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#1 ‘The Conjuring’ Scares Up $41.5M Weekend But Other New Films Sink Or Soft: ‘R.I.P.D.’, ‘Turbo’, ‘Red 2′, As Sizzling Summer Fizzles

By | Sunday July 21, 2013 @ 7:38am PDT

SUNDAY 7:30 AM,  3RD UPDATE: Sizzling Summer 2013 is now fizzling, and $200M total moviegoing this domestic weekend was down -20% from last year. Hollywood was especially glum while the media was annoyingly gleeful over more big-budget movies bombing. Bad news for every new film except Warner Bros/New Line’s low-budget The Conjuring (playing in 2,903 theaters) which opened #1 with a good news $41.5M weekend. It also received from audiences a coveted ‘A-’ CinemaScore, an unusually good grade for the genre where ‘D’ and ‘F’ have become commonplace from fed-up audiences.

Going into Friday, the $20M-cost The Conjuring was Fandango’s top ticket seller among four new releases across online and mobile platforms. Warner Bros early on credited director James Wan with making “both an incredibly scary film but also a very well-made quality movie” that likely becomes a badly needed fresh franchise for New Line. Clearly, Wan (Saw, Insidious) was able to transition from gore to the bizarre and now to the supernatural helped by talented cast Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, and Ron Livingston and credited screenwriters Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. Producers are Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, and Rob Cowan. The marketing campaign kicked off a month ago at the LA Film Festival. “It was an unusual strategy in that it exposed the film to critical reaction at a very early stage,” Warner Bros Pictures President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution Sue Kroll tells me. “But our faith … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘R.I.P.D’

By | Wednesday April 17, 2013 @ 5:10pm PDT

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star in Universal‘s R.I.P.D., the Robert Schwentke-directed 3D supernatural comedy about two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side. The movie is due out July 19 and was promoted yesterday at Universal’s CinemaCon presentation to exhibitors. It’s one of only two non-sequels on the studio’s summer slate — but we’re guessing a franchise is coming if this hits with fans. Think it has what it takes?

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Universal To Release ‘R.I.P.D.’ In 3D, Moves ’2 Guns’, ‘Kick-Ass 2′ Dates

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 5:00pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Universal‘s supernatural action-adventure R.I.P.D. will now be released in 3-D, the studio announced today as it made a flurry of updates to its summer schedule. However, the Dark Horse comic adaptation starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds as members of an undead cop squad will still open as planned on July 19, 2013. That gives Universal and director Robert Schwentke just four months to dimensionalize the pic before it’s due to hit screens, which is historically not the smallest window a filmmaker has had to go from 2-D to 3-D, but certainly not the cushiest (it’s less than half the time Warner Bros. reportedly gave Guillermo Del Toro to post-convert Pacific Rim, which opens one week before R.I.P.D.).

Meanwhile, two other Universal titles are shifting in the schedule. Baltasar Kormákur’s 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, will now release two weeks early. The crime drama is vacating the August 16, 2013 slot to compete with 300: Rise Of An Empire, Red 2, and The Smurfs 2 in the August 2, 2013 frame. Taking its place will be the Jeff Wadlow-helmed superhero sequel Kick-Ass 2, which originally bumped R.I.P.D. from the June 28 date but will now close out Universal’s summer slate.

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Mike O’Malley Added To ‘R.I.P.D.’ Cast

By | Thursday August 25, 2011 @ 10:52am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Mike O’Malley, who is a series regular on Glee and a writer on Showtime’s Shameless, has just been cast in Universal’s supernatural comedy R.I.P.D., which stars Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in a movie based on the Peter Lenkov comic that centers on a police force made up of undead cops. The Robert Schwentke-directed film has been slated for a June 28, 2013 release. O’Malley, who begins shooting his scenes next week, will play Elliot, a kind of ghost. He is repped by CAA and Principato Young.

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Jeff Bridges To ‘R.I.P.D’ [TOLDJA Needed?]

By | Wednesday May 25, 2011 @ 7:01pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Let’s see, back on April 28, The Wrap ripped off Deadline’s revelation that Jeff Bridges was negotiating to star with Ryan Reynolds in the Robert Schwentke-directed R.I.P.D. at Universal, after Deadline revealed that Zach Galifianakis wouldn’t be doing the movie. Now, The Wrap is  claiming an “exclusive” that it’s actually happening. Lame.

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No ‘R.I.P.D’ For Zach Galifianakis

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Zach Galifianakis is withdrawing from starring with Ryan Reynolds in the Universal Pictures supernatural comedy R.I.P.D., which Robert Schwentke will direct. Galifianakis liked the project just fine–it’s about a force of undead police officers based on the Peter Lenkov comic–but scheduling just got too hairy. Galifianakis hoped to fit the film in before or after he stars with Will Ferrell in the Jay Roach-directed Southern Rivals for Warner Bros. But there was no certainty whether those plans would fit in because Warner Bros has an option on Reynolds, who might be obliged to do a sequel to Green Lantern quickly. Galifianakis also had the complexity of his own obligation to the HBO series Bored to Death. So his participation in the undead project is dead.

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Robert Schwentke In ‘R.I.P.D.’ Deal

By | Tuesday September 7, 2010 @ 6:52pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Robert Schwentke has locked a deal to direct R.I.P.D., the Universal  Pictures supernatural-themed action film that will star Ryan Reynolds. Schwentke, who is creating buzz for the upcoming Bruce Willis-Helen Mirren-starrer Red, will start shooting late next summer, when Reynolds has carved out a slot in his busy dance card. He is shooting The Change Up, followed by Safe House, and then, hopefully, R.I.P.D.

Based on a Peter Lenkov comic published by Dark Horse, R.I.P.D. is a law enforcement division staffed by dead guys. Reynolds plays a cop who is killed in the line of duty and enlists for the chance to stop his killer. He’s partnered with a long dead gunslinger. Script was written by Clash of the Titans scribes Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, the duo that also scripted Staycation for Warner Bros and The Boys for Sony. Schwentke is separately attached to direct an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Osterman Weekend for Summit Entertainment, which just set Jesse Wigutow for a rewrite. Schwentke is also attached to direct an adaptation of the Robert Kurson novel Shadow Divers at Fox 2000.

Original’s Neal Moritz and Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson are producing R.I.P.D., with David Dobkin exec producer. Schwentke’s repped by CAA and Jennifer Killoran.

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