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Box Office Friday: ‘Lucy’ Rising Higher As Day Progresses; ‘Hercules’ At Expected Under $30M With Another $5M From Int’l

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 6:05pm PDT

Box Office Friday: ‘Lucy’ Rising Higher As Day Progresses; ‘Hercules’ At Expected Under $30M With Another $5M From Int’l5th UPDATE, 6:05 PM: I’ve been watching the gross estimates rise all day on director Luc Besson’s Lucy, which is great news for its star Scarlett Johansson and for Universal Pictures which is distributing. As of 6 PM PST, the sci-fi actioner is on course to bring in a $15M to $17M Friday (which includes the 2.746M late night gross last night) for a revised estimate of anywhere between $37M and $42M. It’s playing in 3,173 locales. Paramount/MGM’s Hercules, in 3,595 locations, is still on track with earlier estimates and still on course for a $27M to $30M three-day, while And So It Goes is tracking a little better than $4M and may end up anywhere between $4M and $6M. The other newbie is The Fluffy Movie which may make anywhere between $1.7M and $2.5M for the weekend. More to come later.

2nd, 3rd and 4TH UPDATES, 12:50 PM, 1:10 PM, 4:31 PM: The Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner Lucy is strong in matinees today and is expected to pull in more than $30M (probably mid to high, something like $32M-$36M) and Hercules right under $30M (maybe $27M-$30M) as it looks now at 4:31 PM. More numbers will come as the day progresses but expecting Lucy to nab $14M-$15M tonight (includes the late-night number of $2.746M) which is up from the 12:50 estimate. and Hercules taking in around $10M-$12M tonight (includes the $2.1M late-night numbers), that has been pretty much the same all day today. Like Lucy‘s, its reviews are also mixed.

The Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-starrer also launched yesterday in 11 international markets, including Australia and Russia, to gross an estimated $5M. The breakdown? $2.6M in Russia, which Paramount says is 40% higher than G.I. Joe: Retaliation and marks the third-best opening day of the year. The studio says its Malaysian gross of $335K is also 10% above G.I. Joe 2. In Australia, Hercules opened to No. 1 with a $590K take (and Par says it nearly doubled Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the #2 film in the marketplace).

It doesn’t hurt that Johnson was considered the No. 1 international star of last year both with G.I. Joe 2 and Fast And The Furious 6 in the marketplace. For those of you wondering, earlier this year, Lionsgate’s The Legend Of Hercules took in only $42.6M internationally with Kellan Lutz starring. Johnson obviously has a much bigger imprint internationally so we expect this one to do much better business. Lionsgate’s version of the film also only opened to $8.8M and went on to gross around $18M and (yawn) change domestically. Read More »

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Josh Greenstein, Tony Sella Top Names In Sony Marketing Search

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 12:09pm PDT

Josh Greenstein, Tony Sella Top Names In Sony Marketing SearchParamount marketing chief Josh Greenstein and former Fox marketing guru Tony Sella are two of the leading contenders Sony brass are eyeing to come into their executive ranks following the exit of distribution and marketing executive Jeff Blake this week. Insiders caution that there are several others are in the mix too, including execs currently at the studio. Sony CEO Michael Lynton and chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group’s Amy Pascal said as much on Tuesday. Specifically, Lynton said, “Right now we are going to leave the existing structure under Jeff in place, and we will be looking both internally and externally to replace Jeff.” The studio already has shored up exec Doug Belgrad and gave him a new title (President of the Motion Picture Group) and expanded duties over marketing and distribution. Also this week, longtime Sony Pictures EVP Elizabeth Cantillon left her production post to become a producer with a three-year first-look deal at the studio. So the restructuring at Sony continues. Read More »

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‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers’ Safety Claims A “Lie”, Says Former Crew Member

By and | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT

‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers’ Safety Claims A “Lie”, Says Former Crew MemberIn an exclusive interview with Deadline, a crew member who suffered serious injuries on an earlier film by Midnight Rider director-producers Randall Miller and Jody Savin has called their “safety first” claims “a lie.”

