The latest dish on the John Wells-directed cooking project with Bradley Cooper once called Chef: Harvey Weinstein has sent the just-announced title Adam Jones back to the kitchen. They’ll call it Untitled John Wells project until they whip up something tastier. All this arose when they were beaten to the table by Jon Favreau’s food truck film, and their plan to call the film Chef deflated like a bad souffle.
“Even though our writer Steven Knight claims we had the rights first, Jon Favreau killed us and made a great movie that we all love,” Weinstein told Deadline but wouldn’t say what potential titles were now on the menu. “And while our film deals with cooking it’s about different things… We tried to get Lee Daniels’ Chef Movie but Warner Brothers got there first and didn’t give it to us, so now we’re calling it the Untitled John Wells project.”
Weinstein was joking about last summer’s drama, when Warner Bros lawyers blocked TWC’s ask to use the title The Butler because WB had an early 20th century silent black and white short film in its library. It seemed like an apparent attempt to leverage Weinstein into surrendering his claim to first dollar gross points on The Hobbit trilogy (like that would ever happen). Weinstein had the last laugh when he used the title Lee Daniels’ The Butler which, helped by the attention from the title fight, grossed $160 million worldwide on a $30 million production budget. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Co.‘s culinary pic Chef is looking to add Sam Keeley to its kitchen. The Irish thesp, who’s also got a role in Ron Howard’s In The Heart Of The Sea, is in negotiations to join star Bradley Cooper, Omar Sy, and Sienna Miller in the story of a Paris chef whose career is tanked by a hard-partying lifestyle. Sober, he returns determined to redeem himself by heading a restaurant that can earn a coveted three-star Michelin rating. Read More »
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.
Fleming: The success that Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 had with The Fault In Our Stars has me entertaining the unthinkable. Is it possible that between the giant lizards, robots and superheroes that populate studio tentpoles, there is room for thoughtful sleeper films in the summer? The Fault In Our Stars might be the most stirring summer sleeper success I can remember since 1990’s Ghost, another movie about loss. The Fault In Our Stars was particularly sad, young teens facing their mortality because of cancer, struggling to seize life while they can, and helpless parents who’ll never recover from outliving their kids. By the way, the big star is John Green, writer of the book. How’s that for a blockbuster formula in an escapist summer season? Next up is Jersey Boys, where the starpower comes solely from director Clint Eastwood and Frankie Valli’s famous falsetto!
Bart: If John Green is unexpectedly the Man of the Moment, Clint Eastwood has every right to wonder how some of that zeitgeist can be transferred to Jersey Boys. Clint’s new film, out June 20, is not tracking well and his rather melancholy take on the brash … Read More »
Box Office Breakdown
'The Fault In Our Stars' was a $12M-budgeted film whose frontloaded start carried it past the likes of Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie. It runs into biggies '22 Jump Street' and 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' this week. Deadline's Anita Busch and Dominic Patten discuss.
OPENING: The Fault In Our Stars (FOX), beyond expectations with a solid $48M; Edge Of Tomorrow (WBros.), $28.7M and expected at No. 3. Noteworthy: Chef (OPRD) respectable in expansion.
5th UPDATE, MONDAY, 1:45 PM: Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars came in pretty much as we predicted on Friday night with $48M on a $12M negative cost (studio figures) for the three-day after a wild ride of a weekend for the teen tearjerker which had it tracking over $50M going into Saturday. The film, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, was front-loaded on Thursday and Friday by author John Green’s best-selling book’s superfans which enjoyed a $25 a pop ticket for a Q&A simulcast with the filmmakers and cast and a stellar $8.2M Thursday night. Then it slid hard on Saturday, falling off 52% and dipped about another 27% on Sunday. The question is how the film will play in its second weekend when Sony’s highly-anticipated 22 Jump Street comes into play with 20-somethings. Also, as we’ve been watching, will its star Jonah Hill ever go back to social media to help build fans for the weekend bow of his film?
