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Comic-Con: Fox Brings The Biz For ‘Book Of Life’ As Two Jedis Boost For ‘Kingsman’

Comic-Con: Fox Brings The Biz For ‘Book Of Life’ As Two Jedis Boost For ‘Kingsman’It wasn’t an A-list star or surprise announcement that scored the biggest reaction during Fox‘s mammoth Comic-Con panel — it was rapper Biz Markie, who joined producer Guillermo del Toro‘s Book Of Life gang onstage belting his 1989 anthem “Just A Friend” in a moment of random pop culture mishmash. The song is covered in the 3D animated feature from director Jorge Gutierrez, a dazzlingly designed romantic adventure inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday and produced by Reel FX that Fox will open on October 17.

Channing MarkieThe original story follows Manolo (Diego Luna), who must fight for his lady love when spirits La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman) meddle in the world of the living. A trailer introduced to the Hall H crowd gave fans their first taste of Book, filled with Latin-inspired designs, a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” sung by lovesick matador Manolo, and the voice work of Ice Cube dropping his wink-wink line, “Today was a good day.”

Related: Guillermo Del Toro Comes Aboard Animated ‘Day Of The Dead’

The Day of the Dead holiday, celebrated around the world, served as a springboard for award-winning animator Gutierrez to fold in many elements of his Mexican heritage. “The Day of the Dead is very near and dear to my heart,” he said. “Got married on the Day of the Dead because I wanted my best friend who passed away to be my best man, and I knew he would be there. The core belief of the holiday is that as long as we tell stories of those came before us, sing their songs, and cook their dishes, they’re with us.” Read More »

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Box Office: 20th Century Fox Crosses $3 Billion Worldwide

Box Office: 20th Century Fox Crosses $3 Billion WorldwideWell, that didn’t take long. Just days after Fox announced it was the first studio to cross the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office this year, the studio said today it has pushed past $3 billion in worldwide box office gross. Fox reached that number in record time, second only to 2010, when it crossed the milestone on June 30. Internationally, Fox crossed the $2 billion mark yesterday — the first studio to reach the milestone in 2014.
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Hot Trailer: David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 10:44am PDT

Hot Trailer: David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are joined by Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit and Carrie Coon in the new trailer for David Fincher‘s mystery-thriller Gone Girl, adapted by Gillian Flynn from her bestselling novel. Affleck is Nick Dunne, a writer who reports his wife missing on their fifth anniversary only to become a subject of suspicion by the cops and in the media. This is the second trailer, and gives more of a glimpse of the ensemble cast. Cean Chaffin, Arnon Milchan, Josh Donen, Reese Witherspoon are producers on the pic. Fox has Gone Girl set for an October 3 release in the same frame that Fincher opened his Oscar-winning The Social Network in 2010:

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Fox To Fly Co-Pilot On Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks Spy Pic

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 5:17pm PDT

Fox To Fly Co-Pilot On Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks Spy Pic20th Century Fox has come aboard to co-finance DreamWorks Studios‘ untitled Cold War spy thriller, one of two pics being helmed by Steven Spielberg. Fox also will distribute the film overseas, with DreamWorks partner Disney handling domestic. Tom Hanks stars in the pic, based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The Coen Brothers wrote the 1960s-set screenplay off Matt Charman’s original script.

Image (2) 20th_century_fox_logo__131009230834-275x154.jpg for post 741629As we told you earlier this week, Spielberg will shoot this one first before moving on to the children’s fantasy adventure The BFG; shooting on the spy thriller is set for September, with Disney setting a wide release of October 16, 2015. It’s possible with both projects in active development that they could be shot back-to-back, which has been Spielberg’s style in the past with such productions as Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in 1993, The Lost World: Jurassic Park  and Amistad in 1997, War Of The Worlds and Munich in 2005, and War Horse and The Adventures Of Tintin in 2011. BFG has been given a July 4, 2016, release date.

Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producing the spy drama, with Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi executive producing.

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Oops: Fox’s Error Voids Hundreds Of Residuals Checks

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 4:06pm PDT

20th_century_fox_logoA payroll glitch in 20th Century Fox’s residuals department inadvertently voided residuals checks worth about $93,000 that were sent out to about 200 actors, writers and directors. Fox is fixing the problem and will start issuing new checks next week. The problem began when the payroll department failed to take out federal withholding taxes on residuals checks issued in January and February. They tried to correct the mistake in early May, but a miscalculation led to another problem: the over-withholding of federal taxes.voided_check That resulted in roughly 200 residuals checks being sent out but marked “void,” obviously meaning they couldn’t be cashed. The problem mostly affected actors, but some writers and directors got also got voided checks. Fox will be issuing refunds to everyone who was over-withheld by more than $10. “We regret the administrative error and any inconvenience it has caused,” a Fox spokesman said. “We are doing our utmost to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

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David O. Russell’s ‘Joy’ Gets Christmas 2015 Release Date

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 1:47pm PDT

jennifer-lawrence-at-an-evening-with-david-o.-russell-at-afi-fest-in-hollywood_1Fox has set a Christmas 2015 release date for director David O. Russell‘s Joy, the rag-to-riches story that has Jennifer Lawrence attached to star. The film is based on the life of Joy Mangano, a Long Island single mother of three who sold her Miracle Mop invention and made millions. Clearly, the picture is being slotted at Christmas there to qualify for a possible Oscar run. Given that the duo are both Oscar favs, the expectation is there. The director has been nominated three times by the Academy for The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Lawrence won best actress for Silver Linings Playbook and was nominated again for Hustle.

On the schedule right now for the same date is the animated family film Kung Fu Panda 3 which Fox will also release and Paramount’s Mission Impossible 5. Joy is being produced by John Davis and John Fox via Davis Entertainment with Ken Mok and Russell from a script by Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids).

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Fox, 21 Laps Win Spec ‘Understand’, From Gang Behind ‘Story Of Your Life’

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 1:06pm PDT
Mike Fleming

heissEXCLUSIVE: Fox has just made a pre-emptive acquisition of Understand, a sci-fi spec script by Eric Heisserer that is based on a short story by Ted Chiang. 21 Laps will produce. Deal comes after the record-breaking Cannes deal Paramount made to acquire North American and China rights to Story of Your Life, also a project that 21 Laps developed with Heisserer based on a Chiang story. Amy Adams will star in that movie next year with Denis Villeneuve directing. Understand is about a man who is awakened from a coma by an experimental drug that has unforeseen consequences.

Shawn Levy and Dan Levine will produce for 21 Laps, whose veep Dan Cohen will oversee with Fox exec veep Mark Roybal. Levine and Cohen developed both Story Of Your Life and Understand. Heisserer and Chiang are repped by WME.

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Box Office: ‘X-Men’ Nabs Stellar $8.1M In Late-Night Thursday Opening For Expected $100M+ Weekend

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 8:06am PDT
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X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Eyes $100M

Deadline Film Editor Anita Busch looks ahead at the Memorial Day holiday weekend box office, which includes holdovers 'Blended,' 'Neighbors', & 'Godzilla.

X-Men Days Of Future Past Box OfficeX-Men: Days Of Future Past, the seventh film in the franchise, grossed $8.1M in 2,900 theaters last night, a fantastic start and catapulting it forward into the holiday weekend for an expected gross of well over $100M+ for the 4-days as Sunday should bring in stronger numbers going into this Memorial Day holiday. I was thinking $114M but some other trackers think it could reach $120M when the dust clears on Monday morning, driven by a holiday weekend, strong reviews, a killer cast and an ending tease for X-Men Apocalypse. Ticket seller Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 moviegoers (a small sampling, but interesting nonetheless) and found that 82% are looking forward to seeing X-Men Apocalypse so the fans get their first hint of it on this film. Fandango also found that 76%of those going to this film are motivated by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence (no surprise there) starring in this one, and 65% are planning to see it with a group of friends. All good. The studio has a lot to celebrate on their on-the-lot X-Men day today.

This is the third big franchise to open in four weeks time following that of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla. The per screen for last night’s Thursday opening were $2,793. The 2oth Century Fox film also simultaneously started its overseas theatrical bow in 100 countries, including China, which is having an incredible 2014. The screenings for X-Men domestically began at 10 PM, and X-Men — while not in IMAX theaters — still is on 352 large-format screens. Although not having the franchise play on IMAX usually shaves a bit off the top, last weekend those PLF formats accounted for $8.4M of Godzilla‘s total gross, led by Cineplex Canada with 53 screens grossing roughly 23.7% of the format gross. Cinemark also had 96 runs which took in 26% of that business. Total for PLF’s Godzilla take was $96%.

X-Men‘s strong Thursday start puts it amid the top recent earners that began business that day (see chart below).

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Meanwhile, X-Men also has built huge momentum across the social media universe over the past 30 days. Star Hugh Jackman (who portrays the ever-popular Wolverine) is the social superhero with 15M Facebook fans and 4M Twitter followers who are apparently engaging heavily with movie still posts and talk show mentions. Both Ian McKellen’s 1M Twitter and Patrick Stewart’s 1.2M FB fans are also engaged, while Jennifer Lawrence and Halle Berry’s domestic and international superfans channels are also spreading the word. Yes, it is a star-packed franchise which cannot be overlooked. Others in the film include James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, and Chinese (and a favorite in that country) actress Fan Bingbing. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

