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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’; #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’

Mike Fleming

The third of four posts today in Fast & Furious 6 Despicable Me 2 ProfitDeadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#4 ‘Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’
#5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#6 FAST & FURIOUS 6 Vs. #11 THE CROODS

Fast-CroodsHow They Got Here: Fast & Furious 6 is the last one directed by Justin Lin, who took this off franchise life support. His finale was the ninth-highest domestic grosser of the year and eighth-biggest worldwide grosser with a $789M global tally. It continued the momentum of Universal’s most valuable live-action franchise, and of course all this happened before the tragic death of stalwart Paul Walker, which has dramatically A scene from The Croodsimpacted the next film that will resume production at month’s end. Up against it is #11 grosser The Croods, another powerhouse animated film from DreamWorks Animation that got an Oscar nom for Best Animated Picture.

The Bottom Line: Both films are burdened by high production costs, with Fast & Furious carrying more in talent participations, and The Croods paying an 8% distribution fee to Fox. Our experts peg the Fast & Furious budget at $260 million, a huge number that is much higher than what the studio admitted to. The Croods tab was $175 million in production FastFurious6costs.

The Winner: Per our experts, this one turns out to be a close call. Our experts say that Fast & Furious 6 made $135.1 million profit for Universal, while The Croods turned in $106.5 million in profit to DreamWorks Animation. Given the durability of the race car franchise, I’m going to give this round to Fast & Furious 6.
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OSCARS: Which Visual Effects Contenders Can Fight ‘Gravity’s Pull?

Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.

Gravity Oscars vfxExpect Gravity to be as powerful and inevitable a force in the visual-effects category at this year’s Oscars as, well, gravity. Offering more than just snazzy visuals — about 95% of what’s on screen is digital — Gravity’s visual-effects supervisor Tim Webber fulfilled many artists’ dreams by working from the start with director Alfonso Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to completely embed the effects into the storytelling and filmmaking process.

The space drama also has some serious cachet as a more artistic use of effects — a quality Academy voters have AwardsLinerewarded recently with trophies for Life of Pi, Hugo and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With Gravity offering a seemingly irresistible complete package, it looks as if the other nine Academy short-list contenders will just have to aspire to impress the effects branch enough at the Jan. 9 bake-off to score one of five Oscar nominations on Jan. 16.

In addition to Gravity, the short list includes Elysium, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim and World War Z. The most obvious question about the list is: How did the year’s highest-profile boxoffice dud, The Lone Ranger, make the cut and Man of Steel did not? Read More »

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J.J. Abrams Gripes About ‘Star Trek’ Video Game: “A Big Disappointment To Me”

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 10:10pm PDT

Fanboy gamers often complain that studio meddling somehow ruined a video game tied to a major movie release. It’s less common to hear an A-list filmmaker blame developers for messing with his movie. Star Trek Into Darkness is the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2013, but its director seems to think it could have done better — if it hadn’t been for that pesky video game. J.J. Abrams said in an interview with GamerHub this week that Star Trek: The Game — which generated terrible reviews and crummy sales — “was obviously a big disappointment to me. We were actually involved from the very beginning, and then we sort of realized that it was not going in a place where we were going to get what we wanted. So we dropped out, and they continued to do it despite … y’know.” Yahoo Games says developer Digital Extremes has pointed fingers at Paramount, claiming the studio’s heavy involvement was a burden, but Abrams the developer — and even thinks the glitchy game might have hurt Star Trek Into Darkness at the box office. “For me, emotionally, it hurt because we were working our asses off making the movie and then this game came out and it got — this isn’t even my opinion — it got universally panned,” he said. “And I think that … Read More »

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Paramount Bundling ‘World War Z’ And ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ As Double Feature

By | Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 6:10pm PDT

World War Z Star Trek Into Darkness Double FeatureThe studio plans to squeeze more life out of its undead hit and space sequel. Paramount and a clutch of exhibitors are going back to the future for a week with an old-fashioned double feature of summer tentpoles World War Z and Star Trek Into Darkness starting Friday. The twin bill screens in 3D or 2D through September 5 in select AMC, Regal, Carmike, Marcus and other World War Z Star Trek Into Darkness Double Featuretheaters for the price of a single ticket. It’s the second stunt playdates for Brad Pitt’s zombie flick — third if you count a late-add IMAX run — following its $50 “Mega Ticket” deal that included an advance screening, a home video copy of the film, 3D glasses, a poster and popcorn. With more than $526 million worldwide, WWZ is Pitt’s highest-grossing film ever. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness has banked $458.7M worldwide and spawned another sequel.

