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NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND: ‘True Grit’ Gives #1 ‘Little Fockers’ A Run For The Money; Many Holiday Pics Grossing Big Overseas








SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Overall, the movie industry domestic box ended the year at $10.3 billion, down from $10.6B in 2009. As I previously reported, Warner Bros will three-peat (a record) in winning the domestic market share for the 3rd year in a row with $1.885 billion, followed by Paramount, then Fox. ”A lack of strong commercial product at Christmas was the reason that the 2010 box office could not close strong,” one top studio exec emails me. However, the final movie industry international box office cume will definitely be a record. The final figure isn’t available yet, but the international numbers look like a tie between Warner Bros and Fox with $2.290 billion, so that gives Warner Bros the crown for worldwide market share for 2010 with $4.804 billion. That’s the 2nd year in a row. As I’ve already reported, Disney’s international total for 2010 was its biggest ever with $2.3 billion. And domestic cume will end the year its second biggest year ever with $1.49 billion. Thank its three 3D titles, Alice In Wonderland and Toy Story 3 and Tangled. Here are official numbers from the studios for New Year’s weekend box office with daily and cume estimates. More bad news: overall grosses this weekend look to be $158M, which is -28% down from last year. Here are the Top 10:

1. Little Fockers (Universal) Week 2 [3,554 … Read More »

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Wednesday: Holiday Box Office Grosses



THURSDAY AM: Here are unofficial numbers from my sources for Wednesday’s box office as the holidays continue. The Weinstein Co’s Blue Valentine opened in 4 theaters; the Derek Cianfrance film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams logged an estimated opening day gross of $47K for a best day location average of $11,750. Sony Pictures Classics’ Another Year debuted in 6 runs:

Top 10

1. Little Fockers (Universal) Week 2 [3,536 Theaters]
Monday $8.4M, Tuesday $7.7M, Wednesday $7.8M, Cume $69M
2. True Grit (Paramount) Week 2 [3,047 Theaters]
Monday $7.1M, Tuesday $6.1M, Wednesday $6.2M, Cume $55.3M
3. Tron: Legacy 3D (Disney) Week 2 [3,451 Theaters]
Monday $6.3M, Tuesday $6.3M, Wednesday $6.1M, Cume $106.1M
4. Yogi Bear 3D (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,515 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $4.5M, Wednesday $4.5M, Cume $48.4M
5. Tangled 3D (Disney) Week 5 [2,582 Theaters]
Monday $3.2M, Tuesday $3.6M, Wednesday $3.7M, Cume $154.2M
6. Chronicles Of Narnia 3D (Fox) Week 3 [3,350 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $3.7M, Wednesday $3.3M, Cume $73.1M
7. Gulliver’s Travels 3D (Fox) Week 1 [2,546 Theaters]
Monday $2.6M,Tuesday $2.9M, Wednesday $3.1M, Cume $15M
8. Black Swan ( Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [1,466 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.4M, Wednesday $2.5M, Cume $36.2M
9. The Fighter (Relativity/Paramount) Week 3 [2,511 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.2M, Wednesday $2.4M, Cume $33.8M
10. The Tourist (GK Films/Sony) Week 3 [2,756 Theaters]
Monday $1.8M, Tuesday $1.7M, Wednesday $1.7M, Cume $46.1M

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Tuesday: Holiday Box Office Update

WEDNESDAY AM: Here are unofficial numbers from my sources for Tuesday’s box office as the holidays continue. The Weinstein Co’s Blue Valentine (4 theaters), and Sony Pictures Classics’ Another Year (6 theaters) both open today. Christmas weekend actuals are here:

