The Tribeca Film Festival continues to roll out its lineup for this year’s 13th edition, which kicks off April 16. Here is the program slates for the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and Storyscapes sections. The fest’s shorts program will be unveiled Tuesday. Here are today’s films, which include Spotlight spots for Roman Polanksi’s Venus In Fur, the Robin Williams-starrer Boulevard from Dito Montiel, world premieres of films directed by actors Chris Messina and Courteney Cox, and of course the horror comedy Zombeavers:
Related: Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Competition Slate
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A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and We’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees: Read More »
Director Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi film The Zero Theorem was acquired for theatrical distribution late summer by Amplify and Well Go USA Entertainment which will follow that with a home video release. The specific release date has not been determined. The new film from Gilliam stars Christoph Waltz with Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis, Melanie Thierry and Lucas Hedges. Theorem tells the story of an eccentric computer genius (Waltz) who lives in a burnt-out church working on a project whose objective is to discover the meaning of life. Gilliam, who directed both Brazil and Twelve Monkeys (as well as the cult classic Monty Python And The Holy Grail), has called this film his final in what he has called his futuristic trilogy. Well Go USA releasing the film on DVD and Blu-ray.
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Coming off a two-year overall deal at Sony Pictures TV, 30 Rock alums Dylan Morgan and Josh Siegal have closed a two-year overall pact at Universal TV. “As their outstanding work on 30 Rock proves, Dylan and Josh are terrific, bright comedy writers,” said Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria. Siegal and Morgan most recently served as co-executive producers on NBC’s 30 Rock, sharing in the series’ last three best comedy Emmy nominations in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Previously, Siegal and Morgan, repped by UTA and attorney Mitch Smelkinson, served as co-producers on USA Network’s Monk, having worked their way up the ranks from staff writers.
Nine WGAW screenwriters made the cut for this year’s Feature Access Project, the org’s program designed to promote diversity and raise the profile of minority writers within the entertainment industry. Radha Bharadwaj (Final Boarding), Soo-Hyun Chung (Faith), Q.Terah Jackson III (Rustin), Joy Kecken (All-In), Tianna Majumdar-Langham & Chris Bessounian (Guns and Saris), LaToya Morgan (Same River Twice), Nayan Padrai (Billion Dollar Raja), and Galen Tong (The Monkey King) are 2014′s FAP winners. Entries were selected from blind submissions by a panel of WGAW members recruited by the FAP Advisory Committee. The program is now in its second year.
3rd UPDATE, 3:20 PM PT Monday: The Lego Movie has upped its overseas weekend cume to $24M in its 48 markets due to stronger UK and France numbers. It now has an international total estimated at $93.5M. Key building block territories yet to bow include Russia, Japan, Australia and Germany. In the UK, Lego took the wind out of the box office with a 55% share among the top five films and its gross actually increased 1% from opening weekend. It has taken $36M in the UK since its debut. The French opening also came in higher than expected this frame with $3.1M from 521 screens. With U.S. cumes this weekend (where it was No. 1 for the third week in a row), the worldwide total is now $276.5M. Also via Warner Bros, Best picture Oscar contender Gravity‘s new cume worldwide is $703.6M after this weekend with international repping $434.4M. We are still waiting on confirmed opening weekend numbers from China for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
2ND UPDATE, 2:10 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are trickling in with no huge surprises in the bunch so far. Universal added figures for Ride Along, the Ice Cube/Kevin Hart action comedy that’s been so hot Stateside. It bowed in Iceland and South Africa this weekend with $20K at seven dates and $87K at 50 dates, respectively. Its … Read More »
While the normally freezing weather in Berlin is an annual lament, this year’s unseasonably balmy clime became a major focus of conversation. And, as they say, when people have nothing else to talk about, they talk about the weather… The notably lackluster European Film Market boasted a small handful of buzz titles and only a few headline-grabbing deals. As such, the usual whispers of “Do we really need to be here?” grew louder in the last week. Another talking point was the early-in-the-market news of a shake-up at Exclusive Media, the production and foreign sales company headed by well-respected veterans Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. And, reliably, Lars von Trier’s director’s cut premiere of Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 was a head-turner, albeit for star Shia LaBeouf‘s pre-screening antics here.
