That didn’t take long — two months after Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN announced a multi-year exclusive deal with Tyler Perry for scripted shows, the network has greenlighted two series written, directed and produced by Perry from his production company Tyler Perry Studios. Perry’s agreement with OWN called for him to write, direct and exec produce two series for a mid-2013 launch. Now the shows have been identified, drama The Haves And The Have Nots and comedy Love Thy Neighbor, the network confirmed. This marks the first drama series for the prolific Perry, who stayed strictly on the sitcom side with his TBS series, all done with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury: House Of Payne, Meet The Browns and For Better Or Worse. The Tyler Perry shows mark OWN’s first scripted offerings.
Cowen and Co analyst Doug Creutz makes a plausible case, although not completely persuasive one, for his prediction this morning that Tyler Perry’s decision to make OWN his TV platform will work out for everybody. Creutz acknowledges that details haven’t been announced for the two new scripted series that Perry will introduce in mid-2013 on Oprah Winfrey’s joint venture with Discovery. Also, ”we’re not sure Perry’s sitcoms are a great match for Oprah’s aspirational female-targeted brand,” Creutz says. Still, he forecasts that the entertainer’s deal “could potentially bring a meaningful ratings boost to OWN, helping that network climb to profitability in FY13.” Discovery CEO David Zaslav has already promised the Street that OWN will at least break even. Indeed, Creutz says that Perry could increase the prime time audience at OWN by 10% or more even with smaller ratings than he generates at TBS.
Tyler Perry’s exclusive TV production deal with OWN shouldn’t turn the self-improvement channel into just another general entertainment network, Discovery CEO David Zaslav told analysts this morning. “This is something Oprah really wants,” he says. “We were much too teachy and preachy and earnest when we started….The audience said, ‘We want to have fun’.” Indeed, Zaslav says Perry will help now that the channel “has begun to find a rhythm.” OWN also should start to become less of a drag on earnings. Discovery execs say it invested $29M in Q3, and will spend less than that in the current quarter resulting in a year-end total below last year’s $150M. The picture should improve next year; Discovery’s new pay TV deals, with higher affiliate rates for OWN, take effect in January and could generate about $125M for the channel. “Oprah has been working very hard — she’s on the air much more often,” Zaslav says. He noted that her most recent interview with singer Rihanna attracted more black women during the time period than ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC had combined.
‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Opens With $30M For $56.5M Global Weekend; Tyler Perry As ‘Alex Cross’ Low $12M; Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ Holds
SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: (Top Ten below) This is another good weekend as domestic box office turns the corner on the holiday grosses – $125M total moviegoing, or +12% more than last year. Paramount‘s R-rated hit Halloween franchise came in an easy #1 through Sunday. Paranormal Activity 4 (3,412 theaters including 286 IMAX locations) scared up around $30M for the weekend, which included a big $15M Friday haul including $4.5M of Thursday night/Friday midnight shows. (*I use an asterisk because Paramount so far has failed to separate the Thursday late shows from the Friday midnights. So PA4 actually dipped below $30M.) But the take was down -38% for Saturday. Overall PA4 grossed far less than Hollywood estimates, disappointing compared to PA2‘s hefty debut of $40.7M and PA3‘s even huger $52.6M. New pic only received a ”C’ CinemaScore which hurt word of mouth. But overseas was a different story: Paranormal Activity 4 opened day and date in 33 markets outside of the U.S. and grabbed $26.5M internationally through Sunday for a $56.5M worldwide cume. In fact, Paramount focused its marketing globall. In the weeks leading up to release, fans from the top 25 winning locations around the world saw the film first at pre-release screenings on October 16th through the “Want It” contest on Facebook. Of course, the U.S. Halloween market overall is more crowded this year than last. Audience makeup was 50%/50% male/female, 60% under age 25/40% age 25 and over.
