André Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
Flying the flag for event cinema, André Rieu’s 2014 10th Anniversary Maastricht Concert became the UK’s highest-grossing music event of all time at the box office this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, CinemaLive screened the concert at 410 locations across the UK and Ireland, grossing $1.42M. The concert also screened at 234 moviehouses in European markets including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Finland and Croatia, bringing the total gross box office figure to more than $2.05M for the weekend. Rieu’s July 2013 cinema concert event set UK records with about $766K. The massive jump this year is one more feather in the cap of live event cinema which has been growing in popularity with music- and theater-loving crowds. Classical violinist Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz”, is known for his energetic and festive live performances. He has sold more than 35M albums worldwide. Further screenings of the concert will take place this coming weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia and South East Asia to ultimately reach more than 1,000 cinema screens in 35 countries. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start adding these to my international weekend box office reports.
Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; More
André Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
All throughout the past month, we’ve covered the World Cup ratings bonanza for broadcasters from ABC, ESPN and Univision in the U.S., to BBC One, ARD, ZDF, and TF1 in Europe, among others. While we know a lot of those numbers don’t take into account folks watching in bars, cafés and town squares, what about fans who were in the air? The sky as a content destination is a fast-growing business with companies like Global Eagle, Gogo and Panasonic Avionics connecting entertainment and airline passengers in new ways. In a historic first, and courtesy of Panasonic’s in-flight Sport 24 channel, Sunday’s World Cup final was shown live by nine international carriers. According to the company, Germany’s defeat of Argentina was seen by 40,000 people, 35,000 feet above Earth. Bloomberg reports the figure is a record for a live in-flight TV broadcast. Throughout the World Cup and across such carriers as Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Emirates, Panasonic estimated that 1.5M passengers will have seen the tournament live on its systems. The matches were delivered over satellite WiFi and shown free of charge — in all classes. Carriers in the U.S. also allowed travelers to watch many of the matches via traditional satellite TV services from DirecTV and Dish Network, Forbes reported. ESPN is beamed directly to seat back televisions in many aircraft, but not ABC which showed many weekend games and the final.
Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen matches…
With England’s national team officially knocked out of the World Cup as Costa Rica bested Italy on Friday, fans in the UK had little taste for following the next match of the day. France’s 5-2 victory over Switzerland at 8 PM on ITV was the lowest rated primetime match of the tournament so far. It drew 4.41M viewers for a 23.6% share. Across the Manche, however, France’s leading broadcaster TF1 saw its highest ratings since 2007 as roughly 16.7M viewers rallied round Les Bleus. That was good for a 62% share and was the biggest World Cup score since the 2006 finale against Italy — and the head butt heard round the world — which drew 22M viewers. Yesterday’s performance and the nation’s embrace of the team makes a big change from four years ago when the players wouldn’t even get off their bus in South Africa. We’ll report ESPN numbers later. Matches set for today are Argentina v Iran, Germany v Ghana, and Nigera v Bosnia-Herzegovina.
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications have set crime drama Sex, Lies And Handwriting at ABC. The project, now in development, is intended as straight-to-series, with a fall production start in Vancouver eyed should ABC move to greenlight the pilot script.
