Warner Bros and New Line have made an October 3 date with Annabelle, the doll from their horror hit The Conjuring. The companies had set aside the frame for an Untitled New Line Horror Film, today making the date and title official with their Conjuring spin-off. WB/New Line also have sequel The Conjuring 2 set to be released October 23, 2015. Annabelle, directed by John R. Leonetti and written by Gary Dauberman, is neither a prequel nor a sequel but centers on the doll seen in the 1970s Rhode Island-set Conjuring, which starred Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and was directed by James Wan. Peter Safran and Wan are producing Annabelle , which stars Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders), Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard. Pic will face off this October against the David Fincher mysteryGone Girl, which just released a new trailer today.
Hard to tell if it’s more paralegal than paranormal but something is definitely haunting The Conjuring franchise Warner Bros is trying to create. Today the studio and its New Line division were among the defendants named in another breach of contract lawsuit by producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media. This time 87-year-old Lorraine Warren herself, whose investigations into the seemingly supernatural with her late husband were the basis for last year’s thriller, was also listed as a defendant. Filed in federal court in Texas like last month’s suit, today’s complaint (read it here) seeking a jury trial also wants to stop any sequels going forward; a declaratory judgment of rights; and a series of unspecified actual, punitive and statutory damages likely to run into the millions. And what does the other side say? “We have not been served,” a WB spokesman told me today.
Looks like more than the paranormal are a threat when it comes to The Conjuring. After months in arbitration with Warner Bros over who owns what rights to the sequels and spinoffs of the successful New Line-released supernatural thriller, producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media late last week filed a breach of contract complaint (read it here) against the studio and its subsidiary. And it’s not just over movies: the 30-page complaint alleges that because of this dispute with Warners and New Line, Lionsgate eventually pulled out of a proposed Conjuring TV series deal it had with Evergreen in late summer last year. “As a direct consequence of Defendants’ deliberate actions and interference, Evergreen is unable to collect the compensation owed under its agreement with Lionsgate and has suffered monetary damages that reach well into the millions of dollars,” says the complaint filed in federal court in Texas on March 28. Released on July 19 last year, Conjuring has pulled in more than $318 million globally, and a sequel set for October 2015 was announced last month. Among other claims by DeRosa-Grund and Evergreen is that the producer has not been paid the profit participation he and New Line agreed on out of their use of case-file material the plaintiffs owned of the investigations of Ed and Lorrain Warren.
Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, but which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ? This is hard to ascertain. We can reliably track box office grosses domestic and offshore, but studios routinely spin cost factors like production, P&A budgets, and talent participation. Capturing the spirit of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament that just got underway, Deadline has bracketed 2013’s 16 highest-grossing films and they will play off against one another. Our tournament will play out over five rounds. As is the case with the NCAA, the top-earning films face the bottom earners in the first round, leaving room for upsets for setting up brutal behemoth collisions later in the bracket.
Instead of relying on numbers from studios that would make us susceptible to spin, we instead confidentially engaged two separate experts from entities that regularly create revenue models. We assure you, these are top-level insiders. We have used the results to create a formula that encompasses the wisdom of both. Films that advance to the next round will do so partly by the profit they create for their sponsoring studios, but other intangibles will be considered on close call decisions. Those include films that launch or grow franchises and create ancillary revenues, variables that have become the core of the studio business these days. The detailed descriptions and analysis of the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a high six-figure deal, Gulfstream Pictures has acquired The Feud, a spec script written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. It’s the first deal for the duo since the thriller they scripted, The Conjuring, became the sleeper hit of summer. The new one is an action thriller about two prominent Hong Kong families caught up in a centuries old conflict. Gulfstream is Mike Karz and Bill Bindley’s Warner Bros-based shingle that launched with a multi-million-dollar development fund from Korea-based 3D stereoscopic leader Redrover Ltd. and a consortium of U.S. private equity funds.
That has allowed them to get going quickly because they have the resources to buy without asking permission. Karz and Bindley will produce with Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert, Ken Freimann and Rick Jacobs. Gulfstream exec Josie Rosen is overseeing the project with Matt Phelps.
“We have been fans of the Hayes Brothers for years, and they are friends,” Bindley told me. “We have been trying to find something to do together. This fits in perfectly and we bought it preemptively. It’s a big thriller, set in Hong Kong. There is an Asian aspect to it and it is a big global movie by writers who are great with characters and at creating scenes that evoke suspense, as we saw in The Conjuring.” Read More »
SUNDAY 7:30 AM, 3RD UPDATE: Sizzling Summer 2013 is now fizzling, and $200M total moviegoing this domestic weekend was down -20% from last year. Hollywood was especially glum while the media was annoyingly gleeful over more big-budget movies bombing. Bad news for every new film except Warner Bros/New Line’s low-budget The Conjuring (playing in 2,903 theaters) which opened #1 with a good news $41.5M weekend. It also received from audiences a coveted ‘A-’ CinemaScore, an unusually good grade for the genre where ‘D’ and ‘F’ have become commonplace from fed-up audiences.
