EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Schwarzenegger has been cast in Scouts Vs. Zombies, the Paramount genre mash-up that will be directed by Christopher Landon. Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, here plays the popular high school quarterback who is a rival to the boy scout troop. Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joseph Morgan and David Koechner also star. Andy Fickman, Todd Garner, Bryan Brucks and Betsy Sullenger are producing. Shooting is set to begin May 8.
Patrick can next be seen in the Kevin Connolly-directed Dear Eleanor opposite Josh Lucas, Jessica Alba, Liana Liberato and Isabelle Fuhrman. He is repped by Management 360 and Bloom Hergott.
EXCLUSIVE: Andy Fickman has been set by Millennium Films to direct My Owner’s Wedding, a romantic comedy about two eligible young women, the guy they both want, and his dog. The latter will go to any length to make sure his owner winds up with the right girl. Fickman is coming off Parental Guidance and helmed the hits Race To Witch Mountain and The Game Plan. He is also exec producer and is directing the Disney Channel’s series Liv And Maddie and is producing and directing the Off-Broadway production Heathers The Musical, based on the cult teen movie. Fickman is directing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, with Kevin James reprising for Sony, and Fickman’s producing the self-explanatory Scouts Vs. Zombies for Paramount.
My Owner’s Wedding was scripted by Robert Cary (Anything But Love) and Jonathan Tolins, whose Buyer And Cellar is playing off-Broadway. The film is produced by Cary, Tolins and Mark Gill, with Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Alan Gasmer serving as executive producers. Fickman is repped by WME, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson.
Since bowing in Korea and Mexico in late March, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has continued to draw strong numbers overseas. As of Sunday, it had an international cume of $197.4M, and a North American haul of $93M. Paramount and Regency Enterprises today say the biblical epic rose to $207M internationally, and $93.8M domestic through Monday, pushing its worldwide cume to $300.8M. Noah was No. 9 at the North American box office this weekend with $5M at 2,537 theaters. It was No. 5 on the international chart after adding $21.6M from 6,092 runs in 56 markets. The film faced its share of controversy prior to opening, and was even banned in most of the Arab world. Nevertheless, it has hit several milestones in the course of its voyage. Domestically, its opening weekend cume of $44M was the biggest ever U.S. debut for star Russell Crowe. Overseas, the film’s releases in Russia and Brazil became the biggest ever for a non-sequel, and were the 4th biggest openings of all time, with $17.2M and $9.8M, respectively. The Russia bow was also Paramount’s best ever in the territory. To date, the movie has earned $32.8M in the fast-burn market. In Brazil, where Noah is at No. 2, it’s the highest grossing Paramount Pictures International release of all time with $23.4M … Read More »
OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) stellar at $22.5M (3-day) and $29.5M (5-day) for No. 2; Transcendence (WB) despondent at No. 4 with $10.8M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.7M.
5TH UPDATE, 2:45 PM: The final numbers are in for the box office Top 20, and Sony/TriStar has a lot to celebrate this weekend as peeps flocked to Heaven Is For Real this Easter holiday with a final tally of $22.5M (three-day) and $29.5M (five-day). Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a very good chance of being No. 1 for four weekends in a row as there is nothing in the hamper next weekend to stop it. Not since Lionsgate unleashed The Hunger Games in 2012 has that happened, and before that, the last time was in 2008 when Warner Bros introduced The Dark Knight. Rio 2 is No. 3 in its second weekend out, dropping 44%, and racking up $75M in two weeks. Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-starring sci-fi film, short-circuited this weekend and should have been retitled Despondence as it came in under $11M for Warner Bros. and Alcon. Uh, no peeps cared for that one. Surprising coming from Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister who made his directing debut and delivered such a bomb. The trailer was confusing and hard to follow. Seemed like it was just a bunch of shots of Depp in different states of duress instead of selling futuristic sizzle. The one sheet was a headshot of Depp with digits on his head. And the production stills made him look like American Hustle‘s Bradley Cooper in perm rods. It’s like Lawnmower 2 for the YK2 generation. Yes, in fact, there is actually a Y2K joke in there … so 2000.
