Dayo Okeniyi Lands Final ‘Terminator’ Lead

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 10:55am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In what should be a star-making role, Dayo Okeniyi has dayobeen set to star in Terminator: Genesis, the franchise reboot for Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures. And here is some more good news for fans: they have made first plans to shoot three installments to put this saga to rest. The second and third films will be done back to back over nine months. The first film gets underway shortly in Louisiana.

Okeniyi and John Boyega were the two top choices for this pivotal final role, and this came down to a tug of war between storied franchises The Terminator and JJ Abrams and Star Wars, which also wanted Okeniyi to test for one of the leads of that film. Paramount and Skydance’s David Ellison stepped up and the actor unpacked his bags. Okeniyi, who co-starred in The Hunger Games and The Spectacular Now, will play a Steve Jobs genius who figures heavily into the conclusion of the film. He is Danny Dyson, who is also the son of the brainiac cyborg developer Miles Dyson, played by Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The young man holds the key to technology development that makes Skynet possible. He’s repped by UTA, Sweeney Entertainment, and attorney Joel McKuin.

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Jai Courtney Gets Offer To Play Kyle Reese In ‘Terminator’ Reboot

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:43am PST

"Felony" Premiere - Red Carpet - 2013 Toronto International Film FestivalThe casting for one of the key characters in Paramount and Skydance Productions’ Terminator: Genesis is almost complete — but not finalized. What’s true is that Jai Courtney has been offered the role of Kyle Reese, a gig that figures to span at least two movies that will end the story of Skynet’s battle with the resistance that began with James Cameron’s two films and two more that followed. As we told you last week, it was down to Courtney and Boyd Holbrook to land the Reese KyleReeserole originated by Michael Beihn in the first pic. If the Courtney deal makes, he will join Arnold Schwarzenegger as the signature cyborg, Game Of ThronesEmilia Clarke as Sara Connor and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as her son John Connor in the time-travel saga that will be directed by Alan Taylor. The film has a July 1, 2015 released date.

Related: ‘Terminator Genesis’: Between Jai Courtney, Boyd Holbrook For Kyle Reese Role?

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‘Terminator Genesis’: Between Jai Courtney, Boyd Holbrook For Kyle Reese Role?

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 3:09pm PST
Mike Fleming

boyd__140210225842jaicc__140210225904EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance are down to the wire on the final piece of iconic casting on Terminator: Genesis. I’m hearing that it’s between Jai Courtney and Boyd Holbrook to play Kyle Reese, the role originated by Michael Biehn in the James Cameron-directed original. Now, they could throw someone else into the mix, but it sounds like they are focused on these guys. The winner will join Arnold Schwarzenegger as the signature cyborg, Game Of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke as Sara Connor and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as her son John Connor in the time travel saga that will be directed by Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. The film will be released July 1, 2015.

Related: Megan Ellison Won’t Fund ‘Terminator’ Revival; David Ellison, Paramount Paying

It’s a big job, as it figures to span at least two movies that will end the story of Skynet’s battle with the resistance that began with Cameron’s two films with two more that followed. The films are being financed one-third by Paramount, and two-thirds by David Ellison’s Skydance, who bought out the stake held by his sister, Annapurna’s Megan Ellison. She was the one who originally bought the rights to continue the franchise for about $20 million. She decided to focus on tastemaker fare but this movie is right in the wheelhouse of the popcorn pics made by Skydance, which partners with Paramount on Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and World War Z. Read More »

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Berlin: ‘The Lobster’ Nets Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell

rachel weiszcolin farrellThe Lobster is the first English-language film for Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose Dogtooth scored an Oscar nomination in 2009. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz will lead the unconventional love story that’s set in a dystopian future where finding a partner is a matter of life and death. Shooting is set to kick off on March 24 in Ireland with Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed and Angeliki Papoulia also in the cast. (Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jason Clarke had previously been attached to a lead role but dropped out over scheduling conflicts with Everest.) Co-written by Lanthimos and longtime collaborator Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster is being sold by Protagonist Pictures, kicking off at this week’s EFM. Irish outfit Element Pictures is producing with Lanthimos’ Limp, and Ceci Dempsey’s Scarlet Films. Producers are Lanthimos, Lee Magiday, Ed Guiney and Dempsey, with Element’s Andrew Lowe as executive producer. Haut et Court (The Returned), is co-producing and distributing in France. Also partnering on the project are Christos V. Konstantakopoulos of Greece’s Faliro House, Haut et Court’s Carole Scotta and Derk-Jan Warrink, Joost de Vries and Leontine Petit of Lemming Films in Holland. Weisz is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and the UK’s Independent Talent Group. Farrell is with CAA.

