EXCLUSIVE: Now that Pitch Perfect 2 has its original stars back, director Elizabeth Banks is adding some new aca-flavor to her cast. German DJ, comedian, musician, actor, hype-man, host, and YouTube personality Flula Borg is the latest to join the Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Films musical sequel about college a cappella singers vying for competitive crooning kudos.
The Bavarian-born LA transplant has amassed over 45M views on his YouTube channel and appeared on Spike’s Auction Hunters, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Current TV. Character details are being kept under wraps but I hear he’ll be playing a member of a competing a cappella group opposite returning Pitch Perfect stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and Skyler Astin. As with other YouTubers trying to make the leap from digital fame to other platforms, it could be a springboard for Borg’s budding acting career. Workaholics sketch performer Adam DeVine, who’s also back for the sequel, had a breakout turn in the first film playing the over-the-top captain of a rival a cappella squad. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After stealing scenes in 2012′s a cappella comedy hit Pitch Perfect, comedian and actor Adam DeVine is returning for the upcoming sequel from Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Films. The Workaholicsstar/co-creator gave Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson‘s Bellas some stiff competition in the first film as Bumper Allen, leader of the all-male campus singing champions The Treblemakers. Kendrick, Wilson, and Brittany Snow already are signed for Pitch Perfect 2, which marks the feature directing debut of Elizabeth Banks, who conceived of adapting Mickey Rapkin’s nonfic book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory and produced the first film. It went on to a $113M global box office take and yielded the best-selling soundtrack of 2013 including Kendrick’s single “Cups”, which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Universal has dated the sequel for a May 15, 2015, summer slot, with filming set to begin this month. Read More »
Actress and producer Elizabeth Banks is making her feature directorial debut with Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the 2012 $115M hit about a college student who joins an a capella group. Banks, who’s set to appear in a run of upcoming pics including WB’s The Lego Movieand the YA sequel The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, produced the first Pitch Perfect after shepherding it from Mickey Rapkin’s book to screen. She also turned in a small comedic role playing a singing competition commentator in the first film, which went on to become a breakout hit worldwide and on DVD/VOD with a Billboard-charting soundtrack album. In addition to helming Banks will also produce with Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions alongside Gold Circle Films’ Paul Brooks. Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon (30 Rock, New Girl) is returning to script the sequel and will co-produce with Gold Circle’s Jeff Levine. Scott Niemeyer of Gold Circle will exec produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Freddie Stroma will star inThe Visitors, the indie feature written and to be directed by The Vicious Brothers (Grave Encounters). The film is a dark and edgy sci-fi thriller that revolves around a group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods. There, they are terrorized by alien visitors who definitely have not come in peace. Randy Manis, Kim Arnott, Shawn Angelski, and Martin Fisher are producing and filming is set to start up at the end of June. Stroma most recently was seen inPitch Perfect and up next is The Philosophers, alongside James D’Arcy and Rhys Wakefield. Stroma is repped by Kim Callahan at Industry Entertainment, Gersh and Waring and McKenna in the UK.
A cappella singing is hot at the moment following the success of feature Pitch Perfect, about competing college a cappella groups. SoAmerican Idol producer 19 Entertainment and its parent company CORE Media Group have signed an exclusive deal with Varsity Vocals, the collegiate a cappella organization that organizes the International Championship of A Cappella, to develop a show built around the competition and the college students who participate in it. I hear Varsity Vocals president Amanda Newman announced the partnership at the ICCA International finals tonight in NYC. Also looking to take advantage of Pitch Perfect‘s success is Universal sibling NBC, which recently announced the revival of its a cappella competition series The Sing Off. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled comedy based on a pitch from Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson. She hatched the original idea and is attached to write, produce and star. After starring in Universal/Gold Circle’s sleeper comedy Pitch Perfect, Bachelorette and before that Bridesmaids, Wilson will next be seen in the Chris Colfer-written Struck By Lightning and the Michael Bay-directed Pain & Gain, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. Read More »
SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: Hollywood finally can celebrate better box office which breaks a 5-week losing streak. Friday and Saturday overperformed for an ‘up’ weekend: $110M total moviegoing, which is +20% better than last year. And Sony Pictures has $66.2M – or 56% – of it. Saturday especially was an “absolutely huge moviegoing day, one we haven’t seen since July,” an executive told me. It was an especially big day for Amy Pascal and Jeff Blake with maybe the biggest ever #1 and #2 openings for a studio.
Columbia/Sony Animation’s Halloween funhouse Hotel Transylvania (3,349 theaters) got off to a monster start Friday and then soared +73% Saturday for $43M by end of Sunday. That weekend cume beat the record for the all-time September opening (shattering Sweet Home Alabama‘s decade-ago $35.6M though not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices or 3D’s premium). It’s also the highest grossing debut for Sony Pictures Animation. And it’s 2012′s biggest opening since The Dark Knight Rises. Pic also worked for audiences who gave it an ‘A-’ CinemaScore (‘A’ from females and kids under 18) to guarantee good word of mouth through the month. Sony is claiming Hotel Transylvania cost $85M but I know it cost $104M. Depending on its legs and international preformance, it should gross between $390M-$550M at the worldwide box office. Toon opened day and date in 4 territories including Mexico and Australia.
Bob Osher, president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, and Michelle Raimo Kouyate, President of Production for Sony Pictures Animation, drove … Read More »
Here’s the official music video for Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect featuring Mike Tompkins in an a cappella version of Nicki Minaj’s Starships. It features Tompkins, the film’s cast and over 300 user generated video submissions. Tompkins, who’s repped by Maker Studios, produces all his own sounds using only his voice and mouth. Pitch Perfect is slated for release on September 28.
BREAKING: Universal Pictures will move up from an October 5 release date on Pitch Perfect and try to build word of mouth by platforming the picture in select theaters across North America on Friday, September 28. Studio and Gold Circle Films did this after strong feedback from early screenings that have already been held and which elicited high amounts of social media traffic — 90% of it positive according to monitoring company Fizziology. While major studios usually move like battleships (no pun intended) and don’t veer from wide-release plans, the feeling was that there was buzz to be built here. Read More »
Pitch Perfect explores the world of competitive college a cappella singing. It marks the feature directing debut of Jason Moore, who directed Broadway’s Avenue Q. He also directed episodes of Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters and Everwood. Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Adam Devine, Skylar Astin and Rebel Wilson star. The Universal release currently is slated to open October 5.
20th Century Fox moved up the release date of its Ang Lee-directed drama Life Of Pi from Christmas week to November 21. That’s the date Warner Bros had staked out for its Alfonso Cuaron-directed sci-fi drama Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock, which recently was pushed to sometime in 2013. Now Lee’s 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel will land there, and the studio hopes it will play into the holiday season. Pi centers on a 17-year-old zookeeper’s son and his arch rival, a bengal tiger, who are stranded together on the open seas after their ship is pummeled by a storm.