Off her turn in A Good Day To Die Hard and Sundance success in The Spectacular Now earlier this year, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has put down new dual stakes in the indie world. Winstead is on board with Faults, her husband Riley Stearns’ next directorial project. The actress will play a young cult member whose parents hire an expert to deprogram her, but the expert begins to think they might be more of a threat than the cult. Produced by Snoot Entertainment, Faults is scheduled to start shooting later this year. The actress will also star in Chris Messina’s yet-untitled directorial debut with Derek Luke, who had a recurring role on the first season of FX’s The Americans. Winstead will play an environmental lawyer who is left to raise her 12-year-old son alone after her husband bolts. The Mindy Project co-star Messina is helming the pic with Electric City’s Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell producing. The latest projects come with Winstead having already been cast as the female lead in the Cinemax pilot Quarry, and she has an album coming out this summer with producer Dan the Automator under the moniker Got A Girl. Winstead is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
‘Die Hard 5′ Wins Presidents Weekend, ‘Identity Thief’ #2, ‘Safe Haven’ Fades After Valentines Day, ‘Escape Planet Earth’ Weak, ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Bombs
TUESDAY 10TH UPDATE… TOP TEN GROSSES BELOW… This Presidents Weekend overall was a so-so moviegoing weekend and not a good one, even though this holiday is usually one of the hottest domestic. If only the opening pics had been better. Total moviegoing was $164M, or down -15% from last year. The race for #1 was closer than expected. Twentieth Century Fox’s critically panned A Good Day To Die Hard (3,552 theaters) went up more than +45% from Friday to Saturday and held Sunday to win the 4-day holiday. But Universal thought its 2nd place holdover, the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman frenemy comedy Identity Thief, was giving it a run for its money. As a Universal exec told me, “To think we could even scare a #1 film is a great accomplishment.” So it came down to Monday’s grosses with the $92 million budgeted actioner that’s a 25-year-old franchise ending up with an unimpressive $36.7M in its first 5 days. Last time around, 2007′s Live Free Or Die Hard opened on a Wednesday and earned $48.3M for the 5 days and $33.3M for the 3-day weekend. Fox shrugged off the awful reviews – only 13% positive on Rotten Tomatoes – for this R-rated mess directed by John Moore, scripted by Skip Woods, and produced by Alex Young and Wyck Godfrey. (“What reviews? There are reviews on this movie?,” a Fox exec laughed.) On Sunday, Fox released international numbers claiming A Good Day To Die Hard had an “explosive weekend” grossing its biggest weekend ever - $61.5M from 9,595 screens in 63 markets to hold the #1 market position in 32 out of 37 new openers. The worldwide cume went past $80M.
There was another holiday to score: Valentine’s Day, always a huge moviegoing event. (2012′s was a $30 million Tuesday.) Thursday was won by Relativity’s critically panned romantic drama Safe Haven (3,223 theaters) -even though it was worse reviewed than Die Hard 5 with only 11% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. The Lasse Hallstrom-directed PG-13 pic has been fading since VDay. Maybe because this latest tearjerker adapted from romance novelist Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John) starred Josh Duhamel who doesn’t have the sex appeal of Channing Tatum or the acting chops of Ryan Gosling. Both Die Hard 5 and Safe Haven earned ‘B+’ CinemaScores from audiences to help word of mouth. Bruce et al was #2 on Valentines Day because, when you think of romance, you think of Die Hard 5.
As for Friday’s release, The Weinstein Company’s critically panned PG toon Escape From Planet Earth (3,288 theaters) came in 4th Friday, then had a major kiddie business (Saturday +82%). But the $70M movie ($40M cost and #30 to open, according to Weinstein execs) earned only $20.8M this 4-day holiday even though there’s been nothing fresh in the family marketplace for months and most toons do $35M-40M on a 3-day weekend. With no new kid films for the next few weeks, let’s see what the multiple turns out to be. The film was directed by Cal Brunker.
Warner Bros’ Beautiful Creatures (2,950 theaters) opened Thursday as a huge disappointment after its ‘B’ CinemaScore. Scripted and directed by Richard LaGravenese, this PG-13 tween/teen goth romantic fantasy tried to capitalize on the Twilight target audience addicted to the book series – in this case, the first in the Caster Chronicles novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The marketing emphasized social media –from Instagram-released production photography to Facebook-hosted set visit contests to extensive Twitter-based interviews. There even were mall tours. But none of this could overcome the fact that the filmmakers altered the book, which annoyed fans who stayed away from the movie version.
