Bravo Unveils 15 New Series, 3 Projects In Development, 16 Returning Series

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT

NBC Universal LogosBravo Media has unveiled its slate of original programming at its upfront including 15 new series (two scripted), 16 returning series and three new projects in development. That includes Bravo’s first scripted comedy, Odd Mom Out, a half-hour series based on the life of author and fashionista Jill Kargman which captures the outrageous world of uber-wealthy momzillas of New York’s Upper East Side. It joins Bravo’s first scripted series, the recently greenlighted hourlong dramedy Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce. The upcoming unscripted slate includes offshoots of Bravo mainstays Real Housewives and Top Chef. Among returning series, the network has confirmed a second season of Below Deck, a third season of Don’t Be Tardy, a seventh season of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and Season 6 for The Real Housewives Of New Jersey. Returning this fall also is a 12th season of the Emmy Award-winning culinary competition series Top Chef,  season 8 of The Millionaire Matchmaker, The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 7, and The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Season 5.  Here are descriptions of Bravo’s new series and projects in development:

Related: Oxygen Greenlights Seven New Series As Part Of Upcoming Rebranding
Read More »

Comments (7)

Oxygen Greenlights Seven New Series As Part Of Upcoming Rebranding

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 8:59am PDT

oxygen__121004001549-200x133__130603181223Oxygen Media unveiled seven new original series for its 2014 slate today under new president Francis Berwick and said it is planning a rebrand for later this year “targeting modern, young women.” Docu-series on the roster range in subjects from finding the next female hip-hop star (executive produced by rapper T.I.) to comediennes, and competition series involving street artists and nail designers. They will join returning series Preachers Of LA, which recently was picked up for a second season after becoming the most-watched freshman series in network history among adults 25-54, averaging more than 1 million total viewers. It will premiere in summer. The network said today it will soon begin casting new Preachers editions in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit. Berwick, the president at sister NBCUniversal network Bravo, was tapped in September to oversee Oxygen.  Here is more detail from the network on the new series:

Related: Bravo Unveils 15 New Series, 3 Projects In Development, 16 Returning Series

Read More »

Comments (5)

CinemaCon: ‘X Men’, Other Women, Lots Of Girls And An Ape Steal The Show At 20th’s Big Vegas Show

Pete Hammond

With a chorus line of 40 Samba-dancing Vegas showgirls parading through the audience to the stage for a performance of a song from the upcoming CinemaCon2014_badgeRio 2 (4/11), 20th Century Fox got its CinemaCon presentation off in style. And the studio earned high marks for attempting to put a little showmanship that has been missing from some other presentations this week. Hey this is Vegas. Let’s liven it up, folks. And Fox did.

CinemaCon 2014 - 20th Century Fox Special Presentation Highlighting Its Future Release Schedule This is not to say the rest of their “show” was not all about showing off footage from their 2014 slate. It was, but clearly they put a lot of work into impressing these theatre owners who responded strongly to what Fox was offering. Distribution President Chris Aronson appeared with a feather headdress on (he looked pretty hot) but quickly took it off for a more corporate look as he welcomed the crowd and got things rolling including those previously reported remarks regarding NATO ‘s John Fithian and 12 Years A Slave. He pointed out that the studio’s total worldwide boxoffice was $3.39 billion, the fifth consecutive year they have exceeded the $3 billion mark. He then introduced 20th’s Chairman Jim Gianopulos who expertly hosted the event as he does each year, actually managing to sound like he’s not reading stuff off a prompter – an art both he and Disney’s M.C. Alan Horn have mastered. He launched right into it by announcing “we are starting summer in April this year” and bringing on Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann to introduce clips of their comedy The Other Woman. Then it was time for the “tentpoles” as he intro’d a clip package featuring the opening scene and trailer from X Men: Days Of CinemaCon 2014 - 20th Century Fox Special Presentation Highlighting Its Future Release Schedule Future Past (5/23), extended footage from How To Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13) from their partnership with DreamWorks Animation and a harrowing scene from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (7/11) , the latter really whetting the exhibitors appetite. Let’s just say it involves a couple of drunk guys, a playful-seeming ape and an Uzi. Wow. Even Shailene Woodley, star of  20th’s June 6th romantic drama The Fault In Our Stars, said she was still shaking from the Apes footage when Gianopulos brought her on. Read More »

Comments (4)

FremantleMedia Acquires Majority Stake In SallyAnn Salsano’s 495 Prods.

