Not only has the stunt-filled fourquel freshened the 15 1/2-year-old spy franchise, but saved Tom Cruise’s career from freefall and spurred Jeremy Renner into a higher profile worldwide. Paramount tells me that director Brad Bird’s first live-action film, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, has passed $200 million in North America and, combined with its strong performance internationally of $369M through Sunday, has outgrossed Mission: Impossible 2‘s $546.4M globally and now becomes the highest-grossing film in the franchise with $571M worldwide to date. Co-financed by Skydance Productions, M:I4 with its continuing story about IMF operative Ethan Hunt reclaimed the overseas #1 position this weekend from 7,837 locations across 63 markets. The largest of the latest five openings was China. The actioner was written by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, and produced by Cruise, J. J. Abrams (director of the third installment) and Bryan Burk, co-founder of Abrams banner Bad Robot Productions. M:I4 is the first Mission: Impossible movie to be partially filmed using IMAX cameras. The film opened exclusively in IMAX on December 16th, aided by a pairing with Warner Bros’ highly anticipated Batman threequel footage for The Dark Knight Rises, and everywhere on December 21st. “Brad Bird, Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and the entire team who worked on M:I4 created an incredibly entertaining film, one that fans worldwide embraced in record numbers,” Paramount’s Vice Chairman Rob Moore said in a statement from the studio.
Holiday Box Office: Xmas +11%, NYE +15% But 2011 Grosses -3.4% And Attendance -4.21%; Fewest People Seeing Movies In 16 Years; ‘MI:4′ Ends 2011 #1 With $366M Global
Let’s party hearty with the end-of-holiday box office for end-of-year 2011. Or let’s not (and say we did.) The Christmas and New Years topper is still Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which passed $100M domestic on Thursday and $200M internationally Friday. That makes for $300+M global so far. Interesting that Steven Spielberg’s War Horse from DreamWorks/Disney is up +21% over Friday for #3. Lots of analysis coming because sources tell me this final weekend will definitely be up over last year. Here’s the North American Top 10:
1. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Paramount) Week 3 [3,455 Runs]
Friday $10.7M (+8% from last Fri), Saturday $8.7M, Est 3-Day Weekend $28.2M
Est 4-Day Holiday $40M, Est Cume $141M
2. Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3.703 Runs]
Friday $7.4M, Saturday $6.2M, Est 3-Day Weekend $20.8M
Est 4-Day Holiday $27M, Est Cume $137M
3. War Horse (DreamWorks/Disney) Week 2 [2,547 Runs]
Friday $4.6M, Saturday $5.6M, Est 3-Day Weekend $13.1M
Est 4-Day Holiday $17.6M, Est Cume $42.8M
4. Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) Week 3 [3,724 Runs]
Friday $7M, Saturday $4.8M, Est 3-Day Weekend $18M
Est 4-Day Holiday $23M, Est Cume $99.3M
5. We Bought A Zoo (Fox) Week 2 [3,163 Runs]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $4.8M, Est 3-Day Weekend $13M
Est 4-Day Holiday $17M, Est Cume $44.5M
5. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony) Week 2 [2,914 Runs]
Friday $5.3M, Saturday $4.2M, Est 3-Day Weekend $13.9M
Est 4-Day Holiday $20M, Est Cume $60.8M
7. The Adventures Of Tintin (Paramount) Week 2 [3,087 Runs]
Friday $4.4M, Saturday $3.3M, Est 3-Day Weekend $11.4M
Est 4-Day Holiday $15.5M, Est Cume $50M
8. New Year’s Eve (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,585 Runs]
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $2.2M, Est 3-Day Weekend $6.5M
Est 4-Day Holiday $8M, Cume $47.7M
UPDATE: Paramount Says Jeremy Renner Never Told ‘Extra’ He’s Taking Over ‘Mission: Impossible’ From Tom Cruise
2ND UPDATE 8:30 PM: Extra has now revised its website. Here is the full account of how Jeremy Renner replied to the question about “the rumors his Mission: Impossible character might possibly take over in a 5th installment of the franchise. Renner shot down the rumor, replying: ’I don’t think that’s really ever a possibility. I think the possibility, first and foremost, is for audiences to receive this movie and like it, want to see more. And then it’s Tom’s willingness to want to do another one, to put together another big movie like this. These aren’t easy to put together. So if Paramount and Tom want me to do it, I’d be happy to be a part of it. I’d be up for it… assuming my character doesn’t croak. I’m not going to tell ya!’ “
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Now Paramount is denying the Extra account of its interview with Jeremy Renner. In fact Deadline was just played a portion of the tape by the studio. Renner is asked about the rumors that he would replace Tom Cruise on the Mission: Impossible franchise. And Renner responds: “No, I don’t think that’s ever really a possibility.” Sounds like Extra didn’t present Renner’s full reply and in doing so changed the meaning of what he said. But it’s also clear from the way the studio jumped into the fray that Paramount wants to ensure no bad blood between Renner and Cruise.
PREVIOUS: During an Extra interview …
The 4th entry will be titled Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol. The name was announced at a press conference in Dubai attended by Tom Cruise, director Brad Bird and co-stars Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. It’s in production now and is scheduled for release in December 2011. Besides the Dubai location, other shooting spots include Moscow and Prague.
What does the title mean? In CIA parlance, the term “ghost” can refer to some of the suspected terrorists held at Guantamo Bay and other secret bases around the world. Could the plot involve Ethan Hunt and his team being assigned to hunt down an escaped “ghost?” Just speculating.
UPDATE: Paramount now telling me that Anil Kapoor is negotiating to play a “integral supporting role” that is being kept under wraps, but they say he’s not a villain, despite what my sources say. Guess we’ll see.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is spanning the globe for its Mission: Impossible villains. Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor has been cast as a major heavy in the Brad Bird-directed film. He joins Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Michael Nykvist, previously cast as a villain, and reports have French actress Lea Seydoux in the nemesis lineup. Tom Cruise stars with Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. Kapoor followed up his Slumdog turn with the final season of the Fox series 24. Cruise and JJ Abrams hatched the film’s idea and are producing together. Kapoor is repped by ICM.
UPDATE: Universal has bought screen rights to the Richard Aleas crime novel Little Girl Lost and has attached I’m With Cancer helmer Jonathan Levine to direct. Michael Bacall is writing the script. An NYU dropout-turned private eye learns that the high school girlfriend he thought went to medical school instead became a stripper, and was murdered…
The website Latino Review got the drop on the festering question of who would play arch-nemesis Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes 2. It will be Jared Harris, the son of Richard Harris and a Mad Men cast member. Rumors were the studio was looking to star cast for the role, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth mentioned. Jude Law reprises, while Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry are in the cast, the latter playing Holmes’ older brother…
Paul Haggis is reportedly going to write the script for The Equalizer, the CBS drama that’s had Russell Crowe attached…
Lost hunk Josh Holloway is joining M:I4 cast of Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, reprising thesps Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames, and newcomers Vladimir Mashkov and Michael Nykvist.
After Paula Patton just landed the biggest movie role of her career, the female lead in Mission: Impossible 4, she had to pull out of Law & Order: SVU where she was to play Assistant District Attorney Mikka Von. So now Melissa Sagemiller has been tapped to step in and recur as a new ADA on the show, which returns for a 12th season on Sept. 22. I hear the producers of the veteran NBC procedural
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton has landed that female lead role that Deadline told you she was testing for, alongside actresses Lauren German and Kristen Kreuk. I’m told that Patton will play a young operative who works with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character. The film will not be called Mission: Impossible 4. Cruise and JJ Abrams, who hatched the project together, always envisioned it as a franchise reboot. The film begins production in the fall with Brad Bird directing Cruise, who’ll co-star with The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner in what was another hotly contested role. Paramount co-finances the $140 million film with David Ellison’s Skydance banner. It marks the first film for Cruise and Paramount since he left the studio after generating over $3 billion in worldwide grosses for Paramount.
Now that Jeremy Renner snagged the big male lead opposite Tom Cruise in the next Mission: Impossible, the focus of Paramount Pictures, director Brad Bird and producers Cruise and JJ Abrams are intent on filling the role of a young female operative. I’m told that Lauren German and Paula Patton are testing for the job. UPDATE: I’m told that Kristen Kreuk will also test for the role…. Superbad‘s Joe Lo Truglio is replacing Fred Armisen in the role of nudist Wayne Dunbar in Wanderlust, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy for Universal which David Wain is directing from the script he wrote with Ken Marino. Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux star in the comedy about a couple that detours from a mundane life to a commune. Generate-repped Lo Truglio just completed the Universal comedy Paul… Ari Graynor has landed the female lead opposite Jonah Hill in The Sitter, the David Gordon Green-directed Fox comedy. She’ll next be seen opposite Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell in Conviction, and stars opposite Anna Faris in What’s Your Number next spring. UTA and Principal Entertainment rep her… Using Twitter (the new publicist) John Cusack informed the world today that he’ll play Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven. This isn’t going to be great news to Sylvester Stallone, whose dream is to play Poe.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Picks ‘Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner To Co-Star With Tom Cruise In ‘Mission: Impossible 4′
BREAKING:: So Paramount Pictures won’t be screen-testing any young actors to star opposite Tom Cruise after all. I’ve learned that the studio has just chosen Jeremy Renner to infuse new blood in its Mission: Impossible franchise. Renner is the Oscar-nominated star of The Hurt Locker and will star alongside Cruise in the fourth installment of the franchise that will begin production in the fall as a reboot. Brad Bird is directing and Cruise is producing with JJ Abrams.
Paramount has struggled to find the right co-star to play the operative opposite Cruise. One factor was selecting an actor who could potentially carry the series on his own down the line, should Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character not continue to be the emphasis. While Cruise is expected to return for a fifth installment, production chief Adam Goodman wanted a guy who could grow into a leading man in his own right. The studio boss was interested in actors like Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, but they were booked. So the studio planned to test a group of young actors later this week, and Deadline spent all Tuesday going back and forth with the studio over candidates Kevin Zegers, Christopher Egan and Anthony Mackie (the latter of whom starred with Renner in The Hurt Locker). But it was clear that Paramount wasn’t sure what it was going to do. Those tests have been canceled now (Mackie, another seasoned actor poised for …
The Son Also Rises: David Ellison Funding 1/2 Of Paramount’s ‘Mission Impossible 4′, ‘True Grit’, & Jack Ryan
Let’s agree on this: Hollywood remains a haven for nepotism. It also opens its arms to anyone with money. So Oracle founder/CEO Larry Ellison’s 27-year-old son is welcomed as long as he’s coming up with $350M to co-fund movies. Funny how Hollywood didn’t much care for him when he was just an actor. But now Paramount tells me David Ellison will be helping lessen its risk on films with budgets over $30 million. Immediately, he is funding half of Mission Impossible 4, True Grit, and the latest Jack Ryan thriller (from the Tom Clancy character). Paramount is especially susceptible to young Ellison’s charms because the studio has been self-financing its films ever since July 2008 when the worldwide financial crisis hit and the studio didn’t consummate a $450 million financing deal with Deutsche Bank to mitigate the studio’s risk.
Ellison and his movie label Skydance Productions came by the moolah – $150 million in equity and a 4-year, $200-million revolving credit facility led by JP Morgan Chase, – with the help of his dad who provided an undisclosed portion of the equity, according to today’s Los Angeles Times, which notes that Young Ellison had been trying to raise money since last fall. On the other hand, the newspaper forgot to mention that David Ellison really stepped in it when he tried paying Taylor Lautner $7.5 million to co-star in Northern Lights. But Taylor dropped out and other actors passed on the project produced by …