Katie Holmes has just optioned first- time author and full time artist Annie Weatherwax’s first novel, All We Had, and will develop it as a vehicle for herself. The book will be released on August 5. The story focuses on a mother and daughter who have nothing in their lives except each other. The mother sacrifices all for her daughter’s well-being and the chance for her to get into a great East Coast College to have a better life than she did. ICM Partners’ Esther Newberg repped both of them in the deal.
Entertainment One Films has picked up U.S. and Canadian rights to Miss Meadows, written and directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins. The deal marks the first film acquisition under Barry Meyerowitz who is integrating his Phase 4 Films into eOne.
Katie Holmes stars as a sweet and proper elementary school teacher who’s moonlighting as a gun-toting vigilante. James Badge Dale, Mary Kay Place and Jean Smart co-star. Crazy Heart’s Eric Brenner and Rob Carliner are producing. Pic is slated for a fall theatrical release.
EXCLUSIVE: Katie Holmes has been set to join Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, and Antje Traue in The Woman In Gold, the Simon Curtis-directed drama from Worldview Entertainment, BBC Films and The Weinstein Company. Scripted by Alexi Kaye and Alex Campbell, the story is set in 1998 and follows a holocaust survivor who solicits the help of her newly minted lawyer grandson to help her sue the Swiss government to get back priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis. Holmes, who’s repped by ICM Partners and Untitled, next will be seen in The Giver. She previously starred with Mirren for TWC’s Teaching Mrs. Tingle, a dark comedy by Kevin Williamson about students seeking revenge on a tyrant teacher.
Katie Holmes has landed a series regular role in ABC’s Richard LaGravenese drama pilot. In the vein of Dangerous Liaisons, the untitled project is set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites, Philip Fitzgerald Julien (Rufus Sewell) and Margot Worth Cole, who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. Holmes will play Ann, a woman of education and breeding who, with her husband, runs a philanthropic foundation that helps bring clean water to African villages.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Christine Lahti will star with Katie Holmes in Mania Days, the Paul Dalio-directed indie that will be produced by Spike Lee. Lahti will play the mother of Holmes’ character. Lahti recently shot the pilot Beverly Hills Cop for Shawn Ryan at CBS and she will next be seen opposite Nick Nolte, Kristen Wiig, Hailee Steinfeld and Guy Pearce in the Liza Johnson-directed Hateship, Courtship, and opposite Juno Temple in the Tony Aloupis-directed Truck Stop. She is repped by ICM and Management 360.
The move occurs just after the Broadway closing of the Theresa Rebeck play Dead Accounts, which Holmes starring in. She next appears in the untitled Christian Camargo-directed film with William Hurt, Jean Reno, Ben Wishaw, Mary Rylance and Allison Janney, and she also starred in Broadway in the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.
I can remember when Holmes, thanks to her success as the Dawson’s Creek cutie, and she was building nice movie momentum in films like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys and Sam Raimi’s The Gift. When she married the planet’s biggest movie star, Tom Cruise (a CAA fixture), it understandably overshadowed everything else. Now that she’s on her own, there is an opportunity for her to recapture that early mojo, either on TV or on the movie screen, and it will be the job of ICM Partners to facilitate that. Holmes is still managed by John Carrabino, and lawyered by Robert Offer.
Dead Accounts, in which Katie Holmes co-stars, is closing on January 6, nearly two months early, according to media reports. Theresa Rebeck’s drama has received mixed to negative reviews since it opened at the Music Box Theatre on November 29. It was scheduled to end on February 24. Holmes plays the role of Lorna, a Cincinnati woman whose con-man brother Jack (Norbert Leo Butz), unexpectedly returns home from New York City with a secret. Holmes made her Broadway debut in the 2008 production of All My Sons. Her other credits include the 2005 feature film Batman Begins and TV’s Dawson’s Creek.
Katie Holmes is returning to Broadway for one her first projects post divorce with a starring role in Theresa Rebeck’s new play, Dead Accounts. It’s set to open at the Music Box Theatre this fall. Tony Award-winning Jack O’Brien will direct and Jeffrey Finn will produce. Holmes will play the role of Lorna in the five character comedy which tackles the issues of corporate greed, small town values, and whether or not your family will always welcome you back…with no questions asked. Holmes made her Broadway debut in the 2008 production of All My Sons. Other credits include the 2005 feature film Batman Begins and TV’s Dawson’s Creek.
