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Paul Feig Hatches ‘The Heat’ Spinoff, Focusing On Jamie Denbo And Jessica Chaffin’s Characters From Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock Comedy

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 11:03am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Heat team of Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Paul Feig are developing a spinoff of last summer’s hit, creating a comic vehicle that will focus on the characters played by Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin. That Feig-directed and Katie Dippold-scripted film, which starred Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, grossed $230 million worldwide.

Denbo and Chaffin played Beth and Gina, who were part of McCarthy’s cop character’s extended family. That’s the clan that sat around a kitchen table and grilled Bullock’s character on subjects including whether she was a man and if so how was she able to get such a close shave, or whether she was a narc (they pronounced it nahhc, in that truly charming/excruciating Beantown parlance). Tricia McAlpin is writing the script. Feigco’s Feig and Jessie Henderson are producing with Chernin Entertainment. They are all working out the storyline, and sparked to the potential of a vehicle for the comic duo. This by no means precludes the possibility of a sequel to The Heat, which was successful and funny enough to justify an encore. Read More »

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Melissa McCarthy Fires Up ‘The Heat’ For #2 And $40M Weekend; #4 ‘White House Down’ Flops For $26M; ‘Monsters U’ Holds For #1

By | Sunday June 30, 2013 @ 10:37am PDT

Box Office White House DownSUNDAY 10:30 AM, 7H UPDATE: It’s already crowded at the pre-Fourth Of July domestic box office which will need to expand in time to accommodate so many movies playing during the holiday. True, total filmgoing this weekend went down -8.5% from a year ago for only $192M. But studios are scrambling to see when the last time all Top Five movies made more than $20+M for the 3-day weekend. On Friday, the order of finish changed hour by hour but then fixed firmly for Saturday and apparently Sunday. Pixar/Disney’s huge hit from a week ago Monsters University is still the strong #1 as families crave toons. But the real story is this weekend’s newcomers: Twentieth Century Fox’s The Heat debuted a big #2 as fan favorite Melissa McCarthy again sets off R-rated fireworks with audiences. But Sony Pictures’ White House Down really disappointed in #4, opening a third less than Hollywood expected and ensuring its high cost will make it impossible to earn out. But the studio is still hoping for a 4x holiday-aided multiple. Both pics received ‘A-’ CinemaScores from audiences to help word of mouth. Top Ten numbers for the weekend are:

1. Monsters University 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 2 [Runs 4,004] G
Friday $14.2M, Saturday $17.5M, Weekend $46.1M (-44%), Cume $171.0M

Great weekend hold. Easily stayed #1 after the +23% Saturday kiddie bump. But window for family fare will be fleeting once Universal’s sequel Despicable Me 2 hits North American marketplace wide on July 3rd. Foreign grosses still to … Read More »

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Melissa McCarthy Responds (Finally) To That Ugly Rex Reed Review

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 3:04pm PDT

When Melissa McCarthy didn’t lash back after New York Observer film critic Rex Reed’s out-of-bounds review of Identity Thief back in February — in which out of the blue and most cruelly he called the actress “tractor-sized” and “a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success” — Deadline’s Mike Fleming did. (So did her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, who ended a Twitter post on the matter thusly: I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself”.) McCarthy, the most on-fire female comedic actor going right now (she just booked another biggie today, the DreamWorks Animation pic B.O.O. opposite Seth Rogen), finally broke her silence on the topic. It came today in a NY Times interview tied to her Fox movie The Heat, co-starring Sandra Bullock, which opens June 28. From the NYT:

When Ms. McCarthy was asked about the review over lunch in April, her characteristically cheerful tone evaporated. In a softer voice, she said her initial reaction to reading it had been “Really?” and then, she said, “Why would someone O.K. that?”

Without mentioning the name of its author, Ms. McCarthy said: “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and

Read More »

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Summer 2013: Sleeper Movie Forecast

Anyone who predicts sleeper hits ahead of the summer is either very brave or very spun. But these are the pics expected to emerge through the cracks of tentpole action: All benefit from obvious counterprogramming, festival hype, and demo-targeted storytelling. In chronological order:

IFC’s Frances Ha has high awareness among its targeted younger-skewing arthouse crowd and exhibitors. “It’s certainly getting talked about in the right places for the audience they’re going for,” one NATO member tells me. Star Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach are indie darlings and scored a talked-about New Yorker piece last week that boosted their profile as a filmmaking couple. According to an IFC Films rep, it’s the sleeper they’re banking on when it releases May 17. “We think we’re going to get great word of mouth,” they tell me.

Kings Of Summer CBS Films CBS Films has two indie pickups budgeted at under $2M each that they’ve slotted into the summer. Sundance pickup Kings Of Summer (formerly Toy’s House) stars three youngsters and has TV stars Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally supporting. The studio’s hoping for its Stand By Me-esque story to build momentum with a May 31 limited release. “It’s a movie about discovering in general — which people who see arthouse films spark to,” a studio insider tells me. “And discovery is part of what makes a sleeper hit”. CBS Films is hoping it becomes this year’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen which was a surprise success for the studio last year.

