Oscar, Schmoscar: MTV Votes ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Best Movie

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 8:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

mvUPDATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just beat out such films as Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street for Movie Of The Year in the conclusion of the MTV Movie Awards. … Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Final Four – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

We are down to the nitty gritty on Deadline’s search for Hunger Games Catching Fire Iron Man 3 Profit2013’s Most Valuable Blockbuster. This is the first of two showdowns today. Fueled by the numbers furnished by our insiders, we’ll find out just how profitable these movies really are.

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OTHER FINAL FOUR MATCHUP
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #3 ‘Despicable Me 2′

The Matchup: This battle between Katniss Everdeen and Tony Stark puts the year’s highest domestic-grossing film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, against Iron Man 3, which turned in the highest offshore gross.

The Box Score: What the numbers say.

Robert Downey Jr Iron Man 3

The Bottom Line: #1 seed Iron Man 3 got here by beating The Conjuring and Gravity, while #5 The Hunger Games 2 beat World War Z and turned in an upset by besting The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. According to our experts, Robert Downey Jr received first-dollar gross at around $10 million against 10%, putting his payday around $73 million. The film was the year’s top worldwide grosser with $1.2 million and clocked in as the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, trailing only Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers and the Harry Potter finale. It had the ninth-biggest foreign opening weekend of all time, and the sixth-largest worldwide opening ever. It completely righted the stumble that was Iron Man 2. On the downside, Marvel owed this movie to Paramount as part of that original financing and distribution agreement, so Paramount, which did the marketing and distribution, took in a 9% fee that amounted to $89 million. The film had a net production cost of $200 million, and the global P&A spend was $130 million worldwide.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box OfficeThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire set records of its own. It crushed past records for a Thanksgiving holiday opener — both for weekend and the five-day holiday period. Its $71 million opening day was the seventh-best domestic opening single day total ever, and its $158 million opening weekend was the sixth-highest opening weekend in movie history. Because Lionsgate pre-sells foreign (much like New Line did for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Summit did with Twilight Saga), the mini-major doesn’t reap the full dividends of its international performance the way Disney did on Iron Man 3, and star Jennifer Lawrence was paid $10 million upfront against backend. Between her, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and director Francis Lawrence, our experts place the participations at $21 million. The film had a net production cost of $130 million, and Lionsgate spent $50 million for domestic P&A.

The Winner: This is a tough one. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #4 ‘The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’

Mike Fleming

Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug Hunger Games Catching Fire ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the second of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

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Hunger-Games-HobbitThe Matchup: There are similarities here that go beyond each of these being the second installment of huge global franchises. How huge? MGM, which was frozen in suspended animation not that long ago, is flush and considering an IPO because of the fortunes derived from its share of The Hobbit franchise, and James Bond. On the other side, The Hunger Games is doing for Lionsgate what The Twilight Saga did for its merger partner, Summit Entertainment. It is driving the fortunes of those combined companies, emboldening its creative team to take chances on building new YA franchises as it did with the weekend’s top-grossing film Divergent.

The Box Score: Here is how the films compare in revenue, ancillary projections and profits.

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’; #4 ‘Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Hobbit Smaug ProfitThe second of four posts today in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

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SWEET 16

#5 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Vs. #12 WORLD WAR Z

HungerGames-WWZHow They Got Here: Talk about two completely paths to success. When Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released last Thanksgiving, the only question was how high Katniss Everdeen would soar. She didn’t disappoint, as the film blew past the holiday record for three-day and five-day totals, and it was just about as strong domestically as it was foreign. Contrast that to World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt- survives-a-zombie-plague movie had all kinds of troubles during its production, and the last act of the movie got scrapped after it was shot because test audiences and Paramount Pictures didn’t like it. It was redrafted and reshot. That added $20 million or more to an already highWorldWarZ budget, but worse, the buzz around the film was that it was going to be awful. Surprise. The film’s ending worked very well, and the action shots of zombies collectively swarming over walls like insects made it the most visually compelling zombie film since Night Of The Living Dead. Is that enough to topple The Hunger Games sequel?

