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CW Buys Mars Drama From ‘Mentalist’ Duo

By | Monday September 23, 2013 @ 5:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The CW has put in development Red, a Western/sci-fi drama from The Mentalist creator/executive producer Bruno Heller and the series’ executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi. Written by Szentgyorgyi, Red is described as a neo-Western drama about the first human settlement on Mars and life on this new frontier, centering on the relationships between the town’s female sheriff, a doctor and a criminal. WME-repped Szentgyorgyi and Heller executive produce for Warner Bros. TV where Heller is under an overall deal.

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Summit Puts ‘Red’ Scribes Jon And Erich Hoeber On Female-Centric Actioner

By | Thursday December 20, 2012 @ 9:49am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After scripting Red and seeing it hit as an action comedy built around an aging cast, Jon and Erich Hoeber have been set by Summit Entertainment for another action comedy. This one doesn’t have a title, but I’m told it’s a female-centric Ocean’s Eleven-esque action film that originally was set up as a pitch by David Weisberg & Douglas Cook.

The scribes also wrote the Red sequel, which brings back the original cast and adds Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and David Thewlis to the mix. As for the untitled action comedy, it’s produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Benderspink exec producing. Verve reps the scribes.

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Hot Short: Luke Scott’s ‘Loom’

By | Tuesday August 28, 2012 @ 3:16pm PDT

Here’s something you won’t see every day on Deadline. A reader pointed us to the 20-minute short Loom written and directed by Luke Scott, son of Ridley and nephew of Tony. It features Giovanni Ribisi and Jellybean Howie, and Dariusz Wolski is the cinematographer:

For access to a higher resolution version, visit the RED forum link here.

Watch More ENTV Videos!

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Lionsgate Considers Turning ‘The Expendables’ Into A TV Series

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 9:30am PDT

The Expendables TV Show SeriesLionsgate is looking at converting several movies into TV series — including, I’m told, the 2010 action film about a team of mercenaries. It wasn’t on CEO Jon Feltheimer’s list this morning, though, when he briefly discussed synergy plans in a conference call with Wall Street analysts following the company’s release last night of its fiscal Q4 results. Feltheimer says  he’s also considering making series from Red and Step Up, film franchises acquired with the recent purchase of Summit Entertainment. Speaking of the deal, Feltheimer noted that Lionsgate’s $500M term loan to fund it “will be paid down on schedule” and its debt will be “significantly reduced.” One of the main reasons for that, of course, is the huge success of The Hunger Games. Due to the timing of the release in March at the end of the studio’s fiscal Q4, about 90% of the profits have yet to be reported. That made Feltheimer confident enough to report that Lionsgate “will generate approximately $900 million in EBITDA over the next three years.”

Related: Lionsgate Reports Fiscal Q4 Loss Due To Summit Acquisition Costs

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Older Thesps Show Staying Power: ‘Red’ Sequel, Schwarzenegger Planning Pics

Mike Fleming

In a move that’s not exactly surprising, Summit Entertainment brought back Jon and Erich Hoeber to write another installment of Red, the overachieving Robert Schwentke-directed action film that had been widely spurned around town because studios were nervous building such a film around an AARP-aged cast. Insiders at Summit confirm a report that the scribes have made a deal, though Schwentke and stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Mary Louise Parker still have to be dealt with.

At the same time, Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly told Austrian publication Krone he’s already trying to get his film career on track and is looking for age-appropriate roles. “In the future I have to adapt my roles to my age. Clint Eastwood also has done it in the same way. Extreme fighting or shooting is not possible anymore.” Ah-nuld is resuscitating two projects he has held onto since the 1990s. One is With Wings As Eagles, which Randall Wallace wrote based on his father-in-law’s recollection of a German soldier ordered to execute American prisoners in WWII who instead helped them escape. It’s similar to the good-Nazi terrain Tom Cruise covered in Valkyrie. Schwarzenegger almost got it made before calling off to take time off for a health issue in the late 1990s. The other script drawing speculation is Crusade, a pricey period pic with a script by Walon Green … Read More »

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UPDATE: #1 ‘Megamind’, #2 ‘Due Date’, #3 ‘For Colored Girls’ All Meet Expectations; Long Lines And Sell-Outs For ’127 Hours’

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU: It’s the start of the Holiday Moviegoing Season, so celebrate! The box office sure is, because this wound up a record first weekend in November for North America with the $155+ million total of all the movies (not corrected for inflation or ticket prices) passing the Industry record of $153M set in 2003. But with all 3 big newcomers meeting their opening weekend expectations, where’s the fun for cynical me? Meanwhile, Sony Pictures had a great summer, Warner Bros led with a successful early fall, and now Paramount Pictures is showing strength: In the last 4 weeks, the studio has released 3 different films all at #1 and all opening over $40 million in 3 different genres. Here are what my sources say are Friday’s and Saturday’s Top Ten grosses with weekend and cume numbers:    

1. Megamind (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) NEW [3,944 Runs]
Friday $12.5M, Saturday $20.6M, Weekend $47.6M   

DreamWorks Animation toons, like Pixar’s, do reliably strong box office, even on Date Night, with a big Saturday kiddie matinee bounce. So there was considerable surprise among rival studios starting midday Friday when newcomer Megamind 3D‘s grosses looked underperforming despite its “A-” CinemaScore, usually successful formula of hip pop culture references, a typically aggressive marketing push, and a giant release into 3,944 theaters with 2,634 of them 3D-equipped. It was as if life were imitating art, since Megamind is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known — and the least successful. But the problem, it turned out, wasn’t the movie. Instead, I learned that AMC theaters was experiencing computing problems and had no grosses in the system, according to distributor Paramount. The studio knew the actual number would go higher: “There are no kids out of school. Looks like mid- to high-40′s, right where everyone expected,” a Paramount exec reassured me. And it has. It opened just ahead of the first 3-day weekend of the original Madagascar ($47.2M) which was only 2D and therefore had lower ticket prices, but also ahead of How to Train Your Dragon 3D which was regarded as weak because of its summer weekend gross of $43.7M. Megamind starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Brad Pitt turns the superhero genre on its head so, naturally, the promotional campaign kicked off with a giant superhero event at LA Live where the record was set for the most superheroes ever gathered in one location. There also was a big tie-in with the World Series that featured Ferrell disguised as a character that looked remarkably like Marlon Brando’s Jor-El from 1978′s Superman. There also was an outreach on MTV for under age 25 moviegoers with Megamind auto tunes.   

2. Due Date (Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros) NEW [3,355 Runs]
Friday $12.2M, Saturday $13M, Estimated Weekend $33.5M   

Warner Bros’ Due Date, an unofficial reboot of John Hughes’ Planes Trains & Automobiles, opened this weekend almost exactly on target with what Hollywood expected from its wide release into 3,355 theaters. Audiences gave it a “B-” CinemaScore. The comedy starring Robert Downer Jr and Zach Galifianakis, who reteamed with his The Hangover director Todd Phillips, had been tracking on the high side of what an “R”-rated buddy comedy will do, and indeed Due Date fared almost exactly the same as The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg did in this genre over the summer. As usual, Warner Bros’ marketing czarina Sue Kroll promo’ed the heck out of the pic, with three different trailers and TV ads. The teaser trailer was launched with Inception in July, and the studio had a main trailer playing from September through release. WB capitalized on early opportunities with TV season premieres in September, and longer format media stunts (Downey singing “Looks Like We Made It”) that included heavy network, cable, NFL, Baseball/World Series, etc. There also was a strong WOM program that included military bases, college campuses, traditional radio, and national talk shows. As a result, Due Date generated well-balanced male and female support, capturing strong date crowd business, with its primary audience 17 and older. It also was one of those few R-rated comedy marketing that didn’t try to insult or gross out women. “The campaign sought to always capture the humor, but also ensure the tone was warm, likeable, even sweet at times — but always with outrageous comedy,’ a WB exec tells me. In the online/social media world, the studio used its existing Facebook Hangover fan page (8 million followers) to push Due Date content “giving us a much wider reach than we otherwise would have had to a perfectly targeted audience for the material,” the exec noted.   