Leaving no question about Divine Intervention: Noah jumped up two notches yesterday over opener Bears and God’s Not Dead to round out the Top 10 … and … Draft Day (which dropped 42% this weekend) scored better in its sophomore frame and juked Divergent this weekend to get the No. 6 spot. A Haunted House 2 from Open Road creaked its way to No. 5 and $8.8M in its debut while Oculus dropped 57% in its second weekend. Opening next weekend: the Cameron Diaz-Kate Upton-Leslie Mann comedy The Other Woman (Fox), Brick Mansions (REL) which stars the late Paul Walker, and the horror film The Quiet Ones (LGF). Expanding from five theaters to 25 runs in LA and NY will be the John Turturo’s comedy Fading Gigolo (Millennium). Here are the final weekend box office numbers: Read More »
Column: Social media has had a tremendous impact on movie and television marketing, increasing awareness and visibility for a TV show or movie across the globe in a click — a lot clicks — of a button. Some of the best social media teams right now on TV are the two Jimmys — late-night talk hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. These two are in a constant battle for viewers and they really go at each other on social media. Their social engagement across platforms and their understanding of social heralds a new generation of savvy Hollywood stars backed by sophisticated online marketing teams that understand how to push past traditional media to build a tremendous fan base. Increasingly, stars, celebrities and their teams are using social media to extend awareness of their brands — because that is what they have become — online and off, driving ratings and box office as well as bigger fan bases.
These days, a performer’s social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing a film’s campaign. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of the monster presence he’s built on Facebook. In the months since his emotional tribute on FB for his good friend and Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker who died in a car crash, Diesel has seen his Facebook presence vault from an already whopping 54M likes to 72.3M, according to RelishMix, which tracks social-media engagement by TV shows, films and performers. And in six months, his following has jumped 46%.
Unlike Kimmel and Fallon, Diesel has no team to manage his social profile. He does it entirely on his own. “Vin is a very unique case in that he curates that himself and the voice is authentic and all the posts seem real because they are real,” says Michael Moses, co-president of marketing at Universal Pictures. “He doesn’t have a social-media team. He maintains that. He has an authentic relationship with his fans.” Moses calls it “a higher level of commitment and engagement.” Read More »
Sister publication Variety reporting Tom Hanks wants to star for Steven Spielberg in an untitled thriller scripted by Matt Charman. Not sure if this will be next, as DreamWorks poured cold water on the Cold War project when Deadline inquired a couple weeks ago after hearing it might be next for Spielberg. In this one, Hanks would play James Donovan, a prominent American attorney enlisted by the CIA during the Cold War to slip behind the iron curtain to negotiate the release of a pilot captured when his U2 spy plane is shot down over Russia. The prolific Marc Platt is the producer.
I wonder if some of these projects, including the still-percolating Robopocalypse, will eventually square things financially for India-based Reliance, which sure seems to have so far come out on the short end of the stick after bankrolling a DreamWorks venture that seems to have run its course, and hasn’t generated much in the way of blockbuster hits since leaving Paramount. Stay tuned.
That’s up just 2 cents vs the same period in 2013, and down from $8.35 in Q4 according to domestic numbers out this morning from the National Association of Theater Owners. The drop from the end of the year mostly reflects the fact that theaters in Q1 were filled with kids’ films including Frozen, Mr. Peabody And Sherman, and The Lego Movie. They typically drive the ticket averages down because they include a lot of low-priced children’s tickets and matinees. Remember that several factors influence the average price — including how many people pay a premium to see a film in 3D or on an IMAX screen. The Q4 number included 3D hits with Warner Bros’ Gravity (80% of its domestic gross came from 3D venues) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and Disney’s Thor: The Dark World. The quarter also had several popular films targeted to adults including Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street and Sony’s American Hustle. The average outlay for a movie ticket in 2013 was $8.13.