Sex, Lies And Handwriting is the first project to come out of the joint venture Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications, a Studiocanal company, launched last year to co-finance and distribute hourlong dramas using the straight-to-series model Tandem employed for its first drama series, Crossing Lines, as well as its miniseries including The Pillars Of The Earth and its follow-up World Without End. As expected, the partners tweaked Tandem’s existing approach, in which the Munich-based company financed its series (mostly though international pre-sales) and completed the projects before taking the finished product to the U.S.. With Sex, Lies And Handwriting, an American network, ABC, is brought in much earlier in the process for more simultaneous sales in the U.S. and Europe and Canada. Other network development partners already on board for the potential series include Bell Media (Canada), TF1 Network (France) and ProSiebenSat.1 (Germany). The series would be produced in Canada by Sea To Sky, the Canadian studio joint venture between Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’ In Oz; France v Honduras Woos Auds; Rohrwacher On Venice Jury Duty
Thunderbirds Are Go! in Australia. ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed its first international TV broadcast deal for the re-invention of the classic kids’ series. The pact with Oz’s with Nine Network will see the new show air, rather fittingly, on youth-skewing digital channel GO! Nine Network and GO! have already been the Australian home of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s original Thunderbirds series since it first aired in the 1960s. The new series starts on GO! from spring 2015, shortly after the UK world premiere on ITV and CITV. Produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with Weta Workshop, the new series of 26 episodes will incorporate a mixture of CGI animation and live-action model sets. The cast is led by Rosamund Pike as Lady Penelope, and David Graham reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker. Inventor Brains will be voiced by Kayvan Novak. Tracy brothers Alan and Scott are both played by Rasmus Hardiker. David Menkin has also been cast as both Virgil and Gordon Tracy. The fifth Tracy brother, John, will be played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
France’s first match of the World Cup tournament scored for the team, and for broadcaster TF1. Defeating Honduras, Les Bleus drew 15.8M viewers for a 57% share at home on Sunday night, and with a peak of 17M viewers at one point for the match that …
When France hosted – and ultimately won — the 1998 World Cup, Parisians were encouraged by the mayor’s office to be nice to our guests. Billboards went up all over town reminding us to smile and heartily say “Bonjour!” Many were skeptical, but that feeling changed quickly. This year, Brazilians, not known for the same frosty exterior as the French, are gearing up for their own World Cup as hosts (and favorites), but the atmosphere is not looking quite so warm. With preparations woefully behind, some stadiums not at completion and a general sense that too much money has been spent on the event, many locals are exasperated with the whole thing before it’s even begun. A crime wave has broken out in Rio and strikes have started with the threat of more looming. Despite all of this, it would be foolhardy to think the country won’t get behind its team and focus on the 12 pitches where the beautiful game will be played over the next month. Indeed, all over the world, fans will start planning their days around kickoff times come Thursday with a projected 1 billion people tuning in to the opening Brazil vs Croatia match. That’s a lot of butts on couches and bar stools — and not in movie theater seats. With that in mind, here’s a look at how the studios strategize around the world where some countries embrace the sport as though it were a matter of life and death, and others don’t get so worked up.
It’s fair to say the U.S. falls into the latter category. Yet, there has been some movement in recent years. ESPN, which aired the Euro Cup in 2012 and the 2010 World Cup from South Africa, has seen increased ratings, and execs this week all but guaranteed additional growth this year (see the full U.S. TV schedule below). When the Americans tied England in the Group C opening game of the 2010 World Cup, a studio exec tells me it did lead to some effect on cinema-going. Roundly, though, while the studios have put the mega sporting event into their international strategic plans over the past decade, industry insiders contend they don’t pay too much mind to the tournament’s domestic impact. Despite the preponderance of kids who play the sport, soccer has just never been massive in the States.
With the major European national teams like Germany, France and Spain, box office is usually down by about 50%-60% in those markets if the home team is playing, and about 20% if they’re not. And yet, Hollywood doesn’t see having a major soccer year as a pass. As one exec says, “You don’t go, ‘it’s the Euro Cup, therefore we get to have a bad year.’ In theory, you might say, ‘It’s World Cup next year, if you’re really expecting us to do $2 billion international, it’s unrealistic.’” However, “Everyone expects it to work itself out. There are losers that were going to be losers anyway, they’re not casualties of the World Cup.”
Heading into Cannes, the refrain was roundly the same as the one we heard going into the last big market, February’s EFM in Berlin. Whether it be from sales people, buyers or producers both foreign and domestic, there was a lament that the big projects had failed to materialize and that despite hopes to the contrary, this would be a very soft sojourn on the Croisette. One buyer called the situation a “catastrophe.” It is simply harder to pull together exciting packages, execs said, as talent attachments take longer and numbers are harder to hit. Still, if international dealmaking was in line with expectations, there was a jolt in domestic deals from the get-go. On the eve of the market, Paramount spent a record $20M on Story Of Your Life. The deal for the Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi pic starring Amy Adams was brokered by Lava Bear’s David Linde with WME Global’s Graham Taylor and FilmNation’s Glen Basner. Basner was also in the middle of The Weinstein Co’s landmark $7M Berlin deal for The Imitation Game. That acquisition was the real news out of Berlin, but it did not have a knock-on effect of jump-starting what ended up to be a pretty tepid EFM.
Ennio Morricone’s Injury Force Cancellation Of U.S. Concert Dates
Complications from a back injury have forced Ennio Morricone to cancel his planned concerts in the U.S. next month. The composer, who has five Academy Award nominations and a 2007 Honorary Oscar to his credit, was to conduct a 200-piece ensemble of musicians and singers performing selections from his film scores. Morricone, 85, had planned give his first-ever Los Angeles performance on June 15 at the Nokia Theatre and only his second career NYC show on June 13 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He suffered the back injury in March, leading to the cancellation of shows scheduled into June, but had hoped to make the U.S. dates. His attorney said the injury prevents him from conducting or flying. Said the Italian composer, “I apologize to my fans for having to cancel these shows, and hope that I am able to make it back soon.”