Bruce Willis was on hand last night at 20th Century Fox studios to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his blockbuster franchise with a new mural on the backlot. From certain angles the mural McClane looks more like a young Mel Gibson, but filmmakers and execs (including Twilight producer Wyck Godfrey) didn’t seem to mind as the next pic in the franchise — the Russia-set A Good Day To Die Hard, which premieres February 14 — had its first screening, followed by a “red” Russia-themed reception on the 21st floor of where else, but Nakatomi Tower (aka Fox Plaza). Willis was joined by Good Day To Die Hard co-stars Jai Courtney, Rasha Bukvic and Yuliya Snigir, director John Moore, and 20th Century Fox Film chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos.
Bruce Willis hits Moscow for the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, this one starring Jai Courtney as John McClane’s son, who’s become a federal agent chasing Russian bad guys. There’s clearly still an appetite for American “cowboys”: Fox‘s previous pic, 2007′s Live Free Or Die Hard, grossed $33.4 million on its opening weekend back on its way to a worldwide cume of $383.5 million. A Good Day To Die Hard is set for a February 14 release.
Fox’s new trailer for A Good Day To Die Hard has landed. Enjoy.
Here’s a new trailer that Fox has released for the John Moore-directed A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth installment of Bruce Willis as cop/reluctant hero John McClane. He’s blowing up plenty of shit here and it’s still hard to believe that this franchise works so well when the first one came out way back in 1988. That is one of a handful of films–Godfather I&II, Goodfellas, Heat and Braveheart are a few others–that I dutifully sit and watch at any point in the film if I’m flipping channels with the remote. Aside from hair, it doesn’t look like Willis’ McClane has lost much off his fastball and I’m as excited about this as I am Taken 2.
EXCLUSIVE: Cole Hauser has landed a pivotal supporting role in A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth installment of the 20th Century Fox series that began with the 1988 action classic Die Hard, which hatched Bruce Willis’ indestructible John McClane character. John Moore is directing, with Jai Courtney playing McClane’s son and the plot set in Russia. Hauser will play a villain named Collins. It is the third time Hauser has been in a film with Willis; they previously worked together in Tears Of The Sun and Hart’s War. Hauser’s repped by APA.
EXCLUSIVE: A prolonged search has ended, and 20th Century Fox has set Jai Courtney to play the son of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise. John Moore will direct a film that has been dated for a February 14, 2013 release. Alex Young is producing. This is a big surprise as the studio, Moore and Willis met a ton of up-and-coming young actors, only to expand the search several times. Courtney hadn’t been on any of those short lists that I’d heard of, but I believe it came down to Courtney and Liam Hemsworth, the Hunger Games star. Courtney is perhaps best known for playing Varro in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood And Sand. He was the close confidante of Spartacus until they were forced into a battle to the death.
EXCLUSIVE: In the young actor category, a role to die for is John McClane Jr, the son of Bruce Willis’ indestructible cop character in A Good Day To Die Hard, which John Moore will direct in Russia early next year for 20th Century Fox.
I’m told the studio, Moore and Willis are down to these four actors for the role: Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth; Emmy-winning Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul (scheduling on his series could pose a problem); The Pacific star James Badge Dale; and D.J. Cotrona, who was a regular in the series Detroit 1-8-7 and is currently shooting G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. The studio would not comment.
20th Century Fox has set A Good Day To Die Hard for a February 14, 2013 release, the highlight of several pictures the studio has just dated on its release calendar. Bruce Willis is set to reprise his role as John McClane in the John Moore-directed film, and casting is just getting underway for the role of his son, John McClane Jr, which has the agencies abuzz because of the opportunity for a young actor to make a mark.
Fox has dated the Liam Neeson-starrer Taken 2 to open Columbus Day weekend, on October 5, 2012; the Curtis Hanson-directed surfing film Of Men & Mavericks will open October 26, 2012 with Gerard Butler starring; the Billy Crystal/Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance will bow November 21, 2012 for Thanksgiving; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will open March 27, 2013, which is the Wednesday leading into Easter weekend; and Walking With Dinosaurs has moved to the Columbus Day weekend and will open October 11, 2013. The 3D film was originally scheduled to open December 20, 2013.