UPDATE: Bert Fields Slams “Bizarre” $1B ‘Ghost Protocol’ Lawsuit Against Tom Cruise, Paramount & Others

DJP LEGAL BADGEUPDATE, 10:12 AM: Tom Cruise’s longtime lawyer wasted little time responding to the $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit filed against his client, Paramount Pictures, CEO Brad Grey, Skydance and David EllisonJJ Abrams and others over 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. “Tom Cruise has never stolen anything from anyone. This bizarre lawsuit against 13 people for combined copyright infringement and ‘age discrimination’ will be quickly dismissed by the Court,” Bert Fields said in a statement just sent to Deadline.

PREVIOUS, 8:14 AM: Accusations of stolen screenplay ideas and the lawsuits that follow are pretty standard stuff in Hollywood. Some come from established writers but many come from creditless claimants banging on the gates for big bucks seeking what they say is rightfully theirs. In that vein, Timothy Patrick McLanahan has filed a $1 billion copyright mi 4infringement suit (read it here) against Tom Cruise, Paramount Pictures, studio CEO Brad Grey, Skydance Pictures and David Ellison, JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk (who is called Brian Burke in the suit) and their Bad Robot company and more over 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Representing himself, McLanahan is alleging that the successful fourth MI pic was based on a script he wrote more than 15 years ago titled Head On. “Upon reviewing and watching the script and movie of Ghost Protocol, I immediately recognized that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On’s 1998 copyright. Ghost Protocol was released on December 16, 2010 and this lawsuit is being filed within three years of when that movie was released,” he states in the 10-page-plus exhibits federal court filing in California. In the suit, lodged December 20, 2013 and filed on January 13, McLanahan also claims intellectual property theft and age discrimination and basing his damages claim on the more than $694 million the pic has made worldwide and what he says is “were DVD and blu-ray sales of $144,500,000.”

Related: Writers Sue Fox, Peter Chernin, WME and Others Claiming ‘New Girl’ Is A Ripoff Read More »

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Tom Cruise Signs Deal To Star In ‘Mission: Impossible 5′; Will Chris McQuarrie Direct?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ethan Hunt has accepted another mission. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have set Tom Cruise in a deal to star in and produce a fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Both Paramount and … Read More »

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Back On Top? ‘Mission: Impossible 4′ Now Tom Cruise’s Highest-Grossing Film

By | Friday February 3, 2012 @ 9:36am PST
Mike Fleming

Mission Impossible 4 Gross SalesEXCLUSIVE: When Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions were making the green light decision on the $150 million budget Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol following the lackluster $76 million domestic gross on Knight & Day, some … Read More »

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‘MI:4′ Among Latest Movies Headed To FX

FX said today that it has acquired commercial TV premiere rights to Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Sony’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Fox’s We Bought A Zoo. The deals were completed before year’s end, the network said, … Read More »

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IMAX Adds $46.1M To Global ‘MI:4′ Tally

By | Tuesday January 3, 2012 @ 1:18pm PST

Holiday Box Office: ‘MI:4′ Ends 2011 No. 1

Los Angeles – Jan. 3, 2012 – IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Paramount Pictures today announced that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol The IMAX Experience, has grossed $46.1 million in

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Christmas Cheer! Better Numbers For New Movies; ‘Mission: Impossible’ Still #1; Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ Exceeds Predictions

B.O. Brawl: Warner Bros Demands Recount From Paramount & Sony

TUESDAY AM: 8TH UPDATE: Full weekend wrapup coming… Refresh for latest…

Christmas Day box office numbers for North America are up +60% compared to New Years Eve for the new holiday releases and as much as +86% for the weekend frontrunner Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and +104% for Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows in second place. As for the No. 1 movie, director Brad Bird’s Tom Cruise-Jeremy Renner starrer is definitely going to outgross the M:I franchise’s last actioner which did $135M domestic and $270M overseas. My sources say M:I4 is heading to $175M domestic and $400M overseas — with a budget estimated at $145M. Also, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-buzzed War Horse for DreamWorks/Disney opened in 2,376 theaters today and is overperforming with nearly $7.5M jumping into 3rd place. And that’s despite its 2-hour, 26-minute running time which means fewer screenings. Also opening today is New Regency/Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour which debuted today in 2,324 theaters with $2.5M. Fox’s Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked falls to 6th place, while the studio’s We Bought A Zoo moves up a notch to 5th, and Paramount’s The Adventures Of Tintin drops to 7th. More later.

As predicted, Christmas Eve grosses were very soft. (And many international theaters particularly in Europe close early on Christmas Eve and on Christmas.) Paramount’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol is still having the holiday season’s strongest start for #1. Either Tom Cruise’s career is back from the brink or else moviegoers are in the mood for a full-frills actionfest with heartstopping stunts — or both. The fourquel is showing that this franchise has freshened successfully. Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows is holding in 2nd place, but it was supposed to win the weekend. Guy Ritchie’s thriller just wasn’t thrilling enough for audiences. And its disappointing start shows how fickle fans can be when it comes to movie stars like Robert Downey Jr. Another big surprise is the underperformance of Twentieth Century Fox’s family fare threequel Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked which may show more life over the next week. Sony Pictures’ The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the only major studio wide release that’s R-rated this holiday period. So its lackluster grosses are such a surprise (especially because adults are flocking to specialty box office hits like Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants and The Weinstein Co’s The Artist). Maybe fans of the Steig Larsson novel were satisfied by last year’s Swedish film and weren’t feeling David Fincher’s Hollywood version. But business could pick up next week. Paramount/Sony’s The Adventure Of Tintin is already a hit overseas. But these domestic grosses underwhelm for a Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson collaboration. Then again, Americans don’t have a clue who the Belgian boy hero is.  Twentieth Century Fox suffered yet another disappointing debut when its holiday heartwarmer We Bought A Zoo opened really weak despite stars Matt Damon-Scarlett Johansson and director Cameron Crowe and heavy TV advertising and two rounds of national sneaks to build word of mouth. You’d think all those animals would have put more people in seats, like the studio’s previous hit Marley & Me, especially with an ‘A’ CinemaScore. Speaking of animals, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-buzzed War Horse from DreamWorks/Disney opens Sunday in 2,376 theaters and is projected to make $4.5M on Sunday and $8M Monday. Its 2-hour, 26-minute running time means fewer screenings. Question is whether this is family or adult fare.

But just when the Grinch stole Hollywood’s moviegoers comes the stat that overall box office this 3-day weekend is -22% compared to last year. But the 4-day wholiday looks to be up 3% vs last year which also included Christmas Eve. Monday is a U.S. national holiday so look for better box office. That’s when we’ll see clarity on whether the entire holiday period will bring out moviegoers for what is now the very important New Year’s weekend which may lead to much better multiples and totals than usual. Latest Top 10 (order determined by weekend gross):

1. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Paramount) Week 2 [3,448 Runs]
Debuted Friday December 16 in limited release; Expanded Tuesday night December 20; Officially went wide Wednesday December 21
Tuesday $1.7M, Wednesday $8.9M (including $2M midnights), Thursday $6.2M, Friday $9.7M, Saturday $6.1M
3-Day Weekend $26.5M, 4-day Holiday $40.2M
Domestic Cume $72.6M, International Cume $130M (from 50 markets)

2. Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,703 Runs]
Opened wide Friday December 16
Wednesday $4.2M, Thursday $4.8M, Friday $6.7M, Saturday $5M
3-Day Weekend $17.8M (-55%), 4-Day Holiday $25M
Domestic Cume $83.8M, International Cume $46.1M (from 25 markets)

3. Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) Week 2 [3,726 Runs]
Opened wide Friday December 16
Wednesday $3.5M, Thursday $3.9M, Friday $5.4M, Saturday $2.8M
3-Day Weekend $13.3M (-43%), 4-Day Holiday $21.1M
Domestic Cume $58.1M, International Cume $42.1M (from 52 markets)

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony) NEW [2,914 Runs]
Debuted Tuesday night December 20; Opened Wednesday December 21
Tuesday $1.6M, Wednesday $5M, Thursday $3.1M, Friday $4.6M, Saturday $2.5M
3-Day Weekend $13M, 4-Day Holiday $20M
Domestic Cume $28.5M, International Cume $950K

5. The Adventures Of Tintin 3D (Paramount) NEW [3,087 Runs]
Opened Wednesday December 21
Wednesday $2.3M, Thursday $2.4M, Friday $3.5M, Saturday $2.4M
3-Day Weekend $9.1M, 4-Day Holiday $14.3M
Domestic Cume $22.3M, International Cume (Sony) $240M

6. We Bought A Zoo (Fox) NEW [3,117 Runs]
Friday $3M, Saturday $1.9M
3-Day Weekend $7.8M, 4-Day Holiday $11.7M
International Cume $1.1M (from 6 markets)

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Which 2011 Christmas Movies Are Hottest?

Attending a movie on Christmas Day is becoming more and more of a tradition for U.S. moviegoers, so MovieTickets.com conducted a week-long survey to predict which release will get the most holiday attention this year, asking the question: … Read More »

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‘Mission: Impossible’ Gives IMAX Best December Opening

By | Tuesday December 20, 2011 @ 9:02am PST

IMAX’s said today that the opening of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol during the weekend set a record for a December bow in the format, seemingly a big thumbs-up for a strategy that saw the Tom Cruise-starring tentpole premiere … Read More »

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XMAS SLUMP, TOO! ‘Sherlock Holmes 2′ And ‘Alvin And The Chipmunks 3′ Badly Trail; ‘Mission: Impossible 4′ Best Screen Average Thanks To ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Prologue

SUNDAY AM, 7TH UPDATE: Both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros) as well as Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) badly trailedthe openings of their previous installments. (Sherlock 1/$62.3M vs Sherlock 2/$40M and Alvin 2/$48.8M vs Alvin 3/$23.5M.) The Robert Downey Jr-starring and Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock 2 total included $1.25M from 1,650 Thursday midnight shows. Audiences keep rejecting Hollywood’s sequels and threequels. Of course, the movie studios point out that both the last Sherlock and Alvin opened either on Christmas or after kids were already out of school. Execs are hoping to make up the difference before year’s end. But more pics will open, too, creating clutter. So if this weekend’s low grosses continue, then the domestic box office slump may very well ruin Christmas for Hollywood.

One bright spot is the new Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which had the best major release per screen average all weekend helped by its higher IMAX ticket prices. It also opened with a huge $1.1 million playing on just 425 screens in 425 locations from Thursday evening through midnight shows. (As reference, M:I3 did $1.1M of midnight business on over 2,000 screens.) Wanna know why? Because it was goosed by none other than Warner Bros’ 6-minute The Dark Knight Rises preview on 40 of the 300 giant screen 70mm IMAX theaters. Paramount tells me that, because of strong early sales for midnight shows, IMAX asked to open Thursday evening to get the word of mouth started. Since Sherlock wasn’t booked into IMAX, Warner Bros couldn’t pair its ‘Batman 3′ prologue with its own product and lost a valuable marketing opportunity which went instead to Paramount on a silver platter. To say that Warner Bros was annoyed is an understatement. But there is a Dark Knight Rises teaser playing with Sherlock 2. The Tom Cruise-Jeremy Renner starrer directed by Brad Bird M:I4 expands this coming week — and then Hollywood will find out how the reformulated franchise fares on its own.

Here’s the Top 10. Full analysis in the morning:

1. Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows (Warner Bros) NEW [3,703 Theaters]
Friday $14.7M, Saturday $15M, Weekend $40M

2. Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) NEW [3,723 Theaters]
Friday $6.8M, Saturday $9.9M, Weekend $23.5M

3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 3D (Paramount) NEW [425 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $4.8M, Weekend $13M, Cume $13.6M

4. New Year’s Eve (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,505 Theaters]
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $2.9M, Weekend $7.4M (-42%), Cume $24.8M)

5. The Sitter (Fox) Week 2 [2,752 Theater]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.8M, Weekend $4.4M (-55%), Cume $17.7M

6. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Summit) Week 5 [2,958 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday, Weekend $4.3M, Cume $266.4M

7 Young Adult (Paramount) Week 2 [986 theaters]
Friday $1.1K, Saturday, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $4M

8. Hugo 3D (Paramount) Week 4 [2,532 Theaters]
Friday $1M, Saturday, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $39M

9. Arthur Christmas (Aardman/Sony) Week 5 [2,929 Theaters]
Friday $840K, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $3.5M, Cume $38.5M

10. The Muppets (Disney) Week 4 [2,808 Theaters]
Friday $903K, Saturday, Weekend $3.4M, Cume $70.9M

Specialty Box Office: December 17-18

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VIDEO: IMAX’s Rich Gelfond On ‘M:I-4′

By | Friday December 16, 2011 @ 2:50pm PST

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond stopped by CNBC’s Closing Bell today to talk about the large-screen exhibitor’s goals with Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which launched exclusively on IMAX screens at midnight last night ahead of its wide release December 21. He also said the company’s international expansion comes … Read More »

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Paramount Unveils New Logo As Part Of 100th Anniversary Celebration

By | Wednesday December 14, 2011 @ 11:15am PST

Paramount Pictures is using the occasion of its 100th anniversary next year to update its mountaintop. The studio today unveiled a new logo that will launch in front of its tentpole Tom Cruise actioner Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which opens on IMAX on Friday and everywhere else December 21. … Read More »

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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 Read More »

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Hot Clip: ‘Mission Impossible 4′

By | Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 3:15am PST

video platform video management video solutions video player

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‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ Set For Dubai Debut

Mike Fleming

Dubai, UAE; November 14, 2011: Adrenaline, ambition and A-list star power will converge in one of the world’s fastest-rising cities next month, when the highly anticipated blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol debuts to the world as the opening film of the 8th Dubai International Film Festival on December 7, 2011.

Directed by Oscar® winner Brad Bird and featuring an all-star cast including Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux, the fourth installment in the mega-successful Mission: Impossible franchise has been described as the most inventive, action-filled and visually arresting yet.

Dubai will reprise its own starring role in the film when Cruise, Bird and the film’s co-stars take to the Festival’s opening night red carpet alongside the city’s leadership at the Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort – Dubai, home to the Dubai International Film Festival. Today’s joint announcement from Paramount Pictures and the Festival celebrates the Mission: Impossible team’s return to Dubai after extensive filming in the city, including shoots spanning its old town, downtown financial hub and offshore Palm island development.

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IMAX Says Weak Canadian Dollar Hurt 3Q Earnings

The large-screen theater company says it generated $8.39M in net income for 3Q, up 24.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $67.5M, up 32.2%. That translated into adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share, light of the … Read More »

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‘Mission Impossible’ To Open Early On IMAX

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 5:03am PDT

Los Angeles – Oct. 5, 2011 – IMAX Corporation and Paramount Pictures today announced that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will begin previews in IMAX beginning Friday, Dec. 16 and playing through the film’s run at the box office, which begins worldwide on Dec. 21, 2011. This marks the first time a domestic feature release has been released early in IMAX® theatres and reinforces the event nature of this highly-anticipated film. Directed by Academy Award®-winner Brad Bird, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton.

Coupled with the early window of engagement, the IMAX release of this fourth installment of Mission: Impossible features approximately 30 minutes of scenes shot with IMAX cameras. These specific sequences will expand to fill the entire screen, exclusively in IMAX, and further immerse the audience in the explosive action and vast scope of the film. One featured sequence includes the unbelievable stunt performed by Tom Cruise as he scaled the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, providing an up-close, you-are-there experience as only IMAX can.

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Holiday Movie Release Date Moves: A Recap

It’s been a busy week for Hollywood studios settling on release dates. Here’s what’s happened:

Unauthorized, Sundance Now, Oct. 7**
Puss In Boots, DreamWorks Animation, Oct. 28 (Nov. 4)
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
, Paramount, Dec. 16 sneak previews (Dec. 21*)
The Adventures of Tintin, Paramount, Dec. 21 (Dec. 23)
War Horse, DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney, Dec. 25Read More »

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‘MI4′ & ‘Tintin’ Tweak Xmas Week Dates

Spielberg Moves ‘War Horse’ Release Amid DreamWorks Money Woes

Paramount said today that it is shifting the release dates for two of its prime holiday movies. Now, the Steven Spielberg-directed The Adventures of Tintin and the Tom Cruise-starrer Mission: Impossible – Read More »

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Paramount Moves Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ To December 21 And Sets ‘One Shot’ For Early 2013

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will move Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol from its Dec. 16, 2011 release date to Wednesday, Dec. 21, putting the picture smack into the holiday corridor. That moves the film back from opening against Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. It will now open against the David Fincher-directed Sony drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and be released two days before Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, Summit’s The Darkest Hour, Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, and FilmDistrict’s release of the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey.

At the same time, Paramount will soon formalize a Feb. 8, 2013 release date for One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child mystery novel series that the studio hopes will launch another Cruise franchise. Cruise committed earlier this month to play Jack Reacher, a retired military policeman who wanders the country with his toothbrush, the clothes on his back and his bankbook and inadvertently gets involved in conspiracies that find him taking the side of the powerless and exploited. He often settles matters with explosive violence. For Paramount, the strategy is to replicate the winter release pattern it followed successfully on Shutter Island, the Dennis Lehane novel that was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Read More »

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