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 12:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

495ProdsThe consolidation of independent unscripted production companies continues, with FremantleMedia buying a 75% stake in SallyAnn Salsano‘s 495 Prods. with the option to acquire the remaining 25%g in the future. Founded in 2006 by Salsano, 495 Prods. is behind such unscripted series as MTV’s Jersey Shore and spinoffs Snooki And JWOWW, The Show With Vinny and The Pauly D Project; Spike TV’s Tattoo Nightmares, which FremantleMedia distributes internationally, and Repo Games; MTV’s dating show Friendzone and the daytime syndicated talk show The Real. The company also produces Jerks With Cameras for MTV, Tattoos After Dark for Oxygen and CMT breakout hit Party Down South. “Our ambition is to continue to grow 495 Productions in the U.S. and to broaden its global footprint even further through our extensive distribution and production network,” FremantleMedia CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz said. Read More »

Comments (1)

AMC Taps Tracey Lentz As VP Unscripted Programming

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 12:22pm PDT

traceylentz1Tracey Lentz joins AMC from 3Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA, where she was VP of development. In her new role as VP unscripted programming, Lentz will focus on developing unscripted series for the network. She will be based in L.A. and report to Eliot Goldberg,  SVP unscripted programming. At Eyeworks, Lentz was involved in the development and sale of shows including Celebrity Splash (ABC), Catch A Contractor (Spike), Hungry Investors (Spike), My Big Fat Revenge (Oxygen), Funniest Wins (TBS), Remote Survivor (Nat Geo) and Opposite Worlds (Syfy). She also helped manage American Chopper and the re-launch of Trading Spaces. She previously held creative positions at Current TV, ABC Media Productions, TLC, GSN/Game Show Network and Showtime Networks.

Comments (14)

NBCU Changes Upfront Schedule To Present All Entertainment Nets In One Week

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 5:32am PST

NBCUniversal_logo__130703185055NEW YORK, March 7, 2014 – NBCUniversal today announced that, for the first time ever, its entire portfolio of entertainment networks will give their 2014 Upfront presentations during the traditional Upfront week in May. This year, NBCUniversal will surround the “Broadcast Upfront week” which will begin with the NBC Entertainment network presentation on Monday, May 12, at the Javits Center in New York City; followed by a presentation from Telemundo Media at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center in New York City on Tuesday, May 13; and, closing out the week with a unique presentation on Thursday, May 15 by NBCUniversal’s Cable Entertainment Group at the Javits Center. NBCUniversal’s Cable Entertainment Group will combine its entire family of networks into one presentation on Thursday. Historically, each network held individual presentations to advertising partners throughout the February to May pre-Upfront period.

Read More »

Comments (0)

Bravo Ups Development & Production Execs

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:28pm PST

Bravo Media made a number of promotions today including Lara Spotts to SVP Development, and LA-based Jenn Bravo logoLevy and Kathleen French to SVP Production. Additionally, David O’Connell, SVP Production Operations, and David Brewer, VP Program Strategy & Acquisitions, have expanded their oversight of Oxygen Media while continuing to supervise Bravo. Based in New York, Spotts will lead Bravo’s scripted and non-scripted developments on both the East and West Coast for pilots, casting reels and original concepts. She reports to Frances Berwick, President of Bravo and Oxygen Media.  Read More »

Comments (9)

Bravo Picks Up Marti Noxon’s ‘Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce’ As First Scripted Series

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 3:57pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

bravo1EXCLUSIVE: Bravo Media is officially a scripted series player. The cable network has greenlighted its first original scripted series, the hourlong Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce starring House alumna Lisa Edelstein. The project, from writer-producer Marti Noxon and Universal Cable Prods, has received a 13-episode order for a 2015 prenoxonmiere. Based on the best-selling “Girlfriends’ Guide” books by Vicki Iovine, the series follows Abby (Edelstein), a self-help book author who hides the fact that she’s separated from her husband, as she starts to navigate her life as a single woman in her early 40s in Los Angeles. She finds herself seeking advice from her divorced friends instead of her married ones, which leads to some unexpected and life-changing experiences.edelstein This is the second series order for Noxon this month, following Lifetime’s 10-episode pickup of Un-Real. I hear Girlfriends’ Guide has the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alumna in first position. She is executive producing the Bravo series with Dawn Olmstead, Iovine and Weinstein Co.’s Meryl Poster and Adam Brooks, who directed the pilot. The series co-stars Janeane Garofalo and Beau Garrett, with Paul Adelstein and Carrie Fisher featured in the pilot.