3. For Colored Girls (Lionsgate) NEW [2,127 Runs]
Friday $7.4M, Saturday $7.9M, Weekend $20.1M

Lionsgate’s For Colored Girls at first looked like the R-rated drama was wildly overperforming Friday for an estimated $28M from 2,127 theaters when the Tyler Perry-directed film was only expected to gross $20M, the equivalent of its budget. Then again, it receiced an “A” CinemaScore from audiences. ”It’s performing more on a par with Tyler’s other films,” an excited Lionsgate exec prematurely gushed to me that afternoon. But the weekend grosses were not the phenom first thought. Still, they met expectations and, ”between Tyler’s loyal female following and the cross cultural and multi generational appeal of the work, the opening weekend is feeling like we made this an event, going beyond the core African-American audience,” an insider tells me. With actresses including Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, and Kerry Washington, Perry gave each the poetic monologues dealing with love, abandonment, rape, Read More »

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‘Saw 3D’ #1 For Halloween: Soft $24.2M

SATURDAY PM: Sources are giving me these early North American grosses for Friday and Saturday and weekend and cume. Numbers which will be refined tonight and/or in the morning. Analysis coming:

1. Saw VII 3D (Lionsgate) NEW [2,808 Theaters]
Friday $10.7M, Saturday $7.9M, Weekend $24.2M)

A scary Halloween to one and all. You know what frightens me? More Saw pics. This is supposed to be the final chapter of the franchise that has made $763 million in global box office and $1+ billion in DVD sales. Just as the previous installment was supposed to be the last gasp. And so on. Granted 7 films in 7 years is unprecedented for a franchise, and the Guinness Book Of World Records presented a plaque at Comic-Connaming it the most successful horror series in history. But, please, let it die. This torture porn disgrace needs to end. Friday’s anemic number includes $1.7 million from Saw 3D‘s midnight screenings, which were Lionsgate’s largest even though unimpressive. At first the opening weekend take was pegged at $28M. But when the drop from Friday to Saturday was -25%, the opening weekend figure fell to $24.2M. That’s underwhelming because of 3D’s higher ticket prices (3D screens represented 93% of the total gross). The predicted total puts it only 5th among the seven 2D installments. 

I heard that Saw 3D was tracking solidly, especially in the important categories: young male/young female and Hispanics, while gaining traction in the African-American market. Produced in association with Twisted Pictures for a budget of under $20 million, Hollywood thought … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE GROSS: ‘Jackass 3D’ No Joke With $50M Weekend, ‘Red’ Strong #2

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Two movies roundly rejected by Hollywood, one for being too moronic and the other too moldy, led the North American box office weekend with a big $125M weekend overall:

1. Jackass 3D (Paramount) NEW [3,081 Theaters]
Friday $21.8M, Saturday $17M, Weekend $50M

As a studio exec joked to me Friday, “The Oscar race has been turned on its head”. That’s because Paramount’s Jackass 3D aimed at the youth market not only earned twice the gross of Sony’s Academy Awards-touted Facebook origins film starting its 3rd week Friday, but knocked it out of #1. Producers Johnny Knoxville’s and Spike Jonze’s stupid stunt pic directed by Jeff Tremaine earned a “B+” CinemaScore. Still the headline is that, despite the restriction of an “R” rating, it opened to a whopping Friday for the biggest single day ever in October because of the higher 3D ticket prices. That included $2.5M from midnight shows, also the most ever for October. Plus a healthy Saturday after the “first to see” subsided. Its $50M weekend take was the record for the biggest opening in the month of October (besting Scary Movie 3 which did $48.1M in October 2003 but was only 2D). Guess this shows Hollywood that movies don’t need a script and a plot, right? With a budget of only $20M, the studio would have been more than happy with the $30M weekend it expected from the higher ticket prices from the 2,452 3D-equipped locations. (The first 2D Jackass opened with a $22.8M weekend and the 2D sequel to $29M.) Believe it or not, I’m told the filmmakers debated whether or not shooting a film in 3D would mess up their comedic timing.

Exit polling showed the audience was 60% male, and 67% under age 25. Two of the biggest components of the Jackass 3D marketing campaign were premiering 10 minutes of 3D footage at Comic-Con via a mobile 3D screening room and the public spectacle of letting MTV’s Jersey Shore cast been seen watching and talking about the new film. There’s been relentless promotion by the Viacom sister company which first gave birth to the Jackass TV and movie franchise and even product licensing program (now featuring apparel, sunglasses, skateboards, even a Converse shoe, and hardbound book. As if Jackass fans read.) Last weekend, MTV marked the 10th anniversary of Jackass with 2 TV specials leading up to the film’s release: Jackass: The Beginning and The Making Of Jackass 3D featuring never-before-seen content from the gang: Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dynn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Preston Lacy, Dave England, and Ehren McGhehey. MTV also showed the franchise’s humble TV origins back in 2000 before it became a pop culture phenom. (P.S. The Making of Jackass 3D contains a visual of Deadline Hollywood. I couldn’t be more proud)