The Bottom Line: When it was released, many thought Catching Fire would burn long enough to surpass the billion-dollar gross mark. It didn’t come that close with an $864 million worldwide gross, but it did improve upon the first film’s tally, which is exactly what the second leg of a continuing story is supposed to do. Considering all its hardships, World War Z is lucky just to be in this tournament. Usually, when you hear a film is going to be a train wreck, it usually turns out to be just that. Catching Fire Box officeIt was laudable to see a studio be willing to pull a film out of a prime release slot, and throw more money into it to rescue it, even if naysayers questioned why it took everybody that long to realize it didn’t work and needed to be fixed. Paramount was happy enough with the results to put elements on a sequel, even if that became creatively complicated by the first film essentially solving the zombie problem.

The Winner: It’s Hunger Games in a walk. Our experts peg the World War Z budget around $269 million, though Paramount argues it was considerably less. Tack on another $160 million to market it, and Pitt’s first-dollar gross deal, and, according to our experts, this film barely broke even. You don’t invest $430 million to make and market a film just to break even, especially when it became the biggest opening of a film starring Pitt, and the biggest-grossing film in his career. Good luck on that sequel. Read More »

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Lionsgate Says Opening Weekend For ‘Catching Fire’ Video Set Digital Sales Pace

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 6:59am PDT

catching-fireSANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, BC, March 11, 2014 — Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that the global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise continued to gain momentum as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire sold an estimated 3.9 million DVD and Blu-ray units in its first weekend of North American release and had the biggest digital launch in the Company’s history with opening weekend digital sales increasing nearly 40% over the first Hunger Games film.

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Lionsgate Issues Statement On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death; ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Role Had Been Mostly Filmed

Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead MockingjayThe studio behind The Hunger Games franchise which introduced the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee in last year’s Catching Fire has released a statement on the actor’s passing: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”

Related: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose

We’re hearing Hoffman had completed the majority of his work on Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 prior to his sudden death Sunday morning. He had seven days of filming to go before wrapping Mockingjay Part 2, but there’s no word yet on what Lionsgate plans to do to make up for that remaining week Hoffman was supposed to film. The role is a significant one that increases in stature following Plutarch’s introduction in Catching Fire, in which the new Head Gamemaker shares brief encounters with Katniss and is seen pulling strings for the Capital behind the scenes. In the subsequent Mockingjay novel which Lionsgate has split into two films, Plutarch plays a key role in the resistance. Read More »

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‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Passes $409M Domestically; Franchise Hits Record Books

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 8:46am PST

ID_D68_25264_RThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire topped $409.4M last night, surpassing the first The Hunger Games which grossed $408M. It marks the first time ever that the first two installments of a franchise have each grossed $400M at the domestic box … Read More »

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‘Paranormal Activity’ Opens To $1.2M Thursday For Paramount; ‘Hunger Games’ Catches its $400M

Paranormal Activity: The Marked OnesThe only new box office offering this weekend, horror film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opened decently on Thursday night for $1.2M in 1,600 theaters. Paramount estimates show the picture on track to a midteen-millions 3-day weekend, though bad weather in the Northeast is impacting box office. The hilarious thing is that the studio is calling it “a new franchise.” To audiences, the franchise is associated with the title. To be fair this one has been recast with Hispanic actors this time around (which could be a smart move). How this film will do in the long run will be interesting to watch. The studio says it’s only a $5M budget (who knows?).

Horror movies, as a rule, are hard to track and audiences for these kind of films can either flock or flee depending on the film. Carrie opened to $16.1M but then clearly underperformed, grossing only $35.2 for its distributor Screen Gems. On the other hand, Mama, which also opened in January, ended up grossing more than $71M domestically for Universal. Paramount-Pictures-LogoStudios have in recent years looked to January as the time to open horror movies — sometimes they work, and other times they don’t. One Missed Call, which was a remake of the successful Japanese horror film, opened the same weekend in 2008 to $12.5M and grossed $26.8M for Warner Bros, while Cursed open at the beginning of the year (in February) and underperformed. Read More »

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International Box Office Update: Iron Man No. 1 In 2013 With $1.2B Global Take, Best Gross for Marvel/Walt Disney Studios which Tops $3B For First Time; Fox International Down 14% In 2013 But Still Grosses $2.33B; ‘Hunger Games’ Heading Over $400M

