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UPDATE: Christoph Waltz In Talks For ‘Horrible Bosses’ Sequel

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 4:59pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Now it looks like Christoph Waltz will have room in his schedule for Horrible Bosses 2. New Line confirmed today that Waltz is in talks to play Chris Pine‘s father in the awful boss sequel. A deal is expected to close soon.

PREVIOUS, Oct. 9 PM: Colin Farrell was the most awful boss in Horrible Bosses, but New Line is trying hard to top him in the sequel. Word is they have courted Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz to play a father/son awful boss tandem for the next film. I’m now being told by insiders that Waltz won’t be available, but Pine might do it. It’s too bad they offed Farrell because, like more cowbell, I coulda used a little more Bobby, that bloated and insensitive boss’ son who fired the guy in the wheelchair and made sure to take his handicap parking pass. Sean Anders is directing the sequel, and Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day reprise. New Line has dated it for Thanksgiving weekend 2014.

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CBS Nabs Comedy From ‘Horrible Bosses’ Writers As Put Pilot Based On Movie

By | Monday August 26, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In a very competitive situation with all four networks buying the project in the room, CBS has landed a single-camera comedy from Horrible Bosses writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein with a big put pilot commitment. The project, titled Punching Out, from 20th TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment, is in the vein of R-rated 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses, about friends who conspire to murder their awful bossesthe movie grossed $210 million worldwide. Punching Out revolves around thirtysomething guys who hate their jobs and make a pact to go back to when they were happiest — working at the mall. Daley and Goldstein are writing and will executive produce with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

Daley and Goldstein, repped by UTA and by Hansen Jacobson, are writing the planned Horrible Bosses sequel and also penned the upcoming Sony animated feature Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2. The two also just sold comic pitch The Bus Driver to New Line, the studio behind Horrible Bosses and the Daley and Goldstein-penned Burt Wonderstone, for 7-figures. The duo are planning to debut as feature directors on their comedy Vacation. Daley comes from acting background. He co-stars on Fox’s long-running dramedy Bones and got his break on Freaks And Geeks.

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Seth Gordon Exits ‘Horrible Bosses 2′; Search Is On For New Helmer

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 1:06pm PDT

After bringing in a $209M global hit with 2011′s comedy Horrible Bosses, Seth Gordon will not be returning to direct the sequel for New Line. Sources say scheduling conflicts are to blame, but the studio is still moving forward towards a fall shoot and they’re “actively looking for a replacement”. Gordon’s busy slate includes new ABC sitcom The Goldbergs which he executive produces. Earlier this year he scored another hit with Universal’s Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief. Back in March Gordon inked a deal with Uni to direct Horrible Bosses stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis in One Night On The Hudson.

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Warner Bros Gets Tough With Blockbuster Over Rental Window

By | Wednesday October 26, 2011 @ 4:32pm PDT

Warner Bros and Dish Network’s Blockbuster are at odds over a rental-release window for the studio’s films, and now Warners has stopped giving Blockbuster its latest releases. According to the Financial Times, the retailer is refusing Warner Bros’ request to adhere to a 28-day window between films going on sale and their availability for rent, and has purchased films like Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern on the open market to make them available in stores. Those two titles are the first to be released by the studio on the UltraViolet service, which allows playback on multiple devices, so it’s no coincidence that Warners wants to protect its ability to add value in the sale window via such initiatives in the face of declining DVD revenues (see Will ‘Horrible Bosses’ In UltraViolet Begin A Turnaround For Home Video?). “The question is: how do we make ownership more valuable and attractive?” Warner Bros Home Entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara told the FT. “We have started the process of creating a window in bricks-and-mortar DVD and Blu-ray rental.” He added: “(Blockbuster) felt it was important to continue to offer day and date rental, so rather than work with us they went around us.” And watch out, Netflix and Redbox: Tsujihara also said Warner Bros planned to put the same pressure on you, too. “The Netflix and Redbox deals are … Read More »

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Will HBO Determine Whether Hollywood Provides Movies To Apple’s iCloud?

By | Friday October 14, 2011 @ 5:24am PDT

HBO plays a bigger role than you might imagine in Apple’s negotiations with Hollywood to offer recent movies via the iTunes Store and its new iCloud service to devices such as the iPhone and iPad. HBO’s deals with studios including Warner, Fox, and Universal give it the exclusive right to digitally distribute their films during the premium TV window. (Others such as Starz have similar rights.) That’s been an issue for the new UltraViolet cloud initiative backed by most major studios and consumer electronics companies. Except Disney and Apple: UltraViolet is designed to reinvigorate home video sales by giving people who buy certain DVDs and Blu-ray discs the right to access their movies from the Internet cloud.