Edge of Tomorrow never cracked $30M; it came in at $28.7M for Warner Bros. However, the film is currently enjoying a strong run overseas, especially in particular markets — China, Russia and Korea. The question remains does Tom Cruise have a solid audience anymore domestically? The sci-fi actioner, which played well on IMAX — accounting for a little over 14% of its total gross — debuted at No. 3 behind the second weekend of Disney’ Maleficent which took in $34.3M (dropping 51% in its sophomore frame). Angelina Jolie will be blasted out of the family circle when the fire-breathing How to Train Your Dragon 2 flies in next weekend from DreamWorks Animation. The film is good. Read More »
A24‘s Obvious Child opened to solid numbers in a crowded weekend some other distributors likely would rather forget. The abortion comedy, based on a 2009 short by filmmaker Gillian Robespierre, bowed with $81K in three theaters in NYC and LA for a robust $27K per-theater average. A24, which has had a nice winning streak of recent openers including Under The Skin (which opened in April with a $35K PTA in four theaters), was pleased with Obvious Child‘s results when reporting numbers Sunday:
“Sundance hit Obvious Child opened with the highest per screen (average) in the country this weekend and is now poised to become one of the breakout hits of summer. The hilarious and crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, featuring a star-making performance by actress/comedian Jenny Slate, received overwhelmingly positive reviews (over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and incredible word-of-mouth, including continual love throughout social media. The ‘revolutionary’ film that MTV called “your next obsession” saw sell-out shows on both Friday and Saturday.” A24 will expand the film to top markets over the next three weeks and go nationwide June 27. Read More »
Box Office Preview
The YA adaptation about a teenage cancer patient who finds love is off to a sizzling start, while the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner needs to make up ground. Weekend 2 of 'Maleficent' is a wild card. Deadline's Anita Busch reports.
Weekend Box Office Preview
Tom Cruise's sci-fi movie 'Edge Of Tomorrow' is the latest summer tentpole to hit theaters, but will Fox's teen love story 'The Fault In Our Stars' steal its opening-weekend thunder?
This is one of those rare weekends, where two movies are opening and another is likely to play strong in its second frame so which might come out on top is a question mark. First off, Fox 2000′s highly-anticipated film based on the best-selling John Green book The Fault in Our Stars opens tonight at 9 p.m. plus it has a a live event going on tonight. That super fan event called “The Night Before Our Stars,” features a live simulcast with the film’s cast and author Green for a Q&A; that’s $25 bucks a pop in 650 theaters. Gotta give kudos to the marketing and distribution team at 20th Century Fox who have really been smart about handling this film. Social media for the picture has just blown up on it as well between the YA crowd but the buzz even has adults wanting to see the film. Having seen it, I gotta say Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort did a heck of a job, but once again, it’s a movie about cancer and for those of us who have experienced cancer in our families — and that is a wide swath of movie goers — it’s hard to watch. Is Fault In Our Stars this generation’s Love Story? It bows at 3,171 locales this weekend.
RELATED: Cinemark CEO talks Up Live Event For Fault In Our Stars
Tonight’s late nights combined with the live-event sales could push its gross to a high level going into the weekend. But, at the end of the day, it is a movie about kids dying from cancer … so that YA fever pitch and the live event is expected to front-load the late night grosses of the film. The question is how it will do on Saturday as it it likely to take a larger hit. Tracking on this film has it anywhere between a low-$30M and the high-end of $40M. So this pic could be No. 1 and beat Maleficent in its second weekend and also the Tom Cruise-starring Edge of Tomorrow, which opened overseas first last weekend in anticipation of its stateside bow.
Edge of Tomorrow, by all accounts, is looking right now to come in No. 3 this weekend in the mid- Read More »
Morning Report: Tuesday, May 27
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past Wipes Up At Weekend Box Office, CBS' Les Moonves, Disney's Bob Iger Among Highest-Paid CEOS In 2013, '24: Live Another Day' Debut Gets DVR Bump In Live+7. Dominic Patten reports.
OPENING: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (FOX) Fox’s estimates were $91.4M 3-day, $111M and it ended at $90.8M and $110.5 for the 4-day to become the No. 5 all-time Memorial Day opener; Blended (WB), we estimated $14M+ for the 3-day, $17M to $18M 4-day. WBros. had it at $18.1M and it ended at $14.2M and $17.7M. NOTEWORTHY: Neighbors (UNI) crossed $100M; Chef (OPRD) expansion to land it in the Top Ten.