Iron-Man-3UPDATE, 1:54 PM: surpassing $3B (specifically $3.013B) for the first time in its history. Bouyed by the Marvel franchise Iron Man 3 which took in $806.3M (almost double of its domestic take), the animated Monsters University with $476.4M, and Thor: The Dark World with $4.26M, Frozen which bowed late in the year and has racked up $267.3M in only six weeks’ time, and Oz The Great and Powerful ($258.4M), Disney has emerged as No. 2 in overall market share worldwide, under Warner Bros. Iron Man 3 was the number one film in the marketplace internationally and if you add in its domestic gross of $409M, it was a cash cow of $1.215B and the highest grossing film of 2013. It is also the No 5 film of all time globally. Its opening alone was $174M this summer. Universal International’s hit of the year was Despicable Me 2 which grossed $553.2M which helped rocket the studios’ total international cume to $2.258B. The animated franchise grossed a total of $921M globally for the studio. The other titles helping to push Universal into the record books was Fast and Furious 6 which grossed a total of $550M and About Time which has pulled in $65.9M in foreign territories. Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘Hansel & Gretel’ & ‘Bad Grandpa’ Make Makeup & Hair Shortlist

Oscars 2014BEVERLY HILLS, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in competition in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 86th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
The Great Gatsby
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

On Saturday, January 11, 2014, all members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

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BOX OFFICE: ‘The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Grosses $8.8M In Midnight Shows, Faces Different Marketplace This Year

Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug Box OfficeWarner Bros.’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug generated $8.8 million from midnight screenings. The studio is calling it “the second biggest midnight numbers ever in December.” Last year, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey brought … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Frozen’ Catches Heat And Fire To Lead The Weekend; Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Soars

5TH UPDATE, MONDAY PM: Here are today’s final Top 10 studio-reported actuals for the December 6-8 box office frame, courtesy of Rentrak. See the full Top 20 at the bottom of the file:

BoxOffice_logo__131122164403-275x2061. Frozen, Disney, $31,616,230, 3,742 locations, (third week) -53% from previous weekend, $8,449 average, $134,253,666 cume.

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate, $26,185,886 4,163 locations, (third week) -65%, $6,290 average, $335,850,842.

3. Out Of The Furnace, Relativity Media, $5,220,288, 2,101 locations (first week), $2,485 average, $5,247,364.

4. Thor: The Dark World, Disney, $4,811,545, 3,074 locations (fifth week) -57%, $1,565 average, $193,711,187.

5. Delivery Man, Disney, $3,742,544, 2,905 locations (third week) -45% , $1,288 average, $24,767,326.

6. Homefront, Open Road, $3,428,440, 2,570 locations (second week) -50%, $1,334 average, $15,328,830, 2 weeks.

7. The Book Thief, 20th Century Fox, $2,625,623, 1,316 locations (fifth week) -46%, $1,995 average, $12,000,678.

8. The Best Man Holiday, Universal, $2,609,890, 1,577 locations (fourth week) -68%, $1,655 average, $67,175,505.

9. Philomena, The Weinstein Company, $2,195,341, 835 locations (third week) -40%, $2,629 average, $8,167,976.

10. Dallas Buyers Club, Focus Features, $1,505,669, 734 locations (sixth week) -40%, $2,051 average, $12,453,993.

BOX OFFICE THUMBNAIL: Out of the Furnace (wide after opening Wednesday in four theaters) looks weak. Inside Llewyn Davis (opened limited in four) is very strong. Thor: The Dark World surpasses $600 million this past week. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen both headed to $30 million weekends.

4TH UPDATE, SUNDAY 11 AM: Walt Disney’s Frozen and Lionsgate’s power franchise Hunger Games: Catching Fire warmed the box office this weekend as most of the nation was under a deep freeze. Traditionally, also, the weekend after Thanksgiving is slow and percentage drop-offs were not unexpected.

Top Five:

Disney's FrozenFrozen, driven by family-friendly Saturdays, was able to leapfrog over Catching Fire – early estimates had them in a dead heat going into the weekend. Frozen won the weekend with an estimated $31.6 million-plus take (a $134.2 million cume) in a box office weekend that had business suffer from moviegoers not wanting to venture out into biting temps. It’s per screen was around $8,400 in 3,742 locations and it saw a 126% jump from Friday to Saturday. This is the film’s second week out.

The Hunger Games: Catching FireCatching Fire is estimated around $27.6 million for the 3-day for a total cume of about $336.7 million domestically (per screen of $6,486 in 4,163 theaters). The film, in its third weekend, was down anywhere from 63% to 67% from a week earlier, but its Friday to Saturday jump this was roughly 53%. Last weekend, Lionsgate over-estimated on its domestic gross, but this week they seem to be more in line with general consensus.