1. The Little Fockers (Universal) Week 1 [3,536 Theaters]
Monday $8.4M, Tuesday $7.7M, Cume $61.2M
2. Tron: Legacy 3D (Disney) Week 2 [3,451 Theaters]
Monday $6.3M, Tuesday $6.3M, Cume $100M
3. True Grit (Paramount) Week 1 [3,047 Theaters]
Monday $7.1M, Tuesday $6.1M, Cume $49.3M
4. Yogi Bear 3D (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,515 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $4.5M, Cume $43.9M
5. Chronicles Of Narnia 3D (Fox) Week 3 [3,350 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $3.7M, Cume $69.7M
6. Tangled 3D (Disney) Week 5 [2,582 Theaters]
Monday $3.2M, Tuesday $3.6M, Cume $150.5M
7. Gulliver’s Travels 3D (Fox) Week 1 [2,546 Theaters]
Monday $2.6M,Tuesday $2.9M, Cume $11.9M
8. Black Swan ( Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [1,466 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.4M, Cume $33.6M
9. The Fighter (Relativity/Paramount) Week 3 [2,511 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.2M, Cume $31.3M
10. The Tourist (GK Films/Sony) Week 3 [2,756 Theaters]
Monday $1.8M, Tuesday $1.7M, Cume $44.4M

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Monday: Better Box Office Despite Blizzards

MONDAY PM/TUESDAY AM UPDATE: Here are unofficial numbers from my sources for Monday’s box office as the holidays continue. Christmas weekend actuals are here:

1. The Little Fockers (Universal) [3,536 Theaters]
Monday $8.3M, Cume $53.4M
2. True Grit (Paramount) [3,047 Theaters]
Monday $7.1M, Cume $43.2M
3. Tron: Legacy 3D (Disney) [3,451 Theaters]
Monday $6.3M, Cume $93.7M
4. Yogi Bear 3D (Warner Bros) [3,515 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Cume $39.4M
5. Chronicles Of Narnia 3D (Fox) [3,350 Theaters]
Monday $3.5M, Cume $66M
6. Tangled 3D (Disney) [2,582 Theaters]
Monday $3.2M, Cume $146.9M
7. Gulliver’s Travels 3D (Fox) [2,546 Theaters]
Monday $2.6M, Cume $8.9M
8. The Fighter (Relativity/Paramount) [2,511 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Cume $29.1M
9. Black Swan ( Fox Searchlight) [1,466 Theaters]
Monday $2.4M, Cume $31.1M
10. The Tourist (GK Films/Sony) [2,756 Theaters]
Monday $1.8M, Cume $42.6M

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Blizzards Slow Xmas Weekend Box Office: FEW HOLIDAY GIFTS: ‘Little Fockers’ Soft; ‘True Grit’ Surprise #2; ‘Tron 3D’ Only #3; ‘Gulliver’s Travels 3D’ Bombs As Expected

MONDAY UPDATE: Actuals are in for the Christmas weekend, and the East Coast blizzards took their toll on box office. All the numbers were down 5% to 10% from studio projections, and Sunday’s moviegoing in the Northeast fell about 40%:

Top 10 Actuals
1. The Little Fockers (Universal) [3,536 Theaters]
Weekend $30.8M, Cume $45M
2. True Grit (Paramount) [3,047 Theaters]
Weekend $24.8M, Cume $36M
3. Tron: Legacy 3D (Disney) [3,451 Theaters]
Weekend $19.1M, Cume $87.3M
4. Chronicles Of Narnia 3D (Fox) [3,350 Theaters]
Weekend $9.4M, Cume $62.5M
5. Yogi Bear 3D (Warner Bros) [3,515 Theaters]
Weekend $7.8M, Cume $35.8M
6. The Fighter (Relativity/Paramount) [2,511 Theaters]
Weekend $7.6M, Cume $26.6M
7. Tangled 3D (Disney) [2,582 Theaters]
Weekend $6.4M, Cume $143.6M
8. Gulliver’s Travels 3D (Fox) [2,546 Theaters]
2-Day Weekend $6.3M, Cume $6.3M
9. Black Swan ( Fox Searchlight) [1,466 Theaters]
Weekend $6.2M, Cume $28.6M
10. The Tourist (GK Films/Sony) [2,756 Theaters]
Weekend $5.4M, Cume $40.8M Read More »