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OSCARS: Alexandre Desplat Settles Score For ‘Philomena’

By | Sunday February 2, 2014 @ 6:35pm PST

AwardsLine deputy editor Anna Lisa Raya contributed to this story.

philomena-alexandre-desplatAlexandre Desplat, the man behind the music of Best Picture Oscar winners The King’s Speech, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, is also the talent behind the musical score for Best Picture nominee Philomena. His Oscar-nominated score, melancholy but also incredibly wishful, walks a razor-thin line between the two and works beautifully with a sparkle of hope punctuated with a recurring delicate ding of a percussion instrument, the triangle. The music never dominates a scene, and by making that decision, Desplat gives the story and the actors the respect they deserve. The composer is a master at his craft; he began playing piano at age 5 and later learned other instruments such as the trumpet and flute. With the music of Philomena, Desplat mirrored the emotions of the character — an elderly mother who is haunted by the fact that her son was taken away from her when she was a young woman. She has a fervent hope that she will locate her little boy, now a grown man – but always her little boy – one day.

Related OSCARS: From ‘Philomena’ To ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, Composers Show Creativity And Agility With This Year’s Scores

Judi Dench is nominated for Best Actress this year for her portrayal of Philomena Lee in The Weinstein Company pic  directed by Stephen Frears. imagesThe actress, who has had a long career in theater, speaks through her eyes as much as in dialogue with her co-star Steve Coogan (who is nominated with Jeff Pope for Best Adapted screenplay). Carrying a deep grief and longing, the mother’s emotions break through her stoicism, giving audiences a peak into her troubled heart. Philomena feels the weight of sin of getting pregnant so young and having an illegitimate baby. With one bow of her head or glance away to hide her tears, Dench has captured the soul of the brave and persistent woman.

Related: OSCARS: ‘Philomena’ Puts Judi Dench Right Back In The Thick Of The Race
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Megan Ellison Won’t Fund ‘Terminator’ Revival; David Ellison, Paramount Paying

Mike Fleming

Terminator-Arnold-as-Terminator__131206182643-575x323EXCLUSIVE: Although Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures started the process on reviving the Terminator franchise, she has divested herself financially of involvement in the final two or three pictures that will now be solely financed by her brother David Ellison’s Skydance and Paramount Pictures. This has been confirmed to me, and I’m told she will retain an executive producer credit. No one was specific about how the funding of the films will be handled, but I’ve heard that Skydance will now fund 66%, and Paramount will pay for the rest. Others say this has not been determined, as the film is now being budgeted.

meganCoupled with a changeover at the top of her sales company Panorama yesterday, it might seem that Megan Ellison is tapering off. I don’t believe that’s the case. Even when she took control of The Terminator franchise when she paid $20 million or more to acquire the rights at auction around the time of Cannes 2011, this property was an anomaly for her. Her heart is in taste-maker auteur-driven fare, and she has become a patron saint of prestige films that might not otherwise get made. That is what she will focus on. Her efforts include recently named Best Picture nominees American Hustle and Her, last year’s  Zero Dark Thirty and The Master, and the upcoming Bennett Miller-directed Foxcatcher.

For her brother David, Terminator: Genesis and possibly two other films to wrap up the storyline are right in his wheelhouse. He’s at home co-financing and producing large-scale popcorn pictures, and this one fits right in with his other franchises: Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and World War Z. Both of the Ellison siblings confirmed this has happened. Read More »

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Marc Butan Departing Panorama For Sierra/Affinity As Megan Ellison’s Foreign Arm Focuses On Sales

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 3:48pm PST

SierraAffinityEXCLUSIVE: Marc Butan, who runs Megan Ellison’s foreign sales division Panorama Media,  is leaving to join sales-finance-production outfit Sierra/Affinity as co-president. He will share the president role with Sierra/Affinity’s Marc Schaberg who will be co-president and COO. Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer and Butan worked together previously at Lionsgate.

