EXCLUSIVE: Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg is formalizing her relationship with ABC Studios with an overall deal. The rich pact for Rosenberg and her Tall Girls Prods, which is being finalized, stems from her partnership with the studio on the upcoming midseason ABC series Red Widow. Rosenberg wrote the drama, an adaptation of the Dutch series Penoza, and is executive producing/showrunning for ABC Studios and Endemol. The series stars Rahda Mitchell as a widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband’s role in order to protect her family. READ MORE »
Robert Pattinson has been cast as one of the leads in David Michod’s The Rover. The film chronicles a man who relentless pursues a gang who stole his car through the wild and rough …
Lionsgate UK has shaved years off the potential local rating for The Hunger Games by making 7 seconds worth of tweaks. According to Britain’s ratings board the BBFC, the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate without the changes Lionsgate made in order to secure the younger-skewing 12A rating (similar to a PG-13 in the U.S.). Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. The board says the edits were for the most part implemented ahead of formal submission, after Lionsgate had sought advice on how to ensure the 12A. Some or all of the tweaks — many of which apparently had to do with blood — were substitutions. The film will be released March 23 with the consumer advice tag: “Contains intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments.” In the U.S., The Hunger Games secured a PG-13 for “intense violent thematic material and disturbing images — all involving teens.” The Gary Ross-directed adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ hit novel (the first in a trilogy) has been tracking huge with expectations
Based on this morning’s nearly 6%-plus pop in Lionsgate’s share price, you’d never know how badly the company’s fiscal Q3 report released last night fell short of analyst forecasts. The market is forward looking, though, and Lionsgate execs filled their morning conference call with upbeat talk about their movie and TV plans. CEO Jon Feltheimer has high hopes for Charlie Sheen’s upcoming series on FX, Anger Management. The first 10 episodes begin production March 19. If they do well, then it “will be one of our most profitable series ever,” Feltheimer says, adding that Sheen ”resonates with audiences around the world.” The company expects to have Anger Management double run in syndication much earlier than usual, and to have repeats on FX within 2 1/2 years. “We would be shooting it about twice as fast as you’d typically shoot a network show,” Feltheimer said. Now that its acquisition of Summit Entertainment has closed, the company is also cheering tonight’s home video release of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1; the second-to-last Twilight installment will be out earlier than usual to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Lionsgate expects it to sell about as well as the previous film from the series, Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Many stores, including several Walmarts, will stay open past midnight to accomodate fans who can’t wait. Trailers for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 will debut at showings of The Hunger Games beginning on its opening night. Not surprisingly, Lionsgate co-chair Rob Friedman says that if author Stephenie Meyer wants to write another Twilight installment, then “we’ll be there to support her.”
The production company’s shares dove more than 8% in initial after-hours trading — but recovered to a more modest loss later — after it released what appears to be a dreary report. Lionsgate had a net loss of $1.7M in the last three months of the year vs a $6M loss at the end of 2010, on revenues of $343M, down 23.6%. Analysts expected revenues to be much higher, at $358.8M. The company’s net loss, at 1 cent a share, also contrasts with the 9 cent profit that the Street anticipated. Lionsgate says that revenues suffered from the lack of a wide theatrical release in the quarter; last year it had three. As a result, motion picture revenues fell 28.6% to $233.3M. TV production was down by 6.8% to $89.7M. Home entertainment also struggled with revenues from movie releases of $128.9M (-28.8%) — slightly offset by $34M for TV shows (+108.6%). Lionsgate said it made $7.3M from its 31,2% stake in EPIX, an improvement from the $11.1M loss on the investment in the same quarter in 2010. But that was somewhat offset by the $2.1M loss on its 51% of TV Guide Network a slight increase from the $2M loss last year.
The Immortals star confirms on The Tonight Show that he almost became the new James Bond (“down to Daniel and me”) and was Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for Twilight (“she apparently was very keen on me playing it, but by the time it came around to casting I was too …
For Twilight fans who can’t wait until the full one is released Tuesday, here’s Summit’s short snippet of the Breaking Dawn — Part 1 trailer, with a newlywed Bella in peril.
‘ECLIPSE’ KEEPS BREAKING RECORDS: Twilight Saga Threequel Sets Best Ever Wednesday Opening Of $68.5M; Thursday $24.2M; Six-Day July Fourth Holiday Estimated At $178M; Twi-Hards Mob Theaters In U.S., Canada, Overseas
10TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 11 PM: No. 1 at the North American box office was the Twilight Saga: Eclipse with what looks like $24.2M today for a new cume of $92.8M and $110M for 5 days with a total of $178M for the 6-day July Fouth Holiday since Wednesday. That would put the pic just shy of Spider-Man 2 which holds the July 4th holiday record with $180M.
9TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 3:30 PM: Summit Entertainment is disclosing that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: Eclipse had “an incredible start” internationally. Despite great weather and the World Cup, Eclipse launched with an estimated $19M from 22 markets. The only major territories that opened on June 30th were Italy, Brazil, and Russia. Other majors like Spain, Australia and Mexico launch today. France, Germany, S. Korea and Japan will launch in the weeks to come. Here are some highlights of opening day results: Eclipse Kicks Off Big International Run
8TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 8 AM: I can report now that the 3rd film in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga series of novels is off to a record-breaking start at the North American box office. Summit Entertainment’s ECLIPSE opened to $68.5 million today which shattered the best-ever $62 million for a Wednesday single day opening set last summer by Paramount’s Transformers 2. That $68.5M included Eclipse‘s record-setting $30M from Wednesday 12:01 AM and 3 AM showings at more than 4,000 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. Eclipse also registered the biggest single day opening during the summer play period, besting The Dark Knight‘s $67.2M. But the Twilight saga’s 2nd film, New Moon, still holds the largest single day opening record of $72 million. Eclipse is playing in 4,416 domestic locations, which sets another record for the biggest ever release in Hollywood history, surpassing Iron Man 2‘s 4,380 venues.
Stay tuned for the David Slade-directed Eclipse starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner from Melissa Rosenberg’s script to set more records over this 6-day July 4th holiday weekend. I’ve learned that 57% of the audience attending opening day did so because of the “subject matter”, while 36% did so because of the actor in the lead role, and 15% because of the actress in the lead role. Eclipse received a Cinemascore overall grade of “A” with 92% of moviegoers giving the pic an A or B.
‘Twilight’ Saga Facebook Page Now Has More Fans Than ‘Iron Man’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Transformers’, ‘Toy Story’ Combined
THE TWILIGHT SAGA Facebook page now has 6.665 million fans. (Above, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart sign autographs at last night’s Eclipse premiere.) It’s the largest of all the film pages, with more fans than Iron Man, Harry Potter, Transformers, and Toy Story …