It’s a comparatively tiny deal, but it gives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky’s Global Eagle Entertainment valuable bragging rights in this fast-growing corner of the business. They actually paid $36M in cash for the UK’s Travel Entertainment Group Equity Limited. It’s the parent of IFE Services which offers movies including The World’s End, The Heat, World War Z, and The Great Gatsby as well more than 20,000 hours of TV programming including The Newsroom to airlines in Asia, South America and Africa. The purchase “will significantly enhance our presence in multiple fast-growing, emerging markets where our combined service offerings are in demand,” says Global Eagle CEO John LaValle. To help finance the deal, Global Eagle sold $21M worth of its stock to an existing institutional shareholder. It will give another existing investor, PAR Investment Partners, a $19M promissory note convertible into non-voting shares.
Global Eagle Entertainment, the inflight entertainment company created last November by Hollywood veterans Harry Sloane and Jeff Sagansky, has added Post Modern Group to the company portfolio. The $24M deal expands Global Eagle’s relationships with international airlines and provides entry into the cruise line and other non-theatrical markets. Post Modern Group provides digital media production, post-production and digital content delivery services for use in inflight entertainment systems. Its clients include Hollywood studios and distributors, ad agencies, major corporations, government entities, airlines and cruise lines. It is expected to generate over $35M in revenues in 2013 and more than $4.5M in full year pre-tax earnings.
Less than a week after withdrawing its bid for wireless broadband provider Clearwire, the No. 2 satcaster is taking to the skies for a new partnership. Dish Network and Southwest Airlines unveiled a promotional deal today in which the carrier will offer live TV via satellite, paid for by Dish. In return, travelers will see air a 30-second Dish spot when they start watching, and the satellite provider’s ads will show up in confirmation emails and at airports. The promotion, which runs through September, will give passengers access to 14 live channels and 75 on-demand shows on their phones or tablets during about 60% of flights on Southwest, which carries more than 100 million passengers annually.
TNT has ordered six episodes of Life Flight (working title), a docu-drama that follows air-ambulance teams as they race to save lives. The series, slated to launch in early 2014, goes behind the scenes with the teams from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where the Life Flight service was born, and centers on the split-second decisions teams have to make while trying to perform life-saving procedures both on the ground and hundreds of feet in the air. The series also will focus on the hospital’s emergency room, where doctors, nurses and trauma surgeons do everything they can to save each patient brought in. Fox Television Studios and Boardwalk Entertainment Group produce Life Flight, with Gary A. Randall (Saving Grace, The Glades), Timothy Scott Bogart and Brad Bogart executive producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Hoping to tap a new vein in the young adult vampire genre that made Twilight Saga such a global hit, Reliance Entertainment and IM Global are co-financing the first installment of a new film franchise based on the six-volume Richelle Mead young adult novel series that will come to the screen as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Daniel Waters, who wrote the iconic Sundance black comedy Heathers, has written the script for the first movie. His brother, Mean Girls helmer Mark Waters, will direct the film. Casting is in full swing for a summer shoot.
An international search led the producers to Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Australian newcomer Lucy Fry. They will play lead characters Rose and Lissa alongside Russian star Danila Kozlovski (We Are From The Future,) who will play the role of Dimitri.
The film will be produced by Michael Preger and his Preger Entertainment banner, Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford, and Kintop Pictures’ Deepak Nayer. IM Global’s Stuart Ford is executive producer.
All six books have been bestsellers on The New York Times young adult list since the series debuted in 2007. Two of the books have been turned into graphic novels. The books tell the tale of Rose Hathaway, a 17-year-old girl who has a mental and spiritual bond with her vampire best friend Lissa. The two girls attend a special school for Vampires who struggle …
One of the intriguing parts of the Oscar race for me is watching excellent movies, and then discovering how much adversity, disappointment and years go into them. Whether you’re even nominated, this part of awards season is a validation of the artists’ struggle, offering encouragement to others trying not to give up on their own passion projects. I’m not sure anyone in this race personifies that more than Flight scribe John Gatins. You can look at Flight and marvel at Denzel Washington’s performance or how much movie Robert Zemeckis put onscreen with only a $30 million budget. But the most compelling back story is Gatins, who wrote a script that fit no studio’s template of a make-able movie, particularly with Gatins’ insistence he direct it. Gatins became a successful writer after acting didn’t pan out. His only directing credit, Dreamer, was a family film about a broken race horse, the furthest thing from an R-rated drama about a coke-snorting drunk commercial airline pilot. It was inevitable that a decade of futility would leave Gatins feeling a bit like Ahab chasing the white whale. But here, Gatins bagged his white whale, even if the price was letting someone else be captain.
