The death of Robert Halmi Sr., the vastly respected producer of ambitious and Emmy-winning TV projects who led a very full life over 90 years, stirred plenty of comment and reaction on social media and beyond. Below is a sampling of reactions from some of the industry’s notables, including producer Gale Anne Hurd‘s (The Walking Dead) simple homage of two hashtags. Read More »
Zooey Deschanel just tweeted this photo from the set of Bill Murray-starrer, Barry Levinson-directed Rock The Kasbah. Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Scott Caan and Danny McBride also star in the pic about a a down-on-his-luck rock manager who takes his last remaining client on a USO tour of Afghanistan. After finding himself abandoned in Kabul, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young village girl with an extraordinary voice and manages her through Afghanistan’s version of American Idol, the wildly popular Afghan Star. Do you recognize these dudes?
So which films and TV shows got the biggest bump to their social-media accounts during Comic-Con? The Deadline Team already has delivered its verdict on Comic-Con’s big winners (and yawners) overall. And it’s a challenge to be definitive with social media given the dozens of participating properties and connected stars, behind-the-camera notables, superfans and the like.
That said, social-media consulting firm RelishMIX spotted five entertainment properties that hit social-media home runs over the long weekend, led by massively popular Comic-Con videos for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mad Max: Fury Road. The Simpsons and Family Guy jointly scored well too, according to RelishMIX’s compilation of who added the most followers/likes/views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to their official and related accounts (see chart below).
HBO’s Thrones, already a social-media monster, commanded a truly royal 8.3 million views of its Comic-Con YouTube videos, led by a Season 4 blooper reel that RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen called a “super video,” with nearly 7.4 million views since it posted just four days ago.
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Social-media service Twitter saw its shares fly skyward, jumping as high as 31 percent in after-hours trading after it reported much better earnings and continued user growth. The shares closed on the NYSE up 66 cents for the day, or about 1.7 percent, at $38.59 a share. Within less than two hours of post-market trading, however, the shares had hit as high as $49.99, a jump of more than $11, or 29.5 percent, just since the market close.
The big rise was fueled by Twitter’s better-than-expected earnings, up more than double for the quarter, and signs that its efforts to attract and keep new users were paying off. Revenues for Q2 hit $312.2M, way up from a year ago’s $139.3M, and also well above its own guidance of $270M to $280M. The company remains unprofitable, however, with losses widening to $144.6 million, up from $42.2 million the previous year, though that included costs such as stock-based compensation. Minus those expenses, the company logged a profit of 2 cents a share, way up from last year’s loss of 12 cents a share.
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Two days after its panel at Comic-Con, ABC’s Once Upon A Time unveiled two more actors joining the series for its Frozen-themed storyline. Veteran character actor John Rhys-Davies, known for roles in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, will voice Pabbie the Troll King, and Tyler Jacob Moore (Shameless, GCB) will play the scheming Prince Hans. OUAT producer Adam Horowitz tweeted the news of both castings today. At the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, the crowd was shown a clip of OUAT’s new season with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. The ensemble fantasy series returns for Season 4 on September 28.
3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.
One notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.
Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood. Read More »
5th UPDATE, Monday 12:30 PM: Lt. Marshall White, who is in charge of special events for the San Diego Police Department, has shed new light on Saturday’s incident, saying that while there were people dressed as zombies in the intersection where the woman was hit, they were not part of the initial group of ZombieWalkers, which were about four to six blocks ahead of that intersection at the time. The Walk has gone on for seven years previously without incident. This was the 8th year.
The October ZombieWalk that was to take place in the same place in San Diego is now cancelled, according to the group’s FB page, and Lt. White said the organizers told him that they would not be holding a ZombieWalk next year at Comic-Con but would plan a different event instead. That has not yet been addressed on their FB page, and we are awaiting a confirmation from the organizers now, but it appears that no official decision will be made until the investigation is completed. A 64-year-old woman was seriously injured in the incident as a deaf man with his family (also all deaf), drove forward, hitting the woman as they tried to drive through the congested intersection.
Deadline was told by ZombieWalk’s FB page administrator: “No ZombieWalkers were directly involved in the incident, except to help her. We are not making any statements or decisions until the investigation is complete.”
ZombieWalk organizers did not have a permit, but according to White, they didn’t need one because it was a small group that was about one block long and they obeyed traffic signals. Those instructions also were given to the crowd by organizers before the walkers left the park. According to the ZombieWalk FB page, 849 people had RSVP’d; the organizers also posted in advance safety guidelines for the walk, which included warnings “do not block foot or auto traffic.” 849 people is quite a crowd for an intersection, but White said the group wasn’t that large. “I don’t believe that there were that many people dressed as zombies as part of the walk. That’s my observation.”
He added: “I did hear an organizer on the bullhorn saying that everyone was to obey traffic laws and listen to all instructions from police. So that particular intersection at the time of the incident had people dressed as zombies, but they were not part of that walk. It was just on the path where they walked. It may have been part of the residual crowd.”
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NBC said today he will return to the network as the final comic mentor on Last Comic Standing on Thursday at 10 PM. In the episode, the final five comics are flown to meet surprise guest Leno in Las Vegas and ask him questions about stand-up comedy. He answers, shares personal stories and anecdotes and gives advice before the next stand-up routines that whittle the contestants to four. The season finale is August 14.
Jay Leno has kept himself busy since departing as longtime host of The Tonight Show in February, from hosting his car show Jay Leno’s Garage (it was nominated for an Emmy) to surprising Arsenio Hall to announce (prematurely, it turned out) that The Arsenio Hall Show had been renewed, He also was inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame in March, and the next month he had a street named for him on the Universal lot.
SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses possible plot directions and future of Sons of Anarchy.
Sons Of Anarchy may be starting its final season this fall, but tales about the world shown in the FX drama are not over. “We are having serious conversations about our prequel,” said SOA creator Kurt Sutter to loud applause today at Comic-Con. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a mini-series.” While this is far from the first time the showrunner has talked about going back to the show’s roots, it had special significance Sunday in the massive Hall H for what is expected to be SOA’s last of many SDCC appearances.
“There’ll be no spinoffs,” added Sutter. “I think spinoffs work well on procedural dramas, which this clearly is not.” The SOA story will also continue in Bratva, the show’s first novelization. The upcoming book, whose cover art Sutter showed the audience, picks up after Season 4.
The often acerbic Sutter teared up when other show principals thanked him for creating the series and for the experience of working on it. “Sit the f*** down,” Sutter told the cast and the thousands in the hall when they gave him a standing ovation. “I got an image.”
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Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.
Bart: You’ve been hanging at the epicenter of pitchdom all week at San Diego Comic-Con so you have watched the masters at work (also the loser geeks). But my thoughts this week were focused on a different generation of marketing mavens — those of Jeff Blake’s generation. Blake was “let go” this week after serving as Sony’s king of marketing and distribution for a couple of decades. Another of his generation, Dan Fellman of Warners, also is set for the sidelines. These were not the Comic-Con types — they were thoughtful pros who knew how to set strategy, pick dates — and tactfully tell filmmakers when their movies were dead on arrival. They didn’t bulls*** about social marketing like their young cohorts. One studio chief told me recently that all social marketing represents is a road map for spending less money while still failing to find an audience. The Comic-Con-crowd would likely disagree.
Fleming: This is the movie business in Moneyball mode. We are seeing a profound change of the studio guard as they figure out how to tap a completely new generation that’s easily distracted by video games, social media and TV binge watching. Social media allows them to … Read More »
UPDATES WITH VIDEO: True Blood may be into its final season, but the HBO show wasn’t treating its likely last Comic-Con appearance with anything but a ravenous appetite and a bit of bite. Specifically it was former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin who got chomped. “She’ll weigh in on anything,” castmember Kristin Bauer van Straten said disdainfully of Palin revealing that she turned down the attempt HBO made to get the ex-Alaska governor on the show for its most recent broadcast. Besides a bloodbath at a fictional fundraiser for real-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the July 20 episode had several digs at the GOP including one character referring to herself as “a Republic**t.”
Needless to say, Palin wasn’t impressed.
“The brilliant minds of True Blood were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general,” Palin revealed to Breitbart earlier this week. “Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway.” HBO confirmed that the offer in a statement that “casting directors for the show reached out to Ms. Palin’s representative but did not receive a response.”
“It’s sweet many, many years later that I’ve made her angry, I had fun … Read More »
The Marvel Studios panel is set to kick off any minute and the cast of Avengers: Age Of Ultron is ready to go. Check out the pic:
Director Zack Snyder tweeted out the reveal just now to the Comic-Con throng during Warner Bros’ Hall H panel:
Zack Snyder brought his new Batman Ben Affleck, Superman Henry Cavill, and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot to Hall H – and the fans to their feet – right off the bat at the top of Warner Bros.’ two-hour Comic-Con presentation this morning. And with the superheroes came a groundbreaking first for the convention itself: Curtains on either side of the main jumbotron crawled back to reveal supersized wraparound screens extending down both sides of the massive hall, giving the 6,000+ attendees an immersive aural and visual peek at a first teaser for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Snyder also timed a Twitter post to reveal the first look at Gadot’s Wonder Woman (check it out here.)
The original build for Warners’ Hall H presentation added 450 feet we’re told and it took four people just to open the curtains. The planning for the install began months ago and the build took about a week. Too bad it’s not permanent though: The curtains closed again immediately following WB’s panel — bummer for Legendary, Marvel, and the other studios who have to follow. Read More »
Looks like Mick Jagger has checked in from the set of HBO’s Untitled Rock ‘N’ Roll project. Martin Scorsese is directing and Jagger, Scorsese and Terence Winter are exec producing the drama set in 1970s New York. It explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), who is trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound. Ray Romano also stars as Richie’s close confidant and right-hand man, Zak Yankovich. Jagger tweeted this earlier this morning:
Outcast, the exorcism drama project from The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman, is moving to a pilot stage at Cinemax. Kirkman made the announcement on Twitter from Comic-Con, where he is with the AMC zombie drama which has its always-popular panel presentation in Hall H. In his pilot writing debut, Kirkman penned Outcast on spec for The Walking Dead international partner Fox International Channels, which developed the project internally before taking it out. Cinemax acquired the script last November. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast too is based on a comic by Kirkman, who will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sue Naegle, Chris Black, and Sharon Tal Yguado of FIC. The project follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.
MTV made the long-awaited announcement to a room full of screaming fans at San Diego Comic-Con. The 20-episode fifth season will be split in two parts, similar to the way the supernatural high-school series aired in Season 3, which also was super-sized (24 episodes). Seasons 1, 2 and 4 each have consisted of 12 episodes running continuously. (Teen Wolf‘s fourth season renewal also was announced at a fan convention, the New York Comic-Con.)
Based on the Michael J. Fox-starring MGM movie, Teen Wolf was developed by Jeff Davis who also serves as executive producer with Russell Mulcahy, Marty Adelstein, René Echevarria, Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley and Ian Stokes. The show has become a hit online, where fan tweets about it routinely put it in the Weekly Top 10 of Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings, one of only two or three scripted shows to grab one of those spots regularly.
Tyler Posey stars as Scott McCall, the title teen werewolf character. Posey, along with co-stars Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig and Dylan Sprayberry, as well as Davis, were on hand for a panel Q&A in the show’s fifth consecutive showing at Comic-Con.