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FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; More

FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; Morecinemaworld2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 3:20 PM PT: Updated figures for the international weekend have come in with all studios reporting. Among the top movies in the marketplace, Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 4th frame was up from original estimates to $84.6M in 58 territories ($662.6M cume), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was slightly higher than predicted in its 2nd frame with $61.93M on 10,347 screens in 51 markets ($103.6M cume).

Also of note, Fox’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has officially passed $110M internationally, adding $491K in 15 territories this weekend. Meanwhile, Boyhood, which Universal is releasing most everywhere overseas, added 60 locations in its 2nd UK frame. The result was a 0% drop from last week with $537K at 89 dates. The UK/Ireland total is now $1.5M (£892K). With the buzz growing, Universal is looking to continue the pattern by increasing the number of screens in more regional areas this Friday. In the next few days, the studio says the Richard Linklater drama will best the director’s Before Sunset (£932K) and A Scanner Darkly (£995K) to become his 2nd biggest film in the market behind School Of Rock.

Updated throughout the below are figures on the above films as well as Planes: Fire & Rescue, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Step Up All In, Maleficent, Blended, The Fault In Our Stars, 22 Jump Street, Edge Of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days Of Future Read More »

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Bond/360 Sets Fall Release For Real Life ‘Harry Potter’ Quidditch Doc ‘Mudbloods’

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 12:10pm PDT

Mudbloods Quidditch filmSome sports nuts have the World Cup – others have the Quidditch World Cup, in which top collegiate athletes compete in a version of the high-flying sport Harry Potter plays in J.K. Rowling‘s fantasy wizarding world. The bludgers, quaffles, and golden snitches come to life in documentary Mudbloods, which tracks the resilient underdogs of the UCLA Quidditch team as they battle their way to the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup in New York City. Film is directed by UCLA alumnus Farzad Sangari, who picked up on the emerging club sport after glimpsing “Muggle quidditch” in action on campus. Bond/360, the distro arm launched by Bond Strategy and Influence last year, will release Mudbloods theatrically and on VOD in October. Previous Bond/360 releases include Particle Fever, Sign Painters, and Dessert Runners.

Quidditch Harry Potter Mudbloods movieMudbloods gives audiences a glimpse into a growing collegiate sport that was inspired by the preeminent cultural touchstone of our generation…Harry Potter,” said Amanda Lebow, Director of Film Strategy for BOND/360. “Farzad Sangari is a talented up-and-coming filmmaker with a remarkable humanistic touch. We couldn’t be more pleased for BOND/360 to be sharing this film with the world.” Mudbloods will first premiere at AFI DOCS on June 21 before it opens digitally and in limited release this fall.

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Kaitlyn Dever Joins ‘The Greens Are Gone’; Miguel Gomez Cast In ‘Southpaw’; Richard Cabral Books ‘Blood Father’

Kaitlyn DeverKaitlyn Dever has been cast in director Peer Pedersen’s drama The Greens Are Gone. Catherine Keener stars as the matriarch of a dysfunctional family who’s pushed to her limits by the disappearance of her son (Anton Yelchin). Dever will play a bipolar teenager. Her credits include TV’s Last Man Standing and Justified and features The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12. She next appears in Men, Women & Children. Dever is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.

Miguel GomeMiguel Gomez has booked a role in director Antoine Fuqua’s boxing feature Southpaw. Written by Kurt Sutter, the pic stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an up-and-coming fighter who loses everything in a moment of rage and has to start from the bottom to get his life back. Gomez will play his ring rival Miguel “Magic” Cantu. His credits include Louie and The Domino Effect, and he next will be seen in FX’s upcoming drama The Strain and the feature Pacific Standard Time. Gomez is repped by Greene & Associates, manager Eli Selden and Jackoway Tyerman.