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OSCAR: Joel And Ethan Coen Q&A On ‘True Grit’

Mike Fleming

Considering they’ve rubbed out characters memorably by feeding them through a wood chipper (Fargo) or with a pneumatic cattle slaughtering gun (No Country For Old Men), setting Joel and Ethan Coen loose with a revenge story in the Old West seems a recipe for mayhem. In fact, True Grit turns out to be the most mainstream audience-friendly film they have made in years. Sticking close to the 42-year Charles Portis novel and not even watching the first movie that won John Wayne his Oscar in 1969, the Coens have made a PG-13 adventure film that gives the starring role to teenager Hailee Steinfeld, and surrounds her with such seasoned actors as Jeff Bridges as salty U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as the blowhard Texas Ranger LaBeouf, and Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper as the ornery outlaws they are chasing. The film opens today, and could add intrigue to the Oscar race.

DEADLINE: How did you find your way to a 40 year old book you’d have been hard pressed to find in a bookstore?
ETHAN COEN: We both knew the book, and we’d both read it, amongst other Charles Portis novels. A few years ago I read it out loud to my son and that was the point we began talking about it, thinking this might be interesting to do.
JOEL COEN: Fully aware there of course there had been this previous movie. But we hadn’t seen that since it came out, and didn’t really remember it very well.

DEADLINE: The book focuses more squarely than the film did on young Mattie, the bright, headstrong teenager determined to see the man who shot her father swing from a rope. What potential did you see in that that overcame the inevitable comparison to a film considered somewhat iconic?
ETHAN COEN: That is what we liked about the book, that it was told in the first person narrative told by the 14-year old character, Mattie Ross. It’s just a very funny book. It has three really great, really vivid characters. Her, Rooster Cogburn and LaBeouf, the Texas Ranger. And it’s a simple pursuit revenge story. It all just seemed promising material for a movie. Which might sound funny because, as you say, there was this iconic movie. Which we were aware of but which we didn’t remember very well.
JOEL COEN: We didn’t revisit it, either.
ETHAN COEN: And in the course of remaking the movie, we didn’t watch the first one. We weren’t much worried about it, though. You say it’s iconic, and that’s very true. But on the other hand, I must say it’s probably iconic for people our age and older. And we’re not the moviegoing demographic anymore. I don’t think younger people have much of a connection to John Wayne, at all. So it didn’t feel like we were trespassing and we didn’t worry about it. We just had this enthusiasm for the novel.

DEADLINE: I should qualify iconic. It’s called that because John Wayne won an Oscar, but many feel that statue was a reward for a career and not that role.
JOEL COEN: That’s what I’ve read about it too, that it was a kind of valedictory thing.
ETHAN COEN: You’ve been around a long time, we love you, here’s an award.

DEADLINE: How did adapting a book like True Grit compare with adapting Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men?
ETHAN COEN: Not dissimilar, actually. In the Cormac book that we did, we had this similar issue. Read More »

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Berlinale Adds ‘Coriolanus’ To Competition

The 61st Berlin International Film Festival has announced the rest of the Competition line-up in addition to opening film True Grit (which is screening out of competition). They include Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut Coriolanus, co-starring Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave, and Wim Wenders’ 3D dance film Pina. Read More »

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Golden Globes Film: Hammond Analyzes; ‘King’s Speech’, ‘Social Network’, Fighter’

Pete Hammond

With the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it’s always a bit of give and take. Since overall they try and please everyone so they giveth to Paramount for The Fighter but taketh away for True Grit, they shower nods on Warner Bros for Inception but give hardly anything for The Town, they place Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan in Picture and Directing categories over 127 Hours and so on. The one producer who got everything he wanted was probably Harvey Weinstein, now back in the awards game bigtime this year with The King’s Speech, acting noms for Blue Valentine, and a foreign film nomination for The Concert. He’s also one of the backers of The Fighter. Harvey is having a good morning.