DEADLINE: Pulling a jet liner out of a dive by flying upside down seems crazy, but there is a knowing voice that informs the substance abuse struggles of Denzel Washington’s pilot. How long did you struggle with that?
GATINS: It was one of those things where you go to college, and get a mulligan for four years to go through stuff and sort things out. If after those four years the party doesn’t end, that’s when it becomes an issue. I was one of those guys who couldn’t leave the party. I moved to Los Angeles after I graduated from Vassar, and tried to sort it out for myself but just never really could. There were a few really dark years there, and some strained relationships with family and friends. I had lots of people worried about me, until I was able to…
DEADLINE: Pull out of the nosedive, so to speak.
DEADLINE: How did you come up with this movie?
GATINS: I was in Europe, working as a script doctor on Behind Enemy Lines. These naval pilots, very intense guys, told such great stories. Sobriety changed what had been a distaste for flying into a real fear, because I didn’t have a coping mechanism anymore when I was in the air. The Yankees and Mets were playing in the World Series, and I had to get back to see a game. I found myself in this plane sitting next to a pilot who just started telling me all these crazy stories and everything that was going wrong in his life. I’m pretty friendly, but sitting there on this plane, I didn’t want to know that the wife hates you and you’re going through an awful divorce and you’ve got a bad addiction, you’re an alcoholic. And then I had that “wait a second, what if?” moment. Let’s say you had this pilot with an addiction issue, and put him in a plane and there was one of those horrific perfect storm scenarios. Every pilot explained to me that in order for a plane to crash from pilot error, a really crazy series of things would have to happen because they have backup systems for every crisis. I thought, if I can put him in a situation like that, where he has to do some amazing feat of flying, and then later it’s revealed he was loaded, how would we feel about that guy and his heroic act? And what about his own self-appraisal when the media wants to hoist him up as a hero? I wanted to explore the life of this alcoholic faker, trying to convince himself he’s something that’s he’s not.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor.
One thing’s for certain about Flight: The Robert Zemeckis-directed drama starring Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot will never be a popular in-flight film. “After this movie, people are going to be waiting out on the steps for the pilot with a Breathalyzer test,” Washington recently joked in an interview.
Flight screenwriter John Gatins also does not recommend his story for in-flight reading. “I’ve gotten emails from people saying:, ‘Man, I made the mistake of opening your screenplay on a plane’”, Gatins says with a laugh. His fictional concept is not too far from recent fact: In 2009, not one, but two pilots were arrested preflight at London’s Heathrow Airport after failing Breathalyzer tests. Both planes, one American Airlines and one United, were coincidentally headed for Chicago.
Related: OSCARS: Handicapping Lead Actor Race
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Oscar hopeful Hyde Park On Hudson with Bill Murray as Franklin Delano Roosevelt is this weekend’s highest profile debut in the specialty market. There’s also In Our Nature with Jena Malone and John Slattery, and Robert Carlyle headlines California Solo in a role written with him in mind. The late Ernest Borgnine stars in The Man Who Shook The Hand Of Vicente Fernandez in a role that turns the idea of celebrity upside-down. Plus Elizabeth McGovern stars in Cheerful Weather For The Wedding that her Downton Abbey fans will likely appreciate. On the non-fiction front, a re-mastered 3D version of The Art Of Flight hits AMC Theatres for one night only in select markets followed by a campaign for screenings via Tugg.com, the online marketing platform that allows moviegoers to push collectively for a theatrical booking in their area.
