Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:24pm PDT

Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back … Read More »

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Fox Sets David James Kelly To Script Next ‘Wolverine’

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 5:33pm PDT
Mike Fleming

wolvEXCLUSIVE: Fox has hired David James Kelly to script the next installment of The Wolverine, the X-Men franchise spinoff that James Mangold will direct with Hugh Jackman reprising his signature role. The studio is eyeing a Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Returns As Tony Host: Video

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 11:17am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Hugh Jackman Tony Awards HostThree-time Tony host Hugh Jackman will be back on emcee duty for the 68th Tony Awards on June 8 on CBS after a five-year break. Jackman served as host from 2003-2005, earning an Emmy … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Cast As Blackbeard In Warner Bros’ ‘Pan’

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 10:07am PST

David Lynch Foundation Presents: "Change Begins Within" 2013 Benefit Gala Hosted By David Lynch And Jerry SeinfeldWarner Bros is getting its Peter Pan movie in ship-shape. It has just announced it has set Hugh Jackman to play Blackbeard in Pan, the Joe Wright-directed update of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan tale. He joins Garrett Hedlund, who we scooped this week landed the role of Captain Hook after being in the mix with Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston and Perks Of Being A Wallflower‘s Ezra Miller. The script is by Jason Fuchs, and Greg Berlanti is producing under his Berlanti Productions banner with Paul Webster. Sarah Schechter is overseeing for the studio.

In Fuchs’ script, an orphan is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against the evil pirates led by Blackbeard. Javier Bardem at one time was offered this part, but Jackman was later rumored to be in the mix, and now it is final. For the record, that makes a pretty formidable acting duo playing the same historical figure: John Malkovich is set as Blackbeard in NBC’s upcoming pirate drama series Crossbones from Neil Cross.

The studio said Blackbeardtoday that the pic remains untitled, though it does have a July 17, 2015 release date after it was shifted last week to take the slot previously held by the studio’s Superman Vs. Batman movie. The move keeps Pan from being sandwiched between Fox’s Fantastic Four and Paramount’s Terminator reboot and took the pic off the the same date as Ted 2 from Universal.

Jackman, repped by WME, just wrapped shooting on Fox’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and his most recent pic in theaters was the Warner Bros’ thriller Prisoners. Read More »

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Garrett Hedlund Hooks Lead Role In Joe Wright-Helmed ‘Pan’

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 9:53pm PST
Mike Fleming

hedlundEXCLUSIVE: Garrett Hedlund has come away with the offer to play the lead role of Hook in Pan, the new take on the J.M. Barrie classic that Joe Wright is directing for Warner Bros. This was a coveted … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Vanishes From Broadway’s ‘Houdini’, Cites Time Commitment

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 5:08pm PST

houd__130618030835-275x145The actor apparently has too much on his agenda to take on a starring role in a stage musical. For starters, Paramount is developing the Harlan Coben novel Six Years as a potential star vehicle for Hugh Jackman, … Read More »

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Jonathan Stokes To Script Harlan Coben’s ‘Six Years’ For Paramount, Hugh Jackman

Mike Fleming

sixEXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has set Jonathan W. Stokes to adapt Six Years, the Harlan Coben novel that was bought by the studio early this year as a potential star vehicle for Hugh Jackman. Mark Gordon is … Read More »

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The Contenders 2013: ‘Prisoners’ Screenwriter Asks “How Did I Become So Warped To Give Birth To This Story?” (Video)

Pete Hammond

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it may also be time to reflect on what is easily one of the most harrowing movies of the year, Prisoners. The film, which starts out at a Thanksgiving day celebration that turns … Read More »

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James Mangold, Hugh Jackman Sinking Claws Into Another ‘The Wolverine’ Film

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 6:24am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Twentieth Century Fox has begun negotiations with James Mangold to return for another installment of The Wolverine, with Hugh Jackman bringing back his signature character with the razor sharp adamantium hooks. This comes after The Wolverine … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Brings In $1.85 Million In Major Saturday Night Dolby Theatre Benefit For MPTF

