Jose Padilha & Eric Newman Team For John Hlavin’s WWII Revenge Pitch ‘Nekome’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

ericnewmanpadilhaEXCLUSIVE: GrandElectric Entertainment, a new shingle formed by ex-Strike Entertainment partner Eric Newman, has teamed with director Jose Padilha‘s Cold Mountain to preemptively purchase Nekome, a period action pitch by John Hlavin. Studiocanal will finance development and production of the film.

The title is the Yiddish word for revenge and the film is set in the days following the end of World War II. Two young Holocaust survivors are sent by the Jewish underground to Brazil to hunt down and kill the escaped Nazis who ran their concentration camp. The film will shoot in Brazil. Studiocanal is committed to finance the film, but Newman and Padilha retained distribution rights in Brazil, where Padilha is a movie god after his Elite Squad films. Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Rio 2′ Soars With $63.4M; ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Blasts Past $300M Overseas; ‘Noah’ Adds $36.2M; ‘Divergent’ Nearing $50M

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…

cinemaworld4th 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 »

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Netflix, Gaumont Sets ‘Elite Squad’ Star Wagner Moura For Pablo Escobar In ‘Narcos’

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 3:38am PDT
Mike Fleming

mouraUPDATE, 6:34 AM: Chris Brancato, who worked with Gaumont and NBC on Hannibal, has been set to run Narcos, and a broader description of the series’ ambition is below.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, March 31, 5:40 PT: Gaumont International Television and Netflix have found an intriguing actor to play Pablo Escobar, the villain in their new series Narcos. In what amounts to an Elite Squad re-team, director Jose Padilha has set Wagner Moura to play the Medellin Cartel leader. Moura played the police captain who battled corruption in his effort to take down drug dealers in the two Padilha-directed films that were huge hits in Brazil. Now, he’s playing the biggest drug trafficker of his era. As Netflix pushes beyond the U.S. and into Latin America, landing one of Brazil’s biggest stars is a coup.

Related: Netflix Eyes Pablo Escobar Series From Gaumont International TV & José Padilha

GIT is producing one of Netflix’s first original series, Eli Roth’s monster thriller Hemlock Grove, which premieres April 19. The series will chronicle the life and death of Escobar, the ruthless cartel boss and known terrorist who also was a congressman, a family man and revered by the poor as a new Robin Hood. Padilha, is slated to oversee and direct the 13-episode first season, which is eying a 2014 debut on Netflix. It came from an idea by exec producer Eric Newman, who developed it for years with … Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Adds $29.2M For No. 1; ‘Noah’ Reigns In Mexico & Korea With $14M; ‘Peabody & Sherman’ Crosses $100M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Muy Caliente; Asian Pics Advance; More

Highlights: Noah (PAR) floods Mexico and Korea with opening cume of $14M; Muppets Most Wanted (DIS) scores $1.5M in eight debut markets; Need For Speed (DIS/var) drives another $29.2M; 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB) seizes further $21.2M; Mr Peabody & Sherman (FOX) at $103M; Rio 2 (FOX) flies to $10.5M in Russia/Ukraine; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FOX) has extra room for $9.7M; Frozen (DIS) nearing Toy Story 3‘s record; Uni’s 8 Apellidos Vascos (aka Spanish Affairs) still seducing Spain; trio of Asian pics enters Top 20…

cinemaworld6TH UPDATE, MON, 12:43 PM PT: Final numbers are in now for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Monuments Men as well as Ride Along, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Lego Movie (which grossed more than previously thought). Final numbers also came in Monday night for Oscar Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave which added another $3.9M to raise its international cume to $121.7M, most of its gross has come from the U.K. with $32.7M; the film has made $178M worldwide. Lionsgate opened Divergent in 18 international markets, but are not releasing numbers as yet. We are using Rentrak which has five small territories (see below for more info on that). Lionsgate, as they always do, pre-licensed international so there are many distributors handling the film in their prospective territories. The big territory rollout for Divergent will be April 4 in the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Mexico, and Finland, followed April 11 by France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Read More »