Hyde Park On Hudson
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Richard Nelson
Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Elizabeth Wilson
Distributor: Focus Features
Focus Features and Film 4 waited a year to see if Bill Murray would take the role of America’s longest serving president, Franklin D. Roosevelt in a story written by Richard Nelson that observes the little known story about the relationship the four-term President had with a distant cousin, Daisy (Laura Linney) who lived near his mother’s Hudson Valley, NY retreat. The story revolves around that relationship coinciding with a historical visit by the British monarchs George VI and Queen Elizabeth before the dawn of World War II. “It’s the fourth movie we’ve worked on with Bill,” said Focus Features CEO James Schamus. “Taking on a role like this – there’s no safety net. You either have to do it or not. It took him about a year to come on board, but once he commits, it’s 100 percent and he’s all in.” The film was shot in the UK with Roger Michell at the helm and with British co-financing. Schamus noted the terrain looks similar to the Hudson Valley and the relatively plentiful estates outside London made finding the right setting easier than it might have been in New York. “We couldn’t get approval at the actual Roosevelt mansion,” Schamus said of the movie, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival after a Telluride screening over Labor Day weekend.
This is the first major appointment since Golden Eagle Acquisition agreed to acquire satellite connectivity firm Row 44 and content company Advanced Inflight Alliance to create Global Eagle Entertainment. Here’s the release:
Los Angeles, CA November 16, 2012 – Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. today announced that Dave Davis, former chief financial officer of Northwest Airlines Corporation and US Airways Group and current director of Row 44 Inc. (Row 44), will join the company as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer upon closing of its proposed business combination transaction in which Global Eagle will acquire Row 44 and 86% of the issued and outstanding shares of Advanced In-flight Alliance AG.
The Hollywood veterans’ publicly traded Global Eagle Acquisition has agreed to offer stock valued at $430M to buy two companies that will give them a leg up in the fast-growing inflight entertainment business. They’re acquiring Row 44, a satellite connectivity firm, and content company Advanced Inflight Alliance. The combined enterprise will trade on NASDAQ. “This is exactly the kind of worldwide digital media opportunity we’ve been seeking for Global Eagle since our IPO; and this is also a platform for Jeff and me to utilize our media and content relationships and experience to drive expansion and enhancement of inflight content and programming around the world, ” says Global Eagle CEO Harry Sloan who was formerly chief of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios. His company’s co-founder, Jeff Sagansky, was a top exec at Sony Pictures and CBS.
Here’s the release:
AFM Roundup Day 7: Red Bull, AMC Partner On ‘Art Of Flight 3D’, Anchor Bay Acquires ‘Grave Encounters 2′ For Home Vid
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Red Bull Media House is partnering with AMC Entertainment on the re-release of The Art of FLIGHT 3D. The film will be shown in select AMC theaters in U.S. markets including New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Spokane, Denver, Salt Lake City, Charlotte and Minneapolis beginning Friday December 7. The film features snowboarder Travis Rice and some the best riders in the world as they complete a two-year quest to redefine what’s possible on a snowboard. The locations for the production include Chilean Patagonia’s Darwin Range, Alaska’s Tordrillo Range, Wyoming’s Snake River Range, Aspen, Colorado, the Andes, as well as British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains, Revelstoke and Goat Range. Directed by Chris Morgan, the film stars Rice, John Jackson, Mark Landvik, Olympic medalist Scotty Lago, Nicolas Muller, DCP, Jake Blauvelt, Pat Moore and Jeremy Jones…
Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada has acquired Grave Encounters 2 for home entertainment distribution. The story begins with 2011′s Grave Encounters about a ghost hunting TV crew haunted to their apparent deaths in an abandoned mental institution. The sequel, Grave Encounters 2 begins with Alex (Richard Harmon), a young film student obsessed with the story of the missing TV crew. He begins getting tips from an anonymous online source that one of the crew may still be alive but trapped in the building. Alex then persuades a group of his friends to help him break into the institute at night and record everything they …
Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch has reportedly asked Paramount to obscure all images of its flagship beer in the Robert Zemeckis movie Flight. In the drama, Denzel Washington plays an airline pilot accused of drinking before captaining a plane. It includes scenes showing Washington consuming alcoholic beverages, including Budweiser and assorted vodka brands. The well-reviewed film opened #2 this weekend with $25M. Now, according to wire reports, Budweiser VP Robert McCarthy has penned a letter to Zemeckis’ Image Movers and to Paramount saying Anheuser-Busch had “no knowledge of the use or portrayal of Budweiser” before or during the film’s production and were not contacted by the studio. “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving. It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner,” McCarthy said in the letter. “We have asked the studio to obscure the Budweiser trademark in current digital copies of the movie and on all subsequent adaptations of the film, including DVD, On Demand, streaming and additional prints not yet distributed to theaters.”