Katie Dover, a costumer who was hurt on the set of Miller and Savin’s 2013 film CBGB during pre-production, says Miller and Savin’s recent statements regarding safety on their films don’t jibe with her experience.

Katie Dover_FotorDays ago, Midnight Rider director Miller and his wife-producer Savin — two of the three filmmakers charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones — went on the record stating that since they began in the business in 1990, “We have always emphasized the safety of the crew. In all those years we have never had a significant injury or accident of any kind.”

“That’s a lie,” said Dover, who is going on the record about the injury for the first time. “My injury was significant. I lost 6 months of work because of it.” After a table sliced the back of her hand open from little finger across to her forefinger, Dover underwent two surgeries, was in a cast and had to endure months of physical therapy. “I’d call that significant,” she said.

Related: ‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers Enter Not Guilty Plea, Say “This Was Not A Crime”

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Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake Exiting Studio After 22 Years

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:06am PDT

Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake Exiting Studio After 22 YearsEXCLUSIVE: Jeff Blake, who has served as vice chairman of Sony Pictures and chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures since 2005, is leaving the studio that he has been a part of for the past 22 years. Part of the innermost circle of Sony’s senior management team with CEO Michael Lynton and chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Amy Pascal, the departure is a real shake-up for the studio at the highest level. Blake is the stalwart pro and has been one of the longest survivors at any studio. He worked under several Sony regimes including that of Peter Guber and Mark Canton, Jonathan Dolgen, Alan Levine, Robert Wynne, Mel Harris, the beloved John Calley, Howard Stringer, and finally Lynton and Pascal. He exits August 1.

Sony announced it at 8 AM this morning, saying, “It’s with a heavy heart and great appreciation that we want to share with you news that Jeff Blake has decided to leave SPE to pursue other opportunities … he’s been an important part of the fabric of SPE. We have all loved his legendary role as raffle master at our annual holiday party, enjoyed his gregarious laugh and sense of humor and appreciate his reputation as one of the nicest and most easy-going guys in the business.”

Image (1) sony-pictures-logo__140323172613.jpeg for post 703140With Blake’s departure, the studio loses an executive with institutional and strategic knowledge of not only marketing and distribution both domestically and internationally, but on the business itself. He has worked at three studios, having joined the business in 1974 working for Paramount Pictures in Chicago. He has also worked with the best known names in the business at Paramount and at Sony (and even a short stint at Disney) – from Charlie Bludhorn and Barry Diller to Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stanley Jaffe, Frank Mancuso, the wonderful Brandon Tartikoff, the aforementioned executives and so many others. Katzenberg and Mancuso became Blake’s lifetime friends and mentors.

decode-pascal-articleInlineHis departure comes after Pascal and Lynton and the rest of SPE’s senior management have been under tremendous pressure after a rough round last summer and a hit-and-miss year so far in 2014. Pascal and Lynton have spent this past year making changes at the studio and shoring up their ranks with execs like Michael De Luca coming in as president of production at Columbia, and the announcement last week that Doug Belgrad is expanding duties with a new president of the motion picture group title. Those expanded responsibilities included working with the marketing and distribution team which also saw changes last year. Sony has undergone extreme cost-cutting at the studio as well with layoff after layoff. They have also worked to bring in co-financing deals and closed a big one with Lone Star Capital and Citibank, a smaller agreement with Village Roadshow and have also been waiting for former Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov to secure financing to start producing movies to distribute.

“Certainly there has been an air of change at Sony for the past couple of years,” said Blake. “I put it out there prior to our summer if at some point, I needed to step aside that I certainly would but, in the meantime, I wanted to make sure that there were no distractions in releasing our summer slate. I’m really comfortable with my decision, Read More »

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Sony Pictures Moves Cameron Crowe Project Out Of Christmas 2014 And Into Summer 2015

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 2:29pm PDT

Sony Pictures Moves Cameron Crowe Project Out Of Christmas 2014 And Into Summer 2015Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises are delaying the release date of director Cameron Crowe‘s untitled project starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams until May 29, 2015. The studio previously dated it for Christmas 2014, but execs decided after seeing the film that it was better as a summer release. That takes it out of any contention for Oscar nominations this year as well. It now will debut the weekend after Memorial Day and in a summer slot that has nothing really competing with it: Insidious: Chapter 3 and Monster Trucks. Read More »

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Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend

Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend8th UPDATE, Monday, 1:32 PM: It was a down weekend. After the dust cleared today, we can see the final dips: The calendar year-to-date is down 6% with the weekend of the Top Ten from last year to this year down 25%. All films added in, the business is down 23.9%. Given that all pictures underperformed a bit, here are the final box office numbers as they look this morning. Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Caesar-eyesOf all the newbies, The Purge: Anarchy actually was able to gross the high end of yesterday’s estimate and ended with $29.8M. Both Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sony’s Sex Tape took more of a hit, both off just a tad from their yesterday expectations; neither performed well. Meanwhile, Earth To Echo and Maleficent came in only $29K apart and the more exciting part of this box office weekend was that the smaller films did exceptionally well. Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary America from Lionsgate, at No. 12, held quite well, down only 30% as did Jon Favreau’s Chef (Open Road), which even after dropping about 150 locations saw a significant jump on Saturday and ended the weekend at $25.9M. Another bit of sweet news was the solid per-screen number of Richard Linkaleter’s little masterpiece Boyhood (IFC) which held a nice $34,418 per screen; its cume is now $1.785M after two weeks in a platform release. The Top 20 chart follows: Read More »

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Can ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Help Rescue The Summer Box Office?

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

Can ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Help Rescue The Summer Box Office?Image (1) box_office_weekend_3202008-12-22-1229966765_20110417092737.jpg for post 123287This weekend’s domestic box office was off a whopping 28 percent, which has people wondering why. Could it be the quality is just not there? “Yeah, what the hell is going on, right?” said one distributor when I asked. “It’s content driven. We’re in a slump at the moment, but next year will be better. This year, I don’t think it’s any indication that problems are anything but the  content.” As in quality, or lack thereof, and I think that most Deadline readers would concur that though this summer has seen some gems (like The Fault in Our Stars, Apes, Heaven is For Real), they’ve wrapped around some real stinkers (A Million Ways to Die in the West, Moms Night Out).

By the way, Paramount’s Transformers:Age of Extinction has made $659.1M internationally and around $228M to date domestically, is on track to become the 19th picture ever to move past the $1B mark and could end up in the Top Ten all-time worldwide grossers. But others have fallen flat. As we’ve noted in the past, it’s a cyclical business. Some of the pictures from 2014 moved to 2015 to avoid having to deal with the World Cup. Next summer looks more promising: the April 3rd release of Fast and Furious 7, followed in May by the highly-anticipated The Avengers: Age of Ultron and then The Fantastic Four, Jurassic World, Ted 2, Minions and Terminator.

But here’s the question: When will the industry see a movie that will go four consecutive weekends in a row at No. 1? (see chart below, courtesy of Rentrak). And could Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy do it?  Read More »

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R.I.P. James Garner

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT

R.I.P. James GarnerJames Garner died last night at the age of 86. The ruggedly handsome actor will be remembered always for the 1950s TV Western Maverick and for playing Jim Rockford in the 1970s series The Rockford Files. No cause of death was given but he had suffered from a stroke in 2008 after open-heart surgery. A war hero before he turned to acting, Garner received two Purple Hearts while serving in the Korean War.
Image1Garner’s last screen appearance came in 2006′s The Ultimate Gift, but his last major role in a studio film came opposite Gena Rowlands in the love story The Notebook. He appeared in more than 50 films in a career that spanned 54 years. Among the highlights: an Academy Award nomination in 1985 for the romantic comedy Murphy’s Romance opposite Sally Field in 1985; starring alongside Mel Gibson in the movie version of his signature series Maverick; starring opposite Julie Andrews and Robert Preston in the 1982 Blake Edwards comedy Victor Victoria; and starring in 1990′s celebrated HBO telefilm Barbarians at the Gate, about the RJR-Nabisco merger and corporate greed. He also stepped up to take the lead in 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter, after the death of the show’s star, John Ritter. Garner was a devoted fan of the football Raiders, as identifiable on the sidelines for many years as Jack Nicholson was at Lakers games.
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R.I.P. Skye McCole Bartusiak