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that the deal coming together will turn bestselling author James Patterson’s crime novel Double Cross into a 2nd movie starring Tyler Perry as the famous Washington DC crimefighter/psychologist. Perry’s first turn as Alex Cross opens this Friday from QED. Summit Entertainment is distributing in the U.S. It’s Perry’s first lead role that he didn’t produce or direct or write – and his reviews so far have been rather good. Certainly a lot better than I expected from the star of the crossdressing Madea movies. Although the critics have been harsh on helmer Rob Cohen and the film as a whole. QED International’s Bill Block put together Alex Cross at a cost of only $25M (lowered to $23M with Louisiana tax subsidies). He chased down the book rights from Patterson for under $1 million, then hired Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson to pen the screenplay with Patterson. Then Block and Patterson sought out Tyler’s WME agent Charles King. After meetings in Atlanta, QED signed the actor for $5M upfront. Perry took over the role from Morgan Freeman who first played Alex Cross in the films Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider. Amazingly, Perry didn’t want to write, direct or produce the movie. He didn’t even want to move the location to his home base in Georgia for all his creature comforts. And he had the leverage, too. Instead …
Long-time friends (and the two richest African Americans in showbiz) Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are now forging a business partnership. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has inked an exclusive multi-year deal with Perry. Under the pact, he will executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series for a mid-2013 premiere on OWN, marking the network’s first foray into scripted programming. “I have been looking forward to the day when we would be in the position to enter the world of scripted television. That day has come,” said Oprah Winfrey, OWN’s CEO. “We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series.”
The fire at Tyler Perry’s studio complex broke out Monday morning on the roof of a three-story building that was undergoing repairs. Atlanta Fire Rescue Capt. Marian McDaniel tells The Associated Press that investigators determined the cause was careless smoking and no criminal charges are pending. There was no structural damage and no injuries. Another fire broke out in May at the 30-acre complex, seriously damaging a backlot facade. The cause of that fire remains undetermined because the intensity of the blaze consumed any evidence that could pinpoint a cause. The 200,000-square-foot studio, which opened in 2008, is home to sets, sound stages and a 400-seat theater.
A fire has erupted at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studio for the second time in four months. The blaze broke out this morning on the roof of the three-story building that was undergoing repairs, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Atlanta Fire spokeswoman Marian McDaniel says there no structural damage and no injuries were reported. Another fire broke out in May at the 30-acre complex, seriously damaging a backlot facade. The cause of that fire remains undetermined. The 200,000-square-foot studio, which opened in 2008, is home to sets, sound stages and a 400-seat theater.
Raunch Rules! R-Rated ‘Ted’ $52.5M And ‘Magic Mike’ $38M Weekends; ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea’ So-So; ‘People Like Us’ Stillborn
June 29-July 1 Weekend Actuals
1. Ted (Universal) NEW [3,239 Theaters] R
Friday $20.6M, Saturday $17.9M, Sunday $16.0M, Weekend $54.4M
2. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) NEW [2,930 Theaters] R
Friday $19.4M, Saturday $11.4M, Sunday $8.4M, Weekend $39.1M
3. Brave 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 2 [4,164 Theaters] PG
Friday $10.4M, Saturday $13.3M, Sunday $10.4M, Weekend $34.1M (-49%), Cume $131.8M
4. Madea’s Witness Protection (Tyler Perry/Lionsgate) NEW [2,161 Theaters] PG13
Friday $10.1M, Saturday $9.4M, Sunday $5.9M, Weekend $25.4M
5. Madagascar 3 3D (DWA/Par) Week 4 [3,715 Theaters] PG
Friday $3.6M, Saturday $4.7M, Sunday $3.6M, Weekend $11.8M (-40%), Cume $180.0M
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D (Fox) Week 2 [3,109 Theaters] R
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $6.0M (-63%), Cume $29.0M
7. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus) Week 6 [854 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.0M, Sunday $1.5M, Weekend $4.9M (+45%), Cume $18.5M
8. Prometheus 3D (Fox) Week 4 [1,951 Theater] R
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.0M, Sunday $1.6M, Weekend $4.9M (-50%), Cume $118.3M
9. Snow White & The Huntsman (Universal) Week 5 [2,337 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.8M, Sunday $1.4M, Weekend $4.5M (-44%), Cume $145.7M
10. Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel/Disney) Week 9 [1,757 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.8M, Sunday $1.3M, Weekend $4.4M (-38%), Cume $606.5M
11. People Like Us (DreamWorks/Disney) NEW [2,055 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $1.7M, Sunday $1.1M, Weekend $4.2M
Deadline’s readers have been split from the beginning about the casting of Summit Entertainment’s Alex Cross, based on the James Patterson detective novels. It certainly is a jolt to see Tyler Perry and even Lost‘s Matthew Fox in dramatic-action tough-guy modes in this trailer, so it will be interesting to see whether audiences get past it when the whole film is released October 19.
