Check Out Our New Look

Hulu Plus Picks Up Streaming Rights To WGN Drama ‘Manhattan’

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 6:02am PDT

Hulu Plus Picks Up Streaming Rights To WGN Drama ‘Manhattan’Hulu’s subscription service Hulu Plus has bought exclusive VOD rights to stream online episodes of WGN America‘s new historical drama Manhattanthe companies announced the morning after the show’s debut. Under the deal, new episodes of the show will unspool each Monday after their initial Sunday airing on WGN until all 13 have played. The five most recent episodes will be available for free on Hulu’s basic service, after a three-day delay.
Hulu touted the deal in a release as the first time it has secured SVOD rights on a show before a single episode has aired. Manhattan is set in WWII in the Manhattan Project in New Mexico’s desert, where the federal government set up a secret project to research the first atomic weapons, and the surrounding and equally secret community set up to support the work. The show is being produced by Tribune Studios, Lionsgate and Skydance TelevisionManhattan was created and written by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing). Executive producers are Shaw, Schlamme, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross and Dustin Thomason.

Comments (0)

China Briefs: Beijing Forum To Address Sino-U.S. Film Cooperation; Local Producers Eye ‘Avatar’ Rival

China Briefs: Beijing Forum To Address Sino-U.S. Film Cooperation; Local Producers Eye ‘Avatar’ RivalA forum to be held this week in Beijing will address critical issues facing the Chinese film industry, especially as they regard cooperation with the U.S. The state-backed China Film Association has created the International Communication Committee of CFA in an effort to educate and engage the global film community, particularly Hollywood, in how to partner with China’s film entities to access the market. As Hollywood increasingly seek to establish ties to China, some thorny issues have crept up. Recently, Transformers: Age Of Extinction has faced criticism from sponsors over their portrayal, while the Chinese are understood to be concerned about foreign press coverage of reported extortion attempts on the set in Hong Kong last year. I hear folks expected to attend the forum include top execs from SAPPRFT, China Film Group, Huaxia Films, the CFA and DMG. Also expected to attend panels and presentations are former Skydance COO Paul Schwake and screenwriter Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent).

Image (2) AVATAR__140529163007-275x171.jpg for post 737462With Avatar the 2nd highest-grossing film in Chinese history, local producers are looking to cash in with their own rival take. The state-backed Xinhua news agency reports that Beijing Chinese Century Media Company is prepping 3D fantasy film Bainiaoyi to shoot in May 2015 in Hengxian County for release at the end of 2016. The tale based on Zhuang folklore follows a young … Read More »

Comments (0)

Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones Set Up House Of Tomorrow At Endemol UK

Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones Set Up House Of Tomorrow At Endemol UKcharlie brookerannabel jonesRegular collaborators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have launched production company House of Tomorrow at Endemol UK. The new outfit will produce dramas, comedy series and feature films for the UK and international markets and already has projects in development at U.S. and UK networks. Writer/host/producer Brooker will be Creative Director of House Of Tomorrow and Jones will be Managing Director. The pair were previously aligned at Endemol-owned comedy producer Zeppotron. Their collaborations have included widely sold series like the International Emmy winning satirical drama Black Mirror, detective spoof A Touch of Cloth and BAFTA nominated thriller Dead Set. Jones also exec produces popular BBC comedy Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe. She was formerly Endemol UK’s head of business developement and headed up the group’s M&A team. As Endemol increases its scripted footprint around the globe, it will add House of Tomorrow to its growing stable of drama producers including Tiger Aspect Productions and Artists Studio. The Big Brother producer also recently entered an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with UK drama producer Mam Tor Productions Limited.

Comments (0)

Hot Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′

Hot Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′Lionsgate has released the minute-long teaser trailer for its Hunger Games and Catching Fire sequel Mockingjay – Part 1, which it tantalized Comic-Con fans with this weekend in San Diego. In the third installment of the dystopian action franchise, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) plot the next move for their rebellion and its iconic new poster girl, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).

Catch all of Deadline’s Comic-Con 2014 coverage here.

