The 3D version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, which was just tapped to be the opening night film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and which Warner Bros plans to release in the U.S. on May 10, will provide an early indication of whether the extra dimension appeals to audiences who like dramas — and not just animation, action, and fantasy fans. “We’re really excited to see what the data points are,” RealD Chief Financial and Operating Officer Drew Skarupa said today of The Great Gatsby at the Piper Jaffray Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. The 3D technology company is also eager to see additional films that appeal to overseas audiences. When a movie is available in 2D and 3D, about 60% of international sales go to the 3D version as opposed to 45% in the U.S. That’s a problem because “the press and the Street tend to focus on the domestic numbers.” What accounts for the difference? “We’ve seen direct correlations between the number of 3D showtimes and box office,” Skarupa says. “We’d like to see in the U.S. markets a greater percentage of 3D showtimes.” READ MORE »
Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby will kick off the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, organizers said today. The Warner Bros drama will screen in the out-of-competition selection. The latest adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke. It opens in the U.S. on May 10 but day-and-date with its May 15 Cannes launch in France.
This was basically a no-brainer decision. Luhrmann is a favorite of the festival, and his 2001 musical drama Moulin Rouge still remains one of the splashiest opening nights in Cannes history with an elaborate, very expensive party thrown by distributor 20th Century Fox afterward. Those who were there (I was among them) will not soon forget the extragance of it all, and certainly if any other movie might deserve the same opulent treatment it is Luhrmann’s Gatsby, which was delayed from an awards-season opening in 2012 by Warner Bros so the director could continue to refine the ambitious film. Whether the studio will spring for a kickoff like a party Jay Gatsby himself might throw remains an open question, especially since it won’t be the world premiere of the film, but nevertheless it is worth the speculation.
Exhibitors actually got their first look at the 3D drama almost a full year ago when Warners previewed footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas as part of their 2012 slate sneak look. After it was delayed by the studio into a 2013 debut, a Cannes opening seemed inevitable, particularly with the prospect of getting big star names like DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan to come to the Croisette for a glamorous European premiere.
Warner Bros has put up a new trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title character, Carey Mulligan is Daisy and the rest of the cast includes Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke. Luhrmann and Craig …
BREAKING: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures Group have extended to 2017 their long-standing arrangement to co-produce and co-finance films. VRPG also renewed and upsized its now 15-year film production facility to $1.125 billion through that date. JPMorgan Chase and Rabobank continue as joint syndication agents.
The VRPG and Warner Bros co-financing arrangement has spanned 15 years and 68 films so far, with global hits that have included The Matrix trilogy, the Ocean’s Eleven films, Sherlock Holmes and Happy Feet. The co-financing program has been a cornerstone of the Warner Bros program, with Legendary Pictures also emerging as a significant player in allowing the studio to share risk in tent pole fare. Upcoming Warner Bros/VRPG films include the Ruben Fleischer-directed Gangster Squad and the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
With The Wolverine, The Great Gatsby, Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and the Evil Dead remake shooting in the southern hemisphere, it might appear that all is rosy on the location front Down Under. But the reality is that as the Oz dollar has soared since 2010 – it’s currently about even with the greenback – all but two major Hollywood productions have bypassed Australia as a shooting location. With the New Zealand dollar trading at only 83 U.S. cents, the exchange rate there is better. And, after Hobbiton packs up, James Cameron will crank up the two Avatar sequels, filling a potential gap.
But a chorus of execs at major Oz studios, post houses and Ausfilm, the group that markets Australia as a location, warn that Australia won’t attract large-scale international productions unless the location tax credit is lifted to 30%. The Oz government is considering calls to raise the offset from 16.5% as part of a new national cultural policy that’s due to be announced soon. “It’s make-or-break,” says Fox Studios Australia chief exec Nancy Romano, who has two U.S. features potentially lined up for 2013, but only if the incentive is raised.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Co-producing the box office under-achievers Happy Feet Two, The Lucky One and Dark Shadows with Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to have hurt Australia’s Village Roadshow Ltd, which today announced a net profit of $A33.8M ($33.5M) for the year to June 30. That’s a 20.2% rise on the previous year. The company didn’t break out the results of its 47.6%-owned Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, which consists of Village Roadshow Pictures and the Concord Music Group. But managing director Graham Burke tells Deadline he’s happy with Village Roadshow Pictures’ performance, “We take a long-term perspective on our relationship with Warner. We put our money as a chip on the table with them.”
Burke highlighted the success of VRP’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which grossed $544M worldwide, and prospects for upcoming releases including Gangster Squad, The Great Gatsby, All You Need Is Kill, Lego and Fury Road. Burke says the 20 minutes of Great Gatsby he’s seen are “breathtaking” and he fully supports the decision to delay the release till summer 2013 to give Baz Luhrmann more time. In Oz, Roadshow Films continued as the top theatrical
BURBANK, CA, August 6, 2012 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures have moved the release date of “The Great Gatsby” to Summer 2013. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”
Warner Bros. has set The Great Gatsby to open Christmas Day 2012. Director Baz Luhrmann began filming his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel last month in Australia. The 3D production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.
Canal Plus Eyes Vincent Bollore’s Channels In Free TV Push
Vivendi’s Canal Plus said today it is working to take a majority stake in channels owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, as part of a push into free TV. Its proposed deal would give Canal Plus 60% of Direct 8 and music-focused Direct Star in exchange for Vivendi shares. Canal Plus has an option to buy the remainder within the next three years, its head Bertrand Meheut told French daily Les Echos. The deal, subject to approval by the government and employee reps, values the Bollore assets at about $650M. Canal Plus wants to defend itself against new players in France such as Netflix, Google and Apple.
WB’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Adds Indian Icon Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is making his Hollywood debut in Warner Bros’ new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He’ll play Meyer Wolfsheim, a Jewish man described as a gambler in F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The $126M film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Baz Luhrmann, has begun shooting in Australia. Bachchan, 68, has acted in more than 180 Indian films over a 40-year period. He remains Indian’s most popular actor and recently returned as the celebrity host of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton has been set by director Baz Luhrmann to play Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He will join Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Isla Fisher as Myrtle (Tom’s mistress), and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Edgerton, the Australian actor who was on the short list to star in The Bourne Legacy spinoff at Universal and other plum roles, takes a part that was going to Ben Affleck until his schedule didn’t work when he committed to direct and star in Argo for Warner Bros. Luhrmann’s update of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic will be made for Warner Bros, which will release it in 3D. Edgerton next stars with Tom Hardy in Warrior, the Gavin O’Connor-directed drama about brothers who square off in the mixed martial arts arena. Edgerton has an imposing physicality that makes him an intriguing choice for the role of Tom, played by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.
Luhrmann, who took the above photo of Edgerton as Buchanan, confirmed he’d found his man: “In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) ‘one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,’ had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group.