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Disney Veteran Jo Yan Gets Top China Post At Universal

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 4:31pm PDT

Disney Veteran Jo Yan Gets Top China Post At UniversalThe exec who spent two decades at Disney, overseeing its theatrical ops in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the past four years, has landed at Universal. Jo Yan has been tapped as Managing Director and EVP China at Universal Pictures International. He will be charged with building the company’s China office and running the film group’s theatrical and digital distribution and its local Chinese-language production efforts. He also will work on strategies for Universal Jo YanPictures, NBCUniversal and Comcast in the region along with developing Uni brands and licenses there. Yan will serve as creative adviser for Illumination Entertainment, helping to source local intellectual property and identifying companies who could provide animation services.

“China is one of our most significant international territories and it is imperative that Universal has a strong, well-respected leader as we expand our presence in this region,” said Duncan Clark, UPI’s President of Distribution. “Jo is the perfect choice to build and lead our Chinese office.” Read More »

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Universal Pictures International Boards Chinese Kung-Fu Pic ‘Rise Of The Legend’

rise of the legendEdko Films, Irresistible Films, and Universal Pictures International are partnering on Chinese kung-fu action pic Rise Of The Legend. Via Universal Pictures International Production, Universal Pictures International is co-producing and has acquired all international rights, including North America and excluding Asia. Roy Chow (Murderer, Nightfall) is directing from a screenplay written by his longtime collaborator Christine To about the origin of legendary martial arts icon Wong Fei Hung. The Hung Gar expert, who died in 1924, has inspired over 100 films and TV shows since the 1940s including Tsui Hark’s 1990s series of movies Once Upon A Time In China. Peng Yuyan (aka Eddie Peng) plays the title role. Sammo Hung, Wang Luodan, Jing Boran, Wong Cho Lam and Zhang Jin also star with special appearances by Tony Leung Ka-fai and Angelababy. Currently in post-production, the film is set for release this year. Read More »

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Intl Box Office: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Snares $54M In 1st China Week; ‘Neighbors’ Parties With $33.7M Open; ‘Rio 2′ Flies Past $300M; Auds Faithful To ‘The Other Woman’; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Sets New Record; More

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) outperforms 1st film in China with $54M 8-day take; Neighbors (UNI) taps into kegful of No 1 bows to take $33.7M weekend; Rio 2 feathers its nest with added $14.4M; The Other Woman (FOX) rings up $13.3M more; Frozen (DIS) passes Avatar to become No. 5 western release in Japan; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) nearing $700M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) breaks Avatar, Titanic records for most consecutive days at No. 1…

cinemaworld4th UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, 9:14 PM: Lionsgate just reported last weekend’s box office for Transcendence. In 47 markets, the Johnny Depp picture grossed $2.8M to push its cume to $47.6M It’s only made $69.7M ww to date, having bombed at the domestic box office. It’s top grossing market continues to be China with $22M. It bows in South Korea tomorrow. 

3rd UPDATE: MONDAY, 7:03 PM: New and updated numbers below for Neighbors, Heaven Is For Real, The Other Woman, Divergent, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rio 2, Devil’s Due, Spanish Affairs, Babysitting, 12 Years a Slave and others.

2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 4:43 PM PT: The ongoing runs of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Rio 2, The Other Woman and Frozen, along with the additionGodzilla 2014 logo of Neighbors this week, kept the box office churning, but the weekend was down across the Top 10 studio titles by 41% compared to last week, and 16% compared to last year. In the similar frame of 2013, Iron Man 3 was still rocketing its way around the globe, passing the $650M mark in its 3rd weekend, and Star Trek Into Darkness bowed in a handful of markets to just over $30M. Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Snares $67.2M; ‘Rio 2′ At $250M; ‘Captain America 2′ Crosses $400M; China’s ‘My Old Classmate’ Aces Test; ‘Other Woman’ Attracts $12.8M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Still Hot In Spain; ‘Transcendence’ Adds $11M; More