Lionsgate built an impressive off-site fan experience at Comic-Con this year. Rather than unveil its latest look at Mockingjay in Hall H, the studio partnered with Samsung on a slickly-outfitted space designed like the Capitol, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel, where fans walked through interactive Hunger Games and Samsung co-branded activities and got the first look at the below teaser. The film hits theaters November 21. Watch now: Read More »

Comments (3)

Sarah Palin Launches Online Channel

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 9:35pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sarah Palin Launches Online ChannelWe have the Oprah Winfrey Network. Now it is being joined by the Sarah Palin Channel, though with a very different sort of audience reach. The conservative — and often polarizing — pundit, former GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska governor today launched her own subscription-based online channel, which is part of Tapp, the online-video venture formed by former NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin and former CNN U.S. president Jon Klein. Membership will cost $9.95 per month or $99.95 for a year.

In a video message announcing the Sarah Palin Channel (watch below), the Fox News contributor described her new venture as a news channel where she will “talk about the issues the main stream media won’t talk about,” adding, “I want to talk directly to you on my channel on my terms, and no need to please the powers that be.”

Read More »

Comments (7)

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 Ring films and two installments of The Hobbit that 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 … Read More »

Comments (4)

R.I.P., ‘El Mariachi’ Star Peter Marquardt

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

R.I.P., ‘El Mariachi’ Star Peter MarquardtPeter Charles Marquardt, an actor and video-game producer who played the drug kingpin villain in El Mariachi and appeared in other Robert Rodriguez films as well, died in Austin July 19, at the age of 50, an Austin funeral home has confirmed. Marquardt also appeared in Rodriguez’s films Desperado and Spy Kids 3D: Game Over, as well as several short films. Separately, he was voice talent and an associate producer for Austin-based ION Storm on several video games, most notably Deus Ex in 2000 and Wing Commander IV in 1996and was co-producer on one game,  Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3. 

El Mariachi posterA funeral director at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Austin confirmed that Marquardt had died but had no other information. Cook-Walden’s website said funeral arrangements are pending. No information on the cause of death was immediately available and Austin police could not be reached.

Marquardt met Rodriguez while they were participating in a drug study and were bunk mates. Rodriguez was participating in the study to raise money for 1992′s El Mariachi, his first film, famously shot for a little more than $7,000. Marquardt played Mauricio, the drug gang kingpin whose crew mistakes El Mariachi, the guitarist played by Carlos Gallardo, as an assassin. Later, Marquardt (who did not speak Spanish), showed up in a flashback of that role in Rodriquez’s 1995 big-budget sequel Desperado, starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.

Comments (5)

UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns In Latin America; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Has Muscle; Big Action In Asia; ‘Kick’ Hits India; More

UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns In Latin America; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Has Muscle; Big Action In Asia; ‘Kick’ Hits India; Morecinemaworld2ND UPDATE, 5:10 PM PT: While Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, newcomer Hercules, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 led the international charge for the studios this weekend, there was local action in Asia. The Continent, a feature directorial debut from author/rally car driver/blogger Han Han, had a $45M cume after the continentopening Thursday. That bested the 2nd frames of The House That Never Dies ($8.7M weekend, $48.5M cume) and Tiny Times 3 ($7.2M weekend, $73.5M cume). Also in China, TAOE added $5.4M to pass $300M with a $301M cume. Its worldwide total is now $966.35M, and with Japan and Spain to come on August 8, that’s the weekend to expect it to tumble over $1B. In Korea, period action film Kundo: Age Of The Rampant made good on its buzz and earned $20.1M. Elsewhere, we’re still waiting on official numbers for Salman Khan’s Kick as it rolled out to several international markets. At home in India, it’s understood to have had the best opening day of the year at about $4.4M.

The-Guardians-of-the-GalaxyAmong the Top Ten studio releases internationally, there was a 34% drop from last weekend when TAOE added $84.6M and Apes brought in $61.9M as the top grossers. This frame was down 17% compared to the same one last year that saw … Read More »

Comments (3)

Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Stresses Diversity On ‘The Strain’ & Circular Route To Series

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 4:27pm PDT

Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Stresses Diversity On ‘The Strain’ & Circular Route To Series“For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.

del toro cuse the strain comic con 2014In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.

