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‘Iron Man 3′ Writer Drew Pearce Scripts Directing Debut For Chernin, Fox

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 3:20pm PDT
Mike Fleming

‘Iron Man 3′ Writer Drew Pearce Scripts Directing Debut For Chernin, FoxChernin Entertainment and Fox have acquired The Long Run, a spec script by Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible 5 screenwriter Drew Pearce. Pearce will make his directorial debut on the project. Chernin and Fox are keeping the line log under wraps, other than to acknowledge it is an original crime action comedy.

Pearce recently directed for Marvel the short film All Hail The King, as kind of a sequel to Iron Man 3. It starred Ben Kingsley (who played Mandarin in that film), Scoot McNairy and Sam Rockwell. This marks Pearce’s second deal with Fox. He previously co-wrote Delinquents with Jason Segel, the Sex Tape star who’s attached to play the lead. Pearce and Segel are producing it together. WME and attorney Warren Dern rep Pearce. Here’s a look at Pearce’s Marvel short: Read More »

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‘Frozen’ Skates Past ‘Iron Man 3′ To Become Fifth Highest-Grossing Movie Of All Time Worldwide

By | Sunday May 25, 2014 @ 11:07am PDT

FROZENFrozen, Disney’s animated family film just keeps breaking box office records. After this weekend with the remaining international territories all in, it has just iced the studio’s own Iron Man 3 to become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time globally. Frozen‘s gross now is a whopping $1.219B (yes, as in billion) compared to Disney/Marvel‘s Iron Man 3‘s $1.215B.

Disney and the filmmakers have the Japanese, in large part, to thank as it has been been sitting in the No. 1 post in the Land of the Rising Sun for 11 straight weekends to take in an incredible $193.7M to date. It is the No. 4 film of all time in Japan and Disney’s largest grosser of all time in the country (live action and animation, including Pixar). It is the No. 3 Western movie, only behind James Cameron’s Titanic and Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

This weekend, Frozen pulled in another $6.7M internationally to raise its total international cume to $818.7M. It took that $6.7M gross from one territory … Japan. In addition, it has surpassed two local animated favs — Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, both from the revered animation giant Hayao Miyazaki.

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‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ ‘Iron Man 3′ Win Top Honors At First Annual Location Managers Guild Awards

Game of ThronesGame Of Thrones and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty won top honors for its location managers at this evening’s first Location Managers Guild of America Awards, which was held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. The black-tie event, which was presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film & Entertainment, honors “outstanding and creative contributions of location professionals in six categories of film, television and commercials. haskell wexlerIn addition, filmmaker Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways) was given the Eva Monley Award for his dedicated understanding of the power of quality locations to enhance a story.” Billy Crystal presented the Humanitarian Award to cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who won Oscars for his work on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound for Glory. Wexler was named one of the 10 most influential cinematographers in movie history by an International Cinematographers Guild survey for his body of work, which also includes In the Heat Of The Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (with Bill Butler), Matewan, Blaze and *61. Secret-Life-of-Walter-Mitty-6Commercial location scout Scott Dewees was given the Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Sheri Davis, Director of the Inland Empire Film Commission, received the Trailblazer Award. LMGA President Nancy Haecker presided over the ceremony with comedian Jamie Kaler serving as host. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Championship Game – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 3:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Iron Man 3 Despicable Me 2 ProfitIt’s tipoff time for the championship matchup to determine Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster of 2013. Stay tuned for our version of the postgame show, where we peel the curtain back on the data we commissioned from insiders to determine just how profitable a movie really is.


The Matchup: After surviving a bruising battle with #5 seed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, #1 Iron Man 3 takes the court against #3 Despicable Me 2, a film that came through a pick ‘em matchup with #2 seed Frozen. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Final Four – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

We are down to the nitty gritty on Deadline’s search for Hunger Games Catching Fire Iron Man 3 Profit2013’s Most Valuable Blockbuster. This is the first of two showdowns today. Fueled by the numbers furnished by our insiders, we’ll find out just how profitable these movies really are.