Going into Friday, the $20M-cost The Conjuring was Fandango’s top ticket seller among four new releases across online and mobile platforms. Warner Bros early on credited director James Wan with making “both an incredibly scary film but also a very well-made quality movie” that likely becomes a badly needed fresh franchise for New Line. Clearly, Wan (Saw, Insidious) was able to transition from gore to the bizarre and now to the supernatural helped by talented cast Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, and Ron Livingston and credited screenwriters Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. Producers are Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, and Rob Cowan. The marketing campaign kicked off a month ago at the LA Film Festival. “It was an unusual strategy in that it exposed the film to critical reaction at a very early stage,” Warner Bros Pictures President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution Sue Kroll tells me. “But our faith … Read More »
WB‘s hot on their James Wan-directed horror pic The Conjuring, about paranormal investigators (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) on the case of a family spooked by a demonic entity. Here’s the latest peek at the July 19 release:
EXCLUSIVE: There may be some awkward moments at the world premiere for the supernatural thriller The Conjuring tonight at LA Film Fest. I’ve learned that one of the movie’s producers, Tony DeRosa-Grund, and the studio behind it, New Line, are heading to arbitration over the TV rights to the project. Make that the TV rights to the title of the project.
The Conjuring is inspired by Ed and Lorraine Warren, experts in paranormal activities, who investigated the spirits — both friendly and sinister — who allegedly inhabited the Rhode Island farmhouse of the Perron family. Texas-based DeRosa-Grund had been looking to turn the story into a movie for more tan two decades. After Ed played to him a tape from the case, he wrote a treatment and titled the project The Conjuring. Read More »
New Line‘s July horror pic will unspool a month ahead of its nationwide release at the 2013 LA Film Festival. The James Wan-directed pic starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor is based on the true story of married paranormal investigators Edward and Lorraine Warren, who are tapped to help a family whose farmhouse is being terrorized by a demonic entity. Written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (The Reaping), The Conjuring reunites Wan with the creative team behind his 2011 low budget horror hit Insidious. It screens June 21 at the festival followed by a Q&A with Wan. WB releases the pic on July 19.
Warner Bros has released the first trailer for The Conjuring, the haunted house pic based on a true story that stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as a pair of paranormal investigators called to help a family with serious ghost issues in a secluded New England farmhouse. Saw and Insidious helmer James Wan directed, and Chad and Carey Hayes wrote the script. It’s due out July 19.
Fans will get their first look at how Mads Mikkelsen measures up to Anthony Hopkins and Brian Cox when NBC screens the first two episodes of Hannibal later this month at WonderCon 2013. And Netflix will have its upcoming murder mystery series Hemlock Grovein advance of the show’s April premiere. Those and a host of other geeky confections were unveiled when the annual convention, landing March 29-31 in Anaheim, revealed the full programming schedule that boasts a heavy TV and film presence hinting of things to come later this year in San Diego (as well as some that have been there before).
Netflix will screen footage from Hemlock Grove on Friday with executive producer Eli Roth and cast including Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Penelope Mitchell and others in attendance. The same day Warner Bros plans to premiere the direct-to-DVD animated film Superman: Unbound, followed the next day with a panel shared with Legendary pictures featuring Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro and New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring director James Wan. The same day, Sony hosts a huge panel of its own to showcase three upcoming films: Novelist Cassandra Clare, director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins, Kevin Zegers, and Jamie Campbell Bower will preview The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; Bruce Campbell will join director Fede Alvarez and stars Jane Levy and Jessica Lucas to talk about the upcoming Evil Dead remake that screened at SXSW; and Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson will present a new trailer for This Is The End. On Sunday, there’s a panel discussion of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing that also screened at SXSW, while J.R.R. Tolkien fan site Theonering.net will host a sneak peak of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Read More »
Warner Bros‘ horror pic The Conjuring is directed by Saw and Insidious helmer James Wan and is based on a true story about a pair of paranormal investigators who investigate a haunted New England farmhouse. Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor star in a script by Chad and Carey Hayes. It’s due out July 19 after being pushed back in the release schedule. Here’s a sneak from the studio:
Warner Bros has shifted the date of its Vera Farmiga horror thriller The Conjuring and added three movies to its 2013 release schedule. The new pics: The Steve Carell-Jim Carrey comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will open March 15, the Jason Sudeikis-Ed Helms-Jennifer Aniston drug-smuggler comedy We’re The Millers opens August 9, and the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal kidnapping thriller Prisoners is due out September 20. Meanwhile, the studio moved Conjuring, a based-on-a-true story about a pair of paranormal investigators directed by Saw‘s James Wan, from January 25 to July 19.
Warner Bros announced today that the supernatural thriller The Conjuring will open wide on January 25, 2013. Directed by James Wan, The Conjuring tells the true story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor.