Sam Raimi To Direct ‘Army Of Darkness’ Sequel?

By | Sunday October 27, 2013 @ 12:45pm PDT

So says Fede Alvarez, the Uruguayan director who helmed Sony’s TriStar/FilmDistrict/Ghost House #1 box office hit Evil Dead remake earlier this year. Asked if he’d be directing Army Of Read More »

Comments (13)

CinemaCon: Directors Debate Whether They Should Try To Make Crowd-Pleasing Films

By | Wednesday April 17, 2013 @ 3:43pm PDT

Oliver Stone stole the show at CinemaCon‘s Filmmakers Forum today, making the most challenging comments on a panel with fellow directors Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro. Too many movies are made to please audiences, copy each other, and lack a compelling story, Stone said at a session moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell. “I don’t see the difference between one action movie and another…It becomes a form of torture for the eyes. CIA torture: I’d make you watch GI Joe 3,000 times. Just kidding.” All of the directors said that they enjoy seeing their movies in theaters with audiences. “It’s almost like a theater actor who calibrates [his] performance,” del Toro said adding that being a director “is very lonely.” Raimi described himself as “definitely an audience filmmaker….We’re working to move that audience.” But Stone said it’s dangerous for filmmakers to “run after them like dogs” because difficult films “won’t get audiences slavering.” For example, he said that in “the good old days” he didn’t allow Warner Bros to have previews for his film JFK telling execs “you’re going to get mixed cards all over the place. We’ll never get out of here alive.” Del Toro agreed that directors must fulfill their own vision, something he has tried to do in his horror films. “You can’t make a cozy horror film.” If someone screen-tested The Exorcist today many would object “because it’s transgressive.” Read More »

Comments (12)

Sam Raimi To Direct Fox Pilot ‘Rake’

By | Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 8:52am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Raimi, one of the hottest feature directors at the moment coming off helming blockbuster Oz The Great And Powerful, has signed on to direct Fox hourlong pilot Rake starring Greg Kinnear. This is … Read More »

Comments (10)

‘Oz’ Wizardry Powers Great $150.2M Global: $80.3M Domestic Is 2013′s First Huge Weekend And Third Highest March Debut

By | Sunday March 10, 2013 @ 7:30am PDT

Box Office WeekendSUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE Disney‘s 3D wizardry Oz The Great And Powerful was magic for the U.S. and Canadian box office just like advance tracking showed it would be. Little wonder that the studio has gone into development of a first sequel and expects this new franchise to spin off not just films but mucho merchandising and park attractions for years to come. All after naysayers said no one could mess with a classic like The Wizard Of Oz. The $215M-costing Sam Raimi-directed fantasy was by far the biggest domestic film debut of what has been a disappointing 2013 start for Hollywood pics and opened to the third biggest March. It scored an $80.3M domestic debut – it isn’t even a holiday weekend. Overseas it made a good but not great $69.9M but that’s still a giant $150.2M worldwide. Reviews were lukewarm but a “B+” CinemaScore from audiences helped word of mouth so domestic grosses increased +25% from Friday to Saturday’s $33M for the all-important family fare bump. And that’s even with Friday’s $24.1M including $2 million from select theaters in Thursday pre-midnights and Friday post-midnights. (Friday’s early matinees also were ahead of Universal’s megahit toon Lorax.) Sunday’s gross is an estimated $23.1M. Disney played live-action Oz in traditional 2D, as well as Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats. Of all filmgoers, 3D formats drew 54% and 2D 46%. In North America, audience exit polling showed that moviegoers over 25 years old made up 55% while under 25 were 45%. Couples comprised 48%, families 35%, and teens 17%. Females outnumbered males 52% to 48%. The studio ensured its TV ads for PG-rated Oz were omnipresent as part of a $100M marketing spend and mirrored the colorful chaos of those for its 2010  Alice In Wonderland mega-hit. Oz even released the same weekend as Alice. But that Tim Burton pic offered not only worldwide star Johnny Depp but also one of the first truly rich 3D experiences and scored a $116 million domestic debut and went on to earn a superb $1 billion worldwide, making 2/3s of its money overseas. This Oz wizardry was less appealing with James Franco who struggles to open box office solo. Whether this pic earns back its hefty cost depends largely on overseas grosses - and I’ve been warning that the Land Of Oz is not the globally familiar place in literature Wonderland was and is.

Oz released day and date in 80% of the international marketplace. It began with Russia, Germany, Australia, Korea and Italy on Thursday, and then Friday expanded into a total 46 territories, including UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Brazil. Talent and filmmakers did a global press tour across 8 major markets which helped Russia become the lead market with $15M followed by the UK ($5.7M), Mexico ($5.1M), Australia ($5.0M), and Germany ($4.2M).