Internationally, the female-driven franchise is in 83 markets and has taken in around $44.3 million this weekend, which brings its international total – oddly enough – to the same $336.7 million tally for a total worldwide cume of $673.4 million, according to its distributor.

Lionsgate also noted that the film is playing in the number one spot in India (where it opened this weekend) as well as Australia, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium. So, the other 76 territories it is playing in, it is not number one, but with numbers like this … who cares.  The film will open in Japan on December 27, rounding out its bows around the world.

Inside Llewyn Davis CBS Films is crowing over the huge per screen numbers for the Coen brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, which with ticket sales tallying at an estimated $402,000 is about $100,500 per screen. CBS smartly added theaters on Saturday after sellouts on Friday. For news about this film, WeinsteinCo’s Philomena (no. 9 in the box office top ten with roughly $2.82 million) and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom ($19,000-plus per screen), Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave, Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club (which rounded out the box office top ten with $1.5 million), see Brian Brooks’ Specialty Box Office Story.

Related: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Opens To Spectacular $100K-Plus PSA Read More »

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China Box Office Hits $3B+: Hollywood Improves While Local Films Dominate; What Does End Of 2013 Hold In Store?

chinaflag2__130403012941Official figures released by China‘s film watchdog the SAPPRFT show 2013′s box office tally through November 25th was 19.3B yuan ($3.17B). That’s a 17.4% leap over 2012′s full take of $2.7B. But with only a month to go in the country that now has over 17,600 screens, will China be able to maintain the kind of growth it’s seen in recent years? The jump in 2012 was 35% and the year prior about 30%. A last-minute surge this year is likely, says Rob Cain, a producer in both the U.S. and China who writes the ChinaFilmBiz blog. That’s because there is a host of local movies on deck which he estimates stand to bring in about $500M by the end of December. If the math is correct, that would put 2013 about 36% above 2012.

Related: UK-China Co-Production Treaty Inches Closer

gravityThere are no more big U.S. productions expected to release in 2013, but November has been relatively good to Hollywood in China. The town’s movies are faring better than in the first half of the year when market share was down 21.3% year-on-year and imports to China had only $717M in sales. This quarter, U.S. films have about 55% of the market. Recent titles to go out include Escape Plan, Thor: The Dark World, Gravity and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Gravity just added $20.7M in its second week on 5,854 screens for a 13-day cume of $56.7M. Released a day after Gravity, Catching Fire did not have the same impact. Its worldwide success is undeniable: in the first 11 days of international release, the film has nearly equaled the entire international run of the first Hunger Games. It has $24.2M through Sunday in China, nearing the $27.9M lifetime gross of the original in the territory. I understand that Lionsgate execs are happy with the performance and Cain says it “looks like it will do better than the first one.” However, he opines, “In a market that’s grown by 80% [since the original was released] that’s not saying that much.” Another exec familiar with China tells me that Catching Fire likely suffered from the head-to-head positioning against Gravity. The exec says, “Bureaucrats try to stack the deck… and that causes a cannibalization of those films.” Cain agrees it may have been a factor that the films were released so close together — China “had to get the last few quota films out before December” — but also says the Hunger Games books and films haven’t been part of the zeitgeist in Asia. In his blog, he noted that Gravity benefited from a “liberal use of James Cameron’s quote calling it ‘The best space film ever’.” China is known as an especially brand-conscious country and Cameron’s Avatar is still the highest-grossing film there ever. Read More »

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The Takeaway On A Record Holiday Weekend? Be Fearless In Making Good Movies And Audiences Will Come

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box Office Record6TH UPDATE:  The staggering grosses turned in this weekend by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen, and the collective strong box office that will likely result in a record five-day Thanksgiving weekend come along at a fortuitous time for the movie business. Why? Because fear has ruled the roost lately, and these numbers on a diversity of mostly smart films shows clearly that if you give an audience a story well told, they will show up.

The performance of Catching Fire and Frozen are all the more remarkable if you consider that both of these films are squarely driven by female heroines. Conventional wisdom is that the marketplace could never support more than one female-driven film, because while gals will see guy movies, it doesn’t work the other way. Well, it worked big time — both films crushed the 5-day Thanksgiving domestic gross record – and it happened shortly after another female driven film, Gravity, crossed the $600 million mark in global gross this weekend. That movie would not have been made if not for a maverick advocate and you could make the same argument for a drama about Somali pirates, Captain Phillips, which has passed the $100 million mark domestically and will crack $200 million worldwide on a $55 million budget. You can look at The Best Man Holiday and Last Vegas (CBS Films’ biggest grossing film ever) and find similarly encouraging signs; good movies made for a price, finding crossover audiences.