Related: Lifetime Picks Up Marti Noxon’s ‘Un-Real’ To Series

Girlfriends’ Guide was originally set up at Showtime in 2012 as a half-hour spec by Noxon. Bravo took the project in early last spring and converted it to one-hour. It’s been a smooth sailing ever since, with a pilot order in August, the hire of Brooks to direct and Edelstein to star, leading to the series order. “From the minute we saw this script, we felt this was really on brand for Bravo — it’s got lots of humor, lots of fun, and it’s incredibly stylish,” said Frances Berwick, president Bravo and Oxygen Media. “More than anything, this is a real passion project for Marti who is a big Bravo fan.” There is no plan yet how to launch Girlfriend’s Guide but Berwick suggested that “we have the benefit of having great natural big-reach shows to launch out of” and “with the comedy and drama in (Bravo’s) heavily serialized reality shows, there is a natural connection” that would make for an easy flow from them to the scripted Girlfriend’s Guide. Read More »

Comments (19)

NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Taps Former Disney Exec As VP Communications

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 10:29am PST

nidia2As VP Communications, Nidia Caceros Kilde is responsible for leading strategic communications for the cable entertainment group’s President and Chief Content Officer, Jeff Wachtel, and the studios under his purview — Universal Cable Prods and Wilshire Studios, including USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, E! Entertainment, Oxygen and Esquire Network. Caceros Kilde is responsible for all consumer and trade media relations on behalf of the studios. Additionally, she’ll work with Cory Shields, EVP Communications, NBCU Cable Entertainment, in developing West Coast communications strategy for the cable portfolio including business affairs. She reports to both Wachtel and Shields. Read More »

Comments (0)

Freya Tingley & Peri Gilpin Top Lifetime Telefilm ‘The Choking Game’

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 7:58pm PST

peri_gilpin_2436702freya-tingley-from-'hemlock-grove'-celebrities-at_3602763The telepic based on Diana Lopez’s novel Choke follows a teenager who flirts with disaster after being introduced to the “game” of intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain to get high. Freya Tingley (Hemlock Grove) stars in The Choking Game as Taryn, who is just starting her senior year when a charismatic new girl claims her as a “breath sister” as they take “flights” together. Frasier alum Peri Gilpin also stars in the Lifetime Original as Taryn’s mom, who tries to help after sensing that something is seriously wrong with her daughter. Directed by Lane Shefter Bishop and written by Jen Klein, the telefilm from Orly Adelson Productions is executive produced by Jonathan Eskenas, Bishop, Marilyn R. Atlas and Adelson.

Related: Lifetime Develops Movie About Jesus’ Early Life With ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Producer Read More »

Comments (9)

Global Showbiz Briefs: Pinewood Shepperton Inks Deal For New Studio In Wales; Felix van Groeningen Serves Up ‘Belgica’ As His Next Pic

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 10:00pm PST

Pinewood Shepperton Inks Deal For New Studio In Wales
In a move that will bring much-needed new stages to the UK,  has entered an agreement with the Welsh government for a new studio near Cardiff Bay. Under the deal, the Welsh government will acquire and fit out the former Energy Centre in Wentloog with the facility to be renamed Pinewood Studio Wales. Four stages will be built, which Pinewood will lease for a minimum of five years; it also will contribute £800,000 over the period to pay for equipment. This is good news foPinewood_Studiosr Britain, which has suffered from a capacity crunch as more and more Hollywood movies and TV shows come to shoot in the territory, accessing lucrative tax breaks. Pinewood has submitted proposals to expand its flagship studio outside London but has been thwarted by local government in the past two years. An appeal is pending. Also under the agreement, Pinewood Shepperton will advise on, promote and market Wales’ new £30M TV and film investment fund. Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy said the deal is “another step forward for creating a sustainable UK film and television production center.” Further, the fund arrangement “builds on our success with Pinewood Pictures and managing the Isle of Man Treasury Film and Television Fund. Our combined advisory investment funds now total £55 million making them one of the largest investment portals for new British television and film content.” Read More »