– Upstart distrib A24 is new to the summer game and has two more youth-skewing pics on tap after scoring a minor youthquake with the sexploitation Spring Breakers in March. The first is Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring will get a NY-LA limited opening June 14 two weeks after its Cannes premiere.
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Sequels On Tap For ‘The Heat’ And ‘Ride Along’

By | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 12:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: You can always tell if a studio is bullish over the tracking of an upcoming film by whether they start the wheels moving on the sequel before the film even comes out. I’ve heard of two cases on upcoming buddy cop-genre films where this is true, The Heat and Ride Along. The Heat, the Paul Feig-directed comedy that stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock is sequel bound. Chernin Entertainment and Fox have already made a pricey deal with Katie Dippold to script the sequel. I told you recently about another deal they made with Dippold for an edgy mother/daughter comedy vehicle for Feig, but evidently that deal included an assignment for her to write the sequel. Dippold wrote The Heat, about mismatched female FBI agents in Boston, with ads that look like they are going to continue McCarthy’s ascension as a top physical comedienne, grounded by Bullock’s prudish counterpart. Dippold’s repped by WME and 3 Arts.

Another one in the sequel fast land is Ride Along, the Tim Story-directed comedy that will be released by Universal next January. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who were among several scribes who worked on the original, are in preliminary discussions about scripting a sequel that could be put into production months after the first film opens. This one stars Ice Cube as a tough cop who takes his … Read More »

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CinemaCon: Fox Unveils Ben Stiller’s ‘Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ Which Could Be Oscar Bound

Pete Hammond

20th Century Fox (“and it is called 20th Century Fox,” as Distribution President Chris Aronson wryly noted in his welcoming remarks) presented to theater owners at CinemaCon today. The highlight was about 12 minutes of selected scenes from the studio’s holiday release The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty as a “special presentation” at the end of Fox’s 2013 preview. Clearly, Fox is hoping to replicate last year’s success with unveiling 15 minutes of footage of The Life Of Pi.  The film directed and produced by and starring Ben Stiller is a reinvention of the 1947 Danny Kaye comedy which was based on the short story by James Thurber about a meek writer who lives vicariously through his rich fantasy life. Now Stiller is an ordinary photo editor imagining himself in numerous epic situations only to become immersed in a real life global adventure of his own. Like Life Of Pi this comedy-drama is hard to describe but the footage seemed to wow the exhibition crowd. One theater chain head told me it looked “phenomenal - the perfect holiday movie. This could be Ben’s Oscar chance.” Others compared it to the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump. Those will be music to the ears of the studio since this project had been in development through several different iterations and scripts and stars for years until Stiller and writer Steve Conrad cracked the code. Indeed, of all the footage on display this week at CinemaCon, at … Read More »

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Paul Feig’s Feigco Taps Jessie Henderson As Exec Veep

By | Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT
Mike Fleming

Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment has tapped Jessie Henderson to be the company’s executive vice president. Henderson, who leaves Chernin Entertainment to take this job, will be in charge of finding and developing new projects for the company to produce as well as shepherding the ones generated internally. Feigco Entertainment has a first look deal at Fox to fine commercial and edgy R rated comedies in the spirit of his hit Bridesmaids. His latest, The Heat, opens in June.

Feig also recently set with Chernin Entertainment a mother daughter comedy to be scripted by The Heat writer Katie Dippold, so between The Heat and that film, there’s been a lot of co-mingling with the Chernin folks. Feig also promoted Joshua Thurston.

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‘The Heat’ Scribe Katie Dippold Makes 7-Figure Sale To Chernin Entertainment

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 6:01pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment and Fox are so convinced they have a hit in the Paul Feig-directed comedy The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock that they moved the picture right into the heat of the July 4th holiday corridor. Now, Chernin Entertainment has closed a low-7-figure deal with that film’s writer, Katie Dippold, for another comedy that she will write as a directing vehicle for Feig. I’ve heard it described as a mother/daughter action comedy, but all parties are keeping the logline under wraps beyond that.

Dippold makes her feature debut as a screenwriter on The Heat, which stars McCarthy and Bullock as mismatched crime fighters in an unabashedly R-rated comedy. This new deal will be her second project. Where did she come from? Dippold was a writer and co-producer of the NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation, and before that she was a writer on MAD TV and other shows.

This is a neat fit for Fox, which finances Chernin-produced films, and also has a first look deal with Feig, the Bridesmaids helmer who’ll also produce this project.

Dippold is repped by WME and 3 Arts; Feig by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.