France TF1 Orders ‘My Restaurant Rocks’
Following the early-April airing of its pilot, My Restaurant Rocks has been given a series order by France’s largest broadcaster. TF1 picked up Red Arrow International’s local adaptation of the German reality competition format, in which four professional restaurants go head-to-head in a battle to be the best in their local region. Every restaurant takes its turn hosting its competitors, serving them a three-course dinner. The show’s French title is L’Addition, s’il vous plait.
Cannes: EOne’s New International Strategy Sees Payoff As Key Deals Close On ‘Eye In The Sky’, ‘Trumbo’
EXCLUSIVE: This is the first Cannes market for eOne Films International since defining its global strategy under former Studiocanal exec Harold van Lier. He joined as President in January and was quickly armed with a $100M acquisitions fund to help “get our hands on the most sought-after films in the earliest stages,” he said at the time. Here in Cannes, two of eOne’s new projects, action thriller Eye In The Sky and drama Trumbo, have proved popular with buyers. Each has secured a significant all-rights deal with France’s TF1 whose theatrical releases go via French major UGC. Colin Firth, who stars in Eye In The Sky with Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul, is in Cannes today to talk up the film which he is also producing with Ged Doherty and eOne’s Xavier Marchand. Gavin Hood is directing. Trumbo is the Jay Roach-helmed story of legendary blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who is being played by Bryan Cranston. The French deals are meaningful given “the reality of how tough the French market is,” says van Lier. “Outside of the U.S., this is a big piece for us to tuck into” with “very competitive” pricetags. Charlotte van Weede, SVP of Sales, closed both deals in …
UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: I’ve just gotten word that added to the below will be a new promo for Macbeth. Justin Kurzel’s version of the Shakespeare tale stars Michael Fassbender as the iconic eponymous antihero and Marion Cotillard as his scheming Lady.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: In what’s become a highly anticipated annual event, The Weinstein Co is gearing up for tomorrow’s screening of first-look footage from its upcoming films. Two years ago, TWC first rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to show about 20 minutes of three of its 2012 awards contenders: Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. It was a prescient move that got the awards conversation started. Last year, the reel was bumped up to 40 minutes and included clips from such pics as The Butler, The Grandmaster, One Chance, Fruitvale Station, August: Osage County and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Harvey Weinstein has increasingly used this invite-only Cannes reception as a platform to tout the company’s slate and whet the appetite for releases later in the year. He’s also trotted out talent from the movies. This year’s event, co-hosted by Worldview Entertainment, goes down tomorrow at the Majestic replete with cocktails and a special press conference.
Among those set for the preview reel are Toronto sensation Begin Again, the John Carney-directed pic starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine. Ivanhoe Pictures and Beijing Galloping Horse just acquired the Chinese theatrical and all platform rights. It opens in North America and Europe this summer. Also due is a new trailer from The Giver, the feature adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian young-adult novel that stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. It releases in August. Also with an August release, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is getting a teaser trailer, and animated soccer movie Underdogs is screening a new trailer. Un Certain Regard title The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby is unspooling a new trailer. The movie screens in UCR on Saturday in the third version to appear at a festival after two versions played Toronto, one titled Him and the other Her. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain star as a married couple whose relationship disintegrates.
Intl Box Office: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Snares $54M In 1st China Week; ‘Neighbors’ Parties With $33.7M Open; ‘Rio 2′ Flies Past $300M; Auds Faithful To ‘The Other Woman’; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Sets New Record; More
Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) outperforms 1st film in China with $54M 8-day take; Neighbors (UNI) taps into kegful of No 1 bows to take $33.7M weekend; Rio 2 feathers its nest with added $14.4M; The Other Woman (FOX) rings up $13.3M more; Frozen (DIS) passes Avatar to become No. 5 western release in Japan; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) nearing $700M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) breaks Avatar, Titanic records for most consecutive days at No. 1…
4th UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, 9:14 PM: Lionsgate just reported last weekend’s box office for Transcendence. In 47 markets, the Johnny Depp picture grossed $2.8M to push its cume to $47.6M It’s only made $69.7M ww to date, having bombed at the domestic box office. It’s top grossing market continues to be China with $22M. It bows in South Korea tomorrow.