At Sierra/Affinity, Butan will oversee feature film development and production activities. The idea is to have him build a slate of wide-release, director-driven commercial films with domestic and global appeal that will complement the slates built by partners OddLot Entertainment and Bold Films. As part of that, Butan will bring with him films from Panorama’s production slate: his new company will rep international rights to James Gray’s Lost City Of Z, John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine, Angela Workman’s adaptation of The Zookeeper’s Wife and Pride, Prejudice And Zombies.

Premiere Of The Weinstein Company's "Lawless"Butan and sales exec Kim Fox have run Panorama since its launch at Cannes in 2012 (among its first slate projects was an untitled Spike Jonze movie that ended up being Oscar Best Picture nominee Her and last year’s Zero Dark Thirty. Backed by Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, the unit’s goal was to ”produce, finance and arrange for worldwide distribution on a slate of filmmaker-driven projects with broad commercial appeal.” Fox will remain to run Panorama, which will handle sales of all of Annapurna’s titles as well as third-party titles but move away from production. ”As Panorama currently focuses on sales, we will continue to work closely with Marc … Read More »

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Sundance: A24 Acquiring J.C. Chandor-Helmed ‘A Most Violent Year’ With Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain

Mike Fleming

chandUPDATE:  A24 had just confirmed Deadline’s scoop. I’ll attach press release at the bottom of this post.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 am PST: Coming into Sundance, many expected big things for upstart distribution company A24, and the label hasn’t disappointed. A24 is closing the biggest deal so far for the company, acquiring domestic distribution rights from Participant Media to A Most Violent Year, the drama written and directed by All Is Lost and Margin Call helmer J.C. Chandor. The film stars Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Oscar Isaac and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain. I’m told the plan is to release the film wide, late this year, giving A24 a likely horse in the next Oscar race. It starts shooting shortly. I’m told it will be 1200 screens, minimum.

chastThis comes after A24 acquired two of the best liked films at this year’s Sundance: the Lynn Shelton-directed Laggies with Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell, and the Gillian Robespierre-directed comedy Obvious Child, which features a breakout performance by former Saturday Night Live cast member Jenny Slate.  Laggies came after an all night auction, and it’s a smart buy because the film will likely be released after TWC unveils Toronto title Can A Song Save Your Life, a breakout film that will cast Knightley in a different career light once audiences see the John Carney-directed film.

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Kyle Chandler To Star In Netflix’s Thriller Drama Series From Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler & Sony TV

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 4:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Kyle ChandlerEXCLUSIVE: Sought-after TV leading man Kyle Chandler is off the market for this coming pilot season. I’ve learned that the Friday Night Lights alum, who already had received a ton of pilot offers, has signed on to star in Netflix‘s 13-episode psychological thriller from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler and Sony Pictures TV. Written and executive produced by the Kessler brothers and Zelman in their follow-up to the acclaimed FX/DirecTV legal thriller starring Glenn Close, the untitled series centers on a family of adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when the black sheep oldest brother returns home. Netflix and Sony would not comment, but I hear Chandler will play the married middle brother who takes care of the family. The deal comes after a lengthy courtship, with the project landing Chandler for the role that he had been considered the prototype for. Filming is slated to begin in late March in the Florida Keys.

Related: Netflix Orders Series ‘Marco Polo’ From Weinstein Co.
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Women In 2013 Movies: Study Finds “Gender Inertia” Behind The Scenes

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 11:07am PST

The 16th annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report released today comes with this warning: “The employment of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles in film continues to stagnate.” The findings of San Diego State zero-dark-thirty-kathryn-bigelow-600x400University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reflect a state of “gender inertia,” says the org’s executive director Dr. Martha Lauzen. The report shows that women accounted for just 16% of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the 250 films with the highest domestic grosses in 2013. That figure is 2% lower than in 2012, and 1% lower than findings of the inaugural study in 1998. It also comes a year after Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and a handful of years after she won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

The center analyzed behind-the-scenes employment of 2,938 individuals and found that women accounted for just 6% of all directors working on the top-grossing films of last year, a 3% drop from 2012. (With foreign films included, the 2013 director figure is 8%.) The number of female producers remained the same from 2012 to 2013 but did increase 1 percentage point to 25% from 1998. The percentage of cinematographers also increased from 2% in 2012 to 3% in 2013.

