Cinemark should not be sued in civil court for the shooting rampage and deaths last July in its Aurora, Colorado theater at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, says a federal magistrate judge. Cinemark moved in late October to have the civil claims dismissed. At the time, the exhibitor argued that each suit “fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as a matter of law,” arguing that what happened was not its fault. In a dense 22-page recommendation (read it here) filed Thursday, Judge Michael Hegarty said the consolidated negligence and wrongful death civil lawsuits by victims and their families should be dismissed. Instead he suggests that because the plaintiffs’ “state plausible claims,” they may have a further case under the Colorado Premises Liability Act. ”Absent allegations that Plaintiffs’ injuries occurred other than on Defendant’s property and did not arise out of a condition of the property or by activities conducted on the property, and in accordance with prevailing case law, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs’ claims for negligence and wrongful death are abrogated by the CPLA and must be dismissed,” says the recommendation to the district court. All of the lawsuits cite the lack of proper security at the July 20 opening day midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at the Aurora Century 16 multiplex as being responsible for the shooting by alleged gunman James Holmes. The rampage left 12 dead and 58 wounded. The CPLA covers injuries that occur to an individual on another person’s property but it does not allow wrongful death claims. U.S. District Judge R. Brook Jackson melded the lawsuits together in mid-November of last year. The judge also set a trial date of May 5, 2014 for the case. Now that Judge Hegarty has made his recommendations to Judge Jackson, both sides in the case have two weeks to make arguments to him on the matter. After that, the judge can agree with the recommendations and dismiss the claims or dismiss the recommendation and move forward with the case. The latter would inevitably see an appeal action by Cinemark.
The Colorado multiplex where a gunman opened fire in a crowded theater watching a July 20 midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises is reopening today. A private ceremony …
The accused gunman in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting will now not be arraigned until March 12, a judge ruled today. James Holmes was scheduled for arraignment Friday but Judge William Sylvester delayed …
In an intriguing move, the Producers Guild of America decided suddenly to move its annual PGA Awards nomination announcement up a day and put out the list shortly after 2 PM PT this afternoon — instead of the originally scheduled time tomorrow. Whatever the reason for jumping the gun, it could impact the Oscar race as the Academy extended its own voting period 24 hours to a 5 PM deadline Friday instead of Thursday, as originally planned, and the PGA choices could be influential for last-minute Oscar voters rushing to see everything and get their ballots in. In the new world of online voting for the Academy, this two-day window could be important, and I will bet the PGA was aware of that when they decided to unleash their choices today.
Related: PGA Awards Nominations Announced
If that’s the case, the PGA’s 10 nominations for Best Picture — or as the guild calls it, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures — provided no real surprises. All 10 picks — Argo, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty — are the most likely contenders to score at the Oscars according to most prognosticator predictions. It’s particularly good news for Quentin Tarantino’s bloody and controversial Django Unchained, as the film was one of the last to be screened in 2012 and was the only one that reportedly did not benefit by having a screener sent to the PGA membership, the reason widely blamed for its AWOL status in the SAG Awards nominations announced in mid-December.
One film left off, Sony Pictures Classics’ Amour, is not a shocker since smaller foreign-language entries rarely make the PGA list. It would seem the most likely to replace one of the PGA nominees when the Oscar list is announced January 10. Other films missing from the list like Flight, The Impossible and The Master have seen momentum stalled with poor showings in critics and other precursor awards. The only slight surprise for me was the omission of big moneymaker The Dark Knight Rises since the PGA, being producers after all, do like to reward financial bonanzas and the film was the last of Christopher Nolan’s enormously profitable and critically acclaimed Batman trilogy for Warner Bros. The PGA also had previously nominated 2008′s The Dark Knight for their top honor even when the group had only five nominations; Oscar failed to follow suit and passed it by for a Best Pic nod that year. The move prompted the Academy to move to 10 nominations the next year to (hopefully) include more popular films in their Best Picture lineup.
Some family members of victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting are outraged over an invitation they received from Cinemark to attend “a special evening of remembrance” and a movie in the theater where their loved ones were killed. The letter, published today in the Denver Post, is signed by eight relatives of victims who say they are particularly upset that the invitation was sent during the holidays. A portion of the letter follows below:
To the Management of Cinemark USA, Inc.:
During the holiday we didn’t think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful.
You (Cinemark) has shown, and continues to show, ZERO compassion to the families of the victims whose loved ones were killed in their theater. You, Cinemark, have never once reached out to the families to offer condolences.
This disgusting offer that you’d “like to invite you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 PM” followed by the showing of a movie and then telling us to be sure “to reserve our tickets” is wholly offensive to the memory of our loved ones.
EXCLUSIVE: The derby to land the lead role of Starlord Peter Quill in Guardians Of The Galaxy has gotten even more interesting. Marvel Studios has added Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the list of actors they are considering for what is seen as its next major franchise launch.
Deadline reported that Marvel had made test deals with Zero Dark Thirty‘s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, Cloud Atlas‘ Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace (who has roles in both Lincoln and The Hobbit), and Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables. More recently, Zachary Levi was identified as a candidate.
I’m not sure if Gordon-Levitt has been offered the role and nobody would comment, but he’s in the mix. He is just coming out of the superhero movie The Dark Knight Rises, which left him in an intriguing position as Chris Nolan’s film trilogy concluded.
The entertainment giant needed to keep things under control in a quarter when ad sales were just so-so, and it had little to propel the film slate aside from The Dark Knight Rises. Net income for Q3 came in at $838M, +1.9% vs the period last year, on revenues of $6.84B, -3.2%. Revenues were lower than the $6.9B that analysts anticipated. But earnings at 88 cents a share beat forecasts for 82 cents. Time Warner‘s Networks unit, which includes Turner Broadcasting and HBO, pretty much matched the Street’s expectations with $3.3B in revenues (+4%) and operating income of $1.2B (+12.1%). The 7% increase in pay TV affiliate revenues and a pickup in HBO subscribers offset a 1% decline in ad sales. Turner was able to charge higher rates, but the overseas business was hurt by unfavorable currency exchange rates and the closing of entertainment networks Imagine in India and TNT in Turkey. The numbers were light in Film and TV Entertainment, which includes Warner Bros. Revenues fell 12.1% to nearly $2.9B — slightly ahead of forecasts — with operating income of $328 (-37.4%). The company says it couldn’t keep pace with last year, which included Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 and license fees for The Big Bang Theory and Friends.
Like it did with the first round of lawsuits, the theater chain has quickly responded to the most recent legal actions against it for the July 20 shooting at its Aurora, Colo, cinema. Late last week, Cinemark filed motions (read two of them here and here) to dismiss the October 11 civil complaints from parents of victims of the midnight The Dark Knight Rises screening shooting. The exhibitor seeks to have the claims dismissed because each one “fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as a matter of law,” arguing that what happened was not its fault. “It would be patently unfair, and legally unsound, to impose on Cinemark, a private business in the entertainment industry, the duty and burden to have foreseen and prevented the criminal equivalent of a meteor falling from the sky,” said Cinemark’s lawyers in their October 18 motions. The shootings by alleged gunman James Holmes left 12 dead and 58 wounded.
The movie theater chain says it is not responsible for alleged gunman James Holmes’ fatal rampage at the Century 16’s midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20 in Aurora, CO. “Plaintiff’s claims against Cinemark are grounded in nothing more than allegations that a random unbalanced individual randomly chose this theatre on this random night at this random time to randomly murder and injure other human beings. Random acts, by very definition, are not legally foreseeable,” the company said in a motion to dismiss (read it here) filed yesterday. Last week, audience members Denise Traynom, Brandon Axelrod and Joshua Nowlan sued the chain for failing to provide adequate security at the theater on the night that saw 12 people killed and 58 wounded. Cinemark says besides not being able to foresee Holmes’ actions, the suits should be dismissed because they fail to state a claim on which relief can be granted. The plaintiffs say that in each case damages exceed $75,000, and they are asking for a jury trial.
UPDATED: The studio is waiting for China’s grosses to announce it officially today. But the Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ Batman trilogy finale from Christopher Nolan has hit a milestone believed out of reach just a month ago. Despite the tragic start of its run in North American theaters, The Dark Knight Rises has now grossed $431.4 million domestic and $577.7 million international for a total $1.010+ billion through Sunday. That’s ahead of the trilogy’s second installment The Dark Knight, which maxed out at $1.0003 billion worldwide in 2008 (not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices). Meanwhile Warner Bros is insisting that TDKR is only the 11th film to reach $1 billion in its original theatrical run – not the 12th as some charts show. Because the studio is refusing to count any asterisk-worthy extra grosses from 2D films released theatrically years later in 3D like Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. (I happen to agree… so that’s why Deadline also is counting this as only the 11th.) In terms of just 2D films, TDKR moves even higher in the rankings to 5th place since all the others benefited from 3D premiums.
‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trounces ‘Total Recall’ $36.4M To $26.0M; Batman #1 For Third Weekend; ‘Diary Of Wimpy Kid 3′ Soft
August 3-5 Weekend Actuals
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 3 [4,242 Runs] PG13
Friday $10.2M, Saturday $14.3M, Sunday $11.2M, Weekend $35.7M (-43%), Cume $353.9M
2. Total Recall (Sony) NEW [3,601 Runs] PG13
Friday $9.1M, Saturday $9.3M, Sunday $7.1M, Weekend $25.6M
3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (Fox) NEW [3,391 Runs] PG
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $5.1M, Sunday $3.7M, Weekend $14.6M
4. Ice Age 4 3D (Fox) Week 4 [3,542 Runs] PG
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $3.4M, Sunday $2.7M, Weekend $8.6M (-36%), Cume $132.1M
5. The Watch (Fox) Week 2 [3,168 Runs] R
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2M, Weekend $6.5M (-49%), Cume $25.5M
6. Step Up Revolution 3D (Summit/Lgate) Week 2 [2,606 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $5.9M (-50%), Cume $23.7M
7. Ted (Universal) Week 6 [2,767 Runs] R
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.7M, Weekend $5.6M (-23%), Cume $203.6M
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (Col/Sony) Week 5 [2,425 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.7M, Sunday $1.4M, Weekend $4.4M (-34%), Cume $250.7M
9. Brave 3D (Pixar-Disney) Week 7 [2,110 Runs] PG
Friday $806K, Saturday $1.2M, Sunday $996K, Weekend $3M (-31%), Cume $223.4M
10. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 6 [1,202 Runs] R
Friday $474K, Saturday $542K, Sunday $398K, Weekend $1.4M (-46%), Cume $110.9M
SUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Theatrical grosses are still not returning to normal. Instead of the Aurora shooting tragedy spooking box office, the red-hot London Olympics (“NBC Holds American Viewers Hostage: Day 10″) is distracting filmgoers. Total moviegoing this weekend looks like $120M which is down yet again (-25%) from last year. Sony Pictures’ reboot of 1990′s Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner Total Recall now starring Colin Farrell couldn’t give Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ third-weekend-veteran The Dark Knight Rises the tight race Hollywood expected. (Nice to hear from my opinionated gurus again…) Right now it looks like TDKR (4,242 theaters) bounced back for #1 its third straight $36.4M or a domestic total of $354.6M. This weekend IMAX did an estimated $5.7M in North American with a cume now standing at $48M.
Creeping in softly to begin with, Total Recall (3,601 theaters) “performed in line with tracking and expectations,” Sony said of its $26.0M opening. Actually, the studio had expected more: $28M-$30M. Problem is, as rival studios pointed out, this weekend’s take won’t be enough to make up the pic’s $150M cost unless it hits big overseas. There, the film opened #1 in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand and took in $6.2M from 12 markets. In North America, the CinemaScore was only a ‘C+’ which doesn’t bode well for word of mouth. Exit polling showed 58% of the opening weekend audience was male and 42% was female; 47% was under age 30 and 53% was 30 and over.
I don’t know why Hollywood keeps thinking Colin Farrell can carry a movie. He’s just not box office, and this pic proves that again. And Total Recall was a completely unnecessary remake that ignored the elements that made the original worth watching. The last version directed by Paul Verhoeven starred Ah-nold at the height of his film career. The marketing even made fun of his iconic status by promo-ing the hell of that scene putting him in a dress as he sneaked into Mars. This new version directed by Len Wiseman is still based on Philip K. Dick’s seminal short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” but without Arnie or Mars or the campiness. There are five credited writers, including the scribes of the original film: screen story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill and Kurt Wimmer, with screenplay credited to Wimmer and Mark Bomback. The producers are Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe. The campaign for Total Recall focused on men and therefore on sports programming, the American Idol finale, the MTV Movie Awards, and other male-centric TV like Anger Management, Louie, Wilfred, and Brand X. Digital centered around the WelcomeToRekall.com interactive website. Sneak peeks and special spots ran in WWE Raw, Breaking Bad, Falling Skies, and a UFC fight on Fox. The cast rolled out the film at Comic-Con, followed by a press day in Miami, an international tour in France and Brazil, and a junket and premiere in Los Angeles, as well as the daytime and late-night talk shows. The talent will continue to promote the film as it rolls out internationally with a tour to Russia, Spain, Germany, the UK, Ireland, and China.
On the other hand, Fox’s PG-rated Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (3,392 theaters) was made on only a $22M negative just like the first two. When Fox 2000 first bought the books, there were 1 million in print; now there are 75 million in print in 40 different languages. Author Jeff Kinney has been involved in all 3 films. Fox 2000′s Elizabeth Gabler, always a huge advocate, worked closely with the production when its longtime executive Carla Hacken left for New Regency. This is the first time any installment of this successful Wimpy Kid franchise isn’t releasing in March. Bad decision. While the original and sequels scored $22.1M and $23.7M respectively, the new one called Dog Days opened for only $14.7M. The CinemaScore of ‘A-’ could mean stronger numbers from the excellent word of mouth. Fox and producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson combined Books 3 and 4 but used the title of the 4th book, Dog Days, “because we wanted to make a movie both set and released in the summer,” Jacobson told me. This installment pumps up Steve Zahn’s role, which the producers had been wanting to do. Pic was directed by David Bowers; screenplay credit goes to Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky.
Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 3 [4,242 Runs] PG13
Friday $10.2M, Saturday $14.4M, Weekend $36.4M, Cume $354.6M
2. Total Recall (Sony) NEW [3,601 Runs] PG13
Friday $9.1M, Saturday $9.4M, Weekend $26.0M
3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (Fox) NEW [3,391 Runs] PG
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $5.1M, Weekend $14.7M