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VOD Vs. DVD Battle Goes Day-And-Date In Australia

By | Tuesday September 4, 2012 @ 1:15am PDT

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

September marks a new watershed in the fight for home entertainment dollars in Oz. Nearly every Hollywood film, including new releases The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Men In Black 3 and The Five-Year Engagement, and most indie titles, will be available simultaneously on VOD and DVD. The collapsing of windows has been driven by the U.S. majors looking to boost VOD revenues to help compensate for the contracting DVD business. The strategy has been welcomed by Oz’s many VOD services who say it’s resulting in a lift in buy-rates. Brendon Moo, general manager of Foxtel On Demand and Pay Per View, says subscribers per capita buy four times as many movies as those who subscribe to Britain’s BSkyB.

The gap between DVD and VOD releases was originally 90 days. In the past few years that was shortened to 60 days and progressively to 45 and 30; now it’s zero except for independent distributors like Anchor Bay and Eagle Entertainment. The first simultaneous DVD/VOD release was The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in 2010. Sony Pictures began releasing its films day-and-date earlier this year and Tim Harris, director digital & acquisitions, says, “We expect revenue to grow as the consumer embraces the convenience and quality of the format.” Home entertainment retailers are keen Read More »

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Barry Sonnenfeld Has To Pay UTA $325K For ‘Men In Black 3′ As Arbitration Is Upheld

By | Thursday August 23, 2012 @ 2:51pm PDT

A federal judge has ruled that director Barry Sonnenfeld does have to pay his former agency UTA up to $325,000 in fees for Men In Black 3. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero denied Sonnenfeld’s motion to vacate an arbitration panel’s award that was handed down in April. The arbitration also said that UTA will get even more if additional MIB sequels are made. In an eight-page decision (read it here) Otera said “Having reviewed all the relevant briefing before the Court, the Court finds no grounds upon which to vacate or otherwise amend the award. Accordingly, the Court is obligated to confirm the Award.” Otera denied UTA’s request for attorney fees. Sony’s Men In Black 3 opened May 25, 2012 and has grossed roughly $178 million domestically and an additional $443.4 million overseas.

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‘The Avengers’ Soars But ‘Battleship’ And ‘The Dictator’ Sink In Profit Tally: Kagan

The Avengers Profit MarvelOnly two of eight major movies released last month are clearly destined to make a profit — and one of them is, surprise!, Marvel’s The Avengers — according to SNL Kagan’s latest monthly tally. The firm says that The Avengers is likely to generate more than $2B in revenues from all sources (excluding merchandise sales) on total costs of $473.2M. The 4.24 ratio of expected revenues over costs is well above the 1.75 threshold that Kagan says establishes a film as clearly profitable. To account for revenue splits, expenses and variables that analysts can’t determine, the firm classifies films with a ratio of less than 1.75 but more than 1.40 as being in a gray area while those below 1.40 are deemed probably unprofitable. By that measure, Fox Searchlight’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fared well, with a ratio of 2.60 ($169.6M in revenues on $65.2M in costs). Columbia’s Men In Black 3 is on the bubble with 1.53 ($687.2M over $450.0M). Films likely to spill red ink include include Universal’s Battleship ($450M over $401.8M), Paramount’s The Dictator ($171.6M over $176.1M), Warner Bros’ Dark Shadows ($279.3M over $293.4M), Warner Bros’ Chernobyl Diaries ($59.4M over $87.4M), and Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting ($66.8M over $121.5M).

Related: Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ #3 Film Of All Time

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Sony’s ‘MIB 3′ Passes $400 Million Worldwide

By | Tuesday June 5, 2012 @ 1:03pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures has announced that after hitting $398.8 million last night, MIB 3 is poised to move beyond $400 million in worldwide revenue today. That will surely put the film on course to eclipse the $441 million worldwide that Men In Black II turned in back in 2002. It was a much better movie than the first sequel, but hasn’t been hailed as a home run because skeptics wonder whether it will ever be in the black financially. MIBII was shot on a reported $140 million budget, while MIB3 carried a reported $225 million budget, with a lot of gross out the door. Certainly, the hiatus taken by the picture to fix the script added to those costs. The original grossed $589 million worldwide in 1997 on a reported budget of $90 million. Even with the benefit of extra revenue for 3D tickets, the movie will need a few more strong weeks around the world to eclipse that total.

