Find yourself in a quandary over which newly released film to see on opening weekend? Movietickets.com may have have the answer. The advance online ticket seller has launched a new weekly online video series for the indecisive moviegoer. Starring YouTube’s Taryn Southern, Movie Therapy helps guide moviegoers to the film that’s right for them, connecting live and directly with fans via social media, according to MovieTickets.com. This week’s episode looks at upcoming holiday films, including Anchorman 2: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. You can check it out here.
The 20th annual SAG Awards were unveiled this morning, but you’ll have to wait until January 18 to find out which films win what. Or, you could wait just minutes after the SAG noms were announced, when public service-minded MTV cut to the chase, naming The Best Movie of 2013. According to the experts at MTV, the No. 1 Best Movie of 2013 is:
MTV’s picks are pragmatic, based on “buzz and consideration of the Awards Season horse races” as well as box office success — oh yeah, and “overall quality.” Gravity was not on SAG’s best-ensemble list this morning (though Sandra Bullock was, for female actress in a leading role). But MTV didn’t stop there — it named the Top 10 Best Movies of 2013:
UPDATED WITH FULL LIST: The nominations for the 20th annual SAG Awards for film and television were announced this morning at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Rizzoli & Isles‘ Sasha Alexander and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Clark Gregg, who were introduced by SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, unveiled noms in 13 acting categories — five for film and eight for TV. There also are noms for outstanding action performances by TV and film stunt ensembles, with winners for those to be announced during the SAG Awards pre-show January 18. Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave led the way with four nominations on the film side, including one for Outstanding Performance By A Cast — the group’s sort-of equivalent to the Best Picture category, though it doesn’t like to say so. Joining that pic in the category are American Hustle, August: Osage County, Dallas Buyers Club and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The Weinstein Company led the studios list with seven total noms. Last year, SAG voted Argo as winner of its Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which helped launch that pic’s run to the Best Picture Oscar at the end of the season. On the TV side, Breaking Bad earned a leading four nominations for its final season, and HBO had a leading 13 noms among the networks.
After today’s announcement, the guild is mailing out voting information Monday to every active paid-up member across the country, and final votes from the nominees’ peers must be received by Friday, January 17, 2014. Winners will be announced at the SAG Awards ceremony January 18 at the Shrine Auditorium in LA, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS. Here are this morning’s nominations:
Theatrical Motion Pictures
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRUCE DERN / Woody Grant – “NEBRASKA” (Paramount Pictures)
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR / Solomon Northup – “12 YEARS A SLAVE” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
TOM HANKS / Capt. Richard Phillips – “CAPTAIN PHILLIPS” (Columbia Pictures)
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Ron Woodroof – “DALLAS BUYERS CLUB” (Focus Features)
FOREST WHITAKER / Cecil Gaines – “LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER” (The Weinstein Company)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Jasmine – “BLUE JASMINE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
SANDRA BULLOCK / Ryan Stone – “GRAVITY” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JUDI DENCH / Philomena Lee – “PHILOMENA” (The Weinstein Company)
MERYL STREEP / Violet Weston – “AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY” (The Weinstein Company)
EMMA THOMPSON / P.L. Travers – “SAVING MR. BANKS” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
BARKHAD ABDI / Muse – “CAPTAIN PHILLIPS” (Columbia Pictures)