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 11:21pm PDT

R.I.P. Skye McCole BartusiakSkye McCole Bartusiak, who was best known for her role portraying Mel Gibson‘s youngest daughter in The Patriot, died today at the age of 21. No cause of death was given.

Bartusiak was a stage, screen and TV actress. She had a recurring role as Megan Matheson in the show 24 and did guest star appearances in CSI, Lost, Touched by An Angel and George Lopez television shows. She started acting in 1999 with the ABC mini-series Storm of the Century. When she was 8 years old, she was in the movie Riding in Cars with Boys. She died in her Houston home at 9 AM Saturday.

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Sony Pictures Acquires Book ‘Tupperware Unsealed’ For Sandra Bullock To Star And Tate Taylor To Adapt, Direct

Sony Pictures Acquires Book ‘Tupperware Unsealed’ For Sandra Bullock To Star And Tate Taylor To Adapt, DirectFox has its Miracle Mop project Joy with Jennifer Lawrence and director David O. Russell and now Sony Pictures’ has its Tupperware project. What’s next? Windshield wipers? Oh, wait, they made that movie already.

The+UK+premiere+of+The+Help+UJWMVVB-XP9lSony acquired author Bob Kealing’s non-fiction book Tupperware Unsealed for Sandra Bullock to star as the marketer extraordinaire behind the launch of Tupperware and its famous parties that made the storage product a household name and into the multi-billion company it still is today. Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) will adapt, produce and direct this fun story about a divorcee from Detroit who convinced a plastics inventor to let her go crazy marketing a good product which, up until then, was getting little attention from consumers.
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‘The Walking Dead’s’ Sarah Wayne Callies Signs With More Medavoy

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 8:32am PDT

‘The Walking Dead’s’ Sarah Wayne Callies Signs With More MedavoyActress/screenwriter Sarah Wayne Callies, who starred as Lori Grimes in AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, has signed with More/Medavoy Management Company. Callies will next be seen in New Line/Warner Bros.’ Into The Storm when it releases into theaters on August 8. She also just wrapped The Other Side Of The Door for Fox International, which was shot on location in India by director Johannes Roberts. The other role that has been a highlight of Callies career (so far) was a series regular as Dr. Sarah Tancredi in Fox’s television series Prison Break which she did for five years.
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Dustin Lance Black To Adapt ‘Lindbergh’ for Paramount TV; Based On A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer-Prize Winning Book

Dustin Lance Black To Adapt ‘Lindbergh’ for Paramount TV; Based On A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer-Prize Winning BookOscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) has been hired to adapt Paramount TV’s event series ‘Lindbergh’ based on A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the same name. The project will be produced by Berg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Killoran and Kevin McCormick. The story of Lindbergh both in his flight achievements in 1927 and the subsequent kidnapping of his young child in 1932became international news.

The project once captured the attention of director Steven Spielberg (he bought it preemptively before it published) but he apparently decided against it once he learned more and more about the aviator. Lindbergh, of course, had Charles Lindbergha colored history with Germany and had been accused of being antisemitic. He and his wife Anne attended the Olympic Games in Germany in 1936 and became very impressed with the Germany military force. By 1938, they were planning to move to Berlin. That same year he was presented with the Service Cross of the German Eagle for his aviation contributions; it was presented on behalf of Adolf Hilter. He never wore the Service Cross nor took it from its box, according to Berg. At the same time, he was secretly reporting on the German aviation force. However, he was dead set against going to war. In speeches, he repeatedly urged America to stay out of intervening and became one of the leading voices of the America First movement (which promoted non-intervention).