Comments (2)

Charter Increases Pressure On Time Warner Cable, Offering 13 Pro-Merger Board Candidates

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:12am EST

This should add some excitement to Time Warner Cable‘s next shareholders’ meeting. Time Warner CableCharter has several highly regarded cable execs — including former TWC Chief Technology Officer Jim Chiddix,  former Charter CTO Marwan Fawaz, and Oxygen Media co-founder Lisa Gersh  – in its collection of independent candidates for the No. 2 cable company’s board. They’d support Charter’s $61.3B (including debt) cash and stock takeover offer. In addition, Charter hopes to head off efforts by TWC to adopt anti-takeover protections. It proposes to fix the size of the board at 13 and repeal any by-law amendments made without shareholder approval since July 26, 2012, the last time TWC disclosed any change to its by-laws.Charter Communications “It is clear from our meetings with Time Warner Cable shareholders that there is an overwhelming desire to combine these two companies to increase Time Warner Cable’s competitiveness,” says Charter CEO Tom Rutledge. “Our purpose in this proxy contest is to enable shareholders of TWC to raise their voice, and to provide a very capable board who will hear them.” TWC says that Charter made a “grossly inadequate” bid by offering the equivalent of $132.50 a share;  TWC considers $160 closer to the mark. “It is clear that Charter is nominating a slate of directors for the sole purpose of pressuring our Board into accepting the same lowball offer that it previously considered and unanimously rejected,” TWC chief Rob Marcus says. “Our Board remains focused on maximizing shareholder value.  We are confident in our strategic plan, which was detailed publicly on January 30, and we are not going to let Charter steal the company.” TWC shares opened this morning up slightly at $136 — suggesting that investors believe that Charter, or someone, will offer more.

Here are Charter’s candidates for the TWC board with its description of their backgrounds and qualifications: Read More »

Comments (0)

Oxygen Renews ‘Preachers Of LA’, Preps 4 Spinoffs

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 8:17am PST

oxygen__121004001549-200x133__130603181223Oxygen Media is picking up a second season of Preachers Of L.A. and expanding the franchise with casting to begin for new editions in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, and Detroit, the network said today. Preachers of L.A. became the most watched freshman series in Oxygen history among P25-54 and averaging over 1 million total viewers. Bishop Noel Jones, Minister Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Jay Haizlip, Pastor Wayne Chaney and Bishop Ron Gibson are set to return to Preachers Of L.A., which centers on the lives of mega-pastors in Southern California. Season 2 is slated to debut in the fall. Preachers Of L.A. is produced by L. Plummer Media in association with Relevé Entertainment, with Lemuel Plummer and Holly Carter serving as Executive Producers.

Comments (2)

Oxygen Slates Hidden Camera Series ‘Celebrities Undercover’ Produced By Wendy Williams & Featuring Kim Kardashian: Video

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 5:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

wendywilliams1Oxygen Media has officially unveiled its half-hour hidden camera reality series Celebrities Undercover (see the trailer below), which will premiere March 18 following the debut of another new series, Chasing Maria Menounos. In June, the network quietly gave a green light to Celebrities Undercover (then Secret Celebrity) executive produced by talk show host Wendy Williams under her first-look deal at Oxygen. Each episode features two celebrities concealing their true identity with the use of prosthetic makeup to find out what unsuspecting fans and friends really think of them. In the series premiere, Williams goes undercover as a member of her own audience, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Kim Kardashian disguises herself at a group job interview as a fan hoping to become her new assistant. Read More »

Comments (9)

