Jumping on the popular Scandi crime wave, BBC Films and Shine Pictures have jointly acquired rights to Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith’s recently published The Farm. Shine’s head of film, Ollie Madden, will produce the feature adaptation with Christine Langan executive producing for BBC Films. The psychological thriller centers on Londoner Daniel, who believes his parents are living a peaceful life on a farm in rural Sweden. After the shocking revelation that his mother has escaped from a mental hospital, she pleads with him to allow her the chance to tell her story. Daniel must decide whether she is a victim of a terrible conspiracy, or, as his father fears, is suffering a psychotic episode. He soon becomes entwined in an urgent tale of secrets, lies, and a horrible crime that implicates his own father. The novel debuted last month to strong reviews in the UK and also launched as a bestseller in Australia, Germany and Israel. It has a further 13 major territories sold. Smith’s Child 44 series has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. The first installment was made into a feature starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Vincent Cassell and directed by Daniel Espinosa. Summit/Lionsgate will release later this year. The author also created the five-part BBC miniseries, London Spy, a contemporary thriller that sees an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of espionage …
In its first such ageement, Sky Deutschland has pacted with Red Arrow International to join 100 Code as co-producer. The 21st Century Fox-owned outfit will take all exclusive pay and free TV rights in German-speaking territories fo all platforms. Lost alum Dominic Monaghan and Swedish-born Michael Nyqvist (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) star in the 12-episode drama created by Bobby Moresco (Crash). Shooting starts in May on the series that’s based on Irish author Ken Bruens’ novel Merrick. Set between Stockholm and New York, 100 Code sees New York detective Tommy Conley (Monaghan) sent to Sweden to advise the local police amid a rash of ruthless muders. He’s paired with veteran homicide detective Mikael Eklund (Nyqvist), a by-the-book Swedish nationalist with an aversion to America’s grab-and-go culture. The duo can’t stand each other but must learn to work together to stop the killings. The drama was developed by Red Arrow’s LA-based scripted arm, Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) and is produced by 100 Code AB and Zen Productions. Joakim Hansson, Klaus Zimmermann and Fabrik’s Henrik Bastin are exec producers with Moresco. The series is yet to be shopped to U.S. networks, but Red Arrow will surely be talking it up at next month’s Mip-TV.
The demand for tonight’s season finale of HBO’s True Detective was so great online, the network’s streaming service HBO GO temporarily crashed trying to fulfill all incoming requests for the closing episode. “Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for , we’ve been made aware of an issue affecting some users. Please try again soon,” HBO GO tweeted earlier tonight. Service was eventually restored. The disruption reaffirms True Detective‘s status of a pop culture phenomenon, which it has been able to achieve in only eight episodes. It also underlines how inherently irrelevant traditional overnight ratings are with so many HBO subscribers preferring to watch online, they overwhelmed the network’s server. Of course, the streaming difficulties could have prompted True Detective fans who had no intention of watching the show on TV to do so, bringing extra viewers for the finale’s Nielsen ratings. While the first season of True Detective was conceived as a closed-ended arc with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, creator Nic Pizzolatto is already working on a premise for a second season with new characters and a new storyline in a new locale.
Literary and cinematic roots run deep in Showtime’s new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful, which debuts in May with an episode helmed by The Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, and Harry Treadaway star in the show created by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan and exec produced by Sam Mendes which crosses the mythologies of iconic horror figures from Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray lore in a Victorian England setting. “We wanted to pay respects to the mythology but bring them to a new level,” said Bayona of the show’s twisty take on well-known stories and characters.
Coincidentally, another thread connects the Penny Dreadful gang in front of and behind the camera. “There’s a lot of James Bond on this show: John wrote Skyfall, Sam directed it, Eva was in Casino Royale – I said to someone, I think I’m being groomed for the next Bond movie,” said Hartnett at a Q&A following the premiere of Penny Dreadful’s first episode Sunday at SXSW. Hartnett plays American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, who is recruited by Sir Malcolm (Dalton, a former 007 himself) and the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Green) for a supernatural mission in London. The gothic series is one of a handful of television projects highlighted this year in SXSW’s new programming slate devoted to episodic /TV content.
UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Seizes $87.8M In 58 Markets; ‘Peabody’ Adds $21M; ’12 Years’ Passes $100M; ‘Robocop’ Still No. 1 In China; More
3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY 6:40 PM PT: Across the Top 10 titles, the international haul is up this week over last by 10%, and ranks 23% bigger than the comparable frame in 2013. Warner Bros and Legendary’s 300: Rise Of An Empire leads the charge with a strong debut in 58 markets and an estimated $87.8M haul. Last year, it was Oz, The Great And Powerful that was seducing audiences with $63M in overseas takings. Next week brings Need For Speed starring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul.
All initial international numbers are in from the studios, and breakdowns for some key territories follow the original posts below with notable happenings in France, Italy, India, Russia and elsewhere. In the meantime, overseas numbers for Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop have yet to arrive since the movie is released by a slew of offshore distributors, notably Studiocanal which will likely provide details tomorrow. However, Rentrak says Non-Stop, out in 22 markets, added an estimated $12M for a $40M cume.
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 10:50 AM PT: As expected, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire was the dominant movie at the international box office this weekend. The Noam Murro-directed sequel ranked No. 1 across all continents tallying up an estimated $87.8M from 58 markets. Of that, $5.2M came from IMAX plays, setting a new March record. The tracking previously put Rise Of An Empire at 9% ahead of the original 300, but the studio now says it’s up 10%.
Also notable in the market are an expanded Mr Peabody And Sherman, a still fighitng Robocop; Frozen‘s hot streak, The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s record-setting European bows for Wes Anderson and an Oscar bump for 12 Years A Slave which crossed $100M overseas. Details follow below, after a closer look at Rise Of An Empire.
“America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream big and reach farther than others imagine,” President Obama said as he introduced the series premiere episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey tonight on 10 Fox Networks Group Channels, including Fox broadcast network and National Geographic Channel. “Today we’re doing everything we can to bring that same sense of possibility to a new generation, because there are new frontiers to explore and we need Americans eager to explore them,” he said in the video message leading into the premiere episode. Yesterday the networks announced their reboot of Carl Sagan’s classic Cosmos series was getting a White House lift-off. A preview of the series screened at the White House as part of their inaugural White House Film Festival on Friday, February 28.
More than three decades after the debut of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Sagan’s iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, Seth MacFarlane has teamed with Sagan’s original creative collaborators to conceive the 13-part series to serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series. Sagan’s original series Cosmos was first broadcast in 1980 and remains the most globally successful American public television series of all time. Seen by more than 750 million viewers, Cosmos has remained popular throughout the world.
Watch Obama’s intro here:
After spending most of 2014 gushing over the Oscar nominees and relatively few others, the specialty box office biz got a massive jolt this weekend with the arrival of Wes Anderson‘s Berlin opener The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Fox Searchlight film broke records for a live-action opener, grossing a massive $800K in four theaters (the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, the Landmark in West LA, the Regal Union Square in NY, and the AMC Lincoln Square in NY) for a stunning $200K per-theater average. Other openers braved opening alongside Budapest this weekend with various results.
Three of the bigger openings this weekend had not reported numbers as of this afternoon. Magnolia Pictures opened the Elijah Wood-starring thriller Grand Piano in one theater each in New York, L.A. and Austin. The distrib’s genre label Magnet Releasing is behind the North American rollout of China blockbuster Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons, which grossed $205 million in its home territory alone last year. It opened Friday in 10 markets ahead of a broader U.S. rollout. Another pic, the Italian drama Miele (Honey), opened in a single NY theater before expanding to LA next week. We’ll update with those numbers when they arrive.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Florian Habicht’s documentary about 1990s UK rockers Pulp and their final concert in their hometown of Sheffield is playing at SXSW in the 24 Beats Per Second section and premieres this evening at the Vimeo Theater. Here’s a look at the movie, which weaves the band’s commentary with the concert that marks the end of the Britpop rockers’ 25-year run (they reunited in 2011) that garnered 10 million in album sales. Check it out:
Wes Anderson topped himself with another record-breaker this weekend. After premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and last week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far the year’s biggest screen average debut and the biggest-ever opening for a live-action film. Fox Searchlight opened Budapest in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, grossing $800K for a stunning $200K screen average between Friday and Sunday. The number easily surpasses another record holder, The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson, which starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That film opened in September 2012 with five runs, grossing over $736K for a $142,262 PTA. This weekend’s Budapest numbers also top Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed nearly $523K in four theaters when it opened following its Cannes debut in May 2012. A Focus Features release, it averaged $130,749 and went on to cume more than $45.5 million in the U.S.