He had a long history of being at odds with … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Midnight Rider’ Exec Producer Jay Sedrish Turns Himself In To Georgia Police, Following Randall Miller & Jody Savin

By and | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 9:57am PDT

UPDATE: ‘Midnight Rider’ Exec Producer Jay Sedrish Turns Himself In To Georgia Police, Following Randall Miller & Jody Savin2ND UPDATE, THURSDAY 9:57 AM: Midnight Rider executive producer/unit production manager Jay Sedrish turned himself in this morning to the Wayne County, GA police and was booked and released after posting a $27,700 bond. This comes after his fellow filmmakers Randall Miller and Jody Savin turned themselves in earlier this week. All three were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones. They were also charged with criminal trespassing for filming on a train trestle when, according to police, they had no permit to shoot on the tracks.

Related: ‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers Enter Not Guilty Plea, Break Silence: “This Was Not A Crime”

One of the key points in the case is that Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Ben Roberston, in his initial report about the incident, wrote: “In my presence, Mr. Sedrish was asked by an employee of CSX if he had permission to be on the trestle or tracks and Mr. Sedrish replied, ‘That’s complicated.’ According to the CSX employee, the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle, and there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact.”

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia

Sarah Jones Midnight RiderUPDATE, Tuesday, 6:57 AM: As of this morning, Midnight Rider executive producer/unit production manager director Jay Sedrish has not yet turned himself in, but we are told he has another week and that arrangements are being made to meet that timetable. Here are the mugshots of director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin, who along with Sedrish could face 10 years in prison for the tragic on-set death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Read More »

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UPDATE: Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Retreat – Recap

UPDATE: Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Retreat – RecapUPDATED, Monday, 4:56 PM: Saturday’s panel with Secretary of State John Kerry and interviewer Charlie Rose went off without a hitch after some technical problems the previous day, but listening about the conflicts in the Middle East was not as interesting to moguls (‘what else is new, it’s a mess over there’) as the panel that featured billionaire investor Warren Buffet and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, according to some in attendance. Bezos, whose company Amazon has become a powerhouse in publishing and is creating its own content now, told the group gathered that the Amazon business model in publishing and creating content is here to stay. While the panels are always greatly attended, some of those who sat through the first few said they were a bit dry and boring, but “Buffet is always interesting to listen to,” said one attendee. Jeffrey_Katzenberg_118299588Said another, “All the networking is really done in the first day … unless you’re Jeffrey Katzenberg lining up meetings every hour.” Added another, “He sits there and does one meeting after another … he must have had like 20 meetings.” Yes, DreamWorks Animation’s Katzenberg was doing his ‘speed-dating’ meetings near the duck pond as usual which had some entertainment moguls laughing and others rolling their eyes (‘He has like what? One movie in the marketplace?’ Does he know how silly it looks?).

On Saturday, too, were presentations from the younger entreprenuers of Lookout, Xapo and Lending Club, which another attendee said he thought was fantastic (‘The guy from Lookout looked like he was 16 years old’). Also interesting to one attendee was the education panel with Eva Sarah Moskowitz, CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools and Kaya Henderson who is the D.C. school superintendent. “They were really good together and kept everyone’s interest.” That panel took place last Thursday.

The five-day Sun Valley retreat wrapped up last night with the annual dinner hosted by Herb Allen, whose aserbic wit and self-deprecating humor was enjoy by all. In reference to the panel earlier in the week that featured producer Brian Grazer and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein talking about the creative process, one attendee noted that “Brian really hit the mark on it. He was pitch perfect. If he did that same speech in showbiz circles it might not resonate but it did with most of people who were not in the business.’” One of the things that they both suggested was to listen to the voices in your head and get in touch with your instinct, which Allen use as a set up for a joke at the Sunday night dinner: “I have the voices in my head. I just don’t know what to do with them yet.” Until next year …

