UPDATED: Richard Cabral and Johnny Ortiz have joined the ensemble cast of John Ridley’s American Crime pilot for ABC Studios. The ABC project centers on the home invasion and murder of a young war veteran and his beauty queen wife in Modesto, CA. APA-repped Cabral will play Hector Tonz, a hustler and occasional drug dealer who is implicated in the murder and attack of the young couple. Ortiz will play Tony Gutierrez, Alonzo’s son who is eager for independence and sick of his dad’s rules.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
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Michael Wilkinson, who is nominated for Best Costume Design Oscar for Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle , began working with costumes on theater productions in Sydney when he was 17. After dabbling behind the scenes on several productions, his interest as a costume designer took hold and he eventually found himself working with director Jim Sharman (best known to American audiences for directing/co-writing The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Together they worked on such theater productions as Jean Genet’s Splendid and The Tempest at the Sydney Opera House. It was the opening night of The Tempest when the director gave him a book about Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, who had worked with such legendary directors as Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli and was nominated for an Oscar in 1972 for his work on director Luchino Visconti’s Death In Venice. “He showed me that costume design is an art form,” said Wilkinson. The Italian master used texture, fabric and design to wrap the essence of the character around an audience, whether it be working-class people or those of the social elite. And Tosi’s artistry in that kind of diversity inspired Wilkinson.
Related: SAG Awards Film: ‘American Hustle’ Gets A Big Boost, But Will These First Guild Results Impress Oscar?
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The company says that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire helped it to generate record profit margins in the last three months of 2013, its fiscal Q3. The basic numbers look strong with net income of $88.8M, +134.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $839.9M, +13%. The top line exceeded forecasts for $834M. And diluted earnings at 59 cents a share were well ahead of the consensus prediction of 44 cents. Motion Picture segment revenues were +12% to $757.6M as theatrical revenue increased 44% to $277.6M, a quarterly record. But home entertainment slipped 13.9% to $200.7M as the company had just three releases at the end of 2013 vs six the previous year. TV licensing for the Motion Picture unit increased 7% to $105.8M with titles including the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn –Part 2, Snitch, and Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor. And licensing deals with streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu helped filmed entertainment library revenues to rise 10% $148.6M. The Television Production business also did well with shows including Anger Management, Nashville, and Orange Is The New Black, with revenues +17% to $82.3M. “We will continue to invest in content and embrace innovative models for licensing that content to digital and traditional platforms alike in order to build on this performance and create additional long-term value for our shareholders,” CEO Jon Feltheimer says.
Toni Trucks (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) has been tapped for a regular role on TNT’s legal dramedy Franklin & Bash. Trucks will play Anita Herrera, the new recruit Attorney for the Franklin & Bash offices, a tough, smart and attractive Georgetown lawyer with a great sense of humor who can hold her own with the big boys. Trucks appeared as a recurring on CBS’ Hostages and next will be seen in Disney’s Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. She is repped by Greene & Associates and Rugolo Entertainment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Larry Galper has joined Gotham/Principal as a manager, leaving CAA‘s motion picture talent department where he has worked as an agent for the past six years. Galper’s hire marks the first joint hire since the two management companies — The Gotham Group and Principal Entertainment — merged last year. At CAA, some of Galper’s clients included Maggie Q, Olivia Thirlby, Ashley Greene, Dave Franco, Djimon Hounsou, Donald Sutherland, and Jamie Campbell Bower; Bower (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) has already made the move with Galper to G/P. Other clients are expected to follow as Gotham is repped by CAA.
Galper started at CAA in 2004. While at the agency, he worked with top Asia talent, including Lee Byung Hun, Daniel Wu, director Zhang Yimou, and Tadanobu Asano — a venerable niche. Asano is following him to G/P so far. Primarily a talent agent, Galper also worked closely with writers Dan Mazer (Ali G, Bruno, Borat), Tom Kapinos (Californication), and filmmaker Patty Jenkins. At G/P, Galper will continue to represent both talent and lit clients. Read More »
UPDATE: TUESDAY PM: Welcome to Deadline’s first dedicated international box office round-up, with me as your host. After last night’s snapshot (below), here’s a look at the past weekend and an overview of what’s going on at the turnstiles in various overseas territories. Feedback, as always, is appreciated:
Internationally, this weekend was down on the comparable frame last year when films like Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 were in the mix. The top 10 titles this weekend saw a drop to about $118M from the Thanksgiving period that scored abroad with $182.7M, according to industry data. The actual holiday isn’t a factor overseas, but it does bring big movies to market. Overall, some European territories are off – to varying degrees – versus the first 11 months of 2012, while Latin America and Asia remain hot spots. This weekend’s big pictures overseas continued to be Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which added $42.9M for a $340.6M cume and Disney’s animated Frozen which added an estimated $30.6M for an international total of $55.9M.