Berlin: Slow-Forming Packages, Timing & Talent Issues May Lead To Soft Market
Distribution consultant Jason Resnick mused yesterday, “It was the warmest Berlin ever, and yet the coldest Berlin ever.” Yet, no one was particularly shocked by the way business went here. Offshore and domestic deals were done, but folks roundly agreed there was a serious lack of oomph. As one exec told me ahead of the market, “Everybody is asking where the projects are.” Read More »
A keynote session with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helmer Marc Webb leads the final lineup for the 2014 SXSW Film Conference slate which also includes chats with filmmakers Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch) moderated by Jon Favreau, Ralph Steadman (For No Good Reason), and actors Robert Duvall and Tilda Swinton. The SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15:
SXSW 2014 Features Lineup, New TV Section Unveiled
SXSW Midnighters & Full Shorts Slate Unveiled
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By this time, USA Network series White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on the future of the buddy crime drama whose most recent fifth season ended two weeks ago. I hear there has been some communication between USA and White Collar producer Fox TV Studios but no meaningful dialogue so far. Given the way Season 5 ended — with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) — it is safe to assume that there will be some sort of continuation, likely a conclusion for the series. The question is what that sixth and final installment will be. I hear the network has been mulling a short miniseries to wrap the story in the vein of Showtime’s The Big C, while the studio would prefer a traditional final season. While Collar‘s status as one of USA’s signature series would weigh in favor of the second option. All of USA’s other established series – Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — have received a proper send-off with a final season (While USA prefers to announce the end of its series when their last seasons hit the air for tune-in reasons, all producers are told at the time of the final renewal so they can plan … Read More »
As a very quiet EFM winds down, TrustNordisk reports it’s had high interest on Mads Mikkelsen-starrer The Salvation. After pre-selling the movie in Cannes, a sizzle reel of Kristian Levring’s western was shown to buyers on Saturday morning in Berlin, adding deals in Australia/New Zealand (Madman) and Benelux (Wild Bunch). A multi-territory pact is in the offing. The English-language Danish western is co-written by Susanne Bier’s frequent collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. The revenge tale also stars Eva Green and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Sisse Graum Jørgensen produces for Zentropa Entertainments33 in co-production with South Africa’s Spier Films and the UK’s Forward Films. The Scandinavian release is set for August through Nordisk Film Distribution. Read More »
FX has found its man for comedy pilot Man Seeking Woman, from Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Undeclared alum Jay Baruchel has signed on for the lead role in the project based on Simon Rich’s book, The Last Girlfriend On Earth, Man Seeking Woman. Described as a sweet and absurd look at the life-and-death stakes of dating, Man Seeking Woman centers on Josh Greenberg (Baruchel), a naive romantic on a desperate quest for love. When his longtime girlfriend dumps him, Josh enters the dating scene, a nightmarish hellscape of untold horror. Despite the agony, Josh continues his search in the hopes of finding someone who will make all the misery worth it. Jonathan Krisel will direct the pilot from a script by Rich. FX Prods. is producing, with filming slated for spring in Toronto, a rare comedy pilot shoot north of the border. This marks a return to television for Baruchel who got his break on Judd Apatow’s underrated comedy series Undeclared. Baruchel, repped by CAA, Thruline and Jamie Feldman, co-starred in last summer’s feature comedy This Is The End and will next be seen in Robocop and heard in How To Train Your Dragon 2.
FremantleMedia Sending ‘Wentworth’ To Holland
FremantleMedia said Tuesday that Holland will be the second territory to produce a local version of the Australian prison drama Wentworth. Produced by FremantleMedia’s FourOne.Media, the Dutch-language remake, titled Celblok-H, will reproduce all 10 original scripts transported into a Dutch setting. SBS 6 has commissioned the gritty story of survival, rivalry, power struggles and unlikely allegiances within a female prison, which will premiere in March. The drama, which airs on Foxtel Australia, is in production for its second season in Melbourne. A third season of the show was announced in January, before season two had aired.
Two Senior Execs Made Partners At Breakthrough Entertainment
Breakthrough Entertainment President of Distribution Nat Abraham and CFO Michael McGuigan have been named partners in the Canadian entertainment studio, joining founders Ira Levy and Peter Williamson. Abraham joined the company — which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year — in 2006, while McGuigan began his tenure in 1999. “Since Breakthrough Entertainment’s early beginnings, our company has grown tremendously and over the years Nat and Michael have contributed meaningfully to that growth. As our new Partners, this Management team will ensure the trend continues into the future,” said Levy. The company’s recent credits include the series Rocket Monkeys, Mother Up and Less Than Kind and the feature Cas & Dylan.
It was definitely a happy Chinese New Year for IMAX on Friday. The giant-screen exhibitor said local-language hit The Monkey King grossed $1.8M on January 31, breaking China‘s opening-day IMAX record of $1.5M set by Iron Man 3 last year. The 3D martial-arts pic from Filmko Pictures and China Film Group took in $20M throughout China on Day 1, also breaking IM3′s mark. IMAX said its Chinese theaters took in $4.5M for the three-day holiday weekend. New Year celebrations continue through the week.
Related: Wanda Cinema Line Adding 80 IMAX Theaters In China
Sought-after pilot director David Semel is spoken for this season, as he has been tapped to helm CBS’ drama pilot Madam Secretary, starring Tea Leoni. The project, from creator/exec producer Barbara Hall and exec producer Morgan Freeman, explores the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State (Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. WME-repped Semel has directed the pilots for such series as American Dreams, Heroes, No Ordinary Family, Person Of Interest and most recently TNT’s Legends and CBS’ Intelligence.
