EXCLUSIVE: Director Joe Johnston has signed with WME for representation. Johnston had been in play since agents Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter left Resolution to go to Paradigm. He had been with CAA with Kanter for a long time, before the agent made the move to Resolution and Johnston went with him. This is a big get for WME. Johnston’s hits include October Sky, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji and Honey I Shrunk The Kids. He is currently developing the high-concept sci-fi thriller Extinction by Spenser Cohen with Mandeville and Good Universe. His next film, Not Safe For Work, is set at Universal. Johnston continues to be lawyered by Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
Joe and Anthony Russo are in negotiations to helm the sequel to Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The next film to follow the 2011 hit is scheduled to be released April 4, 2014. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are writing the screenplay. The sibling directors helmed 2006’s You, Me And Dupree and are the executive producers of ABC’s Happy Endings and NBC’s Community. The Russos are repped by WME.
Disney has dated the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger for April 4, 2014. Marvel Studios is narrowing its list of directors. According to Disney, the sequel picks up where the upcoming The Avengers leaves off, with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) continuing his affliiation with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. as the shield-flinger struggles to come to grips with being transported to contemporary times.
NO WEAKLING: ‘Captain America’ $65.8M; But Is He Summer’s Biggest Superhero? Harry Potter #2, ‘Friends With Benefits’ #3
SUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Wait a minute — aren’t all the superheroes in San Diego at Comic-Con? With so much news from the Con coming hourly all weekend, it’s been tough to keep up with North American box office where yet another superhero pic unreeled this summer. Distributor Paramount had been expecting Marvel/Disney’s Captain America: The First Avenger to open with a $60+M weekend. But the studio on Sunday said the actual total is $65.8 million (even though rival studios put the total much less). Paramount’s figure would better this summer’s original superhero Thor’s $65.7M. But I believe we’ll have to wait until Monday’s actuals to decide who is the biggest superhero of the summer since Sunday’s number is just an estimate right now. As a Paramount exec replied to my questioning his number, “Harry Potter fell 16% last Sunday. We are estimating down 17%. Whether it ends up $65.8M or a little less, it crushed Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class” — both of which were this summer’s superhero movies but made and distributed by different studios (Warner Bros and Fox respectively). Saturday’s take for Captain America of $21.9M was -10% from Friday’s $25.7M North American grosses from 3,715 theaters including around 2,500 showing the movie in 3D. Friday’s take includes $4M midnights from 2,000 locations, better than Thor and Green Lantern as well as prequel/reboot X-Men: First Class. The movie earned an ‘A-’ CinemaScore. (Thor earned a B+). Exit polls showed 43% …
This is expanded from the teaser trailer back in March. The Paramount/Marvel Studios tentpole comes out July 22.
The Hub, Hasbro’s joint-venture kids network with Discovery Communications that launched in October, didn’t do much for the toymaker’s first-quarter earnings announced today. Although Q1 is usually a slow time for toys as it comes after the holidays, the company missed Wall Street expectations as it reported its net income fell 71%, from $58.9 million a year ago to $17.2 million. Costs related to launching The Hub were cited as part of the dragging-down. The bright side is that Hasbro has a slew of toys tied to summer tentpole movies like Marvel properties Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which are expected to goose revenue for the full year.
The Paramount tentpole from Marvel Studios is set to premiere July 22.
Universal, Disney, Paramount, and Sony have all bought time for Super Bowl Sunday on Fox which is selling a 30-second commercial for a whopping $3 million this year (up from $2.8 million in 2010). Many more films will be advertised on this most-watched TV event compared with last year but once again Warner Bros won’t join the crowd. Studios often keep secret what specific films they will promo on Game Day, but I have the rundown:
Paramount is promo’ing the most movies, servicing all at halftime: Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp’s Rango, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, Marvel’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, JJ Abrams’ Super 8, and Michael Bay’s Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon.
Disney will feature one ad during the game’s 3rd quarter: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Sony’s ads will run during pre-game, not during the game: Priest, Just Go With It, and Battle: Los Angeles.
Universal and DreamWorks didn’t even wait for the game: they released their Super Bowl ad an hour ahead of the scheduled time for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Uni also had a 1st quarter ad for Vin Diesel’s Fast Five, the latest in the Fast & Furious franchise.
Twentieth Century Fox will make Super Bowl history this Sunday when a 30-second spot for its 3D toon Rio (April 15) airs during the game’s 4th quarter and becomes the first ad to air during the game with an embedded code tied to the ”Angry Birds” mobile game. During the spot, viewers will be invited …
Marvel Studios announced the signing schedule for its Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger films at Comic-Con in San Diego. On Saturday July 24th at the Marvel Booth (#2329):
11:15 AM-12:00 PM: Kenneth Branagh
12:30-1:30 PM: Chris Hemsworth & Tom Hiddleston
2:00-3:00 PM: Chris Evans & Hugo Weaving
3:30-4:30 PM: Joe Johnston
Each signing is a ticketed event and requires a specific ticket for that individual signing. Fans should come to the Marvel Booth (#2329) as soon the convention opens to the public on Saturday morning for a chance (no purchase necessary) to receive one of the limited number of signing tickets.
SATURDAY, JULY 24
THE DAY YOUR FEET GET REALLY SORE
Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:
10:00-11:00 AM: Mad about MAD! I used to love Mad Magazine, but in the years since it started accepting advertising, it has gone way downhill. Apparently there’ll be some sort of new TV venture announced, though not necessarily a spiritual successor to the late MADtv. Magazine vets Sergio Aragones, John Ficarra, and Sam Viviano will be onhand. Room 7AB
10:00-11:00 AM: Twilight Fanfiction Author Fangroup. Why is it that I have a sneaking suspicion most TWILIGHT fan fiction is actually better written than the prose of Stephenie Meyer? Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina
11:00-11:45 AM: Family Guy. Clips from the upcoming third STAR WARS parody? You know it. Beyond that, we all know this is a love it or hate it show. I used to hate it, but I’m warming up. Ballroom 20
11:45 AM-12:30 PM: The Cleveland Show. Ditto to everything I said above about FAMILY GUY, except for the STAR WARS part. Ballroom 20
11:45 AM-1:15 PM: Warner Bros.: Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Aside from the Marvel movie panel, this will be the big deal. Here’s why: GREEN LANTERN is an iconic DC character finally getting his own live-action movie. SUCKER PUNCH is the first original, non-adapted movie from visual stylist Zack Snyder (WATCHMEN/300), and no-one really knows what to expect yet. As for HARRY POTTER, well, people know almost exactly what to expect from that …