CES: Sony CEO Calls For An End To “Just Good Enough” Tech Products

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 2:10pm EST

Kazuo Hirai‘s keynote presentation at the International CES started slow but finished with a passionate call to arms that should resonate loudest at his own company. Kazuo HiraiThe CEO acknowledged that Sony has had a string of technological misfires — including its Betamax video recorder — in addition to successes such as the Walkman, compact disc, and PlayStation game consoles. “In an enterprise that makes things, we first must make that connection with people,” he says. CES-LogoAnd while “we’ve started to deliver that ‘wow’ again,” he added that Sony and the consumer electronics industry “can and must do better” by eschewing “just good enough products…These products must be fantastic objects of engagement.” He touted the advent of 4K television sets, and audio devices that deliver more nuanced reproductions than people typically hear when they listen to MP3s. “An entire generation missed that experience of listening to uncompressed audio…what the artist intended,” he says. Hirai also likes his company’s new cameras. Sensors are so sensitive that users can change the focus and depth enhancement of a photograph after it’s taken. Medical professionals also can use the sensors to evaluate someone’s skin, or determine the amount of oxygen and sugar pulsing through a blood vessel.

Related: CES: Sony To Introduce Cloud-Based Live And VOD TV Service

Comments (6)

Midseason Premiere Dates For New And Returning Series On Broadcast And Cable

By | Friday January 3, 2014 @ 7:26pm PST

TVNote: The post has been updated with your feedback. Thank you.

The second half of the 2013-14 TV season kicked off Thursday night with the series bow of ABC’s The Assets and season debut of The Taste. Here’s a rundown of the midseason shows that will hit the airwaves for the first time during between now and May 31, along with those returning for new seasons or coming off hiatus:

Related: Summer Premiere Dates For New And Returning Series On Broadcast And Cable (June Through August)

January 5:
Downton Abbey (PBS, Season 4 premiere)
Revenge (ABC, returns from hiatus)

January 6:
The Bachelor (ABC, season premiere)

January 7:
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, Season 4B premiere)
Intelligence (CBS, series premiere; regular slot debut at 10 PM Monday, January 7)
Ravenswood (ABC Family, Season 1B premiere)
Justified (FX, Season 5 premiere)
Killer Women (ABC, series premiere)
Cougar Town (TBS, Season 5 premiere)

January 8:
Psych (USA, Season 8 premiere)
Chicago PD (NBC, series premiere)

January 9:
The Spoils of Babylon (IFC, limited series premiere)

January 10:
Enlisted (Fox, series premiere)
Banshee (Cinemax, Season 2 premiere)
Helix (Syfy, series premiere)

January 12:
Shameless (Showtime, Season 4 premiere)
True Detective (HBO, series premiere)
Girls (HBO Season 3 premiere)
House of Lies (Showtime, Season 3 premiere)
Episodes (Showtime, Season 3 premiere) Read More »

Comments 26

Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Past’, ‘All The Light In The Sky’, ‘Dhoom 3′, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘Maidentrip’, ‘Personal Tailor’

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 5:29pm PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)UPDATED: Spike Jonze’s New York Film Festival world premiere Her will finally hit theaters this weekend in limited release. Jonze has long had “indie” cred and this film will likely find a core of fans among Specialty audiences though the Warner Bros release will go wide in January. “The movie has all these high-concept ideas, but it is nevertheless mostly a relationship movie. It’s about love and our need to connect and our [method] of connecting. But, at its heart, it is a relationship movie,” Jonze said ahead of its NYFF debut. The Specialty b.o. will likely note the film’s opening this weekend as it sits on the cusp of what defines a “Specialty.” Newcomers that are more squarely in that area also taking their bows this weekend include Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi’s first non-Iranian-set film The Past, which will platform this weekend before Christmas via Sony Classics. Joe Swanberg‘s All The Light In The Sky (Factory 25) is headed out after an Ultra-VOD run. Swanberg hinted that his film Drinking Buddies (out last summer) had a similar Ultra-VOD run and gave some hint at its non-theatrical exclusive, which suggests the power of such releases for at least certain titles. Yash Raj Films will open Dhoom 3, the largest Bollywood title to hit theaters in North America to date, while IFC Films will open Cannes pickup The Selfish Giant at two NYC locations. First Run will take a different approach to its releases of its doc Maidentrip this weekend. And boutique distrib China Lion releases comedy Personal Tailor in seven U.S. markets.