Related: Tea Leoni To Star In CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’
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There are strong debuts and holds for Hollywood in the international marketplace this week, despite a drop of about 25% from the similar frame last year when Django Unchained was the top film overseas. (Last week, international box office was off about 50%, so that’s an improvement of sorts.) Still, a fair few movies are making, and breaking records — especially in China. While Monday-morning quarterbacks have been gearing up for today’s Super Bowl, in the rest of the world where football is played without shoulder pads and where the Big Game isn’t due til this July, audiences flocked to movies in such diverse places as China, Russia, Germany, Korea and France. Notably, the Chinese New Year began on January 31 and with it came The Monkey King. The film took $46M in seven territories, and broke records at home, while TV reality series transfer Dad, Where Are We Going? grossed $34M (more below).
The only new studio entry on the international scene this week was MGM and Columbia Pictures’ Robocop which blasted its way into three territories in Asia. The movie, starring Joel Kinnaman, strategically bowed in Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore – taking advantage of the Chinese Lunar New Year – and scored a strong opening with $5.5M and a No. 1 trifecta. Robocop does not yet have a China date, although that’s expected to be clarified shortly. … Read More »
After acquiring an equity stake in Australian producer Matchbox Pictures in 2011, NBCUniversal International Television Production has now taken full ownership of the company via an undisclosed investment. This adds to NBCU’s stable of overseas production labels that also includes Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Dracula), reality producer Monkey Kingdom and factual shingle Chocolate Media, all in the UK; as well as Lark Productions in Canada. Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces drama, comedy, documentary and young adult television, and feature films. Earlier this month, NBC greenlighted The Slap, an eight-episode mini based on Matchbox’s 2011 complex family drama series. Universal Television and Matchbox are producing with Matchbox co-founder Tony Ayres as exec producer. Other recent Matchbox credits include the dramedy Camp which aired on NBC this summer and AACTA winning action adventure series Nowhere Boys, which Ayres created. Ayres, with co-founder Penny Chapman, will lead the creative team at Matchbox on the scripted side, and Kylie Washington will head up unscripted. The company will continue to operate as a distinct entity led by managing director Chris Oliver Taylor. NBCU provides a distribution network for Matchbox’s content outside of Australia and New Zealand.
UPDATED, MONDAY 3:55 PM: International numbers are flowing in and will be updated as they arrive in the below market by market breakouts. The Wolf Of Wall Street continues to show its teeth, grossing $17.4M in eight markets holding the No. 1 spots in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Australia and Switzerland. Norway will be the next (and final) release date on Friday, January 31 for UPI, but the picture is expected in other markets with other distribs. Just to update on Universal’s 47 Ronin: The mega-budgeted pic which is playing strong in Russia, has now cumed $83.7M internationally and $38M domestically for a worldwide total of $121.7M. It has 14 more markets to play, most notably Germany. Frozen is over $813M now globally and The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug added another $5.7M this weekend for worldwide box office of total of $947.6M ($595.3M internationally). Paramount’s numbers have not arrived on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, but Universal’s Despicable Me numbers have been revised upwards to $5.2M in China in 4,500 runs for a total of $43.5M. It’s still too close to call to see who will be No. 1 in this all-important territory but the numbers should arrive from China tomorrow.
UPDATED, SUNDAY 7:30 PM: The international box office is off about 50% from last year when Django Unchained … Read More »
It was the first major deal of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and tonight Whiplash was the big winner at the fest’s Awards Ceremony. The Damien Chazelle-directed film about a young drummer, played by Miles Teller, and his demanding teacher, played by JK Simmons, took both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award. “This is awesome, thanks so much,” said Chazelle accepting the pic’s Audience Award earlier in the evening. Little did he know the fest hit would go on to win Sundance’s top dramatic prize. The U.S. Documentary Award went to the Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos-directed Rich Hill, about three small town Missouri boys seeking better from their sometimes bleak environment. Also making waves with buzzy Sundance awards tonight were first-time director Justin Simien, whose conversation-sparking Dear White People nabbed a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent; the Ethiopian World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner Difret, exec produced by Angelina Jolie; and the Nick Cave docu 20,000 Days On Earth which snagged both Best Directing and Best Editing in the World Cinema Documentary category.
Hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, this year’s Awards started over 30 minutes later than its scheduled 6PM PT kick-off time. Once things got going, after a lurid but lame routine by the hosts, it moved fast. Like last year when Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who had his own directorial feature debut Don Jon premiere at Sundance 2013, hosted the awards ceremony, Offerman and Mullally both have films at the festival. The Parks & Recreation star fronted Nick Offerman: American Ham, which premiered on January 23 in Salt Lake City, and Mullally is one of the voices in the English-language version of the animated pic Ernest & Celestine, which was screened January 18 as part of the new Sundance Kids selection. Offerman and Mullally opened with a monologue that centered more on their sex life than indie film. “In short, we have seen your movies and we have found them arousing,” deadpanned Offerman. Read More »