Last year, animated feature Frozen opened with a $243,490 PTA, but this weekend’s Budapest numbers outgross another 2013 box office juggernaut, American Hustle, which opened in six theaters in December, grossing more than $740K for a $123,409 PTA. It has grossed $148.43M to date. Budapest also debuted this weekend in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film’s profile is sky-high in Germany and elsewhere in Europe after its world premiere as opening-night film last month in Berlin.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Beals is set as the lead in the TNT pilot Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Written by Rob Bragin and directed by Alex Graves, Proof centers on Dr. Kathryn Russo (Beals), a skeptical, hard-science, brilliant female surgeon with a caustic edge who has been struggling with the devastating loss of her teenage son and a growing estrangement from her surviving daughter. She is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, hauntings — all of it looking for verifiable proof to answer one of life’s greatest questions: Is death truly the end, or is there something else beyond? Sedgwick exec produces with Jill Littman, Tom Jacobson, Bragin and Graves. The L Word alumna Beals, repped by APA, Untitled and Patti Felker, also was pursued for broadcast pilots this season. She previously starred in Fox’s Chicago Code. She also co-created and is executive producing Laughs Unlimited, in development at HBO, with Oren Moverman, Tony Swofford, Lauren Schuler Doner and Adena Chawke.
Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Mr. Peabody’ Chases In $32.5M; ‘Son Of God’ Falls 61% In Second Weekend, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Per Screen Stuns
OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M and ended on the high end; Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) $29M to $31M and made $32.5M; Son of God (FOX) dropped 61% in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY: Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. The Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal, record-breaking per screen for a live-action film of $192,250 and might climb to $200,000.
4TH UPDATE, SUNDAY, 8:30 AM: 300: Rise Of An Empire pulled out an estimated $45M this weekend for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. The film, starring Sullivan Stapleton this time, is traveling strong around the world now and as of today took in $87.8M in 58 markets. The budget for this 3D actioner is said to have been $110M-plus, so currently the studio and Legendary has $132.8M worldwide in just a few days. It’s playing equally well between young females and males. Fox/DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody And Sherman, which has already been playing internationally for weeks, debuted in the states to an estimated $32.5M on a $145M budget. Updated international numbers are $66M gross in 52 markets for $98.5M worldwide. “I think with the reviews coupled with the audience response, we will broaden well beyond the family audience,” said Fox distribution president Chris Aronson. Non-Stop looks to take in about $15.4M this weekend (Uni says but others have it higher at $15.8M) and last week’s phenom Son Of God dropped 61% in its second weekend, for a cume of $41.5M. Frozen is still in the Top Ten this weekend on its 16th weekend out, making it the first time since 2002 that any film has done so. The Academy Award-winning musical Chicago and the Chicago-set My Big Fat Greek Wedding were last films to do it. Interestingly, Universal, which released Ride Along, has Sony/MGM’s RoboCop rounding out the top 10 , but others have it at No. 11 with Ride Along nailing the No. 10 spot. Truly, too close to tell until final numbers come in tomorrow. (UPDATE, 9:53 AM: Charts now updated with three-day weekend estimates per distribs.)
NOTEWORTHY: Now, let’s talk about The Grand Budapest Hotel – $769,000 to $800,000 on four screens for a whopping $192,250 to $200k per screen average, making it not only the biggest per screen opening for a live-action film to date, but also the biggest opening weekend ever for director Wes Anderson, having surpassed Moonrise Kingdom’s $130,749 per opening weekend. The previous live-action record holder was The Master which, in limited release made $147,262K per its opening weekend. “I give a big shout out to the theater owners who gave us the seats this weekend,” said Fox Searchlight’s head of distribution Frank Rodriguez. “Wes has a legion of fans. This film has got a great cast and Wes is a force and people have been waiting two years to see a film from him.” That great cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel (breathe), Mathieu Amalric, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Jude Law, Lea Seydoux, Owen Wilson (breathe again), Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, to name a few. Fox Searchlight is expanding to 65 to 70 theaters in 17 new markets and expansions within current plays in N.Y. and L.A. See our specialty box office coverage from Brian Brooks. A big shout out to Fox Searchlight, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year with the Budapest Hotel phenom and the Oscar Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave, which in No. 9 this week for a domestic cume of $53.1M. Congrats to all over there.
Also, if any of you saw the full-page ad in our local newspaper touting Cinedigm’s Bag Man‘s claim as being “the top grossing movie in the country,” they need a reality check as its numbers are actually nowhere on the charts. In small type it says based on per screen numbers. Anyone hear of it? Let’s see, last weekend, it had a $14K a run on 2 screens and this weekend, it had 15 runs and made a blip of $18K cume for a per screen of only $1,173. Total gross to date is $49,000 (probably barely enough to cover that full-page ad). Let me see, where does it rank? 14? No. 18? No. 20? No. Um, guys can I have the top 50 chart? Oh no, it’s not there in either. Top 100 chart, anyone? Oh wait, there it is! No. 68. Updated chart:
1). 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / $17.5M Fri. / $16.2M Sat. / $11.2M Sun. / 3-day cume: $45M / Per screen: $13,006 / Wk 1
2). Mr. Peabody and Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / $8M Fri. / $14.4M Sat. (+80%) / $10M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $32.5M / Per screen: $8,268 / Wk 1
3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / $4.7M Fri. / $7.1M (-42%) / $4.2M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $15.3M (-47%) / Per screen: $4,940 / Total cume: $52.1M / Wk 2
4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / $2.5M Fri. / $5.1M Sat.(+104) / $3.3M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $11M (-47%) / Per screen: $3,345 / Total cume: 224.9M / Wk 5
5). Son Of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / $2.68M Fri. / $4.1M Sat. (+56%) / $3.1M Sun (-25%) / 3-day cume: $10M (-61%) / Per screen: $3,058 / Total cume: $41.49M / Wk 2
6). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / $870K Fri. / $1.4M Sat. (+69%) / $760K Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $3.1M (-37%) / Per screen: $1,549/ Total cume: $70.6M / Wk 5
7). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / $870K Fri. / $1.3M Sat. (+58%) / $822K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $3M (-39%) / Per screen: $1,304 / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk 3
8). Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / $630K Fri. / $1.3M Sat. (+117%) / $889K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $3M (-17%) / Per screen: $1,739 / Total cume: $393.1M / Wk 16
9). 12 Years A Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 585K Fri. / $975K Sat. (+67%) / 577K Sun. (-37%) / 3-day cume: $2.1M (+125%) / Per screen: $2,042 / Total cume: $53.1M / Wk 21
10/11). RoboCop (SONY) 1,714 theaters (-1,171) / $515K Fri. / $930K Sat. (+80%) / $555K Sun. (-37%) / 3-day cume: $2M (-55%) / Per screen: $1,180 / Total cume: $54.7M / Wk 4
Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) / $560K Fri. / $955K Sat. (+68%) / $489K Sun. (-50%) / 3-day cume: $2M (-33%) / Per screen: $1,515 / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8
Connectivity was the theme in Austin on Saturday: Kevin Bacon made his first trip to the SXSW Film Festival to chat about his career, including the 20th anniversary of the “six degrees” game that links him to every other actor in Hollywood. The star of Footloose has gone from being “horrified” by the pop phenomenon to embracing it for his charity network: SixDegrees.org. Film veteran Bacon is now starring in the second season of his first TV show, Fox’s The Following, which was just renewed for a third season despite this year’s ratings slip. Bacon reflected on his career with Deadline as SXSW’s 2014 edition kicked off:
DEADLINE: Your first role was in Animal House, which the recent passing of Harold Ramis brought back into mind. And that role couldn’t be farther from the “Kevin Bacon” audiences have come to know.
KEVIN BACON: Between me and Neidermeyer, he’s the one you want the worst fate to befall. And that’s fun to do. I was so grateful to [John] Landis and Harold Ramis and all those guys for giving me that part. They came to my acting school and I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t have a pot to piss in. When the movie came out I was still a waiter — I had to ask for the night off in order to go to the premiere. So that was a huge movie in my life, but it didn’t change my life, really, other than I thought, “OK, now I’ve actually worked and got paid to be an actor.” But it certainly didn’t put me on the map. It was still a struggle to try and get an agent. It was still a struggle to make ends meet; I ended up waiting tables for quite a few years after the movie came out.
