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Pixar Does It Again! ‘Brave’ Opens Big #1 With $66.7M Domestic and $80.2M Global; ‘Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Gets Lost

June 22-24 Weekend Actuals

1. Brave (Pixar/Disney) 3D NEW [4,164 Theaters] PG
Friday $24.6M, Saturday $23.7M, Sunday $18.0 Weekend $66.3M

2. Madagascar 3 3D (DreamWorks Anim/Paramount) Week 3 [3,920 Theaters] PG
Friday $6.2M, Saturday $7.8M, Sunday $5.8M, Weekend $19.7M (-42%), Cume $157.1M

3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D (Fox) NEW [3,108 Theater] R
Friday $6.3M, Saturday $5.7M, Sunday $4.4M Weekend $16.3M

4. Prometheus 3D (Fox) Week 3 [2,862 Theaters] R
Friday $2.9M, Saturday $3.9M, Sunday $3M, Weekend $9.9M (-52%), Cume $108.5M

5. Snow White & The Huntsman (Universal) Week 4 [2,919 Theaters] PG-13
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $3.3M, Sunday $2.3M, Weekend $8.1M (-39%), Cume $137.1M

6. Rock of Ages (New Line/Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,470 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $3.1M, Sunday $2M, Weekend $7.7 (-47%), Cume $28.4M

7. That’s My Boy (Columbia/Sony) Week 2 [3,030 Theaters] R
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $2.9M, Sunday $2.3M, Weekend $7.6M (-43%), Cume $27.9M

8. Marvel’s The Avengers 3D (Disney) Week 8 [2,230 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $3.0M, Sunday $1.9M, Weekend $7.1M (-19%), Cume $598.4M

9. Men In Black 3 3D (Columbia/Sony) Week 5 [2,462 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday #1.6M, Weekend $5.7M (-43%), Cume $163.5M

10. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (Focus) NEW [1,625 Theaters] R
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1,5M, Sunday $1M, Weekend $3.8M

SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: My sources tell me that Pixar’s heroine-in-the-highlands Brave will open to around $66.7M this weekend with $24.5M for Friday and $23.5M for Saturday. So it’ll be an easy #1 this weekend – incredibly, Pixar’s 13th straight first place … Read More »

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Hot New Trailer: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

By | Monday May 28, 2012 @ 11:38am PDT

20th Century Fox released a new trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that includes scenes not shown in previous versions. The studio also announced that Benjamin Walker, who portrays the slayer of bloodsuckers, and other members of the cast and crew will treat the thousands of sailors serving aboard the Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to a screening in June. Co-stars Anthony Mackie and Erin Wasson, plus director Timur Bekmambetov, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith and producer Jim Lemley will also be aboard. The cast and filmmakers also will show the movie at two additional undisclosed bases. Most of the rest of us will have to wait till June 22.

Related: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Red Band Trailer

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Hot Trailer: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Red Band

By | Thursday May 24, 2012 @ 10:52am PDT

We loved the initial Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer, which first showed off director Timur Bekmambetov’s take on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel. Graham-Smith wrote the screenplay with Simon Kinberg, and the 20th Century Fox film is being released June 22. This restricted trailer ups the gore, and thoughts of what that ax could do to our Tax Code.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’

By | Monday February 13, 2012 @ 8:31am PST

Wow, very cool trailer, one of the best I’ve seen in months (especially with Johnny Cash flourish). Produced by Tim Burton and Jim Lemley, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the Twentieth Century Fox horror-history mashup will usher in a summer of vampires, zombies, and aliens. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens June 22nd and is an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel: he’s also the credited screenwriter with Simon Kinberg. The pic stars Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, and Dominic Cooper in fiction about President Lincoln’s mother killed by a supernatural creature who fuels Abe’s passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers:

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Vampire Hunting Abe Lincoln Lampoons Presidential Wannabes In Holiday Card

By | Saturday December 24, 2011 @ 10:57am PST
Mike Fleming

Benjamin Walker, who plays the title character in next year’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is also the ringleader of a comedy troupe that puts on a show the first Tuesday each month at Joe’s Pub in New York. The show’s called Benjamin Walker Presents Find The Funny, and Walker and his group has released a holiday card. The vampire hunting 16th president evokes a bunch of White House wannabees in its humorous holiday message.

FTFHOLIDAYCARD from Rodolfo Valdez on Vimeo.