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‘Transcendence’ Scores China Day-And-Date Release; Will Open With U.S. On April 18

transcendence posterWally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence will open on April 18 in China, a coveted day-and-date release with the U.S. Warner Bros is distributing in the States. The Johnny Depp sci-fi action drama will be exclusively released in China in 3D and IMAX 3D, a growing trend that recently saw Robocop converted to the format solely for the massive market. Trenscendence will also have a 2D release locally. Day-and-Date is a big deal in China where piracy is rampant; Disney’s Need For Speed opened simultaneously with the U.S. two weeks ago and outperformed the domestic haul in its first weekend. China is now the movie’s biggest market worldwide. Transcendence is the first product of a partnership between Alcon Entertainment and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment to finance, produce, and distribute films (LA-based Straight Up Films is also a producer). DMG has some experience here, having secured a pre-day-and-date release last year for Iron Man 3 — it went out May 1 in China and May 3 in the U.S. and went on to be the No. 2 movie in China for the year with about $125M in box office. The China Transcendence release will follow Depp’s big promotional swing through China beginning March 31 and replete with a series of primetime TV specials to be shown nationwide in the lead up … Read More »

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WME Signs Michael Kenneth Williams

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 4:22pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Michael Kenneth WilliamsEXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Michael Kenneth Williams, better known as Chalky White if you have HBO and are as addicted to Terence Winter’s Boardwalk Empire as I am. Williams, who first made his mark on HBO’s The Wire playing Omar, the elusive man who robbed crack dealers, is currently starring opposite Mark Wahlberg in the Rupert Wyatt-directed remake of The Gambler at Paramount Pictures. He appeared in the Robocop remake as well as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and most recently wrapped Inherent Vice for Paul Thomas Anderson. Williams returns for the fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire this fall. He had been repped at ICM Partners.

Williams continues to be managed by Matt Goldman and Sam Maydew at Silver Lining Entertainment. The other thing to know about Williams is that while Quentin Tarantino chose Jamie Foxx to play the title role in Django Unchained because Jamie’s skill on horseback made him the cowboy Tarantino was looking for, Quentin told me he loved Williams, who presented him with a hard decision.

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Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ No. 1 With $21.8M; ‘Need For Speed’ Crashes; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Only $8M, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again

OPENING: Need For Speed (DIS) no gas for the DreamWorks pic at $18M to $19M+, then $18M and now at $17.8M; Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club (LGF) is one of the worst openings for him to date with about $9.1M to $9.4M, now at $8M; Veronica Mars (WB) strong per-screen to take more than $2M+ for the weekend and did $1.9M; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) expanded to 66 screens with another stellar $55,122 per screen; Frozen (DIS) still in Top 10 after 17 weeks with $396.3M cume.

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5th UPDATE, MONDAY 1:18 PM: Final numbers are in, and the No. 1 picture this weekend was the holdover Fox’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman. which, on a $145M negative (not counting marketing/distrib. costs) is now at $63.7M domestically and $149.3M worldwide. See overseas grosses from Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione’s international box office report. The mystery is solved now, too, as to which film rounded out the Top Ten. It appears that Warner Bros’ Veronica Mars made $1.98M for the 3-day weekend, a step behind Sony’s The Monuments Men with $2M, so it didn’t crack it in its opening weekend. Nevertheless, Rob Thomas‘ film had a tidy per-screen average of $6,833, the highest of any Top 10 player with the exception of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has done phenomenally well from Fox Searchlight in its limited release. mr-peabody-sherman05The Wes Anderson film has taken in almost $25M worldwide so far. It’s per-screen last weekend was a record-breaking $202,000 and now a remarkable $55,122. For more about this picture, expansion plans below and read Deadline’s Brian Brooks’ specialty box office story. 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB/Legendary) showed a lesser percentage dropthe-single-moms-club-movie-wallpaper-18 on Sunday and ended up with $19.2M this weekend to add to its international cume of $159.6M or $238M worldwide in its second week of release. The budget (not counting marketing and distribution costs) is about $110M. Need for Speed, the disappointing DreamWorks offering distributed by Disney, ended up with $17.8M; it didn’t open. Again, worldwide to date, it looks like it has so far made about $63.4M on a $66M negative. Tyler Perry’s Single Mom Club which had a slightly larger Sunday percentage decrease to take in only $8M, giving Wall Street the jitters. NOTEWORTHY: Disney’s Frozen, still in the top 10, will cross $400M domestically this week.