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) spins $67.2M in sophomore weekend; Rio 2 (FOX) wings way to $250M; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) adds $16M for $420.3M overseas haul; The Other Woman (FOX) has $20.63M cume; Noah (PAR) summons $11.1M; Transcendence (WB) takes $10.8M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) nearing $100M intl; The Lego Movie (WB) builds to $200M; Spanish Affairs (UNI) becomes highest-grossing Spanish film of all time at home with $61.4M…

cinemaworld4TH UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 9 AM PT While I was traveling back from the U.S., additional and updated numbers came in for the past weekend’s box office. Notably, we’ve been furnished with a breakdown of Transcendence‘s performance in its 2nd frame. In 39 ex-U.S. markets, the film added a further $11.02M for an overseas cume of $34.1M. The worldwide total is $52.08M. In China, it earned $2.8M from an estimated 2,640 screens this frame, a 75% drop from its first outing last week. There were major new local films in the market (see below), but last week’s start was lower than hoped for especially given Johnny Depp’s big China promotional tour. However, with $19.1M total in China, the market is still outperforming domestic and should end up its biggest territory. With stiff competition from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Other Woman and Rio 2, the film kicked off at No. 4 … Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘The Winter Soldier’ Plants $39.2M Flag In China, Crosses $200M Overseas; Disney Passes $1B Global; ‘Rio 2′ Flies To $55.4M; ‘Noah’ Sails Past $100M; ‘Divergent’ Cumes $22.4M; More

Highlights: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) bests Iron Man 3 China bow with $39.2M; Frozen (DIS) ices competition in Japan with $75.1M total, studio passes $1B in global box office; Rio 2 (FOX) lifts to $55.5M cume on extra $22.2M; Noah (PAR) builds to $106.2M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) adds $10.9M in 44 markets; Spanish Affairs (UNI) is Spain’s top local-lingo pic ever…

cinemaworld3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY 3 PM PT: Led by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this weekend was a big 34% boost on the same frame last year when G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Croods and Chinese romantic comedy Finding Mr Right were the top three earners. This frame also repped a 19% jump on last weekend. There are no major new wide releases set for next week, although Divergent will continue its overseas rollout hitting Germany, Russia, France and Australia, while Rio 2 takes flight not only in the U.S., but notably lands in China, France and Mexico.

2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 12:46 PM PT: Concurrent with its massive domestic opening (see Anita Busch’s box office report here), Captain America: The Winter Soldier continued its huge international run, and, with the help of Frozen, pushed Disney past the $1B global box office threshold. The estimated 2014 cume to date for the studio is $1,211M. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier added a massive $107.1M this weekend overseas for an international cume to … Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Catching Fire’, ‘Frozen’ Strong; It’s ‘About Time’ In Korea + Regional Analysis

cinemaworld1UPDATE: TUESDAY PM: Welcome to Deadline’s first dedicated international box office round-up, with me as your host. After last night’s snapshot (below), here’s a look at the past weekend and an overview of what’s going on at the turnstiles in various overseas territories. Feedback, as always, is appreciated:

Internationally, this weekend was down on the comparable frame last year when films like Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 were in the mix. The top 10 titles this weekend saw a drop to about $118M from the Thanksgiving period that scored abroad with $182.7M, according to industry data. The actual holiday isn’t a factor overseas, but it does bring big movies to market. Overall, some European territories are off – to varying degrees – versus the first 11 months of 2012, while Latin America and Asia remain hot spots. This weekend’s big pictures overseas continued to be Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which added $42.9M for a $340.6M cume and Disney’s animated Frozen which added an estimated $30.6M for an international total of $55.9M.

gravityThe place that’s highest on execs’ minds is China where “we’re all looking forward to a boom,” one tells me. Catching Fire and Warner Bros’ Gravity are still playing on the Mainland with respective cumes of $26.8M and $63.7M. But both films will taper off as the local industry ramps up a series of homegrown movies for the remainder of December. With quotas filled for 2013, Hollywood will wait until 2014 for the next debut which will be Universal’s Despicable Me 2 on January 10th. As the Chinese box office rolls along on its way to a potential $3.5B tally for 2013, the current top film is local 2D action-road trip pic No Man’s Land. Co-produced by DMG, it opened at No. 1 on December 3rd and won the week with $23.7M through Monday. It came just ahead of another local hit, The Four 2. The rest of the year will see a big push for local films as the territory continues an aim to up its local market share, which is currently at 55%.

