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Hot Trailer: ‘Wanderlust’

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 3:32pm PDT

Here’s the trailer out today for Universal’s Wanderlust, the comedy that stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd who end up in a commune. David Wain directed, and it’s from Apatow Prods. The movie due for release on February 24, 2012.

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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. Read More »

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Johnny Knoxville And Patton Oswalt Play Squabbling Sibs In Big Beach Comedy

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Knoxville and Patton Oswalt have signed on to star in an untitled comedy that will be directed by Todd Rohal and financed by Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf’s Big Beach Films. Knoxville and Oswalt will play battling brothers who attempt to honor their ailing father by taking a troop of boys on a camping trip. It all goes awry. Rob Riggle, Maura Tierney and Patrice O’Neal also star.

Rohal, who originally wrote the script under the title Scout Master, most recently directed The Catechism Cataclysm. Production on the new comedy starts this week. Turtletaub and Saraf are producing with Lisa Muskat, David Gordon Green is exec producer, and Big Beach’s Michael Clark and John Hodges are overseeing production. Big Beach produced the Paul Rudd comedy Our Idiot Brother, which The Weinstein Co launches on Aug. 26. Rohal, Knoxville and Oswalt are repped by CAA, Knoxville’s managed by 3 Arts and Oswalt by Generate.

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Hot Fake Trailer: ‘Our Idiot Brother’ Star Paul Rudd Pitches To Harvey Weinstein

By | Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 5:23am PDT
Mike Fleming

Movie companies lately have been coming up with out-of-the-box ways to spread the word on their movies, like the promo that Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman made for The Change-Up, or the musical that Final Destination 5 star Miles Fisher made to promote this Friday’s opening. Rarely do these viral efforts feature the head of a studio. But Paul Rudd got Harvey Weinstein to take part in a Funnyordie.com bit in which the actor subjects Weinsein to the worst marketing ideas ever to sell the film that Weinstein acquired in Sundance. While Weinstein was said to have been an inspiration for Tom Cruise’s manic Les Grossman character in Tropic Thunder, the real Harvey actually seems a pretty calm screen presence.


Paul Rudd Pitches Harvey Weinstein from Paul Rudd

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CAA Signs Justin Theroux

By | Tuesday June 7, 2011 @ 6:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

CAA has signed Justin Theroux. The actor/screenwriter, who’d been repped by UTA, will next be seen starring opposite Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in the David Wain-directed comedy Wanderlust. Theroux’s recent writing credits include the Adam Shankman-directed musical Rock of Ages, which just started shooting, and Iron Man 2 and Tropic Thunder. Theroux made his directing debut on Dedication, which starred Tom Wilkinson and Billy Crudup. Theroux continues to be managed by 3 Arts Entertainment’s Nick Frenkel and Michael Rotenberg.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Our Idiot Brother’

Mike Fleming

The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer on Our Idiot Brother, the picture that Harvey Weinstein acquired at Sundance in a vigorous bidding battle. TWC teamed with Ron Burkle to pay between $6 million-$7 million, and a P&A commitment of $15 million in one of the bigger deals of the festival. The comedy, which stars Paul Rudd as the title character, will be released Aug. 26.

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Nina Dobrev Goes From ‘Vampire Diaries’ To ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’

EXCLUSIVE: As Deadline told you, Summit Entertainment post-Twilight Saga is continuing to bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Most are conducive to young casts. Now I can report that another young actress to watch is making the transition from TV to movies: CW’s The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev has been cast as Candace in the film based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which the author is adapting for Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson and Logan Lerman as well as Paul Rudd. This was a much sought-after lead role. The 22-year-old Bulgarian-Canadian actress played Mia Jones, the single teenage mother, on Degrassi: The Next Generation, from the show’s 6th to 9th season. She currently plays Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries and won the ”Young Hollywood Making Their Mark” category at the 12th Annual Young Hollywood Awards. (Disclosure: these awards are owned by my parent company PMC).

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Albert Brooks In Talks For Judd Apatow Pic

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Albert Brooks is negotiating to join the untitled comedy that Judd Apatow wrote and will direct for Universal Pictures. The film will star Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, who are reprising the roles they played in Knocked Up. I’m told that Brooks is in talks to play Rudd’s father in a film that will also feature Megan Fox. It’s an interesting pairing, Brooks and Apatow, because they are both writer/directors whose comedies have a very auteurish voice. Brooks most recently played a mobster you don’t want to cross in Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling.

Brooks also has a May publication date on 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America, a novel that will be published by St. Martin’s Press. That book takes a serious look at what might happen in 20 years, when cancer has been eradicated and life expectancies have been pushed up to 110, rendering 70 the new middle age. Brooks is repped by WME and managed by Herb Nanas.

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Weinstein Co In Talks To Buy ‘Coriolanus’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company is negotiating with Icon to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Coriolanus, the Ralph Fiennes-directed John Logan-scripted contemporized adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Gerard Butler, Fiennes, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain lead the cast. The film will be part of the competition at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. It puts Harvey Weinstein back in business with Fiennes, who starred in the 1996 Best Picture winner The English Patient and most recently in The Reader. The plan being discussed involves platforming the picture later this year, in time for awards season. Fiennes plays the title character, a hero who is banished and plots his revenge by aligning with his sworn enemy, Tulles Aufidius (Butler) to return and sack his homeland. Political machinations and misgivings get in the way and place Coiolanus in grave danger. Gabrielle Tana of Magnolia Mae Films, Julia Taylor-Stanley of Artemis Films, and Colin Vaines produced it. Weinstein viewed the film a month ago in London. The pending deal follows an aggressive Sundance for Weinstein, who acquired the fest’s two highest priced films in the Paul Rudd-starrer My Idiot Brother and the Tobey Maguire-starrer The Details.

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Sundance: Weinstein Company And Ron Burkle Make Big Buy Of ‘My Idiot Brother’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for the Paul Rudd comedy My Idiot Brother that will amount to a minimum guarantee of $6 million-$7 million, and a $15 million P&A commitment for a wide theatrical release. That makes My Idiot Brother the biggest deal of the Sundance Festival so far, but there’s an intriguing component here. Ron Burkle, who backed Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s attempt to acquire Miramax Films and its library, will be a partner on the acquisition, the first of what is rumored to be the beginning of an ongoing relationship.

The deal comes after a marathon auction that began last night with TWC, Relativity Media and Fox Searchlight. The action on began right after the premiere screening finished. The two parties chasing it hardest were Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company. The discussions were still taking shape around 2 AM, and the feeling was the film had a good shot to reach $5 million. Reaction to the film was that it was more heartfelt than broad comedy, and some of the players looking for a can’t miss wide release  weren’t biting. Bidders broke at 6:30 AM, with TWC prevailing.  Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and Pete Lawson reached terms with the UTA team and producers Anthony Bregman, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf earlier today and the deal is being signed. It’s a bold play by the … Read More »

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Sundance: ‘Like Crazy’ Closes Deal With Paramount And Indian Paintbrush

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 8:25 AM: As I tipped you yesterday, Paramount’s Adam Goodman and acquisitions exec Matt Brodie and Indian Paintbrush’s Peter McPartlin closed the deal with the UTA team today around 6 AM for the Super Crispy Entertainment production Like Crazy about young love from co-writer and director Drake Doremus (Douchebag). I’m told it was a $4 million minimum guarantee and a “substantial” 7-figure P&A commitment. Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group, and Matt Brodlie, SVP of Productions and Acquisitions for Paramount, along with Indian Paintbrush’s President of Production Mark Roybal, negotiated for the rights with the film’s reps Rich Klubeck and David Flynn from UTA, along with producer Jonathan Schwartz and Doremus’ attorney Lawrence Kopeikin from Morris Yorn. Later Goodman said in a statement, “Along with our partners at Indian Paintbrush, we are extremely pleased to be a part of such a great movie, and look forward to working with Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and a tremendous cast of actors.” Starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence, Like Crazy was written by Doremus and Ben York Jones about a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. ”

EXCLUSIVE 3:09 AM: Into the wee hours of Sunday, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival was inching close to its first big deal. I’m … Read More »

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Sundance: ‘My Idiot Brother’ Heats Up; Kevin Smith Bummed, Morgan Spurlock Sells Out; Roger Corman Blows Up

Mike Fleming

In other Sundance news… The action on the Paul Rudd comedy My Idiot Brother began right after the premiere screening finished. The two parties chasing it hardest were Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company, with talk of a third bidder as well. The discussions were still taking shape around 2 AM, and the feeling was the film had a good shot to reach $5 million. Reaction to the film was that it was more heartfelt than broad comedy, and some of the players looking for a can’t miss wide release weren’t biting…

The unfortunate timing of Sunday’s Red State premiere –it starts right around the beginning of the fourth quarter of the New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers AFC Championship game created misunderstanding between director Kevin Smith and partner Jon Gordon over a football viewing party organized by Harvey Weinstein, but Harvey was quick to make it clear he was there to show love for the filmmaker he launched with Clerks. Smith and Gordon, who named their Harvey Boys banner for Weinstein, felt this way, according to an insider: “Kevin and Jon feel like the kids whose dad doesn’t show up for their baseball game because he went to a strip bar with the guys from the office instead.” Weinstein told me that despite the party, he never planned to miss Smith’s … Read More »

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And In Other Film Deals…

Mike Fleming

Universal closed a 2-pic deal with Alan Alda. He’ll play the head of a naturist village opposite Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in the David Wain-directed WanderLust. Then join Ben Stiller in the Brett Ratner-directed Tower Heist.