UPDATE: Firefighters contained the blaze to one building in the center of the 30-acre Southwest Atlanta complex owned by the TV/film maker Tyler Perry (who was there) and are investigating the cause. No injuries were reported.
7:30 PM: At least one building in filmmaker Tyler Perry’s studio complex in Atlanta is on fire, according to the AP. There are no immediate reports of injuries. The studio’s website says it includes a 200,000-square-foot studio, five sound stages and a 400-seat theater in southwest Atlanta. The prolific Perry has numerous film and TV projects in development, including such features as Madea’s Witness Protection (in which he stars, writes, directs and produces) and The Marriage Counselor, starring Kim Kardashian. TBS has ordered additional episodes of his sitcom For Better Or Worse. Perry produces his projects at his Atlanta studio, so it’s unclear how, or if, the fire might impact his productions.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Tyler Perry and Eva Longoria have helped raise some very big bucks for Barack Obama in 2012. The President’s re-election campaign voluntarily released a list today of its big bundler donors for the first quarter of the year – it includes a number of Hollywood names. Unsurprisingly, Weinstein and Katzenberg were in the top bracket of those who pulled together millions in donations from relatives, friends and business associates for the Obama campaign. The Oscar-winning producer and the DreamWorks CEO both raised more than $500,000 for the incumbent. Tyler Perry, who held two recent Atlanta fundraisers for the President, shows up in $500,000+ category for the first time. Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, producer Colleen Bell and HBO’s James Costos bundled more than half a million for Obama. Comcast EVP David Cohen and his wife Rhonda as well Mai Lassiter, wife of Hitch producer James Lassiter, former DreamWorks corporate communications boss and Katzenberg political advisor Andy Spahn and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour were also in the top bundler bracket. Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria, another longtime supporter of the President, Warner Bros.’ Josh Berger and Jamie Lynton, wife of SONY CEO Michael Lynton, raised between $200,000 and $500,000 each. Lynton himself, WME’s Ari Emanuel, Kelly Meyer, wife of Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, Rebecca Carter, wife of Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, and entertainment lawyer Joe Calabrese were among those in the $100,000 to $200,000 bracket. Former News Corp President Peter Chernin, Treme actor Wendell Pierce, HBO co-president Richard Plepler and talent manager Eric Ortner were in the $50,000 to $100,000 category.