Kingsman_c20th Century Fox has released the first look at Matthew Vaughn‘s Kingsman: The Secret Service, the pic based on the comic series by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Of course Vaughn wrote and directed the first Kick-Ass movie, and he also wrote and directed X-Men: First Class — both were hits. But he decided not to helm Kick-Ass 2 and he backed out of the First Class follow-up X-Men: Days Of Future Past – and after the latter Mike Fleming Jr told us Vaughn was eyeing Secret Service as his next pic. (Bryan Singer, the franchise’s launcher, took the Days Of Future Past gig and that is due out this week.). Vaughn wrote Secret Service with writing partner Jane Goldman, and his Marv Films financed and produced. Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine and Taron Egerton star in the drama that closely follows the comic, about a veteran secret agent who leads a young protege into the shadowy business. Fox has set an October 24 release date after shifting it around a couple times. It received strong response at CinemaCon and WonderCon when the studio showed sneak peeks. Here’s the trailer:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’

DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes_posterFox’s sequel to its 2011 reboot got CinemaCon attendees’ attention in March when execs showed off a harrowing scene involving a couple of drunk dudes, a playful-seeming ape and an Uzi. Director Matt Reeves certainly seems to have the ominous tone down in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, which picks up the story with a band of humans who have survived a devastating virus, and who threaten the now-dominant apes. The pic is due out July 17 in 3D, with Andy Serkis back as Caesar and Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell among the humanoids. Check it out:

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Fox Film Exec Gavin Smith Declared Dead

By | Thursday May 1, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

Smith_Gavin__120505032412-e1336600093631The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said for the first time that 20th Century Fox film executive Gavin Smith is dead. The revelation came during a report last night on KNBC-TV Los Angeles. The latest break in the case of Smith, who went missing on May 1 in nearby Oak Park, CA, came in March 2013, when LA sheriffs confirmed they found Smith’s black Mercedes 420E in a Simi Valley, CA storage locker the previous month. “Evidence in there and from other sources has led investigators in the case to preliminarily reclassify this as a homicide, though no body has been found,” an LASD spokesman said at the time. The storage unit is linked to John Creech, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence, KNBC reported last night. Officials searched Creech and his wife’s West Hills, CA, house more than once as part of the longstanding investigation. Smith, a Fox distribution exec and former UCLA basketball player, is said to have met Creech’s wife in rehab.

Related: Search For Missing Fox Film Exec

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Bryan Singer X-es Himself Out Of ‘X-Men’ Publicity As He Defends Self Against Sexual Abuse Allegations

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: After pulling out of a scheduled appearance to promote X-Men: Days Of Future Past at last singerbryweekend’s WonderCon, director Bryan Singer has announced he’s not going to participate in the launch publicity for the Fox tentpole because of the allegations of sex abuse that are the subject of a civil lawsuit and allegedly occurred in 1999. This case is sordid, and has been a challenge for some news outlets because Singer was among several names named, with no evidence so far. He originated the X-Men franchise for Fox, directing the first two stellar films, and this was expected to be a triumphant return. But though unsubstantiated at this point, the allegations are serious, the scandal is growing, and it is not surprising to see him bow out. Here is a statement that Singer issued through his publicist:

‘The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false,” Singer said. “I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career. So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shake down it is. I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Let’s Be Cops’

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 11:05am PDT

20th Century Fox has dropped a new trailer for action comedy Let’s Be Cops. It follows the red band version that debuted last month. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson star as buddies who pretend to be officers of the law — then find themselves in over their head with mobsters and dirty detectives. Cast also includes Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy and Andy Garcia. Pic hits theaters on August 13.

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‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Launch Plan Puts Focus On Stars: Video

XMenMarketingFox is pulling out all the stops for the global launch of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with stars Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy stepping up to bat for a week’s worldwide premiere tour billed as the “X-Men X-Perience.” The trio — who respectively play Wolverine, young Magneto and young Dr. Charles Xavier in the film — made a web video announcement today (see below). After the New York premiere, they will be joined by castmembers Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy and Nicholas Hoult for tour stops including London, Moscow, Singapore, Melbourne, Beijing and Sao Paulo — though who will wind up where is still a secret. The X-Men franchise has morphed into a cash cow overseas, with the most recent titles — last year’s The Wolverine and 2011′s X-Men: First Class – pulling in well over 60% of their global box office haul from territories outside the U.S. and Canada. This is a marketing move typical of 20th Century Fox’s prowess in foreign markets, and since the days of Titanic and Braveheart it has always globetrotted talent in an effort to raise a film’s profile and maximize moolah. X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens day and date worldwide May 25.

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WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel

Keri Russell WonderconWhile fans were allowed to ask questions to the string of talent from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Maze Runner and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 at 20th Century Fox’s WonderCon panel, the one creative talent not fielding questions from the crowd was X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg. While a “no questions” policy wasn’t blatantly announced, Fox gracefully saved its X-Men presentation for the final portion of its nearly two-hour panel. And it was brief next to the half-hour-plus devoted to Planet Of The Apes. Kinberg stepped in at the last minute after the studio pulled Bryan Singer in the wake of the director being slammed with a sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Kinberg promised the crowd that he had footage that was never seen before, but that wasn’t the case: He showed the same clip that was on the MTV Movie Awards last weekend with the young X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Iceman fighting a rather large latex figure who absorbs their powers. When Singer’s name appeared onscreen in the trailer that was shown at WonderCon today, the crowd was unfazed.

Related:
WonderCon: Warner Bros Still Earns Cheers With Largely Star-Less Presentation & Jaw-Dropping ‘Godzilla’ Tsunami Clip
Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Read More »

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Accusations Prompt ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon Fanfest

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Bryan Singer WonderCon CancelEXCLUSIVE: In the wake of shocking allegations of sexual abuse against Bryan Singer that surfaced five weeks before the launch of the new X-Men film, Singer has cancelled a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s WonderCon in Anaheim, Deadline hears. Fox instead will send Simon Kinberg as the studio prepares to launch the Singer-directed blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg wrote and produced the film and has been a part of the X-Men universe since the beginning.

WonderCon logoSinger had been scheduled to be on hand to do interviews for the film that Fox opens May 23. It seems fairly obvious that right now he’s not going to get the kind of questions that will help the movie, or that he could answer. Singer had been scheduled to represent X-Men among a bunch of big Fox movies vamping this weekend, appearing along with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and director Matt Reeves from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes; Jay Baruchel and writer-director Dean DeBlois from How To Train Your Dragon 2; and Dylan O’Brien, writer James Dashner and director Wes Ball from The Maze Runner.
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Fox Buys Pitch For Its ‘Chronicle’ And ‘Fantastic Four’ Star Michael B. Jordan

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:54am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has closed a deal for Men Who Kill, a pitch 2014 CinemaCon - The Big Screen Achievement Awardsby T.J. Fixman that will be developed as a star vehicle for fast-rising Michael B. Jordan. The tone of the film is an international Bad Boys and it gives the studio another project with Jordan, who comes off his breakout role in Fruitvale Station and heads into the Fantastic Four reboot after previously starring in the Fox sleeper Chronicle.

20th_century_fox_logoAfter starring as a teen in the iconic TV series The Wire and Friday Night Lights, Jordan is making the transition to adulthood among a handful of young actors vying to be in the next generation of bankable leading men. This is the first action thriller vehicle being developed specifically for Jordan, who is separately attached to play Apollo Creed’s grandson in a new version of Rocky that will re-team him with Fruitvale Station writer-director Ryan Coogler. Read More »

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Commit To September Start For New Regency’s ‘The Revenant’

Mike Fleming

leodEXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio has committed to star this September in The Revenant, a gritty thriller that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will direct for New Regency, for fall 2015 release through Fox. Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith co-wrote the script. DiCaprio had been attached to team with Gonzalez Inarritu, but he is attached to many projects; getting the star to commit off his Oscar-nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street performance is a big development for Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston’s game plan to make tasteful, star- and director-driven fare.

revenantAnonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon and David Kanter will produce with Gonzalez Iñárritu, Milchan and James Skotchdopole. Brett Ratner and Paul Green are exec producers. The film will be co-financed by RatPac and Worldview Entertainment, latter of which just partnered with Regency and Fox Searchlight in the Inarritu-directed Birdman, which was just set for release on October 17.

An adaptation of the Michael Punke novel The Revenant: A Novel Of Revenge, Inarritu Gonzalez’s next film will star DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a 19th century fur trapper who gets mauled by a grizzly bear, and then is left for dead by cohorts who rob him. When he survives, he is as pissed as a bee-stung bear and sets out on a treacherous journey to exact revenge on those who betrayed him. Sean Penn had been circling as one of those bad guys, but he won’t be in the film. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Ben Affleck in ‘Gone Girl’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 4:54pm PDT

“I did not kill my wife!” Ben Affleck‘s hubby protagonist Nick Dunne emphatically declares in the first trailer from the high-profile big-screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s worldwide bestseller Gone Girl. And though that catchphrase might be an echo from 1993′s The Fugitive, Dunne is a guy — unlike Harrison Ford’s Dr. Richard Kimble — who has the deck stacked against him when it comes to his murdered better half (Rosamund Pike). Or so it seems. One of Flynn’s inspirations for the novel stemmed from the psychology and dynamics of couples’ long-term relationships. CinemaCon attendees got an early look at the trailer last month. Fox will release the David Fincher film on the first Friday in October — in the same spot the director’s 2010 awards-season darling, The Social Network, launched. Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Missi Pyle and Patrick Fugit round out the cast. Take a look and see if you can get Richard Butler’s eerie cover of the Charles Aznavour’s song “She” out of your head:

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