The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There … Read More »

Comments (6)

Comic-Con: Quentin Tarantino Confirms ‘Hateful Eight’ Is A Go; Talks ‘Django Unchained-Zorro’ Comic Book

Comic-Con: Quentin Tarantino Confirms ‘Hateful Eight’ Is A Go; Talks ‘Django Unchained-Zorro’ Comic BookAfter being prodded by a fan’s question, Quentin Tarantino confirmed that he is moving forward with his feature western The Hateful Eight. The announcement was made at Dynamite Comic’s panel for the Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic-book.  Everyone in Room 6BCF erupted with cheers.

In fielding fan questions, Tarantino also teased that he’s working on an extended cut of Kill Bill that would include animated footage that was cut out of the original 2003 film.

Taking the stage this afternoon, Tarantino also earned the second biggest standing ovation at Comic-Con this weekend after Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron clip in Hall H. The whole idea for a Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic book sparked when Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barruci phoned  Django producer Reginald Hudlin prior to the film’s release and pitched “Django meets Zorro.”  (Zorro has been one of the titles in Dynamite’s library for some time as well as The Long Ranger). When Hudlin brought the idea up to Tarantino over dinner, the filmmaker immediately took to it.  It was always part of his vision to have a Django western paperback series.

“I loved this idea, not only because I like western comics in general, but I also loved Zorro in all his iterations whether it was the Disney series or the William Witney films. I thought it was a great idea of taking the most famous, fictional Mexican western hero and putting him together with the newer, famous black western hero,” said Tarantino.

“I don’t want to make a ton of Django movies so this offered me a chance to keep control of the mythology, but to tell different … Read More »

Comments (5)

UPDATE: Comic-Con: (Video) Latest On Car Hits Woman During ZombieWalk; Organizers Decline Comment

By and | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 2:55pm PDT

UPDATE: Comic-Con: (Video) Latest On Car Hits Woman During ZombieWalk; Organizers Decline CommentUPDATE 3, 2:45 PM, Sunday: We’ve added at the end of this story several snippets of video posted on YouTube during and just after the incident. They provide some additional sense of the chaos around the event, and give a somewhat better idea of what happened. They are far from definitive, however, and the rest will await the police investigation.

UPDATE 2, 1:15 PM, Sunday: And a little more. The organizers of the ZombieWalk officially declined comment regarding the Saturday evening incident, as the the event was breaking up, between the costumed crowd of participants and a car filled with a deaf family, an incident that left a 64-year-old woman hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries including a possible broken arm. We’ll continue to update as we get more.

UPDATE 1, Noon, Sunday: A little more information, very little, and a lot of heated reaction, are coming out this morning after last night’s incident at the end of the annual San Diego ZombieWalk, when a car with a deaf family in it hit and possibly broke the arm of a woman at the end of the event and a crowd of other ZombieWalkers in costume began beating on the car, panicking the family.

Read More »

Comments 286

Quentin Tarantino Prepping Early 2015 Start On ‘Hateful Eight;’ Will He Dish At Panel?

Mike Fleming

Quentin Tarantino Prepping Early 2015 Start On ‘Hateful Eight;’ Will He Dish At Panel?Is there a better Comic-Con closing act than Quentin Tarantino? He’s here today to launch a Django Unchained comic book sequel, but I’m sure the crowd will prod him for details on his next movie, and you never know what you’ll hear when you put a microphone in front of Tarantino and ask the right question, or any question, really.

Here’s what I’m hearing, that he’s locking in everyone from cast to producers for an early 2015 shoot on The Hateful Eight, the Western which has had perhaps the most unusual journey to the start gate for a Tarantino film. That goes back to last January when he revealed to Deadline that he would shelve the movie because he felt so betrayed it got leaked by a rep for one of the handful of actors he showed an un-watermarked first draft script to. At the time, I spent half our phone call trying to talk Tarantino into not shelving it. After watching Inglourious Basterds for the umpteenth time last night, I’m sure glad his creative instincts overtook his feelings of betrayal.