By | Sunday October 13, 2013 @ 2:12am PDT
Pete Hammond

Hugh Jackman proved Wolverine has the stuff as his “One Night Only” concert at the Dolby Theatre raised $1.85 million dollars for the Motion Picture & Television Fund Saturday night in Hollywood. Each year the … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Joins Neill Blomkamp’s Sci-Fi ‘Chappie’

By | Sunday September 29, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT

Hugh Jackman is joining the cast of Chappie, from District 9 and Elysium helmer Neill Blomkamp. He’s attached to play the rival of Dev Patel’s character in the South Africa-set sci-fi pic about … Read More »

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‘Prisoners’ Breaks Out For #1 With $21.4M; ‘Battle Of The Year’ #5 For Bleak $4.1M

By | Sunday September 22, 2013 @ 1:13am PDT

SUNDAY 1 AM, 4TH UPDATE: With the 65th Emmys broadcasting this weekend, Hollywood is only talking television, television, television. Yes, I’ll be interrupting my vacation and live-snarking the small screen awards starting Sunday at 5:00 PM PT. But only because the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences was hoping I wouldn’t. As for the big screen, total moviegoing should be only $75M, or -9% from last year. Both Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal plugged, plugged, plugged Prisoners (playing in 3,260 theaters) to a $7M opening Friday and then up +28% to $9M Saturday for a decent $21.4M domestic weekend. Their pairing didn’t produce the hype that Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio might have as originally planned. But Jackman and Gyllenhaal did their jobs to open this R-rated Alcon Entertainment developed, financed, and produced dark kidnapping thriller distributed by Warner Bros to a $20+M debut like stars should. (Who was the bigger draw? Definitely Hugh… Jake usually can’t open an envelope.) Prisoners is the 2nd biggest three-day opening for Alcon founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove behind Blind Side‘s $34.1M.

With a ‘B+’ CinemaScore despite a longish 2 hour, 26 minute running time, pic had a lean budget of $46M and a stellar supporting cast (Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo). During a slow September, this adult drama directed by Denis Villeneuve (Foreign Language Oscar nominee Incendies) and written by Aaron Guzikowski (whose script wound up on Hollywood’s prestigious Black List) could have legs here and overseas. The marketing strategy was “to sell a visceral, taut, beautifully made thriller with powerhouse performances that asks the question, ‘What would you do if this happened to you?’” Warner Bros Pictures’ Worldwide Marketing President Sue Kroll tells me. The film emerged with great buzz from the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals from cinefile and mainstream media. (EW critic Owen Gleiberman ranked it with classic vengeance films Straw DogsDeath Wish, and Kill Bill.)

This weekend’s new underperformer is Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems 3D teen dance pic Battle Of The Year (released into a middling run of 2,009 theaters) which dropped from #4 to #5. Inspired by director Benson Lee’s award-winning documentary Planet B-Boy, and co-written by Brin Hill (Won’t Back Down), pic stars Josh Holloway (Lost) and Grammy bad boy Chris Brown, it’s obviously a tired genre despite a fresh ‘A-’ CinemaScore from audiences. So Friday’s $1.4M and Saturday’s $2.0M (+45%) for the $4.6M weekend is half what the studio was forecasting for pic’s $20M-range cost. Media campaign was designed around television especially to target young females, clubbers, and urban audiences. Integrations and takeovers included Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance where dancers from the film performed on-air during the show’s finale, and BET’S 106 & Park where the winner of a national dance contest performed during a special BOTY cast show. Online and social media included Tumblr, VEVO, Buzznet, Instagram, Vine and hip hop sites.

No updated numbers yet for the following: The Wizard Of Oz: IMAX 3D, whose pre-sales big online ticketseller Fandango proclaimed were “looking great and powerful” in limited release. The PG upgrade of the 1939 classic released into 318 theaters and made $750K Friday and is targeting $2.8M this weekend. Platforming in 5 theaters this weekend is Universal/Imagine’s Ron Howard’s Formula One critical darling Rush starring Chris Hemsworth, for $66K Friday and a $223K weekend. Pic opens wider on September 27th when I’ll post a full report and see if car racing pics are cursed at the box office. Fox Searchlight’s James Gandolfini-Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said, opened Wednesday in 4 runs. With $62K Friday and a $210 weekend, one of the final movies from The Sopranos star has a cume of $263K.

