The movie version of The Book Of Mormon is inevitable, but it’s no wonder Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone and Scott Rudin are in no hurry. The musical just broke the house record at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre with $2.8 million, which breaks Wicked‘s tally for the highest eight performance gross in Broadway touring history. In a recent interview with Deadine, Rudin said that the show is a $250 million annual industry.
Later today Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to declare their new Important Studios open for business (press release is below). On Monday, reports the New York Times, the South Park and Book of Mormon co-creators will announce a new production studio. “Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves,” the Times quotes the yet-unreleased Important Studios press release from the duo. Parker and Stone will use revenue from their very successful South Park, now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and their Broadway blockbuster Book of Mormon to fund Important Studios to produce TV, Theater and Feature film projects – like a movie based on their Tony Award winning musical. But it’s not just their money on the table. In a deal partially orchestrated by WME’s Ari Emanuel, boutique bank The Raine Group have reportedly $60 million in Important Studios for approximately 20% of the company. WME has an investment itself in the media and sports focused bank. Both Parker and Stone are themselves both represented by WME.
NEW YORK, NY (January 14, 2013) – Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the co-creators of “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon,” and The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank focused exclusively
Philippe Dauman Doesn’t Rule Out A ‘Book Of Mormon’ Movie, But Discourages Talk Of Studio Consolidation
The Viacom CEO told an investor conference this morning that his company has “a small investment” in the Broadway musical hit from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. And although he didn’t directly address a question about whether Paramount might turn The Book Of Mormon into a film, he seemed to indicate that it’s a possibility: “We love working with the two of them,” he said, adding that “we always look for opportunities to work with them.” He made the comments at the Gabelli Best Ideas Conference where, in reviewing Viacom’s operations, he touted recent changes at Paramount. With a strategy designed to minimize risk, he says, “you’ll never see us with a John Carter” — a reference to Disney’s big-budget disappointment this year. He supported the effort to slash Paramount’s production slate from as many as 30 releases a year to about 15 “concentrating on franchise films and our brands…We have been reducing the overhead at Paramount year after year.” He added that “the film business is one where you have to control the cost.”
Robert Lopez, co-creator of hit Tony-winning musicals The Book Of Mormon and Avenue Q, is looking to add a co-creator of a TV series title to his resume. Lopez and his brother Billy Lopez haves signed a blind script deal with ABC Studios for a comedy project. The two have some TV experience. They composed music for Nickelodeon’s kids show The Wonder Pets, for which they won two Daytime Emmys, and Robert Lopez also wrote four songs for the My Musical episode of Scrubs, which was produced by ABC Studios. The gig earned him an Emmy nomination. Robert made his TV writing debut last year with an episode of Comedy Central’s long-running South Park, created/executive produced by his Book Of Mormon collaborators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
After getting their show to Broadway, winning nine Tony Awards including Best New Musical, what else is there for Bobby Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, composers/lyricists for The Book of Mormon? Well, just a day after Deadline reported the musical went into the black and investors will turn a profit on their $11.4 million investment, The Book of Mormon original Broadway cast recording was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. We connected with Lopez and Parker (his South Park co-creator Stone was either mum, elsewhere or both) in the middle of a conference call Wednesday night after nominations were announced, and the guys sounded pretty jazzed. Who wouldn’t? They have a genuine affection for musicals — Parker mentioned that he and Stone grew up in Colorado “listening to cast recordings and local performances” and Lopez chimed in that he had similar experiences. Because they’re up against a Cole Porter musical, Anything Goes, we asked what was their favorite Porter song? Parker: “Anything Goes.” Lopez: “Kiss Me Kate.” The other musical revival they’re up against for Best Musical Theater Album is How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Favorite Frank Loesser song? Both: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Ummm, not Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 or 2? “Oh yes, both of them.” On that note it seemed best to let Lopez and Parker get on with celebrating, but we did …
While there is suspicion that the year-old Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark will have to run for decades to recoup its $75 million budget despite its glowing press, the same cannot be said of the Tony-winning The Book Of Mormon. The musical by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone this week recouped its capitalization and will now begin pouring cash into the pockets of investors. This is hardly a surprise: the musical continues to be Broadway’s hot ticket, and it has broken the house record 22 times at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre since opening March 24.
All of Broadway will go dark Saturday and Sunday as Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast and New York braces for winds, rain and potential flooding during the weekend. It will be the biggest emergency shutdown of the Great White Way since Sept. 11, 2001, and already the city has ordered mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas and will shut down the transit system by noon ET Saturday. Disney Theatrical Productions was the first organization to announce its plans today, saying its productions Mary Poppins and The Lion King wouldn’t run, and the Broadway League followed soon after with its plan. Playbill reports that about 23 productions are affected by the shutdown, including Tony winners War Horse and The Book of Mormon. Major League Baseball also has taken action, postponing a pair of New York Mets weekend games and adjusting scheduled games in Boston and Philadelphia.
After winning nine Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical, for The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker and Matt Stone went to The Daily Show for a victory lap. They talked breaking into the Broadway community, winning big at the Tonys and took a jab at troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
UPDATE: The Book Of Mormon, the audacious musical by South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez dominated the 2011 Tony Awards tonight at Manhattan’s Beacon Theater. The musical won nine of the 14 awards for which it was nominated, and ended the Tonycast by winning Best Musical. The musical was the heavy favorite for that coveted prize, so much so that when the award was presented by Chris Rock, he said before introducing the nominees that it was so clear which show would win that it was like “taking a hooker to dinner; you know you’re going to get laid.” Sure enough, Trey Parker, flanked by lead producers Anne Garefino and Scott Rudin, accepted the award and thanked “our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion.”
Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the 65th annual Tony Awards also brought multiple awards for the London import and Best Play winner War Horse, which won five awards; Best Revival of a Play winner The Normal Heart, which won three awards; and Best Revival Of a Musical winner Anything Goes which won three awards.
Norbert Leo Butz just won Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Catch Me If You Can. Mark Rylance just won Best Actor In a Leading Role for a Play for Jerusalem.
Frances McDormand won Best Actress …
Easter Sunday seems an appropriate time to focus on Hollywood’s treatment of the subject matter of religion. When it comes to making movies from various Biblical interpretations, conventional wisdom says stick close to scripture and the faithful will flock. Mel Gibson hewed closely to the New Testament with 2004′s The Passion of the Christ and the film grossed over $600 million worldwide to become the largest independent film of its day and the top-grossing non-English language film ever. But veering from that strategy can do more than alienate that audience segment as Universal Pictures found out when Martin Scorsese filmed 1988′s controversial and in some eyes blasphemous The Last Temptation of Christ from Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel and angry protesters were dragging crosses in front of the home of MCA Universal head Lew Wasserman. Have things changed since then?
Several filmmakers hope so because they are making movies that challenge faith tradions. These projects are very different from, say, big projects that include Fox’s stylized retelling of Moses leading the Israelite exodus out of Egypt, or Bedrock Films’ $30 million 3D reimagining of the story of creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis. But all of the following daring projects can take encouragement from The Book Of Mormon, the first Broadway musical by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker who teamed with Robert Lopez on the skewed look at the Mormon faithful. The result is a smash hit Tony Awards contender playing …