Related: Viacom Earnings Rise With Help From ‘Star Trek’, ‘WWZ’

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Viacom CEO Says Flood Of Summer Tentpoles Hurt Film Profits

Philippe Dauman jumped on the bandwagon of media execs lamenting the oversupply of big-budget films competing with each other this summer. Although he told analysts this morning that Viacom will see “significant profitability” in the current quarter from its recent films which include Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, the numbers will be lower than execs expected. “This summer had a particularly high volume of tentpole pictures from all the studios combined,” he said. That’s a problem: “We hope to drive the viewing of tentpoles for a longer period of time, and the crowded schedule limited a lot of pictures — ours included.” He assured analysts that it’s “not going to happen every year.” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg made a similar point this week to explain the disappointing performance of his film Turbo. This summer included 50% more tentpole releases than in the same period last year, he said. What’s more, “we’ve seen more animation this summer by about 100% than we’ve ever seen before.”

Related:
Viacom Earnings Rise With Help From ‘Star Trek’ As It Doubles Share Repurchase Plan
Fleming Rants On Why Studios Can’t Launch Read More »

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Viacom Earnings Rise With Help From ‘Star Trek’ As It Doubles Share Repurchase Plan

The devil’s going to be in the details for investors who want to see from the latest earnings report how basic operations performed in the June quarter without help from two successful tentpole films (Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z), and a streaming deal with Amazon. But many likely will start and stop with Viacom‘s announcement this morning that it will double its share repurchase commitment to $20B. It “highlights the confidence we have in our business and the value of Viacom stock,” CEO Philippe Dauman says. “We will continue to focus on maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet, which supports robust investments in our brands and franchises as well as substantial capital return to shareholders.” As for the basic fiscal Q3 numbers: Viacom generated $643M in net income, +20.4% vs the period last year, on revenues of $3.69B, +14%. The revenue number beat the $3.58B that analysts expected. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations, at $1.29 a share, were a penny shy of forecasts. At the main TV networks business revenues were +13% to $2.57B with operating income +24% to $1.16B. It benefited from a rise in affiliate fees, +28% domestically and +26% worldwide, although without the streaming deals the number would have been up “in the high single digits,” Viacom says. Domestic ad sales increased 5%. Over at Filmed Entertainment, which includes Paramount, revenues were +15% to $1.16B including worldwide theatrical … Read More »

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Produced By Conference: JJ Abrams Says ‘Star Wars’ Starts Production In Early 2014

“I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before,” said JJ Abrams today about the challenges of directing the new Star Wars movie. Abrams also revealed that production on Star Wars Episode VII is set to start right at the beginning of 2014. “Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,” said the Star Trek Into Darkness director Saturday at the Produced By conference on the Fox lot. Abrams added that the overseas shoot “drives me insane” as he would have liked to film the movie in LA. He also noted that the plan to shoot Star Wars Episode VII for Disney in the UK was set before he was brought on board. The director joked that getting the offer to helm the new Star Wars was the only thing that would have caused him to postpone a long set family vacation.
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JJ Abrams Shows Deleted ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Scene Of Benedict Cumberbatch Showering: Video

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 7:12pm PDT

SPOILER ALERT! JJ Abrams has taken some heat about a scene in Star Trek Into Darkness where Kirk (Chris Pine) gets a quick look at Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in her underwear. Answering to charges of sexism on Conan, Abrams said he thought the scene was a trade-off because Kirk also shows some skin — and then the filmmaker revealed a cut scene of Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays the villain) showering. Check it out:

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A Tale Of Two Movie Tie-In Games: ‘Star Trek’ Flops, ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Tops

The mobile gaming tie-in to Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 launched on the iTunes App Store last week and is #1 among free apps in 45 countries. Created with SF-based studio Kabam, it’s also the #1 overall game in 69 countries, the top racing game in 112 countries, and the #1 action game in 85 countries. Its iPad app version runs comparable if even wider in saturation as the top free app in 81 countries. By contrast, Paramount‘s Star Trek: The Game — tied to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness — stayed in-house and it’s doing lousy since it came out last month. According to VG Chartz, unit sales in its first three weeks are only 140K to date across PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 consoles. It’s also considered a failure because it’s very buggy despite years of development. Critics and users alike gave it poor reviews. So what happened?
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‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ $164.5M Global: Lower Domestic But +80% Bigger Overseas; ‘Gatsby’ $132.1M Global, ‘Iron Man 3′ $1B