It was a very big morning at the Golden Globes for critical darlings The King’s Speech (7 nominations), The Social Network and The Fighter (6 nominations apiece), all of which are cleaning up this week with awards and accolades. This closeness in the voting should set up a fierce race in the Best Motion Picture - Drama category which also includes Warner Bros’ Inception and Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan (4 nominations each). All five films won nods for their directors (David Fincher, David O. Russell, Tom Hooper,  Christopher Nolan, and Darren Aronofsky) making this anyone’s ballgame at this point.

What Sony Pictures might not have expected were 3 nominations for the GK Films’ critically drubbed The Tourist which Sony is distributing, including Best Picture – Comedy or Musical (what’s up with that category?) and nods in the acting categories for stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, who is nominated against himself for Disney’s Alice In Wonderland. Champagne corks should be popping in Culver City this morning for this unexpected bounty; it means Sony will be able to splash “Best Picture Nominee” ads for the expensive movie which underperformed at the domestic box office in its opening weekend with a disappointing $16.5 million grosses from North America not to mention only a 7% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. (Only two good notices out of 29 reviews counted from top critics, with a measly 20% fresh overall.) This has to be one of the worst reviewed movies ever to get this kind of attention. Read More »

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Hammond Analyzes B’cast Critics Awards

Pete Hammond

With a record 12 nominations including Best Picture , Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan led the list of nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 16th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards announced early Today. The Weinstein Company’s The King’s Speech and Paramount’s True Grit followed closely with 11 nods each. Warners’ Inception managed 10 noms without a single acting mention, while Sony Pictures’s critics group darling, The Social Network was named 9 times. The winners will be announced in a live ceremony from the Hollywood Palladium on January 14 on VH1 which recently reupped its deal to carry the event after airing it for the past three years. MTV Music Awards Executive Producer Jesse Ignjatovic of the Den of Thieves production company will serve as the show’s new Executive Producer.

The BFCA has an emerging reputation as a strong precursor of Academy Award nominations and wins. Last year, the group was the first televised movie awards show of the season to name The Hurt Locker as Best Picture and Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director as well as and gave all four eventual Oscar acting winners Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Monique and Christoph Waltz first chance to try out their acceptance speeches. In fact, in their 15 year history, the BFCA managed to mirror the Oscar choice for Best Picture 9 out of 15 times including the last four years in a row. Last year 8 of their 10 nominees for Best Pic went on to … Read More »

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Broadcast Film Critics Favor ‘Black Swan,’ ‘True Grit,’ ‘The King’s Speech,’ ‘Inception’ And ‘The Social Network’

(Los Angeles, CA – December 13, 2010) – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has announced the nominees for the 16th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The winners will be announced at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards ceremony on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. This year’s event will again take place at the Hollywood Palladium. This is the fourth year in a row that VH1 will broadcast the gala live on the network and the first year the show will also be broadcast internationally.

“Black Swan” received an unprecedented 12 nominations for the 16th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, garnering nods for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sound and Best Score. “True Grit” and “The King’s Speech” followed close behind with 11 nominations each, while “Inception” received 10 nominations and “The Social Network” garnered 9.

“Toy Story 3” was honored in the Best Picture and Best Animated Feature categories while two Best Picture nominees, “Inception” and “The Town,” were also recognized in the Best Action Movie category. “127 Hours,” “The Fighter” and “Winter’s Bone” also scored multiple nominations, including Best Picture.

Nicole Kidman received her record seventh acting nomination for Best Actress in “Rabbit Hole.”

Amy Adams will be seeking her second Critics’ Choice Award as a Best Supporting Actress nominee in “The Fighter.”

