Heaven Is For Real is headed towards at least $3.7mil on its opening day today for TriStar Pictures with estimates looking like $20M for the 5-day, according to Sony. The best news is that the film, based on the best-selling Christian book, got an A+ CinemaScore for those 35 and under and an A overall. The film is the latest in the faith-based genre to bow this year, following Son Of God and God’s Not Dead, however this one is right in time for Easter weekend. Son Of God from Fox debuted at the end of February with $25.6M its opening weekend, while God’s Not Dead garnered $9.2M and a very strong per screen average of almost $12,000 per screen when it opened on March 21. Heaven Is For Real has 2,417 runs.
Directed by Randall Wallace and starring fan fav Greg Kinnear, the film is about a four-year-old boy who has a near-death experience and reveals to his parents that he visited Heaven. The film centers on his father’s decision to tell the world. The true-life story is about the Burpo family: Colton and his parents, Sonja and Todd (a pastor) who are from a small town in Nebraska. Colton almost died when he was in the hospital during emergency surgery. After he recovered, he began talking about the experience he had … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: House Of Lies star Josh Lawson and Greg Kinnear have joined the cast of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel that Adam McKay is currently shooting in Atlanta. The film brings back Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate, and the other newcomers are Harrison Ford, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Meagan Good and Dylan Baker. McKay and Ferrell wrote the script and are producing with Judd Apatow, with David Householter, Kevin Messick and Jessica Elbaum exec producing. Paramount will release the comedy December 20. Read More »
Fox has made it official, giving a pilot green light to Rake, a character-driven comedic drama by Peter Duncan, creator of the original Australian series, and executive-produced by Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) and Michael Wimer (2012). Greg Kinnear plays the lead role of Keegan Joye, a brilliant, but self-destructive criminal defense lawyer, as well as serves as co-executive producer. The project, which had a big pilot production commitment, went to pilot after Kinnear, whose involvement was contingent on him signing off on the script, did so late last week. Read More »
Rake, the legal drama that has Greg Kinnear attached to star and co-executive produce, has landed at Fox with a pilot production commitment with series penalty. The deal comes after interest from both broadcast and cable networks. Paul Attanasio, originally attached as showrunner when Rake was taken out a month ago, is no longer involved because of other TV and feature commitments; just last week, he was tapped to rewrite a Scarface remake for Universal. Rake is closing in on a new showrunner.
The project, a U.S. version of the popular Australian comedic drama, is produced by Sony Pictures TV and Essential Media, the company behind the original series, and will be written by the Australian series’ co-creator Peter Duncan. It follows the chaotic world of a criminal defense lawyer, Cleaver Greene (Kinnear). Brilliant, iconoclastic and innately self-destructive, he has a mind-numbing lack of discretion and a total inability to pause before speaking his mind. From bigamists to cannibals and everything in between, the clients Cleaver loves most are those whose cases appear to be utterly hopeless without him realizing that he, himself, is perhaps the most desperate case of all. With its procedural setting, comedic overtones and a brilliant but self-destructive character at the center, the project is reminiscent of Fox’s long-running medical drama House, making the network a suitable home for Rake.
Related: Greg Kinnear To Star In Legal Drama Project; All Nets Interested
Executive producing the U.S. adaptation are Duncan and Essential Media’s Richard Roxburgh and Ian Collie. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After years of courtship by TV networks, Greg Kinnear has committed to doing a series. The Oscar-nominated actor is attached to star and co-executive produce a U.S. version of the popular Australian legal comedic drama Rake. House executive producer Paul Attanasio will executive produce through his Atelier banner will and supervise the script, which will be written by the Australian series’ co-creator Peter Duncan. In an unusual move, the Sony Pictures TV-produced project is currently being shopped to both broadcast and cable networks. I hear all major broadcast nets are taking the pitch, but it is not clear whether the show will end up on network or cable.
Rake follows the chaotic world of a criminal defense lawyer, Cleaver Greene (Kinnear). Brilliant, iconoclastic and innately self-destructive, he has a mind-numbing lack of discretion and a total inability to pause before speaking his mind. From bigamists to cannibals and everything in between, the clients Cleaver loves the most are those whose cases appear to be utterly hopeless without him realizing that he, himself, is perhaps the most desperate case of all. Read More »
Artina Films has set Nathan Lane to join Julianne Moore and Greg Kinnear in The English Teacher, a comedy that marks the feature directing debut of Craig Zisk, whose credits include The Big C, Nurse Jackie and Weeds. The Dan and Stacy Chariton-scripted comedy is the story of a beloved high school English teacher whose repressed personal life is a start contrast to the passion she exudes in the classroom. Her carefully constructed facade crumbles when a former student, who failed as a playwright in New York, returns and she convinces him to mount his unproduced play at the high school. Lane plays the high school drama teacher. Artina Films is in postproduction on the Richard Gere/Susan Sarandon-starrer Arbitrage and they’ve been hitting the festival circuit with the Tilda Swinton-starrer We Need to Talk About Kevin. The English Teacher is produced by Naomi Despres, Robert Salerno, Matthew Chausse and Ben LeClair. Inferno Entertainment is selling overseas territories. Lane, who’s repped by ICM and Anonymous Content, stars with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer in Relativity Media’s Tarsem Singh-directed untitled Snow White project, and he’s executive producing and in negotiations to star in a USA Network half-hour comedy pilot that was greenlighted Tuesday. The Charitons are also repped by ICM.