3RD UPDATE, FRIDAY, 2:50 PM: People actually enjoyed the Michael Bloomberg panel today at the H2013-07-11t154703z_2111664344_gm1e97b1tzw01_rtrmadp_3_sunvalley-conference_Fotorerb Allen Sun Valley conference as the 72-year-old answered questions from journalist Willow Bay, wife of Disney’s Robert Iger. The former mayor of New York whose fight for reasonable gun laws is well-documented, spoke about his philanthropy efforts and giving back to society. Through Bloomberg Philanthropies, the billionaire does just that in the areas of education, the arts, gun issues, governance and public health. He spoke about how dysfunctional the current U.S. system is politically and otherwise to get things done — no doubt as he personally saw what happened behind the scenes in Washington D.C. as politicians in the pocket of the NRA stymied efforts to get background checks on gun sales passed. Leave it to a politician — an orator and a former Eagle scout (hey, it’s no small task) — to wake up the moguls.

The second panel, which was supposed to feature Charlie Rose interviewing Secretary of State John Kerry piped in live from Afghanistan, went awry as the video feed didn’t work (they tried for about 15 minutes to get it up and running to no avail). That conversation, which was expected to be about how heavily the U.S. should be involved in the current explosive situation in the Middle East, will now take place tomorrow after journalist Becky Quick interviews Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos.

So they are attempting to fix the video feed for tomorrow, but let’s face it, if it doesn’t work, we doubt anyone will be upset as Kerry drones … on and on. Speaking of drones, there has been some attempt to make sure that drones don’t fly over the conference taking pictures, according to Bloomberg News. Ahhh, technology … the age of the paparazzi drone? If people are still awake after Kerry and Rose, a number of younger entrepreneurs will have their turn at bat.

Most all we spoke with don’t expect any major deals to go down at this conference. That Read More »

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UPDATE: LA Acting Coach Pleads Not Guilty In Kidnapping & Sexual Assault Case

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 4:12pm PDT

UPDATE: LA Acting Coach Pleads Not Guilty In Kidnapping & Sexual Assault CaseUPDATED July 14, 4:12 PM: Cameron Thor, the acting coach and actor taken into custody last month for the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a 13-year old girl, has pleaded not guilty to all 14 counts levied against him by the District Attorney’s office. Thor is now scheduled back in court in two weeks, on August 1, for a prelim setting in the Van Nuys courCameronThortroom, Dept. 120. We’ll keep you posted.

PREVIOUSLY, Jun 6: 1:41 PM: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office filed 14 counts against acting coach and actor Cameron Thor of kidnapping and sexual assault against a minor, specifically a 13-year-old girl who sought acting lessons. The DA alleges that Thor gave the girl “a controlled substance … marijuana” and sexually assaulted her. His arraignment yesterday was postponed to June 19 in Dept. 100 of Van Nuys, CA courthouse. Thor, 54, who appeared in Windtalkers, Jurassic Park, A Few Good Men and Hook and on TV in The Net and Star Trek: The Next Generation, taught acting to teens and others in Studio City, CA via the Carter Thor Studio.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, the victim had consulted with Thor about taking acting classes. After one of those consults, Thor drove the girl to a secluded area in Agoura Hills, CA and sexually assaulted her. The assault took place in 2008. Their case was presented to the L.A. District Attorney office on Wednesday by the Los … Read More »

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Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per Screen

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 1:57pm PDT

Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per ScreenUPDATED, Monday 1:57 PM: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, brought in, as we reported this AM a total take of $72.6M for the three-day weekend (which included $4.1M in Thursday late nights). This, after it took in $31.3M overseas so it has a worldwide total of $103M+ already and it has barely begun its international run.

The Matt Reeves-directed film had a wonderful Saturday and ended up with an A- CinemaScore so audiences loved it as much as the critics. Sunday moviegoing was off for all films, probably due to the World Cup Finals and the nice weather. Fox’s other film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 had a great hold from Saturday to Sunday but will be hit by Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue when it bows next weekend.  Apes should have at least two solid weeks of play before audiences look to Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to keep them entertained when it bows on August 1. Transformers: Age of Extinction — in its third weekend of release — crossed $200M on Saturday.

