EXCLUSIVE: Act Of Valor, inspired by Relativity’s successful 2012 Navy SEAL feature, was announced in October as the network’s first scripted series. That is no longer the case. “NGC is unfortunately not moving forward with Act Of Valor in favor of other scripted projects we have under consideration that will be announced soon,” the network said in a statement to Deadline. I hear that at the time of the series green light, Nat Geo had a formal deal with Relativity and well as Studiocanal’s Tandem Communications, which was to act as the studio and handle international distribution. The Bandito Brothers, the creative team behind the feature who had partnered with Relativity in 2012 to develop a TV series inspired by the film, had a preliminary, handshake agreement but no deal in place. In the months following Nat Geo’s announcement, I hear it became clear the Bandito Brothers, Nat Geo and Relativity had different visions for what the series should be. Because of that, a deal with the Bandito Brothers could not be reached and the project was ultimately scrapped. Nat Geo made a successful entrance into scripted television with the feature SEAL Team Six, which became the network’s highest-rated program of 2012. It was followed by the highly rated Killing movie franchise.
EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channel is entering the scripted series arena with Act Of Valor, a drama from Relativity and Tandem Communications inspired by Relativity’s successful 2012 Navy SEAL feature. The project, which also marks Relativity’s first scripted series, will begin production in early 2014. Written by Erik Jendresen (Band Of Brothers), Act Of Valor the series focuses on pararescuemen, also known as PJs, who are the unsung heroes tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments. Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh is expected to address the project in his MIPCOM Media Mastermind Keynote in Cannes on Tuesday. “Relativity’s unique model allows us to successfully transform a film such as Act Of Valor into a highly engaging television series,” he said. “We could not ask for a better home for the series than National Geographic Channel.” This marks the second Relativity movie to spawn a series, following the 2010 documentary Catfish, which led to MTV’s successful reality series of the same name.
EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment will provide financing for The Prototype, an action thriller written and directed by Andrew Will (Archangel) and produced by Bandito Brothers in much the same maverick fashion as they generated Act Of Valor. FilmNation will handle international sales, and Bandito Brothers’ Max Leitman will produce with Shawn Wallace and Will of Variant Films, and Sean Cushing.
Deadline first caught wind of this project back in late June, when the short film by Will leaked when it was being shopped by WME Global. The Prototype is an experimental drone soldier that is being hunted by the FBI’s elite Critical Incident Response Group after it escapes from a top-secret military base and goes on the run. It’s based on a short film by the writer-director. It’s an under-$40 million film somewhat likened to District 9, with casting getting underway.
Relativity and the Bandito Brothers are bringing their Navy SEALs movie Act Of Valor to the small screen. The Bandito Bros and Relativity’s TV division RelativityREAL will develop a drama series based on the movie and plan to take the project to broadcast and cable networks shortly.
The film, which opened at No. 1 at the domestic box office earlier this year, featured a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs, alongside actors Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nester Serrano, in a fictionalized account of a real-life Navy SEAL operation.
The Bandito Brothers, the group that made the hit Act of Valor, is at it again with The Prototype. This is a hot package for an under $40 million action thriller in the vein of District 9 that wasn’t supposed to be auctioned until after I got back from vacation after July 4. Then the teaser leaked. Andrew Will is the writer and director and his producing partner is Shawn Wallace, and they have been working with Cantina Creative and the Bandito Bros in scouting, designing tests for the action scenes, etc. They worked under radar on Act of Valor, but no such luck this time. I got a peek at the teaser trailer, and it’s pretty impressive. WME Global chief Graham Taylor is getting barraged by calls, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a deal before the holiday. Check it out:
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Bandito Bros, whose partners Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh directed Act Of Valor and next direct Arnold Schwarzenegger in Black Sands this summer. The financier/production company had been repped by ICM, which made deals for McCoy to direct God’s Gulch, and for Waugh to helm the car chase movie High Speed. ICM will make a North American distribution deal on Waiting For Lightning, which played at SXSW. The Bandito Bros is an ambitious enterprise with eight partners who hatch, produce and finance immersive content ranging from features to documentaries and commercials and programming for TV and digital. On Act Of Valor, they raised the $12 million budget and flew under the radar until they were ready to take the finished film to the marketplace. Relativity Media won a bidding battle and paid $13 million for distribution. They are comfortable financing their features, which leads to a high upside.
EXCLUSIVE: Bandito Brothers has set up another feature project to follow Act of Valor. Mike “Mouse” McCoy, who co-directed that Relativity Media-released drama with Scott Waugh, will direct God’s Gulch, a drama that that Brooks McClaren will write, based on an idea he and McCoy hatched together. Bandito Brothers, the financing/production studio, will fund the film.