Related: More Women Were Working In TV During 2012-13 Season Than Ever Before: Study

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Lone Survivor’ Takes In $37.8M, Not $38.5M, ‘Hercules’ Edges ‘Wolf’ For Third Place, ‘American Hustle’ In Fifth Celebrating Its $100M

OPENED THIS WEEKEND: The Legend of Hercules (LGF/SUMMIT) opens wide, anemic. Lone Survivor (UNI) expands wide to dominate weekend $37.8M. Her (WB) expands from 47 to 1,729 theaters. NOTEWORTHY: American Hustle (SONY) crossed $100M, August: Osage County (TWC) on 905 screens, very solid. Her (WB) holding. Philomena (TWC) drops only 4% going into awards season.

Box Office Results Lone Survivor HerculesUPDATE, MONDAY, 1:15 PM: With final box office numbers, comes some surprises today. Lone Survivor ended up with $37.8M, so Universal Pictures estimated too high (as did Paramount Pictures on The Wolf Of Wall Street – both distribs always seem to estimate high). But Lone Survivor still was stellar over the three-day frame.  The Legend Of Hercules rose to third place, edging out Wolf, which took the No. 4 spot after Sunday numbers came in. Universal distrib execs called that one. American Hustle followed in the fifth spot and also estimated too high (was $8.6M) — it came in at $8.3M to change its final ranking. Still, it crossed the $100M mark. The Golden Globes did have a slight impact on the box office numbers. The Top 20 chart has been updated with real numbers reported by the studio to Rentrak:

1). Lone Survivor, (UNI) 2,876 theaters (+2,873) / 3-day Cume: $37.8M/ Per screen average: $13,165 / Total Cume: $38.2M / Wk 3

2) Frozen, (DIS) 3,329 theaters (-79) / 3-day Cume: $14.7M (-25%) / Per screen: $4, 547 / Total Cume: $317.3M / Wk 8

3). The Legend Of Hercules, (LGF/SUMMIT) 2,104 theaters / 3-day Cume: $8.86M / Per screen: $4,215 / Wk 1

4). The Wolf Of Wall Street, (PAR) 2,521 theaters (-36) / 3-day Cume: $8.83 (-33%) / Per screen: $3,506 / Total Cume: $78.4M / Wk 3

5). American Hustle, (SONY) 2,629 theaters (+111) / 3-day Cume: $8.3M / Per screen: $3,158 / Total Cume: $101.2M / Wk 5

6). The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, (WB)  3,075 theaters (-655) / $3-day Cume: $8M (-49%) / Per screen: $2,609 / Total Cume: $242.2M / Wk 5

7). August: Osage County, (TWC) 905 theaters (+900) / 3-day Cume: $7.1M / Per screen: $7,910 / Total Cume: $7.7M / Wk 3

8). Saving Mr. Banks, (DIS) 2,671 theaters (+561) / 3-day Cume: $6.5M (-25%) / Per screen: $2,455 / Total Cume: 68.9M / Wk 5

9). Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, (PAR) 2,883 theaters (+16) / 3-day Cume: $6.3M (-65%)/ Per screen: $2,180 / Total Cume: $28.4 (-66%) / Wk 2

10). Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, (PAR) 3,012 theaters (-395) / 3-day Cume: $5.8M (-45%) / Per screen: $2,102 / Total Cume: 118.2M / Wk 4 Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Lone Survivor’ Opens Strong In Late-Night Showings; $33M to $35M Weekend Now Predicted; ‘Hercules’ Anemic