The place that’s highest on execs’ minds is China where “we’re all looking forward to a boom,” one tells me. Catching Fire and Warner Bros’ Gravity are still playing on the Mainland with respective cumes of $26.8M and $63.7M. But both films will taper off as the local industry ramps up a series of homegrown movies for the remainder of December. With quotas filled for 2013, Hollywood will wait until 2014 for the next debut which will be Universal’s Despicable Me 2 on January 10th. As the Chinese box office rolls along on its way to a potential $3.5B tally for 2013, the current top film is local 2D action-road trip pic No Man’s Land. Co-produced by DMG, it opened at No. 1 on December 3rd and won the week with $23.7M through Monday. It came just ahead of another local hit, The Four 2. The rest of the year will see a big push for local films as the territory continues an aim to up its local market share, which is currently at 55%.
Elsewhere in Asia, romantic comedy About Time had a strong No. 1 opening in Korea this weekend with $4M at 289 dates and 28% of the market. Director Richard Curtis has said this would be the last film he helms. It comes squarely 10 years after the movie he’s perhaps most associated with directing, Love Actually. About Time’s opening in Korea is double what that film did there. The low-budget time travel romcom with Rachel McAdams, Domnhall Gleeson and Bill Nighy has had pretty significant legs for Universal. It was first released in the UK in September and now has a cume of $48.3M. Summit’s Escape Plan – the actioner that teams Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – has now muscled its way into 41 international markets, adding Korea this weekend for $925K and a No. 5 slot on 287 screens. Its international total is now $95.9M out of a worldwide gross of $120.5M. This was a slow weekend for local films in Korea despite the territory’s overall strength. Its box office growth in the first 11 months of the year is understood to be at about 7.6% and I’m told the homegrown market share could top out at 60%. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter behind the multi-billion dollar Twilight franchise, has sealed a deal to redraft an untitled female actioner from a comedy to a fast-paced female-ensemble spy pic at Summit Entertainment for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Benderspink executive producing.
It’s always nice to see projects with a strong female leads written by a strong woman.
The project has gone through previous incarnations with a screenplay originally penned by Douglas S. Cook and David Weisberg (The Rock, Double Jeopardy) under the working title Blank Slate with a re-write by Erich and John Hoeber (Red) under the title The Kiss Off.
The story, now untitled, is now taking a turn away from what was going to be a comedy and gearing more the pic towards a female-centric actioner in the line with Salt, also produced by the team of di Bonaventura and Vahradian. It will focus on a group of female spies.
Given her track record, this is Rosenberg’s baliwick. And having worked myself with former CIA operatives through the Association of the Recovery of Children, I can tell you, the former females spies are just as tough … and definitely more wily … than the guys. Read More »
6TH UPDATE: The staggering grosses turned in this weekend by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen, and the collective strong box office that will likely result in a record five-day Thanksgiving weekend come along at a fortuitous time for the movie business. Why? Because fear has ruled the roost lately, and these numbers on a diversity of mostly smart films shows clearly that if you give an audience a story well told, they will show up.
The performance of Catching Fire and Frozen are all the more remarkable if you consider that both of these films are squarely driven by female heroines. Conventional wisdom is that the marketplace could never support more than one female-driven film, because while gals will see guy movies, it doesn’t work the other way. Well, it worked big time — both films crushed the 5-day Thanksgiving domestic gross record – and it happened shortly after another female driven film, Gravity, crossed the $600 million mark in global gross this weekend. That movie would not have been made if not for a maverick advocate and you could make the same argument for a drama about Somali pirates, Captain Phillips, which has passed the $100 million mark domestically and will crack $200 million worldwide on a $55 million budget. You can look at The Best Man Holiday and Last Vegas (CBS Films’ biggest grossing film ever) and find similarly encouraging signs; good movies made for a price, finding crossover audiences.