FINAL UPDATE, TUES., 2:17 PM: Final numbers are in and Memorial Day weekend is off 26.8% from last year. X-Men: Days Of Future Past tallied $110.5M for the four-day Memorial Day holiday, and $90.8M for the three-day. Blended came in at $17.7M, lower than the $18.1M Warner Bros. predicted yesterday, so we’re glad we stuck to our estimates across the board for all films. The question is what the second weekend drop for X-Men will be when Angelina Jolie arrives in Disney’s Maleficent. Without further ado, here is the final Top 10 Box office chart and will be updated to Top 20 when we receive the Rentrak numbers.
OPENING NEXT WEEKEND: Maleficent (DIS), the PG-rated film from Disney starring Angelina Jolie that is already scaring kids just on its trailer alone; A Million Ways To Die (UNI), Seth MacFarlane’s western. Mel Brooks he ain’t, but either you love him or hate him, right? Should be a fun box office weekend. Finally! Top 20 are in just in time for the 5 PM happy hour (yes, this ranks as the worst box office weekend of my life):
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OPENING: Godzilla (WB), monstrous hit with $93.1M; Million Dollar Arm (DIS), as expected with $10.5M; Chef (OPRD) expands to 72 theaters; The Immigrant (TWC) bows in 3 theaters.
5th UPDATE, MON. 2:26 PM: Final numbers are in and Godzilla came in at $93.1M in what was an incredible ride at the weekend box office for the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. With another $103.4M, the leaping lizard’s worldwide cume is almost $200M. Must say that this morning, it looked like Godzilla would be nearer to $93.4M to $93.8M as most other distribs had estimates higher. Neighbors came in a tad lower than Uni predicted again with $25M instead of $25.9M, dropping 49% in its sophomore frame but look at its cume: $90.5M in the U.S and worldwide $145.1M in two weeks time. The other two second weekenders were Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (which is a quality film, garnering an A CinemaScore) but fell 48%, and Mom’s Night Out fell hardest, down 59%. Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now at $172.1M; it’s overseas gross is more than double than it’s domestic take and it’s opened in all territories now. See international report on this and other films here in the international report.
Opening next weekend: X-Men: Days of Future Past (FOX), which is going to be huge, possibly a $100M opener; Blended (WB), a comedy that pairs old faithful Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and an expansion for Chef (OPRD) which has been performing deliciously in limited release. It stars Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara. The updated chart follows: Read More »
Newcomers bowed with muted to mixed results this weekend, while some holdovers including Jon Favreau‘s Chef held some sway in a box office stomped by Godzilla. The Weinstein Company opened James Gray’s Cannes 2013 debut The Immigrant with Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in a trio of theaters in New York and L.A. Friday, grossing $45,430 for a $15,143 average. That theatrical result bests Gray’s previous opener, Two Lovers (also starring Phoenix as well as Gwyneth Paltrow), though only slightly in terms of PTA. Magnolia Pictures opened Lovers in 7 runs in February 2009, grossing almost $95K for a $13,569 PTA. It went on to cume nearly $3.15M in the U.S. Gray’s highest grossing pic remains the studio release We Own The Night in 2007 via Sony/Columbia. That feature racked up over $28.56 million in the U.S.
“We’re fairly pleased with The Immigrant [opening],” said TWC’s president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. “There’s a dedicated art house crowd which it appeals to. There were sell-outs at the Royal in L.A. and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York (a venue that has limited capacity). We’re not Godzilla, this is for a sophisticated audience and we expect that that [crowd] will discover the film as it [continues to head out].” The Immigrant will head out to the top 50 markets in the coming weeks. Read More »
4TH UPDATE, FRIDAY, 7:15 AM: Godzilla is a monster with late-night grosses tallying a sizeable $9.3M on more than 3,400 screens, coming in much bigger than expected. Of that number, $2.1M came from IMAX screens. In comparison, Captain America: The Winter Soldier had a late-night tally of $10.2M and went on to gross $95M in its opening weekend. Godzilla won’t get near that after the three-day weekend, but I expect its opening to go well over $70M — even to $80M — with a strong night tonight. Stay tuned as it rolls out today. Its midnights on the West Coast were said to be the big get.
3rd UPDATE, THURSDAY 9:44 PM: I know it’s early still, but we’re hearing that Godzilla may be exceeding expectations tonight in late-night bows and will end up north of $6M in the AM … perhaps more like $8M-$10M. Excellent news for Warner Bros. (which has one of the best distribution teams in town) and for Legendary Pictures and their principals Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni as well as Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Kudos, too, to director Gareth Edwards. The teaser marketing campaign took a page right out of the Steven Spielberg book of letting the actors’ reaction shots tell the tail … er, I mean tale. The Fiat promo spot is pretty funny as well with the disclaimer that says something along the lines of “didn’t actually happen” as the monster coughs up the car.