Loretta Devine, Paul McCrane, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon, Hugh Laurie, Drew Barrymore, Maria Bello, David Boreanaz, Katie Holmes, Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, Jimmy Kimmel, William H. Macy, Anna Paquin, David Spade, Rachael Taylor and Anna Torv were announced today as the final group of presenters for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, which are set for Sunday at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The awards show is being aired live on Fox. (Previous presenters were set here and here and here.)
Hurricane Irene: Worst Movie Weekend Of 2011? ‘The Help’ #1 Again, ‘Colombiana’ #2, ‘Afraid Of The Dark’ #3, ‘Our Idiot Brother’ #6
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: This weekend’s numbers bounced around, especially after Rentrak, the box office reporting service, sent out the following advisory: “We wanted to make you aware that a possible 1,000 theatres could be affected by the weather on the East Coast. We’ve been hearing about closures at many theatres and wanted to advise you that both Saturday and Sunday grosses will be affected.” This is turning into the worst moviegoing weekend of 2011, in a race with only Super Bowl weekend, because of the expected miniscule $80M expected for total North American box office grosses. Theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Clearview Cinemas were closing, location counts were dropping, and major releases were finding cover. Hurricane Irene came ashore along the Atlantic Seaboard on Saturday starting in North Carolina and heading due north. Mass transit was suspended in many areas while heavy rains and high winds pounded the region, causing one studio exec to complain to me, ”Business is in the crapper right now. Any way you slice it business is getting creamed this weekend.” The storm, at one point bigger than the size of Europe, created a state of emergency up the East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts and will depress box office by 10%, 20%, or more. Considering that this weekend’s 3 major opening movies were only expected to debut modestly even in fair weather, studios and distributors have a Mother Nature excuse when their films underperform at the North American box office. So I can’t humiliate them for not hitting double digits. Drats!)
1. DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help is a lock again for #1 with $4.4M Friday and $5.9M Saturday for a $14.3M weekend as the bestselling book-turned-pic enters its 3.5th week into 2,778 originally booked theaters. The cume is estimated at $96.6M and should pass the $100M plateau mid-week.
2. Sony Pictures/TriStar’s Luc Besson-produced and co-written PG-13 actioner Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana as the female assassin. It did the best of the newcomers opening to $3.7M Friday and also $3.7M Saturday to a $10.3M weekend with an original booking into 2,614 theaters. It earned an ‘A-’ CinemaScore from audiences. “Given the devastating weather system on the East Coast, the film performed better than expected and is off to a solid start and should hold well for the coming holiday weekend and into the Fall,” the studio said. Sony Pictures did a distribution deal for Colombiana which was fully financed by EuropaCorp and partners TF1 Films Production, Grive Productions with the participation of Canal+ and Cinecinema. They also put up the P&A for this title. For the media and promo campaign, Sony tied into the revenge theme of the movie with custom branded promotions and tie-ins with outlets like BET where there was “back to payback” stunt. The studio placed sneak peaks of the film in programming blocks where the cable channel was broadcasting revenge-oriented titles like Romeo Must Die and A Man Apart. Zoe Saldana shot custom interstitials. On channels like G4, a sweepstakes gave the winner time with Zoe’s trainer and to remake a scene from the film. Activities also specifically targeted urban audiences and Spanish language press. TriStar Pictures and Stage 6 Films present a coproduction EuropaCorp. Directed by Olivier Megaton, Colombiana gave writing credits to Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, and produced by Luc Besson and Ariel Zeitoun.