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 4:34pm PST

Lone_Survivor_posterUPDATE, 4:34 PM: In a matter of less than 24 hours, Universal has doubled its expectations for the war-themed action/drama Lone Survivor to $33M-$35M for the 3-day weekend. And, according to distributors’ estimates, Lone Survivor will open far and above the other titles in the marketplace. These are very early returns from Friday play times and numbers are bound to change after the N.Y. evening shows and L.A. afternoon and evening dates are calculated. Other titles’ box office numbers (below) are also expected to rise. Stay tuned.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY AM: Lone Survivor, the true story about a group of Navy SEALs who are cut off from communication and then ambushed by Al-Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan, opened well in late-night showings — 8 PM-midnight in 1,811 theaters in the U.S.  The action pic from director Peter Berg and real-life hero Marcus Luttrell took in $1.5M, according to U.S. distributor Universal Pictures. Today it opens on 2,876 theaters in North America; EOne is handling the film’s distribution in Canada. The picture is currently on track to take the No. 1 box office spot, and Fandango reported it had 51% of ticket sales leading into the weekend. The consensus is that it will far outweigh newcomer The Legend Of Hercules from Lionsgate/Summit which may even fall towards the bottom of the pack as it is getting killed by the critics (a zero Rotten Tomato score? Yikes!), but it all remains to be seen. It’s typically very hard to track war-themed films, but the best comparison is probably Zero Dark Thirty which opened limited in December last year, expanded wide in January and grabbed a $24.4M in its 3-day opening weekend. It opened wide in 2,072 runs for its Thursday night sneak to gross $650,000, according to Sony. However, it opened at 10 PM, giving it one less showing in slightly fewer theaters. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: Weather Impacts BO But Attendance Up Overall Year To Date; ‘The Hobbit’ Lighter But Strong, ‘Frozen’ Steals ‘Madea Christmas’ As ‘American Hustle’ Kicks It On Six Screens

BoxOffice_logo3RD UPDATE, 1:40 PM: Every Monday, we run the final numbers for the Top 20 for the weekend so an accurate accounting can be seen by all. Sony reported this morning that due to a computer glitch, the final per-screen numbers for American Hustle, which played on six screen this weekend, were actually $123,409 not $113,000 as it previously reported. Interesting, too, is that PLF’s (led by 92 Cinemark XD in the U.S.) and IMAX accounted for roughly $15.47M of Warner Bros./MGM’s The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug. Here is the final Top 10 from Rentrak — the full Top 20 list is at the bottom of the post.

Related: Overseas Box Office: ‘The Hobbit’ Bests 1st Pic; ‘Gravity’ Pulls In Japan; ‘Frozen’ Melts Russia

1.  The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Warner Bros., $73,645,197, 3,903 locations, $18,869 average, $73,645,197, 1 week.

2.  Frozen, Disney, $22,568,138, 3,716 locations, $6,073 average, $164,772,211, 4 weeks.

3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, Lionsgate, $16,007,634, 2,194 locations, $7,296 average, $16,007,634, 1 week.

4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate, $13,671,666, 3,563 locations, $3,837 average, $357,503,663, 4 weeks.

5. Thor: The Dark World, Disney, $2,820,055, 2,264 locations, $1,246 average, $198,245,744, 6 weeks.

6. Out Of The Furnace,”Relativity Media, $2,425,978, 2,101 locations, $1,155 average, $9,574,440, 2 weeks.

7. Delivery Man, Disney, $1,968,891, 2,041 locations, $965 average, $28,091,575, 4 weeks.

8. Philomena, The Weinstein Company, $1,820,479, 835 locations, $2,180 average, $11,083,457, 4 weeks.

9. The Book Thief, 20th Century Fox, $1,734,679, 1,158 locations, $1,498 average, $14,936,447, 6 weeks.

10. Homefront, Open Road, $1,706,286, 2,103 locations, $811 average, $18,507,155, 3 weeks.

BOX OFFICE THUMBNAIL: Weather impacts this weekend, Attendance overall up from last year: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros, wide) playing to lighter numbers than last year’s first installment of the trilogy; Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate, wide) looks to be lowest opening for a Madea title; American Hustle (Sony, limited) very strong per screens; Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, limited) not banking; Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, expanded to 15 locales) per screens falling fast; Hours starring the late Paul Walker (Pantelion Films – joint venture between Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa– limited in 16 theaters and on VOD).