DANIEL BRÜHL / Niki Lauda – “RUSH” (Universal Pictures)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / Edwin Epps – “12 YEARS A SLAVE” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
JAMES GANDOLFINI / Albert – “ENOUGH SAID” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
JARED LETO / Rayon – “DALLAS BUYERS CLUB” (Focus Features)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Rosalyn Rosenfeld – “AMERICAN HUSTLE” (Columbia Pictures)
LUPITA NYONG’O / Patsey – “12 YEARS A SLAVE” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
JULIA ROBERTS / Barbara Weston – “AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY” (The Weinstein Company)
JUNE SQUIBB / Kate Grant – “NEBRASKA” (Paramount Pictures)
OPRAH WINFREY / Gloria Gaines – “LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER” (The Weinstein Company)
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
12 YEARS A SLAVE (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / Ford
PAUL DANO / Tibeats
GARRET DILLAHUNT / Armsby
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR / Solomon Northup
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / Edwin Epps
PAUL GIAMATTI / Freeman
SCOOT McNAIRY / Brown
LUPITA NYONG’O / Patsey
ADEPERO ODUYE / Eliza
SARAH PAULSON / Mistress Epps
BRAD PITT / Bass
MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS / Robert
ALFRE WOODARD / Mistress Shaw
AMERICAN HUSTLE (Columbia Pictures)
AMY ADAMS / Sydney Prosser
CHRISTIAN BALE / Irving Rosenfeld
LOUIS C.K. / Stoddard Thorsen
BRADLEY COOPER / Richie DiMaso
PAUL HERMAN / Alfonse Simone
JACK HUSTON / Pete Musane
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Rosalyn Rosenfeld
ALESSANDRO NIVOLA / Federal Prosecutor
MICHAEL PEÑA / Sheik (Agent Hernandez)
JEREMY RENNER / Mayor Carmine Polito
ELISABETH RÖHM / Dolly Polito
SHEA WHIGHAM / Carl Elway
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (The Weinstein Company)
ABIGAIL BRESLIN / Jean Fordham
CHRIS COOPER / Charles Aiken
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / “Little” Charles Aiken
JULIETTE LEWIS / Karen Weston
MARGO MARTINDALE / Mattie Fae Aiken
EWAN McGREGOR / Bill Fordham
DERMOT MULRONEY / Steve
JULIANNE NICHOLSON / Ivy Weston
JULIA ROBERTS / Barbara Weston
SAM SHEPARD / Beverly Weston
MERYL STREEP / Violet Weston
MISTY UPHAM / Johnna
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (Focus Features)
JENNIFER GARNER / Dr. Eve Saks
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Ron Woodroof
JARED LETO / Rayon
DENIS O’HARE / Dr. Sevard
DALLAS ROBERTS / David Wayne
STEVE ZAHN / Tucker
LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER (The Weinstein Company)
MARIAH CAREY / Hattie Pearl
JOHN CUSACK / Richard Nixon
JANE FONDA / Nancy Reagan
CUBA GOODING, JR. / Carter Wilson
TERRENCE HOWARD / Howard
LENNY KRAVITZ / James Holloway
JAMES MARSDEN / John F. Kennedy
DAVID OYELOWO / Louis Gaines
ALEX PETTYFER / Thomas Westfall
VANESSA REDGRAVE / Annabeth Westfall
ALAN RICKMAN / Ronald Reagan
LIEV SCHREIBER / Lyndon B. Johnson
FOREST WHITAKER / Cecil Gaines
ROBIN WILLIAMS / Dwight D. Eisenhower
OPRAH WINFREY / Gloria Gaines
The Shooting Stars program, which has close ties to the Berlin Film Festival, was created in 1998 and boasts alumni that includes Carey Mulligan, Mélanie Laurent, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Alicia Vikander, Archie Panjabi, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. Program organizer European Film Promotion has selected its next batch of 10 Shooting Stars for 2014. The young actors include Edda Magnason, the star of Sweden’s top grosser this year, Waltz For Monica, and the UK’s George MacKay whose credits include How I Live Now, Sunshine On Leith and For Those In Peril. European member countries put forth candidates who are then nominated by an international jury comprised of film industry pros. The actors have a sort of coming out during the Berlin festival when they are presented to world media and to casting directors, agents, directors and producers. Each of the actors also receives a Shooting Stars Award at a gala ceremony. The fest runs from February 6-16, 2014 with the Shooting Stars spotlight from February 8-10.