Richard CabralRichard Cabral has joined the cast of Blood Father for director Jean-Francois Richet. Mel Gibson stars as an ex-con who reunites with his estranged daughter to protect her from Mexican mobsters. Cabral will play Joker, a tough enforcer for the Mexican Mafia. … Read More »

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Paramount’s ‘Monster Trucks’ Adds Barry Pepper

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 7:00pm PDT

barrypepperParamount’s 2015 live-action animation hybrid pic Monster Trucks has cast Emmy-winner Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, True Grit) in a role that the studio’s keeping under wraps. Pepper, who next appears in Focus Features’ Kill The Messenger with Jeremy Renner and the romantic drama The Devil’s Harvest, had a busy last year with Broken City, Snitch, and The Lone Ranger. He joins Thomas Lennon, Danny Glover, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan, Lucas Till, and Holt McCallany in the Chris Wedge-helmed Monster Trucks, which hits the road May 29, 2015. Pepper is repped by The Kohner Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

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Nigel Sinclair & Guy East Formalize Exits At Exclusive Media; Marc Schipper New CEO

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 3:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Exclusive Media co-chairman/CEO Nigel Sinclair and Guy East haveExclusiveMediaLogo__121213111446-200x98 finalized their exits, and Marc Schipper has taken the reins as new Exclusive CEO. Insiders say that Sinclair and East will resurface very quickly with White Horse Pictures, a company that will focus on the production of quality feature films and TV programming. The name comes from the prehistoric hill figure known as the Uffington White Horse. The duo had been on the outs with the company’s majority owners who no longer wanted to take big bets in the production business after a few films didn’t hit. The company has downsized since, and for instance exited the Johnny Depp Whitey Bulger film Black Mass, which Warner Bros acquired to distribute worldwide.

Marc SchipperBacked by the Dutch investment fund Dasym Investment Strategies, Exclusive has laid off most of its production department, but it has a strong library of over 1000 and will move forward primarily as a library and sales company. After Deadline dropped the bombshell at Berlin that Sinclair and East would be leaving, subsequent reports put the blame squarely on the Ron Howard-directed Rush. I don’t think that film was the main reason. Though a disappointment in the U.S., the film was hardly a disaster, its $90 million worldwide gross double its $40 million budget, with risk spread among multiple partners. Read More »

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Lionsgate Year-End Earnings Feast On ‘Hunger Games’ To Beat Analyst Estimates

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 1:10pm PST

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. lionsgateThe 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.

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Super Bowl XLVIII: 4 Movie Studios Buy In; Local TV Markets Ask Unprecedented Numbers For Ads

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 8:16pm PST

2014 Super Bowl Commercial CostEXCLUSIVE:  With Super Bowl XLVIII national ad inventory selling for upward of $4 million per 30-second spot, the local markets also are asking unprecedented numbers to advertise on the most-watched TV day in history. Doesn’t mean they’ll get them, but the local markets definitely are hoping to bring in the big bucks by gameday on February 2. According to one media buyer with more than 30 years of experience, the local Fox station in New York is asking $1 million per 30-second spot, while in L.A., the asking price is $550,000 per :30. As for other top TV markets, the local Fox station in Chicago is asking for $400,000 per, and Dallas wants $215,000.

Related: Want To Buy An Ad During The Super Bowl? Too Late, Says Fox

“It’s crazy to pay this at the local level, but they get that or a little under,” the buyer said. “In New York, even though they ask $1 million, they’ll probably get $850,000 per 30. But even so, it’s an incredible amount.”

The viewership numbers for the NFL‘s Super Bowl Sunday are astounding. Last year, an average of 108 million viewers watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers — despite a 34-minute power outage in the stadium. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that even the pregame show asks are as high as $2.5 million and lower down to $100,000, depending on where the spot runs.

Related: Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Gets Post Super Bowl Slot

Fox and the other networks sell Super Bowl advertising nationally noting t2014 Super Bowl Commercial Costhe return of investment.  According to Neil Mulcahy, EVP of Fox Sports Sales, “The return on investment for a unit bought for $2 million is $10 [million] or $11 million with Super Bowl ads, because they are played repeatedly you can have 30 days of exposure [for one buy].”