Checking in on social media, Godzilla stands at No. 3 across the social media universe in May with combined YouTube, Facebook and Twitter activity behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men, according to RelishMix, which tracks social engagement of the Big Three. “Star Bryan Cranston’s 1.6M FB and 1.3M Twitter followers, while not monstrous, is promoting the film heavily as is Elisabeth Olsen,” says CEO Marc Karzen, who added that fans are posting Godzilla YouTube trailers as well as reviews and spoof clips at a earned:owned ratio of 9 to 1 with a lighter footprint of international clips. In other words, the fanboys have arrived.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Godzilla’
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2014 SXSW Film Festival opener Chef by writer-director-star Jon Favreau had audiences salivating this weekend in limited release. It cooked up a good showing in 6 theaters with a solid $204K opening and landing in the top tier of this year’s releases in terms of theater average. The feature, also starring Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, and Dustin Hoffman no less, came in just over $34K in its PTA. Only a few other titles landed higher in their openings in the averages game. Grand Budapest Hotel is way out in front — and likely will be for sometime — with a $202K average, while Fading Gigolo opened in April with a $39,860 average in an initial five runs. Under The Skin (which incidentally also featured Johansson) came in with a $35K PTA in four theaters.
“We’re excited, Chef played great this weekend,” said Open Road’s Jason Cassidy. “Exit polls are stellar and we think the film has a nice long life ahead of it. Kudos go to Favreau for making a great, very playable movie and his work in promotion.” Cassidy said that the audience leaned female “as expected.” It will hit the top 10 markets next week and will expand beyond that based on performance.
Related: DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE: ‘Neighbors’ A Raucous No. 1 As ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Hits A Wall; ‘The Other Woman’ On Strong Legs
After a premiere long ago in Telluride, Venice and Toronto (and recently at the San Francisco and Montclair film festivals), another Coppola enters the box office with her debut feature. Read More »
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom get the latest from Pete’s annual Broadway pilgrimage to see as many awards contenders (beginning with that ultimate contender, Rocky) as possible ahead of the Tonys, before heading to France for the Cannes Film Festival. With Cannes just days away, we survey the summer Oscar contenders and ponder whether any of them can “reverse the curse” of poor awards-season showings in recent years. Read More »
Specialties boasting stars are certainly in abundance among this weekend’s crop of newcomers. SXSW Film Festival opener Chef by and starring Jon Favreau along with Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson and even Dustin Hoffman begins its run Friday in limited release via Open Road Films. Another Coppola will see a film hit a theatrical run as well. Gia Coppola’s directorial debut Palo Alto, based on short stories written by James Franco (who also stars) also bows courtesy of Tribeca Film. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in IFC Films’ God’s Pocket by Mad Men director (and actor) John Slattery, while Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in Richard Ayoade’s The Double for Magnolia Pictures. And Cohen Media Group will open the re-release of French filmmaker Patrice Chéreau’s 1994 feature Queen Margot in New York before heading to other U.S. locations.
Director-writer: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Dustin Hoffman, Sofía Vergara, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris
Distributor: Open Road Films
Open Road cooked up its acquisition of Chef while it was still in the script stage, though it did not produce the film. The 2014 SXSW Film Festival opening-night comedy revolves around a chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while putting back together his estranged family.Favreau had tapped on the talents of Food Truck guru Roy Choi to make sure authenticity was in tact.”He’s back to his indie roots and you can feel the passion,” said Open Road’s president of marketing Jason Cassidy. Read More »
Filmmaker Jon Favreau takes a break from comic books and cowboys to return to his comedic roots with Chef. And while it’s easy to align Chef next to such Favreau faves as Swingers and Made, the title is more prime for the comfort food subgenre of chef-in-crisis cinema that includes such films as Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night, James L. Brooks’ Spanglish and Sandra Nettlebeck’s Mostly Martha. Favreau plays Los Angeles Master Chef Carl Casper, who locks horns with his restaurant boss (Dustin Hoffman) after a blogger (Oliver Platt) slams their menu. Casper makes lemonade out of lemons by launching his own food truck in the city with the help of his co-worker (John Leguizamo). Also along for the ride are Favreau’s Marvel theater company duo of Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson, as well as Sofia Vergara, Bobby Cannavale and Amy Sedaris. Open Road acquired rights to Chef in June and will release the film stateside on May 9, Mother’s Day weekend. Reviews coming out of SXSW were largely upbeat. Sample for yourself:
Look’s like something’s really going to be cooking in Austin this spring and we don’t mean BBQ. The SXSW Film Conference and Festival said today that Jon Favreau’s Chef will open the confab this year on March 7. It also announced six additional premieres including Rob Thomas’ crowdfunded big-screen continuation of TV series Veronica Mars, which Amazon Prime made available for streaming today; Fox’s re-launched COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson in person; and the addition of a conversation with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and an acting workshop with Jeffrey Tambor.
