Sequels and animation are at the top of the agenda for Universal‘s film production – a business that’s “not for the faint of heart” — NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told analysts today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. “We’ve had our ups and downs,” he says. But he hopes to stabilize things by promoting “as many franchises as we can.” He vows that “you’ll see future Bourne films” following the success of The Bourne Legacy. He adds that Universal has “dusted off” its American Pie franchise and “we’d like to see a Ted 2 as soon as we can.” He’s upbeat about upcoming sequels to Despicable Me and Fast And Furious. In addition, Burke says he wants Universal to have more animation. “The key is to go from making one film every 18 months to making two a year.”
Seth MacFarlane might be making a sequel to Ted. “I’d be open to making Ted 2,” the director today told fans at the American Dad panel at Comic-Con. MacFarlane didn’t elaborate on the possibility of he and Ted co-star Mark Wahlberg’s reunion. However, the fact that the film, which was released on June 29, has become one of the the biggest R-Rated comedies at the box office, a sequel makes sense.
Earlier on the panel, it was announced that Mad Men’s Jon Hamm will join Danny Glover, Sarah Michelle Geller, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Danny Glover and former SNL cast member Will Forte as guest stars on the new season of American Dad. The guest stars announcement came on the American Dad panel that immediately followed the Family Guy panel in Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 today.
MacFarlane, who is also Family Guy’s executive producer, creator and star also told the fans that his Flintstones reboot isn’t dead but it’s really not a priority right now. “It’s been put on the backburner, so we don’t know when it is going to happened. There’s no exact schedule,”
Raunch Rules! R-Rated ‘Ted’ $52.5M And ‘Magic Mike’ $38M Weekends; ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea’ So-So; ‘People Like Us’ Stillborn
June 29-July 1 Weekend Actuals
1. Ted (Universal) NEW [3,239 Theaters] R
Friday $20.6M, Saturday $17.9M, Sunday $16.0M, Weekend $54.4M
2. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) NEW [2,930 Theaters] R
Friday $19.4M, Saturday $11.4M, Sunday $8.4M, Weekend $39.1M
3. Brave 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 2 [4,164 Theaters] PG
Friday $10.4M, Saturday $13.3M, Sunday $10.4M, Weekend $34.1M (-49%), Cume $131.8M
4. Madea’s Witness Protection (Tyler Perry/Lionsgate) NEW
EXCLUSIVE: The hugely buzzed-about ‘R’-rated comedy Ted was scheduled for release July 13th. But Universal execs moved quickly to grab this date now that Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation sequel moved off June 29th to add …
Universal may have been the last of the seven studios participating here in Las Vegas at CinemaCon but their one-hour-and-forty-minute presentation today at Caesars Palace’s Colisseum theatre was perhaps the starriest of all. Hosted with confidence and self-deprecating humor by the studio’s chairman and 13 year U veteran Adam Fogelson, the exec made good use of his background as the studio’s former marketing head to really sell their summer slate – and beyond – with good old- fashioned star power and well-chosen clips. In addition to extended looks at their summer lineup, the show also featured the first glimpse anywhere of footage from upcoming movies Les Miserables, 47 Ronin, Oblivion which just started shooting with Tom Cruise, next summer’s R.I.P.D., and a specially produced animated piece just for CinemaCon to announce the 2013 arrival of Despicable Me 2. But the clear emphasis was on this summer’s promising-looking lineup as Fogelson opened by saying, “it is a good time for Universal”, especially with the studio’s early 2012 box office success that he noted has made them No. 1 in market share so far this year with such films as Contraband, Safe House which has grossed over $200 million globally (Denzel Washington’s second biggest hit), American Reunion which Fogelson said will also surpass the $200 million global figure before it’s done as well as The Lorax which he noted is one of only three animated films since July 2010 to clear $200 million domestically – and two of them are from the studio’s partnership with Illumination.
Here’s the adults-only, audio NSFW version of the toned-down green band trailer for Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s feature debut Ted, which aired tonight during the boundary-pushing animated TV series. Mark Wahlberg plays a grown man who meets the woman of his dreams (Mila Kunis) but has to contend …
BREAKING: Media Rights Capital partners Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu have closed a five-year, $350 million revolving credit facility with funding provided by a group of banks led by JPMorgan Chase, Comerica, Bank of America, SunTrust and Union Bank. The syndicate includes East West Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank Leumi and City National Bank. The funds will be used to finance MRC’s feature and television productions. MRC’s last credit facility was also $350 million over three years, secured in 2008 in the midst of the economic downturn, from a consortium of banks that included JPMorgan Chase and Comerica.
MRC, which has enjoyed strong relationships with talents and the agencies, changed its feature structure from constructing pictures it licensed for distribution to studio, (it famously made a $42.5 million deal for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat follow-up Bruno with Universal for U.S. and English-speaking territories) to actually financing a lot of them through a five-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures. That studio has become a prime outlet for MRC fare, though it was District 9 distributor Sony Pictures that licensed the Neill Blomkamp-directed futuristic film Elysium, which stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. It was the second MRC film for Damon, who starred with Emily Blunt in the Universal-distributed The Adjustment Bureau, which grossed $128 million worldwide. MRC is also in production on Ted, the feature directing debut of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane that stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis and will also be released by Universal. MRC has two more projects with Blomkamp and two with Fincher, among others. MRC makes the case-by-case decision whether the productions are licensed to studios or fall under its new distribution deal at Universal.
MRC, after a failed foray that involved programming the Sunday night lineup for the CW, is active on the small-screen front. MRC has The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO and is developing series that include the CBS sitcom How to Be a Gentleman with Entourage’s Kevin Dillon, and a serialized political drama for Netflix that is being produced by David Fincher and stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. In all cases, MRC makes deals that grant talent at the ground floor an ownership stake in the film or TV project.