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Films Casting Roundup

Mike Fleming

Michael Ealy has been set to play the male lead alongside Kate Beckinsale in the fourth installment of the Underworld franchise for Screen Gems and Lakeshore. He will play a police detective who hunts the vampiress and ultimately teams up with her. Ealy, repped by Gersh and Epidemic Management, most recently played a soldier who returned from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder in  the Tyler Perry-directed For Colored Girls, and he worked for Screen Gems in Takers. Underworld 3D just got under way in Vancouver, directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein from a script by J. Michael Straczynski and John Hlavin, a co-production between Lakeshore and Screen Gems. …

Robin McLeavy has been set to play the role of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. The role is brief but sets the tone for the action. It’s her death at the hands of a bloodsucker that hardens young Abe Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) into going to war against the growing scourge of vampires in the 1800s. The Australian actress, who just signed with UTA, is also repped by Wishlab and Shanahans in Australia. She played Stella opposite Cate Blanchett’s Blanche in the Liv Ullmann-directed revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. … Read More »

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Anthony Mackie And Dominic Cooper Staking Out ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Fox is negotiating with The Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper to play Abe Lincoln’s mentor Henry, the mysterious ageless guy who teaches Abe to kill bloodsuckers. The studio had been in talks with Joaquin Phoenix for that role, but it’s going to be Cooper, another up-and-comer, whose dual performance as Uday Hussein and the man forced to be his body double was the talk of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

EARLIER, 12:30 PM: Anthony Mackie is in talks to star with Benjamin Walker in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Mackie will play the role of Will, Lincoln’s best friend. The role is a good one, he gets to be in the center of the vampire slaying. Director Timur Bekmambetov is putting together a group of up and comers to headline the movie. Mackie is ready to pop and is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue. He next stars with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau and stars with Hugh Jackman in Real Steel. Mackie is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment. Mackie also turned in a fascinating performance as jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden in the Dan Pritzker-directed Bolden!. I’ve seen some footage from that picture, which Pritzker shot in a rather meticulous production that took forever. Pritzker completed and released an offshoot silent film Louis, which toured with a … Read More »

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Honest Abe? Joaquin Phoenix Mulls Acting Return in Fox’s ‘Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Joaquin Phoenix is the front-runner to play the mentor who teaches the 16th President how to kill bloodsuckers in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Phoenix has met on the project and I’m told that it’s his if he wants it. He would join Benjamin Walker, who last Thursday was set to play the title character in the Timur Bekmambetov-directed adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel whose producers include Tim Burton. It’s an encouraging sign that the fine actor might be returning to form after a surreal detour in I’m Still Here, the mockumentary directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck that purported to be Phoenix’s attempt to build a career as a rapper. While both Phoenix and Affleck initially maintained the docu was legit, they later acknowledged it was an artistic ruse. It was a waste of his considerable talent. From Gladiator, To Die For to We Own the Night and Walk the Line, Phoenix consistently turns in fascinating performances and this is a showy return role. The role is Henry, a mythic, ageless figure who turns Lincoln into an axe-throwing expert slayer of vampires. The pic’s produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Phoenix is cagey and could decide not to go forward. Stay turned to see if his deal makes. WME reps Phoenix.

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Ben Walker Set For Lead Of ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Mike Fleming

Ben Walker has been set by Timur Bekmambetov to play the lead role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the 20th Century Fox adaptation of the Seth Graham-Smith novel that’s being produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Deal was just locked. Walker, who most recently starred on stage in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, has been on the short list for a macho role, most recently the Beast in X-Men: First Class. Walker had been the rumored favorite for days, after testing with Benjamin Walker, James D’Arcy, Adrien Brody, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Josh Lucas. He’s repped by WME and Inspire Entertainment.

The 3D project has been one of the hotter ones in Hollywood after 20th Century Fox’s Emma Watts and Peter Kang grabbed it after an auction that pitted Fox against Sony, Paramount, Universal and Summit. It was a fully fleshed out package, as Bekmambetov, Burton and Lemley used their own money to option the book, and get a script by the author. Grahame-Smith’s novel re-imagines Lincoln’s life as an axe-throwing, skilled killer of bloodsuckers, an obsession that dates back to the death of his mother as the hands of vampires. Lincoln vents his wrath on the vampires and their slave-owning protectors. The film was sold with a $69 million budget, but a first dollar gross ask just north of 25% (though insiders said it didn’t end up that high when the deal was made). Fox will release the film … Read More »

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Josh Lucas Lands Lindbergh in ‘J. Edgar’

Mike Fleming

Josh Lucas, already a candidate to play the 16th President in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, has landed the role of aviator Charles Lindbergh in the Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar for Warner Bros. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the FBI head and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment is producing with Eastwood’s Malpaso. Lucas next stars opposite Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer. He’s repped by WME.

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Actors Testing For Abe in ‘Vampire Hunter’

EXCLUSIVE: There are few hotter projects in Hollywood right now than Twentieth Century Fox’s macabre 3D Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel (he also wrote the script) that will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Timur, Tim Burton, and Jim Lemley. The studio has set a June 22, 2012 release for the film and has been focused on casting since November. Now we can tell you the list of actors who’ll be screentesting for the role of young Abe Lincoln this week and next: Benjamin Walker, James D’Arcy, Adrien Brody, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Josh Lucas. It’s a very interesting mix of semi-knowns and unknowns, stage and screen vets.

Twentieth won the project after a hard fought auction that included Sony and Paramount and Universal and Summit. Bekmambetov and Burton liked it so much they used their own money to option the book earlier this year, and Fox had existing relationships with both filmmakers – Timur dating back to when the studio talent-spotted him in Russia and released his first movie Night Watch worldwide. The movie is a 3D re-imagining of Lincoln’s life that depicts the 16th president as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires Read More »

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Fox Sets ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ For 2012

Mike Fleming

20th Century Fox didn’t waste time after buying the screen package Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Seth Grahame-Smith novel that will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Timur, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. The studio has set a June 22, 2012 release for the film, which has a script by Grahame-Smith and is casting now.

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Fox Wins Macabre ‘Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Film Project After Trying Bloody Hard

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: After a hard fought auction that included Sony and Paramount and Universal and Summit, Twentieth Century Fox has emerged the victor for the hottest project in Hollywood right now: the live-action adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith macabre novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Tim Burton who used their own money to option the book earlier this year. It’s a 3D re-imagining of Lincoln’s life that depicts the 16th president as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires, an obsession of his since those bloodsuckers supposedly took the life of his mother. Taking revenge, Lincoln wreaks havoc on the vampires and their slave-owning protectors. Only in Hollywood would such wild fantasy with the reputation of one of America’s greatest Presidents be in such demand. Fox wanted the project so badly that when the filmmakers came onto the lot, the studio had bloody axes and bloody footprints strewn about, and arranged for a bugle player in a Confederate uniform playing “Taps” to accompany them to the meeting with studio executives.

WME Entertainment made the deal, which just closed a few minutes ago. Production is set to begin next March, and this will be Bekmambetov’s first directing gig since the hit Angelina Jolie-James McAvoy pic Wanted.

Deadline’s Mike Fleming first told you last Wednesday morning that Bekmambetov and his producing partners Burton and Jim Lemley had studios buzzing as they … Read More »

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Can Abe Lincoln And Snow White Stir Sluggish Spec Market?

Mike Fleming

After watching most of their summer sequels and branded pictures underwhelm audiences while original stabs like Inception and Despicable Me drew plaudits and profits, studios this week have a chance to get bold. I’m told that agencies have about 8  spec projects circulating. Two in particular have the town abuzz: a live action adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith macabre novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with Wanted helmer Timur Bekmambetov as its director and Tim Burton its producer; and Snow White and the Huntsman, a revisionist take on the fairy tale scripted by Evan Daugherty and produced by Alice in Wonderland‘s Joe Roth. Attached to direct is Rupert Sanders, who has been on a short list for many plum studio jobs including The Hunger Games and All You Need Is Kill, based on his reel of stylishly-directed commercials that include Microsoft’s Halo. Now, some studios claim they are out of development money and all of them have grown accustomed to making conservative spending decisions, but my bet is they will make an exception here and that both of these will sell in big deals possibly before the week is out. Word is both potential tent poles have offers already.

The Abe Lincoln yarn has had heat on it since Burton and Bekmambetov used their own money to option the book earlier this year. I’m told that it’s a large canvas re-imagining of … Read More »

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Timur Bekmambetov Taps Michele Wolkoff To Run Production Shingle

Mike Fleming

Michele Wolkoff is leaving her post as director of development for Universal Pictures International to become president of development for Timur Bekmambetov’s Bekmambetov Projects Ltd. She starts next month.

Wolkoff’s emphasis will be to build the output of Bekmambetov’s English language productions. He’s also a prolific producer of Russian lingo films. She will oversee development of projects that include an adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Seth-Grahame Smith novel that could be Timur’s next directing project and first since Wanted. Bekmanbetov is producing that with Tim Burton and Jim Lemley and it hasn’t yet been set at a studio. She will also be liason for The Darkest Hour, the New Regency thriller that is currently underway in Russia.

Wolkoff met Bekmambetov at Universal, where she oversaw production of projects in Latin America, Australia, Asia and Russia. Bekmambetov has been the catalyst for films in the latter territory, and she oversaw that partnership between his company and Universal. Wolkoff shepherded the hit Black Lightning, which has grossed  over $20 million in Russia. An English language remake is planned.  She started at the studio as Stacey Snider’s assistant and was brought over to international by David Linde.

“Timur has an amazing facility in Russia, and we want to be able to increase the English language slate to two or three films per year,” she told me.

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