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Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit, How The Beatles And Stanley Kubrick Nearly Did LOTR, And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con

Mike Fleming

Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit, How The Beatles And Stanley Kubrick Nearly Did LOTR, And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-ConPeter Jackson is coming to the end of a stay in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth that has dominated a quarter of the 53-year-old director’s life, right into middle age. The result: three Lord Of The Rings films and two installments of The Hobbit that have grossed $4.89 billion in worldwide box office.

By the time The Battle Of The Five Armies, the finale to The Hobbit trilogy, plays out, Jackson’s six films may reach $6 billion, and better the current hardware haul of 17 Oscars including Best Picture for Return Of The King, and 35 other noms. Unless James Cameron has something to say about it with his new Avatar trilogy, we may never see anything again in our lives to match Jackson’s cinematic accomplishment, all done with the same creative team.

If he’s feeling the weight of that, he wore it well at Comic-Con. Mostly, he battled jet lag after the long trip to San Diego from New Zealand, where the last film waits for him to finish. He’s tired enough when I enter his hotel room that he suggests I get in bed next to where he’s resting. Then he thinks better, unsure he can stay awake unless upright. I tell him I had the same problem the night before at a very funny live Chris Hardwick-hosted game show my son was desperate to see, only to nudge me again and again for snoring too loud. Our chat started with middle-age sleep apnea and moved to Middle Earth, how close The Beatles came to doing The Lord Of The Rings with Stanley Kubrick, and how Jackson will handle leaving Middle Earth, a place he almost didn’t get to visit at all.

JACKSON: So you almost ruined your son’s time by snoring? I once flew coach class from New Zealand to London, and my friends informed me they’d gotten a ticket for the theater at the West End stage. My friend had to elbow me because not only could they see me from the stage, they could probably hear me as well. When I worked as a newspaper photo engraver in the only job I ever had, many years ago, I’d get the train home to Pukerua Bay where I was staying with my parents. An hour ride, 16 stops and almost always I’d have automatic wake-up, seconds before we pulled into my station. Travel makes you tired more than anything, and Friday was my daughter’s 18th birthday and we celebrated here.

indexDEADLINE: One of those tiny gorgeous kids we watched grow up in glimpses during Lord Of The Rings films?
JACKSON: She was 3 when we made The Fellowship Of The Ring. Katie and Elijah Wood were talking today and they figured out she was 3 when he first met her. She’s 18. Kids, more than anything in life, chart time for us.

DEADLINE: Movies and sports do it, too. It’s easy to be cynical, but I am so charmed by these Comic-Con people and how the proceedings bring out the child versions of themselves. Total lack of cynicism. Do you get to appreciate that still?
JACKSON: There’s a certain reality to me going out now. I’d get six paces, no further, and it would be selfies, and nothing else. In the old days, people asked you to sign something, and half would be too nervous to ask. Now, there’s an aggression to it, like they want you as a trophy on their web page. It’s a social coup to nail you on their cell phone. It changed everything. I get six paces and then can’t walk another. But I went anyway, yesterday, found a way to walk all the way around the convention center.

DEADLINE: How did you manage that?
JACKSON: Oh, I got myself a secret identity. I became the Evil Jester. You can look at the photos on my Facebook page. Read More »

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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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Comic-Con 2014: Complete TV Schedule

Comic-Con 2014: Complete TV ScheduleWednesday, July 23 — Preview Night
6-10 PM, Ballroom 20
Warner Bros. TV Pilot Screening: Constantine, The Flash, iZombie, Teen Titans Go!

Thursday, July 24
10-11 AM, Ballroom 20
Fox’s 24: Kiefer Sutherland, EP Jon Cassar returns to Comic-Con to show off highlights from 24: Live Another Day.

10:30-11:30 AM, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront
Legends Of TV Land: Betty White (The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and other TV celebs will answer questions about their work and making history on television. Sneak peek of animated episode of Hot in Cleveland, airing July 30th.