Global Showbiz Briefs: EVP Charlotte Mickie To Exit eOne Films International Next Month; DCD Rights Sells Pair Of Series To UK; More
eOne Films EVP Charlotte Mickie To Exit In January
Entertainment One said today that Charlotte Mickie, EVP of eOne Films International, is leaving the company in mid-January. She joined eOne in 2008 when the company acquired Maximum Films, where she served as Managing Director. Before Maximum, Mickie was Managing Director of Celluloid Dreams, where she handled films by directors including Hirokazu Koreeda, François Ozon, the Dardenne brothers and Michael Haneke. During her stint at eOne, Mickie was responsible for the international acquisition, marketing and sales of films including Incendies, Animal Kingdom and Beasts Of The Southern Wild.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony is re-releasing its Tom Hanks-starring Oscar contender Captain Phillips on Wednesday, January 15 — the day before the Academy Awards nominations are announced — and hopes to expand the film into 1,000 theaters nationwide by that time. Currently, it’s in 640 locations with a mere $797 per-screen average as the film has been winding down its initial run. The true-life film about the captain of a ship taken over by Somali pirates already has made more than $100 million at the domestic box office since bowing in October. Its DVD/Blu-ray release is less than a week later on January 21, but the studio wants to sweeten its chances for Oscars before final ballots are due Feb. 25, hence the expansion. Newcomer Barkhad Abdi has garnered much Oscar buzz for his role as the young man coerced into a mission way beyond his ability. Captain Phillips brought in $510,201 this past weekend, pushing its cume to $103.5 million.
James Maslow has signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners. He starred on the Nickelodeon series Big Time Rush for four seasons and toured as a member of the band. Maslow’s other TV credits include iCarly, See Dad Run and Marvin Marvin. He also is repped by CAA.
Tate Stevens, the 2012 winner of Fox’s The X Factor, has signed with APA. His debut album reached No. 18 on the Billboard 200 and made the top five on the country chart. He is additionally repped by RPME.
Brad Pitt’s Plan B Move Unveiled: Moving To Deal With New Regency And RatPac Partners James Packer And Brett Ratner
EXCLUSIVE: So, what is happening with Paramount and Plan B, the production shingle run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner? We can report definitively that the company is moving to a new 3-year pact with New Regency and RatPac partners James Packer and Brett Ratner. This new marriage, which starts when the Plan B deal at Paramount expires at month’s end, comes after New Regency co-financed the Oscar contender 12 Years A Slave, and they are in postproduction on True Story, the film directed by Rupert Goold, with James Franco and Jonah Hill starring. Plan B has five projects percolating at New Regency, Arnon Milchan has a strong relationship with Pitt that goes all the way back to Fight Club, and Weston has a strong relationship with Pitt and Gardner from the New Regency business and when Weston ran production at Paramount. Those projects include Black Hole, The Operators and Big Bucks.
We’re told that this move is not acrimonious and that the relationship is fine between the Brads, as in Brad Pitt and Paramount chief Brad Grey. In fact, they completed their biggest film, World War Z — it was the highest-grossing film in Pitt’s career, though it’s unclear how profitable it was because of the high cost of re-shooting — and they are starting progress on a sequel that Juan Antonio Bayona directing. But the feeling was the Plan B label fit better with New Regency after the collaboration on 12 Years A Slave and so many other projects.
The move happens shortly after Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer took residence at Paramount in a first-look deal he moves to from Disney. He joins Lorenzo di Bonaventura and David Ellison’s Skydance and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot at the studio. Paramount doesn’t make a ton of movies, and a lot of Plan B’s projects languished. There should be more opportunity to get movies made in this deal, where Regency and RatPac go 50/50 on Plan B-developed projects. New Regency had a distribution deal with Fox. The way it works is, New Regency and RatPac finance future films from Plan B, and RatPac has the opportunity to co-finance the projects that Plan B currently has with New Regency.
New Regency sees this as a coup, a next step for a financier/producer establishing itself with tastemaker fare.
Colm Feore (Revolution, The Borgias) has joined the Peter Winther-directed indie Painkillers. He will play Dr. Troutman, a military doctor who treats soldiers with post-traumatic distress disorders in the sci-fi thriller produced by Liberation Pictures, Badlands Features and Ferns Entertainment. From an original screenplay by Jason Groce and Kirk Roos, Painkillers is set to start filming early next year in Alberta. Battlestar Galactica alum Tahmoh Penikett and Spartacus’ Lesley-Ann Brandt also are set for the pic. Feore’s upcoming films include Paramount’s Jack Ryan and Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He is repped by Coronel Group.
Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters Of Sex) has signed on for the indie comedy Brother’s Keeper from director Ross Katz. She will star as Kat, the girlfriend of Jake (Nick Kroll) who dumps him after his tech startup fails and he moves back to his family home. Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale co-star in the pic from writers Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive and produced by Jared Ian Goldman and Mark Duplass. Production begins next month in New York. FitzGerald is repped by ICM, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and Peikoff Mahan Law Office.
Investors are excited by a report in Variety that says the matter was discussed at a Discovery board meeting today. Scripps Networks shares are up 15.6% in post-market trading to $87, which would be a new high and give it a market value of about $12.7B. The owner of HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel would be an interesting target for Discovery. CEO David Zaslav told investors yesterday at the USB Global Media and Communications Conference that he considers the U.S. cable market to be mature. This year he spent $1.7B for Scandinavian TV and radio company SBS Nordic and paid $222M for a 20% stake in Eurosport. He also looked at Liberty Global’s Chellomedia, which AMC Networks ultimately bought for $1B. Still, Scripps is one of the few, large independent owners of must-have cable channels — and investors have long wondered when someone would make a bid. Discovery CFO Andrew Warren told his shareholders in October that the company’s “first priority” is to invest “in our core businesses…be it through investing in existing networks and platforms or through exploring acquisition opportunities.” If Discovery owned Scripps it likely would try to persuade cable and satellite companies to pay higher fees for its content — about 69% of Scripps revenues last year came from advertising. Any bid would have to pass muster with the Edward W. Scripps Trust, which controls about …
EXCLUSIVE: Laura Dern (Enlightened) has joined the cast of Ramin Bahrani‘s 99 Homes opposite Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon. Garfield plays Dennis Nash, an unemployed contractor whose family is evicted during the economic crisis. In order to get his home back he goes to work for the realtor who evicted him (Shannon) who teaches Dennis the legal and illegal ins and outs of the foreclosure game. Oscar-nominated Dern will play Lynn Nash, Dennis’s widowed mother who raised him and his nine-year-old son Connor. The New Orleans shoot is underway. Dern will appear next in Fox 2000′s The Fault In Our Stars and Fox Searchlight’s Wild. Dern is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
EXCLUSIVE: Omar Epps will star in One Small Mistake, a neo-noir thriller about a man searching for truth and justice in a bigoted small town. British Emmy-nominated Alexander Harvey is directing a script adapted by Guy Bennett from French author Jean Francois Coatmeur’s La Bavure. Stefan Raiser and Felix Zackor of Munich-based Dreamtool Entertainment are producing the pic. Epps, who made his debut in 1992′s Juice and starred in Major League II, Higher Learning, Scream 2, Love & Basketball, and Against the Ropes. He’ll be seen next spring on ABC’s drama Resurrection produced by Plan B, debuting March 9. Epps is repped by Anonymous and WME.
Entertainment One and Atmosphere Entertainment will develop and produce the one-hour drama series King David. Penned by Patrick Moss and Jeremy Anderson, King David is described as a “mafia show in biblical clothing” which focuses on the contradictory character of the legendary warrior-king and patriarch – a man who must make monstrous choices that betray his personal ideals and turn his family against him. King David will be executive produced by eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg, and Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton. Atmosphere’s David Hopwood and Matthew Einstein will serve as co-executive producers. eOne will handle worldwide distribution.
EXCLUSIVE: The mantra behind Sony Pictures’ recent restructure that brings in Michael De Luca as production co-president was to make higher quality tent poles. That means spending money on hot writers. I’m told the studio is in early talks with David Guggenheim to script Bad Boys 3, which the studio hopes will bring back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as fast-talking undercover cops who solve crimes with spectacular action, gunplay, and harsh language. Guggenheim scripted Safe House, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds action thriller.
Bad Boys II was released a decade ago, and the sequel grossed $273 million on a $160 million budget. Michael Bay directed the first two, but he doesn’t seem to be involved, at least at this point. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the pic. Sony is trying to do this with the original cast, which makes it different from the other big franchise reboots in the works, Men In Black and Ghostbusters. Those are being rebooted. With Ghostbusters, that has a lot to do with Bill Murray being unwilling to reprise his signature role. With Men In Black, the deal making on that film got to be prohibitively expensive with all the talent and producer back ends, to the point it was becoming impossible for the studio to make money.