Warner Bros had to restructure its deal with corporate cousin HBO to clear the way for this week’s first UltraViolet release, Horrible Bosses. But Apple’s now talking to studios to secure the right to offer movies at the iTunes Store that can be accessed via the iCloud service — which was launched on Wednesday. That poses two challenges to Time Warner: The company has lot invested in UltraViolet as it reintroduces its web site Flixster as a user-friendly gateway for films stored in those digital lockers. And HBO is making a big push to promote its HBO Go digital streaming service. So keep an eye on Time Warner and HBO: The fate of their initiatives, as well as iCloud, will be shaped by the positions they take … Read More »

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Will ‘Horrible Bosses’ In UltraViolet Begin A Turnaround For Home Video?

UPDATE: The question about whether Apple devices can show UltraViolet films is complicated, it seems. The folks at Warner Bros say that iPhones and iPads can handle them – but not through the traditional channel, the iTunes Store. Users must  download an app to also register with Flixster, a site that Time Warner owns. Movies can be streamed, but not downloaded yet. Sony’s likely to have a similar work-around for its Dec. 2 release of UltraViolet-enabled Blu-ray discs for Friends With Benefits and The Smurfs.

PREVIOUS, 10:50 AM: There’s still a fair amount of skepticism about the entertainment industry’s long-awaited UltraViolet program today as it kicks off with Warner Bros’ home video release of Horrible Bosses — to be followed on Friday by The Green Lantern. The DVD and Blu-ray versions of Bosses will be first that make it possible for buyers to watch it on mobile devices from UltraViolet’s Internet cloud. Studios and consumer electronics companies have a lot at stake in promoting the “buy once, play anywhere” concept. It’s part of a process to slow the stomach-churning decline in home video sales. Consumers will spend about $16.9B on home video this year, down from $24.4B in 2004, SNL Kagan says. If UltraViolet catches on, then it also could give studios a lot of flexibility to control the way their films are presented and handled as consumers begin to abandon discs and just rely on digital streams and downloads.

The problem? UltraViolet movies won’t play on Apple gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad. The initiative also won’t include movies from Disney, which is preparing its own cloud-based system called Disney Studio All Access. “Not only is the ecosystem not fully launched, with a common downloadable file  format a ways off, but there has been no consumer education on the technological transition from a pre-UV world to the new UV ecosystem,” BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says. Read More »

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FX Picks Up 3 Movies: ‘Captain America’, ‘Friends With Benefits’ & ‘Horrible Bosses’

By | Tuesday July 26, 2011 @ 10:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX’s buying spree of marquee summer movie titles continues with deals for comedies Friends With Benefits and Horrible Bosses. Additionally, the network has the rights to current No. 1 opener Captain America: The First Avenger under FX’s 2008 output deal with Marvel. The three movies join recent acquisitions Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bad Teacher, Green Lantern, The Hangover Part II, Rio, Super 8, X-Men: First Class, Thor, Just Go With It, The Green Hornet, Tron: Legacy, and Kung Fu Panda 2.

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RAUNCH RULES: ‘Horrible Bosses’ #2, ‘Zookeeper’ #3, ‘Transformers 3′ Still #1 And Now Top Grossing 2011 Domestic Film

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Better late than never. I could blame my Horrible Bosses but they’d just claim to be my Zookeeper. (The reason, actually, is far less interesting and much more banal.) That said, both new movies outperformed their tracking and scored ‘B+’ CinemaScores. Though that sucking sound you heard starting Thursday was because of the giant tracking numbers for the upcoming final Harry Potter installment which made it hard for this weekend’s releases to show strength on paper. Overall Friday through Sunday moviegoing should total $155M, or -15% from last year. Refined numbers in the morning. Here’s the Top Ten:

1. Transformers 3 3D (Paramount) Week 2 [4,088 Theaters]
Friday $14.9M, Saturday $18.4M, Weekend $47M (-54%), Cume $261M

A very gold hold. Plus it now holds 2011′s record as the top grossing domestic film so far this year. (This 3D summer’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made the vast majority of its money abroad…) Meanwhile, I’ve heard from a reliable source that Michael Bay should make between $80M and $100M from Paramount’s Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. And, if that’s not enough to make you call Hollywood’s suicide hotline, then this might be: Transformers 3 will now be the highest grossing movie of the  year. And its 2nd weekend is running +10% of Transformers 2‘s. Internationally, pic remained #1 on the foreign circuit this weekend, grossing a big $93M from 9,926 locations in 59 markets. So after only two weekends of release, the actioner has amassed an overseas cume of $384M anf global cume of $645M.

2. Horrible Bosses (New Line/Warner Bros) NEW [3,040 Theaters]
Friday $9.9M, Saturday $10.3M, Cume $28.1M

Yet another New Line high concept/low brow comedy had a good opening day that improved on Saturday — demonstrating that raunchy vagina- and scrotum-centric comedies (like Bridesmaids, The Hangover Part II, Bad Teacher) still rule the box office this summer. Audiences sampled Horrible Bosses with 51% of men rating it an ‘A-’ and 49% of women rating it a ‘B+’. The studio tells me that the film “played evenly well” across North America, over-indexing in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Denver, and Kansas City. With 74% ripe on Rotten Tomatoes going into the weekend, plusses were the chemistry between leads Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis, as well as the poison oozing from Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston. Great Warner Bros marketing tapped into the universal relatability of contempt that workers have for their bosses rather than relied on the script’s lame gags. The campaign used tag lines (‘Is your boss a slave driving you psycho?’, ‘Is your boss a sex crazed maneater?’, ‘Is your boss a total sleazy tool?’) to good effect. The studio created early awareness with a hosting slot on the  MTV Movie Awards. I don’t understand why it took this $35M-budgeted film’s producers Brett Ratner and Jay Stern (paired on Rush Hour) four years to get this to the big screen, but it got there once director Seth Gordon nailed the tone on his first pitch. Credits on the script go to Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, and Jonathan Goldstein.