NEXT WEEKEND OPENERS: Divergent (LGF/Summit; wide) Could be a monster; Muppets Most Wanted (Dis; wide) Should do decent business for this family film (yes, very surprisingly, it crosses over to adults — well, at least this one); The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) and Bad Words (Focus) both expand.

Top 20 Chart follows: Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Rise Of An Empire’ Cumes $159.6M; Universal’s Spanish Comedy Breaks Records; ‘Need For Speed’ China Haul Outpaces Domestic; ‘Frozen’ Hot In Japan; More

cinemaworld2ND UPDATE: 12:35 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are starting to roll in for the weekend’s movies. Holdover 300: Rise Of An Empire was slightly up from estimates, taking $41.6M versus $41.3M from 62 markets for an international cume of $159.6M. Russia remains its top territory with $14.6M. Its worldwide chest is now at about $237.7M. Universal released local romantic comedy 8 Apellidos Vascos in Spain to a better-than-estimated $3.93M at 321 dates. The Emilio Martínez Lázaro-directed movie opened No. 1 on Friday and had a mega 105% bump on Saturday. Its previous estimate was $3.8M for the weekend. Putting that in perspective, its opening was 150% bigger than The Hangover and 43% over the studio’s own Ted in 2012. Local movies were strong this weekend with five titles in Rentrak’s Top 18. The biggest was Dany Boon’s Supercondriaque which continued its run in France adding $4.5M for a $35M cume. Also in France, comedy Fiston scored $4.25M for SND. Movie attendance will get a boost this week as the annual Printemps du Cinéma promotion kicked off yesterday and runs through Tuesday; ticket prices are slashed to 3.50 euros ($4.87) for all showings of all films throughout the country. Along with the above, the other local pics to break into the top group were Korea’s Elegant Lies with $3.5M, and Fox International Productions’ El Crimen del Cacaro Gumaro which took $2.2M in Mexico. Liam Neeson actioner Non-Stop, in its … Read More »

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Anxiety On Sony Lot As Layoffs Coming Early Next Week

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 10:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852__131031103916EXCLUSIVE: There is anxiety in Culver City today as word gets around on the Sony lot that significant layoffs are coming as soon as Monday. “You wouldn’t be wrong to describe it as a high state of panic over here,” said one. I will disclose the layoff specifics when I learn them, but it’s not a surprise that this is happening; it was considered an eventuality when Sony hired Bain & Company to figure out a way to cut $100 million in operating costs across movies, TV and the music operations. Staffers from that consulting company have made their presence felt on the lot. This attempt to run more efficiently came out of the discussions lynton100that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton had with Kazuo Hirai after minority shareholder Daniel Loeb ragged on the studio after a string of flop films that included After Earth and White House Down. My sources expect the pain to be spread around, but there will be more corporate cuts than in the creative ranks. It is considered more a course correction than anything.

Of those executives leaving this month at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment,  Matt Brown, executive VP of worldwide commercial is retiring effective March 31.  In December it was announced that David Bishop, president of the Home Entertainment division, was also departing this month after his contract wasn’t renewed.

Related: … Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Lifts To $88.8M; ‘Non-Stop’ Passes $100M Worldwide; More

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:09 PM PT: Updated numbers for Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and Pompeii have been added below. 12 Years a Slaves cume internationally is now $104.5M and its worldwide total stands at $157.6M.

5TH UPDATE, MONDAY 12:20 PM PT: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire is now tracking up 11% over the original 300 internationally. Revised numbers have just come in from Warner which says the movie took $88.8M in 58 markets. Some of the major territories were slightly down, but the overall cume was up. The Lego Movie was slightly lower than predicted at $9.6M on 5,585 screens, however the overall overseas cume is $135.4M, a small bolt off the originally estimated $135.6M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added a confirmed $7.5M internationally — down from the estimated $8M — and with $679.7M total; again, a breath away from the previously reported cume of $680M. As ever, numbers are updated in the territory sections below, with more to come as they roll in. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Mr. Peabody’ Chases In $32.2M; ‘Son Of God’ Falls 59% In Second Weekend, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Per Screen Stuns With Over $202K

OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M and ended on the high end; Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) $29M to $31M and made $32.5M; Son of God (FOX) dropped 61% in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY:  Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. The Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal, record-breaking per screen for a live-action film of $192,250 and might climb to $200,000.