Read More »

Comments (5)

Comic-Con: Last ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Panel Talks Prequel, Previews Final Season, Amid Emotions For Kurt Sutter, Cast

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 1:53pm PDT

Comic-Con: Last ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Panel Talks Prequel, Previews Final Season, Amid Emotions For Kurt Sutter, CastSPOILER ALERT: This story discusses possible plot directions and future of Sons of Anarchy

Sons Of Anarchy may be starting its final season this fall but tales about the world shown in the FX drama are not over. “We are having serious conversations about our prequel,” said SOA creator Kurt Sutter to loud applause today at Comic-Con. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a mini-series.” While this is far from the first time the showrunner has talked about going back to the show’s roots, it had special significance Sunday in the massive Hall H for what is expected to be  SOA’s last of many SDCC appearances.

kurt sutter comic con 2014“There’ll be no spinoffs,” added Sutter. “I think spinoffs work well on procedural dramas, which this clearly is not.” The SOA story will also continue in Bratva, the show’s first novelization. The upcoming book, whose cover art Sutter showed the audience, picks up after Season 4.

The often acerbic Sutter teared up when other show principals thanked him for creating the series and for the experience of working on it. “Sit the f*** down,” Sutter told the cast and the thousands in the hall when they gave him a standing ovation. “I got an image.”

 

Read More »

Comments (3)

Comic-Con: ‘The Following’ Season 3 Complete Reboot, With An Alternate Ending

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 12:14pm PDT

Comic-Con: ‘The Following’ Season 3 Complete Reboot, With An Alternate EndingSpoiler Alert: Story reveals details about The Following season 2 finale and direction of season 3.

Warner Bros. TV’s Comic-Con panel for The Following started with a literal bang this morning, showing an alternative ending where serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is shot by Lily Gray’s son Mark (Sam Underwood). Commenting on Carroll’s life or death and how it might impact Season 3, creator Kevin Williamson said, “We have a brand new story whether Joe is alive or dead. We don’t know how he’ll appear in season 3. We always saw it as a reset.”  The cast was aware that they were shooting two endings, but did not know which one would ultimately air (we see Carroll being hauled off in chains). Nonetheless, Carroll alive leaves open his possible future involvement.

“There’s a lot of closure and resolution with Joe,” said star Kevin Bacon about the obsession his character, an FBI agent, has had throughout the series.

Other Season 3 details: Bacon’s Agent Ryan Hardy is in a better place with a romantic interest, but his stressful career chasing killers will always get in the way of his evolution. The Following will be set largely in New York this season. Read More »

Comments (5)

Hot Comic-Con Trailer: ‘Batkid Begins’ Brings Make-A-Wish Phenom To Screen

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 11:41am PDT

Hot Comic-Con Trailer: ‘Batkid Begins’ Brings Make-A-Wish Phenom To ScreenEXCLUSIVE: Five-year-old Miles Scott touched hearts all over the world last November when he donned a cape and cowl to “save” Gotham City – aka, San Francisco – as “Batkid.” Now award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt) is taking his story to the screen in a feature-length crowdfunded documentary (watch the trailer exclusively on Deadline).

The Batkid phenomenon went viral after the Make-a-Wish Foundation staged its most elaborate wish to date: The charity, with the help of The City, President Obama, and thousands of supporters, turned the streets of San Francisco into Gotham City on Nov. 15, 2013. Scott, a leukemia patient now in remission, got to live every superhero-loving child’s fantasy as he played sidekick to the Caped Crusader in a series of staged missions as onlookers cheered him on. It all culminated with Scott receiving the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee. The entire event sparked more than 400K tweets in 117 countries, among much else social-media attention, and received a Digital Visionary Award from the Producers Guild.

Read More »

Comments (3)

Hot Comic-Con Trailer – George Miller’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 11:19am PDT

Hot Comic-Con Trailer – George Miller’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’The trailer has roared into town for Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller‘s long-in-coming next installment to his great dystopian sci-fi series of films. This one, which drew some of the biggest cheers of the weekend when it was shown last night at San Diego Comic-Con, will feature Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Hugh Keays-Byrne and Nicholas Hoult when it arrives next year. Miller shares writing credit with Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris. Producers are Miller, P.J. Voeten and Doug Mitchell. Warner Bros. is distributing.

