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James Mangold, Hugh Jackman Sinking Claws Into Another ‘The Wolverine’ Film

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 6:24am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Twentieth Century Fox has begun negotiations with James Mangold to return for another installment of The Wolverine, with Hugh Jackman bringing back his signature character with the razor sharp adamantium hooks. This comes after The Wolverine played very strongly overseas, enough to now sit as the second highest grossing X-Men film of all time. The film has grossed $413 million worldwide, with $132 million domestic and $280 million in international revenue.

RELATEDComic-Con: Q&A With ‘The Wolverine’ Director James Mangold

Here’s where it is right now. Mangold is making a deal to write the treatment, with X-Men franchise matriarch Lauren Shuler Donner producing. The storyline is being kept under tight wraps. I think Mangold did a bang up job on his first superhero film. When I met him at Comic-Con San Diego, he said he tried to veer from the usual superhero formula–if hero doesn’t succeed, world is doomed–and instead make it a character-driven storyline. There were plenty of action pieces, samurai swordplay and reasons for Logan to work up that famous temper, but at its core the film worked because the stakes were subtler and the storytelling somehow more intimate. Mangold is repped by WME and Management 360, Jackman by WME.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Girls Impact The World, Dubai Fests Partner On Filmmaker Prize; ‘The Wolverine’ Tops In China; More

Girls Impact the World And Dubai Fests Team On Film Prize
The Girls Impact the World Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival have partnered to offer a new prize, the DIFF Prize for Advancing Women and Girls. The prize will be awarded to an aspiring student filmmaker from the Middle East and North Africa region for a short original film on an issue related to the advancement of women and girls globally. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award. The submission deadline is December 31. Entries will be judged by a panel that includes Jeff Skoll, Christy Turlington-Burns, actor Ian Somerhalder, and Paley Center CEO Pat Mitchell. The winning submissions will be screened — and the final winner selected — at an awards ceremony at Harvard College on February 22. Guidelines and entry requirements can be found here.

‘The Wolverine’ Claws Its Way To $14.4M Opening In China
Fox’s The Wolverine opened in China this weekend, taking $14.4M from Friday through Sunday. After four days in release, it had earned $18.3M through last night, according to FilmBizAsia. The film was No. 1 at the box office and outperformed 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which earned a total of $13.2M. The Wolverine was ahead of Donnie Yen’s new Chinese entry Special ID, which opened on Friday to $10.9M. Last week, magic/heist thriller Now You See Me was the top pic at the box office, but fell sharply in its second weekend, FBA said. Tsui Hark’s hot Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, is closing in on $98.5M and Huayi Brothers Media Corp said Monday that it was lowering its box office revenue share from 43% to 30% in an effort to get the film across the line. Read More »

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Twentieth Century Fox International Hits $2B

By | Sunday October 20, 2013 @ 12:21pm PDT

Twentieth Century Fox International films set another milestone this weekend for what it boasted was an unprecedented 5 straight years and 7 overall – both industry records. Its 2013 overseas theatrical grosses passed the $2 billion box office mark for an unprecedented 7 calendar years. This spotlights the studio’s leadership by Chairman Jim Gianopulos who has always specialized in the global marketplace. Meanwhile, The Wolverine landed in China earning $13.6M from 4,800 screens for a first place finish and an opening weekend 4X bigger than Thor and 3X bigger than Captain America. Its cume now stands at $258.8M international and $390.7M worldwide.

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Hollywood Blues: ‘Smurfs 2′ Bombs Here And Blah Overseas; Denzel-Mark’s ’2 Guns’ Wins Weekend, ‘Wolverine’ Holds For #2

SUNDAY AM, 7TH UPDATEThis is yet another weekend that confounded and confused Hollywood as domestic numbers are coming in lower than projected and only international grosses are saving Summer 2013. Interesting that the Top Three films are all based on comic books. (Maybe that’s the reason?) Total moviegoing looks about $125M or about +8% from last year because of the glut of 3D films in the crowded marketplace. 

