Warner Bros Builds ‘Lego’ Sequel With Chris McKay Directing

By | Wednesday March 12, 2014 @ 8:01am PDT
Mike Fleming

legomovieEXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set Chris McKay to direct its sequel to The Lego Movie, the film that opened last month and has so far turned in a worldwide gross of $361 million. McKay was animation co-director … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Non-Stop’ And Powerful ‘Son Of God’ Fly Past ‘Lego’ On Wings And A Prayer; ‘Lego’ Passes $200M, ‘Frozen’ Passes $1 Billion

OPENING: Non-Stop (UNI) the Liam Neeson airplane suspense thriller looks to take No. 1 with a new $28.5M to $30M estimate on Sunday and a final of $28.8M; Son Of God (FOX) a blessing from $23.5M to $25M now expected at $25M+ to $29M for No. 2 with a final of $25.6M; NOTEWORTHY: Expanding is The Wind Rises (DIS) to take a nice $1.5M for the three-day. Sony released the Russian hit Stalingrad in 3-D on 308 IMAX screens this weekend. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (PAR) in re-release grossed another $1.3M to raise its cume to $126.5M.

Box office3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 1:15 PM: The final numbers are in and Non-Stop ended up with $28.8M for Universal who had it estimated higher this weekend. Son Of God took in $25.6M in its debut for Fox. There were some changes in positions when the dust cleared today, with Relativity’s 3 Days To Kill displacing The Monuments Men for the four spot, but  No. 3 was solidly with The Lego Movie which has grossed $20.8M for a whopping $209M in only four weeks for Warner Bros.

Next weekend, audiences will see new releases of Warner Bros.’ 300: Rise Of An Empire which will start on 8 PM showings Thursday night and the animated family film from Fox, Mr. Peabody And Sherman. When I went to see Frozen and the trailer for Peabody  ran prior to, the kids around me were already repeating the film’s lines and laughing aloud. The family film has already bowed overseas and has grossed around $38.6M, according to Fox’s most recent numbers today.

Non-Stop (2014) -- Screengrab from exclusive EW.com clip.1). Non-Stop (UNI) 3,090 theaters / 3-day cume: $28.8M / Per screen average: $9,345 / Wk 1

2). Son Of God (FOX) 3,260 theaters / 3-day cume: $25.6M / Per screen: $7,853 / Wk 1

3). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,770 theaters (-120) / 3-day cume: $20.8M (-33%) / Per screen: $5,525 / Total cume: $209.1M / Wk 4

4). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,872 theaters (0) / $3-day cume: $4.9M (-60%) / Per screen: $1,724 / Total Cume: $20.7M / Wk 2

5). The Monuments Men (SONY) 3,002 theaters (-62) / 3-day cume: $4.9M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,646 / Total cume: $65.6M / Wk 4

6). RoboCop (SONY/MGM) 2,885 theaters (-487) / 3-day cume: $4.5M (-54%) / Per screen: $1,563 / Total cume: $51.2M / Wk 3

7). Pompeii (SONY) 2,658 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $4.3M (-58%) / Per screen: $1,630 / Total cume: $17.7M / Wk 2

8). Frozen (DIS), 1,746 theaters (-145) / 3-day cume: $3.6M (-18%) / Per screen: $2,080 / Total cume: $388.7M / Wk 15

9). About Last Night (SONY), 1,804 theaters (-449) / 3-day cume: $3.3M (-55%) / Per screen: $1,875 / Total cume: $43.7M / Wk 3

10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,869  theaters (-321) / 3-day cume: $3M (-34%) / Per screen: $1,625 / Total cume: $127.1M / Wk 7


The Wind Rises (DIS) 496 theaters / 3-daycume: $1.5M / Per screen $3,059 / Total cume: $1.9M / Wk 2

Stalingrad (SONY) 308 theaters (3D) / 3-day cume: $510K / Per screen average: $1,659 / Wk 1

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues  (PAR) 1,317 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.3M / Per screen: $1,032 / Total cume: $126.5 / re-release

Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 4:15pm PST

Before tonight’s Academy Awards, catch up on the top stories you missed this week on Deadline:

Oscar_badgeOscars Finally Here – Record Voting Turnout According To Academy But What Does It All Mean?
By Pete Hammond – The robocalls and emails apparently did the trick as Academy CEO Dawn Hudson reports the 86th Oscar contest is responsible another significant high mark in the Academy’s efforts to turn out the vote.

OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever
By Pete Hammond – With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the most80th Academy Awards NYC Meet the Oscars Opening unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to  muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. Read More »

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Video Game Sensation ‘Minecraft’ Coming To The Big Screen As Warner Bros Acquires Rights; ‘Lego’s’ Roy Lee And Jill Messick Producing

minecraftEXCLUSIVE: Minecraft, one of the hottest video game franchises in the market today, is going to be made into a major motion picture. Warner Bros. just acquired the rights to the wildly popular game from Swedish indie developer Mojang AB (mojang means “gadget” in Swedish). The property already is getting huge interest from writers and filmmakers as Warners is putting together a live-action version. Roy Lee  is going to produce Minecraft via his Vertigo Entertainment production company along with Jill Messick (Mean Girls and Mean Moms) who will also produce in some capacity. Lee produced the megahit The Lego Movie with Dan Lin which launched a franchise for Warner Bros and a sequel is planned. Jon Berg is the executive in charge at the studio. CAA brokered the deal for the film rights.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘The Lego Movie’ Is Lord Of Business Again

warnerbrosMinecraft is one of the top five “open world”-type games, in which players can engage in a virtual world, creating any environment they can dream up with virtual blocks. It often is described as a “open sandbox” where the users can build anything they want. Minecraft has become an Internet sensation since its introduction in 2011. I know, gamers out there will point out that the beta version was introduced in 2009 and were invited to buy and play the game before it was finished — which was a smart move by Mojang because the players basically became the company’s test market and helped develop the game itself. (It didn’t hurt their bank account either). Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Is Lord Of Business, Costner’s ’3 Days To Kill’ No. 2 Buries ‘Pompeii’; ‘The Wind Rises’ To Expand

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 1:34pm PST

OPENING: 3 Days to Kill (REL) opens in second for an est. $12.2M 3-day; Pompeii (SONY) takes No. 3 with $10.3M. The Wind Rises (DIS) very strong in limited release. NOTEWORTHY: Oscar-nominated films still in theaters held well.

UPDATED: MONDAY, 1:34 PM: Final numbers are in. Read More »

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Warner Bros Sets ‘Lego Movie’ Sequel For May 2017

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 12:09pm PST

hr_The_LEGO_Movie_9BREAKING: The Lego Movie to date has made $151.7 domestically after two weeks in release and now it is getting a sequel. Warner Bros just announced that it has blocked out May 26, 2017 on the release date schedule. … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: ‘Lego’ Can’t Stop Building, But No. 2 Is Up For Grabs

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 1:40pm PST

legoWarner Bros.’ The Lego Movie will, undoubtedly, take this weekend over newcomers Pompeii from Sony Pictures and the Kevin Costner actioner 3 Days To Kill from Relativity Media. But the interesting thing is that we have four pictures this weekend vying for the No. 2 spot and three of them are from one studio. hr_Pompeii_6Sony not only has Pompeii, a love story set against the backdrop of an angry Vesuvius, which one former distribution executive (Jim Amos) calls Cloudy With A Chance Of Lava, but also the holdover MGM title RoboCop and the Kevin Hart-starring comedy About Last NightThis is a testosterone-pumped weekend as not only are the newcomers — 3 Days To Kill and Pompeii — both skewing to various ages up and down the male demo but so is RoboCop. All four pictures at this point in the game are looking to make anywhere from $10M to low teens. Fandango is showing that 42% of ticket sales belong to Lego. (FYI: Pompeii was fully financed by Constantin Films with FilmDistrict providing the marketing and distribution funds). Read More »

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‘Lego Movie’ Crosses $200 Million At Worldwide Box Office

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:28am PST

Lego MovieWarner Bros’ The Lego Movie grossed higher internationally than tracking predicted over the weekend, and the animated pic has now officially crossed $200 million worldwide. The movie, from Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow and LEGO System A/S, opened domestically February … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Lego’ Blocks ’80s Remakes, ‘About Last Night’ No. 2; ‘RoboCop’ And ‘Endless Love,’ ‘Men’ Round Out Top 5 In Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day Weekend

OPENING: About Last Night (Sony) No. 2, was estimated at $34.5M for four-day holiday, then $30M and now $28M to $29M, RoboCop (Sony/MGM opened Wed) No. 3 domestically with was $22M, then $25M and now $25M+ as international takes off, Endless Love (Uni) No. 5 was $20M+, then $15.1M and now $14.5M to $15M, Winter’s Tale (WB) soft and No. 7 was $11.5M, then $8.5M and now $8M.

hr_The_LEGO_Movie_96th UPDATE, 1:45 PM: Final numbers, both 3-day and 4-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend, are in from the studios. Some of these distribution executives are very smart in how they’ve been handling their films. Ride Along, for instance, shed 283 theaters and Frozen dropped 359 theaters to both keep their strong holds of only 9% drops. Also holding well is The Lego Movie (-28%), and Monuments Men is only down 30% in its second week in the same number of theaters. Highest per screens, not surprisingly, for the three-day were Lego and opener About Last Night. And, interestingly, Frozen in its 13th week of release and Gravity in its 20th week of release has similar per screen averages of about $2,900 which puts them both above the opening of Winter’s Tale. That hurts, but everyone in this business knows, you win some and you lose some. Here are the studio’s final numbers for the Top 20 via Rentrak:

1). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,775 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $49.8M (-28%) / Per screen average: $13,204 / 4-day cume: $62.4M / Total Cume: $142.7M / Wk 2

2). About Last Night (Sony), 2,253 theaters / 3-day cume: $25.6M / Per screen average: $11,384 / 4-day cume: $27.8M / Wk 1

3). RoboCop (Sony) 3,372 theaters / 3-day cume: $21.6M / Per screen average: $6,430 / 4-day cume: $25M / Total Cume: $30M (includes previews) / Wk 1

4). Monuments Men (Sony) 3,083 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $15.4M (-30%) / Per screen average: $5,020 / 4-day cume: $17.9M / Total Cume: $46.5M / Wk 2

5). Endless Love (Uni) 2,893 theaters / 3-day cume: $13.3M / Per screen average: $4,595 / 4-day cume: $14.4M / Wk 1

6). Ride Along (Uni) 2,511 theaters (-174) / 3-day cume: $8.7M (-9%) / Per screen average: $3,460 / 4-day cume: $9.8M / Total Cume: $117.2M / Wk 5

7). Frozen (DIS) 2,101 theaters (-359) / 3-day cume: $6.2M (-9%) / Per screen average: $2,964 / 4-day cume: $8M / Total Cume: $378.2M / Wk 13

8). Winter’s Tale (WB) 2,965 theaters / 3-day cume: $7.2M / Per screen average: $2,461 / 4-day cume: $8M / Wk 1

9). Lone Survivor (UNI), 2013 theaters (-856) / 3-day cume: $4M (-27%) / Per screen average: $2,030 / 4-day cume: $4.6M / Total Cume: $118.9M / Wk 8

10). That Awkard Moment (FOC), 1,922 theaters (-887) / 3-day cume: $3.4M (-34%) / Per screen average: $1,811 / 4-day cume: $3.8M / Total Cume: $21.9M / Wk 3

Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Blockbuster $69M; ‘Monuments Men’ Solid Second; ‘Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 1:08pm PST

OPENING: The Lego Movie (WB), blockbuster expected anywhere from $69M; The Monuments Men (Sony), around $22M in 2nd position; Vampire Academy (TWC) anemic with $3.9M.

BoxOffice_logo4TH UPDATE, 1 P.M: The Lego Movie ended its weekend run with $69M. Sony is reporting The Monuments Men at $22M (slightly less than yesterday) and the other newcomer distributed by The Weinstein Company, Vampire Academy, ended the 3-day holiday weekend with a mere $3.9M. Next weekend openers are a slew of 1980s back-to- the-future movies with re-worked titles MGM’s Robocop, which opens Wednesday; Sony’s About Last Night, starring Ride Along‘s Kevin Hart; and Universal’s remake of Endless Love. Here are the final numbers as reported from the studios for Top 20 titles from this weekend:

1). The Lego Movie (WB) 3,775 theaters / Est. 3-day Cume: $69M / Per screen: $18,291 / Wk 1

2). The Monuments Men (SONY), 3,083 theaters / 3-day Cume: $22M / Per screen: $7,137 / Wk 1

3). Ride Along (UNI), 2,800 theaters (-67) / 3-day Cume: $9.5M (-20%) / Per screen: $3,425 / Total Cume: $105.3M / Wk 4

4). Frozen (DIS), 2,460 theaters (-294) / 3-day Cume: $6.8M (-23%) / Per screen: $2,794 / Total Cume: $368.6M / Wk 12

5). Lone Survivor (UNI), 2,869 theaters (-416) / 3-day Cume: $5.5M (-22%) / Per screen: $1,940 / Total Cume: $112.8M / Wk 7

