The UK’s Arrow Media has received a commission for six more hours of its wildlife show Animal Fight Night which premieres on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. on August 18 before rolling out internationally in September. Animal Fight Night was first launched in the U.S. in October last year. It was Arrow Media’s first move into natural history programming and the company later received orders for Building Penguin Paradise (Nat Geo WILD) and Dogs: Their Secret Lives (Channel 4). Each Animal Fight Night episode uses CGI to recreate and examine same species battles between animal world adversaries and dissects the science behind the tactics and bodily weapons that various creatures employ.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; More
FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns Again; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Muscles In; ‘Transformers’ $300M+ In China; Asia Action Ramps Up; More
3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.
One notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.
Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood.
Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy Lawless
Looks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one.
Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.
The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.
EXCLUSIVE: Elisabeth Rohm, who played Assistant DA Serena Southerlyn on NBC’s Law & Order, is taking on a other DA role, this time on the new CBS drama Stalker. Rohn will play a series regular on the Kevin Williamson series, which stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as detectives from the Threat Assessment Unit who investigate cases of stalking. Rohm will play Amanda, a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney who works with the Threat Assessment Unit and a mother to a 10-year-old boy, whose attempt at a new life in L.A. suddenly is derailed when she discovers her past (aka McDermott’s Jack Larsen) has followed her cross-country. The role was listed as a lead on the pilot’s breakdown, but the character only briefly appears in the pilot and ended up as a guest spot played by Elizabeth Bogush. Rohm, who co-starred in American Hustle, is with Mavrick Artists, Untitled, Hilary Shore and Felker, Toczek,.
A federal judge today has denied a motion seeking to disqualify lawyers repping the estate of The Lord Of The Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien in its $80 million copyright and digital merchandising lawsuit against Warner Bros and the Saul Zaentz Company. The studio and its partner in early June filed a motion to have Fourth Age’s lawyers, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP, disqualified the almost-2-year-old suit ”because the firm impermissibly gained access to privileged information in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct.”
In today’s three-page order (read it here), U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins wrote that “Warner and Zaentz have not met their burden of showing that disqualification is necessary to preserve the integrity of these proceedings.” WB is repped by Daniel Petrocelli of LA firm O’Melveny & Meyers; Saul Zaentz Co is repped by Martin Glick of San Francisco firm Arnold & Porter LLP.
Toronto Film Fest Will Close With World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get Perches
UPDATED, 8:40 AM: The 39th Toronto Film Festival, running September 4-14, will close with the world premiere of Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts and Stanley Tucci. The opening-night film was not announced at this morning’s press conference.
“A Little Chaos is the perfect closing-night film – it transports audiences to another time, another place, full of beauty, complexity, rivalry, politics and romance,” said Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey. “Alan Rickman’s film will wind audiences up just as our festival is winding down.”
In this sumptuous historical drama Sabine De Barra (Winslet) — a landscaper with a taste for the unconventional — is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn inescapably closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her.
Of the 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced, the initial lineup includes 37 world premieres from directors including Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock. Here’s the list:
Bart: Like 7th grade boys staring in the mirror, corporate CEOs these days keep asking themselves, “Am I big enough?” What scares them is the prospect of becoming a takeover target, and there’s been a rush of takeover talk lately —Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner being the most dramatic. Size means safety in the corporate universe and Time Warner became vulnerable by ridding itself of Time Inc., AOL and Time Warner Cable — the latter becoming a target for Comcast. With giants like Google, Apple and Amazon looming, CEOs are scared they can’t measure up, but the folks who should really be frightened are the creatives and their audiences. Bigness means giant fees for bankers and profits for shareholders, but the impact of the monoliths is easy to read — a universe of corporate plodding, tentpoles and sequels.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Glum News For ‘Glee’ In The UK?; Thelma Schoonmaker To Be Honored At Venice; More
In 2011, Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs in the UK, filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringed on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. On Friday, Britain’s High Court ruled that the show must change its name. The Associated Press reports a judge told 20th Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order has been stayed until an appeal has been heard. Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages, with a final amount to be determined later, the AP said. In the interim, the judge ordered Fox to pay £100,000 ($171,000). A Fox spokesperson told Deadline, “We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans’ enjoyment of Glee in the UK. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument.” Season 6 of Glee will be its last, so the title issue could be moot for the show’s primary run given the length of the appeal process, though it would affect Glee’s syndicated run in the country.
Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s venerated and longtime editor, will receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, as will …
USA Network premiered two new dramas last night, Rush and Satisfaction, both of which which opened with 1.7 million viewers. That is low by USA standards, with the network’s two most recent original dramas, Common Law and Graceland, debuting with 2.5 million and 3.3 million, respectively. As is increasingly the case these days, we need to wait at least for Live+3 data to see if there will be any significant DVR bump. It is worth noting that Satisfaction at 10 PM actually built on Rush‘s numbers, especially in the demos. Among adults 18-49, Satisfaction posted 626,000 viewers to Rush‘s 493,000. Both new series fell from the Law & Order: SVU repeat that preceded them.