Paramount Taking Box Office Success ‘Flight’ Directly To Academy Voters; Film Is Dedicated To Ed Limato
EXCLUSIVE: With an estimated $25 million boxoffice haul on only 1900 screens (see Nikki’s boxoffice report) in its opening weekend, Paramount’s gamble on the $30 million adult drama Flight looks like it is paying off. That’s certainly sweet news for star Denzel Washington and director Robert Zemeckis who didn’t take their usual hefty upfront fees in a bet on the quality of the movie alone. It also makes a nice memorium for Washington’s late agent Ed Limato to whom the film is dedicated in the end credits. Washington confirmed it was the final script (out of several that were offered at the time) that Limato hoped he would do. Shortly before he died Limato was again able to communicate that hope. The film’s dedication to Limato is a strong and poignant reminder of the bond between the star and his longtime agent.
In addition to boxoffice success Paramount is now moving aggressively with a big Oscar campaign for the film. The film got an enthusiastic response at an overflow screening for SAG and Academy members Saturday afternoon at the Writers Guild Theatre. It also drew well over 500 to its official Academy screening across the street at the Goldwyn later Saturday night with “sustained” applause at the end, according to one observer. Both were followed by Q&As with Washington, Zemeckis, scene-stealing co-star John Goodman and screenwriter John Gatins. The group also hit the official BAFTA screening yesterday and Zemeckis and Gatins even appeared at a public showing at …
#1 ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Muscles $50M Weekend; #2 ‘Flight’ Soars To $25M With Low Theater Count; ‘The Man With Iron Fists’ Weak $8.2M
SUNDAY 7 AM, 6TH UPDATE (Top Ten grosses below): Total moviegoing this weekend is $138.3M, which is a healthy +21% from last year. The good news is that as Hurricane Sandy recovery continued, Saturday became a big attendance day. Going into this weekend, less than 100 movie theaters on the East Coast remained off the grid on Friday. But that number went down as the power came on. The even better news was that NYC biz in particular was very strong – despite continuing transportation problems but because of cabin fever. ”Clearly, folks need and have an escape valve from the misery of Sandy – namely the movies,” one top distribution exec tells me.
Overall weekend domestic box office was led by Disney’s well-reviewed 3D blockbuster Wreck-It Ralph (playing in 3,752 theaters) whose gross went up a huge +58% from Friday to Saturday for an expected $50.0M through Sunday. It’s the biggest non-holiday opening for a Disney Animation Studios title. Clearly here’s a brand new original franchise for the Mouse House. This action toon went into Friday accounting for 20% of all online ticket sales at Fandango and MovieTickets. Yet there was some flopsweat by Disney not just because of the storm variable but because family tracking has been unreliable of late. (Remember Frankenweenie, anyone?) “I think they’re going to get enough teens to supplement the family audience and pop a real number,” a rival studio exec told me ahead of time. Pic did. Audiences gave Wreck-It Ralph an ‘A’ Cinemascore which should bode well for positive word of mouth and playability through the Thanksgiving holiday as there is little family competition in the marketplace until then. The toon infused from 30-plus years of video game history so target audience wasn’t just kids but also adults and game enthusiasts as well as males and females. (I always think the movie industry doesn’t understand how many gals play video games…) Fix-It Felix Jr classic-style game consoles toured the country, with stops at Comic-Con, gamer-focused events like Classic Gaming Expo and PAX Prime, as well as colleges, family events, Disney Parks, etc. The trailer debuted at E3 in June while the film itself had a strong presence at Comic-Con in July, including a Hall H panel with director Rich Moore and voice cast John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman. As for its marketing campaign, Wreck-It Ralph had a huge Olympic integration, plus promotional partnerships with Subway, Nesquik, Gamefly, Netgear, Costco, and Lego. Global press junket in mid-October featured immersive experiences in the game’s worlds, followed by a special gaming press day in San Francisco in conjunction with Sega, Disney Mobile and Activision. The world premiere was held at the El Capitan Theatre on October 29. For animation fans and cinephiles, toon is playing in theaters with Paperman, a black-and-white 3D short film that features an innovative new hybrid of hand-drawn and CG animation.