Here’s the partial Top Ten list based on weekend estimates:
Read More »

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Telluride: Surprise ‘Prisoners’ Rocks The Fest And Becomes Instant Oscar Contender

Pete Hammond

Hyperbole at film festivals is to be expected, BUT even with direct competition from Brad Pitt and the Coen brothers, the reaction to the first public screening Friday night anywhere of director Denis Villenueve’s thrilling and penetrating drama Prisoners at the 40th Telluride Film Festival was completely unexpected and significant. This was a “surprise” screening (although I predicted it) and filled the 650-seat Herzog Theatre. For weeks some I spoke to thought on the basis of the trailer and more mainstream elements of the film that it was probably an unworthy commercial film that somehow snuck into the more tony environ of Telluride. Uh, no. This is a first-class motion picture experience unlike any other that I, for one, have experienced in a long time. But it’s not an easy sell.

The applause was strong and early critical praise is over the moon. Pundits will have to add this Alcon production being released by Warner Bros on September 20 to the list of strong Oscar contenders. That is, if  audiences and Academy members can handle the intensity of this superbly directed and produced film that features career-best performances, for sure, from Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman (OK, I liked Les Miz too a lot), plus a brilliant supporting cast including Melissa Leo going for another supporting win; Terence Howard; the great Viola Davis; Maria Bello; and Paul Dano, who goes through the ringer for his art. You can easily compare this gem to critically acclaimed pictures like Zodiac, Seven, Mystic River and any number of films in the genre. Director Villeneuve doesn’t shy away from the comparisons. He says he is a great admirer of David Fincher and Clint Eastwood. In fact one of his editors, Joel Cox, is an Eastwood regular. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘X Factor’ Musical; Hugh Jackman Honored In Zurich; Beijing Fest In Venice & More

London’s ‘X Factor’ Musical Finds Its Simon Cowell
Nigel Harman, the former Eastenders star who has a role in Season 4 of Downton Abbey, has been tapped to play a character based on Simon Cowell in I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical. The show will be directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee, Sean Foley. It’s set to premiere at the London Palladium on March 26, 2014. Cowell and Sony Music’s joint venture Syco Entertainment is partnering with Stage Entertainment UK to launch the show that’s written by British comedian Harry Hill.

Hugh Jackman Honored At Zurich Film Festival
Hugh Jackman will receive the Golden Icon Award at the Zurich Film Festival which runs September 26 – October 6. The fest’s most prestigious symbol of recognition is awarded “in appreciation of the lifetime achievements of an actor or actress.” Jackman’s latest film, Prisoners, will be screened at the fest. “Hugh Jackman is in a class by himself as a multi-talented entertainer with a global following,” said fest co-director Karl Spoerri. “There is nothing he can’t do and he proves this time and time again with every project he’s involved in. We’re honored to recognize his brilliant career at the Zurich Film Festival.” Read More »

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Telluride: No ‘Prisoners’ Hugh Jackman Or Jake Gyllenhaal For Special Screening

Pete Hammond

Also at the Telluride Film Festival picnic I ran into Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve and its producers, Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Kira Davis. The trio were anxiously awaiting the festival’s reaction to their incredibly tense thriller. I had … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Prisoners’

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 7:05pm PDT

Award-winning filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) directs a deep ensemble cast in Prisoners, about two families whose lives are upturned when their young daughters go missing together. Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis play the distraught parents, with … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 6:11pm PDT

A new trailer for Fox‘s summer X-Men standalone adventure The Wolverine has hit the web, with more of a peek at villainess Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) and the Japan-set plot. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the Marvel superhero Wolverine as … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Hugh Jackman’s ‘Prisoners’

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 11:46am PDT

The story of Prisoners revolves around a small-town carpenter (Hugh Jackman) whose young daughter and her best friend are abducted. After the cops fail to find them, Jackman’s character takes the law into his own hands, but in the process runs up against a detective (Jake Gyllenhaal), a … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

By | Tuesday May 21, 2013 @ 6:10am PDT

Here’s the newest trailer for Fox‘s The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman that will begin showing this weekend in theaters attached to Fast & Furious 6. The James Mangold-directed 3D pic opens wide July 26 and this offers the clearest look yet at the Japan-set plot.

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