Related: ‘Star Wars – Episode VII’ Not Presenting at Comic-Con 2014

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Hollywood Costume Exhibit Coming To Future Home Of Academy Museum

Hollywood Costume Exhibit Coming To Future Home Of Academy MuseumThe Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures isn’t slated to open there for another three years, but the old May Company building at Wilshire and Fairfax is getting a taste of Tinseltown in the fall. The Academy said today that it is bringing the touring exhibit Hollywood Costume to the Miracle Mile for a five-month run in October. The exhibit put together by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London features nearly 150 costumes, and the Academy is adding 30 more from such recent films as Dallas Buyers Club, The Hunger Games and Django Unchained, along with a new interview with Quentin Tarantino and Django costume designer Sharen Davis. Hollywood Costume also will feature the original ruby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz, shown with Dorothy’s blue and white gingham pinafore dress, and clothes from such classics as Mary Poppins, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Titanic. Read More »

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Update: Intl Box Office: Boosted By China, ‘Transformers’ Crushes $202.1M Says Paramount For Biggest 2014 Offshore Bow; ‘Breakup Guru’ Woos; ‘Dragon’ Still Flying

Update: Intl Box Office: Boosted By China, ‘Transformers’ Crushes $202.1M Says Paramount For Biggest 2014 Offshore Bow; ‘Breakup Guru’ Woos; ‘Dragon’ Still FlyingcinemaworldFINAL UPDATE, MONDAY, 2:30 PM: Final numbers are in for Sony’s 22 Jump Street, Think Like a Man Too, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Warner Bros.’ Edge of Tomorrow, Jersey Boys, Blended and Godzilla, Disney’s Maleficent and Frozen (in Japan), Fox’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Fault in Our Stars, The Other Woman, and Uni’s batch of films, Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie, Neighbors, Boyhood, and A Million Ways to Die in the West, Transcendence (which debuted in France and Japan) and Heaven Is For Real. We just updated territory by territory breakdowns of Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction.

We have overall cume numbers of Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction now. Internationally, it was estimated at $201.3M yesterday and the studio says its final number for the weekend is $202.1M. In China, the estimate was $90M and today’s final the studio says is $91.9M. The worldwide gross sits around $299.6M based on true domestic three-day domestic grosses of $97.5M. Paramount’s claim of a $100M three-day box office is being widely disputed by all other distributors in the U.S. who also think the $97.5M is about right. In 10,152 locations, the Michael Bay-directed movie opened No. 1 in all 37 territories that it debuted in and Paramount Pictures was 35% bigger than the last installment, 2011′s Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

4TH UPDATE SUNDAY 3:28 PM PT: Michael Bay’s fourth in the Transformers franchise, as expected, dominated international play this weekend. With what Paramount says on Monday is a final of $202.1M, Age Of Extinction is the biggest international opener of the year and has bragging rights as the biggest imported bow ever in China at what was estimated at $90M but Monday showed $91.9M. China was the top market for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon which tallied $165.5M in 2011. TAOE included an added incentive for the Chinese given its Mainland locales, home-grown star Li Bingbing and a big publicity push that boasted the Hong Kong world premiere and the closing-night berth at the Shanghai Film Festival. The overall international numbers for the Top 10 films this weekend are worth 56% more than last weekend, but they are still 3% down on the comparable frame in 2013. That seems kind of surprising.