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5TH UPDATE, MONDAY, 1: 30 PM: The final numbers are in with The Grand Budapest Hotel pulling in $811,000 for Fox Searchlight to take in a per-screen average of $202K+ on four screens. High end of yesterday’s estimate. Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire was on the money with yesterday’s cume and Mr. Peabody And Sherman‘s numbers were almost in line with yesterday’s while the ten spot was finally figured out … it went to Ride Along, not RoboCop but only by a hair. We are keeping in yesterday’s chart below for comparisons for those of you who want to see the differences (i.e. Son Of God down 59% instead of 61%, so Sunday’s numbers were slightly better than expected).

Next weekend’s openers are Disney’s Need For Speed, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club going wide and in limited release will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, Warner Bros’ Vernonica Mars (also on VOD), and The Weinstein Company’s One Chance. Here is the Top 20:

1). 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / 3-day cume: $45M / Per screen: $13,006 / Wk 1

2). Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / 3-day cume: $32.2M / Per screen: $8,187 / Wk 1

3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / 3-day cume: $15.8M (-45%) / Per screen: $5,085 / Total cume: $52.5M / Wk 2

4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / 3-day cume: $10.9M (-48%) / Per screen: $3,317 / Total cume: 224.8M / Wk 5

5). Son Of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / 3-day cume: $10.3M (-59%) / Per screen: $3,173 / Total cume: $41.8M / Wk 2

6). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / 3-day cume: $3M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,537/ Total cume: $70.5M / Wk 5

7). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / 3-day cume: $3M (-39%) / Per screen: $1,282 / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk  3

8). Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / 3-day cume: $2.9M (-19%) / Per screen: $1,780 / Total cume: $392.9M / Wk 16

9). 12 Years A Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 3-day cume: $2.1M (+116%) / Per screen: $1,982 / Total cume: $53M / Wk 21

10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) /3-day cume: $2,024M (-33%) / Per screen: $1,530 / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8

Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Has No. 1 Japan Opening; ‘Lego’ Builds to $121M Overseas; ‘Frozen’ Crossing $1B Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Takes $20.5M In China; More

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, 9 PM: Final numbers are in for The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Pompeii and this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. All have been updated below. Slave grossed another $7M over the weekend in 55 markets to bring its total international cume to $89.93M and its worldwide to $140.5M. Its top grossing market is the UK, followed by France and Spain where it had a terrific jump of 56% at the box office. It also had a nice 20% bump in Australia. It will open in Japan on Friday, the first territory to open since winning the Oscar. The other big winner at the Oscars with 7 statues, Gravity is still playing to bring its international cume up to $436.9M for a worldwide total of $707.3M. The breakdown of grosses territory by territory are below.

5th UPDATE, Monday 12:33 PM: Ride Along numbers have been updated as have some of grosses of  The Wolf Of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Dallas Buyers Club, which won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar is currently in its Latin American run and film has a cume of $1.16M in 10 markets, grossing $354K on 221 screens. It only has one more territory in Latin America to open before it completes its international run and to date has a worldwide total of about $32M on a $5M budget shot over only 23 days. Interesting to note also that Universal’s 47 Ronin is still playing in 23 territories for a total cume to date of $107.4M with four more territories to open over the next couple of months, including Italy and France.
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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Non-Stop’ And Powerful ‘Son Of God’ Fly Past ‘Lego’ On Wings And A Prayer; ‘Lego’ Passes $200M, ‘Frozen’ Passes $1 Billion

OPENING: Non-Stop (UNI) the Liam Neeson airplane suspense thriller looks to take No. 1 with a new $28.5M to $30M estimate on Sunday and a final of $28.8M; Son Of God (FOX) a blessing from $23.5M to $25M now expected at $25M+ to $29M for No. 2 with a final of $25.6M; NOTEWORTHY: Expanding is The Wind Rises (DIS) to take a nice $1.5M for the three-day. Sony released the Russian hit Stalingrad in 3-D on 308 IMAX screens this weekend. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (PAR) in re-release grossed another $1.3M to raise its cume to $126.5M.