Back in March, Deadline broke the story that ATO Pictures was near a deal to acquire US rights to The Convincer, the Karen Sprecher-directed dark comedy that made its debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The distributor has changed the title to Thin Ice, but has just confirmed the deal. Here’s the official announcement:
New York, NY (July 19, 2011) – ATO (Art Takes Over) Pictures announced today that it has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to THIN ICE (formerly titled THE CONVINCER) starring Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, Lea Thompson, David Harbour and Bob Balaban.
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EXCLUSIVE: The impressive volume of distribution deals for 2011 Sundance Film Festival fare is about to expand again. I’m told that ATO Pictures is wrapping up a deal for US rights to The Convincer, the Karen Sprecher-directed dark comedy that stars Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup. It’s Fargo-style caper-gone-awry tale in which a conniving insurance salesman (Kinnear) thinks he has found a way to fortify his bank account and get his wife back. He sets out to scam a retired farmer (Arkin) out of a rare violin worth $25,000. A lot goes wrong and blood and dead bodies ensue. Produced by Werc Werk Works, the film was scripted by the director and her sister Jill, who also did Clockwatchers together. CAA is repping the film. ATO, which was hatched by Johnathan Dorfman, Temple Fennell and musician Dave Matthews, distributed George Hickenlooper’s final film Casino Jack and recently acquired The Woman in the Fifth.
EXCLUSIVE: The Kennedys may take an unconventional route to U.S. television screens, via syndication. The producers of the controversial miniseries, which was dropped by History earlier this month, are in talks with Tribune Broadcasting about picking up the 8-hour project starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes. A rep for Tribune confirmed that the company has been in talks for the mini, declining further comment.
I hear that Tribune has made an offer and may actually land the mini, which is being shopped by producers Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment. There are also cable nets in the running, but Tribune might have a leg up as History has a say in who gets the program and may not be willing to have it run on a direct competitor. “I’m not sure if History wants another (basic) cable net to air it so they might take less money to have it in syndication,” a source said.
History has to approve a buyer, as it did early on with premium cable network Showtime, which ultimately passed on the mini. DirecTV, which engaged in talks for The Kennedys but ended up not making a deal, also is not a direct competitor to History. (Meanwhile, I hear BBC America made a serious play for the mini but, even if History gives its blessing, sourced doubted the cable net could afford the lavish $25-million production as its offers have come too low.)
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IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide teamed for North American rights to Salvation Boulevard, the George Ratliff-directed film that stars Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan and Marisa Tomei. Brosnan plays a charismatic preacher who captivates a city with his charm. When an accident with an antique firearm does in preacher’s adversary, he calls in a loyal worshiper and former Deadhead (Kinnear) for help. All hell breaks loose. UTA brokered the deal for Mandalay Vision, the division of Mandalay Pictures. Cathy Schulman, Celine Rattray and Peter Fruchtman produce. IFC will distribute.
UPDATE: Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment, who co-produce The Kennedys, just issued the following statement about the mini-series’ cancellation by History: “We are proud of the work all of our talent put into the making of The Kennedys and the painstaking efforts that went into creating a drama that is compelling while rich in historic detail. Although we regret this does not fit into the History Channel’s plans, we are confident that television viewers in the United States will join viewers from around the world in having an opportunity to watch this series in the near future.”
PREVIOUS: The Kennedys miniseries, just canceled History, is now being shopped to Showtime. The 8-part miniseries, a brain child of 24 co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow, stars Greg Kinnear as JFK, Katie Holmes as Jackie, Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy, and Tom Wilkinson as Joseph Kennedy. I hear the stunning cancellation, which was done after the mini had been completed, was done under political pressure from the Kennedy family who were not comfortable with the project coming out in the year of the 50th anniversary of Camelot. History is part of the A&E Networks, which is co-owned by the Walt Disney Co. Disney’s interest in the company is overseen by Disney-ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney who is an A&E Networks board member. She is also a board member on the Special Olympics, which is synonymous with the Kennedy family, having been launched by John … Read More »