#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

The Matchup: This battle between Katniss Everdeen and Tony Stark puts the year’s highest domestic-grossing film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, against Iron Man 3, which turned in the highest offshore gross.

The Box Score: What the numbers say.

Robert Downey Jr Iron Man 3

The Bottom Line: #1 seed Iron Man 3 got here by beating The Conjuring and Gravity, while #5 The Hunger Games 2 beat World War Z and turned in an upset by besting The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. According to our experts, Robert Downey Jr received first-dollar gross at around $10 million against 10%, putting his payday around $73 million. The film was the year’s top worldwide grosser with $1.2 million and clocked in as the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, trailing only Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers and the Harry Potter finale. It had the ninth-biggest foreign opening weekend of all time, and the sixth-largest worldwide opening ever. It completely righted the stumble that was Iron Man 2. On the downside, Marvel owed this movie to Paramount as part of that original financing and distribution agreement, so Paramount, which did the marketing and distribution, took in a 9% fee that amounted to $89 million. The film had a net production cost of $200 million, and the global P&A spend was $130 million worldwide.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box OfficeThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire set records of its own. It crushed past records for a Thanksgiving holiday opener — both for weekend and the five-day holiday period. Its $71 million opening day was the seventh-best domestic opening single day total ever, and its $158 million opening weekend was the sixth-highest opening weekend in movie history. Because Lionsgate pre-sells foreign (much like New Line did for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Summit did with Twilight Saga), the mini-major doesn’t reap the full dividends of its international performance the way Disney did on Iron Man 3, and star Jennifer Lawrence was paid $10 million upfront against backend. Between her, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and director Francis Lawrence, our experts place the participations at $21 million. The film had a net production cost of $130 million, and Lionsgate spent $50 million for domestic P&A.

The Winner: This is a tough one. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #8 ‘Gravity’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

Gravity Iron Man 3 ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the first of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal our numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.


Iron-Man-GravityThe Matchup: The top grossing film of 2013, Iron Man 3, opened the tournament by squeaking past The Conjuring, a low-cost movie with no gross outlay that ranks among the highest profit ratio films of the year. Iron Man 3 advanced anyway, and faces off against Gravity, the great anomaly of 2013, a film that most studios would not have made. Gravity made it out of the first round by besting #9 seed Man Of Steel.

The Box Score: Here is how the films stack up against one another, in revenues (some of which have been projected by our experts in ancillary categories), and then costs.

The Bottom Line: Gravity is a remarkable achievement. Consider that its $56 million domestic opening gross was the best ever for an October release. And while moviegoers often regard 3D — especially those shot in 2D and converted after the fact — to be a gimmick designed to dig deeper into their pockets for higher movie ticket prices, they recognized that Gravity was an exception. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

Mike Fleming

Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, Iron Man 3 Gravity Profitbut which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ? This is hard to ascertain. We can reliably track box office grosses domestic and offshore, but studios routinely spin cost factors like production, P&A budgets, and talent participation. Capturing the spirit of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament that just got underway, Deadline has bracketed 2013’s 16 highest-grossing films and they will play off against one another. Our tournament will play out over five rounds. As is the case with the NCAA, the top-earning films face the bottom earners in the first round, leaving room for upsets for setting up brutal behemoth collisions later in the bracket.

boxoffice-moneyInstead of relying on numbers from studios that would make us susceptible to spin, we instead confidentially engaged two separate experts from entities that regularly create revenue models. We assure you, these are top-level insiders. We have used the results to create a formula that encompasses the wisdom of both. Films that advance to the next round will do so partly by the profit they create for their sponsoring studios, but other intangibles will be considered on close call decisions. Those include films that launch or grow franchises and create ancillary revenues, variables that have become the core of the studio business these days. The detailed descriptions and analysis of the … Read More »

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Hot Clip: Marvel Extends ‘Iron Man 3′ With Short Featuring Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 1:56pm PST

Here’s a first look at the short film Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King, which will be available exclusively with Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World on Digital 3D and Digital HD release February 4, and on 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray discs when they street February 25. It features Ben Kingsley reprising the role of his fabulous Iron Man 3 character Trevor Slattery, with the short in the guise of a documentary filmmaker’s jailhouse interview with Slattery that we’re hearing acts as something of an epilogue to that blockbuster. Drew Pearce makes his writer-director debut with the 14-minute pic, which picks up where Kingsley’s character was left at the end of Iron Man 3.