By | Sunday May 19, 2013 @ 9:19am PDT

Box OfficeSUNDAY 9 AM, 7TH & 8TH UPDATE (WRITETHRU): The iconic space tentpole grossed a lot of money worldwide as May continues to sizzle for Summer 2013. But came nowhere near the $80M weekend and $100M total predicted. Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot opened with $2M Wednesday from IMAX late shows, $11.5M Thursday, $22M Friday, $27.2M Saturday (for a +25% bump), and an estimated $21.2M Sunday. So that’s a $70.5M weekend from 3,868 theaters and an $84M domestic cume. Exit polling shows that the audience was 64% male/36% female with 27% under age 25/73% age 25 and over. Despite the passage of 4 years and the addition of 3D and IMAX for ticket premiums, 4 1/2 days of Star Trek Into Darkness barely beat 2009′s Star Trek 3-day weekend opening. Rightly or wrongly, fanboys (who are notoriously hard to please) saw the sequel as a ripoff of 1982′s The Wrath Of Khan. I felt the problem was that the latest pic’s marketing assumed people had seen the first installment and therefore didn’t target newbies. The iconic space tentpole in 3D received a coveted “A” CinemaScore to help word of mouth and 87% positive Rotten Tomatoes score setting it up for a strong weekend. The budget was a costly $190M, but the studio was predicting a 3-day weekend domestic estimate of $80M and 4-day estimate of $100M. Abrams’ first grossed $257.7M in North America but only $128M overseas where the franchise has long underperformed. STID was expected to easily beat the North American take so Abrams filmed 30 minutes using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX grosses which comprised 16% of domestic. To expand international, Paramount dispatched Abrams’ Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk to share 20 minutes of footage with media and distributors abroad earlier this year. It helped: international told a stronger story. Since sequels usually play well overseas, the total is $80.5 from 40 markets through Sunday, or +80% from the prior film. For comparison, STID is running +33% on a global basis compared to the 2009 reboot. Worldwide total is $164.5M. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock with its ensemble USS Enterprise cast and Benedict Cumberbatch debuts as the movie’s mysterious baddie in this sequel to Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise, which began as a 1960s TV series. Star Trek Into Darkness, based on Gene Roddenberry’s creation, was written by credited scripters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof, who also are producers along with the Bad Robot duo of Abrams and Burk.

1. Star Trek Into Darkness (Skydance/Paramount) Week 1 [3,868 Theaters]
Wed $2.0M, Thurs $11.5M, Fri $22.0M, Sat $27.2M, Est Sun $21.2M
Wkd $70.5M, Dom Cume $84.0M, Intl Cume $80.5M, WW Total $164.9M

2. Iron Man 3 (Marvel/Disney) Week 3 [Runs 4,237]
Friday $9.6M, Saturday $15.8M, Weekend $35.5M,
Dom Cume $337.1M, Intl Cume $736.2M, Worldwide Total $1.073.3B

On May 16, the film crossed the $1B benchmark at the global box office in 23 days and the $300M threshold at the domestic box office in 14 days. Iron Man 3 is now the #9 highest grossing film of all time globally and the #9 highest grossing film of all time internationally. This is the 2nd Marvel Studios film and the 6th Walt Disney Studios release to reach $1B globally, and the 9th Disney release to reach $300M domestic.

3. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros) Week 2 [Runs 3,550]
Friday $7.6M, Saturday $9.5m, Weekend $23.6M (-53%)

Dom Cume $90.1M, Intl Cume $42.1M, Worldwide Total $132.2M

Baz Luhrmann’s biggest to date here and overseas looks to make $140M domestic all in. “Domestic box office results are excellent,” a Warner Bros exec gushed. “Counter-programming can succeed with great success in a summer of tentpole fanboy event films.” Coming off the heels of a gala opening night event at the Cannes Film Event, The Great Gatsby in 3D released in 49 territories overseas and grossed a big $42.1M (ith 4.6Madmissions from almost 8,400 screens). This was 38% higher than Luhrmann’s Australia in the same markets ($30.4M) and 3x higher than Moulin Rouge ($13.8M). This weekend’s rollout abroad represent 70% of the international box office; major markets yet to launch include Australia (May 30th), Mexico (May 31st), Brazil (June 7th), Japan (June 14th). This weekend’s results included some #1 placements despite stuff competition: Russia $6.2M (Rbl 194M), UK $6.1M (£4.0M), France $4.7M (€3.6M), Korea $4.3M (KRW 4.75B), Italy $3.8M (€2.9M), Germany $3.7M (€2.8M), Spain $2.2M (€1.7M), Taiwan $779K (NT$23.9M).

Also, Universal’s May 24th domestic opener Fast & Furious 6 kicked off its worldwide release in the UK and Ireland this weekend with a record breaking #1 opening. The film grossed $13.8M (£9M) at 460 dates scoring Universal’s biggest 3-day opening weekend in that territory (smashing the previous record set by Les Miserables of $13.1M). It is the biggest opening weekend in the UK for the franchise and the highest opening weekend for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. F&F6 is now the 2nd biggest opening weekend of 2013 there behind IM3‘s $17.6M.

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‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Bow Moved Up

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 9:08am PDT

Paramount Pictures just announced it is shifting the official wide-release date of JJ Abrams’ sequel Star Trek Into Darkness from Friday, May 17 to Thursday, May 16 noting that sellouts are being reported for IMAX’s sneak-peek 8 PM shows Wednesday. IMAX screenings offering up about 30 minutes of footage shot with IMAX cameras are sold out in LA, NY, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego and Minneapolis. The release date of the pic, from Paramount and Skydance, already had gotten a bump in the UK, where last month it was shifted up a week to May 9 in IMAX 3D, 3D and 2D cinemas.