Transformers international box office chartBut, looking at last year, there was World War Z with $70.1M, Man Of Steel with $52.2M, Monsters University with $44.2M, Despicable Me 2 with $40.1M and local Chinese romancer Tiny Times, which debuted to $42.8M. Studios this year were already getting out of the way of the World Cup, and with TAOE sucking a lot of air out of the Asian markets, ultimately the result has its reason. One film that did creep up into the top echelons this weekend as local counterprogramming to TAOE in China was The Breakup Guru. The romantic comedy opened to $20.57M in two markets – China and the U.S. – and helps explain why holdovers like Maleficent or Godzilla dropped in their Middle Kingdom runs. (More on Breakup Guru below in the territory round-ups). TAOE has yet to bow in several territories, in many cases because of the ongoing World Cup, and could yet provide further records. They include the UK (July 5), Mexico (July 11), France (July 16), Germany and Brazil (July 17) and Japan (August 8). Of those, only France, Germany and Brazil are still moving forward in the mega-football tourney, so having their release dates fall after the final looks somehow prescient. The European premiere for TAOE will be held in Berlin this week. Read More »

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‘Game of Thrones’ To Get Real Queen On Northern Ireland Set

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 12:48pm PDT

‘Game of Thrones’ To Get Real Queen On Northern Ireland SetSo much for all those Starks and Targaryens muddling up the blue (and red) blood on the sets of Game Of ThronesNow, the hit HBO show is getting a real queen, England’s Elizabeth II, who will sail onto the set in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter next week as part of a three-day visit to Northern Ireleand, her official Twitter feed announced this morning. The show shoots on a number of Northern Ireland sets for at least some of its key scenes, such as those at The Wall and the Eyrie. No official word whether the Queen is a fan of the show, or whether she’ll bring her favorite dragon.

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Neve Campbell Signs With Paradigm

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 4:30pm PDT

Neve Campbell EXCLUSIVE: Paradigm has signed Scream actress Neve Campbell. The star of Wes Craven’s horror franchise first broke out on Fox drama Party of Five before leading the cast of the 1996 goth teen hit The Craft. Playing final girl Sidney Prescott in Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, and 2011′s Scream 4 earned Campbell a place in horror history, while she added dramas like Wild Things, 54, Panic, Three To Tango, and When Will I Be Loved to her resume. Campbell also voiced Simba’s daughter in animated sequel The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. She co-wrote, produced, and starred in Robert Altman’s penultimate film, the 2003 ballet drama The Company. In February Campbell bowed out of TNT pilot Guilt By Association. Her recent television appearances include roles in Titanic: Blood and Steel, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mad Men as well as The Simpsons, The Philanthropist, and Medium. She’ll next be seen in indie Walter with Milo Ventimiglia and William H. Macy and continues to be managed by Mosaic.

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Intl Box Office: ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ No. 1 With $81M; ‘Fault In Our Stars’ Shines Bright In Brazil, Mexico, Oz; ‘Maleficent’ Adds $61.7M; ‘X-Men’ Crosses $100M In China; More

Highlights: Edge Of Tomorrow (WB) loops $81M in 2nd frame for $111M overseas cume; Maleficent (DIS) spells another $61.7M; X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) adds $41.1M, helps studio over $1.5B GBO mark; The Fault In Our Stars (FOX) twinkles with $16.5M in 17 markets; 22 Jump Street (SONY) uncovers $8.2M; Godzilla‘s cume is now $208.2 … MORE

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FINAL UPDATE, 7:30 PM PST: Grosses for the last film of the weekend, Godzilla, have been added below. All numbers final.

2nd UPDATE, 4:52 PM PST: Grosses are in on everything but Godzilla as we are still waiting to hear from Warner Bros. However, they did report for the Tom Cruise sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow. So, we have updated grosses for every other film but the Big Lizard, including Fox’s The Fault In Our Stars, Sony’s 22 Jump Street, Fox franchise X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Sony’s franchise player The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Uni’s ill-fated domestic comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West and their comedy success Neighbors, as well as Babysitting, Spanish Affairs, Her (which Uni is handling in South Korea), Fox’s The Other Woman and just got numbers in for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood which was a favorite at the Berlin Film Festival this year and has been winning awards at festivals Stateside, too. Uni is handling. All Final updated international numbers are below: Read More »

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‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Enters Weekend Looking To Cross $100M in China And Push Past $550M Worldwide

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 5:02pm PDT

X-Men-Days-of-Future-PastFox’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past is nearing $550M worldwide after earning $39.4M since this past Sunday, and the big news is that it will pass $100M this weekend in China. When it does,  X-Men will enter into the company of Avatar and Titanic as only the third film from Fox to cross into that exclusive club in China.

