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Lionsgate Lights Firefighter Project With Jeff Chan To Helm, Sascha Penn To Write

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 11:37am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has hired Jeff Chan to develop to direct an untitled project Lionsgate_newlogoLionsgate_newlogoframed in the vein of End Of Watch, with firefighter protagonists. Sascha Penn has been set to write the script. While there has been talk of a few fact-based firefighter films that fell apart over rights issues, we’ve not seen a big movie on the subject since Ladder 49 and before that Backdraft. This one will be high action, centering around a brave group of firefighters in Detroit.

Chan came to prominence in a fairly inventive way. His calling card was spec commercials he made for Call Of Duty, which were done without the gamemaker’s authorization. When they first created buzz online, Activision threatened to sue Chan because the masses thought a new version of the game was coming out. After the strong response, the game company hired him to create its first and only Call Of Duty short film, for which  he wrote, directed and created VFX (check it out below). Chan co-wrote and made his feature debut on Grace, a supernatural thriller produced by Brian Kavanaugh Jones and recently acquired for distribution by Sony Pictures. It is unusual in that it is entirely shot from a first-person POV. He just sold a pitch to direct at QED that is conceived as a trilogy about a moment in our near future where everybody over the age … Read More »

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‘Call Of Duty: Ghosts’ Tops $1B On First Day, Says Activision Blizzard

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 11:54am PST

One day after the latest installment in the Call Of Duty franchise was released, Activision Blizzard announced today that the first-person shooter video game has surpassed $1 billion in global sell-in sales. Impressive as that may sound, it’s not a record yet, and it hasn’t taken out Grand Theft Auto V either. Unlike last year’s Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, which sold $500M on its first day last November, the $1 billion represents the copies shipped to retailers not actual point-of-purchase sales — Activision Blizzard hasn’t released that figure yet. Previously the fastest-selling video game ever, Back Ops II was thrashed by Grand Theft Auto V when the Take Two Interactive game hit $800 million in sales in one day after its September 17 release. Leaping ahead of the box office of Hollywood blockbusters Man Of Steel and Despicable Me 2, GTA V topped $1 billion in a record making three days whereas it took Black Ops II just over two weeks to get to that number back in fall 2012. The 10thgame in the franchise, the dystopian story of Call Of Duty: Ghosts was put together in part by Oscar-wining scribe Stephen Gaghan, who worked on the multi-level story. Unlike GTA V, which was initially available on just PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Ghosts debuted on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U and Windows PC. The game is also set to … Read More »

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‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Breaks $1B Sales Record In Just 3 Days

By | Friday September 20, 2013 @ 12:01pm PDT

UPDATE, 12:01 PM: Call Of Duty might want to go back to basic training. Grand Theft Auto V has now made more than $1 billion in worldwide retail sales in just three days. That’s a target that previous record holder Call Of Duty: Black Ops II took 15 days to hit after its November 2012 release. Already shattering the previous first day sales record and beating Man Of Steel with its $800 million opening, the latest installment in Rockstar Game’s GTA franchise has now surpassed No. 2 movie of the year so far Despicable Me 2s $840 million global box office. The game is now creeping up on 2013′s top movie Iron Man 3′s $1.2 billion worldwide take.

PREVIOUSLY, WEDNESDAY PM: Looks like the fictional LA of Los Santos left Call Of Duty and Superman in the dust. First-day sales of Grand Theft Auto V pulled in a record $800 million worldwide, according to publisher Take-Two Interactive. Released Tuesday, the latest version of the ultra-violent franchise soundly beat previous first-day record holder Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, which sold $500M on its first day last November.  Read More »

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Blockbuster Sales For ‘Call Of Duty’ Power Activision Blizzard Shares

By | Friday November 16, 2012 @ 1:56pm PST

The company says it has “the biggest entertainment launch of the year” after its new combat video game, Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, generated $500M in worldwide sales in the first 24 hours after it was released. This is the fourth consecutive year that the producer of the game, Activision Blizzard, says its franchise has set the entertainment record. ”Live-to-date sales for the Call Of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time,” CEO Bobby Kotick says. The news contributed to a 4.7% jump today in Activision’s stock, although it’s still down 10% over the last 12 months. The CEO says that “given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013.” The game is available for Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles, and Windows PCs. Next week it should be available to Nintendo’s Wii U users. In addition to the game sales, Activision says that the live-action ‘Surprise’ launch trailer for the game has attracted more than 30M views on YouTube since October 29.

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R.I.P. Joel Goldsmith

By | Monday April 30, 2012 @ 5:54pm PDT

Stargate and Star Trek composer Joel Goldsmith died on April 29 from cancer. Goldsmith was 54. A three-time Emmy nominee, Goldsmith composed music for over 330 episodes of the long running Stargate sci-fi franchise, created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. Goldsmith’s music appears in Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Universe, as well as two direct-to-DVD 2009 films, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Continuum.The son of composer Jerry Goldsmith, who won an Academy Award in 1977 for his score of The Omen, Joel Goldsmith was nominated for Emmys for an episode of Stargate SG-1, as well as for the Stargate Atlantis theme and for an episode of that series. Goldsmith worked on several other TV series including the 1990’s The Outer Limits reboot. He also did the music for films such as Kull the Conqueror and 2006’s hugely successful Call of Duty 3 videogame. The younger Goldsmith and his father, who died in 2004, eventually worked together as composers for 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, to which Joel contributed over 20 minutes of his own music.

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Call of Duty: MW3 Rakes In $775M In 5 Days

By | Thursday November 17, 2011 @ 10:55pm PST

Activision’s first-person shooter multiplayer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has grossed more than $775 million in its first five days of sales, the company reported Wednesday. In just its first day on the market, Activision sold more than 6.5 million units in North America and the United Kingdom for an estimated sell-through rate of more than $400 million.  Activision claimed the new edition in its debut — for about $60 a pop — has surpassed the openings of all movies, books and videogames. It even surpassed last year’s release of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which grossed $650 million, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which sold $550 million. Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick boasted to AllThingsD that the Call of Duty franchise is one of the most valuable entertainment properties worldwide, having exceeded $6 billion in lifetime revenue.

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Ridley And Tony Scott Prep ‘Call Of Duty’ Web Series For New Activision Service

By | Saturday September 3, 2011 @ 11:57am PDT

Add another platform for Ridley and Tony Scott. The pair are collaborating on a web video series for Call of Duty Elite TV, an upcoming service built around the Activision game franchise. The series from Ridley Scott Associates, called Friday Night Fights, will bring real life rivals together to battle it out in Call of Duty multiplayer. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg announced plans for the series Friday night in a presentation at the two-day game festival Call of Duty XP in Playa Vista, Calif. The Scotts have proven themselves quite the multi-taskers. As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported exclusively last month, Ridley is revisiting Blade Runner, on top of working on his 2012 summer release Prometheus, and Tony is preparing to reboot The Wild Bunch while also gearing up for Hell’s Angels. Both are heavily involved in their prolific Scott Free Productions, which has built up a television empire, receiving 23 Emmy nominations this year. Call of Duty Elite TV launches in November, with other programming for the web TV outfit coming from Jason Bateman and Will Arnett’s DumbDumb, in partnership with Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio Electus.

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