Paramount Pictures and China Film Co Ltd have inked a deal to produce the 3D fastasy/action feature film Marco Polo. It was announced today by China Film Co’s Zhang Qiang and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore at the signing during the Beijing International Film Festival. This is a first-time venture between between CFC and Paramount but the second deal in days for China Film Co and a U.S. studio. On Monday, the Chinese group announced it had made an eight-figure equity investment in two Legendary Entertainment pics: the Jeff Bridges starrer Seventh Son and Warcraft, the pic based on the Blizzard online game that Duncan Jones is writing and directing.
Paramount and China Film Co said they felt Marco Polo was something that would appeal to both the Chinese and overseas markets. The adaptation will be based on historical context of the famed 13th century explorer but will go beyond the traditional “biographic” type story by positioning it as a fantasy action movie. Shooting is planned to begin in October in conjunction with Yuehua Entertainment, Phoenix Entertainment, and Huahua Film & Media Culture.
Few other details were revealed, but Moore and Zhang said the movie will be directed by an experienced action adventure director from the U.S. and feature a top-tier cast from the U.S. and China. Zhang emphasized the significance of this first-time cooperation between the two companies and hopefully the beginning of a series of future co-production films between China and Hollywood.
Read More »
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom assess the just-announced lineup for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which competing films have serious Oscar hopes and which pics Pete can’t wait to see when he hits the Croisette for Deadline next month. Today also was the last day for would-be Emmy voters to make themselves eligible with the TV Academy, and Pete and David take a look at the Emmy campaigns that are heating up, while also grumpily acknowledging the first Oscar campaign of the 2015 season. Finally, Pete gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, including Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, the Woody Allen-John Tuturro collaboration Fading Gigolo and faith-based hit-in-the-making Heaven Is For Real. Read More »
So what does today’s announcement of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival lineup mean for Oscar?
Who knows except that out of competition entry How To Train Your Dragon 2 will almost certainly be nominated for Best Animated Feature. Other than that we will have to wait and see until we actually view the films in Cannes next month. But there are good omens in this lineup (which could still see one or two more titles added) if you look at the impressive group of actors represented in these films: Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones (who directs the competition entry The Homesman), Meryl Streep, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, and director Michel Hazanivicius are among the prominent names and past nominees like Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, Hailee Steinfeld, Berenice Bejo, Ryan Gosling (who is making his directorial debut) are also represented.
My colleague Nancy Tartaglione did a great job predicting who would make — or not make — the cut and wrote an exhaustive overview earlier. Now it’s time to look at the awards implications outside of those that will be handed out May 24th at the Palais. I look at Cannes as a soft start to Hollywood’s awards season. There’s no question of its importance as the granddaddy of all film fests and as a key worldwide launch for a movie that has got the goods, but in the end the May date scares off some distributors who, by launching their fall Oscar hopefuls on the Croisette may feel it ultimately hurts their chances — and more importantly their momentum.