I’m shocked how badly the #3 film Sony Pictures Animation‘s The Smurfs 2 (3,866 theaters) bombed in the U.S. and Canada where even the most wretched family fare can catch a break at the summer box office. This 3D hybrid live-action/CG  animated sequel couldn’t even make in its first five days ($27.8M) what the 2011 original grossed in its first three-day weekend ($35.6M). Ouch! Guess little blue people creep me out and North Americans, too. The domestic total fell way short of the $35M first projected by the studio which blames too many PG films at the multiplex. But even the foreign cume was blah: $52.5M from 43 territories was “not enough to make up for U.S. underperformance,” a Sony exec tells me. That’s a worldwide total of $80.3M, far less than the $100M which Sony projected this weekend. Russia and Latin America beat Smurfs 1 while shockingly Europe (where the Smurfs began) did not. Let’s remember that the 2011 original made 75% of its coin overseas ($420M foreign vs $142M domestic) so Sony is was counting on a big worldwide weekend to save pic’s bottom-line. The negative cost for Smurfs 2 was $125M ($146M less production benefits of $21M). Sony also lined up for the sequel one of the studio’s largest global promotion campaigns with $150M from 100 corporations, licensees, and retail partners. (Including McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, blueberries). That’s a big deal for family fare not branded Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks. As expected Smurfs 2 opened Wednesday #1 atop the North American box office but with only a lame $5.2M and then a lifeless $18.2M three-day weekend. Its Rotten Tomatoes score was a poor 12% but the ‘A-’ CinemaScore from audiences didn’t help domestic word of mouth. I hear the Sony brass was concerned from the outset because their sequel was out-tracked by Disney’s Planes (which opens August 9th). Smurfs 2‘s disappointment will only put more pressure on the studio from cantankerous investor Daniel Loeb who’s currently destabilizing the studio. The first film was taken out of turnaround from Paramount by then Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman/CEO Michael Lynton, now the Sony America bigwig. And that original Smurfs movie caught lightning in a bottle and grossed $563M worldwide. Because of that, Smurfs 3 already is scheduled for 2015.

Better news for Emmett/Furla Films which financed 2 Guns that’s being distributed in America by Universal with EOne releasing in Canada. Playing in 3,025 domestic theaters, it was the #1 film this weekend – 7th time Universal has claimed top spot at the North American box office in 2013 – with a so-so $27.4M. Audiences liked it much more than critics who gave it only a middling 58% Rotten Tomatoes score vs its ‘B+’ CinemaScore. The studio had trouble building awareness in the crowded marketplace so low-balled its projection of only a $22M weekend. But two marquee stars paired for the first time like Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg should open any film to at least $25M. Good thing the ‘R’-rated comedy actioner cost only $61M. I think what helped box office is that Denzel rarely appears in a bad pic so audiences trust that. And Wahlberg is a consistent draw. Their starpower clearly was pushing gross for this film based on the Boom! Studios comic book by Steven Grant and directed by Baltasar Kormakur (who reteamed with Wahlberg after Contraband) and screenwriter Blake Masters (TV’s Brotherhood). 2 Guns was tracking strongest with its target audience of young males and African Americans after significant multicultural outreach. To that end, Universal developed an 82-second English-language spot specifically for the bilingual Hispanic audience. Washington and Wahlberg made appearances on NBCU-owned Telemundo’s morning show Un Nuevo Dia which created a first ever interview paired with the Today Show2 Guns villain Edward James Olmos did Hispanic media and developed 10 spots with Mexican-themes. Other promotions were aimed at African-Amercans including BeET’s top rated 106 & Park and the 2nd largest black network TV One. Exit polling showed moviegoers were 14% Hispanic and 28% African-American.

In #2 is Twentieth Century Fox’s holdover, Marvel’s Wolverine (with the highest theater count of 3,924). Marvel character played by Hugh Jackman yet again dropped 59% drop from last weekend for $21.7M and a new domestic cume through Sunday of $95M. Worldwide total is $255.2M.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros/New Line’s low-cost $19M horror genre The Conjuring (3,155 theaters) crossed $100M after three weeks Saturday on its way to $135M all in. Studio says it’s now the 6th biggest horror film of all time and easily will end up as #4 or even #3.

Here are the Top Ten films based on weekend estimates:

1. 2 Guns (Emmett-Furla/Universal) NEW [Runs 3,025] R
Friday $10.0M, Saturday $9.8M, Weekend $27.4M

2. The Wolverine 3D (20th Century Fox) Week 2 [Runs 3,924] PG13
Friday $6.4M, Saturday $8.6M, Weekend $21.7M (-59%), Cume $95.0M
International Cume $160.2M, Worldwide Total $255.2M

3. The Smurfs 2 3D (Sony Animation) Week 1 [Runs 3,866] PG
Friday $5.5M, Saturday $7.1M, Weekend $18.2M, Cume $27.8M
International Cume $52.5M, Worldwide Total $80.3M
Read More »

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Deadline Global Showbiz Watch Podcast With Nancy Tartaglione, Episode 1

By | Tuesday July 23, 2013 @ 6:09pm PDT

Listen to (and share) the first episode of Deadline’s audio podcast “Global Showbiz Watch, with Nancy Tartaglione.” Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about Rupert Murdoch’s latest backpedal over the long-festering British newspaper scandals; the new investment tie-up between media powerhouses Bruno Wu and Thomas Middlehoff; and whether China is loosening its restrictions on filmmakers. Finally, with the imminent debuts of The Wolverine, which was filmed substantially in Japan, and a samurai remake of the Oscar-winning Western Unforgiven, they spotlight the entertainment business in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, (MP3 format)
Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, (MP4a format)

The M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually any device capable of playing digital audio.

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Comic-Con: Q&A With ‘The Wolverine’ Director James Mangold

By | Sunday July 21, 2013 @ 10:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

Back when Darren Aronofsky stepped away from The Wolverine to direct Russell Crowe in the Biblical epic Noah, the emergence of James Mangold was something of a surprise. He’s an accomplished filmmaker, but his sweet spot is grounded characters with earthbound dilemmas in films from Walk The Line to Girl, Interrupted, Copland and 3:10 To Yuma. Just before he and Hugh Jackman unveiled a killer highlight reel as part of Fox’s Hall H panel, I sat down with Mangold to see why he related to Marvel Comics’ perennially pissed-off protagonist.

DEADLINE: You’ve directed actors like Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Angelina Jolie and Sylvester Stallone to career performances, but with the possible exception of Knight & Day, your movies have always been very grounded in character and reality. What made you take the leap into the fantastical genre of superheroes?
JAMES MANGOLD: Several things appealed to me. The studio and the star were ready to do something different. This didn’t have to serve other films, we were operating off some perception of disappointment for the first film. To follow an act that tripped in some way gave us a lot of freedom. As for my own sensibility as a filmmaker, the opportunity I sensed was a chance to make a movie more like the comic books I’ve read and less like what I call comic book event movies. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was a kid, and they weren’t always about the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Every week, it was not about how a city, a continent or a universe will be destroyed if X doesn’t happen. That is unsustainable for the comic book writers. I think what is missing from a lot of comic book films reliant on peak battles is the angst, the character work, the things that as young people we related to. It was not infantile, but incredibly mature themes about life, death, betrayal, revenge, friendship, loyalty, parents, genetics, who we are and accepting ourselves for who we are. Those are themes in the comic books but the movies dabble in that but become about defeating a villain who’s intent on destroying the X that will occur unless Y happens to stop them. I was really interested in the idea of making a superhero film that purposely avoided putting the audience at risk. It seems all too often that comic book movies convey situations to the audience that, if the superhero doesn’t succeed, we’re all dead. I was trying to make a film that operated as a real drama, a real thriller, noir, Western or a real samurai film. Where you become invested in the heroes of the film worried about their interests, their needs, their safety, and not yours. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 6:11pm PDT

A new trailer for Fox‘s summer X-Men standalone adventure The Wolverine has hit the web, with more of a peek at villainess Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) and the Japan-set plot. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the Marvel superhero Wolverine as James Mangold directs the postconverted 3D pic, which opens internationally July 24 ahead of a stateside July 26 bow. Check it out:

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

By | Tuesday May 21, 2013 @ 6:10am PDT

Here’s the newest trailer for Fox‘s The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman that will begin showing this weekend in theaters attached to Fast & Furious 6. The James Mangold-directed 3D pic opens wide July 26 and this offers the clearest look yet at the Japan-set plot.