For IMAX, the domestic performance of Disney’s Oz delivered a robust $8.2M on 307 screens, second best for its March 3D titles. IMAX’s international box office on 135 screens hit $4Ml for the weekend, setting a new record for a March opening. The Fri-Sun result in Russia was a territory 3-day record of $1.4M (per screen of $50K). IMAX’s global weekend gross for Oz is an estimated $12.2M from 442 digital only screens, which is a second-best for a March opening (bested only by Alice In Wonderland‘s extraordinary performance in 2010)..

Meanwhile, FilmDistrict’s R-rated action thriller Dead Man Down also opened but to an anemic first weekend of $5.3M from 2,188 theaters. FilmDistrict acquired the U.S. rights from IM Global, Original Film, and Frequency Films for no minimum guarantee and had a P&A backstop. Marketed to an adult audience with a focus on urban and ethnic moviegoers, the film grossed on the low end of expectations. That despite the trailer debuting on Django Unchained and promos highlighting director Niels Arden Oplev who helmed the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo also starring Noomi Rapace. This is yet another loser for Colin Farrell who continues to demonstrate he can’t open a movie. Pic was scripted by J.H. Wyman and earned a ‘B-’ CinemaScore from audiences who were 60% male and 40% female and 75% aged 25 and older.

So Oz faced no competition at this weekend’s cineplex, especially after Warner Bros’ Jack The Giant Slayer (another $200M budgetbuster) bombed last weekend and fell apart this one. And DreamWorks Animation’s family toon The Croods doesn’t open until March 22nd. Expectedly, the Disney marketing machine was in high gear for its witches/wizards and put together a really spectacular campaign that worked. Tracking services stayed steady in the weeks leading up to release with the pic expected to earn from the $70sM to $80sM even with box office down significantly since Christmas/New Year. A high-profile Super Bowl spot with Disney online homepage takeover, followed by digital takeovers on Moviefone, Fandango, IMDb, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) and presence in major broadcast events like the Academy Awards, Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, and Rose Parade did the trick. Trailers accompanied 2012 blockbusters while the world premiere was held February 13th at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood followed by international premieres in Tokyo, Moscow, London, and Paris. Talent and filmmakers were out in force in support of the film, with appearances across daytime and late-night, print media (10+ cover stories), an E! movie special that aired March 7, and exclusive screenings and special events including Comic-Con (featuring buzzed-about Hall H panel and footage debut), CinemaCon and Daytona 500 (with James Franco serving as Grand Marshal). And end-credit song “Almost Home” by Mariah Carey released February 19th via Island Def Jam while the music video directed by longtime Carey collaborator David LaChapelle debuted on American Idol. in terms of innovation, Google Chrome Experiment “Find Your Way to Oz” designed by Disney and Google created an immersive experience and included an unprecedented Google homepage takeover on February 7th. The “Journey to Oz” Balloon Tour, sponsored by HSN and IMAX, launched February 12 while Disney theme park integrations included an exclusive 8-minute 4D sneak peek of the film throughout March and a large-scale Oz garden with entry portal, carnival area, and Yellow Brick Road through May 19.

The pre-release pressure on Disney was enormous. First came months of bad buzz. Then Wall Street was understandably nervous about another movie costing $200 million. Some business media even wrote headlines like “Oz The Great And Powerful Could Be Disney’s Next John Carter Flop”. (Granted, tracking is less and less an accurate indicator of actual theatrical performance. But John Carter, which also cost $200M, only opened to $30.1M and made just $73M domestically all-in.) This weekend success for Oz cements director Raimi as the real deal when it comes to helming blockbusters. Read More »

Comments 159

‘Monster House’s Gil Kenan Finds New Haunt: He’ll Helm MGM ‘Poltergeist’ Remake

By | Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 5:05pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVEMGM has found a director for its remake of the horror classic Poltergeist. It’s Gil Kenan, who’s best known for helming Monster House and City Of Ember. He separately has set up an original, A Giant, with Lava … Read More »

Comments 34

Super Bowl Spot: ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

By | Sunday February 3, 2013 @ 4:18pm PST

Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful — the Land of Oz as seen by wizard Sam Raimi:

Watch this video on YouTube.