Sony opens Sex Tape next weekend in hopes of making it pop over its estimated $42M+ budget. I’ve seen it and yes, it starts out raunchy, but it is really funny and even, at times, hilarious. The guys will go to see a naked Cameron Diaz and the girls will go see tall drink of water Jason Segel, but it’s really for couples. Rob Lowe also co-stars in this film from the next generation Kasden — Jake — who directed the two in Bad Teacher.

The other movie opening next weekend is Universal’s horror film, The Purge: Anarchy. And, after seeing the one-sheet, I certainly hope they aren’t running those teaser one-sheets reminiscent of the Joker around the Cinemark Theater in Colorado where it will be in the marketplace during the two-year mark of the theater shooting. To me and others who suffered through that, it’s a hard image to look at … sort of like the geniuses who came up with The Strain one-sheets that people don’t want to see either. “Not for everyone.” Indeed. The Purge is bowing today and over the weekend in 14 overseas markets. The chart follows: Read More »

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‘Devil Inside’ Helmer William Brent Bell Set To Direct ‘The Inhabitant’

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 11:54am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: The Devil Inside‘s helmer William Brent Bell been hired to direct a supernatural thriller called The Inhabitant said to be in the vein of The Conjuring. Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Vertigo’s Roy Lee, Matt Berenson (A Place Beyond The Pines), Jim Wedaa and Adam Stone are producing from a script by Stacey Menear.

William_Brent_BellThe Devil Inside was released last year and did incredible business. The movie was done on a shoestring budget ($1M+) and made over $101.7M worldwide for the filmmakers and distributor Paramount. Talk about a profitable film. Bell is repped by ICM Partners and Jackoway Tyerman (Karl Austen). Menear is repped by WME.

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BOX OFFICE: 20th Century Fox First To Cross $1 Billion Domestically

BOX OFFICE: 20th Century Fox First To Cross $1 Billion DomesticallyFox just announced that it was the first studio to cross the billion dollar mark at the box office this year with a total tally of $1.015B, thanks to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes pushing it past that threshold this weekend with what is expected to be a $73M to $74M three-day. Image (8) x-men-days-of-future-past-trailer-final__140525164006.jpg for post 738691The tally, according to the studio, does not including Fox Searchlight. It does include, however, one of the biggest hits of the summer (and the year) — X-Men: Days of Future Past which has grossed a total of $229M+ since opening May 23 with a $90M three-day weekend.

Also kicking it for the studio was The Fault in Our Stars which has grossed a whopping $119M+ and was the sleeper hit of the summer so far, and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, which is at $152M+ after five weeks in release and is really a good family film. They also credit The Other Womafault-in-our-starsn, the female-driven comedy that starred Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton which is currently at $82.7M. They have also had some of the best quality films out there this year. Um, the last picture of Fox’s summer isn’t one of those: It is Let’s Be Cops, a modestly-budgeted buddy comedy starring Damon Wayans and Jake Johnson about two sociopaths who impersonate cops. It’s not expected to do much business … Read More »

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R.I.P. Legendary Cameraman Sonny Miller

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 1:07pm PDT

R.I.P. Legendary Cameraman Sonny MillerSonny Miller, known in the surfing world as one of the best cameramen around and who worked on Alcon Entertainment’s remake Point Break for a few days in February, has died of a heart attack, it was confirmed by an Alcon spokeswoman. Miller was 53. He was a specialist in filming in the water and surf, and he worked on Die Another Day and on the surf movie Blue Crush. He was best known for his masterful camera maneuvers for such surf films as The Search, Tripping The Planet, and Searching For Tom Curren, about the legendary surfer. He first began his career as a still photographer, capturing some of the most breathtaking moments in surfing for Surfer magazine in the 1980s. Miller lived in Encinitas, CA, and, according to Surfer, passed only a week after his mother died.

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