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International Box Office Update: Iron Man No. 1 In 2013 With $1.2B Global Take, Best Gross for Marvel/Walt Disney Studios which Tops $3B For First Time; Fox International Down 14% In 2013 But Still Grosses $2.33B; ‘Hunger Games’ Heading Over $400M

Iron-Man-3UPDATE, 1:54 PM: surpassing $3B (specifically $3.013B) for the first time in its history. Bouyed by the Marvel franchise Iron Man 3 which took in $806.3M (almost double of its domestic take), the animated Monsters University with $476.4M, and Thor: The Dark World with $4.26M, Frozen which bowed late in the year and has racked up $267.3M in only six weeks’ time, and Oz The Great and Powerful ($258.4M), Disney has emerged as No. 2 in overall market share worldwide, under Warner Bros. Iron Man 3 was the number one film in the marketplace internationally and if you add in its domestic gross of $409M, it was a cash cow of $1.215B and the highest grossing film of 2013. It is also the No 5 film of all time globally. Its opening alone was $174M this summer. Universal International’s hit of the year was Despicable Me 2 which grossed $553.2M which helped rocket the studios’ total international cume to $2.258B. The animated franchise grossed a total of $921M globally for the studio. The other titles helping to push Universal into the record books was Fast and Furious 6 which grossed a total of $550M and About Time which has pulled in $65.9M in foreign territories. Read More »

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Year-End: Top 10 Domestic Grossers Of 2013 – ‘Iron Man 3′ Is No. 1, ‘Frozen’ Surges & Overtakes ‘Gravity’ For 6th Spot

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 1:27pm PST

2013 best domestic box office

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451The end of year box office totals are in and Walt Disney Studios ended up with four of the Box Office Top Ten slots in 2013 (it can thank Marvel for No 1. leader Iron Man 3), although top grossers like Man Of Steel and Gravity from Warner Bros. gave it the top spot in market share. Disney’s Frozen has been leap-frogging over one film after another to land the No. 6 spot in only 6 weeks of release. Here are the top films this year (through December 31, 2013). Click on a photo to launch the slideshow.
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Year-End: Hollywood Film Biz Still Cautious, But Slow Boat To China Speeding Up After Busy & Edifying 2013

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 11:41am PST

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819While Hollywood continues figuring out how to do business in China, China-And-Hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515and execs remain cautious, there is a sense that 2013 was a tipping point in the complex relationship between the world’s two box office leaders. As Hollywood’s focus turns to maximizing global grosses, the town is increasingly looking for ways to cozy up to the territory that adds 10 theaters a day to service its 1.3B+ population. And China is also strongly courting Hollywood. In September, Wanda’s Wang Jianlin unveiled ambitious plans to bring the industry closer to the Mainland and emphasized China’s place at the center of the global biz, urging players to cooperate for a piece of the pie. Then, at November’s U.S./China Film Summit in L.A., China Film Co-Production Company’s Zhang Xun offered, “We have a huge market and we want to share it with you.” Here’s a look at some of the key happenings in China in 2013 and a taste of what to look out for in the coming year:

Related: China’s Wanda & Hollywood: How Much Is Real? How Much Is Real Estate?
China Box Office Hits $3B+: Hollywood Improves While Local Films Dominate; What Does End Of 2013 Hold In Store?
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Disney Tops $4 Billion At Global Box Office For First Time

By | Wednesday November 27, 2013 @ 10:01am PST

Related: Disney Sets New Global Box Office Record

The-Walt-Disney-Studios-LogoYesterday, The Walt Disney Studios broke the $4 billion mark at the global box office for the first time in its history.

