Endemol has entered an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with UK drama producer Mam Tor Productions Limited. The Big Brother producer will provide development funding and deficit financing during the three-year deal in return for exclusive first-look distribution rights to Mam Tor’s output. Mam Tor was founded in April by former film and TV agent Tally Garner who previously ran Curtis Brown’s in-house production company Cuba Pictures. Her credits include BAFTA winning drama Boy A with Andrew Garfield, and Rufus Norris’ feature Broken. She also exec-produces BBC One’s adaptation of Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Endemol Pacts With Mam Tor; Cannes Looks East; ‘For The Dogs’ Becomes ‘Hunter’s Prayer’
Ahead of Thursday’s announcement of the Venice Film Festival competition lineup, the parallel Venice Days section has presented its roster. As previously noted, Kim Ki-duk’s revenge drama One On One will open the section out of competition. The Korean helmer’s Pieta won the Golden Lion in 2012. Closing the section is Alex De La Iglesia’s documentary about Argentine football great Lionel Messi. Titled Messi, the film uses reconstructions, archival material and interviews to trace the player’s rise to stardom. Among the competition titles is the world premiere of Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet’s Return To Ithaca. Set in Havana, the film sees five friends reflect on their past and future. The section also hosts the international premiere of Shawn Christensen’s SXSW drama Before I Disappear with Emmy Rossum, Fatima Ptacek, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Richard Schiff. It’s based on Christensen’s 2013 Oscar-winning short film Curfew. Click over for the full Venice Days lineup:
English-Irish boy band sensation One Direction gave fans something extra to get excited about this morning. The pop idols announced an upcoming film of their current Where We Are tour (see trailer below), touting it as “the first ever full One Direction concert experience on the big screen.” In keeping with the growing trend towards event cinema, One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film will screen for one weekend only — October 11 and 12 — in theaters worldwide. Recorded in June at Milan’s San Siro stadium, the film will feature the concert, interviews and backstage tour footage. In 2013, the Morgan Spurlock-directed 3D documentary One Direction: This Is Us grossed $68.5M worldwide. That Sony/Tri Star release was produced by Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment in association with Fulwell 73. The latter is producing the new concert film which is presented by Syco, Sony Music Entertainment, Modest Management and Arts Alliance. Cowell is again among the exec producers. The five One Direction members were discovered on Cowell’s X Factor UK in 2010. Since then, they’ve sold over 29M records. Paul Dugdale, who directed The Rolling Stones ‘Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live’ last summer, is helming the Where We Are movie. And, just in time for the holidays, it will be released on DVD on December 1. (Parents taking their kids to VUE cinemas in the UK for the big screen event may want to inquire as to whether …
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
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.
FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; More
2ND 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 …
Earlier today, the London Film Festival set The Imitation Game as its opening-night gala. We now have a trailer courtesy of The Weinstein Co — which paid a whopping $7M for the Morten Tyldum-directed movie at the Berlin EFM in February. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the story of Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win World War II. Winston Churchill said Turing’s was the single biggest contribution to Allied victory, but the brilliant scientist was later prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. He died two years later and was just granted a posthumous pardon by the Queen in December last year. The film centers on Turing and his team’s race against time to break the Enigma code at Britain’s top-secret Bletchley Park facility. Graham Moore wrote the script. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard also star. Weinstein will release in the awards-season corridor on November 21; Studiocanal releases a week earlier in the UK.
The 58th BFI London Film Festival will kick off October 8 with the European premiere of Morten Tyldum’s Alan Turing drama The Imitation Game. The selection will guarantee a starry opening night with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in attendance at the Odeon Liecester Square. The screening will also be simulcast to cinemas across the UK. Cumberbatch plays Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win World War II. The film is a nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center. Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard also star. The Weinstein Co famously paid $7M for the film in a record-breaking deal at last February’s EFM in Berlin. It will release on November 21 in the U.S., and Studiocanal is releasing in the UK on November 14.
This is billed as a European premiere, so the film is expected to turn up at one of the fall festivals — two of which, Toronto and Venice, are announcing lineups this week. Last year, the London fest scored the Euro premiere of Captain Phillips as opener and the world premiere of Saving Mr Banks for the closing night. It’s a key venue for potential awards-season contenders to get out in front of all of those BAFTA voters, …
Paramount Pictures has boarded worldwide distribution on two upcoming animated features hailing from Spanish director Enrique Gato. The studio has entered a landmark deal with Telecinco Cinema, Telefónica Studios and Los Rockets AIE on space race adventure Capture The Flag and Tad Jones: The Hero Returns, the sequel to 2012′s Tad, The Lost Explorer. Gato won the Best New Director Goya for The Lost Explorer, a wink to the Indiana Jones series, and the movie also took the screenplay honors last year. It is the highest grossing Spanish animated film of all time with a worldwide haul of about $45M. That film went through Paramount in Spain and this new deal sees the studio look more broadly at international where the movie did strong business with releases throughout Latin America and Europe. The sequel will roll out in 2016. The pact for both films is significant in that it’s the first studio deal on two upcoming Spanish toons. Latin American moviegoers are growing in importance at the international box office, notably in places like Mexico and Brazil, while animation can be smoothly translated for wider audiences. Last year’s Argentine and Spanish 3D football picture Metegol (aka Foosball 3D) was a big hit for Universal.
Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama Series
EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is teaming with True Detective maker Anonymous Content on what they predict will be a provocative new series, Nostradamus. Joseph Fiennes will produce and play the titular clairvoyant in the hour-long drama. Charlotte Markham And The House Of Darkling author Michael Boccacino wrote the project that was developed in partnership with executive producer Andrew Cosby. The story follows the legendary seer as he seeks deadly vengeance for the murder of his family. A complex, brooding character with immense appetites, Nostradamus is a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions.
The period series is set against the backdrop of the volatile, high-stakes world of the French Royal Court where the Provençal apothecary’s pleasure-seeking impulses and passionate thirst for revenge run headlong into the treacherous epicenter of social and political life of Renaissance era Europe. The project is in early development and episode totals and broadcasters have yet to be set. But it looks likely this will be one of those that seeks out the high-end UK TV tax credit.
Carnival and Anonymous Content are both riding high these days, each receiving 12 Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and True Detective, respectively. Fiennes, who is repped by Anonymous Content, The Artists Partnership and WME, last appeared on television in the 2nd season of American Horror Story. …
Ramping up its strategy to build a broad international content business, Britain’s Sky has acquired a 70% stake in Love Productions. The UK-based maker of Great British Bake Off was founded in 2004 by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie. Love has production bases in London, Bristol, NY and LA. Its other credits include Great British Sewing Bee and factual programming Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich And Homeless and the controversial welfare documentary Benefits Street which caused a stir on Channel 4 earlier this year. The indie will continue to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure and will produce for all major UK broadcasters. McKerrow and Beattie will continue to run the company with the current senior management team. Sky’s international distribution business, Sky Vision, will become Love’s distribution partner, representing all new finished programs and formats. Sky already has development deals with U.S. and UK production companies including Ugly Brother Studios, back2back productions and Roughcut TV. The acquisition is a further step in the consolidation of the indie TV sector with such companies as ITV, Warner Bros, Red Arrow and Sony acquiring stakes in successful producers on both sides of the Atlantic. The move also highlights Sky’s push to increase its footprint across broadcasting, production and distribution. In May, Sky acknowledged speculation over its potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s interests in European pay-TV groups Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. At the time, it said it had “initiated preliminary discussions with 21st Century …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Glum News For ‘Glee’ In The UK?; Thelma Schoonmaker To Be Honored At Venice; More
In 2011, Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs in the UK, filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringed on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. On Friday, Britain’s High Court ruled that the show must change its name. The Associated Press reports a judge told 20th Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order has been stayed until an appeal has been heard. Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages, with a final amount to be determined later, the AP said. In the interim, the judge ordered Fox to pay £100,000 ($171,000). A Fox spokesperson told Deadline, “We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans’ enjoyment of Glee in the UK. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument.” Season 6 of Glee will be its last, so the title issue could be moot for the show’s primary run given the length of the appeal process, though it would affect Glee’s syndicated run in the country.
Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s venerated and longtime editor, will receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, as will …
BBC Worldwide has apologized for recent leaks of scripts and footage from the new series of Doctor Who. The commercial arm of the broadcaster said a damaging “mistake” resulted in the exposure of five scripts and the first six unfinished episodes from Series 8 on a publicly accessible FTP site. It thanked fans for their efforts at helping to contain the leaks and said it has put in place a plan using new technology and internal manpower to limit any illegal activity. “BBC Worldwide has taken this issue extremely seriously and disciplinary action has been implemented as a result of the incident,” it added, and offered “sincere apologies” to showrunner Steven Moffat, the cast and the production team. Doctor Who returns on August 23 with Peter Capaldi as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord.