2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY, 9:20 AM: The severe weather across the nation – winter storms across 23 states and 100 million people – also impacted the nation’s box office this weekend. It seems to have affected the older pictures most. That being said, I will post the newcomers and top five first and then update again with the rest of the pack. Overall, year-to-date attendance is up and expected to surpass $10.7 billion (which was last year’s total). Responding to feedback from readers, will highlight numbers for easier reading.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug brought in around another $24.4M on Saturday after a Friday haul of $31.1M and is expected at $73.6M (according to WB) for its debut weekend, industry estimates show. The Warner Bros./MGM franchise played on 3,903 theaters for a per screen of around $18,700. The IMAX numbers for Hobbit accounted for about 12.5% of the national gross or about $9.18M in 344 locales. All top 10 locations for Hobbit have IMAX screens. Internationally, The Hobbit has brought in $205M so far for the studio.

“Our suburban business was severely off last night due to the inclement weather,” said Dan Fellman, president of distribution for Warner Bros. Other veteran distributors also noted this, citing up to 50% drops last night in east coast theaters vs. 20% drops in L.A. theaters.

Frozen, the animated family film from the Walt Disney Co., held a solid second place this weekend up about 101% from Friday (family pics traditionally excel on Saturdays) to bring in another $10M in 3,716 theaters and estimates for the weekend are now around $22.3M to $22.7M for the three-day. That would bring its cume up to around $164 million in its four weeks of release. It’s per is about $6,000.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas from Lionsgate was up 10% from Friday with an estimated take of between $15.8M and $15.9M, a far cry from other outings for the pic which in the past have opened to at least $25M. This is the first time the picture has opened in this time-frame pre-Christmas. It is in 2,194 theaters for an estimated per screen of roughly $7,200. This is Tyler Perry’s and Lionsgate’s 16th collaboration and marks its 8th Madea film together.

American Hustle, which bowed in only six theaters in N.Y and L.A., continued to do well on Saturday night for Sony, adding another $270,000 to bring its estimated weekend per screen total to around $113,000 its debut weekend. Very strong numbers. Up around 30% from Friday night. Estimates have the total gross hovering around the $700,000 mark. The critically-acclaimed picture will go wide next weekend in around 2,500 theaters.

Sony notes that the opening is higher than director David O. Russell’s two previous films, The Fighter (which had a $75,000 average and went on to make $93.6M in domestic  box office and 34.5M overseas) and Silver Linings Playbook $27,687; that went onto make $132M domestically). Both films, likewise, rode critical acclaim and positive word-of-mouth right into Oscar season.

“It’s an incredible start for an incredible film,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures. “I think David O’Russell created a film that gives crazy, cool performances that will be savored for years to come.” Those who have seen the picture that I know are planning to go back and see it again. So expect some repeat business and a long tail for this entertaining romp.

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, on 15 screens in its first weekend out in limited release, was up around %29 from Friday and its per screen averages are running anywhere from $26,000 to $28,000 in estimates right now for the three-day. It rolls out wide next weekend in a marketplace that looks to be packed.

Fourth place is another Lionsgate franchise, Hunger Games: Catching Fire with an estimated Saturday take of anywhere between $5.7M and $5.8M so the three-day puts it at around $13.2M to $13.4M to bring its cume up to about $357M. In 3,663 locales, it has a per screen of around $3,700. Internationally, Lionsgate has the film grossing an estimated $19.5M from 83 markets, so that brings the total international cume to $372.9 million. With the domestic added in, that pushes it to around $730M worldwide in just four weeks of release.

Thor: A Dark World from Disney took in another $1.2M on Saturday and should finish the weekend with another $2.7 million or so to bring its overall cume to around $198M. It is in its sixth week of release. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Catch up on Deadline’s top film stories you missed this week:

peter o'toole dead‘Lawrence Of Arabia’s Peter O’Toole Dead At 81 – 8-Time Oscar Nominee Retired Last Year
By Anita Busch and Jen Yamato – Oscar-nominated actor Peter O’Toole died yesterday, his agent confirmed Sunday. He was 81. Often called the Hamlet of his generation, his death comes only about a year after retiring from a 54-year career in both stage and film highlighted by his turn as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, which won seven Oscars including Best Picture.

Peter O’Toole’s Long And Frustrating Half-Century Dance With Oscar: “Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride”
By Pete Hammond – There is no doubt Peter O’Toole was one of the greatest actors the movies have ever seen. Since coming into major international stardom with his dazzling turn in Lawrence Of Arabia, O’Toole compiled a group of brilliant performances over the past half century that are second to none. But he also holds another distinction.