The market research data Fox is quoting is now six years old, and that return on investment is likely higher now. The data all centers on research from a MillwardBrown report commissioned in 2007 by Fox, CBS and NBC — the networks that have an interest in selling the Super Bowl. The report specifically states: “One Super Bowl spot generates as much sales as 250 regular TV spots. … Advertisers on average garner more than 11% sales uplift in the month following the game.”

Perhaps, it would serve the networks well to commission a new study. I mean, a six-year-old study? Come on, guys, it’s time.

Related: Bruno Mars Confirmed For Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
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Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’

By | Friday July 12, 2013 @ 7:59pm PDT

Fresh off roles in The Lone Ranger and Snitch, Barry Pepper has signed for Michael Cuesta’s fact-based pic about a CIA smear campaign that led to a Pulitzer-winning journalist’s downfall. In Kill The Messenger, Pepper will play federal prosecutor Russell Dodson, who is tasked with keeping a lid on the agency’s connection to the massive influx of cocaine into the U.S. by Nicaraguan contras. He tries to prevent investigative reporter Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) from running a series of newspaper articles about the case. Focus Features picked up worldwide rights to the pic ahead of Berlin. Production starts Monday in Atlanta. Pepper, whose credits range from Saving Private Ryan to playing Dale Earnhardt in a TV biopic to True Grit, is repped by the Kohner Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Family’

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 5:20pm PDT

Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D’Leo star in the dark action comedy The Family (formerly Malavita). Directed by Luc Besson, The Family follows a mafia boss (De Niro) and his family as they are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. The Family opens wide on September 20. Check out the trailer that Relativity dropped today:

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Benjamin Bratt Replaces Al Pacino On ‘Despicable Me 2′

Mike Fleming

Related: Say Goodbye To My Little Friend: Al Pacino Exits Summer Sequel ‘Despicable Me’

EXCLUSIVE: Well, that didn’t take long. Benjamin Bratt has stepped in to voice the villain Eduardo in Despicable Me 2. He replaces Al Pacino, who exited the project over creative differences with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. He’s getting to work right away on a film that Universal is counting on for a major summer release that begins July 3. Despicable Me 2 is the fourth film from Illumination Entertainment and the sequel to its 2010 hit  Despicable Me, one of Universal’s most profitable films ever, with north of $540 million worldwide on a $69 million budget. The sequel is directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, and scripted by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, with Illumination founder Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy producing. Bratt, whose credits include Snitch, La Mission, The Woodsman and Traffic, is repped by WME, Circle of Confusion and attorney Robert Myman.

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#1 ‘The Croods’ Toons Up $108M Globally, #2 ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Rises To $30.5M, Tina Fey & Paul Rudd Soft In ‘Admission’

SUNDAY 9:30 AM, 7TH UPDATE: Distributor Twentieth Century Fox is reporting that DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods made $63.3 million internationally — including $16 million from overseas previews the weekend before – for a worldwide cume of $108 million. Toon was playing on 11,870 screens in 47 markets and 86 countries representing 60% of the International marketplace. It was a confirmed #1 opening in 44 markets. Top market weekend Highlights included:

Russia: US$12.9M, including previews, from 2,166 screens. #1 in the market. 74% from 3D. Industry biggest non-franchise animated opening in Russia. Mexico: US$9.5M, including previews, from 1,911 screens. #1 in the market. 40% from 3D. Industry biggest non-franchise animated opening in Mexico. United Kingdom: US$8.3M, including previews, from 1,100 screens. #1 in the market. 45% from 3D. Germany: US$4.3M, including previews, from 986 screens. #1 in the market. 78% from 3D. Brazil: US$4.2M, including previews, from 674 screens. #1 in the market. 72% from 3D. Industry 2nd highest non-franchise animated opening in Brazil behind Rio. Spain: US$3.4M from 695 screens. #1 in the market. 20% from 3D. Italy: US$3.3M rom 788 screens. #1 in the market. 47% from 3D. Argentina: US$1.4M from 231 screens. #1 in the market. 60% from 3D. 3rd highest opening weekend ever for Fox in Argentina.