Related: Super Bowl XLVII To Air 6 Studio Film Ads

Comments (13)

Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert & Good Universe Acquire Fantasy Book Series ‘Angelfall’

By | Wednesday November 14, 2012 @ 3:10pm PST

Angelfall was initially self-published by author Susan Ee before it was courted by publishers and finally released in the fall by Amazon Children’s Publishing. The second book in the young-adult fantasy series is due next year. Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert and Good Universe have acquired multipicture rights for a feature adaptation with Raimi and Tapert producing and Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane exec producing. “Susan is a brilliant writer”, Raimi said. “She has created a fantastic world with instantly engaging and real characters. I immediately connected with the material and knew that she had conceived the perfect combination for a great fantasy film.” Read More »

Comments (3)

Hot Red Band Trailer: ‘Evil Dead’

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 3:41pm PDT

Here’s the red band trailer for the reboot of Evil Dead, following yesterday’s teaser. The movie directed by Fede Alvarez stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci and Elizabeth Blackmore. Produced by the original’s Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, it opens April 12, 2013 via … Read More »

Comments (19)

Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘Evil Dead’

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 10:57am PDT

Yes this is a teaser trailer (the full one comes tomorrow) but unlike some other promos this one actually succeeds in teasing. Longtime fans have been split about rebooting Evil Dead, but originators Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are involved, and it sounds like Campbell for one knows … Read More »

Comments (6)

Sam Raimi Wins ‘Evil Dead’ Sequel Court Battle

By | Tuesday August 28, 2012 @ 11:02am PDT

The Evil Dead sequel is dead. A California federal court awarded Sam Raimi’s Renaissance Pictures a default judgment last week in its attempt to stop Awards Pictures from making an Evil Dead 4. In the four-page judgment (… Read More »

Comments (9)

Michael Ross To Adapt ‘BZRK’ For Sony

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 7:59am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Ross will adapt BZRK, the novel by Michael Grant, into a feature film for Sony Pictures and producers Sam Raimi and Josh Donen. Acquired last fall, BZRK is the first in a … Read More »

Comments (9)

Comic-Con: Disney Unveils ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, And More

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.

The Disney panel at Comic-Con offered the first trailers for Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger. Raimi’s Oz impressed … Read More »

Comments (2)

Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ Snared In Sequel Lawsuits As Reboot Begins Filming

By | Friday May 4, 2012 @ 2:03pm PDT

Sam Raimi Evil DeadA looming legal fight over who owns an Evil Dead sequel hasn’t stopped Sam Raimi’s reboot of his 1981 horror classic from moving forward. Principal photography began today in New Zealand. Directed by Fede Alvarez, … Read More »

Comments (7)

Producing Partners Sam Raimi And Josh Donen To Split

By | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 12:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Raimi and Josh Donen will fold their Stars Road Entertainment banner when their Sony Pictures deal expires at the end of August. They’ve been together for seven years, since Donen left CAA and went from being Raimi’s agent … Read More »

Comments (6)

MRC Teams With David Cronenberg & Sam Raimi For ‘Knifeman’ Series Project

By | Monday March 12, 2012 @ 5:03pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Beverly Hills, CA (March 12, 2012) Media Rights Capital announced today that director David Cronenberg will direct the pilot and serve as Executive Producer on its latest television series “KNIFEMAN,” which marks his first foray into television.  Cronenberg

Read More »

Comments (3)

FilmDistrict And Sony Partner On ‘Evil Dead’ Remake

By | Wednesday November 30, 2011 @ 12:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

Culver City, CA (November 30, 2011) – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) and FilmDistrict have partnered with Ghost House Pictures on a worldwide deal—excluding U.K. and France —for Sony Pictures to distribute the remake of Evil Dead. The announcement

Read More »

Comments (12)

Zach Braff Takes His Play ‘All New People’ To UK — This Time He’ll Star In It

By | Monday November 28, 2011 @ 11:59am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Zach Braff, whose play All New People premiered last summer at The Second Stage Theatre in New York, is bringing the comedy for a 10-week run at London’s Duke of York Theatre starting February 22. This time, Braff will … Read More »

Comments (6)

Sony Pictures Buying ‘BZRK’ Book Series For Sam Raimi’s Company

By | Wednesday November 2, 2011 @ 1:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is acquiring screen rights to BZRK, the first in a three-book series by Michael Grant. The project is being acquired for Sam Raimi and Josh Donen at Stars Road. The title, which got a strong response recently … Read More »

Comments (6)

NBC Buys Mystery Drama Penned By ‘Moonlight’ Co-Creator, Helmed By Michael Dinner & Produced By Sam Raimi

By | Wednesday October 19, 2011 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has bought Vanish, a mystery drama from Moonlight co-creator Trevor Munson, Sony TV and Sam Raimi and Josh Donen’s studio-based Star Road banner. Michael Dinner, who is under an … Read More »

Comments (9)
More Deadline | Hollywood »