This is important, coming just on the heels of that Sony investors meeting held on the Culver City lot. It was a powwow that on the surface seemed to be a capitulation to cranky shareholders like Daniel Loeb, who, as George Clooney said, whined about two summer flops but betrayed a complete lack of understanding of how the movie business works. This weekend was a good reminder that, few legal businesses are capable of creating cash as quickly as blockbusters do. The people who make those bets are like shrewd riverboat gamblers, and if the current climate makes them fearful, they will not make good films. They are only good if they’ve got swagger and cockiness, and it would be nice to imagine a weekend like this serves as a reminder of what happens when smart risks are taken and good movies are the result.
Related: George Clooney To Hedge Fund Honcho Daniel Loeb: Stop Spreading Fear At Sony
When Sony responded to Loeb’s criticism by announcing plans to shed $100 million in overhead and trimming back its film slates to instead put more chips on TV projects, some in town wondered if Japan was planning to sell its showbiz division. Nonsense, say insiders I trust. Read More »
It’s a November to remember for the nation’s biggest online seller of movie tickets. Fandango said today that this has been the biggest sales month in its 13-year history — 12% better than its previous best set in November 2012. Mobile ticketing was a major factor in the monthly haul as the company’s mobile site and apps making up 42% of tickets sold. Fandango this month has seen a 30% increase in mobile ticket sales year-over-year and 13% jump in monthly visits to the mobile site and apps. The company said sales were led by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World, Frozen, and The Best Man Holiday. The biggest drivers in November 2012 included The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Wreck-It Ralph, Skyfall, Lincoln, and Life of Pi.
Related: Fandango Acquires Movie Promotions Rival Quantum Rewards
Christopher Nolan has gotten underway on his latest directing effort, the ambitious Interstellar. I’m not big on start of production announcements–we’ve written much about the movie while it was being assembled–but it’s Nolan and here is how the cast stacked up and how he’ll shoot it:
Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom, Inc., and Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that principal photography on “INTERSTELLAR” is officially underway in Alberta, Canada. The film will be released in IMAX® and 35mm theaters on November 7, 2014. Paramount Pictures will distribute domestically, Warner Bros. Pictures internationally.
Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy), the production will travel the globe and utilize a mixture of 35mm anamorphic and IMAX film photography to bring to the screen a script based on the combination of an original idea by Nolan and an existing script by Jonathan Nolan, originally developed for Paramount Pictures and producer Lynda Obst. The new script chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
“INTERSTELLAR” features a prestigious cast that includes Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike,” “Mud”), Academy Award® winner Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables,” “The Dark Knight Rises”), Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Tree of Life”), Bill Irwin (“Rachel Getting Married,” TV’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) Academy Award® nominee John Lithgow (“Terms of Endearment,” “Rise of the Planet of the
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Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer reaped the benefit from a year when his company cashed in on hits including The Hunger Games and the Twilight saga: His compensation rose 95.3% to $12.6M according to the company proxy out today. (The package: $1.3M salary, $6M bonus, $3.6M stock awards, $1.5M non-equity incentives, and $184,535 in other compensation.) But it seemed to pale next to the take for Vice Chairman Michael Burns, who had to report four years worth of option awards valued at $14M. With that included, he ended up with $28.2M, +406%. (The package: $970,962 salary, $4M bonus, $7.9M stock awards, $14M option awards, $1.3M non-equity incentives, and $33,484 other.) Lionsgate shares appreciated 70.8% in the fiscal year that ended in March. In making the awards, the board says it took into account the executives’ roles in integrating Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment; the increase in the stock price; sales of TV shows including Anger Management and Nashville; the early repayment of the Summit Entertainment term loan; and the performance of Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Lionsgate will hold its annual shareholders meeting September 10 in Toronto.
Comic-Con has released Day 1 of its 2013 schedule. As usual, the convention is releasing its schedule one day at a time. Stay tuned for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedules later this week.
Opening-day highlights abound, including a 10th anniversary tribute to The Walking Dead comic with writer Robert Kirkman, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone discussing their upcoming video game South Park: The Stick of Truth, and a panel titled Video Games to Movies: Is The Golden Age Upon Us?
There’s lots of TV in the Thursday spotlight, including sessions dedicated to such shows as Dexter, Sherlock — sans stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman — the 35th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica and Annoying Orange. Among the dozens of panels are several geared toward making it in the business, including Marvel: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way, The Secrets of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Writer’s Journey: Breaking Into Hollywood and Comic Scriptwriting, Breaking Into Comics and Staying In, and Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101. There also are programs on such potentially intriguing topics as Toys 101: An Evolution of the Modern Action Figure, The Legendary Animators of Classic ’60s Cartoons, Video Gaming: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We’re Going, and – especially — Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry in a Zombie Apocalypse.