DEADLINE: Why did it take you so long time to come to television with The Following?
BACON: TV has undergone a renaissance, but when I started that just was not the perception. So it was a very difficult decision. Most of it was clouded by my own snobbery. There was a directive amongst my representation to never, ever come to me with a television show because I would perceive that as a vote of no confidence, and it would anger me. And then my focus started to shift. I started to think about all the shows that I was watching and consuming over an entire weekend – The Sopranos, The Wire, Dexter, Six Feet Under. I was seeing iconic performances, not the least of which with [his wife] Kyra [Sedgwick] and seeing her life in the seven years she was on [The Closer]. I went, “Why am I being such an asshole? Why not? What I really love to do is act. Why not put yourself in a situation where you have a greater chance and more time in front of the camera, over the course of months — years, if you’re lucky?” I threw my hat into the ring and said, “OK, I’m open to the idea now.” In the next two weeks I read three or four of the best scripts I’d ever read. Pilots. And I thought, I really have been missing out.
CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Interviews Newsmax Co-Founder About Plan To Launch Fox News Competitor: Video
CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning interviews Newsmax co-founder Chris Ruddy about his plans to take on Fox News Channel with the June launch of a new cable news network called NewsmaxTV. “The boomer market, which we’re focusing on, has 80 million Americans. There’s really not much on cable servicing them,” Ruddy tells host Brian Stelter. BusinessWeek has called the new network “either a misguided fantasy or a cunningly disruptive business plan.” Newsmax.com, launched in 1998, had more than 11.5 million visitors in January, according to ComScore. Watch a preview here:
Saturday Night Live has its best luck with routines in which guest hosts make fun of themselves. That was the case last night when Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO’s Girls, acknowledged the vigorous debate over her show’s frequent nudity. She did it in the monologue (watch below) with a familiar set-up: She says SNL‘s a place “where people respect boundaries,” and then cast members predictably don’t. She also filmed a fake trailer (also below) for a movie about the biblical story of Adam and Eve where she plays her overanxious character from Girls and Taran Killam does an overwrought parody of Adam Driver, who portrays her boyfriend on the show. Check out the clips:
With his FX series kicking off its delayed fifth season in May, Louis C.K. will make a second appearance as host of Saturday Night Live on March 29. The writer-actor-comedian first hosted the NBC late-night show in November 2012, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when highlights included this spoof of Louie featuring Louis CK as Abraham Lincoln. Check it out:
‘Midnight Rider’ Victim Sarah Jones Memorialized At Camera Operators Awards; ‘Gravity’ And ‘Mad Men’ Land Wins
The Society of Camera Operators held an in memoriam tribute to assistant camerawoman Sarah Jones as part of its annual awards ceremony tonight at the Skirball Cultural Center. The tribute was the second to be held for the 27-year-old this weekend following Friday’s Sunset Boulevard candlelight walk and vigil in her honor, which counted nearly 1,000 local union members. Attending both events were Jones’ parents Richard and Elizabeth from South Carolina. Jones was killed in an on-set train accident during the production of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider on February 20 in Jesup, GA. Jones’ death has spurred an industrywide outcry for improved safety standards.
As part of the ceremony, her parents were presented with a plaque accepting her as an honorary member of the SOC. Former SOC president Dan Kneece, who cut together the moving tribute video of Jones as the Hall & Oates song “Sara Smile” played, said he was crying as he put together the presentation. Although he didn’t know Jones personally, he was friends with her on Facebook because of a mutual friend, Amanda Etheridge, who spoke at Friday night’s memorial about her friend and mentor. The tribute was part of the SOC’s annual awards ceremony tonight in which Gravity‘s Peter Taylor won the Camera Operator of the Year-Feature Film award and Mad Men‘s Don Devine the Camera Operator of the Year-TV award. The event took place before an audience of 500, including Society of Camera Operators and International Cinematographer Guild members. (See the full list of winners an honorees below.)