The Croods opens in 19 markets next weekend, including Australia, Belgium and Holland, followed by 3 markets (including Taiwan) the weekend of April 4, and then 3 more markets (including France) the weekend of April 12. School holidays start this week and next in many international markets.

SUNDAY 9:15 AM, 6TH UPDATE: (Top Ten list below) It shaped up as a hot weekend with an extra-strength Saturday and 3 films scoring $20M-plus this weekend. An estimated 13% of K-12 were on school break for the start of the Passover/Easter holidays so family fare ruled. Specifically, DreamWorks Animation‘s PG pre-historic newcomer The Croods (4,046 theaters, including over 3,000 in 3D) led the domestic box office with the widest release. It grossed $11.6M Friday and went up +67% because of the Saturday kiddue bump to $18.9M and an estimated $14.1M for a $44.7M weekend opening. Exit polling showed domestic demos were 57% female and 55% aged 25 and up. Its ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences obviously helped word of mouth despite only 64% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes endangering its multiple. Pic cost $135M. Rival studios point out this is one of the softest of March openers from DreamWorks Animation and believe it could max out around $155M domestic. (2010′s How To Train Your Dragon also debuted to $43M and went on to make $217M all in - but its reviews were 98% positive.) Fact is that in recent years DWA’s films are badly trailing Pixar’s in terms of domestic openings and multiples – and Wall Street is taking note and depressing the share price of this publicly held company. (Katzenberg should blame himself: he personally lobbied theaters to drive up the price of 3D tickets beyond what parents are willing to pay now after the technology’s novelty wore off.) Distributor Twentieth Century Fox claims this is a “strong opening” for a non-sequel animated film and believe The Croods will really toon up for the next two weeks when kids are on vacation everywhere. Then again, this is the first DWA release by Fox after Jeffrey Katzenberg switched distribution from Paramount so all the execs are relentlessly upbeat. “Terrific opening for DreamWorks Animation/Fox and the beginning of a great partnership,” one suit gushed. Film isn’t exactly The Flintstones in terms of comedic campiness for animation, but TV ads succeeded in making this pic look pleasantly palatable to parents and kids. Directed by Chris Sanders & Kirk DeMicco, and produced by Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell, voice cast includes Nic Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds none of whom are considered marquee names these days. About 25 overseas markets opened for previews last weekend but only 5 of the top markets (UK, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico). Rival studios claim it’s telling that Fox kept the grosses quiet. But the studio says The Croods will add a big number this weekend to the $16M already in the international till.

Peter Schlessel’s FilmDistrict enjoyed its biggest distribution opening yet with #2 Antoine Fuqua’s R-rated action thriller Olympus Has Fallen (3,098 theaters). It grossed $10M Friday and $12.8M Saturday for $30.5M its first weekend. Pic scored an ‘A-’ with audiences which helped word of mouth. That’s a relief because the movie’s cost of $70M is one of the bigger budgets this small indiefilm company has ever released. Exit polling showed 53% male vs. 47% female, 73% aged 25 years and older. Plot of the White House takeover by terrorists is newly plausible considering sequester spending cuts meant the U.S. government couldn’t even afford White House tours anymore because of Secret Service staff shortages. No surprise that the film did publicity at the recent CPAC convention for conservative politicos. FilmDistrict acquired distrib rights from Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films which produced and financed. The film was tracking strongest with males ages 18-plus and overperformed its expected high teens. Director and producer Fuqua with Mark Gill assembled a solid cast of Gerard Butler (who also produced and desperately needed a box office hit), Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd, Robert Forster and Rick Yune for the script by credited writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt.