Comments (18)

Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In Debuts

Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In DebutsBold debuts from two of the weekend’s openers in a crowded specialty box office included yet another Woody Allen film as well as a last starring turn from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight was another solid opener in a string of recent successes for the veteran writer-director, with a good per-screen average. That said, the numbers were less stratospheric than some of his recent summer films when comparing on a straight theater average, though this go-around did bow in substantially more locations.
Magic is Allen’s third consecutive summer release (and seventh if you count the ”shoulder” seasons).  The formula continues to be a lucrative one for Allen and his backers. In its opening weekend, Magic brought in nearly $426K in 17 theaters, for a solid $25K PTA. The film, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, bowed with 11 more runs than last year’s box-office and award-winning behemoth Blue Jasmine (the best performer of Allen’s very long career), which debuted to a $102K PTA in 6 theaters. That film also had a $612K opening weekend and went on to cume over $33.4M.
Read More »

Comments (3)

Bart & Fleming: On Jeff Blake, Comic-Con And Chasing Moviegoers In Digital World

By and | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 10:14am PDT

Bart & Fleming: On Jeff Blake, Comic-Con And Chasing Moviegoers In Digital WorldFlemingBartColumn_badge__140510005503Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.

Bart: You’ve been hanging at the epicenter of pitchdom all week at San Diego Comic-Con so you have watched the masters at work (also the loser geeks). But my thoughts this week were focused on a different generation of marketing mavens — those of Jeff Blake’s generation. Blake was “let go” this week after serving as Sony’s king of marketing and distribution for a couple of decades. Another of his generation, Dan Fellman of Warners, also is set for the sidelines. These were not the Comic-Con types — they were thoughtful pros who knew how to set strategy, pick dates — and tactfully tell filmmakers when their movies were dead on arrival. They didn’t bulls*** about social marketing like their young cohorts. One studio chief told me recently that all social marketing represents is a road map for spending less money while still failing to find an audience. The Comic-Con-crowd would likely disagree.

comic-conFleming: This is the movie business in Moneyball mode. We are seeing a profound change of the studio guard as they figure out how to tap a completely new generation that’s easily distracted by video games, social media and TV binge watching. Social media allows them to … Read More »

Comments (16)

Box Office Sunday AM: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $44M; ‘Hercules’ At $29M

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 6:30am PDT

Box Office Sunday AM: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $44M; ‘Hercules’ At $29M13th and 14th UPDATES, Sunday, 6:30 AM and 8 AM: As the industry waits for next weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy to lift the summer box office blues (it will start next Thursday at 7 PM), this weekend is wrapping up: Lucy will end the 3-day with $44M for Universal, director Luc Besson and our new solo, female action star Scarlett Johansson. On a budget of what the studio claims to be $40M, this picture should turn a profit with international yet to weigh in (it doesn’t open until next weekend) and Johansson already an known entity overseas from all the Marvel movies she’s been in. Now, if Sunday moviegoing drops more than 20%, Lucy will come in around $43.5M for its debut weekend. Its second weekend could dive, given the mixed reviews and the C+ CinemaScore it received Friday night.

This weekend continues to be down around 14% from last year at this time, and overall moviegoing is off about 6% from 2013′s record-breaking box office year and what was the all-time highest summer (with a total of $2.753B from the beginning of May through Sept. 2). So far, May 2nd to July 27th 2014 is $2.930B compared to last year’s $3.674B year’s for the same period. Now, if you bring the April bow of Captain America: The Winter Soldier into the mix, moviegoing is off 14%. No wonder everyone is waiting with baited breath for the debut of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy which could lift the box office about 15% to 20% next weekend up over the equivalent weekend in 2013. It’s tracking for a $65M to $75M opening but veteran distributors think it could go to $80M.

RELATED: Can Guardians of the Galaxy Help Rescue Summer Box Office?

Universal weighed at 8 AM that Lucy the fifth No. 1 opener for the studio this year and Johansson’s top opener where she was the lead in a film. That’s fair. It did equally well among genders (literally a 50/50 split). Lucy also marks the 2nd biggest weekend ever for a French-produced film (it is from Besson’s EuropaCorp.) behind only Taken 2 which grossed $49M in its opening weekend (EuropaCorp./Canal +). Among the Top Ten French produced films, EuropaCorp. now has seven of those. Well done.

The unsung hero for Lucy? It would be Peter Cramer, co-president of production for the studio, who really championed this project, was instrumental in bringing it into the fray, and oversaw the production on behalf of Universal. Read More »

Comments 38
More Deadline | Hollywood »