Entertainment One has acquired Canadian factual programming producer Paperny Entertainment from partners David Paperny, Cal Shumiatcher and Audrey Mehler. With the acquisition, Canadian giant eOne says it intends to ramp up its activity in unscripted television production across North America. Vancouver-based Paperny also has operations in Toronto and New York. It has produced over 500 hours of programming since its inception in 1994. The company is expected to deliver a further 80 hours of original programming this year. Its recent and returning shows include Timber Kings (HGTV), Cold Water Cowboys (Discovery Channel Canada), Yukon …
John Malone’s Liberty Global has been on an acquisitions spree in Europe over the past year, and while the company says it does not intend to make a takeover bid for the whole, it has purchased a 6.4% stake in the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV. Liberty has acquired 259.8 million shares in ITV from BSkyB for approximately £481M ($824M), the company said in a statement early Thursday morning.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot Cannes seller Equals has been steadily casting up over the past several weeks as it preps for an August start in Japan and Singapore. Already on board are Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce, Kate Lyn Sheil and Aurora Perrineau. I’ve learned that two-time Oscar-nominated Australian actress Jacki Weaver is also now in negotiations to join the futuristic love story that’s being helmed by Drake Doremus from a script by Moon‘s Nathan Parker. The picture is set in a future society where emotions have been eradicated and the new breed of humans is called Equals. When “Switched-On Syndrome” infects Silas (Hoult), he becomes an outcast. Nia (Stewart) suffers from the same condition, but is able to hide her emotions. The only way for them to ensure their survival is to escape. Weaver would play Bess, a powerful woman trained as a doctor. She meets Silas in a support group and ultimately helps both Silas and Nia. Producers are Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Ann Ruark, and Jay Stern and Chip Diggins of Route One which is also financing. Weaver received her most recent Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for 2012′s Silver Linings Playbook and is next up in Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight as well as Gracepoint, Fox’s adaptation of hit British drama Broadchurch. She’s repped by ICM Partners, Elevate Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddelson.
In a nice get for the Deauville Festival of American Film, James Cameron will be on hand at the Normandy event for the French premiere of his Deepsea Challenge 3D. The festival, which is celebrating four decades this year, is creating a special 40th anniversary award in his honor. The Walt Disney Company France is releasing the documentary in French theaters on September 17, a little over a month after DisruptiveLA puts it out Stateside on August 8. Directed by John Bruno, Andrew Wight and Ray Quint, the film chronicles Cameron’s solo voyage in a submersible to the deepest spot on earth — the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. The Oscar-winning filmmaker obtained the footage for the 3D release while shooting a National Geographic special on the dive. The 40th anniversary award will be presented to Cameron at Deauville’s closing ceremony on September 13.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ’1,001 Nights’ Sells To U.S.; Spike Jonze Cancels Jerusalem Masterclass; Venice Adds Classics; More
Turkey has increasingly put its footprint on scripted and non-scripted formats that can travel, with both drama The End and competition series Keep Your Light Shining selling to the U.S. in the past year. Global Agency, which handled the latter, has now sold its modern-day drama series 1,001 Nights into Uruguay via Canal 10 S.A.E.T.A TV, and to MundoFox for Hispanic audiences in the U.S. The series, originally titled Binbir Gece, previously sold to Chile where it has had strong ratings in primetime and has become the most successful import in the country’s history. The performance has opened the way for new negotiations in other countries in the region such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. It previously aired in Turkey for three seasons on Kanal D and is also shown in more than 50 markets, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America.
The inaugural Dream Factory event that wrapped up in Liverpool yesterday at the International Festival of Business 2014 has already brought a new project to the city. UK-based Red Union Films, Pinewood Pictures, and international distributor and financier IM Global have announced plans to co-produce eight-part crime thriller The Killing Pool. Set in Liverpool, the project is based on the novel by Kevin Sampson (Awaydays, Powder). The first in the series was published in March 2013 and features drug surveillance specialist DCI Billy McCartney as he unpeels the layers of an intercontinental heroin-dealing dynasty, forcing him to confront his ultimate nemesis. Production is set to start in early 2015.
IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and Sampson are both Liverpudlians who curated the two-day Dream Factory feature film festival in partnership with UK talent management firm Independent. The event was designed to showcase local opportunities and welcomed such speakers as Mike Hodges and Mike Newell. Sampson said bringing “this caliber of production to our home city gives Stuart and myself an added buzz. Baltimore, Copenhagen, Louisiana, Malmo — now Liverpool Noir is set to make its mark.” (The book’s title is a reference to “The Killing Moon,” a song by Merseyside band Echo and the Bunnymen.)
This is a first step towards TV series production for IM Global and is part of a growing trend that sees film companies get in on the lucrative business. …
Relativity is releasing the Peter Chelsom-directed Hector And The Search For Happiness on September 19 in New York and LA with a select city rollout and expansion following. The studio acquired the comedy that’s based on Francis Lelord’s eponymous novel in a seven-figure deal in April this year. Maria von Heland, Chelsom and Tinker Lindsay penned the adaptation about an eccentric London psychiatrist who sets out on a global quest to discover what makes people happy. The international cast features Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer. Here’s the latest international trailer for the pic that bows in the UK and Germany in mid-August:
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.