Disney’s holdover Oz The Great And Powerful (3,805 theaters) is still going strong at #3 with $5.7M Friday and a +80% Saturday kiddie bump of $10.2M for another $23M weekend and $178.5M cume. And #4 is Sony/TriStar’s holdover pickup The Call (2,507 theaters) with $8.7M weekend (-48% from a week ago) and $30.9M cume.

Right now for #5 is Focus Features’ Tina Fey/Paul Rudd new low-budget comedy Admission (2,160 theaters) which grossed $2M Friday and $2.7M Saturday for as soft as $6.4M this weekend. Audiences gave it a mediocre ‘B-’ CinemaScore which didn’t help. Exit polling showed the audience skewed older (47% over age 50, 63% over age 35) and 68% female and 81% Causasian and 63% college graduates. Oh, Tina, Tina, Tina. You’re the funniest woman on the small screen in my opinion. But Red States may be holding a grudge over your SNL Sarah Palin impressions. And surely you can do better on the big screen than pairing with Paul since he’s box office poison. Pic underperformed studio expectations and barely met the low end of tracking. Even Focus admits grosses are soft despite its middling release and modest $13M cost. Because it’s a $30M-plus P&A pricetag just to open any pic these days. Focus saw a weekend that not only starts the waiting period for college acceptance letters but also had few moviegoing options for adult females aged 25+. ”There is also an opportunity to play well through the next few weekends as the older end of our female target 35+ also tends to patronize films in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of release,” a Focus exec told me. Hard to believe this convoluted script based on the Jean Hanff Korelitz novel adapted by credited screenwriter Karen Croner was so clumsily directed by one of my favorites, Oscar nominee Paul Weitz (About A Boy, In Good Company) who also produced. Low-brow TV ads didn’t help the pic any by failing to hint at moments of poignancy no matter how misplaced. Meanwhile Fey, Weitz, and everything else about the film were tagged with poor reviews.

And #6 is A24′s Spring Breakers (1,104 theaters) in expanded but still small release. Quirky yet iconoclastic writer and director Harmony Korine’s R-rated hallucinatory dramedy stars James Franco with Disney/ABC Family princesses trying to shed their virginal images - Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens – all with Korine’s wife Rachel hellbent on a Florida vacation to the dark side. It scored the top limited opening of 2013 last weekend based on per screen averages from 3 theaters in NYC and LA. But it’s no arthouse film nor Beach Blanket Bingo. Instead this cheaply made ($4M cost) seamy sexploitation encouraging drinking and drugs and violence is from the distribution outfit backed by Guggenheim Partners which owns The Hollywood Reporter and made sure the celebrity sheet cravenly hyped every angle of the lurid film and its cast and their SXSW appearance and theatrical opening. A24 acquired domestic rights from Annapurna Pictures whose Megan Ellison tellingly didn’t take a producer credit. (Was she too embarrassed?)

The weekend is way down (-33%) from last year because the Top Ten total won’t even equal the $152.5M opening of The Hunger Games. Based on weekend estimates:

Read More »

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TNT’s ‘Major Crimes’ Taps Nadine Velazquez As New Regular, Promotes Robert Gossett

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 9:45am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: My Name Is Earl alumna Nadine Velazquez has joined TNT drama series Major Crimes as new regular for the upcoming second season. Additionally, former Closer co-star Robert Gossett, who recurred as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor, Captain Raydor’s (Mary McDonnell) direct superior, on the first season of Major Crimes, is being promoted to regular. On The Closer spinoff, Velazquez will play Deputy D.A. Emma Rios. Newly assigned to the Phillip Stroh case, Emma interviews Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) about his involvement as a key witness in the murder case. She immediately causes a stir within the department, coming into conflict with Raydor (McDonnell) when she questions Raydor’s intentions as Rusty’s guardian and challenges her authority. Velazquez, repped by Gersh and KLWGN, was recently seen in Flight and in a 16-episode arc on FX’s The League. She is in Snitch and next stars in Aztec Warrior. Gossett, repped by Stone Manners Salners, is the second Closer alum and recurring player on Major Crimes to be promoted to regular for Season 2, joining Jonathan del Arco.