That’s no doubt a key reason Warner Bros chose to hold back past Cannes competitor and favorite Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and Fox Searchlight did the same with Alexander Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman even apart from the usual reasons that they may not “be ready.” Last year Paramount decided at the last minute to take Alexander Payne’s Nebraska to Cannes even though he initially favored more postproduction time. Payne had competed once before with About Schmidt, headed the Un Certain Regard jury, and served on the main competition jury so he was a favorite of Cannes’ chief programmer Thierry Fremaux. The film ended up winning Best Actor for Bruce Dern but after Cannes the director “tinkered” with it and made it tighter before hitting the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day with his final cut. It went on to win six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Director and Actor after finally opening November 15 (it didn’t win any Oscars, though). It’s not the first time a filmmaker has made changes after their film was shown to the world’s press and reviewed in Cannes. The growing feeling among distributors is it is best to wait until the movie is really locked before risking exposure at this most visible of all festivals. Read More »
The Anchorman alum is set to play Scout Leader Rogers in the horror comedy from director/co-writer Christopher Landon. Paramount’s Scouts Vs. Zombies follows a group of — you guessed it — Boy Scouts who try to fend off a — how’d you know? — zombie attack in their small town. David Koechner joins a cast that also includes Joseph Morgan, Tye Sheridan and Logan Miller. Andy Fickman, Todd Garner, Bryan Brucks and Betsy Sullenger. Shooting is set to begin May 8. Koechner played sportscaster Champ Kind in the Anchorman movies and his credits also include The Office, American Dad! and a recent sketch comedy pilot for NBC that’s not going forward. He is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Are you kidding?
Did Paramount just officially start the 2014 Oscar campaign even as we are barely getting the Emmys off the ground and the Tonys are two months away? Uh, yes. Looks like it. One top studio exec (not from Paramount) forwarded me an email he got yesterday from the Paramount Awards Office that pronounced free admission starting April 15th - two by two for Academy members and a guest- to screenings of Noah at theaters nationwide – but only Monday thru Thursday since most theater owners usually don’t like to give up seats on the weekends, especially to rich and famous movie types.
Related: Can ‘Noah’ And ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Overcome Oscar’s Greatest Curse: A March Release Date?
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Feature writer Matt Lopez is formalizing his foray into television with a two-year overall deal at Universal Television. The pact, Lopez’s first overall TV arrangement, stems from One Kick, a drama project he developed at NBC through Uni TV this season. “Matt writes with texture and layers and creates dynamic characters,” Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We enjoyed our development experience with him and are looking forward to working with Matt at Universal TV.”
In features, Lopez, repped by WME and Lichter, Grossman, is a go-to screenwriter for family fare, including Bedtime Stories, Race To Witch Mountain, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the upcoming Clifford The Big Red Dog. On the producing side, he has teamed with Peter Chernin on Huck, about new adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, at Paramount. On TV, Lopez has explored darker territory, writing ABC pilots Gothica and Jekyll & Hyde the last two years.
Highlights: Rio 2 (FOX) has $63.4M weekend, lands $12.6M in China debut; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) crosses $300M international; Noah (PAR) adds $36.2M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) nears $50M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) has 5th No. 1 weekend in Spain…
4th UPDATE, 7:15 PM, PST: The final Divergent numbers are in, with the film nearing $50M but not yet crossing it; it stands at $48.1M. The film is based on the YA novel of the same name (part of a trilogy) and Lionsgate is hoping it will become another big franchise. This is the same company that launched the wildly successful Hunger Games series. Divergent is at $124.7M in the U.S. after the 3-day weekend for a worldwide gross of $172.8M+.
3rd UPDATE, Monday, 1:52 PM, PST: New grosses are in for Rio 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 300: Rise Of An Empire, The Lego Movie, Spanish Affairs and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Rio 2 did better than previously expected internationally over the weekend, with a total tally of $63.4M to date; the worldwide cume on the animated family picture is over $100M.
2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 12:45 AM PT: Last weekend, Captain America: … Read More »
Paramount’s 2015 live-action animation hybrid pic Monster Trucks has cast Emmy-winner Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, True Grit) in a role that the studio’s keeping under wraps. Pepper, who next appears in Focus Features’ Kill The Messenger with Jeremy Renner and the romantic drama The Devil’s Harvest, had a busy last year with Broken City, Snitch, and The Lone Ranger. He joins Thomas Lennon, Danny Glover, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Lucas Till, and Holt McCallany in the Chris Wedge-helmed Monster Trucks, which hits the road May 29, 2015. Pepper is repped by The Kohner Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
EchoLight Studios, the faith- and family-based production entity headed by self-professed Christian politician and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, said it will distribute four films a year starting in September 2014 then one a quarter after that. But here’s the twist: The films will be playing in churches throughout the country instead of theaters. One of those films is Hoovey, starring Patrick Warburton (Rules Of Engagement) and Lauren Holly — a true story about a Midwestern basketball family who, with God’s help, stayed in the game and won. The film is an unlikely candidate for the nation’s theaters to begin with, but there is a larger goal for Santorum, who is the CEO and not in politics any longer — to bring in flocks to the churches. “We want to be a part of empowering the church to elevate its role as a cultural change agent,” EchoLight President Studios Jeff Sheets said in a statement. “Our vision is not to create sermons wrapped in a movie but to create content that inspires, fascinates and incorporates a strong Christian worldview.”