The logline: In the wake of the entire computer network shutting down and the ensuing economic and societal collapse, a group must come together to fight for their survival.
This is the second picture that Bandito Brothers has set in the run-up to the release of Act of Valor, the $12 million budget film that topped the box office last weekend with a $25 million opening weekend. Waugh just made a deal to direct High Speed, a gritty, stylized car chase film that is being written by Greg Russo. Both of these projects will come after McCoy and Waugh direct Black Sands, the action film that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and goes into production this summer.
McCoy, co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Bandito Brothers, is best known as an award winning commercial director whose most recent commercial work includes the re-branding of Hot Wheels. McClaren previously wrote the 2010 Black List script How It Ends, which has Breck Eisner attached to direct and Sierra financing a summer start. God’s Gulch is produced by McCoy, Max Leitman, Jay Pollak and Michael Mailis. The Bandito Brothers and McClaren are …
FX has nabbed another movie that opened No. 1 at the box office: this past weekend’s top performer Act Of Valor. Picking up the Relativity-distributed Navy SEAL actioner, which grossed a healthy $25.5 million for the three-day weekend, seems like a no-brainer for the male-skewing FX. Eight weeks into 2012, FX has acquired the commercial TV rights to six No. 1 movies this year: Act Of Valor, Safe House (Universal), The Vow (Sony/Screen Gems), Chronicle (Fox), Underworld Awakening (Sony/Screen Gems) and Contraband (Universal). Additionally, FX, the most agressive movie buyer among the basic cable networks, has picked up a slew of other 2012 titles that have had mixed performances: This Means War and Red Tails (Fox), Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (Sony), Wanderlust (Universal), and The Immortals (Relativity).
Feb. 24-26 Weekend Actuals
1. Act Of Valor (Relativity) NEW [3,039 Theaters] R
Friday $9M, Saturday $9.5, Sunday $6M, Weekend $24.5M
2. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (Lionsgate) NEW [2,132 Theaters] PG13
Friday $5.3M, Saturday $6.6M, Sunday $3.6M, Weekend $15.6M
3. Journey 2 3D (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,350 Theaters] PG
Friday $3.2M, Saturday$6.4M, Sunday $3.9M, Weekend $13.4M (-33%), Cume $76.6M
4. Safe House (Universal) Week 3 [3,052 Theaters] R
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $5.0M, Sunday$2.7M, Weekend $10.9M (-54%), Cume $97.6M
5. The Vow (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 3 [3,038 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $4.5M, Sunday $2.2M, Weekend $9.9M (-57%), Cume $102.9M
6. Ghost Rider 2 3D (Sony) Week 2 [3,174 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $4.1M, Sunday $2.5M, Weekend $9M (-59%), Cume $38M
7. This Means War (Fox) Week 2 [3,189 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $3.9M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $8.4M (-52%), Cume $33.5M
8. Wanderlust (Universal) NEW [2,002 Theaters] R
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $2.9M, Sunday $1.4M, Weekend $6.5M
9. Gone (Summit) NEW [2,186 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.1M, Sunday $995K, Weekend $4.8M
10. Secret World Of Arrietty (Disney) Week 2 [1,522 Theaters] G
Friday $1M, Saturday $2M, Sunday $1.3M, Weekend $4.4M (-33%), Cume $14.5M
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 2ND UPDATE: Appropriately enough for Oscars Sunday, it’s another up weekend for the 8th straight week in 2012. Overall moviegoing is at $135M, which is a whopping +24% over last year. Needless to say, Hollywood is ecstatic (though not at the prospect at sitting through the interminable Academy Awards only to watch Harvey Weinstein gloat). Relativity’s R-rated Act Of Valor has stayed No. 1 all weekend. It’s the the Bandito Brothers’ independently financed low-budget U.S. Navy fighting force tale using actual SEALs from an original screenplay by Kurt Johnstad (300). (FYI, there was a novelization of that script, “Tom Clancy Presents Act of Valor”, written by Dick Couch and George Galdorsi and released in paperback by Clancy’s publisher. Relativity acquired the rights to the project last June for $13 million and a $30 million in prints and advertising commitment - the biggest money paid for a finished film with an unknown cast at that time. But Relativity didn’t spend $30M on P&A. That may have been the studio’s minimum legal commitment but it spent a lot more. Ryan Kavanaugh et al took out 4 wildely expensive Super Bowl game day ads. Yes, 4. That cost between $12M-14M alone (though Relativity claims it was $6.5+M). Educated guess is that they spent $45M-$50M total to hawk this actioner. Yes, they acquired domestic rights for cheap and aggressively pre-sold foreign. And, yes, the budget was only $12K. Looks like Relativity will recoup. Marketing-wise, Relativity launched an aggressive 400 screening program in over 40 markets as part of a multi-pronged strategy that spoke to gamers, action fans, sports fans, ethnic audiences, country music fans, patriots, military, women, and the faith-based community. It was all about word of mouth then and now: audiences are complying by giving it an ‘A’ CinemaScore.