2. Red (Summit) NEW [3,255 Theaters]
Friday $7.3M, Saturday $9.2M, Weekend $22.5M

Every studio passed on making the stylish PG-13 comedy Red aimed at the adult audience except for Summit Entertainment: now the Robert Schwentke-directed pic features Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Bruce Willis — some of them as past-their-expiration-date assassins. That’s surprisingly strong considering the over-the-hill stars and subject matter. But the pic received an “A-” Cinemascore and 73% definite recommend. Exit polling showed the audience was 53% male, and 58% over age 35. In pre-release screenings, I’m told the film played as a crowd pleaser by mixing the right amount of action with humor based on witty lines and deft timing. It was tracking across all quadrants with the strongest being male moviegoers over age 30. But that cast was the #1 reason people went to see the film based on the cult DC Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Read More »

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Exclusive Hot Scene: ‘Red’

By | Wednesday September 29, 2010 @ 4:37pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Here is a short scene from Red, the Robert Schwentke-directed action film that Summit Entertainment releases October 15. The cast is top-notch, and whether she’s playing royalty or an assassin, Helen Mirren continues to dazzle.

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Comic-Con #15: Round-Up Of Other Panels

Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:

A round-up of some other panels, in brief…

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Should they have called this, BATTLE: L.A., since it was actually shot in Louisiana, and that would provide plausible deniability? Regardless, the look being strived for here is obviously BLACK HAWK DOWN meets DISTRICT 9. Aaron Eckhart leads an army team to find survivors in a besieged Los Angeles that has been bombarded by alien artillery fire. He has three hours to get in and out before the U.S. Military’s bombs drop (implied, but not said in the clip, is that these bombs will be nuclear). Read More »

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Comic-Con 2010 Preview: Thursday, July 22


comicon 2010

THURSDAY, JULY 22

The Real Start Day Of The Con

Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:

10:00-11:00 AM: DreamWorks Animation: Megamind. I can’t say the posters for this new 3-D animated movie starring Will Ferrell were particularly appealing. A hybrid Smurf-Martian thing with a goatee, and, one imagines, Ferrell doing the same voice he always does? Not super-exciting. But the recently released trailer made things look up a bit – Ferrell’s character is the last son of a dying planet like Krypton, who learns in short order that a far more Superman-like character (Brad Pitt) has a similar story, and made it to Earth first. Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill will be in attendance, and there are rumors Pitt may even make a surprise appearance, but don’t hold us to that. Hall H

10:30-11:30 AM: Danny Elfman. Everybody loves Danny Elfman. Right? Even if you think that faux-lullabye-over-brooding thing he does has gotten stale, I guarantee that you love at least one soundtrack he’s done, whether it be the TALES FROM THE CRYPT intro, 1989 BATMAN theme, those infernal NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS songs, or my personal fave, the PE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE music. It’s been 25 years since that movie teamed him with Tim Burton for the first time, so instead of sending him an anniversary card, you can just show up here and listen to him speak. Room 6BCF

10:30-11:30 AM: TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies. Considering there isn’t … Read More »

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Summit Stokes ‘Red’ And ‘Drive Angry 3D’ at Comic-Con

Mike Fleming

10-ridiculous-comic-con-costumes-800-75Summit Entertainment joins the phalanx of studios bringing film footage and star casts to the geek altar that is Comic-Con. Summit, which for the past two years has brought its Twilight Saga cast to the event, this time herds the cast of its two upcoming action offerings, Red and Drive Angry 3D. Red stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and Mary Louise Parker, director Robert Schwentke and graphic novel writer Warren Ellis will debut the film’s trailer and appear on a panel on July 22. The following day, Summit will assemble the Drive Angry 3D cast of Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner and director Patrick Lussier will debut footage from the 3D shot film about a vengeful father who hunts down the people who killed his family.

Among the other studios that are planning big events at Comic-Con, Disney is highlighting Tron Legacy, and is expected to mount a big spectacle (last year they recreated Flynn’s Arcade, which figured in the original film and the sequel); Sony will make a fuss about The Green Hornet; Warner Bros is expected to vamp the Zack Snyder-directed Sucker Punch and Harry Potter; Universal will be pressing the case for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World; Paramount has the Marvel Studios pic Thor. DreamWorks Animation is expected to show something from Megamind, and other studios are still making last minute plans for the San Diego event that begins July 21.

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