Related: Sony Pictures Pulls Out The Stops For New York ‘Men In Black 3′ Premiere

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SUMMER SLUMP? Will Smith’s ‘MIB3′ Slows To $70M Memorial Weekend; Fifth Major Movie To Disappoint; Global Cume $203.2M; ‘Avengers’ Still Setting Box Office Records

May 25-28 Weekend Actuals, Memorial Day Weekend

1. Men in Black 3 3D (Columbia/Sony) NEW [4,248 Theaters] PG13
Friday $17.7M, Saturday $19.1M, Sunday $17.8M, Monday $14.7
3-Day Weekend $54.6M, 4-Day Holiday $69.3M,

2. Marvel’s The Avengers 3D (Disney) Week 4 [3,918 Theaters] PG13
Friday $9.7M, Saturday $14.1M, Sunday $13M, Monday $10.5M
3-Day Weekend $36.7M, 4-Day Holiday $47.2M (-15%), Cume $523.9M

3. Battleship (Universal) Week 2 [3,702 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $4.1M, Sunday $3.9M, Monday $2.9M
3-Day Weekend $11.1M, 4-Day Holiday $13.9M (-45%), Cume $47.4M

4. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 2 [3,014 Theaters] R
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $3.3M, Sunday $3.2M, Monday $2.2M
3-Day Weekend $9.3M, 4-Day Holiday $11.5M (-34%), Cume $43.3M

5. Dark Shadows 3D (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,404 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $2.8M, Sunday $2.6M, Monday $1.9M
3-Day Weekend $7.5M, 4-Day Holiday $9.4M (-25%), Cume $64.9M

6. Chernobyl Diaries (Alcon/Warner Bros) NEW [2,433 Theaters] R
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $2.4M, Sunday $2.0M, Monday $1.4M
3-Day Weekend $8.0M, 4-Day Holiday $9.4M

7. What To Expect When You’re Expecting (Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,021
Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.2M (-42%), Saturday $2.6M, Sunday $2.3M, Monday $1.7M
3-Day Weekend $7.1M, 4-Day Holiday $8.8M (-17%), Cume $23.8M

8. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [1,233
Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2.3M, Monday $2M
3-Day Weekend $6.4M, 4-Day Holiday $8.4M (+159%), Cume $18.6M

9. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) Week 10 [1,421 Theaters] PG13
Friday $600K, Saturday $882K, Sunday $829K, Monday $702K
3-Day Weekend $2.3M, 4-Day Holiday $3.0M (+2%), Cume $396.0M

10. Think Like A Man (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 6 [786 Theaters] PG13
Friday $405K, Saturday $560K, Sunday $500K, Monday $349K
3-Day Weekend $1.5M, 4-Day Holiday $1.8M (-32%), Cume $88.7M

MONDAY, 6TH UPDATESo Men In Black 3 officially opened with a $55M three-day weekend and a $70M four-day Memorial Holiday. (Although rival studios say the numbers are slightly less: $54.5M/$68M.) That’s still not anywhere close to the $90M where Hollywood thought this popular franchise would debut its threequel, or the $80M which Sony Pictures expected. Even not adjusted for the 3D premium or higher ticket prices or inflation, MIB3 couldn’t beat Will Smith’s I Am Legend ($77M in 2007) or Hancock ($62M in 2008). MIB3‘s  international number is $133.2M for a worldwide cume of $203.2M. IMAX sales contributed worldwide approximately $12.5M, which is 20% higher than their previous record for a worldwide memorial day release. Problem is that MIB3 was very expensive to make at a cost of between $225M to $300M. Plus, demonstrating more trouble for Hollywood, overall moviegoing of $190M for this holiday weekend was down a huge -31% from last year’s record. For more analysis, see below:

Here’s the Top Ten (based on 4-day holiday estimates):

1. Men in Black 3 3D (Columbia/Sony) NEW [4,248 Theaters] PG13
Friday $17.8M, Saturday $19.2M, Sunday $17.9M, Estimated Monday $15.0M
3-Day Weekend $55M, 4-Day Holiday $70M,
International Cume $133.2M, Global Cume $203.2M

2. Marvel’s The Avengers 3D (Disney) Week 4 [3,918 Theaters] PG13
Friday $9.6M, Saturday $14.1M, Sunday $13.2M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $36.7M, 4-Day Holiday $46.8M, Cume $523.6M
International Cume $281.9M, Global Cume $1.305B

3. Battleship (Universal) Week 2 [3,702 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.0M (-65%), Saturday $4.1M, Sunday $3.8M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $10.9M, 4-Day Holiday $13.8M, Cume $47.3M
International Cume $232.4M, Global Cume $279.7M

4. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 2 [3,014 Theaters] R
Friday $2.7M (-51%), Saturday $3.3M, Sunday $3.1M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $9.2M, 4-Day Holiday $11.7M, Cume $43.6M
International Cume $50.3M, Global Cume $93.9M

5. Dark Shadows 3D (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,404 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $2.8M, Sunday $2.5M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $7.4M, 4-Day Holiday $9.4M, Cume $64.9M
International Cume $106.6M, Global Cume $171.5M

