15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend (results below).
Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1
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They’ve announced Glee’s Lea Michele to star in an episode of the final season of Sons Of Anarchy. I don’t know. The signature star of TV’s most prolific musical series joining the favorite show of the outlaw biker crowd? Thankfully they’ve stopped short of announcing a musical crossover episode with Glee, which would have created viewer anarchy and provided an Evel Knievel-sized jump over the shark.
Related: Kurt Sutter Inks New Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
Then again, creator Kurt Sutter‘s show has brutally dispatched almost every single important female character it’s ever had, so new blood is needed. Michele plays a truck stop waitress who bonds with Katey Sagal’s character. Wait. Sagal is an accomplished singer who once backed up Bette Midler. Her singing voice is as beautiful as Michele’s. Please, KS, don’t let ‘em sing!
Harry Potter is the devil, or something like it, in Alexandre Aja’s dark fantasy Horns, adapted from Joe Hill’s novel. Daniel Radcliffe made his first trip to Comic-Con over the weekend in support of the Halloween Radius-TWC release. Check out the first trailer, in which Radcliffe’s Ig Perrish awakens after the murder of his girlfriend with demonic horns on his head and the power to manipulate the base impulses of the people around him:
EXCLUSIVE: Cuba Gooding Jr, Michael Madsen and Keith David have joined the cast of Comedy Central’s new scripted series Big Time In Hollywood, FL, produced by Ben Stiller‘s Red Hour and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Written by Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf, it follows two delusional brothers and self-proclaimed filmmakers (Anfanger, Lenny Jacobson), who are kicked out of their parents’ (Kathy Baker, Stephen Tobolowsky) house and forced to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives, leading them on an epic journey in pursuit of their American dream. In six episodes of Big Time‘s 10-episode order, Oscar winner Gooding will play a fictionalized version of himself. In four episodes. Madsen will play a grizzled, alcoholic private investigator hired by the family to track their sons’ criminal activity. In six episodes, David will play a federal agent sent to investigate Cartel activity in Hollywood, Fla. The series is filming in Los Angeles for 2015 debut.
Philip Marshak, who wrote and directed several cult classic films in the late ’70s and ’80s, including Night Train To Terror, Cataclysm and Dracula Sucks, has died. He passed away last night surrounded by his family at his Los Angeles home after a long battle with leukemia, diabetes and heart disease. his son, talent manager Darryl Marshak said. He was 80. Philip Marshak began his Hollywood career as an actor studying with Lee Strasberg, but then took a turn as an underground/guerrilla filmmaker in the late 60’s/70’s. Read More »
The Idina Menzel showcase If/Then bounced back last week after a slight dip, posting $822,516 in sales for the week ending Sunday, a $49,000 rebound according to box office figures released Monday afternoon by the trade group Broadway League. That was two-thirds of its gross potential at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and attendance was good, at 88.5 % of capacity for the 1,311-seat house. Pippin recovered a bit as well, increasing $49,756 to $676,450 and filling 97% of the seats at the Music Box.
Overall, the box office was off a bit, by 3%, from the week before: $27,038,224 for week 9 of the season versus $27,867,272 during Week 8. Most of that dip could be attributed to the return to eight performances following a week of niners by The Book Of Mormon and The Lion King.
Related: Broadway’s Shubert Organization Netted $35M For Air; Now It’s Heading Underground
Of Mice And Men finished its run well in the black and breaking the house record one final time at the Longace, topping $1 million at $1,038,106, up more than $108,000 from the week before. Cast and crew return Tuesday night to film the show for later broadcast by National Theatre Live.
Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy wraps with the final chapter The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which he gave fans a sneak peek at over the weekend at Comic-Con. WB has now unleashed the teaser trailer seen first in Hall H, in which the heroes of Middle Earth must contend with the ferocious dragon Smaug and the fast-mobilizing forces of Sauron, the latter of which took center stage in The Lord Of The Rings. Here’s the new look at the December 17 release set to hit theaters in 3D, 2D, IMAX, and High Frame Rate 3D:
Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit & A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con
5th UPDATE, Monday 12:30 PM: Lt. Marshall White, who is in charge of special events for the San Diego Police Department, has shed new light on Saturday’s incident, saying that while there were people dressed as zombies in the intersection where the woman was hit, they were not part of the initial group of ZombieWalkers, which were about four to six blocks ahead of that intersection at the time. The Walk has gone on for seven years previously without incident. This was the 8th year.