6).  That Awkward Moment (FOCUS), 2,809 theaters (0) / $3-day Cume: $5.2M (-40%) / Per screen: $1,864 / Total Cume: $16.5M / Wk 2

7). Vampire Academy (TWC), 2,676 theaters / 3-day Cume: $3.9M / Per screen: $1,466 / Wk 1

8). The Nut Job (OPRD), 3,004 theaters (-468) / 3-day Cume: $3.7M (-48%) / Per screen: $1,249 / Total Cume: $55M / Wk 4

9). Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (PAR), 2,139 theaters (-768) / 3-day Cume: $3.5M (-34%) / Per screen: $1,651 / Total Cume: $44.4M / Wk 4

10). Labor Day (PAR), 2,584 theaters (0)/ 3-day Cume: $3.1M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,233 / Total Cume:  $10.1M /Wk 2 Read More »

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International Box Office: ‘Frozen’ Hits China, ‘47 Ronin’ To Pass $100M, ‘RoboCop’ No. 1 in 10 Markets

cinemaworld1__140113015419UPDATED Monday, 12:25 P.M.: Spain and Germany have been added and numbers updated. We will continue to add numbers as we receive them. The U.S. box office monster The Lego Movie updated grosses have been input.

PREVIOUSLY, Sunday, 11:28 A.M.: This weekend is down just about 8% off last year, an improvement off last week’s 25% drop in the comparable time frame. Walt Disney Studios’ Frozen pushed past the $900M worldwide mark this weekend to $913.7M. In China, it took in an estimated $13.7M since bowing on Wednesday amid a crowded Lunar New Year field. It is the biggest Disney Animation opening ever in China and the second biggest Disney/Pixar animated opening film there behind Monster’s University. Frozen’s international cume is now an estimated $545.1M. The Lego Movie, which did a whopping $69.1M domestically, debuted in 34 markets and raked in a strong $18.7M from 5,695 screens. It was notably constructive in Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Hong Kong where it nabbed the No. 1 spots. In Hong Kong, it ranked ahead of four local titles for the top spot and $1M. Meanwhile, Universal’s 47 Ronin becomes the distributors’ first picture to Lego Moviecross the $100M mark in 2014. It grossed another $4.5M in 39 territories this weekend in 2,184 locales. Its worldwide cume is nearing $138M with six territories yet to open over the next two months. DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman traveled back to the past to score a real-time No. 1 in the UK where it bested new opener Robocop. Robocop, however, opened at No. 1 in 10 markets this weekend for an estimated cume to date of $28.7M ahead of its bow in 30 more territories this week, plus the U.S. on Wednesday. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has so far grossed $602.7M internationally to push its worldwide cume to $858M. Here are the key territory breakdowns for the above and other films this week:

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Blockbuster $69M+; ‘Monuments Men’ Solid Second; ‘Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite

frozen-two-princesses-618x400Frozen opened in China on February 5, in the waning days of the Lunar New Year celebration that was packed with local pics. The Disney film earned an estimated $13.7M to make it the 2nd biggest Disney/Pixar animated bow ever. The last animated studio film to debut in the country was Universal’s Despicable Me 2 in early January which took $14.4M in its opening frame and now has over $49M. In Korea, Frozen dropped 32% from a weekend earlier for a new cume of $57.7M; it is the highest animated title ever in that territory. Read More »

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‘Everything is Awesome’ Back To Devo Roots For ‘The Lego Movie’ Score, Says Mark Mothersbaugh

By | Sunday February 9, 2014 @ 8:10am PST

Jen Yamato contributed to this report.

hr_The_LEGO_Movie_9The words “everything is awesome,” which became the title of the theme song for what is expected to be a $69.1M+ mega-hit The Lego Movie, were written into the script well before Mark Mothersbaugh even began scoring the animated pic. The man behind the soundtrack of such diverse fare as Wes Andersen’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Sony’s animated Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and TV shows like HBO’s Big Love said he had to come up with an entirely different sound. “When I saw early cuts of the movie, and there were tiny Lego bricks forming a wave, forming the explosion cloud and when he turns on the shower, water comes out as Lego blocks, so I had to think to myself, what is the sound of that universe? What is the sound of Lego?”

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Blockbuster Now $69M+; ‘Monuments Men’ Solid Second; ‘Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite
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Fox Biz Host Slams ‘Lego Movie’s “Anti-Business” Agenda: Video

By | Saturday February 8, 2014 @ 2:11pm PST

Lego Movie Fox NewsFox Business host Charles Payne took aim at WB’s animated blockbuster The Lego Movie as it raked in the cash on its way to a sky-high #1 opening, “pushing its anti-business message to our kids.” … Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch 62: The Talking To Cate And Julia Podcast

Deadline Awards Watch ep 62In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with host David Bloom about which films and performers got an Oscar bump out of the WGA, Annie and Cinematographers awards shows this past Saturday; check in on the Santa Barbara film festival’s celebration of Cate Blanchett and whether the controversy over her Blue Jasmine director in will spill over into the Oscar race; dissect the Academy’s defense of its de-nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” in the face of complaints by, particularly, religious and conservative critics; and discuss the highlights of Pete’s sit-down with Julia Roberts this week to discuss her supporting actress Oscar nomination for “August: Osage County.”

We’ll also get Pete’s take on the week’s notable movie debuts, including the true and likable WWII story The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney with a big-name cast, and The Lego Movie, a fast-moving and smart animated film that Pete suggests could be in the Oscar hunt a year from now.

You can listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.M4A version)
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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: Little Legos Expected To Make Monster Opening

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 11:08am PST

The Lego MovieWarner Bros.’ will be planting its flag in its tentpole this weekend with The Lego Movie which will dominate the three-day box office. Done in association with Village Roadshow, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, the picture is … Read More »

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‘Lego Movie’ Empowers Fish Wish For Producer’s Son

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 7:44am PST
Mike Fleming

legomovieDan Lin produced The Lego Movie with Roy Lee for Warner Bros, but he will cede the stage this Sunday to his 9-year-old son Miles. The kid persuaded his father to allow him to organize a charity screening, with tickets at $50 a pop, to get an early peek at the family film. Miles is raising funds for the foundation he started, I Dream Of Fish (check out the website here), devoted to building aquaponic fish farms in India and Africa. The screening is at the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, and I was charmed enough to give the kid a chance to MilesLinpitch his cause because, after all, what 9-year-old do you know who thinks this way?

“My name is Miles Lin and I am 9 years old. I fell in love with fish when I was only 3 years old. It is my passion — all I live for. But my parents taught me that my passions are not only meant for myself, but also for the rest of the world. I tried to think about how I could use fish to help the world and started researching fish farms. But sadly, I found out fish farms weren’t very sustainable. Then I learned about aquaponics and sustainable fish farming and got really excited. Aquaponics uses a system of fish on the bottom, gardens on top. The dirty fish water gives nutrition to the garden above. It’s pretty amazing actually. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Vampire Academy’ Out of Valentine’s Day; Now Its Sony’s ‘RoboCop’ v Sony’s Kevin Hart Pic ‘About Last Night’

Vampire_AcademyMV5BMjE3NzcwMzA3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODMwNzIzMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Vampire Academy is moving up and out of Valentine’s Day weekend and will now bow on Feb. 7, giving the horror pic a couple of more weeks to play before RoboCop (MGM) and the next Kevin Hart pic About Last Night coming smashing through theater doors. Okay, now that Ride Along is busting up all Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday records at the box office with an estimated $42.2M take for the three day and $48M-plus for the four-day gross, Valentine’s Day weekend looks interesting given that Sony is releasing both pictures (Robocop on the Wednesday before). About Last Night, which also stars Regina Hall and Joy Bryant, will be released through its Screen Gems moniker. Of course, one is a violent actioner and the other is a romantic comedy so much different pics, but Sony’s gotta be thrilled after seeing these grosses. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Lego Movie’

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 10:39am PDT

Warner Bros has released a trailer for The Lego Movie, the Village Roadshow CGI 3D co-production that is due out February 7. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman provide the voices and Cloudy With A Read More »

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LEGO, Award-Winning Helmers To Build First Official LEGO Documentary

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 12:10pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: For the first time, Denmark-based toymaker The LEGO Group is teaming up with filmmakers on an official docu look at the interlocking toy bricks that have fueled children’s creativity for decades. The Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Group has partnered with Oscar-winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face) and Oscar-nominated Kief Davidson (Open Heart) on Beyond The Brick: A LEGO® Brickumentary, a feature-length docu on the global phenomenon of LEGO. Brendan Kiernan and Justin Moore-Lewy are producers on the pic which will unspool through the lens of culture, art, and education. And it’s not just the pint-sized Master Builders they’re tracking; Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs), fan conventioneers, LEGO artists, and famous LEGO fans are also in the mix. A theatrical release in early 2014 is being targeted. Read More »

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