Also getting an ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences was Lionsgate’s uplifting romantic drama Good Deeds. The result is middling for the Tyler Perry movie — does he clone them? — which was only playing in 2,132 locations. Butthen those films where he doesn’t crossdress as Madea (and offend with that stereotype) earn less. But it’s right in line with Lionsgate expectations and, besides, the budget was only $15M. Like them or not, this is yet another of writer, director, producer Perry’s soap operas targeted to his core fans. But is Tyler an interesting enough thesp to carry a movie virtually by himself or a big enough draw to feature only himself on the movie poster? Not really. (And I say this dreading his upcoming portrayal of fictional crimefighter Alex Cross.)
Universal’s alleged comedy Wanderlust bombed worse than even the studio expecte: lousy tracking for this R-rated nonsense had indicated the film would open below $10M. Audiences gave it a mediocre ’B-’ CinemaScore. The combination of Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd proved toxic to moviegoers. FYI: this greenlight was the studio’s payback to Role Models director David Wain and and his creative partner Ken Marino and mogul/producer Judd Apatow. Unfortunately the budget was $30M which is cheap by any standard except when a pic flops this badly. Sad, really, because Aniston’s flack-from-hell Stephen Huvane pulled out all the nauseating stops by exploiting her personal life — as usual. Also tanking is Summit’s not-so-thrilling Gone starring Amanda Seyfried which earned only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore. This is the latest in a row of stinkers for that studio which is now part of Lionsgate. The only good news is that, based on the structure of the deal with producers Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and other parties, the studio has a net risk of only $2 million.
Remember that kids on the East Coast were out of school this weekend so family holdovers Warner Bros’ Journey 2 and Disney’s The Secret Life Of Arrietty held strong — at least until Universal/Illumination’s Dr. Suess toon The Lorax opens next weekend. Sony’s The Vow passed the $100M domestic mark this 3rd weekend out as the first Screen Gems film to ever hit $100M.
Here’s the Top Ten (order determined by weekend grosses):
1. Act Of Valor (Relativity) NEW [3,039 Theaters]
Friday $9, Saturday $9.4, Weekend $24.7M
2. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (Lionsgate) NEW [2,132 Theaters]
Friday $5.3M, Saturday $6.7M, Weekend: $16M
EXCLUSIVE: Bandito Brothers, the production partnership that produced and financed the upcoming Navy SEAL action drama Act of Valor, will target underground racing for their next big film. Scott Waugh, who co-directed Act of Valor, will helm High Speed, a gritty, stylized car chase film that is being written by Greg Russo. Like Act of Valor, the film will be generated by The Bandito Brothers and produced by Bandito partners Waugh, Max Leitman and Jay Pollak. The story centers around the best high-speed police pursuit drivers in the country, assembled as a unit to stop and elusive, high-end underground racing circuit hellbent on running deadly point-to-point races through major American Cities.
Bandito Brothers is shaping up to be an intriguing operation. Like the Kurt Johnstad-scripted Act of Valor–an action adventure featuring real active duty Navy SEALs taking on terrorism–High Speed will be financed and entirely self-generated through Bandito Brothers. That is a full service content creation studio whose eight partners hatch, produce and finance immersive content ranging from features to documentaries and commercials and programming for TV and digital. Waugh directed Act of Valor with fellow Bandito Brother Mouse McCoy. They raised the $12 million budget and flew under the radar until they were ready to take the finished film to the marketplace. Relativity Media won a bidding battle and paid $13 million for distribution. If the picture becomes a hit, Bandito …
Relativity has marketed Act Of Valor steadily over the past few months, playing up the “Active Duty Navy Seals” in the cast. Directed and produced by “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh and written by Kurt Johnstad, it opens February 24.
(Beverly Hills, Calif.) January 10, 2012 – Relativity Media announced today that it will promote the Bandito Brothers’ upcoming intense action-thriller Act of Valor, which stars an elite group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a fictionalized composite of actual events, during NBC’s nationally televised coverage of Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012. Four 30-second unique Act of Valor commercials, featuring exclusive content, will run throughout the program including two spots that will air during the pre-game, one spot in game during the fourth quarter and one spot in the post-game show.
Here’s an updated trailer for Act Of Valor, in which active duty Navy SEALs play key roles in what Relativity describes as “a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism inspired by true events.” With an emphasis on state-of-the-art warfare, it’s produced and directed by Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh and written by Kurt Johnstad. In addition to the SEALs it stars Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nestor Serrano. Opens February 24.