The Studio previously announced it had reached a record high on November 12, when it surpassed the $3.791 billion set in 2010. In July, Disney was the first studio to reach the $1 billion domestic box office milestone for the year, a threshold it has achieved for eight consecutive years. In August, in record time, Disney reached the $2 billion international box office threshold for the fourth year in a row, and in early November the studio surpassed its previous all-time international box office record of $2.302 billion, also set in 2010.

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China Wants To See More “Positive Chinese Images” From Hollywood, Government Co-Production Chief Tells Confab

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 2:22pm PST

“We have a huge market and we want to share it with you,” said Zhang Xun, President of China Film Co-Production Company today at the U.S./China Film Summit in downtown L.A. However, Xun warned the crowd that successful Hollywood co-production in China requires a shift in the kind of Chinese characters American films depict. “We want films that are heavily invested in Chinese culture, not one or two shots,” she said, referencing films like Disney/Marvel’s Iron Manwithout mentioning them by name. “We want to see positive Chinese images. China has been opening up for 30 years and I think both U.S. and Chinese screenwriters want to write positive images,” Xun added, citing that there are still too many depictions of Chinese roles as drug dealers or criminals. A department of the Chinese government, the CFCC, is in charge of all administration and coordination for foreign film co-production. Last year, several films like Expendables 2Cloud Atlas and Looper were hoping for co-production status but ended up hitting the big screen in China as purely foreign imports. 

Related: Big Week For China-Hollywood Ties; Universal To Open Beijing Office

Xun’s remarks in a translated Q&A came after a morning of panels for the fourth annual confab. Running for a full day for the first time, the U.S./China Film Summit ends with a gala dinner tonight. Studios such as Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation are serving as sponsors of the event and execs from the likes of DWA and Vintage Roadshow Asia are participating Organizers announced today that they would soon start holding quarterly events on topics such as foreign sales in China and doing post production in the Middle Kingdom. AFM, which gets underway tomorrow in Santa Monica, will see a record influx of Chinese companies and execs, with more than 100 distributors and producers from more than 50 companies. Read More »

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Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3′ Past $400M Domestic

By | Wednesday June 19, 2013 @ 10:16am PDT

Iron Man 3 Box Office RecordMarvel’s Iron Man 3 became Disney’s 5th release to cross the $400 million mark at the domestic box office. The film has now earned over $1.2 billion and is the #5 film of all time globally. It also recently passed Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and is currently the #6 film of all time at the international box office with more than $803 million. After the 2nd biggest domestic opening in history with $174.1 million, Iron Man 3 crossed the $1 billion threshold globally in 23 days, making it Disney’s 6th billion dollar and 2nd highest-grossing release of all time, behind only Marvel’s The Avengers. It has surpassed the total gross of The Avengers in China, Finland, Hong Kong, Korea, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand, and Ukraine, as well as Malaysia and Vietnam, where it is the highest grossing film of all time.

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Disney CFO Says ‘Iron Man 3′ Sales Could Hit $1.2B But Won’t Match ‘The Avengers’

By | Thursday May 30, 2013 @ 10:15am PDT

Most execs like to raise expectations when they address investors. But Disney CFO Jay Rasulo did just the opposite when he opened his appearance today at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit. After seeing some analysts’ rosy forecasts for the current quarter, he says that “maybe I wasn’t clear” in earlier presentations about the challenges the entertainment giant faces in the quarter that ends in June. Although the company is “thrilled with the outcome” of Iron Man 3, which could end up with $1.3B in worldwide box office sales, last year it had The Avengers, which generated $1.5B. In addition it will have a lot of marketing expenses for The Lone Ranger, “a film we’re very excited about.” But since the film will be released July 3, the revenues won’t be booked until the fiscal Q4. All told, the studio’s operating income could be down $150M vs last year. In addition, ESPN will defer some revenues. And Disney’s theme parks could be down $65M with one fewer Easter holiday week falling in fiscal Q3. Disney shares, which had been up in early trading today, are now down about 1%.