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Sony Moves ‘Evil Dead’ Into April 5 Slot After Fox Bumps ‘The Heat’ To Summer

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 12:55pm PST

Evil Dead RemakeSony has shifted the release of its reboot with FilmDistrict of Evil Dead to April 5 now that Fox has moved its Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat to June 28. The bump to summer puts the Paul Feig-directed buddy cop pic in prime position to capture Bridesmaids-esque box office magic, but it left the April 5 slot wide open for anyone ready to saddle up against Universal’s Jurassic Park 3D, the only other wide release in the frame. (Fox Searchlight also advanced Danny Boyle’s Trance to fill the April 5 void, albeit in limited release.) Enter Sony/FilmDistrict’s Evil Dead, directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, which will counter Steven Spielberg‘s genetically engineered re-dimensionalized dinos with R-rated gore and a twist on the classic Evil Dead premise that already has the genre crowd’s attention. The early open also strategically moves Evil Dead ahead of Weinstein/Dimension’s Scary Movie 5, which opens the following week.

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Hot Red Band Trailer: ‘The Heat’

By | Wednesday December 19, 2012 @ 8:15pm PST

This one provides a little more graphic look at Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as reluctant partners in The Heat, written by Katie Dippold (Parks And Recreation) and directed by Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig:

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Hot Trailer: Bullock & McCarthy In ‘The Heat’

By | Friday November 16, 2012 @ 7:55pm PST

Think this will work? Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play mismatched officers of the law who are forced together as partners to go after a drug lord. The Heat is directed by BridesmaidsPaul Feig and written by Katie Dippold (Parks & Recreation). The 20th Century Fox release from Chernin Entertainment opens April 5th, 2013:

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Movie Casting Round-Up: ‘Noah’ Adds A Wife, ‘The Heat’ Adds A Villain

By | Thursday August 9, 2012 @ 7:10am PDT

Madison Davenport has joined the cast of Noah. The teen will play the role of Na’el in the Darren Aronofsky-directed film. Noah also stars Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. In the Bible, Na’eltama’uk is the wife of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. Lerman is playing Ham in the Aronofsky film, due out from Paramount in 2014. Davenport, who played a child bride for nine episodes on Showtime’s Shameless last season, will also be seen later this month in the horror film The Possession with Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Additionally, the actress will be on the new NBC series Save Me with Anne Heche. Save Me is scheduled to air in early 2013. Davenport is repped by CESD and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Entertainment.

Adam Ray has been cast in The Heat. The comedian will join Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the Paul Feig-directed buddy cop movie. Ray will play Lesoire, a drug lord, in the film. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark are producing. The movie, from 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, is currently filming in Boston. Ray guest starred recently on 2 Broke Girls on CBS. Ray is repped by APA and The Collective.

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‘Mad TV’s Michael McDonald Joins Paul Feig’s ‘The Heat’

By | Wednesday August 1, 2012 @ 8:19am PDT
Mike Fleming

Michael McDonald, a standout performer for a decade on the Fox series Mad TV, has joined the cast of the 20th Century Fox Paul Feig-directed buddy comedy The Heat, which stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. He will play a villain. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark are producing. This comes after McDonald signed a new blind script deal to develop a one hour show with ABC Studios. After his Mad TV run, McDonald has been working behind the scenes, creating and exec producing the hourlong drama spec script pilot Beautiful People for NBC last season. McDonald worked as a director, co-executive producer and writer on ABC’s Cougar Town and will continue directing episodes of the show this season after it moved to TBS. He will also helm episodes of the new ABC sitcoms Family Tools and How To Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life. He’s repped by UTA.

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Demian Bichir Takes ‘The Heat’

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 4:26pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Demian Bichir has joined The Heat, the Paul Feig-directed comedy that stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It is the first studio comedy for Bichir, who was Oscar nominated for A Better Life. He was last seen in the Oliver Stone-directed Savages. In The Heat, he will play an FBI agent. Bichir, who just wrapped the Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, is repped by CAA and managed by Sekka Scher.

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Paul Feig’s ‘The Heat’ Adds Online Comic Spoken Reasons

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 1:16pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Leaping from YouTube to the big screen, Spoken Reasons has been added to the cast of The Heat. The online comedy star joins Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the Paul Feig-directed film. Specifics are sketchy but Reasons will play a lead character called “Terrell Rojas.” The Fox distributed cop buddy movie, where Bullock’s FBI agent and McCarthy’s Boston cop team up against the Russian mob, starts filming next month. The Heat is the feature film debut for the 23-year old Spoken Reasons, whose real name is John Baker. However it is far from his first time in front of the camera. Producing, directing, writing and starring in skits and music videos on his own YouTube channel, Spoken Reasons has garnered more than 125 million views online. He has more than 1 million subscribers. A recent collaboration with producer Brian Robbins’ new YouTube-financed channel AwesomenessTV helped put Reasons in front of Feig, who quickly cast him in The Heat, Deadline has learned. Feig is executive producing The Heat. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark will produce. Spoken Reasons is repped by UTA and managed by Steve Rifkind.

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