3. Zookeeper (MGM/Sony) NEW [3,482 Theaters]
Friday $7.4M, Saturday $7.5M, Weekend $21M

I remember when MGM production chief Mary Parent greenlit this script and got Kevin James at a pre-Paul Blart: Mall Cop bargain price. Then MGM slid slowly into bankruptcy, and the film became collateral damage and eventually a co-fiinanced production with Sony Pictures. Along the way the budget ballooned to $80M (because of all that talking animals CGI work). So now the pressure is on for the film to perform next weekend. At least Kevin James did his job and opened the movie to around $20M which is all anyone can ask of a star. Exit polling showed that audiences were 48% general moviegoers and 52% parents and children; overall 47% were male and 53% female, with 41% under age 25 while 59% over age 25. But it doesn’t bode well that PG Zookeeper didn’t get a Saturday kiddie bump especially when it had been tracking well enough with audiences and families to convince Sony execs to move it from October 2010 into a coveted July 2011 slot. (After cancelling Spider-Man 4 in favor of a reboot, the studio was light on summer product. Given the $1+B success of Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, is that the smart move now?)

Sony made Zookeeper seem like a tentpole  with a petting zoo inside Caesar’s Palace at Cinema-Con and a screening inside the gargantuan Colisseum. The studio tapped 220 zoos and aquariums nationwide in over 50 markets for live remote broadcasts. During the NBA post-season, Zookeeper was the exclusive motion picture partner for the finals, and Kevin James taped a series of interstitials using the NBA’s talking basketball and the film’s talking gorilla. Sony is hoping Zookeeper delivers a strong multiple here but also overseas, where it debuts this week in Mexico and Germany. I was surprised that celeb voices like Sly’s and Cher’s and Adam’s (and, yes, even Judd Apatow’s) weren’t more hyped in this country. Speaking of Sandler, this is another production pairing Sandler’s Happy Madison with James; other producers are Todd Garner, Jack Giarraputo, and Walt Becker. Directed by Frank Coraci, the screenplay is credited to Nick Bakay & Rock Reuben & Kevin James and Jay Scherick & David Ronn, with story by Jay Scherick & David Ronn. Read More »

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‘King Of Kong’ Director Seth Gordon Ready To Play ‘War Games’ In MGM Reboot

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: MGM will reboot the 1983 thriller War Games, and the studio has set Seth Gordon to develop the film to direct. Gordon, who made his breakthrough with the gaming documentary The King of Kong, most recently directed the New Line comedy Horrible Bosses, with Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Jamie Foxx. The reconstituted MGM has been going to town with remakes — landing Jose Padilha to direct Robocop and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to script Carrie – but the John Badham-directed War Games is one that seems particularly reboot-able.

The original starred Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy as computer prodigies who finds a back door into a military computer program. They think they are playing games with the computer only to find they could trigger WWIII if the computer launches nuclear missiles at the Russians. In terms of computer games, kids were playing Pong back then; the level of sophistication with vidgames and the Internet in the digital age opens a wealth of possibilities, and Gordon will be given a wide berth to create a new take on the tale. The deal also reunites him with MGM toppers Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jon Glickman, who were at Spyglass when Gordon directed Four Christmases there. Gordon’s repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Horrible Bosses’

By | Wednesday May 11, 2011 @ 3:27pm PDT

The Warner Bros comedy directed by Seth Gordon stars Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day and is from Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment. It opens wide July 8.

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Kevin Spacey: Another Horrible Boss Turn

Mike Fleming

spacey-headshot2Now here is perfect casting. Kevin Spacey has joined the roster of Horrible Bosses, the Seth Gordon-directed New Line comedy that stars Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis. Donald Sutherland has also joined the cast–playing a nice boss. Brett Ratner and Jay Stern produced the film.

Of course Spacey’s playing one of the title characters. (For my money, Spacey played the most horrible boss I’ve ever seen onscreen in 1994′s Swimming with Sharks.) Filming on Horrible Bosses begins in July. CAA and Joanne Horowitz made Spacey’s deal. Spacey, who most recently completed the George Hickenlooper-directed Casino Jack, is now shooting the JC Chandor-directed indie Margin Call about eight high finance-types in the first 24 hours of the financial crisis of 2008. Spacey’s been working more lately, but he still is Artistic Director of London’s Old Vic Theatre.

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