LyntonPascal__131119192611-e1384889190694-200x357This is important, coming just on the heels of that Sony investors meeting held on the Culver City lot. It was a powwow that on the surface seemed to be a capitulation to cranky shareholders like Daniel Loeb, who, as George Clooney said, whined about two summer flops but betrayed a complete lack of understanding of how the movie business works. This weekend was a good reminder that, few legal businesses are capable of creating cash as quickly as blockbusters do. The people who make those bets are like shrewd riverboat gamblers, and if the current climate makes them fearful, they will not make good films. They are only good if they’ve got swagger and cockiness, and it would be nice to imagine a weekend like this serves as a reminder of what happens when smart risks are taken and good movies are the result.

Related: George Clooney To Hedge Fund Honcho Daniel Loeb: Stop Spreading Fear At Sony

When Sony responded to Loeb’s criticism by announcing plans to shed $100 million in overhead and trimming back its film slates to instead put more chips on TV projects, some in town wondered if Japan was planning to sell its showbiz division. Nonsense, say insiders I trust. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Paul Walker Dead ‘Fast & Furious’ Star Paul Walker Killed In Car Crash
By The Deadline Team – The Santa Clarita office of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department just issued an update on the fatal car accident involving actor Paul Walker, declaring that “speed was a factor in the solo vehicle collision” and listing the car involved as a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT.

PHOTOS: Paul Walker, 1973-2013

‘Catching Fire’ Holiday Haul Puts It On Track To Be Biz’s Next Billion Dollar Grosser; $573 Million So Far
By Mike Fleming Jr. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has blown past expectations once again, and has earned $573 million in worldwide gross. This after a $28.5 million Saturday night.

DeMille Award Recipient Woody Allen Not Expected To Attend Golden Globes
By Nellie Andreeva It looks like Woody Allen will be staying true to his principles of shunning awards shows (and Los Angeles). I hear that the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker is not expected to attend the Golden Globes in January, where he will be the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. I hear the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made the decision to honor Allen without securing a commitment from him that he would attend.

The Wolf of Wall StreetOSCARS: Scorsese And DiCaprio Back In The Race As ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Makes A Raucous Debut
By Pete Hammond – The last shoe to drop in the 2013 awards race hit Saturday as Martin Scorsese‘s much-awaited The Wolf Of Wall Street was unveiled to SAG voters at a couple of screenings at the WGA theatre in Beverly Hills. I caught the film earlier at a small 10 AM screening for some of the cast members on the Paramount lot and then moderated the Q&A following the 6:30 PM screening of the 3 hour film. To say it was rapturously received would be an understatement. Read More »

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‘Doctor Who’ Claims Victory Over ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Look out Lionsgate, BBC America‘s after a slice of your box office glory. The network scored a per-screen average of $13,607 on Saturday with its Doctor Who: The Day Of The DoctorRead More »

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Lionsgate Shares Fall As Investors Shift Focus From ‘Hunger Games’ To ‘Divergent’

Shares are -7.7% at midday, and that’s partly due to the opening weekend performance of Hunger Games: Catching Fire which grossed $160.6M at domestic box offices and $147M internationally. The consensus among Wall Street analysts was that the film would see $165M domestically, with some going as high as $175M. So the weekend was a slight disappointment. But most aren’t worried about the film’s prospects. With strong results overseas, Catching Fire is “already one-third the way towards our [global box office] ultimate of $900M after only 3 days in release,” B. Riley’s Eric Wold says. Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says that the international performance “will really matter for the title to have material upside…and given the current trajectory we believe that this will be the case.” So why the drop in the stock price? Some investors figure that Lionsgate has peaked for now, and will lose buzz as people begin to focus on its next major film, Divergent, scheduled to open on March 21. Cowen and Co’s Doug Creutz says that while he’s “optimistic” that Divergent will become a franchise “we continue to expect a much lower level of performance than for Hunger Games” forecasting that the sci-fi action film based on the bestselling novel by Veronica Roth will generate $130M at domestic box offices.
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Box Office Top 10: ‘Catching Fire’s Global Opening Gross Will Hit $307.7 Million

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box Office7TH UPDATE: The 1 PM football games are starting, so I will be brief. International numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pouring in now, and they are as good as the domestic numbers. The film has grossed $146.6 million in 63 territories, which puts its global opening weekend gross at $307.7 in 65 territories. That’s 45% better than the $211.8 million worldwide that The Hunger Games grossed in its opening weekend. That puts the film halfway to matching the $286.3 million international gross of that original film. It opened in the top spot in nearly all markets, more than doubling The Hunger Games in most markets according to Rentrak. Germany and Denmark tripled their opening weekend numbers while UK, Netherlands and Sweden were 2.5 times better. Russia was 1.5 times better than the original’s opening. Meanwhile WB’s Gravity opened to $35.5 million in China. Like I said, a good weekend for everyone except Carl Icahn.