Universal’s comedy The Nest has added actress Renée Elise Goldsberry in the role of Kim, a longtime friend of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s characters who throw one last house party at their parents’ pad. Goldsberry recurs as Assistant DA Geneva Pine on CBS’s The Good Wife and also recently appeared on Fox’s The Following and NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She’s also set to do a stint on the second season of Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Goldsberry is repped by Innovative Artists and Sweet 180.
There’s been a lot of talk about diversity at ABC’s TCA panels today, yet the network’s shows have all shared one constant: Virtually all their stars are thin. But after the panel on her new multi-camera comedy Cristela, stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, said she’s happy to represent the majority: People of average weight.
Alonzo was wearing a black Fitbit bracelet and said she plans to wear it on the show, in which she portrays an aspiring lawyer who moves back in with her family to pursue that goal. “You see all these shows that have thin people and you never see them eat, you never see them go to the gym,” she said. “Well, I eat. This is what America looks like. This is it.”
TV critics seem to have reservations about NBC’s new comedy series Bad Judge. The single-camera comedy stars Kate Walsh as Rebecca Wright, a tough judge serving in the Los Angeles County courts, whose private life is pretty wild. In the comedy, co-created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and Anne Heche, Wright meets an eight-year-old boy whose parents she’d put in the hoosegow.
Walsh said she loved the idea of playing a character who, in the first four pages of the script, wakes up with a hangover, gets a pregnancy test and is revealed to be a judge. “It was super appealing,” she said, describing her initial reaction to the role as the sensation of having her nose pressed up to a candy-store window.
The recently re-ignited management company More/Medavoy Management has signed new clients Jill Hennessy and Chris Vance. Hennessy most recently starred in the HBO one hour drama Luck for HBO and is also known for her recurring role on CBS’s The Good Wife and prior to that the long-running Crossing Jordan and Law & Order. Vance is the star and exec producer of TNT’/Atlantique’s one-hour series Transporter. He was first discovered in the U.S. on the FBC series Prison Break before segueing in to Mental.
The company principals Erwin More and Brian Medavoy re-united earlier this year after 13 apart to start-up their management company. More had been at Paradigm prior to jumping back into management and Vance is also a Paradigm client. Hennessy currently has no agent.
Marin Ireland Joins ‘Masters Of Sex’; Sam Waterston Cast In Netflix’s ‘Grace And Frankie’; Ness Bautista Added To ‘Sense8′
Marin Ireland (Homeland) has been tapped as a recurring on the second season of Showtime’s Masters Of Sex. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan star as William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the pioneers of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution and took them from a Midwestern teaching hospital to the cover of Time magazine. Ireland will play Pauline, the wife of Frank (played by recently announced guest star Christian Borle). The couple comes to town seeking Masters’ help in conceiving a child. Ireland, repped by ICM Partners and Brookside Artist Management, next will be seen on WEtv’s first scripted drama The Divide, set to premiere July 16.
Sam Waterston has landed a role in Grace And Frankie, the upcoming Netflix comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The series revolves around longtime nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married. Waterston will play Frankie’s husband, who has been keeping his secret from her for 20 years. Waterston stars on HBO’s The Newsroom — on which Fonda recurred — and toplined NBC’s Law & Order from 1994-2010. He is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.
Billion-Dollar ‘Ghost Protocol’ Lawsuit Against Tom Cruise, Paramount, J.J. Abrams & Skydance Dismissed
Well, looks like someone’s 4th of July celebrations are starting a bit early. A federal judge today tossed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Tom Cruise, JJ Abrams , Paramount Pictures, CEO Brad Grey, Skydance Productions and David Ellison, JJ Abrams and others. “IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the above-entitled case is dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of prosecution and for failure to comply with the orders of the Court,” said a 1-page order from Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell today (read it here).
The ending of the case in U.S. District Court comes nearly six months after Timothy Patrick McLanahan formally sued the notables and the studio claiming that 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was lifted off of his script. In an error-filled January 13 complaint demanding a jury trial, the plaintiff alleged that the fourth flick in the MI franchise was really derived from a script he wrote more than 15 years ago titled Head On. Cruise’s longtime lawyer Bert Fields called the wide-ranging legal action in early February “bizarre.” While O’Connell never went that far, the fact that the self-representing McLanahan never submitted required or demanded paperwork after making such a big claim and seeking such a big payout was a little extraordinary.
On June 4, the judge gave McLanahan one last chance to “show cause why this case should not be dismissed.” As evident from today’s order, the plaintiff never did and this case, as I predicted, went nowhere. Happy Holidays guys!
The Oscar organization has unveiled its annual invitees list for 2014. Check out the release below:
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014. “This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
UPDATE: Broadway to dim the lights: Theater District marquees will go dark for one minute at 7:45 PM Friday as Broadway marks the passing of Eli Wallach, who died June 24 at age 98. TCM has also set a five-film tribute marathon on June 30 starting at 9 AM ET. The character actor likely was best known as Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
A lifelong theater actor and all but accidental movie and TV star, Wallach and his wife, Anne Jackson (who survives him), were fixtures of the Broadway and off-Broadway stages, often together and always happy to put their skill and fame in the service of liberal social causes. In 1951 he was cast opposite Maureen Stapleton in the leading roles of Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo, as Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a truck driver who woos and wins Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian widow living on the Gulf Coast. Both won Tony Awards.