SUNDAY PM UPDATE: That’s the pecking order before Monday actuals, according to my sources. This was one of those weekends which can only be described as box office hell for me. Because the three top pics were neck-and-neck for #1 this weekend. Final film order came down to Sunday late shows on the West Coast with Open Road’s End Of Watch easily placing #1 with $13+M. There’s still a battle for 2nd place after Relativity’s The House At The End of The Street came in way under their estimate, while Warner Bros’ Trouble With The Curve came in a little below their estimate as well. Lionsgate’s Dredd still did dreadful. All four newcomers are low- to medium-budget movies, but none opened to more than $13+M this very soft weekend. And total filmgoing likely won’t add up to a lot more than $88M, which is down a big -25% from last year. “It’s a close race to mediocrity with no winners,” one movie exec snarked to me. READ MORE »
Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘End Of Watch’ Clear #1; Clint Eastwood’s Baseball Drama Tied With Jennifer Lawrence’s Horror ‘House’ For #2; ‘Dredd 3D’ Dreadful On Very Soft Weekend
Tokyo Hosts ‘Trouble With The Curve’
Clint Eastwood-starrer Trouble With The Curve will close the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 28. Directed by frequent Eastwood collaborator Robert Lorenz, the film stars Eastwood as an aging baseball scout and Amy Adams as his estranged daughter. Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard and Robert Patrick also star. Warner Bros has set the U.S. release for September 21. The festival opens October 20 with Paramount’s 3D Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, exec produced by James Cameron and directed by Andrew Adamson.
News Corp Presses Binding Offer
News Corp has moved to solidify its hold on Australian pay-TV platform Foxtel and the Fox Sports channels with a binding takeover bid for Consolidated Media Holdings. CMH owns 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports. News is offering $A3.45 ($3.55) per share, valuing the company controlled by James Packer at $1.94 billion. That’s a bit less than News Corp’s non-binding cash offer made in June, but shareholders will receive a 6 cents per share dividend. Said Packer, exec chairman of 50% shareholder Consolidated Press Holdings: “This is a great outcome for CMH shareholders and for News and it reflects a fair price.” There was no immediate response from Seven Group Holdings, which has a 25.3% stake in CMH and has asked regulators whether it could buy the balance. A decision is due September 13. News owns 25% of Foxtel and the other 50% of Fox Sports. If the News deal proceeds it’s expected to close in November. Citi media analyst Justin Diddams told Deadline it’s unlikely the Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven Group will make a counter-offer. -Don Groves