] is by far the coolest guy in the movie, and we’re really excited about that.” The comments came as Page talked of the need for better education and more computer programmers if the country is to remain competitive (the company also announced an initiative to make it easy for schools to buy and install educational apps on Google-powered tablets and computers). The Internship, directed by Shawn Levy, is set to debut June 7.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play a couple of 40-ish sales guys who find themselves suddenly obsolete and out of jobs. Desperate to remain relevant and employable, they try to land internships at Google. With (naturally) Google+ as a promotional partner 20th Century Fox rolls out the movie June 7. Directed by Shawn Levy and written by Vaughn and Jared Stern, The Internship also features Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, John Goodman, Josh Gad, B.J. Novak, Aasif Mandvi, and Will Ferrell among others.
Charlie Rose will be paying out more that $207,900 to interns who worked on his PBS show to settle a class action suit. The settlement, reported by The New York Times, was reached this week and will see Rose and his production company Charlie Rose Inc paying $1,100 each to a class of about 189 interns. This stems from an initial class action suit filed in the New York State Supreme Court by former Rose intern Lucy Bickerton on March 1. In that filing Bickerton, who interned on the Rose Show in 2007, said that despite New York law requiring unpaid internships to only be allowed in an educational context, the Charlie Rose Show “did not provide academic or vocational training.” From Bickerton’s descriptions, the interns essentially performed the duties of research assistants and production assistants, working up to 25 hours a week. The suit sought to get minimum wage for all of the Rose Show interns ”in an amount that cannot currently be ascertained but that readily exceeds $150,000.”
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox and New Regency are moving the Shawn Levy-directed comedy The Internship up three weeks to a June 7, 2013 berth. Summer 2013 is going to be brutal, and the studio saw a sliver of daylight to come out as the first original comedy of the summer, two weeks after The Hangover Part III. The film, which reteams the stars of Wedding Crashers, is now out of the way of the Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx action drama White House Down, as well as Kick-Ass 2: Balls To The Wall, the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z, The Lone Ranger, and it moves ahead of End Of The World and Man Of Steel. At the same time, the film opens right after most college students are out of school, and is up against the Will Smith/Jaden Smith film After Earth by director M. Night Shyamalan, which will likely have a different audience. As for historical precedent, the comedies The Hangover, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Knocked Up each came out the first week of June, scored big opening weekends en route to sizeable grosses. So unless someone else moves to that weekend, it seems like sound strategy from Fox and Regency.
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Gad has signed up for The Internship. The Book Of Mormon star will join Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the 20th Century Fox comedy about two middle-aged men who have to start over at the bottom of the career ladder. Shawn Levy is directing. Gad will play Headphones, an anti-social engineer at the tech firm where Vaughn and Wilson are interning. Gad starts filming in next month. JoAnna Garica, Aasif Mandvi and Jessica Szohr co-star.
EXCLUSIVE: There’s been Ed Helms, Rob Corddry, Lewis Black and of course Steve Carell, and now Aasif Mandvi looks to be the next Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent to make the leap to the big screen. Mandvi is joining Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in The Internship. He will play Mr. Chetty, the tough head of the internship program Vaughn and Wilson’s characters enlist in as they try to reinvent their dead-end careers. Shawn Levy is directing, and JoAnna Garcia also co-stars. Besides being on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show since 2006, Mandvi sold a series to CBS last year and appeared in Sasha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator as well as the financial-crisis drama Margin Call with Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons. He also appears in the just-released indie Ruby Sparks and is set to appear as the lead in Ayad Akntar’s play Disgraced at Lincoln Center’s LCT 3 Theatre. Mandvi is repped by ICM Partners and Sweet 180.
The former Gossip Girl bad girl will play dance instructor Marielena in the Shawn Levy-directed Fox comedy. The Internship stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as two middle-aged guys who lose their jobs and have to start at the bottom in the new American workforce. Marielena also has another “dancing” job on the side that she keeps under wraps. The Internship is filming this summer in Atlanta. In Ten Cent Pistol (formerly titled The Go-Getters), Szohr will play Jena Malone’s (Danneel) close friend, a fun LA party girl. The film, starring Joe Mantegna and Adam Arkin, tells the story of two brothers whose crimes have spirally consequences and is shooting now in LA. Szohr also will be seen in Light Years opposite Clark Gregg and Allison Janney and Pawn opposite Nikki Reed, Forest Whitaker and Ray Liotta. She is repped by ICM Partners, Mosaic and attorney Dave Feldman.
EXCLUSIVE: JoAnna Garcia has joined the cast of Interns. Garcia, who also goes by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, will play Vince Vaughn’s girlfriend in the Shawn Levy directed comedy. Interns stars Owen Wilson and Vaughn as two middle-aged guys who lose their jobs and have to start at the bottom in the new American workforce. Interns is filming in Atlanta this summer. The former Privileged star was also recently named as the female lead opposite Justin Kirk in NBC’s upcoming new comedy series Animal Practice. Garcia is repped by WME and Carrabino Management.