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Philomena’ Debuts Strong; Is It This Year’s ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’?

6TH UPDATE, 9:29 am PST: Well, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hit the Saturday numbers Deadline reported in timely fashion for insomniacs, and the film is now expected to hit $161.1 million. Besides trouncing the competition, and beating Twilight Saga: Full Moon for biggest November opening, how does it rate for other records? According to Rentrak, here’s the deal: Catching Fire generated the 2nd best debut of 2013 behind Iron Man 3‘s $174.1 million; it marks the fourth best opening weekend of all time, trailing The Avengers‘ $207 million, Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2‘s $169.2M. Catching Fire did better than The Dark Knight Rises $160.9 million. In IMAX, Catching Fire’s domestic weekend gross is an estimated $12.6M on 347 screens, also a record for November 3-day launch as it passed Skyfall‘s $12.5 million. It certainly positions the film to surpass the $408 million grossed domestically by the first film, given there’s a long holiday weekend coming up. Lionsgate gets two more bites at the apple, as it is telling the three-book tale in four movies in a blatant cash grab. I have yet to see where this dilution of a crackling three novel story benefits anyone other than the studio when it is stretched out into another film (I think it hurt The Twilight Saga, because the third installment, Bella’s pregnancy, was excruciating.) Author Suzanne Collins is in the mix on these films, so maybe they’ll add stuff. But if these authors wanted to tell trilogies in four installments, they would have written four books, right?

Analyzing far in Catching Fire‘s rear view mirror, the other major release, Delivery Man, didn’t deliver much at all as counter-programming. Maybe the film (studio insiders said it cost $22 million) would have fared better had it opened one week ago against The Best Man Holiday, because clearly Catching Fire consumed most of the oxygen this weekend. Maybe it would have been better to simply avoid such a competitive time period. Thor: The Dark World saw a 61% drop since last weekend, and The Best Man Holiday was off 58%, showing Catching Fire fatigue. How are the Oscar films faring? 12 Years A Slave is running out of steam, Dallas Buyers Club is working in core areas and breakout potential seems dubious. Nebraska bowed just okay and Book Thief a little less than that while Philomena got off to a more encouraging start. The next big family film, Disney’s Frozen, did great in one house and opens wide November 27. The other animation juggernaut, Despicable Me 2, got a bit of new life in 295 theaters, squeaking out $342,000. Speaking of the record books, the $76 million film is at $916.5 million worldwide gross. Universal’s all-time record holder is Jurassic Park, which grossed $118 million worldwide in a 3D re-release which put it just over the $1 billion mark. In order to crack that record, Despicable Me 2 will need to open in China, which should be in the cards but hasn’t yet been solidified. Here is an updated look at how the Top 10 films will finish the weekend:

1) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

PG-13/ Lionsgate/ New/ Runs: 4,163/ Friday: $70.1 million; Saturday: $52.8 million. Sunday: $36.9 million. Weekend Total: $160.6 million. Per-screen average: $36,586. Total domestic gross: $160.6 million. Read More »

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‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Josh Hutcherson Does ‘SNL’: Video

Hunger Games: Catching Fire star Josh Hutcherson wasn’t even alive in the ’80s, but the mullet fit as he lip-synched The Outfield’s 1985 chart-topper “Your Love” in one of Saturday Night Live‘s better, and least explainable, sketches. (He did go ’90s retro in his 2012 indie Detention.) Elsewhere in the night Hutcherson’s highlights included a Hunger Games-themed monologue as well as him playing the straight man to Beck Bennett’s office boss-in-a-baby-body and his brief turn as a special correspondent in Mike O’Brien’s Bugs skit. Maybe a Horrible Bosses sequel is in this kid’s future – or Anchorman 3? Weigh in on the clips below.

Opening monologue

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