The October ZombieWalk that was to take place in the same place in San Diego is now cancelled, according to the group’s FB page, and Lt. White said the organizers told him that they would not be holding a ZombieWalk next year at Comic-Con but would plan a different event instead. That has not yet been addressed on their FB page, and we are awaiting a confirmation from the organizers now, but it appears that no official decision will be made until the investigation is completed. A 64-year-old woman was seriously injured in the incident as a deaf man with his family (also all deaf), drove forward, hitting the woman as they tried to drive through the congested intersection.
Deadline was told by ZombieWalk’s FB page administrator: “No ZombieWalkers were directly involved in the incident, except to help her. We are not making any statements or decisions until the investigation is complete.”
ZombieWalk organizers did not have a permit, but according to White, they didn’t need one because it was a small group that was about one block long and they obeyed traffic signals. Those instructions also were given to the crowd by organizers before the walkers left the park. According to the ZombieWalk FB page, 849 people had RSVP’d; the organizers also posted in advance safety guidelines for the walk, which included warnings “do not block foot or auto traffic.” 849 people is quite a crowd for an intersection, but White said the group wasn’t that large. “I don’t believe that there were that many people dressed as zombies as part of the walk. That’s my observation.”
He added: “I did hear an organizer on the bullhorn saying that everyone was to obey traffic laws and listen to all instructions from police. So that particular intersection at the time of the incident had people dressed as zombies, but they were not part of that walk. It was just on the path where they walked. It may have been part of the residual crowd.”
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The documentary delves deep into the Thin White Duke’s personal archive and emerges with a detailed look at his many ch-ch-changes. Showtime has set an August 1 premiere for David Bowie: Five Years, which focuses on individual years during the most commercially successful period of his long career. The 90-minute docu starts with 1971, when he created the Ziggy Stardust persona; then moves to 1975, when Bowie scored his first two U.S. top 10 singles; 1977, which spawned the influential albums Low and Heroes; 1980, the year of Scary Monsters; and “Fashion”; and 1983, the peak of his global popularity with Let’s Dance and the Serious Moonlight tour. Producers got unique access to the rock chameleon’s personal archive of costumes, set designs, lyrics and memorabilia, and each year mines the sources of his inspiration and where it led him. Check out the trailer for the docu, which aired last year in the UK:
Three weeks into its freshman run, CBS‘ new sci-fi drama series Extant is sliding an hour from the post-Big Brother 9 PM berth to 10 PM starting this Wednesday. The Halle Berry-starrer, which has been sliding in Live+Same Day viewing since the premiere, most recently logging a 1.1 in 18-49, will switch places with the Criminal Minds repeats that had been airing at 10 PM.
CBS is making the change after a similar switcheroo worked well on Sunday. There, new drama Reckless too was falling hard in the ratings at 9 PM, behind Big Brother, leading to returning Unforgettable at 10 PM. After CBS switched Unforgettable and Reckless, Unforgettable‘s numbers naturally went up (+43% in 18-49) with a stronger lead-in from Big Brother. But Reckless didn’t suffer any further drop among adults 18-49 in its transition to 10 PM, staying consistent in the demo and even picking up 5% in viewers. CBS is hoping for a similar outcome on Wednesday, with an established drama lead-in from a stronger, Big Brother-buoyed Criminal Minds stabilizing Extant.
The scheduling change is made with enough lead time for this Wednesday’s DVR listings to be updated, which is important for Extant. The series debut of the mystery drama has seen a 50% bump in 18-49 from Live+SD to Live+7.
NBC said today he will return to the network as the final comic mentor on Last Comic Standing on Thursday at 10 PM. In the episode, the final five comics are flown to meet surprise guest Leno in Las Vegas and ask him questions about stand-up comedy. He answers, shares personal stories and anecdotes and gives advice before the next stand-up routines that whittle the contestants to four. The season finale is August 14.
Jay Leno has kept himself busy since departing as longtime host of The Tonight Show in February, from hosting his car show Jay Leno’s Garage (it was nominated for an Emmy) to surprising Arsenio Hall to announce (prematurely, it turned out) that The Arsenio Hall Show had been renewed, He also was inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame in March, and the next month he had a street named for him on the Universal lot.