Longtime Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU cast member Dann Florek filmed his last episode on Friday. After showrunner Warren Leight Tweeted pics from the set on Florek’s last day (see below), Florek also took to Twitter to send off his 18 years on active duty with the L&O franchise. The veteran originated his role as police captain Don Cragen on the first season of the original Law & Order before departing the show after its third season. Creator Dick Wolf brought Florek’s Cragen back for 1998 TV movie Exiled: A Law & Order Movie before installing him as head of a sex crimes unit in NBC’s 1999 spin-off SVU. He now exits that show after 15 consecutive seasons:
EOne, Sundance Channel Partner To Adapt ‘Reaching For Heaven’; Israeli Religion-Themed Drama Relocated To Vegas
EXCLUSIVE: Last month, I reported that Entertainment One Television had picked up the format rights to Israeli drama Reaching For Heaven from Tal Shaked and Einat Shamier’s local outfit A-Cappella. EOne has now partnered with Sundance Channel to co-develop the series based on the format that was originally created by Norma Productions’ Assaf Amir. The U.S. version of the show about what happens to a marriage and family when one parent suddenly becomes religious, will be written by Mike Seid, who will transfer the story to Las Vegas. The original Reaching For Heaven was based on Ora Morag’s novel One Hundred New Apples. It followed a secular Israeli family whose patriarch turns to ultra-Orthodox Judaism. All members of the family do their best to preserve unity, but none are willing to join the father on his new journey to a religious life. The series ran locally for two seasons on Keshet.
EOne EVP of global productions Carrie Stein tells me that Seid, a modern orthodox Jew living in LA, pitched the transfer to Vegas and eOne was hooked. “His position was that it doesn’t really matter if you’re exploring” any religion, “it’s the premise of somebody breaking the marriage and family contract.”
The Contenders 2013: Weinstein Company Hoping Vast – And Large – Array Of Films Catches Oscar’s Eye (Video)
When it comes to campaigning for awards Harvey Weinstein has set the bar. Last year the company had two Best Picture nominees and this year they are throwing a wide variety of films at Oscar’s wall to see what sticks. For Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS event The Weinstein Company produced an 18-minute reel covering a large range of hopefuls. Take a look.
HLN‘s health and wellness programming brand “upwave” hasn’t been so good for its health and wellness, achieving a two-decade ratings low for the network over the weekend. HLN has been undergoing renovation under new GM Albie Hecht. On December 1, that included the addition of three new “upwave” programs. This past Sunday, at 8 PM, two of those programs, the half hours The Tim Ferriss Experiment and The Dose With Dr. Billy averaged a combined 22,000 viewers — 5,000 in the news demo. Those are the smallest numbers Nielsen has reported for HLN since at least October of ’91. The third “upwave” program, a cooking competition series starring Richard Blais and called Cook Your Ass Off, is their lead-in, at 7 PM.
New York, NY (December 10, 2013) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they will release again Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine on 300 theaters nationwide this weekend. The film was in 35 theaters this past weekend so will be expanded into a marketplace that will include another of Sony’s Oscar contenders, American Hustle and also Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, both will rollout in a limited release.
Sony is following a similar and previous strategy that they implemented for Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris which, after opening in May of 2011, was re-released two and a half months later. The expansion pushed its box office to $58 million.
“When we did this with Midnight in Paris, we re-invented the movie in the marketplace people either rediscovered or see it for the first time. It extended the release of the film. We opened Blue Jasmine in July, so this is a good opportunity to get this back into the conversation (during awards season),” said Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics co-president. He noted that in UK, Blue Jasmine is the the highest grossing Woody Allen movie to date.
The film has already been named one of the Best Films of the Year by publications such as Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. Cate Blanchett has garnered numerous accolades in the Best Actress category from critics’ groups around the country for her role as Jasmine, an elegant New York socialite who moves into her sister’s apartment in San Francisco after