6. Chernobyl Diaries (Alcon/Warner Bros) NEW [2,433 Theaters] R
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $2.0M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $7.9M, 4-Day Holiday $9.3M

7. What To Expect When You’re Expecting (Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,021
Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.2M (-42%), Saturday $2.6M, Sunday $2.2M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $7.1M, 4-Day Holiday $8.8M, Cume $23.8M

8. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [1,233
Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $2.4M, Sunday $2.2M, Monday
3-Day Weekend $6.3M, 4-Day Holiday $8.2M, Cume $18.4M

9. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) Week 10 [1,421 Theaters] PG13
Friday $593K, Saturday $875K, Sunday $800K, Monday
3-Day Weekend $2.2M, 4-Day Holiday $2.8M, Cume $395.8M
International Cume $249M, Global Cume $644.2M

10. Think Like A Man (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 6 [786 Theaters] PG13
Friday $395K, Saturday $540K, Sunday $480K, Monday
3-Day Weekend $1.4M, 4-Day Holiday $1.8M, Cume $88.7M

SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: A lot was riding on this weekend’s worldwide totals for Will Smith (back at cineplexes after a 4-year hiatus) and Sony (reviving a costly Columbia Pictures franchise that was dormant for a decade). But Memorial Weekend newcomer Men In Black 3 is now the 5th major studio release that has underperformed domestically at the start of Summer 2012. Plus, demonstrating more trouble for Hollywood, overall moviegoing of $190M is down a huge -31% from last year’s record. Overseas, MIB3 was off to a better start, and Sony is projecting it to take in an estimated $202M worldwide total during its first few days of release in 106 territories. Of that, IMAX sales contributed approximately $12M to the global cume, which is 20% higher than the previous record for a worldwide Memorial Day release because of aggressive IMAX building overseas. Sony said MIB3 was #1 in 104 countries. In this country, yes, MIB3 finally vanquished three-time #1  Marvel’s The Avengers which was starting its 4th week in domestic release. Even so there’s continuing good news for Disney’s 3D superhero assembly: it crossed $500M on Saturday, reaching the mark in just 23 days which is setting a new speed record (better than Avatarwhich took 32 days). In 3,918 theaters, it’s a solid #2 with about a $36.9M three-day weekend and a $48.5M Memorial Holiday. It is currently the #4 film of all time globally and domestically and is currently the #5 film of all time internationally, passing Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($771M) this weekend. Even if Avengers weren’t sucking the air out of North American box office, trust me when I say the movie moguls are worried what lies ahead for their films in June after a dismal domestic May… Read More »

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Sony Pictures Pulls Out The Stops For New York ‘Men In Black 3′ Premiere

By | Thursday May 24, 2012 @ 12:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Given the way studios have cut back on lavish movie premieres in recent years, the New York debut of Sony Pictures’ Men In Black 3 was something to behold, and harkened back on to more fun days. The post premiere party was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and if that wasn’t lavish enough, the night included a lengthy fireworks display from the Grucci clan, endless food choices, even a surprise performance by the rapper Pitbull, who did the film’s soundtrack. I’m told that he was later joined by Smith and his kids Jaden and Willow. Most important for Sony Pictures, MIB3 showed itself to be a well constructed summer thrill ride.

Smith, who hasn’t headlined a blockbuster since 2008′s Hancock, hasn’t missed a beat. I was surprised how satisfying the film was, particularly after director Barry Sonnenfeld and Smith halted production partway through the shoot to work on the script. That is often a sign of trouble, but whatever they did was well worth the trouble. The film is much better than the first sequel and in a summer that will be defined by sequels (I consider Avengers to be in that category), this one holds its own. Whether it reaches profit is another question, considering all the gross players involved in the film, the high budget and the extra costs for the production hiatus. Sequels have proven a lot more rewarding for studios than so-called … Read More »

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‘Men In Black 3′ Arrives As Sony, Cinemas Still At Odds Over Who Pays For 3D Glasses

Men In Black 3 opens Friday and it’ll be on plenty of 3D screens despite disagreement between exhibitors and Sony Pictures Entertainment over who should pay for 3D glasses. Movie studios have been footing the bill for the glasses but Sony’s announcement last year that it would end payments with the release of MIB3 rankled major exhibitors. As discussions continue neither side is budging — at least publicly. Sony is keeping quiet but Bloomberg reports that executives from Regal Cinemas and Cinemark have said they won’t give in, and the National Association of Theatre Owners indicates nothing has changed on either side. The movie is obviously booked into theaters in 3D and 2D because as the saying goes, the show must go on. So will that surcharge for 3D tickets, which theaters and studios split as they do regular ticket prices. Meanwhile negotiations continue although Sony has already made clear it doesn’t intend to continue paying for the glasses indefinitely.

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Sony Presents Slick Product Reel: CinemaCon

By | Thursday April 26, 2012 @ 9:42am PDT
Pete Hammond

Wednesday night was Sony‘s night to shine at CinemaCon in Las Vegas as they became the first major studio to simply present a straight and slickly produced product reel rather than a more elaborate dog and pony show in which stars, directors and producers are trotted out to briefly plug their movies in front of the assembled exhibitors. For Sony  though it was strictly business beginnning with a dry plug for their digital efforts ready to play in top notch and newly equipped theatres. Get the hint, theatre owners? President of World Wide Distribution Rory Bruer led the charge for Sony’s 2012 slate. He mentioned the studio had a record five films slated for IMAX presentations this year and a “kick-ass product reel” that rivals anything he has previously seen in his quarter century at the studio. As for the nuts and bolts of the slickly produced reel, it is clear Sony is largely playing it safe with titles that will be easily recognized by consumers with The Amazing Spider-Man reboot, another James Bond, Men In Black 3, Total Recall and an 11th Adam Sandler comedy. This is the kind of slate that doesn’t keep studio execs up at night wondering if their job will be on the line. It is full of sure things and Sony topper Amy Pascal has shrewdly created a mixture … Read More »

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Arbitrator Rules Barry Sonnenfeld Owes UTA For ‘Men In Black III’

By | Wednesday April 25, 2012 @ 12:32pm PDT

Barry Sonnenfeld must pay UTA up to $325,000 on his paycheck from Men In Black III, a DGA/ATA arbitration ruling revealed today. The director’s former agency will get even more if there are more sequels of the Will Smith-Tommy Lee Jones sci-fi franchise. The seven-page ruling (read it here) filed today in LA Superior Court determines that Sonnenfeld owes 10% of the $3.5 million he’s getting for the film. Men in Black III comes out on May 25, 2012. Read More »

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SNL: Josh Brolin Acts Out ‘Men In Black 3′

By | Sunday April 15, 2012 @ 2:51am PDT

Well, sort of… Also he calls his return to hosting Saturday Night Live “career-endingly stupid”… Oh c’mon, stupider than starring in the dreadful Jonah Hex?

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Hot Trailer: ‘Men In Black 3′

By | Monday March 5, 2012 @ 10:09am PST

Sony’s first trailer for the sequel launched back in December with a worldwide push. Here’s the second trailer for Men In Black 3, which is set for a May 25, 2012 premiere.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Men In Black 3′

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 8:20am PST

Here’s the first-look trailer Sony Pictures announced it is launching all over the planet today — at least this planet. The sci-fi tentpole reunites Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld, who teamed on the first two films in the franchise — the previous movie in the series was released in 2002. The studio is already ramping this up for its May 25, 2012 premiere.

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Sony Pictures Launches Global Marketing Campaign For ‘Men In Black 3′

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 6:55am PST

Hot Trailer: ‘Men In Black 3′

CULVER CITY, Calif., December 12, 2011 – Sony Pictures and the large network of companies within the Sony family will unite worldwide in support of one of the studio’s most recognized and successful motion picture franchises as the company premieres a first look at Men in Black™ 3 on Monday, December 12, 2011. The launch event, which was announced today by Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, will reach a potential audience of 749 million people around the world.  Men in Black 3 the movie will be released in theaters worldwide on May 25, 2012.

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Sony’s Columbia Skeds Summer 2012 Slate: ‘I Hate You, Dad’ 6/22; ‘Here Comes The Boom’ 7/27; ‘Total Recall’ Reboot 8/3

Mike Fleming has already scooped extensively on all these movies. Here’s the Sony news release with Summer 2012 dates:

CULVER CITY, Calif., February 25, 2011 – Summer 2012 is heating up for moviegoers as Columbia Pictures adds three highly anticipated films to its summer slate, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures.  Joining the strong summer line-up that already includes Men in Black™ 3 in 3D (May 25) and The Amazing Spider-Man™ in 3D (July 3), the studio will release I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, on June 22, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, on July 27, and a re-imagining of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, on August 3.

Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, “Not only do we have two of our most exciting franchises back in theaters with Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, but the three movies we added to the slate today round out a fantastic schedule.  We love comedy in the summer and you can’t ask for better stars than Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Total Recall has us excited not only because of its incredible pedigree – we love the original story and the first film – but we think this new project will really hit home with a new generation of moviegoers.”

I Hate You, Dad centers on a father (Sandler) who moves in on the eve of his son’s (Samberg) wedding

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Emma Thompson Joins ‘Men In Black 3′

Mike Fleming

Men in Black 3 is casting up. I’m told that Emma Thompson will be taking a lead role of Oh, the head of MIB. She’ll join Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin in the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed film for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  She’s negotiating. Principal photography begins in mid-November.

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