about timeElsewhere in Asia, romantic comedy About Time had a strong No. 1 opening in Korea this weekend with $4M at 289 dates and 28% of the market. Director Richard Curtis has said this would be the last film he helms. It comes squarely 10 years after the movie he’s perhaps most associated with directing, Love Actually. About Time’s opening in Korea is double what that film did there. The low-budget time travel romcom with Rachel McAdams, Domnhall Gleeson and Bill Nighy has had pretty significant legs for Universal. It was first released in the UK in September and now has a cume of $48.3M. Summit’s Escape Plan – the actioner that teams Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – has now muscled its way into 41 international markets, adding Korea this weekend for $925K and a No. 5 slot on 287 screens. Its international total is now $95.9M out of a worldwide gross of $120.5M. This was a slow weekend for local films in Korea despite the territory’s overall strength. Its box office growth in the first 11 months of the year is understood to be at about 7.6% and I’m told the homegrown market share could top out at 60%. Read More »

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Universal Pictures Int’l Buys China-Set ‘Isle Of Immortality’ Action Adventure Pitch

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 4:15pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures International Production, a division of Universal Pictures International, has acquired the feature pitch Isle of Immortality from newcomer Adam Chanzit. The China-set action adventure in the vein of National Treasure will be produced by Marc Platt for Marc Platt Productions, with Jared LeBoff overseeing the project. Chanzit’s got an academic background in the Far East republic and culture: The playwright and screenwriter is fluent in Mandarin, studied at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and lived with Daoists in China on a Yale scholarship. His feature script 3 Nights In The Desert, based on his travels, was produced by New Artists Alliance and Caliber Media with Wes Bentley and Amber Tamblyn starring. He’s repped by Caliber Media and Ziffren Brittenham.

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‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ To Screen Out Of Competition At Rome Film Festival

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has its world premiere in London on November 11th. In a get for the Rome Film Festival, the Lionsgate pic will then travel to the Eternal City for an out-of-competition screening on November 14th. The eighth Rome fest runs from November 8th to 17th. Universal Pictures International is releasing Catching Fire in Italy on November 27th. It opens Stateside on November 22nd.

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Universal Crosses $2 Billion At Overseas Box Office For First Time

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 9:31am PDT

Related: Universal Posts $1.8B Best Year Ever At International Box Office

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, September 18, 2013—Universal Pictures International (UPI) today announced that with yesterday’s box office grosses, the studio has passed $2 billion at the international box office for the first time in its 101-year history. Earlier this year, UPI broke its record for the fastest climb to $1 billion at the box office and shattered its 2012 record for the highest box office ever, which was $1.794 billion. The success overseas has been fueled by a string of box office hits across multiple genres including Les Misérables ($293 million), Mama ($76.1 million), Oblivion ($197.2 million), Fast & Furious 6 ($549.3 million), and Despicable Me 2 ($485.4 million). Fast & Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2 are the second and third highest grossing films at the international box office this year, respectively. Despicable Me 2 is the highest grossing animated film of 2013.d starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in nine markets.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest; ‘We Are The Best!’ Lines Up Sales; More

Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme‘s Fear Of Falling will have its world premiere at the eighth annual Rome Film Festival in November. The film is based on a theater production — performed only a few times to friends — created for the stage by the actor-filmaker André Gregory, based on Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, translated and adapted by actor-playwright Wallace Shawn. Gregory and Shawn also star in the film. Fear of Falling is produced by Rocco Caruso. The Rome fest runs November 8-17.

TrustNordisk Sells ‘We Are The Best!’ In Australia, Italy, Taiwan
TrustNordisk has closed multiple deals on Lukas Moodysson’s We Are The Best!, which premiered at Venice premiere and screened at Toronto. The Swedish teen punk film has sold to Australia (NewVision Films), Italy (Bim Distribuzione) and Taiwan (Maison Motion), with talks ongoing for other territories. We Are The Best! revolves around three young outsiders in 1980s Stockholm who find unity in music and form a punk band without having any instruments. Lars Jönsson for Memfis Film produced the film, which bows October 11 in Sweden.