In a morning meeting today ICM Partners announced it has hired another former Resolution agent, Kevin Hussey, and promoted NY-based talent department coordinator Sarah Kelly to agent. Hussey will be based in LA and Kelly will stay on the East Coast. Hussey worked at CAA for four years before joining Resolution as a talent agent in 2013, working closely there with Steve Alexander, who made the jump to ICM Partners on Friday as the agency’s 39th partner. Hussey, a former investment banker, was in the office today. Kelly began her career at ICM in 2010 as an intern, after which she became an assistant in the talent department working for co-head Adam Schweitzer. She was accepted into the agent trainee program in 2012.
Tara Lynne Barr has booked a recurring role in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius, a gritty 1960s drama about a cop (David Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. APA-repped Barr will play Katie (Patricia Krenwinkle), one of Manson’s adoring acolytes, who helps him lay a trap for the unwitting Emma, and later joins in the party when Manson deflowers his new recruit. Barr will next be seen in upcoming horror thriller feature 6 Miranda Drive.
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Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes just won an indirect endorsement for his argument that his shareholders would be better off letting him lead the company instead of accepting a cash and stock offer from Rupert Murdoch. Without a deal, Time Warner shares should hit $95 within a year, and there’s “a credible stand-alone bull case valuation of $105,” Morgan Stanley Research’s Benjamin Swinburne says today. The numbers are important: Time Warner rejected Murdoch’s $85 a share bid, and many analysts say that he could go as high as $105 before choking on the cost. That probably wouldn’t impress shareholders if they believe that they’ll see that price without the risk that would come with such a big deal.
Swinburne’s analysis begins by accepting Bewkes’ forecast that cable and satellite company payments to Time Warner’s Turner networks will grow at double digit rates each year over the next five years. “Given 7 out of the top 10 distributors have already renewed (as of early ’14), we see limited downside risk to [the] guidance,” the analyst says. Those payments now account for 20% of Time Warner revenues.
HBO also could grow subscriptions and revenues by tinkering with its pricing and deals with pay TV distributors. It has about 30M domestic subscribers, but the below-average penetration rates at Time Warner Cable and Dish Network suggest that there are “key opportunities for HBO to drive further revenue-generating subscriber growth.” Along that line, Bloomberg reported today that HBO is considering expanding a test with Comcast, introduced last year, that offers broadband service, basic TV, and HBO … Read More »
Christopher Walken will voice King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, and Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela, leader of the wolf pack, in Disney‘s Jungle Book. It’s the latest edition to the live-action/animation hybrid pic, which Jon Favreau is directing from a script by Justin Marks. The duo join Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli – the only actor to physically appear on screen. The 3D pic has an October 9, 2015 release date.
Fresh off unveiling a Sin City: A Dame To Kill For‘s opening sequence and red band at Comic-Con this weekend, Dimension Films dropped the new girls ‘n’ guns-packed trailer this morning. The original Sin City opened 2005, and in the nine years since Rodriguez and Miller have added more crispness to the series’ black-and-white comic book aesthetic. The hyper-stylized and ultra-violent footage for the second one, which bows August 22, more than perked up Comic-Con attendees. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants) have signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. This marks the first overall TV pact for the Oscar-winning writing duo. Under the agreement, Faxon and Rash will develop and produce series projects with Kevin Walsh, their film and TV producing partner at the trio’s B Story banner. Faxon and Rash previously penned the 2005 ABC comedy pilot Adopted and made their TV directing debut this past season with Fox’s comedy pilot Fatrick, which they also executive produced. Additionally, both have series experience as actors. Rash has a relationship with Sony TV with his co-starring role on the studio’s cult comedy Community, which recently found a new home at Yahoo, while Faxon stars on FX’s freshman comedy series Married.
On the feature side, in addition to earning an Oscar for co-writing The Descendants with Alexander Payne, the duo helmed their script for The Way, Way Back, which starred Steve Carell and premiered at Sundance in 2013. Faxon and Rash were repped in the deal-making with Sony TV by CAA. The duo have since signed with WME. Faxon is managed by Principato-Young; Rash by Intellectual Artists. Both are with Stone, Meyer, Genow.