Republican presidential candidates have campaigned in Georgia repeatedly this primary season. Now President Obama follows. Last night he visited supporter Tyler Perry’s film and TV studio for a pair of Atlanta fundraisers. But in 2008 when Barack Obama was first campaigning for President, he declined Perry’s invitation to the grand opening of his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Had he not back then, the Democrat endorsed by many labor unions would have been met by picket lines thrown up by the Writers Guild of America and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Prior to that incident and after, Perry has remained one of Obama’s staunchest supporters and prized campaigners and even film biographer…
The first 5 PM gala featured a performance by singer Cee Lo Green and was sponsored by the African American Leadership Council. It sold tickets for $500-$2,500 per person. A photo with the president cost $10,000. About 1,000 people attended, according to a spokesperson. Local news reports said Obama spoke to the crowd for 30 minutes and kept to many of his campaign points such as healthcare and increasing taxes on the wealthy. He took a friendly jab at host Perry on that score. “Tyler can afford to do a little more. He knows that,” said Obama. Grammy-winner Green, who is a judge on NBC’s The Voice, made news when he flicked off the audience before asking, “Can I curse in here?” and let out a loud “Fuck you!” Cee Lo then switched to …
Summit Entertainment announced today that it will premiere Alex Cross wide on October 26, 2012, joining Dimension’s Halloween 3D and Fox’s surfing pic Of Men And Mavericks on that date. The adaptation of the James Patterson novel stars Tyler Perry as the detective/psychologist protagonist who meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox) who viciously murders Cross’ wife when Cross thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder. The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Perry’s casting has created quite a stir among the books’ fans, some of whom question whether he has the dramatic chops to pull off a dramatic role like Cross — especially based on his prior work on the comedy side in his Madea movies. Plus, he has to fill the shoes of Morgan Freeman, who played Cross in two previous Patterson adaptations. Rob Cohen directed Alex Cross, and Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols and Jean Reno co-star. Summit nabbed distribution rights to the franchise reboot last year, beating out among other bidders Lionsgate, which has a longstanding relationship with Perry and bought Summit last month.
When Deadline broke the story that Kim Kardashian would star in Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor, an avalanche of comments resulted, some so barbed that Kardashian even chimed in. Perry isn’t immune to the polarized reaction to his casting Kardashian–whose recent marriage ended so suddenly there was barely time for marriage counseling–and he has written about it on his website. Here’s what he says:
I think many of you know that this is a very difficult time of year for me, so what I try to do is make sure that I’m working during this time. All I wanted to do was shoot a great film and try to keep my mind off the holiday grief that I have been experiencing for the past two years. I could not have imagined I’d be getting all these emails about Kim Kardashian. I HAVE SEEN THEM!! YOU HAVE BEEN HEARD!! …LOL. Now, may I say something? Can a brother get a word in?….LOL. Y’all gave me a new movie title, Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman Cause You Hired Kim Kardashian, Don’t Make Me Take Off My Earrings and Boycott Yo A**.”…LOL. Some of my ladies are upset. Ok, all jokes aside, can I have my say? Will you at least hear me out?
I was in a Mexican restaurant and the cutest little old woman stopped me and said, “I want to talk to you about KAR-DAT- CHA-NEM.” I
Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.
Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released.
EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that Skip Woods has rewritten, Schwarzenegger will play a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest. The tone is Man On Fire meets High Plains Drifter. Block will be selling worldwide territories starting today.
Woods scripted A Good Day To Die Hard, which Fox is readying for production. Waugh and McCoy most recently directed Act Of Valor, an action adventure that features actual Navy SEALs. That film was acquired at an auction for distribution by Relativity Media, which paid a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment, and scheduled the film for release on February 17, which is President’s Day Weekend.
Al Ruddy will produce Black Sands with Block and Paul Hanson. Waugh, McCoy and Max Leitman are the executive producers through their Bandito Brothers banner. Sergio Altieri and Kevin Elders wrote early drafts of the script that Woods is rewriting. scSchwarzenegger has squarely returned to his action wheelhouse since returning to acting after ending his run as California governor. He’s shooting the Kim Jee-woon-directed The Last Stand for Lionsgate, after completing The Expendables 2.
QED just completed I, Alex Cross, the Rob Cohen-directed thriller based on the James Patterson novel, with …
EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to her most substantial acting role so far, Kim Kardashian has signed on to costar in The Marriage Counselor, the Lionsgate film Tyler Perry will next direct, based on his stage play. Shooting begins October 26 in Atlanta. The film tells the story of Judith, an Ivy League-educated relationship expert who makes her living dispensing marital advice, but is so bored with her own marriage that she breaks her professional code and cheats with a smooth talking client only to realize she has made a huge mistake. Jurnee Smollett plays the marriage counselor and Kardashian will play Ava, a co-worker who gives Judith a big city makeover and new confidence as she struggles with her personal issues. Kardashian previously played roles in the films Deep in the Valley and Disaster Movie.