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#1 ‘Oz’ Holds For $281.8M Worldwide Cume; Halle Berry In #2 ‘The Call’ Beats Carell-Carrey In #3 Bomb ‘Burt Wonderstone’

SUNDAY 8 AM, 4TH UPDATE: Jetlagged from traveling but home at last. Let’s start with the domestic bad news because that’s what Hollywood craves. New Line’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (3,160 theaters) is a complete disaster despite no fresh comedy at the multiplex since Identity Thief opened five weeks ago. This is Warner Bros’ 5th straight box office dud, continuing what has been an abysmal beginning of the year. Despite Warner Bros’ Best Picture Oscar win for Ben Affleck’s Argo, the studio’s woes began with Gangster Squad in January and continued with Bullet To The Head and Beautiful Creatures through February, and festered with the $200 million flop Jack The Giant Slayer on March 1st. Now the studio is counting on May to deliver big grosses again with The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and the much anticipated Man Of Steel. Any hope for an upside because of the casting of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey (who’s in the Witness Protection Program in the trailers) is gone even with a modest $32M production budget. Those stars should have delivered at least a $20M if not $30M opening. Instead their pic only maxed $10.3M for its first weekend after grossing only $3.7M Friday and $4.1M Saturday. And, remember, that includes 1,800 Thursday late shows, too. Even worse, pic scored a ‘C+’ CinemaScore which will hurt word of … Read More »

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Big Budget ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’ Bombs On Bad Weekend For All New Releases

SATURDAY PM, 2ND UPDATE: I’m traveling but will keep you posted about box office. In a word, it’s ugly. Maybe that really lousy Academy Awards show turned off America to the movies. “It’s a bad weekend across the board,” a studio exec warns while one more describes, ”Another soft weekend.” Total filmgoing of $100M looks to be a whopping -37% less than last year with every single new release underperforming tracking by a wide margin. This is usually a good time to release family fare, and even more so now because there’s next-to-nothing in the multiplex. That said, Warner Bros knew well before this weekend that Bryan Singer‘s 3D Jack The Giant Slayer (3,525 theaters, including 317 IMAX screens) was tracking very soft domestically and turning into major trouble. All those effects drove the cost to a ridiculously expensive $200 million shared with Legendary Pictures and New Line. Now it looks like this family fare with no stars (Nicholas Hoult who?) may only open to $26M – far less than the $30M hoped for by the studio which is still too low given the high cost. It’ll do a miserable 2X multiple even with a solid ‘B+’ CinemaScore. And, remember, Friday’s figure of $7.7M was inflated by Thursday 10 PM/Friday midnight showings of $400K. Saturday’s $12.2M was a +60% improvement over Friday but still not good enough.

This bomb continues what has been a disastrous beginning of the year for Warner Bros (despite its Best Picture Oscar win for Ben Affleck’s Argo). Jack is the studio’s 4th straight box office dud – beginning with Gangster Squad in January and continuing through an abysmal February with Bullet To The Head and Beautiful Creatures.  Upcoming The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t likely to deliver, either. By May, the studio’s slate should deliver big grosses again starting with The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and the hotly anticipated Man Of Steel which by many accounts overdelivers. (That’s the buzz following its first internal screening.) But given Jack‘s jacked-up pricetag, not even big expectations abroad can save it – even though pic has opened to what the studio says are “very strong results” in Asia. Already insider autopsy reports are blaming Singer and the script by Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney for the lack of edge in this entirely familiar fairy tale twist on the classic Jack And The Beanstalk battle into a PG-13 effects extravaganza. Jeez, enough with this fairy tale crap, puh-leeze. “Problem is it plays like a 12-and-under pic. Everybody’s at fault. It’s just not a great movie.” Shot by Singer in 2011, it originally was set to open in the heart of Summer 2012 (June 15) under the title Jack The Giant Killer. Then it was pushed back to March 22, and shifted again to March 1 where it’s coming out only a week ahead of the Disney juggernaut, Oz, The Great And Powerful.

