Paramount Taking Box Office Success ‘Flight’ Directly To Academy Voters; Film Is Dedicated To Ed Limato

By | Sunday November 4, 2012 @ 11:54am PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: With an estimated $25 million boxoffice haul on only 1900 screens (see Nikki’s boxoffice report) in its opening weekend, Paramount’s gamble on the $30 million adult drama Flight looks like it is paying off. That’s certainly sweet news for star Denzel Washington and director Robert Read More »

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‘Flight’ Crash Sequence Effects: Video

By | Saturday November 3, 2012 @ 5:48pm PDT

Visual effects supervisor Keith Baillie of Atomic Fiction explains how filmmakers created the Flight crash sequence. The Robert Zemeckis movie starring Denzel Washington as a troubled pilot opened Friday and is expected to bring in an estimated $23.6 million this weekend.

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Hot Clip: ‘Flight’

By | Friday October 19, 2012 @ 4:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight with Denzel Washington made its premiere as the closing night film of the New York Film Festival last Sunday. Washington plays a commercial airline pilot with a drinking and substance abuse problem that comes to light after executing a landing that would have … Read More »

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Paramount’s Oscar Hopeful Takes ‘Flight’ With Bi-Coastal Interactive Launch — Minus Denzel Washington

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 9:26pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Paramount, expanding ways to reach awards voters, got interactive Monday with a bi-coastal launch of its Oscar-bait drama Flight, including a special screening and Q&A in New York beamed to four Arclight theaters in the Los Angeles area and another in San Francisco for invited guild members and press. Taking place the day after the film’s world premiere as the closing-night attraction of the 50th New York Film Festival, director Robert Zemeckis, writer John Gatins and several cast members including John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and Melissa Leo took part in the interactive post-screening Q&A that featured tweeted questions from the California venues and live queries from the NY crowd — many industry-voter types. Paramount clearly found a nice way to expand its Big Apple premiere, and it went off almost without a hitch. Almost.

The only downer for the studio was jettisoning the scheduled appearance of Flight star Denzel Washington, who was in attendance for the premiere Sunday night. He “was taken ill” according to the announcement at the outset of the Q&A, followed by audible groans from the audience. For the money being spent on this, as well as its awards launch, losing Denzel had to be a big disappointment for the studio. Still, the rest of this digital-age awards event went off without a hitch with premium network Epix teaming with Paramount to stage the interactive, multi-city event.

Other companies have begun doing this sort of thing including The Weinstein Company, which staged a couple of live interactive events like this last year with Meryl Streep among others. But the major studios, more bottom-line-oriented and not usually on the front lines of new Oscar campaign techniques, are suddenly jumping on board if recent activity is an indication. Last week, Disney/DreamWorks staged a “Conversation With Steven Spielberg And Daniel Day Lewis” following a nine-city screening of Lincoln at which audience members (mostly students) in those cities were able to text questions to the same AMC Lincoln (appropiate name) Plaza theatre that hosted today’s Flight screening. In the past, most awards-season guild screening Q&As (and they number in the hundreds) were simply for the audience that showed up and not usually even taped. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Flight’

Paramount‘s Flight stars Denzel Washington as a hero airline pilot with a secret and is Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film in more than a decade. John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Don Cheadle co-star in the movie, written by John Gatins. The studio is positioning this one for an … Read More »

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Universal Sets Scribe For Potential ‘Safe House’ Sequel

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 6:05pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal has hired scribe David Guggenheim to try drafting a sequel to Safe House, the hit drama that Daniel Espinosa directed with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It’s far from a sure thing, as Washington isn’t really a sequels guy. … Read More »

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Hammond On Tony Scott: An Appreciation

Pete Hammond

It is doubly sad and ironic that action movie maestro Tony Scott would apparently choose to end his life by jumping from a bridge. This is the kind of scene you would more likely see because he was calling the shots from behind the camera – … Read More »

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NYFF Lands Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Flight’ As Closing Night Film

By | Thursday August 9, 2012 @ 12:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

New York, NY, August 8, 2012 – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Robert Zemeckis’s FLIGHT will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night film for the upcoming 50th New York Film

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Sony Pictures Sets April 8 Start For Denzel Washington To Play ‘The Equalizer’