Twenty-year-old Jennifer Lawrence earned nods in both

Read More »

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‘True Grit’ To Open Berlin Fest

Mike Fleming

Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit, the most prominent Oscar contender that didn’t get a festival launch, has  one now. The film is scheduled for an international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 10. The picture, which stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, was completed too late for Telluride or the Toronto International Film Festival, where several of the front runner films for Best Picture were unveiled.

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OSCAR: Coen Bros ‘True Grit’ Enters Race

Pete Hammond

UPDATE: True Grit doesn’t open until December 22nd but started screenings this week just under the wire of critics groups and SAG nominating committee deadlines. It’s the last unseen film of this awards season thought to have a serious chance of cracking the Best Picture Oscar list, especially now that there are 10 nominees. Can Joel and Ethan Coen’s much anticipated new take on the John Wayne classic do what that 1969 Paramount film couldn’t? First, a little history. The first version of the Charles Portis novel landed just two Oscar nominations, for Best Song and Best Actor, winning the latter as a heartfelt career swan song for star John Wayne. But the fairly standard western was shut out of Best Picture, never a friendly territory for oaters. After all, other classics of the genre, like 1956’s The Searchers and 1959’s Rio Bravo (both also starring Wayne), couldn’t even manage a single nomination between them even though both are now included on lists of the greatest films of all time. Only Kevin Costner’s 1990 Dances With Wolves and Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Unforgiven changed the Oscar outlook because they were untraditional westerns and that won them Academy Awards for both Best Picture and Best Director. Since 1992, no western has  been nominated unless you count Brokeback Mountain — and I don’t. On the other hand, very few have even been made.

But a western coming from the Coens would seem to have a reasonable chance. They each won three Oscars for Best Pic winner No Country For Old Read More »

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Paramount Moves Up ‘True Grit’ Release Date By 3 Days

Mike Fleming

Paramount Pictures has pushed up the wide release of The Coen brothers-directed True Grit to December 22. It had been scheduled to open on Christmas. What difference does three days make? Well, it can help build audience awareness going into the holidays. Christmas Eve is normally a down day at the box office, and distributors often shy away because it doesn’t reflect well in the box office tally. But after Paramount brass was shown the finished film by the Coens, the decision was made to giddyap and get the Western out in front of the holiday. So instead of opening on Christmas Day–which falls on a Saturday–Paramount gave itself the equivalent of having two days of sneaks to build buzz among the adult audience the film is shooting for. Here is a trailer for the film:

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Hot Trailer: ‘True Grit’

Mike Fleming

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The Son Also Rises: David Ellison Funding 1/2 Of Paramount’s ‘Mission Impossible 4′, ‘True Grit’, & Jack Ryan

Let’s agree on this: Hollywood remains a haven for nepotism. It also opens its arms to anyone with money. So Oracle founder/CEO Larry Ellison’s 27-year-old son is welcomed as long as he’s coming up with $350M to co-fund movies. Funny how Hollywood didn’t much care for him when he was just an actor. But now Paramount tells me David Ellison will be helping lessen its risk on films with budgets over $30 million. Immediately, he is funding half of Mission Impossible 4, True Grit, and the latest Jack Ryan thriller (from the Tom Clancy character). Paramount is especially susceptible to young Ellison’s charms because the studio has been self-financing its films ever since July 2008 when the worldwide financial crisis hit and the studio didn’t consummate a $450 million financing deal with Deutsche Bank to mitigate the studio’s risk.

Ellison and his movie label Skydance Productions came by the moolah – $150 million in equity and a 4-year, $200-million revolving credit facility led by JP Morgan Chase, – with the help of his dad who provided an undisclosed portion of the equity, according to today’s Los Angeles Times, which notes that Young Ellison had been trying to raise money since last fall. On the other hand, the newspaper forgot to mention that David Ellison really stepped in it when he tried paying Taylor Lautner $7.5 million to co-star in Northern Lights. But Taylor dropped out and other actors passed on the project produced by … Read More »

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