Of course the Disney family fare swamped this weekend’s other newcomers which are debuting in only 1/2 as many theaters. But Paramount’s well-reviewed Flight (1,900 locations) enjoyed a +31% bump from Friday to Saturday and opened #2 with a surprise $25M this weekend. That’s enormous considering its medium theater count. Just think how many stars can’t even open pics to $20M with 3,000+ theaters. But Denzel Washington has a very loyal adult fanbase, and the pic from credited screenwriter John Gatins had good reviews despite (or because of) a bleak back half. Expectedly, movie is very soft with teens. But it received an ’A-’ CinemaScore which will help keep it overperforming tracking and stirring Oscar buzz. It’s certainly been a while since director Robert Zemeckis had a hit like this. Even better for Paramount, which has only released one live action pic since May (Paranormal Activity 4), is the fact that Flight cost only $31M. “That was the ground rule that everyone bought into.” Paramount gave it a release pattern similar to its 2010′s The Fighter which had a similar budget, dark story and awards chatter. As for marketing, Paramount launched the Flight trailer in June on Prometheus. “Our strategy was to aim our efforts at sophisticated moviegoers and have a strong push for men and African Americans,” a studio exec explains to me. Flight campaign kicked off for all four presidential debates’ TV coverage. That early awareness stunt led to an exclusive promotion on CBS. A heavy African-American push was made on BET, VH1 and urban radio) as well as VH1′s Basketball Wives whose reality cast screened the film and waxed enthusiastically about Denzel in a promotional spot. Of course there were big sports buys and lots of media. Flight had its world premiere Closing Night of the New York Film Festival on October 14th. Then Paramount and EPIX hosted an encore presentation in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles with audiences on the West Coast participating in a Q&A with Zemeckis, Washington, Don Cheadle, and John Goodman. Denzel appeared on Letterman, and Zemeckis on Fallon, for the first time those shows ever broadcast without an audience. Zemeckis also traveled the festival circuit (Chicago International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival). Online, Paramount utilized a Twitter Promoted Trend, reaching 39M unique users in one day then added heavy African American targeting.
With just a 15% drop in its 4th weekend, Ben Afflecks Oscar-buzzed Argo from Warner Bros was mixing it up for #3 and #4 with Universal’s The Man With The Iron Fists (1,868 theaters) whose meh reviews helped sink its debut to a disappointing $8.2M this weekend. But that’s a more optimistic number than other studios’ $7.6M. Pic ended up with only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore which hurt word of mouth: Saturday’s gross was flat from Friday’s. Featuring MMA personality Cung Le, Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu and marking the directorial debut of RZA, he co-wrote with Eli Roth who also produced. But, c’mon, how many times have we seen hip hop artists crash and burn on their big screen projects? But not for lack of trying. ‘Presented by’ Quentin Tarantino, he was the film’s ‘creative godfather’ and marketed the fighting pic directly to the UFC homepage right in the wheelhouse of its target demo. Apparently, that’s a tiny number. Tracking was strongest with older males and ethnic moviegoers; exit polling showed the audience was 64% male vs. 36% female, and 47% aged 30 years and older vs. 53% under age 30. But grosses were on the low range of expectations. Good thing the pic cost only $15M. Universal explains it gave RZA a chance based on his lifelong kung fu fascination after he served as an on-set apprentice to several filmmakers over the years. The studio calls it “a low-risk project that is more a labor of love for an arriving new film artist than a potential big moneymaker for the studio.” Strike Entertainment’s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman produced. On November 12th, Universal will begin rolling out the film out internationally where it might perform better.
AFM Roundup Day 3: Sierra/Affinity To Sell Paramount’s ‘Flight’ And ‘Pain And Gain’; Image Acquires Christian Slater-Starrer ‘Stranded’,'Samsara’ VOD Rights To Freestyle
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Sales and finance company Sierra/Affinity has picked up international sales rights in certain territories for Paramount’s Denzel Washington-starrer Flight and the upcoming Michael Bay-directed Pain And Gain, the companies announced today at the American Film Market. Sierra/Affinity is handing select territories for Flight, which opens domestically today, The company also will sell to Spain and the CIS region for the crime thriller Pain And Gain, which opens in the U.S. on April 26. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Ed Harris star….