BOX OFFICE: Weather Impacts BO But Attendance Up Overall Year to Date, ‘The Hobbit’ Lighter But Strong, ‘Frozen’ Steals ‘Madea’s Christmas’ As ‘American Hustle’ Kicks It On Six Screens
By Anita Busch – The severe weather across the nation – winter storms across 23 states and 100 million people – also impacted the nation’s box office this weekend. It seems to have affected the older pictures most. Read More »

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Frank Grillo To Lead Horror Sequel ‘The Purge 2′ For Universal And Blumhouse

Frank Grillo Purge 2EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of Blumhouse Productions‘ supernatural hit Insidious: Chapter 2 crossing $150M worldwide, Blumhouse and Universal are beefing up their sequel to this summer’s micro-budget horror-thriller The Purge. Frank Grillo (The Grey) will lead the cast of The Next Chapter of The Purge under returning Purge helmer James DeMonaco who is also writing and producing. Plot details are under wraps but there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the dystopian world established in the first film, which starred Ethan Hawke as a security system designer protecting his family from home invasion on the one night each year when the cops take a day off to let crime run rampant. The movie opened in June and grossed roughly $90M worldwide on a $3M budget. Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum, Sébastien K. Lemercier and Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form will produce The Purge 2, which marks the latest Blumhouse project in Blum’s first-look deal with Uni. The sequel is already set for a June 20, 2014 debut. Read More »

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Jason Clarke In Talks To Play John Connor In ‘Terminator’ Reboot

Mike Fleming

Jason Clarke Terminator John ConnorEXCLUSIVE:  The Terminator reboot is getting more interesting by the minute. Jason Clarke, so good in Zero Dark Thirty, is in early talks to play the role of John Connor, the leader of the rebellion against the Skynet artificial intelligence system bent on wiping out the human race. This comes as Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke emerges as the frontrunner to play Sarah Connor (with Brie Larson also in the mix) for Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also expected to reprise his signature cyborg role in a film that involves time travel into the future.

Terminator-Arnold-as-Terminator__131206182643-575x323Terminator: Genesis is being spearheaded by Skydance Productions’ David Ellison, who is teamed with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna in the effort. Paramount has signed on to distribute, and has set a July 1, 2015 release date. Annapurna purchased the rights for over $20 million and the expectation is that they will be able to make at least two films before certain copyrights revert back to the property’s creator, James Cameron. Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier wrote the script. Read More »

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National Board Of Review Names Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Best Film

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 10:19am PST
Pete Hammond

The ever-quirky National Board Of Review has crowned Her as the year’s Best Film and its helmer Spike Jonzeher-movie-poster as Best Director. It only adds to what is becoming a year without consensus — at least so far, after the New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle their best film yesterday and the Gotham Awards chose Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter won Best Screenplay from NBR, but there was no mention of Hustle anywhere on its list this morning (see the full list of winners below). Also largely ignored were three films most pundits put at the top of their Oscar frontrunners: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The latter was completely dissed and 12 Years and Gravity mentioned only in NBR’s Top Ten list, but NO individual awards other than a technical citation for Gravity’s “creative innovation”.

NationalBoardOfReview_logonewUnlike last year when NBR and NYFCC agreed on Zero Dark Thirty as Best Pic and Director , this morning’s list was far apart. The groups’ only matches came for The Wind Rises in animation, Stories We Tell in Documentary and Fruitvale Station as best first film. NBR’s acting choices of Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale represented a completely different quartet than the NYFCC picks of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence. But for those who harbor Oscar hopes, don’t despair. The National Board of Review, which describes itself as “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students”, has had a lousy track record in recent years of picking eventual Oscar winners.  In the past five years only one of their Best Film picks — Slumdog Millionaire — and just two acting choices — Christopher Plummer and Penelope Cruz — went on to win Academy Awards.  They haven’t had a Best Director in common with Oscar since Martin Scorsese for The Departed in 2005 — the same year they chose Letters From Iwo Jima as Best Film. Here is NBR’s full list of winners:

Best Film
HER
Best Director
Spike Jonze, HER

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, NEBRASKA

Best Actress
Emma Thompson, SAVING MR. BANKS

Best Supporting Actor
Will Forte, NEBRASKA

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, FRUITVALE STATION

Best Original Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Best Adapted Screenplay
Terence Winter, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Best Animated Feature
THE WIND RISES

Read More »

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Awards Roundup: NY Film Critics, Gothams, And Oscar Docu Shortlist Get Season Rolling – So Who’s On Top Now?