It will be competing against the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner Edge Of Tomorrow which bows in the country this weekend. Edge of Tomorrow also has the advantage of 335 IMAX release dates overseas.

Related: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Crosses $500M Overseas

X-Men: Days Of Future Past has an international gross of $380M now and a domestic gross through today of around $169M. China is by far its biggest market with the UK coming in next for a total cume heading into the weekend of $36M. South Korea is next with $26.3M. Spain opens Friday. Read More »

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UPDATE: Int’l Box Office: ‘Maleficent’ Awakens $106.1M Overseas; ‘X-Men’ Adds $95.6M; ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ Cruises To $20.1M In Select Markets; ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Holsters $10M; More

Highlights: Maleficent (DIS) takes estimated $106.1M in overseas bow; X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) mutates beyond $500M worldwide; Edge Of Tomorrow (WB) has $20.1M debut; Godzilla (WB) nearing $200M; A Million Ways To Die In The West (UNI) shoots up $10M; Neighbors (UNI) crosses $200M worldwide; Frozen (DIS) skates past $200M in Japan; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) nears $500M…

cinemaworld3rd UPDATE, MONDAY, 3:46 PM PT: The final tally is in for Maleficent and its weekend debut was better than expected in many international territories. It’s gross is now well past $100M. Specifically, the Angelina Jolie-driven film is at $106.1M in 7,427 runs. Final tally is in for Warner Bros.’ opener Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise but need to corroborate territory by territory breakdowns and will update when we’re sure of them, but otherwise, final numbers are in for Godzilla, Universal’s opener A Million Ways to Die in the West and Neighbors, Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Other Woman and Rio2. In addition, we have Spanish Affairs and Babysitting updates all incorporated below.

2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 9:05 AM PT: While we wait on updated actuals from around the international dial, Disney has revised its numbers for Frozen‘s 12th consecutive weekend atop the Japan box office. The cume this frame was $7.5M, not $5.8M as the studio previously reported. That was 8% above last weekend and pushed Frozen even farther past the $200M mark locally with the cume now at $207.5M. With X-Men: Days Of Future Past taking the No. 2 slot in its bow — at $3.4M, the best of the franchise’s openings since 2003 — could it ultimately fall to Disney’s other female-led fairy tale to snatch away the box office crown when Maleficent opens on July 4? Frozen figures have been updated throughout the below. Read More »

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UPDATED INT’L BOX OFFICE: Fan-Tastic ‘X-Men’ Bows To Biggest Fox Opener Ever And No. 1 In Every Market; ‘Godzilla’ Second Weekend Pushes WB To $1B 2014; ‘Blended’ Rolls Out Slowly; ‘Neighbors’ Still Partying, More

OPENING: X-Men: Days of Future Past (FOX), bows spectacularly in 118 markets at $172M and No. 1 in every market; is now at $193.7M thru Monday; Blended (WB) opening in 6 markets, including the UK/Ireland and Germany; Godzilla grabs another $35M in its second weekend. Grace Of Monaco opens in Russia and Her rolls out in Korea; The Grand Budapest Hotel crosses $100M with a worldwide total of about $157M; Frozen skates into the record books again.