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 6:24pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The hot project on the Sony Pictures lot right now is The Equalizer, after a script by Richard Wenk prompted the studio to expedite Denzel Washington’s deal and set an April 8 start date, likely in Boston. … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Robert Zemeckis-Directed ‘Flight’

By | Wednesday June 6, 2012 @ 6:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Here’s an early trailer for Flight, Robert Zemeckis’ return to live-action directing after his foray into performance capture animation. It is nice to see the helmer of movies like Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Back To The Future return to the screen, particularly with Denzel Washington as a troubled pilot … Read More »

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Adam McKay Signing On To Direct ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ Remake; Will Smith, Denzel Washington Eyed To Star

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Adam McKay is in negotiations to develop to direct Uptown Saturday Night, the Warner Bros remake that the studio hopes will star Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment has been developing the project. Tim … Read More »

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Paula Patton Loading Up For ’2 Guns’

By | Monday April 9, 2012 @ 12:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton is in talks to star with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns, a film that’s based on a Steven Grant graphic novel published by Boom! Studios. Baltasar Kormakur, who just directed Wahlberg in … Read More »

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Emmett/Furla Pacts With Foresight For Sales On ’2 Guns’, ‘Rule #1′: Berlin

Yesterday, my colleague Mike Fleming and I reported on Universal’s action pic 2 Guns starring Mark Wahlberg and with Denzel Washington in discussions. Emmett/Furla Films has today confirmed it will co-finance the film adding it has entered into an agreement with Foresight Unlimited to handle foreign distribution rights. Wahlberg’s Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormakur is directing. Emmett/Furla has also pacted with Foresight to handle romcom Rule #1 starring Reese Witherspoon. Foresight Unlimited’s Mark Damon and Tamara Stuparich De La Barra will be offering the films to buyers at the EFM with Brian O’Shea of The Exchange assisting in the sales efforts.

Rule #1 will be directed by Frozen River helmer Courtney Hunt. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing together with Brad Epstein of Panther films and Witherspoon through her Type A Films banner. Remington Chase and Stepan Martirosyan are executive producing. Story follows a woman trying to cope with OCD who takes in an unpredictable young woman with a newborn baby in an effort to face her anxieties and ultimately get her estranged husband back. Read More »

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Denzel Washington In Talks To Star In ’2 Guns’ With Mark Wahlberg For Universal

EXCLUSIVE: Denzel Washington, whose most recent action effort Safe House premieres in New York tonight, is in discussions to take on another action drama involving Universal Pictures. He’s in early talks to join Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns, a film that’s based on a Steven Grant graphic novel published by Boom! Studios. Baltasar Kormakur will direct the film. He’s coming off the Universal remake of his own film Contraband, which starred Wahlberg. The script was written by Blake Masters. The financing of the film is still coming together, though I’m told that Emmett/Furla Films the likely co-financier. Marc Platt is producing along with Boom!’s Andrew Cosby and Ross Richie. Randall Emmett and George Furla will likely join that roster.

My international colleague Nancy Tartaglione is covering Berlin this week and is already hearing that the film will be a hot sales title there. Universal will distribute and market in the U.S. Read More »

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Parkes & MacDonald Plan Feature Version Of Jon Robin Baitz’ Play ‘Other Desert Cities’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have acquired film rights to Other Desert Cities, the Jon Robin Baitz stage play. Parkes/MacDonald used the development fund it launched with Imagenation Abu Dhabi to make the deal. Baitz will write the … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Safe House’

Universal has released a trailer for the spy thriller Safe House, which stars Denzel Washington as a rogue CIA agent and Ryan Reynolds as the guy trying to keep him alive. It looks like it could be fun watching Washington play a tough guy with a bit of bad in … Read More »

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Brendan Gleeson In Robert Redford’s ‘The Company You Keep’

Mike Fleming

The Guard star Brendan Gleeson has joined Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Brit Marling and Anna Kendrick in the Redford-directed The Company You Keep. Gleeson will next be seen opposite Glenn Close in … Read More »

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McG Eyes Summit’s ‘Puzzle Palace’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in talks with McG to direct Puzzle Palace, the cop drama script by David Guggenheim. Summit acquired the project at a pitch early last year from Guggenheim after the scribe sold the spec script Safe Read More »

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John Goodman Boards Paramount’s ‘Flight’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: John Goodman has joined the cast of the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight, which stars Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who averts a plane crash, only to come under a cloud for possible substance abuse problems. Goodman will play a … Read More »

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