Pete Hammond

The actual “awards” part of awards season is finally off and running with first results out of the East Coast with today’s Oscar_Logo110922004651__120227115551New York Film Critics Circle choices and last night’s Gotham Awards. And the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences even got into the act earlier today narrowing the intense Documentary Feature competition from 151 entries to a shortlist of 15 finalists. Stuff is happening.

17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards - ShowThe NYFCC went whole hog for David O. Russell’s American Hustle (Best Picture, Screenplay, Supporting Actress) today, while Gotham unexpectedly crowned The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis over heavy favorite 12 Years A Slave. Those results are an early indication (or even confirmation) that this could turn out to be an extremely unpredictable year — one with no frontrunner.  The fact that the powerful critical favorite 12 Years, an early favorite to sweep the critics awards and use that to begin its march to Oscar (it leads most pundit polls), was shut out at the Gothams and only took Best Director for Steve McQueen at the NYFCC perhaps means this year won’t turn into a repeat of 2010. That’s when The Social Network swept the numerous critics groups Best Picture honors (and even the Globes) only to be upended by The King’s Speech when the Producers Guild turned the race. The King’s Speech became the industry favorite all the way to the Best Picture Oscar. I think dominance among the critics is important for a picture like 12 Years. That kind of awards pedigree could force reluctant Academy voters (and I know of a few resisting it because they fear it’s too brutal) to see the film and give it a shot. A lack of that kind of consensus could just bust this race wide open and turn it into a free-for-all. Of course there are many, many more of these groups to go, and 12 Years could still dominate, but the initial picture is cloudy. It’s an extremely competitive year and likely to continue to be if today’s results are an indication.

american_hustle_ver6_xlgAs for American Hustle‘s triumph at the NYFCC, it’s a bit unexpected but completely deserving. Sony Pictures , which releases the film December 13, has had a very good run with the NY Critics Circle — winning Best Pic in 2010 with Social Network and again last year with Zero Dark Thirty only to be stopped cold at the Oscars. Will Hustle be able to ride farther this early wave for the studio? Time will tell. With more Academy friendly-type films like Saving Mr. Banks, Gravity, Nebraska, Philomena  and others going unmentioned, there are plenty of places for Oscar voters to drift including the wild card of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, which was a last-minute screening for NYFCC.

Related: OSCARS: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Makes A Raucous Debut Read More »

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New York Film Critics Circle Awards: ‘American Hustle’ Best Film; Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett Top Actor Honors

NYFCC200x200111019173230UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS: The New York Film Critics Circle has voted David O Russell’s ensemble crime drama American Hustle as its film of the year, one of three awards bestowed today on the Sony/Columbia film by the critics group. The pic is set for a December 13 release. The NYFCC  also picked Robert Redford as american_hustle_ver6_xlgBest Actor for his stand-alone role in JC Chandor’s All Is Lost and Cate Blanchett as Best Actress for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, while Steve McQueen was named Best Director for 12 Years A SlaveAmerican Hustle, which stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremey Renner and Jennifer Lawrence, also won for Lawrence as Supporting Actress and for Russell and Eric Singer’s screenplay. Last year, the NYFCC tapped Zero Dark Thirty for Best Film and helmer Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director, starting that pic’s path to a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

The NYFCC is one of the earliest groups to vote on the year’s best performances in film, kicking off a slew of critics organizations whose results can serve as if not Oscar predictors then maybe Oscar leaners. Like last year, this year’s NYFCC vote from its membership of NY critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications comes one day before the National Board of Review makes its picks. Here are the final results of today’s voting:

Best Film
American Hustle

Best Actor
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Director
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best Foreign Language Film
Blue Is The Warmest Color

Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Animated Film
The Wind Rises

Best Screenplay
American Hustle

Special Award
Frederick Wiseman Read More »

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