xmen_days_of_future_past4th UPDATE, TUESDAY, 2:33 PM: Final and updated weekend numbers are in. Neighbors and Godzilla both did better than expected. The freshest number for Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is $193.7M through yesterday, which brings its worldwide total up to $304M. It’s on 24,378 screens and in 118 territories. Included in this write-thru are updates on X-Men, Godzilla, Grace of Monaco, Spanish Affairs — which is back in its No. 1 slot in Spain (13 weeks!) — Her and Million Dollar Arm. Just added The Other Woman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rio 2 to bring all numbers up to date. More updates to come throughout the evening, like Divergent Transcendence which just arrived late from Lionsgate. My colleague, Nancy Tartaglione, will be back next weekend and will do territory-by-territory breakdowns instead of picture by picture.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘X-Men’ $111 Opening is Top Five Best Ever Memorial Day Debuts; ‘Blended’ Softer Than Expected; ‘Godzilla’ Takes 67% Hit; ‘Neighbors’ Nears $117M

Opening Next Weekend: The Angelina Jolie-starring Disney title Maleficent day-and-date with the U.S. in 50 markets; Seth MacFarlane’s Western spoof A Million Ways To Die In The West in 22 territories, including the UK/Ireland, Germany and Australia. His previous pic, 2012′s Ted, did well in those three territories (and Japan), so it’s no wonder Uni is releasing in the same markets to kick off its international release.

3rd UPDATE, MONDAY, 12:19 PM: Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla did better than expected overall, and its weekend international cume in 64 markets is now $35M. 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is now up to $302M worldwide with a four-day U.S. Memorial Day holiday estimated gross of $111M. The seventh film in the franchise had a three-day take of $91.4M which includes Thursday late night grosses (started at 7 p.m.) of $8.1M.

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‘Frozen’ Skates Past ‘Iron Man 3′ To Become Fifth Highest-Grossing Movie Of All Time Worldwide

By | Sunday May 25, 2014 @ 11:07am PDT

FROZENFrozen, Disney’s animated family film just keeps breaking box office records. After this weekend with the remaining international territories all in, it has just iced the studio’s own Iron Man 3 to become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time globally. Frozen‘s gross now is a whopping $1.219B (yes, as in billion) compared to Disney/Marvel‘s Iron Man 3‘s $1.215B.

Disney and the filmmakers have the Japanese, in large part, to thank as it has been been sitting in the No. 1 post in the Land of the Rising Sun for 11 straight weekends to take in an incredible $193.7M to date. It is the No. 4 film of all time in Japan and Disney’s largest grosser of all time in the country (live action and animation, including Pixar). It is the No. 3 Western movie, only behind James Cameron’s Titanic and Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

This weekend, Frozen pulled in another $6.7M internationally to raise its total international cume to $818.7M. It took that $6.7M gross from one territory … Japan. In addition, it has surpassed two local animated favs — Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, both from the revered animation giant Hayao Miyazaki.

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Fox’s Jim Gianopulos Delivers USC Film Commencement Speech; Marvel’s Kevin Feige Celebrates Rejection: Transcript

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 4:51pm PDT

Jim GianopulosThe Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment addressed 2014 graduates of USC‘s School of Cinematic Arts today at the Shrine Auditorium near the LA campus. Prior to Jim Gianopulos‘s speech, Marvel President and USC alumnus Kevin Feige received the school’s Mary Pickford Alumni Award, remembering his own time as a Trojan and sharing advice for the program’s aspiring filmmakers. Gianopulos joined the SCA Board of Councilors last year. Here’s a full transcript of Gianopulos’ speech, followed by highlights of Feige’s:

Congratulations Kevin on receiving the Mary Pickford foundation Award. It’s very well deserved for the great Marvel films you’ve produced, and I wish you continued success, as long as your movies aren’t opening on the same weekend as ours!

USCDean Daley, distinguished faculty, guests and—most important—all of you graduates in the class of 2014—it is an honor and a thrill for me to be here today.

I’d like to make one thing clear right away—I am not here to give you life-changing advice. As someone who’s worked in Hollywood for many years, the only thing I can tell you with certainty is… stay off the 405.

I have no easy answers, no mandated rules for living, no reminders to floss. The great journey you’re about to embark upon will be about exploring questions and finding your own answers to them, and trust me, it’s way better than thinking you have all the answers already.