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Hot Clip: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 11:46am PDT

Paramount has released the first clip from JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, emphasizing its returning ensemble over the action shots and new villain Benedict Cumberbatch which have dominated previous promo teases. The pic opens in IMAX 3D on May 15 and in 2D/3D on May 17. Watch it below:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

By | Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 10:01am PDT

Paramount has dropped the latest trailer for J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness. The film is set for a May 17 release in the U.S. with IMAX 3D screenings starting May 15. Check it out below:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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J.J. Abrams On ‘Star Trek’ Vs. ‘Star Wars’

By | Sunday March 24, 2013 @ 6:34pm PDT

As the launch of Star Trek Into Darkness approaches, J.J. Abrams will be asked a lot of questions at screenings and junkets, many of which will be about his plans for Star Wars VII. Abrams was more of a Star Wars fan than a Trekkie, and he hasn’t done so badly with that. (Feel free to disagree or agree.) Empire recently asked Abrams what he has in mind for a new Star Wars adventure. Here, excerpted from the Empire interview, is part of what what Abrams had to say:

I don’t know because we’re just getting started. … Even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that’.

… With Star Wars … I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Here’s yet another trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, this time with an extra dose of Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain. The film is set for a May 17 release in the U.S. with IMAX 3D screenings starting May 15. The UK release was just moved up by a week to May 9.

Comments 34

Hot Teaser: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

By | Saturday March 9, 2013 @ 12:01pm PST

Here’s another trailer for J.J. Abrams’ sequel with quite a bit more than we’ve seen in the past, especially for a teaser. It’s attached to Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful. Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness opens May 17th.

Watch this video on YouTube.

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‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Gets New UK Release Date One Week Ahead Of The U.S.

By | Thursday March 7, 2013 @ 5:27am PST

The UK release of J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness has officially been moved up by a week to May 9 when it will go out in IMAX 3D, 3D and 2D cinemas. Paramount currently has the film set for a May 17 release in the States with IMAX 3D screenings on May 15. The shift has led some to wonder if the U.S. date may move to May 9 as well, but then what would happen to all those Super Bowl viewers who unlocked movie tickets for special early showings on the 15th? Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the film, just tweeted: “Looks like Star Trek Into Darkness will land in the UK first. Release date May 9th. That’s about 8 weeks away. Not long considering.There have also been rumblings that the movie would get a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival which runs from May 15-26, but I’ve heard that is not the case. The new release date would seem to support that since movies are rarely screened in Cannes after they’ve premiered big elsewhere. Click over for the Star Trek Into Darkness motion poster narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch‘s villain, but beware the autoplay: Read More »

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Super Bowl Spot: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’; Early Screenings Unveiled

By | Sunday February 3, 2013 @ 2:27pm PST

Paramount’s 2nd-quarter Super Bowl spot for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness has gone up on Apple/iTunes but you can watch it here:

Watch this video on YouTube.

After the spot’s debut during the Super Bowl, viewers who have downloaded the app (www.startrekmovie.com/startrekapp) can watch a longer version of the game spot as well as unlock movie tickets for special 8PM showtimes Wednesday, May 15th — two days ahead of the film’s debut Friday, May 17th. The app also enables interactive features that let users undertake Star Trek missions utilizing geo-location awareness software, image recognition technology to collect points, access additional content and work their way through the Star Trek Academy.

Related: Super Bowl XLVII To Air 6 Studio Film Ads

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Super Bowl XLVII To Air 6 Studio Film Ads

By | Monday January 28, 2013 @ 7:01pm PST

If last year’s record breaking 111.3 million viewers is any indication, Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII is going to be a good place to be seen. But it costs $4 million for a 30 second spot. Despite that, Disney, Universal and Paramount have all purchased ad space from CBS for the big game this year. Some movies you’ll see at this year’s Super Bowl have already had trailers out, like Iron Man 3 and The Lone Ranger. Others like The Fast And The Furious 6 are making their world debut.  Still not everyone’s getting into the game. Sources at Warner Bros, the Weinstein Company, Sony and Fox say the studios didn’t buy any ads this year. Despite having The Hunger Games: Catching Fire coming in November, Lionsgate also doesn’t seem to have purchased any ad time. Summit will be running an already seen spot for Snitch starring Dwayne Johnson during the pre and post game sows. However, for right now, here’s who you will be seeing on Super Bowl. (We’ll update with more as we get them)

Disney – The House of Mouse is posing a triple ad threat this Super Bowl. They had a 63-second preview of Oz: The Great And Powerful (released March Read More »

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