3. FilmDistrict’s Guillermo del Toro-written and co-produced haunted house movie Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce was originally booked into 2,760 theaters. It debuted with $3.6M Friday and $2.9M Saturday and will make $8.6M this weekend. It earned an unfortunate ‘C-’ CinemaScore from audiences. “All things considered, not a bad Saturday and ultimately the weekend total was good despite the hurricane,” said FilmDistrict’s Bob Berney. ”Our key large urban East Coast markets were really killed.” Females under 25 responded strongest to Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark and in markets with large Latino populations. Berney has known Guillermo since distributing his Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth at Picturehouse. that’s also where Berney released The Orphanage which del Toro exec-produced. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark had been in the works for some time ever since del Toro made Mimic for the original Miramax. Guillermo based the new movie on a 1973 TV pic that had “scared the crap” out of him as a kid in Mexico. Del Toro chose director Troy Nixey from his work in comic books and a short film that Guillermo really responded to. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark was shot while Guillermo was in New Zealand preparing The Hobbit (remember that?) and would fly over to Melbourne where Nixey was shooting and remained very involved in the $28M production. After Disney sold Miramax to the Colony Capital/Ron Tutor group, FilmDistrict acquired Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark around Sundance this year. It was the closing night pic at the LA Film Festival and put together a Comic-Con panel with del Toro and Guy Pearce. Attendees called it the most highbrow discussion of the Con steeped in both film history and profanity. Guillermo has a “Presents” credit on the film and his pedigree has been one of the key marketing points of the film. “Jeanne and I were really happy to be working with Guillermo again,” Berney emailed me. “He really is the ’hardest working man in show business’ and the most generous and nicest guy as well. Not to mention that he holds the record for ‘F bombs’ at Q&As and panels around the world.”
4. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Fox) Week 4 [3,374? Theaters]
Friday $2.6M, Saturday $3.6M, Weekend $8.6M, Cume $148.4M
5. Spy Kids 4D (Dimension/Weinstein Co) Week 2 (3,305? Theaters)
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $2.5M, Weekend $5.7M (-51%), Cume $21.7M
6. The Weinstein Co’s not-so-raunchy R-rated comedy Our Idiot Brother showcasing Paul Rudd surrounded by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer originally booked into 2,555 theaters. It opened to $2.3M and $2.5M Saturday for a $5.7M weekend. It earned a disappointing ‘C+’ CinemaScores from audiences. This film was acquired by TWC and Ron Burkle’s YUK Films at the Sundance Film Festival for $6 million in exchange for U.S., Germany, France, Japan, and Benelux rights. Alliance has Canada via their recent acquisition of Maple Films. Directed by Jesse Peretz from a script he wrote with his sister Evgenia, he reached out to producer Anthony Bregman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) who in turn enlisted producer Peter Saraf (Little Miss Sunshine) and they put the whole deal together in a few weeks. TWC’s marketing campaign involved not only the traditional media buys but a lot of extras on the Internet as well — like the Funny Or Die video with Harvey Weinstein and Paul Rudd. Rudd went on MLB.com talking sports. There also was a ’Search for Willie Nelson’ (the dog’s name in the film) viral campaign. And an Idiot Photo Booth social campaign. Our Idiot Brother gave writing credits to Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall and producing credits to Stefanie Azpiazu, Caroline Jaczko, Aleen Keshishian, Anthony Bregman, Peter Saraf, and Marc Turtletaub.
The closing-night film of the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, was designed to scare the crap out of the audience. But who knew the real nightmares would come from the actual screening itself.
Just an hour into the world premiere of the movie Sunday night the Regal L.A. Live theater, the emergency warning system started flashing lights accompanied by a siren-like noise and an announcement that audience members should vacate the premises immediately due to an “emergency in the building.” Everyone got up and marched outside before the all-clear was quickly declared (a false alarm), the auditorium filled again and the film restarted at the crucial point it left off. And you wonder why producers get ulcers.
But THAT was nothing compared to the nightmare end of the movie that surrounded audience members from that screening (and the overflow house upstairs) who simultaneously had to retrieve their cellphones and BlackBerrys that had been seized for fear of piracy when they entered the theater. The crush as final credits rolled was mammoth as theater personnel slowly took claim tickets and acted like they were on a scavenger hunt. The guy searching for my phone finally came back and rather pathetically asked me, ‘Uh, what color is it?’ to which I replied ‘Black,’ like every single other friggin’ one there.
FilmDistrict (which is releasing the film Aug. 26) distribution honcho Bob Berney came over during the forced intermission of the showing to say that co-writer/producer Guillermo del Toro thought the unplanned interruption was the dirty work of Bob Weinstein or the MPAA (which gave his film an unwanted ‘R’ rating for “violence and terror,” particularly since it involved a minor, according to Berney).
FilmDistrict has released a full-length trailer for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, the remake of the creepy 1973 telepic made at a time when ABC was cranking out the scares with such films as Bad Ronald and Trilogy of Terror. Troy Nixey directed it and Guillermo del Toro produced with Mark Johnson. Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison star. The film will close the Los Angeles Film Festival and opens wide in theaters Aug. 26.
Los Angeles….Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Thank You For Smoking, Go) and Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”, Twelve) have signed on for the starring roles in the comedy-romance RESPONSIBLE ADULTS, written by Alex Schemmer. Jon Poll, the director of Charlie Bartlett and a producer/ editor of Dinner for Schmucks and Meet The Fockers will direct. Michael Roiff (Serious Moonlight, Waitress) from Night & Day Pictures is producing with Julie Yorn (Unstoppable, Bride Wars, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). Myriad Pictures is pre-selling international rights in Cannes this week.
Holmes plays 30-year-old-med student Liz Quinn, who meets charming 22-year-old Baxter Wood (Crawford). Their chemistry is electric until she realizes they have already met – she was his babysitter 15 years ago. But Baxter isn’t going to give up that easily on the one person he always felt knew him better than anyone else.
Kirk D’Amico, Myriad Pictures CEO said, “We look forward to working with Michael Roiff again and with Julie Yorn. The script is very funny. Katie Holmes and Chace Crawford are appealing actors around the world. And Jon Poll is a a terrific filmmaker. We are really pleased to help bring Responsible Adults to the big screen.”
Producer Michael Roiff echoes the sentiment. “We had an incredible experience with Myriad on Serious Moonlight and I’m ecstatic to partner again with Kirk.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has been acquired for domestic distribution by Peter Schlessel and Bob Berney’s FilmDistrict. The film will get an August 12 release and was the final and perhaps most potentially commercial of the films made by Miramax Films before the library was sold last year. The Troy Nixey-directed remake of the 1973 TV movie was produced by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Johnson, and stars Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. Del Toro wrote the script with Matthew Robbins. The film follows a family that moves to Rhode Island to an old mansion they plan to restore. Pint-sized creatures dwelling there want the girl. The film got a rise out of the Comic-Con crowd last year, but took forever to land because of the library sale. It fits FilmDistrict’s goal to find films that can play on 2500 screens and above. Here’s a recent trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Dito Montiel-directed cop drama The Son Of No One, which was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s final premiere last Friday. I’m told the deal was in the $2 million minimum guarantee range and a P&A commitment for a theatrical release in at least 10 of the top 20 markets. The film stars Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche and Al Pacino and is a police thriller about a young cop assigned to the Queens neighborhood where he grew up. He’s forced to confront past troubles. The picture was financed by Millennium Films/Nu Image’s Avi Lerner and his partners Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short and Boaz Davidson. Before its premiere, the film had an early screening for buyers, and was forced to overcome a nasty trade article that claimed an “exodus” of walk outs, a story disputed in Deadline by sales agent and exec producer Cassian Elwes. Elwes had the last laugh as he and WME Global’s Graham Taylor closed what might be the last big sale of a festival full of them. Despite the one bad article, Elwes and Taylor had several bidders circling with offers in the $2 million range but Anchor Bay’s Kevin Kasha has sealed the deal.
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.)
Cassian Elwes, who’s selling distribution rights to Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One, is crying foul over a barbed trade story about the film’s first Sundance screening. The piece reported that a multitude of buyers were in attendance, and described an “exodus” of walk outs before the film was over. The trade declared The Son of No One is Sundance’s first bomb, a crushing blow for a film with a great cast that includes Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, and Juliette Binoche.
Elwes blamed the exits on a mistake by a projectionist, and said the trade story painted an unfair picture by omitting that information. He said the slam piece has negatively impacted discussions with distributors. Elwes said he’s got three offers, but suitors are trying to use the report to get a discount.
I wasn’t at the screening, but I granted Elwes’ ask to explain what happened: “About a month ago, Dito decided to add a card, two scenes before the end of the film, that says, ‘Based on the book, Story of Milk.’ That is the character’s name in the film. Yesterday, the projectionist thought that meant the movie was over, and he turned the lights on. That’s when people got up. They thought movie had ended. Some left, but most stayed. This nasty little piece didn’t mention any of this. It’s not true …
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 …