See the complete opening-day rundown after the jump:
Comic-Con: Marvel, Sony To Present Tentpole Sequels
Comic-Con: AMC, New Showrunner To Preview ‘Walking Dead’ Season 4
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A British secret agent, an unlikely pair of friends and a kidnapped ex-CIA operative helped boost admissions for European Union films across Europe by 12% in 2012. Despite a drop in overall attendance, market share for Euro films jumped to 33.6%, the highest level of the 2000s so far. The European Audiovisual Observatory said today that Skyfall, a majority UK co-production, was the biggest draw with 44.38M admissions across the Union. It was followed by two French films: The Intouchables at 24.07M and Taken 2 at 10.43M. Receipts hit a record high of 6.47B euros ($8.47B) reflecting hikes in ticket prices and the increase in 3D movies. Admissions for U.S. films were up slightly to 62.8% but were still far off the 68.4% achieved in 2010. The top three Hollywood performers were Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Read More »
The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook and leading duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper came up big at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, nabbing Best Female Performance, Best Male Performance, and Best Kiss at the annual fan-driven ceremony. Marvel’s The Avengers took home three awards including Movie Of The Year, while host Rebel Wilson and her breakout summer pic Pitch Perfect also garnered kudos. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner of Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 snagged a win out of the film’s lone nomination: Best Shirtless Performance. Here’s the full list of winners, highlighted in bold:
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ABC has firmed up the bulk of its summer lineup, which will feature three original scripted series — Canadian crime imports Motive and returning Rookie Blue as well as homemade soap Mistresses. That is more than the 1-2 scripted originals each of the broadcast networks has offered in the last couple of summers. Motive, from The Mentalist‘s Daniel Cerone, is getting a boost with a special premiere after the Dancing With The Stars The Results Show finale on May 21 before the thriller drama moves into the high-profile Thursday 9 PM slot, leading to Rookie Blue. Also joining ABC’s summer schedule is Whodunnit?, a new mystery reality competition show from CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, which will air in the Sunday 9 PM slot as the network is resting its serialized dramas that traditionally don’t repeat well — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Revenge. Also set to take a break are Castle, replaced for some of the summer by Mistresses, whose previously announced premiere is being pushed by a week, and Once Upon A Time, by Celebrity Wife Swap. Other returning unscripted series this summer include The Bachelorette, Wipeout, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and What Would You Do? There are still a couple of holes on ABC’s summer schedule which are expected to be filled soon. Here are ABC’s summer premiere dates: Read More »
Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted lead the 2013 MTV Movie Awards nominations with seven each. Silver Linings Playbook follows with six nods and the final installment in the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, nabbed five. The Avengers, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Pitch Perfect and Skyfall all have four noms each. Rebel Wilson, nominated for Best Female Performance and Breakthrough Performance for her role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect, hosts the annual celebration of movies, actors and music. She’ll be joined by Will Ferrell, who’ll receive MTV’s inaugural Comedic Genius Award. The show airs live on MTV at 9 PM ET on Sunday, April 14. The complete list of nominees follows:
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The Street expected upbeat news about the year-end quarter that included the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. But not this good: Lionsgate generated $37.8M in net income in the last three months of 2012, up from a $1.4M loss in the period the previous year, on revenues of $743.6M, +130.2%. Revenues far exceeded expectations for $707M. Reported earnings, at 28 cents a share, beat forecasts for 16 cents. And that number is deceptively low: It includes a $14.7M one-time expense from Lionsgate’s payoff of debt from its purchase of Summit Entertainment. Take that out, and earnings would have come to 39 cents a share. The company’s revenues from motion pictures came to $673.5M, +189% — including theatrical sales of $192.9M, up from $8.4M at the end of 2011. Home entertainment sales for movies and TV were up 23% to $233.0M. And television revenue was up fourfold to $98.8M. But television production revenue fell 22% to $70.1M: Lionsgate says that overseas sales of Anger Management, Mad Men (seasons three, four, and five) and Weeds (Season 8) were offset by “declines in domestic series licensing due to timing.” Lionsgate owns 51% of TV Guide Network and reports in its SEC filing that the cable channel lost $19M in the quarter, down from last year’s $11.9M loss, on revenues of $21M, -17%. The company also owns 31.1% of EPIX and says that the channel generated nearly $17M in net income, -6.2%, on revenues of $83.2M, +4.3%. Read More »