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ICM Partners Signs ‘Wolverine’s’ Rila Fukushima

By | Thursday May 2, 2013 @ 9:47am PDT

Just less than three months before her feature debut in The Wolverine hits the big screen, Rila Fukushima has signed with ICM Partners The agency will rep her in all areas except modeling, where she remains with Japan’s Bon Image Corp. She is managed by Seven Summits. Fukushima will appear as assassin Yukio in Wolverine, Fox’s James Mangold-directed sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hugh Jackman returns as the mutant, and the Japan-based Wolverine is due out Stateside on July 26.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 10:10am PDT

Here’s the heavy on action, light on plot Wolverine trailer Fox unveiled to exhibitors at CinemaCon. Hugh Jackman stars in the X-Men stand-alone directed by James Mangold. Pic opens stateside July 26. Check it out:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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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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Hot Trailer: ‘The Wolverine’

Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine in the Fox superhero movie that bows Stateside on July 26. The James Mangold-directed pic is the sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the latest in the X-Men franchise. It finds Wolverine out of his depth in modern day Japan where he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Brian Tee, Will Yun Lee and Hiroyuki Sanada also star, with a cameo by Famke Janssen. Oscar-nominee Jackman will also strap on his Adamantium claws for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past that’s out next year. Here’s the domestic trailer Fox released today, followed by the international one:

Read More »

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‘The Wolverine’ Motion Poster

By | Thursday December 13, 2012 @ 4:19am PST

The official international Website for The Wolverine has released a motion poster depicting a contemplative Hugh Jackman atop a building, in Japan, in the rain. The James Mangold-directed Wolverine is the sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the latest in the X-Men franchise. It’s due out on July 26, 2013. Click over for the poster, but beware the autoplay: Read More »

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Australia Eyes Increased Incentives As Studios Face Make-Or-Break Point

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 1:22am PDT

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. Read More »

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Hugh Jackman As ‘The Wolverine’: Photo

By | Monday September 24, 2012 @ 12:54pm PDT

20th Century Fox has released a first look at Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine, the James Mangold-directed sequel to 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the latest in the X-Men franchise. It’s due out July 26, 2013.

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‘The Wolverine’ Set To Shoot As Questions Linger Over Who Will Play Viper

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 9:38am PDT

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

Wolverine Viper RoleThe Wolverine starts shooting at the Fox Studios in Sydney next week with no indication yet of who will play the Viper alongside Hugh Jackman in the title role of the 20th Century Fox tentpole. At a media conference here, director James Mangold insisted Jessica Biel was only ever in talks for the role of the mutant villain — she withdrew last week — and deflected questions on whether Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy star Svetlana Khodchenkova would get the part. Acknowledging that the Australian government’s $A12.8 million grant was an added inducement to shoot in Sydney, Jackman said, “I think on the balance sheet side of things it’s a win-win. What you can’t quantify is the skills, is the confidence, is keeping Australia as world-class as we are in filmmaking. Not just in acting but as crews… any industry we can really nurture or encourage — which is about knowledge, is about skills.” Read More »

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No Deal For Jessica Biel On ‘The Wolverine’

By | Wednesday July 18, 2012 @ 8:40am PDT
Mike Fleming

Remember at Comic-Con when I told you Jessica Biel would play Viper in The Wolverine? Talks fell apart and it’s not going to happen. Director James Mangold will meet with other actresses to fill that role.

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Jessica Biel To Play Viper In ‘Wolverine’

By | Friday July 13, 2012 @ 12:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING… Jessica Biel has been cast as Viper in 20th Century Fox‘s The Wolverine. The Victoria/Viper character has a long arc in the X-Men mythology and is a juicy role in the film. According to Marvel lore Viper bounces between good and not so good and she holds some sway over Wolverine but is mostly a foe to the X-Men and Avengers. It will be the second Marvel project for Biel, who also starred in 2004′s Blade: Trinity. She’s next up co-starring opposite Colin Farrell in Total Recall, which Sony is releasing August 3, and Pascal Laugier’s The Tall Man, due out August 31.

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Hiroyuki Sanada Joins Fox’s ‘Wolverine’

By | Tuesday July 10, 2012 @ 2:52pm PDT

Hiroyuki Sanada WolverineJapan’s Hiroyuki Sanada is set to play Wolverine foe Shingen in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by James Mangold. Lauren Shuler-Donner, Kevin Feige, Jackman and Hutch Parker are producing the X-Men sequel, which begins production next month in Australia and later in Japan. In the Marvel comic universe, Shingen was a Japanese yakuza crime boss who also happened to be the father of Wolverine’s fiancee. Sanada just finished filming The Railway Man opposite Colin Firth and is also in Universal’s 47 Ronin, which will be released next February. He won the Japanese Oscar for The Twilight Samurai, and his credits include Rush Hour 3, City Of Your Final Destination, and The White Countess. He is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment and Axon Entertainment.

Related: ‘Wolverine’ Sets Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee To Join Hugh Jackman

(Photo: Getty Images)

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