Related: Paramount Nabs $190M From Disney For ‘Iron Man 3′ + ‘Avengers’

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TOLDJA! Paramount Pocketing $190M From Disney For Marvel ‘Iron Man 3′ + ‘Avengers’

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 2:31pm PDT

Previous: Paramount Makes Money Off ‘Avengers’ Too

ParamountA year ago I was first to toldja about Paramount‘s big payday from The Avengers and Iron Man 3 - the two movies left on its 6-pic distribution deal with Marvel. Now I can tell you how much Disney moolah it pocketed. According to calculations I’ve received from insiders, Paramount receives 9% of Disney’s take on what is expected to be $1.2 billion worldwide gross theatrical receipts plus projected ancillary (like homevideo, VOD, television) for Iron Man 3. So that works out to be about $90 million to the Melrose Avenue studio. Paramount also pockets 8% of Disney’s take on the $1.5 billion worldwide gross theatrical receipts plus ancillary for The Avengers. So that works out to be about $100 million. In other words, the total dollars equal $190M. “It’s very nice,” a Paramount exec deadpanned. Oh, and did I mention that, when I first wrote about this deal, Disney was spitting mad at me?

Marvel DisneyTo remind you, The Avengers was the first Marvel Studios film marketed and distributed by The Walt Disney Studios which took over those duties from Paramount in 2012 after Bob Iger bought the comics entertainment company for $4 billion in 2009. Then in 2010 Disney bought Paramount out of the final two films and paid a premium to put everything … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Iron Man 3′ Box Office Crosses $1B Global And $300M Domestic

By | Friday May 17, 2013 @ 9:18am PDT

UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: Disney confirmed today that last night Iron Man 3 crossed $1B at the worldwide box office and $300M at the domestic box office. Iron Man 3The global milestone came on the 23rd day of release around the world, making it the second Marvel Studios film (after The Avengers, which crossed the mark in 19 days) and sixth Disney pic (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Alice In Wonderland, Toy Story 3, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Avengers) to cross that threshold. The domestic mark comes on the 14th day of release and is the ninth studio pic to reach that peak. To date, the pic has grossed $1.008B globally — $698.9M international and $301.9M domestic. It is the 16th highest-grossing film of all-time globally and 11th all-time internationally.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, WEDNESDAY PM: More records breaking for Summer 2013 as may continues to sizzle at the global box office. The Disney/Marvel threequel has only been in theaters for 23 days around the world but already Iron Man 3 is set to cross the $1B mark on Thursday. Its latest cumes are $294.7M domestic and $685.6M international through May 14. That makes it the 16th biggest film ever amid predictions it will finish as the 5th highest grossing film of all time when all theatrical grosses are in. Read More »

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‘Great Gatsby’ Upsets ‘Iron Man 3′ Box Office

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 8:58am PDT

OK, here’s some box office hilarity for you. Even if it’s only for one night, an adaptation of a 90-year-old novel toppled fanboy favorite Iron Man 3 as the #1 film in America Wednesday. Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio became the top-grossing film in North America with $3.9M from 3,535 theaters vs Iron Man 3‘s $3.85M from 4,253 theaters, according to Warner Bros which co-financed with Village Roadshow and is distributing worldwide. Gatsby‘s 6-day cume is now $63.3M. “It’s a stunning box office upset for the ages,” one exec gushed to me this morning. On the other hand, Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3 opened two weeks earlier in the U.S. and three weeks earlier overseas and should pass $1 billion in worldwide gross today and $300 million in North America. And let’s not forget that IM3 lost tickets to the opening of Star Trek Into Darkness last night. Its cumulative performance to date is international $691.9M and domestic $298.6M for a global total of $990.5M. Iron Man 3 is now the 2nd highest grossing superhero movie of all time overseas behind Marvel’s The Avengers and currently stands as the #11 highest grossing film of all time in the international marketplace. By country: China $102.4M, Korea $55.6M, UK $49.7M, Mexico $43.6M, Russia $40.2M, Brazil $39.0M, France $36.4M, Australia $33.7M, Japan $21.4M, Italy $19.8M, Taiwan $18.4M, Germany $18.4M, Indonesia $14.6M, Philippines $14.3M, Hong Kong $13.1M, other markets $171.4M.