Related: Biblical And Faith-based Films In Hollywood To Stay?
Uh, that’s taking the faith-based craze to a different level — using churches as theaters. The Franklin, TN-based company is developing content with “strong ministry value as tools for the Church to use in their in-reach and outreach ministries.” They also said that a portion of the revenues generated from these films will “fuel the missional needs of the hosting local church.” So instead of the money going into Hollywood coffers, it’s going back to Santorum’s churches. And therein lies the business model. Read More »
OPENING: Rio 2 (FOX) on Friday was expected to fly to No. 1 for $43.9M to $44.3M (Fox was the only one to predict $45M), then Saturday got its wings clipped by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and ended at $39.3M, Oculus (REL) was expected to scare up $12M to $12.8M for third spot and ended up at $12M; Draft Day (LGF) on Fri. was second round pick for $10.9M (although Summit estimated lower $10.5M) and ended the weekend with $9.7M. NOTEWORTHY: Captain America 2 (DIS) expected to fall 56% in second weekend but will take No. 1 with $40.5M to $41.4M to end the 3-day with $41.2M.
UPDATED, MONDAY, 3:37 PM: Rio 2 opened to $39.3M right in line with the first film which opened in 2011 to $39.2M. That hurts, but overseas, the film has already grossed $63.4M, so it has already pulled in over $100M worldwide and it should get some decent multiples as there is really nothing standing in its way for some weeks to come … well, there is the long- in-release Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Muppets Most Wanted. But for the sequel not to surge past the first film, something went a little haywire. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the champ again this weekend and the final tally ended up at $41.2M but next weekend, it has competition when Warner Bros. opens the Johnny Depp sci-fi thriller Transcendence. The big disappointment of the weekend was the Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner football feature Draft Day (LGF). It took in only $9.7M. That’s three in a row for Costner that really didn’t thrill audiences — behind 3 Days To Kill and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, although the criticism for that film really was directed at Chris Pine not being a strong enough lead. Regardless, it’s too bad for all involved. Oculus, despite its C CinemaScore, was able to pull in $12M for the weekend which served Relativity well. Noah also bypassed Divergent to step into the Top Five. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Villella, most recently VP Theatrical Distribution Operations at LD Entertainment, has been appointed to head the expanding film and TV sales and distribution division at indie Paragon Pictures. It’s the last ramp-up for Paragon, the specialty distribution arm of Osiris Entertainment that kicked off its theatrical business in February with the platform release of the Melissa Leo starrer Bottled Up, a drama about over-the-counter drug abuse that also stars Josh Hamilton. The company formally launched in September with Osiris CEO Evan Crooke at the helm, and its other titles include the thrillers The Kill Hole starring Chadwick Boseman and UK pic Twenty8K. Villella previously worked at Lionsgate, Paramount, The Weinstein Company and most recently LD, where he helped sell the Matthew McConaughey pic Killer Joe, Disconnect and Black Rock.
Here’s another clip unveiled on the MTV Movie Awards, this one the reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Paramount just added Johnny Knoxville to do the voice of Leonardo, and Tony Shalhoub to voice Splinter, the Yoda of chopsocky capable rodents. Can you detect their voices?