The first A Haunted House, a spoof on the found-footage horror genre, opened in January with $19M and has grossed $40M+ in the U.S. Open Road announced the sequel last month and now has dated it for March 28, 2014. Marlon Wayans is back to star and is co-writing again with Rick Alvarez, and IM Global’s Octane label is financing and producing. Shooting is set to start this summer.
BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.
This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain.
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 20, 2012 – Open Road Films, in partnership with Endgame Entertainment, has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to A HAUNTED HOUSE, co-written by and starring Marlon Wayans, from IM Global. The film was financed and produced by IM Global’s genre label Octane. The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films, James D. Stern, CEO of Endgame Entertainment and Stuart Ford, CEO of IM Global.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films co-founders Randall Emmett & George Furla have acquired Fair Trade, an action thriller that had been developed by Alcon Entertainment as a potential vehicle for Liam Neeson. They want Neeson, and while it isn’t immediately clear if the actor will star, Emmett/Furla will finance the film for a summer start in Pittsburgh. The film is based on the Serbian thriller The Trap. Ericson Core (Invincible) is directing a script by Matt Aldrich. Emmett/Furla is in final negotiations with Open Road Films for domestic distribution. The Open Road team is here in Toronto unveiling one of the fest’s hot titles, End Of Watch. That David Ayer-directed film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 18, 2012 – Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D, the highly anticipated sequel to 2006’s film SILENT HILL, released by TriStar Pictures. SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D will be released wide October 26, 2012 in time for Halloween. The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films and producers Samuel Hadida and Don Carmody.
Based on the groundbreaking video game franchise, SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D is the sequel to the hit film SILENT HILL, which opened to number one at the U.S. box office and took in nearly $100 million at the worldwide box office. Featuring an unparalleled horror experience, Konami’s Silent Hill franchise has captivated fans for more than a decade and has spawned a hit comic book series, graphic novels, collectibleaction figures and numerous soundtracks from rock bands.
EXCLUSIVE: Vinessa Shaw will join Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum and Jude Law in Bitter Pill, the Steven Soderbergh-directed potboiler that Open Road will distribute in the U.S. Shaw (3:10 To Yuma), repped by ICM …
Open Road’s deal last month to distribute the cop drama written and directed by David Ayer included a 2,000-screen rollout, a minimum guarantee just north of $2 million and a $20 million P&A commitment. Now …
BREAKING: Open Road is closing a deal for U.S. distribution rights to End Of Watch, the David Ayer-directed cop drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick. I’m told that Open Road will release the film later this year. They’ve committed to a 2,000-screen run, with a minimum guarantee just north of $2 million and a $20 million P&A commitment.
Open Road Making Deal For Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’; Film To Star Blake Lively, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road is locking a distribution deal for Side Effects, the Scott Z. Burns script that Steven Soderbergh will direct as his next film. Blake Lively, Jude Law and Channing Tatum will star. The film is being financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, with production to start in April on a thriller that has a budget in the $30 million range. This is a surprise outcome. Deadline revealed in early December that Summit was the frontrunner for a script (which had been called The Bitter Pill at the time). The script wasn’t distributed widely, at least initially. David Linde’s Lava Bear and Paramount were the other initial places (producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s deal is there), though a few equity financiers mulled the project as well. Soderbergh sparked to the film after Warner Bros halted The Man From U.N.C.L.E. after disagreements over budget and difficulty finding the lead after George Clooney dropped out because he was having surgery.
EXCLUSIVE: Following on the heels of the exit of veteran distribution executive Bob Berney, FilmDistrict CEO Peter Schlessel has made alternative distribution arrangements for the company’s 2012 film releases. Deadline has learned that Schlessel just closed a 3-picture distribution …
Open Road has released a teaser trailer for The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama in which Liam Neeson leads a team of oil drillers whose plane crashes in the Alaskan wilds — right in the middle of a territorial pack of rogue wolves. Open Road acquired the film last month …
The 9/11 anniversary was a strong memory in Toronto because it happened right in the middle of 2001′s film festiva – even though it was business as usual today. In fact the pace of this place just seems to be quickening. Deals, as Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports, were slow to percolate but may be picking up. Most buyers I talk to are irritated by some sellers’ insistence that their film be released this year in time for Oscar consideration. That’s a tall order and leaves little time for creating a marketing campaign, much less an awards strategy. Nevertheless, that was one of the demands made by the sellers of the controversial Shame during negotiations. Fox Searchlight agreed, others didn’t. In fact I was told that Sony Pictures Classics, which wanted the picture, came up with a smart strategy they compared to The Weinstein Company’s for Colin Firth. That consisted of Firth doing a lot of campaigning and earning a nomination for A Single Man in 2010, thus laying the groundwork for his The King’s Speech win the next year. SPC was going to put Michael Fassbender out there and get him recognition for their November release of David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and then release Shame later in 2012 for a one-two punch that the Academy would notice. No go. The sales people behind Shame insisted it be released this year, thereby throwing the Venice Film Festival’s Best Actor winner into an already overcrowded awards race that among others includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, and Leonardo DiCaprio who are better known — at least at this point.
One former studio head-turned-producer complained loudly to me today that this kind of strategy is not necessarily what’s good for the movie and asked, “Isn’t that what we should be concerned with over anything else?” For example, Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg is here with his first release Killer Elite but is not rushing into a year-end release if it might end up hurting the bottom line. “Isn’t the 2012 Oscar race just as good as this year’s?” he asked. He might consider putting the Liam Neeson film The Grey into a year-end qualifying run since Neeson’s performance is said to be so strong. But only if it was in the best interest of the film. When he was at Lionsgate, Ortenberg acquired Crash at Toronto but held it for a May release. Then he did a now-legendary and successful Oscar campaign almost 1 1/2 years after the Toronto buy. The same strategy worked for The Hurt Locker two years ago. Both went on to win Best Picture.
Nevertheless, several films for sale in Toronto are said to be eyeing a 2011 release in order to get into the Oscar race. These include Luc Besson’s The Lady, which premieres Monday night and which I have already seen. It contains two powerhouse performances from Michelle Yeoh who could jump into the lead actress race. There’s also David Thewlis for Supporting Actor. The Lady will certainly be part of any sales discussion, but I know of at least one mini-major who would like the film but just not for this year. As I mentioned yesterday, Barrymore with its sensational title performance from Christopher Plummer also wants to make a deal that includes a 2011 year-end release. Also director Zhang Yimou’s epic The Flowers of War (formerly Nanking) starring Oscar-winner Christian Bale had a 20-minute footage presentation here and hopes to get a domestic deal in place in time for a possible year-end run at Oscar. I am told it could certainly be ready what with its debut in Beijing in December.
In a surprise development, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road has set the Joe Carnahan-directed killer wolf pack thriller The Grey to open wide on Jan. 27. Now, that puts the movie beyond the Oscars. But I’m told that Open Road has left open the possibility that the film could get a qualifying run in two theaters before year’s end so that Liam Neeson would qualify for the Best Actor category. I must say I am a bit surprised that the qualifying run isn’t an automatic. Buyers who watched the movie and bid on it in July before Open Road won it — paying near $8 million and a $25 million P&A commitment for U.S. rights — all hailed Neeson’s performance as Oscar bait. The deal was based on watching 30 minutes of scenes, but word was that opening this year, even just to qualify, was a priority for the sellers and a reason some distributors with full Oscar-season skeds shied away. Neeson plays the leader of a group of oil drillers who struggle to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Carnahan won’t finish the film in time to show it at Telluride, Toronto or the New York Film Festival, but they will get enough feedback from advance screenings to make a decision about whether it’s ready to wage an Oscar campaign for Neeson, who was nominated once in his career for Schindler’s List and has enjoyed a leading man resurgence thanks to Taken. Here is Open Road’s official announcement about the date: