SATURDAY PM, 5TH UPDATE: Jeez, Jeffrey Katzenberg must have enemies in higher places than anyone thought possible. Because studios are telling me this weekend’s freakishly early East Coast snowstorm will definitely take a bite out of box office. (On the other hand, maybe JK has friends in higher places because now no one will know what his movie would have done on its own.) There’s no doubt that DreamWorks Animation’s 3D Puss In Boots distributed by Paramount is finishing the weekend #1 with anywhere from $32.2M to $35M. That’s the range among my sources. So it remains to be seen when the actuals come in on Monday if the cat broke the Halloween weekend record of $33.6M set by Saw III in 2006. The Shrek spinoff’s opening was looking in line with 2011′s other non-summer animated 3D hits like Rio ($39M, also 3D) and Rango ($39M but only 2D) before the snow. But one rival studio exec snarked to me Friday night, “What will DWA think about an opening in the $30sM? Dunno, but it could be more like Puss In Cement Boots.”
Fox’s sci-fi thriller In Time with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried is soft considering the wide release. It’s clear now that Justin, while talented on SNL, is no movie star. FilmDistrict’s The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp also is performing … Read More »
A screening of Paramount Vantage’s Like Crazy will open the three-day Film Independent Forum on Oct. 21 at the Directors Guild. The event is put on by Film Independent, the nonprofit organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. The screening of the film, directed by Drake Doremus, will be followed by a Q&A and reception with writer Ben York Jones, producers Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling, editor Jonathan Alberts and cinematographer John Guleserian. Read More »
It was George Clooney 24/7 as the 38th Annual Telluride Film Festival kicked into high gear Friday. Clooney might as well have been running for mayor, if the reaction to his appearance at the Partrons Brunch in the morning was any indication. He was taking photos with anyone who asked and talking up a storm with any festival-goer who ventured near. I asked him about Deadline Film Editor Mike Fleming’s exclusive report that he was dropping out of the planned Warner Bros film Man From U.N.C.L.E., directed by his former partner Steven Soderbergh. Clooney indicated he would love to do it “but I realize I’m 50 now and am going for neck and shoulder surgery soon and just can’t do it physically,” he told me with a sigh. He also said he is skeptical about Soderbergh’s retirement pronouncements and hopes Contagion (Sept. 9) is a big commercial hit for him.
There were also continuing rumors that Johnny Depp was in town. Which must mean that Sunday’s scheduled unannounced sneak would be his long-gestating The Rum Diary. I couldn’t find anyone willing to confirm it, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Always a guessing game to see what festival co-directors Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer and Julie Huntsinger have in store at Telluride each year.
The festival already announced a premiere of The Descendants as well as a tribute program to Clooney. There is also buzz that … Read More »
Johnny Depp continues his exploration of the life and work of gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson. He stars in The Rum Diary, the adaptation of Thompson’s first novel. FilmDistrict has just released a new trailer for the film it releases Oct. 28. Depp played Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
NEW YORK, March, 29, 2011 – It was announced today at CinemaCon, by Bob Berney, President, Theatrical Distribution that FilmDistrict will release “The Rum Diary,” based on the early Hunter S. Thompson novel that was ultimately published in 1998. It stars Johnny Depp and will be released on October 28, 2011. The film is directed by Bruce Robinson (“Withnail and I”) from his own screenplay and also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. “The Rum Diary” is produced by Infinitum Nihil, the production company headed by Depp and Christi Dembrowski, along with Graham King and Tim Headington. Anthony Rhulen and Robert Kravis also produce.
“The Rum Diary” tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Depp). Tired of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local San Juan newspaper run by the downtrodden editor Lotterman (Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked lifestyle of the late ‘50s version of Hemingway’s “The Lost Generation,” Paul soon becomes entangled with a very attractive American woman, Chenault (Heard) and her fiancée Sanderson (Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals. It is within this world that Kemp ultimately discovers his true voice as a writer and integrity as a man.
Lucy Punch has signed with WME. Punch, who’d been repped by ICM, makes the move at a time when she’s about to open in the Jay Roach-directed Dinner for Schmucks, followed by Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, the Nicole Kassell-directed Earthbound and the Jake Kasdan-directed Bad Teacher, which also stars Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal and Justin Timberlake. Punch continues to be managed by The Schiff Company and UK-based United Agents.
CAA has signed Amber Heard, who is coming off Zombieland and will next be seen opposite Johnny Depp in the Bruce Robinson-directed The Rum Diary and opposite Nicolas Cage in the Patrick Lussier-directed Drive Angry. Heard had been repped by WME, and remains lawyer-ed up with Karl Austen.