Related: Lena Dunham, Jason Blum Set For Inaugural SXSW Film Keynotes
The full SXSW lineup is scheduled to be revealed January 30, but here are the films unveiled today:
Break Point (World Premiere / SXsports screening)
Director: Jay Karas, Screenwriters: Gene Hong, Jeremy Sisto
Two estranged brothers reunite to make an improbable run at a grand slam tennis tournament. The mismatched pair, with some unlikely help from a precocious 11-year-old boy, re-discover their game and their brotherhood.
Cast: Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, Joshua Rush, J.K. Simmons, Amy Smart
Chef (World Premiere)
Director: Jon Favreau, Screenplay & Story: Jon Favreau
When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John
… Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper has now formally confirmed to star in the John Wells-directed Chef, making this one of the early projects stirring action from foreign buyers who can now visualize the Silver Linings Playbook star back in meltdown mode in this Shampoo-like drama. He plays a Paris chef named Adam Jones, who destroys his wunderkind status in a blaze of decadence and out of control behavior. He cleans up and returns to Paris sober, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars. This has been in the works a bit, and recently Cooper saw Wells’ upcoming TWC Oscar-bait movie August: Osage County and then TWC set Wells to direct Chef. They are now looking to round out that cast, and I’m hearing Michelle Williams and Marion Cotillard as potential female leads, and Omar Sy for co-starring role. The film’s produced by Stacey Sher, Erwin Stoff and Michael Shamberg. Read More »
Robert Downey Jr. has joined ensemble comedy Chef, reteaming with his Iron Man and Iron Man II director and co-star Jon Favreau. Favreau wrote and is helming the film. Also on board are Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale. Aldamisa International will start pre-sales in Cannes on the movie that’s based on an original idea from Favreau about a man who loses his job as a chef and starts a food truck to reclaim his artistic promise. Production starts July 8 in LA. Karen Gilchrist and Aldamisa co-chair Sergei Bespalov are producing. Aldamisa is financing with partner Kilburn Media and Mark Manuel. CAA packaged and is repping U.S. rights. The deal was negotiated by Jere Hausfater and Philip Elway on behalf of Aldamisa.
Related: ‘Avengers’ Cast And Stingy Marvel Ready To Rumble Over Sequel Cash & Strong-Arming
EXCLUSIVE: After helming August: Osage County for Harvey Weinstein, John Wells is getting ready to take on another big film for The Weinstein Company. He’s making a deal to direct Chef, the Steven Knight-scripted drama that Bradley Cooper will star in next year. 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff is producing with Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Timing on this picture got skewered with Steven Spielberg’s commitment last night to direct Cooper in American Sniper. Still open for debate is whether Cooper will have time to bring a revival of The Elephant Man to Broadway. The plan was for it to open in time for Tony Awards consideration for next year, but Cooper’s schedule suddenly got very crowded and it might have to be pushed until next fall.
In Chef, Cooper will play Paris chef Adam Jones, who blows his status as an up and coming chef when controlled substances lead to out of control behavior. Jones straightens out and returns to Paris sober, and becomes devoted to building a restaurant that can attain three Michelin stars, the mark of cuisine supremacy. Cooper, who made Silver Linings Playbook with Weinstein, got a peek at Wells’ August: Osage County, the play adaptation which has a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. They were impressed enough to offer Wells the Chef job and the deal is being made.
When does Cooper fit in all these killer … Read More »