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‘Despicable Me 2′ Becomes UK’s Highest-Grossing Film Of 2013

With $1.8B in box office as of last week, Universal Pictures International has already been enjoying a record-breaking 2013. It’s added another feather to its cap today with word that Despicable Me 2 has become the highest-grossing film of the year in the UK. The Universal and Illumination Entertainment blockbuster has been in British theaters for seven weeks and has grossed £42.67M ($66.78M), overtaking Universal’s own Les Misérables ($63.84M), for the No. 1 spot. It’s now the 4th biggest animation release of all time in the UK behind Toy Story 3 (£73.97M), Shrek 2 (£48.24M) and Toy Story 2 (£44.3M). Internationally, Despicable Me 2 has grossed $435.2M to date and is the third highest-grossing film of the year both abroad and worldwide. Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 is No. 2.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Submarine Deluxe, ‘Attacks Of 26/11′, UPI Ad Duo Promoted

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 8:05pm PST

Berlin: Submarine Deluxe Lands Mark Lombardi Documentary
Submarine Deluxe has acquired all North American rights to Mareike Wegener’s feature documentary Mark Lombardi: Death Defying Acts Of Art & Conspiracy – a comprehensive look at the American neo-conceptual artist. Lombardi (1951-2000) created graphic artwork portraying the opaque global network of financial and political elites and their alleged ties to international terrorism. His masterpiece “BCCI” was investigated by the FBI after 9/11 but by that time the artist was dead from an apparent suicide. The deal was negotiated by David Koh & Dan Braun of Submarine Deluxe along with Stanley Buchthal of Dakota Group Ltd. and Stefan Kloos of Rise & Shine World Sales on behalf of the producers and director. Read More »

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Jill Tandy Takes On Business Affairs Role At Universal Pictures International

Former Polygram executive Jill Tandy is joining Universal Pictures International in the newly-created role of executive vice president, commercial affairs. She will manage the creative production team with a focus on UPI’s local language films in territories that include France, Germany and Spain. Tandy will be based in London, reporting to Universal Pictures president of international David Kosse and working closely with Universal’s L.A.-based EVP of worldwide acquisitions, Peter Kujawski. Establishing Tandy’s new position will bolster UPI’s ability to move more quickly on the ground in its international dealmaking. As a member of the founding management team of Polygram, Tandy ran international public, business and legal affairs from 1989-1999. From 1999-2007 she was co-managing director and co-owner of UK-based Qwerty Films and has been acting as a consultant since 2007 to film and TV clients including the BFI, Working Title, NBCUniversal, the UK Film Council and the National Film and Television School. She will join UPI in February.

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Universal International Acquires ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ European Rights

By | Thursday November 8, 2012 @ 10:28am PST

Universal Pictures International has picked up the distribution rights to The Wolf Of Wall Street in six European territories. UPI will handle the film in Germany, the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Spain, it was announced today. Paramount Pictures is distributing the Martin Scorsese-directed movie domestically. Peter Kujawski, EVP of Worldwide Acquisitions, oversaw the UPI acquisition of The Wolf Of Wall Street for the company. Danny Dimbort and Christian Mercuri’s Red Granite International is handling international sales on the film. They also negotiated the deal with UPI on behalf of the producers. Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Scorsese are producing. DiCaprio also stars in the adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s financial industry memoir The Wolf Of Wall Street. Alexandra Milchan is an executive producer. UPI also announced today that it has picked up the select territories rights to the supernatural-fantasy Horns and the crime-thriller Motel from Red Granite.