If Relativity’s cheap frat comedy 21 And Over (2,771 theaters) looks like Hangover for the college crowd with a ‘B’ CinemaScore – it is. It was scripted by Hangover writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The studio is so embarrassed it’s not even publicizing the pic with me. It’ll make 1/3 what Hollywood expected – under $10M - and those were low expectations to begin with. Same with The Last Exorcism Part II (2,700 theaters), yet another unnecessary low-budget PG-13 horror movie and not even an audience pleaser judging by the ‘C-’ CinemaScore. Good thing CBS Films only paid a few million dollars for the movie. Marketing focus was kept on females under 25 and genre fans influenced by producer Eli Roth receiving a “Presented By” credit above the film’s title. (Who used to find Roth promising? No more…) Last and least, RCR Media’s thriller Phantom (1,118 theaters) looks to be a dreadful debut and won’t even exceed $500K.

Meanwhile, Universal’s Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman frenemies comedy Identity Thief now becomes the first 2013 pic to break $100M. And Best Picture winner Argo looks in line for a +17% Oscar bump – about half the usual +35%.

Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:

1. Jack The Giant Slayer 3D (Legendary/Warner Bros) NEW [Runs 3,525] PG13
Friday $7.6M, Saturday $12.2M, Weekend $26.0M

2. Identity Thief (Universal) Week 4 (Runs 3,230) R
Friday $2.7M, Saturday$4.2M, Weekend $9.7M, Cume $107.5M

3. 21 And Over (Relativity) NEW [Runs 2,771] R
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $3.6M, Weekend $9.1M

4. The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS Films) NEW [Runs 2,700] PG13
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $3.2M, Weekend $7.9M
Read More »

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Beth Riesgraf Joins CBS Pilot ‘Surgeon General’, Bravo’s ‘Rita’ Adds Duo

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 11:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Leverage alumna Beth Riesgraf has been cast in CBS’ drama pilot Surgeon General. Written by Samuel Baum and produced by CBS TV Studios, the project centers on Dr. John Sherman (Jason Isaacs) — the most powerful doctor in the nation, the Surgeon General, who has 315 million patients. Riesgraf will play Dr. Page Wyatt, an expert in microorganisms.

Rafi Gavron (Snitch) and Anisha Nagarajan have joined the cast of Bravo‘s hourlong pilot Rita. Written by Krista Vernoff and directed by Miguel Arteta, the family drama follows Rita (Anna Gunn), an acerbic, outspoken private-school teacher who struggles to raise her three teenage children while dealing with the inane bureaucracy and overprotective parents at her school. Gavron, repped by Affirmative and Nelson Davis Wetzstein, plays Rita’s cool, easygoing eldest son; Nagarajan plays an eager new teacher.

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Holdover ‘Identity Thief’ Steals Anemic Weekend; ‘Snitch’ And ‘Dark Skies’ Weak

By | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 7:20am PST

SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: Seriously, why do studios open movies on Oscar weekend? With attention otherwise diverted, it’s hard for me or Hollywood to care about these two newcomers Friday. Audiences didn’t either. That’s why the Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman frenemies comedy Identity Thief is #1 in its third weekend after going up +63% from Friday to Saturday for $14M through Sunday.

Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate’s father/son actioner Snitch (2,511 theaters) opened #1 Friday and dropped to #2 Saturday despite bumping +36%. It logged a mediocre $12.8M weekend. That’s a rare failure for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. (No harm, no foul: I hear he really excels in surefire hit Fast & Furious 6.) Audiences gave Snitch a ‘B’  CinemaScore which won’t help or hurt the pic.

Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company’s new extraterrestrial thriller Dark Skies (2,313 theaters) from Paranormal Activity‘s Jason Blum fell out of the Top Five altogether by the end of the weekend. It received only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore from audiences to hurt word of mouth for just an expected $8.4M weekend.

Finally Twentieth Century Fox’s first-place finisher from last weekend, A Good Day To Die Hard, fell apart Friday and struggled through Sunday. Guess those horrible reviews finally caught up with it.

Total moviegoing this weekend looks like $99M, down -26% from last year. Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:

1. Identity Thief (Universal) Week 3 [Runs 3,222]
Friday $4.0M, Saturday $6.6M, Weekend $14.0M, Cume $93.6M

2. Snitch (Summit/Lionsgate) NEW [Runs 2,511]
Friday $4.1M, Saturday $5.6M, Weekend $12.8M

3. Escape From Planet Earth 3D (Weinstein) Week 2 [Runs 3,353]
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $5.2M, Weekend $11.1M, Cume $35.2M

4. Safe Haven (Relativity) Week 2 [3,223]
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $10.7M, Cume $48.2M

5. A Good Day To Die Hard (Fox) Week 2 [Runs 3,555]
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $9.7M, Cume $51.5M

6. Dark Skies (Dimension/Weinstein) NEW [Runs 2,313]
Friday $3.0M, Saturday $3.5M, Weekend $8.4M
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Super Bowl XLVII To Air 6 Studio Film Ads

By | Monday January 28, 2013 @ 7:01pm PST

If last year’s record breaking 111.3 million viewers is any indication, Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII is going to be a good place to be seen. But it costs $4 million for a 30 second spot. Despite that, Disney, Universal and Paramount have all purchased ad space from CBS for the big game this year. Some movies you’ll see at this year’s Super Bowl have already had trailers out, like Iron Man 3 and The Lone Ranger. Others like The Fast And The Furious 6 are making their world debut.  Still not everyone’s getting into the game. Sources at Warner Bros, the Weinstein Company, Sony and Fox say the studios didn’t buy any ads this year. Despite having The Hunger Games: Catching Fire coming in November, Lionsgate also doesn’t seem to have purchased any ad time. Summit will be running an already seen spot for Snitch starring Dwayne Johnson during the pre and post game sows. However, for right now, here’s who you will be seeing on Super Bowl. (We’ll update with more as we get them)

Disney – The House of Mouse is posing a triple ad threat this Super Bowl. They had a 63-second preview of Oz: The Great And Powerful (released March Read More »

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Dakota Fanning To Play Errol Flynn’s Teen Mistress In ‘The Last Of Robin Hood’

By | Wednesday January 23, 2013 @ 8:39pm PST

Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.

Dakota Fanning has been cast as Kevin Kline‘s teenage girlfriend in the true Hollywood pic The Last Of Robin Hood, which chronicles the final years of Errol Flynn‘s life with Kline portraying the swashbuckling screen icon. Quinceanera helmers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland scripted and will direct. Fanning will play teenage actress Beverly Aadland, who was 17-years-old and by Flynn’s side when he died at age 50 in 1959. Susan Sarandon is also attached as Florence Aadland, who wrote the 1961 book The Big Love accusing Flynn of starting a sexual relationship with her daughter when Beverly was 15, an allegation Beverly Aadland later confirmed to People. Read More »

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Blancanieves To Open Palm Springs Fest

By | Thursday December 20, 2012 @ 4:01am PST

Spanish director Pablo Berger’s re-imagining of the Snow White fairytale Blancanieves will kick off the Palm Springs Film Festival on January 3. The festival’s closing-night presentation January 13 will be Paul Andrew Williams’ Unfinished Song starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave. This year’s lineup, which as usual showcases numerous contenders for the Foreign Language Film Oscar, features 180 films from 68 countries. The festival concludes January 14. Additional films from the announcement: Read More »

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