Image Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the sci-fi thriller Stranded starring Christian Slater. Roger Christian directed the pic produced by Minds Eye Entertainment in association with Moving Pictures Media. Kevin DeWalt, Mark Montague and Isabella Battiston produced the movie, about four astronauts on a moonbase who are struck by meteors with spores that can replicate, and soon a presence on board begins to target them. Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio and Michael Therriault co-star….
Digital Media has acquired digital and TV rights to Samsara, the documentary from Baraka filmmakers Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke. The film has grossed more than $2 million at the domestic box office since its opening August 31 via Oscilloscope Pictures, making it the distributor’s most successful release to date. Filmed over a period of almost five years in 25 countries, the dialogue-free docu looks at sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. Freestyle will release the film on VOD beginning January 8….
Relativity Media has closed a new foreign output deal with leading Thailand distributor Sahamongkol Film International to oversee the distribution of Relativity’s feature films in Thailand through 2015. The slate includes the upcoming Movie 43, Safe Haven, 21 and Over, Malavita and Turkeys. It also renewed output deals with distributors from Turkey, Middle East and Eastern Europe….
The Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight with Denzel Washington made its premiere as the closing night film of the New York Film Festival last Sunday. Washington plays a commercial airline pilot with a drinking and substance abuse problem that comes to light after executing a landing that would have left Sully shaking his head. I was at the premiere, and it is a crazily upsetting sequence. Here is a clip showing the pilot’s attempt to pull the airliner out of a precipitous dive that is usually fatal. Between the plane crash Zemeckis films in his last live action film Cast Away and now this new entry, the director is doing for commercial airline travel what Marathon Man did for dentistry.
Paramount’s Oscar Hopeful Takes ‘Flight’ With Bi-Coastal Interactive Launch — Minus Denzel Washington
Paramount, expanding ways to reach awards voters, got interactive Monday with a bi-coastal launch of its Oscar-bait drama Flight, including a special screening and Q&A in New York beamed to four Arclight theaters in the Los Angeles area and another in San Francisco for invited guild members and press. Taking place the day after the film’s world premiere as the closing-night attraction of the 50th New York Film Festival, director Robert Zemeckis, writer John Gatins and several cast members including John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and Melissa Leo took part in the interactive post-screening Q&A that featured tweeted questions from the California venues and live queries from the NY crowd — many industry-voter types. Paramount clearly found a nice way to expand its Big Apple premiere, and it went off almost without a hitch. Almost.
The only downer for the studio was jettisoning the scheduled appearance of Flight star Denzel Washington, who was in attendance for the premiere Sunday night. He “was taken ill” according to the announcement at the outset of the Q&A, followed by audible groans from the audience. For the money being spent on this, as well as its awards launch, losing Denzel had to be a big disappointment for the studio. Still, the rest of this digital-age awards event went off without a hitch with premium network Epix teaming with Paramount to stage the interactive, multi-city event.
Other companies have begun doing this sort of thing including The Weinstein Company, which staged a couple of live interactive events like this last year with Meryl Streep among others. But the major studios, more bottom-line-oriented and not usually on the front lines of new Oscar campaign techniques, are suddenly jumping on board if recent activity is an indication. Last week, Disney/DreamWorks staged a “Conversation With Steven Spielberg And Daniel Day Lewis” following a nine-city screening of Lincoln at which audience members (mostly students) in those cities were able to text questions to the same AMC Lincoln (appropiate name) Plaza theatre that hosted today’s Flight screening. In the past, most awards-season guild screening Q&As (and they number in the hundreds) were simply for the audience that showed up and not usually even taped.
Paramount‘s Flight stars Denzel Washington as a hero airline pilot with a secret and is Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film in more than a decade. John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Don Cheadle co-star in the movie, written by John Gatins. The studio is positioning this one for an awards-season run: it closes the New York Film Festival on Sunday and opens wide November 2. Here’s the trailer: