Universal’s 2 Guns is directed by Baltasar Kormákur from a script by Blake Masters. The action thriller stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as two undercover federal operatives from competing bureaus who are forced on the run together. Pic opens in theaters August 2nd:
Late Friday, the White House announced a new deal with China that would allow for more foreign films to be released in the nation’s movie theaters — and more money in the pockets of U.S. studios to boot. After the news broke, Mark Damon, whose Foresight Unlimited sold out on the European Film Market’s hottest title, 2 Guns, told me: “I have a feeling what just happened was already perceived by the Chinese. Buyers were out in full force and paying big numbers for theatrical releases — numbers you couldn’t afford if you were just going to video or TV.” Buyers, Damon noted, were also willing to give up censorship clauses during the EFM, which ran alongside the just-ended Berlin International Film Festival. “Up until now they would do a two-tier deal: X if a movie went theatrical and Y if it didn’t and Y would be substantially less. This time, they weren’t insisting on those.” The new agreement allows foreign studios a 25% share of box office as opposed to the traditional 13% and provides for 14 additional titles outside the 20-film quota. Chinese box office is projected to hit $5 billion from a potential 16,000 screens in 2015. There are currently about 6,200 screens. Talk about a need for product. One European exec tells me they’ve heard that on pictures where you’d normally expect to get, say, $50,000, the Chinese will now pay as much as $500,000.
EXCLUSIVE: Denzel Washington, whose most recent action effort Safe House premieres in New York tonight, is in discussions to take on another action drama involving Universal Pictures. He’s in early talks to join Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns, a film that’s based on a Steven Grant graphic novel published by Boom! Studios. Baltasar Kormakur will direct the film. He’s coming off the Universal remake of his own film Contraband, which starred Wahlberg. The script was written by Blake Masters. The financing of the film is still coming together, though I’m told that Emmett/Furla Films the likely co-financier. Marc Platt is producing along with Boom!’s Andrew Cosby and Ross Richie. Randall Emmett and George Furla will likely join that roster.