The action film starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren “underperformed our expectations at the domestic box office” but will “make a solid profit” as it opens in overseas markets, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts this morning. Still, the company says it has a solid batting average with its portfolio, with a sequel for Now You See Me “in the planning stages.” And it anticipates a home run in March with Divergent. One exec says it appears on pace to become a success on the order of The Hunger Games, calling the parallels in the early feedback “very, very strong and very, very similar.” Feltheimer added that there’s a lower bar to cross because “we budgeted the film like a commercial release, not like a blockbuster.” He also likes the financial terms for the action film Ender’s Game, due in November. “We’re 25% of the equity investment in the film with a low threshold for domestic performance for us to break even.” Regarding recent casting changes for Expendables 3 – Harrison Ford is joining and Bruce Willis is leaving — Feltheimer says that “these deals are being negotiated up to the last day” and “the franchise is going to have a lot of new and exciting blood in it.” The CEO also talked up Lionsgate’s television business, noting that the company …
#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
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 …
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in early negotiations with Dean Parisot to direct the Noah Oppenheim-scripted feature about Harry Houdini that Summit has been developing the project for several years. It’s based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. The tale paints Houdini as more than a master illusionist: He was a spy and a true renaissance man across the globe. This project had Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross involved for a bit, but he fell off the project. There have been several Houdini projects in development, including at DreamWorks, but like a lot of magic movies, they’ve faltered. I’ll tell you more when I know it. WME-repped Parisot just wrapped the Summit Entertainment sequel Red 2, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren returning, and Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones among the new castmembers.
Related: ‘Red’ Scribes Re-Sign For Third Pic
Here’s the second trailer from Red 2, Summit‘s comedy-action sequel that releases July 19. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren are joined by new cast members Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who get extra screentime in this new look. Dean Parisot directed the film that reassembles the “retired and extremely dangerous” spies to hunt a portable nuke that’s gone missing. Check it out:
Now You See Me, the Summit Entertainment heist pic about a team of illusionists who rob banks during their performances and share the booty with their audiences, will now open wide May 31, 2013, up from its previous June 7 slot, Lionsgate said today. Louis Leterrier directs from a script by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, and Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Elias Koteas and Common star. Meanwhile, Summit’s sequel Red 2 about not-so-retired spies will now open July 19, up from August 2. Dean Parisot directed Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber’s screenplay based on the graphic novel. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren return to star.
The “retired and extremely dangerous” spies are back in Red 2, and this time they’re hunting a portable nuke that’s gone missing. Dean Parisot directed the sequel from Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber’s screenplay adapted from the graphic novel Red by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren again lead the sizable cast. The Lionsgate/Summit release opens August 2:
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: Red 2 – Official Trailer #1
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment wants Anthony Hopkins to join the cast of Red 2. And Hopkins wants to do it. The sticking point is whether or not he can make the dates work with Thor 2, as he’s already committed to reprising his role as Thor’s father Odin. Red 2 will be directed by Dean Parisot, with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich expected to reprise, and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byung Hun-Li joining the cast. Hopkins would play Edward Bailey, a villain. He’s currently playing Alfred Hitchcock in Fox Searchlight‘s making-of-Psycho pic.
Summit Entertainment has set Catherine Zeta-Jones G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s Byung-Hun Lee for Red 2, a sequel to the geriatric action comedy. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren are back. Lionsgate International will sell the film at the upcoming Cannes film market. Dean Parisot is the new director, and the script is by Erich and Jon Hoeber, who wrote the first one. Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Vahradian will produce the film via their DiBonaventura Pictures banner.
The sequel re-teams the retired CIA operatives as they use their old-school style to take on a new set of enemies all across Europe. The film is scheduled to be released on August 2, 2013.
Malkovich, Parker, and Zeta-Jones are represented by WME. Willis, Mirren, and Lee are represented by CAA. Malkovich is represented by Principato-Young Entertainment.