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Nolan’s ‘Inception’ #1 For 3rd Weekend; Carell’s ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ Opens #2; But Zac Efron’s ‘Charlie St Cloud’ Only #6

SUNDAY AM: As July ended, three opening studio movies — Dinner For Schmucks, Charlie St Cloud (which collapsed 32% from Friday to Saturday because Zac Efron’s High School Musical fans frontloaded the grosses), Cats & Dogs 3D: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore – made for a crowded summer box office what with holdovers Salt, Inception, and Despicable Me still going strong. Here are Friday, Saturday, weekend, and cume U.S. and Canada grosses. This weekend will be the first since June 4th without a $30+ million grossing pic. But overall ticket sales still look to total $135M a point or two ahead of last year:

1. Inception (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,545 Dates]
Friday $8.1M, Saturday $10M, Weekend $27.5M (-36%), Cume $193.3M

Look at those dreamy legs… Chris Nolan’s original film for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just keeps going, and going, with great holds. It’s the No. 1 movie for the 3rd straight weekend after briefly giving way to Dinner With Schmucks Friday.

2. Dinner For Schmucks (Paramount) NEW [2,911 Dates]
Friday $8.4M, Saturday $8.3M, Weekend $23.3M

TParamount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass all financed a third of the $62M budget. (This is the first movie new DreamWorks invested in.) Paramount has worldwide distribution and will roll out international in the fall. The behind the scenes maneuvering to turn this comedy from a mediocre grosser to average moneymaker makes for an always interesting but far from atypical story. Back on June 9th, I reported that the buzz had been “it’s not working” on this pic so Paramount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass delayed Dinner For Schmucks originally … Read More »

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Steve Coogan Joins ‘My Idiot Brother’

Mike Fleming

Steve Coogan has joined the cast of My Idiot Brother, the Jesse Peretz-directed indie comedy that is shooting in New York with Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones and Adam Scott. The film’s about family and the sacrifices it takes to deal with them. It’s a co-production between Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story and Peter Saraf and Marc Turteltaub’s Big Beach. Coogan plays a self-righteous documentary filmmaker. Evgenia Petertz and David Schisgall wrote the script.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ESPY Awards & ‘Psych’ Premiere Gain In Young Viewers

Nellie Andreeva

The Saturday Night Live-flavored ESPY Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers and featuring current SNL cast member Andy Samberg and alum Will Ferrell, averaged 2.6 million viewers from 9-11:30 PM last night. The awards’ 18-49 audience was 1.7 million, which is up 30% from last year, when the ESPYs ran on Sunday. Meanwhile, the fifth season premiere of USA Network’s Psych at 10 PM posted a 15% gain in adults 18-34 from last season’s premiere, which aired behind the network’s older skewing dramedy Monk. In total viewers, Psych (3.7 million), was down 8% year-to-year. Elsewhere on cable in the 10-11 PM hour, TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland (3.0 million)held stead, while Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 (2.2 million) slipped a bit from its all-time high (2.4 million) last week.

Here is Dinner For Schmucks stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd spoofing LaBron James’ The Decision on the ESPY Awards:

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Betty White For ‘Oh God’ Film Remake?

By | Monday July 12, 2010 @ 1:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

betty-white-10oh-godWarner Bros and producer Jerry Weintraub have tried long and hard to mount a remake of the 1977 George Burns comedy Oh, God! I’m told Weintraub just pitched the studio a new version of the film, with Hollywood’s hottest octogenarian–Betty White,–as the title character. Paul Rudd was pitched for the role of the hapless mortal played by John Denver in the Carl Reiner-directed original. Weintraub, who produced the original, has been trying for years on the remake, most recently with Ellen Degeneres attached for the lead. This incarnation is nascent–the studio doesn’t have a script it loves, and I’m not sure White and Rudd have been contacted. But keeping in mind how vociferously Deadline readers endorsed White to replace Megan Fox in Transformers 3 and to play the new Spider-Man, this made enough sense to note.

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