Box office3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 1:15 PM: The final numbers are in and Non-Stop ended up with $28.8M for Universal who had it estimated higher this weekend. Son Of God took in $25.6M in its debut for Fox. There were some changes in positions when the dust cleared today, with Relativity’s 3 Days To Kill displacing The Monuments Men for the four spot, but  No. 3 was solidly with The Lego Movie which has grossed $20.8M for a whopping $209M in only four weeks for Warner Bros.

Next weekend, audiences will see new releases of Warner Bros.’ 300: Rise Of An Empire which will start on 8 PM showings Thursday night and the animated family film from Fox, Mr. Peabody And Sherman. When I went to see Frozen and the trailer for Peabody  ran prior to, the kids around me were already repeating the film’s lines and laughing aloud. The family film has already bowed overseas and has grossed around $38.6M, according to Fox’s most recent numbers today.

Non-Stop (2014) -- Screengrab from exclusive EW.com clip.1). Non-Stop (UNI) 3,090 theaters / 3-day cume: $28.8M / Per screen average: $9,345 / Wk 1

2). Son Of God (FOX) 3,260 theaters / 3-day cume: $25.6M / Per screen: $7,853 / Wk 1

3). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,770 theaters (-120) / 3-day cume: $20.8M (-33%) / Per screen: $5,525 / Total cume: $209.1M / Wk 4

4). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,872 theaters (0) / $3-day cume: $4.9M (-60%) / Per screen: $1,724 / Total Cume: $20.7M / Wk 2

5). The Monuments Men (SONY) 3,002 theaters (-62) / 3-day cume: $4.9M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,646 / Total cume: $65.6M / Wk 4

6). RoboCop (SONY/MGM) 2,885 theaters (-487) / 3-day cume: $4.5M (-54%) / Per screen: $1,563 / Total cume: $51.2M / Wk 3

7). Pompeii (SONY) 2,658 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $4.3M (-58%) / Per screen: $1,630 / Total cume: $17.7M / Wk 2

8). Frozen (DIS), 1,746 theaters (-145) / 3-day cume: $3.6M (-18%) / Per screen: $2,080 / Total cume: $388.7M / Wk 15

9). About Last Night (SONY), 1,804 theaters (-449) / 3-day cume: $3.3M (-55%) / Per screen: $1,875 / Total cume: $43.7M / Wk 3

10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,869  theaters (-321) / 3-day cume: $3M (-34%) / Per screen: $1,625 / Total cume: $127.1M / Wk 7

NOTEWORTHY

The Wind Rises (DIS) 496 theaters / 3-daycume: $1.5M / Per screen $3,059 / Total cume: $1.9M / Wk 2

Stalingrad (SONY) 308 theaters (3D) / 3-day cume: $510K / Per screen average: $1,659 / Wk 1

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues  (PAR) 1,317 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.3M / Per screen: $1,032 / Total cume: $126.5 / re-release

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Deadline’s Oscars Blog: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Gravity’ And Boredom Reign Supreme

By and | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

Oscars Live Blog
Here we are again after the Golden Globes,  Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions

That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetThen there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.

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Specialty Box Office: SPC’s ‘The Lunchbox’ Solid Newcomer As Oscar Hopefuls Continue Their Reign

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:40am PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)All attention is on the Oscars (and Spirits) this weekend, but a couple new specialty releases managed to gain some sparkle as they rolled out in limited release. Sony Pictures Classics’ Cannes debut The Lunchbox from India reigned over a half-dozen newcomers that rolled out Friday. e LunchboxThe feature from the subcontinent (and not a “usual Bollywood” film) found traction to the tune of $51K-plus in an NYC & LA platform release for a solid $17,108 average, while Cinedigm’s Bag Man also bowed decently, grossing over $28K for a $14,245 average.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Non-Stop,’ And Powerful ‘Son Of God’ Fly Past ‘Lego’ On Wings And A Prayer; ‘Lego’ Passes $200M, ‘Frozen’ To Pass $1 Billion

“It’s one of those engaging foreign films that has a potential to cross over [audiences],” SPC’s Michael Barker said about the film this week. “It’s culturally Indian, however the story crosses all borders.” Barker said the film will head to up to a dozen markets the following week, eventually playing the top 50 markets within five weeks of this weekend’s initial rollout.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

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Aimee Garcia Cast In CBS Pilot ‘Red Zone’; Billy Brown In ABC’s ‘How To Get Away’

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

garciaDexter alumna Aimee Garcia has joined the CBS drama pilot Red Zone, written by Nikki Toscano and directed by James Foley. Also cast in the Uni TV project is Shanley Caswell (The Conjuring). It centers on retired CIA operative Holden Weller who, when a terrorist event rocks Washington, D.C., is pulled back into action, forced to investigate caswellcloser to home where the next generation of terrorists is being bred. Garcia, repped by Mosaic, Paradigm and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play Vera Bradley, a whip-smart, driven and impatient case officer with the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism department. She can be seen in RoboCop. Caswell, repped by Semler Entertainment, APA and Bruce Gellman, will play Holden’s daughter, a cute but slightly awkward teenager with a lively interest in world affairs.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

billybrown Hostages co-star Billy Brown has been cast in ABC drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, written by Pete Nowalk and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor, Annalise DeWitt (Davis), who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock the university and change the course of their lives. Brown, repped by APA and Benderspink, will play Nate, a respected police detective who is having an affair with Annalise … Read More »

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UPDATE: Warner Bros’ Next Whitey Bulger Move: Ease Rift With Ben Affleck And Matt Damon

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 12:04 PM: By damon_affleckWarner Bros jumping aboard the high-profile Johnny Depp-Joel Edgerton pic Black Mass, it means the studio won’t be taking on another Whitey Bulger project in its own backyard: the one that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had been developing for a couple of years as a starring vehicle for Damon via their Warners-based Pearl Street Films. I’m hearing that Affleck and Damon were given a day or two advance notice that the studio was putting its eggs in the Black Mass basket, but that news came just a day before the latest rewrite was turned in by Aaron Stockard, who worked with Affleck on The Town and Gone Baby Gone and who rewrote the script by Oscar nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter. There was much enthusiasm, then radio silence, and then…Naturally there are bruised feelings that Warners will have to repair with two of its most valuable players, as this was the first project pitched for Affleck to direct and Damon to star after Pearl Street inked its overall deal there, and I’m told the studio assured the pair it wanted to make their movie.

warnerbrosThis is all a part of the big rough and tumble game of studios needing to fill slates, and clearly someone was going to come out first with a Bulger biopic. But there are plenty of reasons to smooth any ruffles here. Affleck is directing and starring in Warner Bros’ Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. It’s the follow-up to the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo he made for the studio. He also is playing Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman Vs. Superman. Read More »

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China Bans Nine Cinemas From Screening New Films Amid Fraudulent Box Office Reporting

By | Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:36 UK

chinaflag2__130403012941Making good on a promise to get tough with exhibitors who manipulate box office figures, Chinese authorities have banned nine movie theaters from screening new films. The state-controlled Xinhua news agency says cinemas in such areas as Shandong Province and northern Shanxi have been found reporting fake numbers to the government, selling hand-written tickets (or none at all) or interfering with official box office inspections. The news was issued in a statement from the China Film Producers Association and the China Film Distribution and Screening Association, two semi-official bodies that fall under the purview of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The suspensions are a reaction to what’s believed to be a long-held industry practice of hiding income from the government which takes a 3% value-added tax on revenues as well as a 5% film fund tax. Increased scrutiny should be welcome news to Hollywood studios who are entitled to a 25% revenue share with exhibitors. China’s reported box office in 2013 was $3.6B, but industry experts believe the real figure is at least 10% higher.

Related: China To Crack Down On Fraudulent Box Office Reporting With New Ticketing System

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UPDATE: Int’l Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ Builds $93.5M Overseas; ‘Desolation Of Smaug’ Sets Records In China; ‘Frozen’ Hits $980M Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Big In Brazil; More

cinemaworld3rd 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 legosince 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 »

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