The Past (Le passé)thepast
Director-writer Asghar Farhadi
Writer: Massoumeh Lahidji (adaptation)
Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa, Pauline Burlet, Elyes Aguis, Jeanne Jestin, Sabrina Ouazani, Babak Karimi
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s The Past is his first film outside his home country and the follow-up to his 2012 Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, A Separation. Shot over several months in Paris, The Past centers on an Iranian man who deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. While away, his wife embarks on a new relationship, a twist her husband must confront when she asks him for a divorce. “I didn’t have problems finishing the film and worked in a very calm environment,” said Farhadi. “But the big challenge was the French language and culture.” One challenge Farhadi did face was a an actor change in the lead role of Marie. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard initially had the part, but a scheduling conflict forced her to leave the project. Bérénice Bejo was tapped for the part. Read More »

Comments (2)

Box Office Top 10: ‘Catching Fire’s Global Opening Gross Will Hit $307.7 Million

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box Office7TH UPDATE: The 1 PM football games are starting, so I will be brief. International numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pouring in now, and they are as good as the domestic numbers. The film has grossed $146.6 million in 63 territories, which puts its global opening weekend gross at $307.7 in 65 territories. That’s 45% better than the $211.8 million worldwide that The Hunger Games grossed in its opening weekend. That puts the film halfway to matching the $286.3 million international gross of that original film. It opened in the top spot in nearly all markets, more than doubling The Hunger Games in most markets according to Rentrak. Germany and Denmark tripled their opening weekend numbers while UK, Netherlands and Sweden were 2.5 times better. Russia was 1.5 times better than the original’s opening. Meanwhile WB’s Gravity opened to $35.5 million in China. Like I said, a good weekend for everyone except Carl Icahn.

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Philomena’ Debuts Strong; Is It This Year’s ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’?

6TH UPDATE, 9:29 am PST: Well, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hit the Saturday numbers Deadline reported in timely fashion for insomniacs, and the film is now expected to hit $161.1 million. Besides trouncing the competition, and beating Twilight Saga: Full Moon for biggest November opening, how does it rate for other records? According to Rentrak, here’s the deal: Catching Fire generated the 2nd best debut of 2013 behind Iron Man 3‘s $174.1 million; it marks the fourth best opening weekend of all time, trailing The Avengers‘ $207 million, Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2‘s $169.2M. Catching Fire did better than The Dark Knight Rises $160.9 million. In IMAX, Catching Fire’s domestic weekend gross is an estimated $12.6M on 347 screens, also a record for November 3-day launch as it passed Skyfall‘s $12.5 million. It certainly positions the film to surpass the $408 million grossed domestically by the first film, given there’s a long holiday weekend coming up. Lionsgate gets two more bites at the apple, as it is telling the three-book tale in four movies in a blatant cash grab. I have yet to see where this dilution of a crackling three novel story benefits anyone other than the studio when it is stretched out into another film (I think it hurt The Twilight Saga, because the third installment, Bella’s pregnancy, was excruciating.) Author Suzanne Collins is in the mix on these films, so maybe they’ll add stuff. But if these authors wanted to tell trilogies in four installments, they would have written four books, right?

Analyzing far in Catching Fire‘s rear view mirror, the other major release, Delivery Man, didn’t deliver much at all as counter-programming. Maybe the film (studio insiders said it cost $22 million) would have fared better had it opened one week ago against The Best Man Holiday, because clearly Catching Fire consumed most of the oxygen this weekend. Maybe it would have been better to simply avoid such a competitive time period. Thor: The Dark World saw a 61% drop since last weekend, and The Best Man Holiday was off 58%, showing Catching Fire fatigue. How are the Oscar films faring? 12 Years A Slave is running out of steam, Dallas Buyers Club is working in core areas and breakout potential seems dubious. Nebraska bowed just okay and Book Thief a little less than that while Philomena got off to a more encouraging start. The next big family film, Disney’s Frozen, did great in one house and opens wide November 27. The other animation juggernaut, Despicable Me 2, got a bit of new life in 295 theaters, squeaking out $342,000. Speaking of the record books, the $76 million film is at $916.5 million worldwide gross. Universal’s all-time record holder is Jurassic Park, which grossed $118 million worldwide in a 3D re-release which put it just over the $1 billion mark. In order to crack that record, Despicable Me 2 will need to open in China, which should be in the cards but hasn’t yet been solidified. Here is an updated look at how the Top 10 films will finish the weekend:

1) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

PG-13/ Lionsgate/ New/ Runs: 4,163/ Friday: $70.1 million; Saturday: $52.8 million. Sunday: $36.9 million. Weekend Total: $160.6 million. Per-screen average: $36,586. Total domestic gross: $160.6 million. Read More »

Comments 148

Box Office Update: ‘Thor 2′ Hammers Past Predecessor In Global Gross

By | Sunday November 17, 2013 @ 5:38pm PST
Mike Fleming

5TH UPDATE: Considering that there was only one major new film in the marketplace, it has turned out to be a good weekend for the movie business. Before I get to the Top Ten, I hate to wear my heart on my sleeve, but like everyone else in America, I was completely captivated by the Batkid, and his crime fighting exploits accomplished in San Francisco after his cancer went into remission. It is a reminder that while there is plenty of cynicism in Hollywood, there is a reason this is called the Dream Factory that gives America heroes and hope. And the reaction by past Batman Christian Bale and future Batman Ben Affleck, well, if you are not touched, you should check yourself for a pulse.

Then there is Nebraska, which opened limited this week. What does it say when Paramount’s slate is chock full of films like World War Z and sequels of Star Trek and G.I. Joe, and by far the best film that studio has made is a $13 million black and white road trip movie with a former Saturday Night Live funnyman with no feature currency and a 77-year old forgotten actor who was dusted off by Alexander Payne to turn in the performance of a career that spans 53 years? Well, what it really says is this movie goes down as a total fluke. It was brought in by former Paramount Classics head Ruth Vitale, who’s long gone, but who bought it as a black and white project. The current Paramount brain trust probably gave this a harder time giving a green light than all of those other three films, but they did green light it and allowed Payne to make it his way, with Will Forte and Bruce Dern. The latter has staked a claim on a Best Actor nom at least. You would see him in a small dose in a film like All The Pretty Horses, and he pretty much lit up the screen and infused his characters with intelligence and integrity. Wait till you see what he does here, and how much this film benefits from being shot in glorious black and white.

My final observance of major box office news is our own news that we have brought Anita Busch into the Deadline fold. She will take over box office reporting and make it her own. I gotta be honest, I have to take off my shoes to count to 20, and I have no head for math. I have been filling in as best I can, while still breaking film stories and trying with Nellie Andreeva to change the narrative here and draw Deadline away from the expectation it will be a House of Hate, and instead a haven for fast breaking exclusive, attitude, sharp analysis and stylish writing. I think we’ve a major step in that direction with Anita, who understands this part of the business better than I do, and who will add insight when she takes over in early December. Nellie and I have been trying to get used to new roles. It has been daunting for me. The Wrap actually engaged some service to poll awareness of me, versus Nikki Finke. It was done about 28 minutes after Nellie and I took over, and it was comical, with an actual pie chart that shows I am lagging. For our entire run at Deadline, Nellie and I were happy to have Nikki Finke be the face and the galvanized presence. Neither of us have ever craved attention or had egos to feed, and we loved being able to simply be judged by what appeared under our bylines. As things settle down, it will be nice to get back to that and save the drama for the page.

On to Box Office.

Thor: The Dark World opened in Argentina, Paraguay and Hungary this weekend, and it still has yet to unveil in Italy and Japan. Its $38.4 million weekend (a 55% drop from last weekend) was eclipsed by the $52.5 million which the film grossed overseas (covering 94% of the world territories in which it will play) for a $90.1 million worldwide weekend take. That puts the film at $479 million globally, with a lot more to come. How did it compare with the original Thor? That pic grossed a total of $181 million domestic, so two weeks in the sequel has grossed 81% of its predecessor. The sequel has passed the global grosses of Captain America ($371 million) and Thor ($449 million). So those wondering if the sequel is measuring up, it has done 107% of the original Thor, and it is not near done. Read More »

Comments 135
More Deadline | Hollywood »