Paramount Lands Martin Scorsese-Leo DiCaprio Pic ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’
‘Boardwalk Empire’s Shea Whigham Joins ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Gersh, Viacom, Shine, Universal, News Corp-ESPN Star

Aussie Comedy Creators Sign With Gersh
Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, who created Australian TV comedy Review With Myles Barlow, have signed with the Gersh Agency just as the show’s U.S. adaptation, Review With Forrest MacNeil, goes into production for Comedy Central. O’Donnell is a writer-director and Lloyd is a writer-actor who played the lead in Review with Myles Barlow. O’Donnell says he and Lloyd plan to travel to the U.S. early next year to look for opportunities as creators-showrunners. The pair, who are partners in Australian production company Jungleboys, also created A Moody Christmas, a comedy series for Australia’s ABC-TV in which each of the six episodes focuses on the dysfunctional Moody family on Christmas Day one year apart. DCD Rights is the international distributor of A Moody Christmas.
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Universal Pictures International Says Oui To Trio Of French Films

Setting up its 2013 French release slate, UPI will co-produce and distribute Alexandre Castagnetti’s sophomore feature, Amour Et Turbulences. The Devil’s Double‘s Ludivine Sagnier and The Players‘ Nicolas Bedos star as a volatile former couple who meet up on a NY-Paris flight. Mathieu Robinet and Julien Ralanto at Révérence are producing with Manchester Films and Thelma Films. Shooting starts July 16. UPI has also boarded French-speaking territories on a pair of comedies. Family adventure La Vraie Vie Des Profs is from directors Emmanuel Klotz and Albert Pereira-Lazaro and Persepolis producers Xavier Rigault and Marc-Antoine Robert at 2.4.7. Films. The Intouchables‘ Audrey Fleurot stars with Lucien Jean-Baptiste. A Coup Sur, about a young career woman who sets out to prove she’s the best lover in Paris after some criticism from an ex-boyfriend, is from writer-director Delphine de Vigan. De Vigan wrote last year’s Tu Seras Mon Fils, which UPI also handled. Jean-Pierre Jeunet collaborators Frédéric Brillion and Gilles Legrand at Epithète Films are producing. UPI France is also prepping the October 31 release of Heartbreaker director Pascal Chaumeil’s Un Plan Parfait starring Diane Kruger and Dany Boon. Heartbreaker was a big hit for the distributor, clearing $29.8M at the local box office in 2010.

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UPI Italy In Three-Year Output Deal With Aurelio De Laurentiis’ Filmauro

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 3:32am PDT

Under a new sales and distribution deal, Universal Pictures International Italy will handle theatrical distribution of producer Aurelio De Laurentiis’ films. The deal starts with Colpi Di Fulmine in December. The comedy is a reteam for De Laurentiis and director Neri Parenti who’ve worked together on the long-running series of Natale (Christmas) movies. De Laurentiis’ recent producing credits include 2011 hits Vacanze Di Natale A Cortina and Ages Of Love, with Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci. Despite difficulties in the Italian business, year-on-year box office is on the rise with local comedies performing well including Bienvenuti Al Nord, the Italian remake of Pathé’s Welcome To The Sticks and Filmauro’s Posti In Piedi In Paradiso at the top of the charts.

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Universal Pictures International Promotes Pair To VPs Of International Production

By | Monday February 6, 2012 @ 2:14am PST

LONDON, ENGLAND, February 6, 2012 – Universal Pictures International (UPI) today announced the company has promoted Peter La Terriere and J.J. Lousberg to Vice Presidents of International Production. The pair will jointly source and manage international co-productions and local language acquisitions in key markets as well as developing opportunities in priority territories worldwide. The announcement was made today by Universal Pictures President, International, David Kosse. La Terriere and Lousberg are based in London and report to David Kosse.

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AFM: Universal International Takes Content’s ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’

Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up rights to Content Film’s Hard Boiled Sweets for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux and Scandinavia, the companies announced Friday. Written and directed by David L. G. Hughes, Sweets is a crime thriller starring Scot Williams (The Crew), Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Good Friday, Hot Fuzz), Peter Wight (Another Year, Hot Fuzz), Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Finding Neverland, Michael Collins), Elizabeth Berrington (In Bruges, Secrets and Lies), Laura Greenwood (The Brothers Grimm) andPhilip Barantini (Band of Brothers, Ned Kelly). Inspired by Hughes’ short story A Girl With a Gun, the movie centers on an ex-con named Johnny is coerced into taking part in a heist that he wants no part of. What he doesn’t know is that a bunch of other hoods also have designs on the million in cash stashed at a mobster’s home. The deal was negotiated by Harry White, head of sales at Content, and Jasper van Hecke, international acquisitions manager at UPIE.

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