MOVIE CASTINGS ROUNDUP: ‘Lost’s’ Pellegrino In ‘Cate McCall’, Actors Join ‘Pretty One’, ‘Interns’ & ‘CBGB’
Mark Pellegrino has been cast in The Trials Of Cate McCall. The Lost alumni will join Kate Beckinsale, Nick Nolte and James Cromwell in the redemptive indie legal drama. Pellegrino, who has recurring roles in The Closer and Syfy’s Being Human, plays a rough detective who is no fan of Beckinsale’s once-high-flying attorney character. He is repped by Domain and managed by Framework Entertainment.
Sterling Beaumon has joined the indie film The Pretty One. Beaumon, who will be seen this fall in ABC’s new Red Widow series, will play Hunter, a womanizer who is sleeping with his former babysitter. The actor recently completed the indie comedy Arthur Newman Golf Pro with Colin Firth. Beaumon is repped by APA and Vanguard Management.
20th Century Fox moved up the release date of its Ang Lee-directed drama Life Of Pi from Christmas week to November 21. That’s the date Warner Bros had staked out for its Alfonso Cuaron-directed sci-fi drama Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock, which recently was pushed to sometime in 2013. Now Lee’s 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel will land there, and the studio hopes it will play into the holiday season. Pi centers on a 17-year-old zookeeper’s son and his arch rival, a bengal tiger, who are stranded together on the open seas after their ship is pummeled by a storm.
BREAKING… The Twentieth Century Fox comedy will have a June 2012 start. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson last teamed in the huge hit The Wedding Crashers and now reunite for director Shawn Levy. Fox made the announcement today because filming begins June 25th. In the story, Vaughn and Wilson portray two old school salesmen who find themselves suddenly unemployed and uschooled in the digital world. Yet they try to reinvent themselves by becoming interns at a major tech company. Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment and Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Productions will produce the film that is based on Vaughn’s original script. Jared Stern delivered the rewrite to Fox. That’s two in a row at Fox for both Vaughn and Wilson: Vaughn will star in this summer’s Neighborhood Watch while Wilson co-starred in The Big Year.
That’s the central allegation in a class action suit filed today at the New York State Supreme Court. Former intern Lucy Bickerton — who worked at PBS‘ The Charlie Rose Show in summer 2007 – says the program “operates on an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million, which is low for a television program airing five nights per week.” Interns allegedly pick up the slack. They “perform background research from print and online sources to prepare Mr. Rose for guest interviews, escort guests through the studio and set, and break down the set and clean up the ‘green room’ ” after tapings. The problem: Under New York law, the suit says, “an unpaid internship is only lawful in the context of an educational training program, when the interns do not perform productive work and the employer derives no benefit.” But the suit says that Rose “did not provide academic or vocational training” to interns including Bickerton, who’s said to have regularly worked two to three days a week for a total of about 25 hours a week. As a result, Rose “denied them the benefits
Fox Filmed Entertainment today finally gave its side of that lawsuit filed by two interns against Fox Searchlight over their work on the hit indie Black Swan. The studio maintains that the interns were working for director Darren Aronofsky’s production company well before Fox Searchlight ever became the distributor.
Now that we have had a chance to review this suit, it is clear that these are completely meritless claims aimed solely at getting press coverage for the litigants and their attorneys. These interns were not even retained by Fox Searchlight and, in fact, were working for the production company that made Black Swan well before Fox Searchlight even acquired its rights in the film. These individuals were never employed as interns or retained in any capacity by Fox Searchlight, which has a proud history of supporting and fostering productive internships. We look forward to aggressively fighting these groundless, opportunistic accusations.
The two former interns who worked on Black Swan are looking to end what they say is the studio’s improper use of unpaid interns. The plaintiffs, Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, claim the studio violated federal and state wage laws and are seeking back pay for work that they say should have been done by paid Searchlight employees. The U.S. Department of Labor requires companies that use unpaid interns …
Two former interns who worked on Black Swan are suing Fox Searchlight and are looking to end what they say is the studio’s improper use of unpaid interns, according to The New York Times. The plaintiffs, Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, claim the studio violated federal and state wage laws and are seeking back pay for work that they say should have been done by paid Searchlight employees. The U.S. Department of Labor requires companies that use unpaid interns to provide training similar to that of an educational institution, among other criteria. Footman said that as a production intern, he made coffee, cleaned, and took lunch orders for the staff. He said he learned only “how to be more picky in choosing employment opportunities,” according to The Times. The plaintiffs are far from the only college graduates who took an unpaid internship to try to get a foot in the door in the film industry. Their lawsuit is seeking class action status on behalf of more than 100 unpaid interns on Searchlight film productions.