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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…

cinemaworld4th 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 additionGodzilla 2014 logo 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. Read More »

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Denzel’s Younger Turn; ‘Irma’s’ French Toast; Susan Stroman’s Frozen Dessert

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap 1431_BGerardColumn_badgeThe Tony-nominated revival of A Raisin In The Sun, coming a decade after a production in which Sean Combs made his Broadway debut as Walter Lee Younger, had some people wondering whether it was too soon. But as it turns out, that’s a discussion for pedants. Great plays deserve to be mounted as often as the talent is there to breathe life into them, and with Denzel Washington as Walter for a new generation, A Raisin In The Sun breathes life aplenty. Washington proved he was as comfortable on the stage as on screen four years ago, in a revival of August Wilson’s Fences – when James Earl Jones’ titanic performance as sanitation man and ex-baseball player Troy Maxon still cast a long shadow. Washington had no trouble making the role of Troy his own, and that’s the case today, as well: This elegant actor balances the ebullience of a man who dreams, with the world-weariness of someone tired of seeing those dreams deferred, as Langston Hughes alluded to in the poem that gives the play its name.

Walter is as angry at the world as the Jimmy Porter of Look Back In Anger, as angry as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire: young men infuriated by a world in which the cards are eternally stacked against them and the house always wins. Washington makes you feel, deeply, that terrifying, sad, inspired, hopeless, crushing yet ultimately liberating admix of emotions through which Walter careers from one hour to the next, one day to the next. Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Snares $116M In Overseas Web To Raise Overall Cume To $277M+, Growing In China After Record Bow; ‘Rio 2′ Nears $300M; ‘Other Woman’ Shows Legs; More

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) nets $116M for $277M cume; Rio 2 (FOX) adds $25.6M for a $290.4M cume; The Other Woman (FOX) toasts $19.5M in 3rd frame; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) now 5th biggest Western release ever in China with $115.8M; Frozen (DIS) has best frame yet in Japan; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) now at $108.2M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) hits 8th No. 1 closing in on record of Avatar and Titanic most consecutive weeks in the top spot.; Transcendence overall cume is $43.6M after taking in another $5.1M this weekend.

cinemaworld5th UPDATE: TUESDAY, 9:49 AM: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has raised its international gross to $277M+ over the weekend it’s nearing $300M overseas and $100M domestically. Noteworthy is that it grossed another $2.3M in Japan Monday, marking the biggest day there in its 11th day of release during the Golden Week, which helped push its cume northward. This, as Japan is having a love affair with the animated Frozen, which is still No. 1 after eight weeks in release to raise its cume to $143.2M for the weekend. the-amazing-spider-man-2-new-details-on-spideys-suitFrozen has become Disney’s biggest release ever in the market, breaking a 6 year-old record held by ArmageddonASM2 opened fourth last weekend in Japan and has crossed $17.6M in that market and by tomorrow is likely to surpass $20M. Final grosses show that ASM2 is now at $27M in Korea during a local holiday rush.

Also, all final numbers are in for The Other Woman, Transcendence, Rio 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Spanish Affairs, Noah, Divergent, The Lego Movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, Ride Along, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Babysitting. The updates have been provided throughout the copy and also in the territory by territory breakout below. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 36: The ‘Good Wife’-Bad Censor Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch ep 36In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom run through still more news out of Cannes, as the film festival officially selects more official selections, fills out its competition jury and adds Sophia Loren and restored films from Hitchcock, De Sica and other greats to its Classics section. Nancy and David also discuss China’s mysterious crackdown on the online streaming of The Good Wife and three other U.S. shows even as China and the UK signs a long-in-coming co-production treaty, and also look at new distribution methods that are bringing the final Monty Python performance and indie vet Jeff Lipsky’s newest projects to screens around the world. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Expected To Swing Past First Installment Domestically By Healthy Margin

By | Thursday May 1, 2014 @ 10:42am PDT

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Box Office PreviewHoping to carry the momentum from its overseas debut, where it has already racked up $155M in two weeks, Sony‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 bow domestically tonight on 4,324 screens (including 353 IMAX) and is expected to open about 30% higher than the first installment for the three-day weekend. The picture has always played well across all demos, but this time around, ticket sales are outpacing the first Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 and currently represents 90% of Fandango’s weekend ticket sales.

Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger said that this one is outpacing the buzz of the first one, which is good news for the studio: “We’re selling more tickets for the sequel than we did for the first film.” As it should be.

Related: Hot Trailer: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

There is one notable difference: The first Amazing Spider-Man opened during the July 4th holiday, which landed on a Wednesday, so its opening was on a Tuesday and it grossed $35M. It went onto make $62M on its first weekend (post-Fourth of July). The sequel is opening minus a holiday weekend, so if this one grosses maybe $15M tonight, and then another $30M-$35M on Friday, it looks on track for a $90M+ weekend. If estimates come in lower after Friday night attendance, all eyes will be on the Saturday bump.

sonypicInternationally, the film is still rolling out with France and Brazil bowing tonight and then China on Sunday. By then, Spidey will be in around 40 markets. With an international opening of $47M, the Sony tentpole marked the biggest opening of 2014 when it bowed two weeks ago in 14 markets. In the UK/Ireland, Spidey grabbed $15M and marked a 49% bigger opening than Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the territory. But in 2012, the first installment has a UK opening-weekend tally of $17.1M. The same group of markets, Sony says, opened comparably to the first, and watching its rollout, that is very true: some markets are higher and some have been lower. Spider-Man has done particularly well overseas traditionally, although it has yet to top the $1B mark like other Marvel titles have done. China should be a great box office catch for this film as the first installment did exceptionally well, grossing a total of $48.8M in 2012. Latin America is also usually very strong for Spider-Man as is Japan, Korea and Russia — which together brought in $96.8M in 2012.

The performance of Amazing Spider-Man 2 is crucial for the studio. The production budget is said to be around $255M, with about $185M-$190M spent on marketing. That means all in it needs to make more than $752.2M worldwide (which is what the first installment grossed). About 65% of the first installment’s gross came from international markets. The domestic audience has declined slightly for Spider-Man so if it does not perform strongly stateside, it will need to make up the difference internationally or vice versa. Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Snares $67.2M; ‘Rio 2′ At $250M; ‘Captain America 2′ Crosses $400M; China’s ‘My Old Classmate’ Aces Test; ‘Other Woman’ Attracts $12.8M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Still Hot In Spain; ‘Transcendence’ Adds $11M; More

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) spins $67.2M in sophomore weekend; Rio 2 (FOX) wings way to $250M; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) adds $16M for $420.3M overseas haul; The Other Woman (FOX) has $20.63M cume; Noah (PAR) summons $11.1M; Transcendence (WB) takes $10.8M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) nearing $100M intl; The Lego Movie (WB) builds to $200M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) becomes highest-grossing Spanish film of all time at home with $61.4M…

cinemaworld4TH UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 9 AM PT While I was traveling back from the U.S., additional and updated numbers came in for the past weekend’s box office. Notably, we’ve been furnished with a breakdown of Transcendence‘s performance in its 2nd frame. In 39 ex-U.S. markets, the film added a further $11.02M for an overseas cume of $34.1M. The worldwide total is $52.08M. In China, it earned $2.8M from an estimated 2,640 screens this frame, a 75% drop from its first outing last week. There were major new local films in the market (see below), but last week’s start was lower than hoped for especially given Johnny Depp’s big China promotional tour. However, with $19.1M total in China, the market is still outperforming domestic and should end up its biggest territory. With stiff competition from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Other Woman and Rio 2, the film kicked off at No. 4 … Read More »

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