3rd UPDATE: MONDAY, 7:03 PM: New and updated numbers below for Neighbors, Heaven Is For Real, The Other Woman, Divergent, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rio 2, Devil’s Due, Spanish Affairs, Babysitting, 12 Years a Slave and others.
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 4:43 PM PT: The ongoing runs of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Rio 2, The Other Woman and Frozen, along with the addition of Neighbors this week, kept the box office churning, but the weekend was down across the Top 10 studio titles by 41% compared to last week, and 16% compared to last year. In the similar frame of 2013, Iron Man 3 was still rocketing its way around the globe, passing the $650M mark in its 3rd weekend, and Star Trek Into Darkness bowed in a handful of markets to just over $30M.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Voting Glitch Fixed For Brazilian ‘Rising Star’; ‘Boom!’ Big In Israel; ‘Host In The Box’ To Spain; More
Brazil’s ‘Rising Star’ Glitch Fixed; ‘Boom!’ Blowing Up In Israel
The second airing of the local adaptation of Rising Star in Brazil went off without a hitch on Sunday after a glitch during the premiere last week meant that some viewers were unable to enter their votes. Keshet International reports today that Superstar, as it’s known locally, had a 30% average audience share in its sophomore outing at 11pm Sunday on Rede Globo. The interactive app that allows viewers to vote whether an act moves ahead has been downloaded 1.4M times with 2.5M votes cast during Episode 2. Closer to home, Keshet’s super-hot Mip-TV format Boom! grew in its second airing on Israel’s Channel 2 last week with a 41.5% share; ratings were up across major demos as well. Boom! sold to the U.S. (Fox), France (TF1), Spain (Atresmedia), Hungary (TV2) and Belgium (VTM) during last week’s market in Cannes.
Cuarto Bringing Endemol’s ‘Host In The Box’ To Spain
Endemol’s Host In The Box format has sold to Spain’s Cuatro, with Endemol producing locally. The factual entertainment format, created by Endemol Germany, previously sold to Hungary, where it aired for eight episodes on Super TV2; it originally launched on ProSieben in Germany. In each instalment, a different host is locked inside a wooden box and shipped off to an undisclosed location in the home country.
Amazon Sets …
MIPTV Briefs: Baltasar Kormakur To Direct & Produce Icelandic Series ‘Trapped’; ‘Boom!’ Goes To Spain; Japan’s Wowow Boards Scorsese Doc; More
Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who segues between Hollywood and home-based projects, is set to direct and produce serialized crime series Trapped in his native country. From Kormakur’s RVK Studios, it’s based on his original idea and written by Sigurjon Kjartansson and Clive Bradley. Trapped follows the investigation of the grisly murder of an unidentifiable man found in the water after an international ferry arrives in a small town at the bottom of a fjord. Soon after, a powerful blizzard hits the town with deadly force, making the only road in or out impassable. The 10-part series, the most ambitious Icelandic commission ever ordered, will air locally on public broadcaster RUV. RVK’s Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson is also producing and RVX, the effects arm of RVK, will design the VFX. Dynamic Television’s Daniel March and Klaus Zimmermann are executive producers and are handling worldwide distribution. Kormakur, whose The Deep was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar in 2012, is currently directing Everest for Universal, Cross Creek Pictures and Working Title Films.
Just days after it was taken out on the global marketplace, the Israeli game show format Boom! has landed a sale in the U.S. Fox has given a series order to the explosive project, developed for the U.S. by Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group (Homeland), and DC Media, the parent company of dick clark prods. (Golden Globes)
Television executives are always on the hunt for the proverbial Next Big Thing, and for the past year or so, the Mipcom and Mip-TV markets have emerged as important hubs where some of the hottest new formats are unveiled. Following a strong showing at last fall’s Mipcom, Keshet‘s Rising Star sold around the world, including to ABC in the U.S. What will be the breakout format at Mip-TV which kicks off tomorrow? With the U.S. reality market yet to yield a new tentpole franchise since NBC premiered The Voice three years ago, and most established series more than a decade old, the necessity of finding reinforcements is ever more urgent and means execs need to be constantly vigilant as to where the new possibilities may be hidden. Likening the search to digging for truffles, Jennifer O’Connell, head of Core Media’s U.S. Television Division, says, “We’re really going to be sniffing around everywhere.” It’s important to keep a “very open mind to where a great idea can come from.” Regardless of the provenance, U.S. broadcasters are more apt to take a second look “if someone else did it first… It can be almost like an insurance policy,” she says.