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‘The Great Gatsby’ Hip-Hops To Big $52M; But ‘Iron Man 3′ Still Tops; ‘Peeples’ Flops

By | Saturday May 11, 2013 @ 10:00pm PDT

Great Gatsby Box OfficeSATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: There’s more good news at the box office for the start of Summer 2013. Domestic grosses for Warner Bros‘ The Great Gatsby (3,035 theaters) just keep going strong. Big online seller Fandango tells me this female-driven film is heading into Mother’s Day and ticket sales show no signs of flagging across the country from city to heartland. Despite audiences giving it a ‘B’ CinemaScore. In addition to moviegoers showing up dressed in 1930s period costumes, exhibitors are reporting some audiences spontaneously bursting into applause when Leonardo first appears on screen. (When’s the last time that happened?) That’s prompted some Hollywood execs to speculate this is the original Titanic crowd. Warner Bros hopes the Baz Luhrmann-directed, DiCaprio starrer ”perfectly counter-programs” all the May action movies. My sources’ latest estimates for the 3D tentpole are $19.4M for Thursday/Friday, and -6% for $18M Saturday. Hollywood is expecting an overperforming $52M first weekend for the romantic drama co-financed by Village Roadshow and based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic novel. The #1 film is still Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (which has the biggest theater count at 4,253) with $19.7M Friday (-72% from last Friday’s huge opening) and a huge $33M Saturday for $75M this weekend. (Last year The Avengers made an incredible $103M in its second weekend…) Before Friday, IM3 grossed $794M — international cume $581.6M and domestic $212.4M. Now the North American cume should be $287.4M through Sunday. Yowza! The only other major newcomer is Lionsgate’s Peeples (2,031 theaters), a ‘Tyler Perry Presents’ comedy not written or directed by him but by Tina Gordon Chism. It received a ‘B-’ CinemaScore and weak grosses even for a tiny budget of $15M: $1.1M Friday and $1.8M Saturday for a $4.2M weekend.

Gatsby‘s success might all seem surprising considering the film’s uneven reviews. Then again these critics — the vast majority white middle-aged men — are complaining about Luhrmann’s supposed “sacrilege” in adding hip-hop to Gatsby which of course is set in the decade dubbed “The Jazz Age”. Way to make themselves look old and out of touch. (Are these the same purists who piled on when Bob Dylan went electric? I found the music a fresh touch.) While Leo’s and Tobey Maguire’s performances are praised, Carey Mulligan’s is not. Then again there were misgivings in the media from the day the extravagant Baz project was first announced – the 4th attempt to film the novel after Warner Baxter starred in 1926, Alan Ladd in 1949, and Robert Redford in 1974. But tracking told a different story: it was strong from the day Lurhmann’s version co-scripted with Craig Pearce came on — especially heavy with females but also registering decently with men. The Great Gatsby kept improving its numbers as the full frills and very effective marketing campaign took hold. Even without P&A, the movie’s cost reportedly ballooned up to $200M. But Warner Bros claims that figure is $160M, which was brought down to $105M because of ”tons of rebates” from Luhrmann’s Australia filming location. That was then split 50-50 between the studio and co-financier Village Roadshow. (Initially the budget was $80M when Sony passed, and then $120M when Warner Bros and Village Roadshow first came aboard.) Read More »

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