EXCLUSIVE: Anthology drama series Unknown, Crackle.com’s first long-form scripted show, has assembled a cast and locked in directors. Frances Fisher (The Lincoln Lawyer), William Atherton (Life) and Taryn Manning (Hawaii Five-0) will star in installments of the thriller/horror anthology, which examines unexplained phenomena. Kevin Connolly (Entourage) will direct an episode featuring Jay R. Ferguson (Mad Men), visual effects specialist Sam Nicholson (The Walking Dead) will direct another episode featuring Christina Pickles, and APA-repped Martha Coolidge will directs the rest of the six half-hour episodes. Production on the series, executive produced by Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) and former LucasFilm executive Steve Tzirlin, started last month for a launch later this year on the Sony Pictures TV-owned digital network Crackle.
‘Gnomes’ No. 1 In Third Week Of Release; ‘Hall Pass’ Drops To #2; ‘Drive Angry’ #9; Oscars Fave ‘King’s Speech’ Doesn’t Stutter
SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Hollywood movies continue to underperform domestically since the start of the new year, including this weak weekend when the film industry honors its best 2010 offerings at Sunday’s Oscars. Talk about a reality check! Here are these Top 10 North American box office numbers:
1. Gnomeo & Juliet 3D (Disney) Week 3 [3,037 Theaters]
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $6.3M, Weekend $14.2M, Cume $75.1M.
Who gnew that in its 3rd week of release, this 3D animated toon would rise to #1 at the domestic box office? Gnoone! Because last night when I updated box office, studios were still saying it was behind Hall Pass. But there’s a dearth of family films at the box office and those Saturday kiddie matinees continue to be great gnews.
2. Hall Pass (New Line/Warner Bros) NEW [2,950 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $5.7M, Weekend $13.4M
Owen Wilson went on Leno accompanied by a clip from his past hit movie Wedding Crashers – and then had to hawk this weekend’s unsuccessful Hall Pass. Interesting how New Line has done well with its string of estrogen rom-coms, but then returns to its old formula of testosterone male-bonding films and falters. Had it stayed in first place by the end of the weekend, it would have been the lowest grossing #1 in two years. Hollywood expected this Farrelly Brothers comedy to pass $20M and instead the pic greatly underperformed. But not for lack of trying. Warner Bros marketing campaign attempted to leverage the R-rated concept and the Farrellys’ past successes and the newbie/vet comedy combo of SNL‘s Jason Sudekis/Owen Wilson — but failed. Challenge was positioning the pic primarily to men but also not turning off women. Trailers were paired with Due …
TUESDAY AM: I’m told that actuals show Dark Castle/Warner Bros’ Unknown won Presidents Day Weekend with $25.450 — but it was very, very close with Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet which ended with $25.415M. DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney’s I Am Number Four finished with $22.7M. Sony’s Just Go With It took in $21.5M. New Regency/Fox’s Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son made $18.7M.
Prez Weekend: ‘Unknown’ #1, ‘Gnomeo’ #2; ‘I Am Number Four’ #3, ‘Just Go With It’ #4, ‘Big Mommas’ #5; ‘Justin Bieber’ #6
SUNDAY PM/MONDAY AM, 7TH UPDATE: Sources are giving me these North American box office numbers for this Presidents Day long weekend, not helped by wet weather on the West Coast or snow in the Midwest and Plains. The order has been changing since Friday and should keep changing right through Monday evening:
1. Unknown (Dark Castle/Warner Bros) NEW [3,043 Theaters]
Friday $6.7M, Saturday $8.8M, Estimated Sunday $6.3M
Three-Day Weekend $21.7M, Estimated Four-Day Holiday $25.6M
Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller was for Dark Castle/Warner Bros. PG-13 Unknown grabbed No. 1 Friday by overperforming and hasn’t let go yet. Leonard Goldberg brought the book to Joel Silver’s Dark Castle, which for once wound up financing a decently made film to decent reviews. “This could be the Dark Castle film Silver needs to shore up the DC financing and continue to make films under his DC label,” a Warner Bros exec tells me. Studio execs tell me Unknown was positioned as an interesting mystery with a newly popular hero to root for, as shown by early test screenings that proved the film had great playability. Trailers were placed on varied films to reach both younger & older audiences, from Hereafter to Unstoppable, True Grit to The Fighter, and even The King’s Speech. But TV was key, launching in early January with high-profile sports events and a strong mix of cable and prime time, again reaching younger and …
EXCLUSIVE: As his new film Unknown gets its international premiere in Berlin today and rolls out in U.S. theaters, director Jaume Collet-Serra is making a deal to direct Red Circle, the remake of the 1970 Jean-Pierre Melville-directed Le Cercle Rouge. The film is being written by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight for Working Title Films partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who’ll produce with Arthur Sarkissian.
Collet-Serra was just at the center of a Warner Bros deal for Harker, a potential franchise he’ll direct that focuses on vampire hunter Jonathan Harker character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Leonardo DiCaprio among its producers. The director’s stock is up because with Unknown, he delivered a thriller in the $30 million range that, like Liam Neeson’s Taken, was shot outside the U.S. and is geared to do strong business overseas in addition to its domestic gross. The heist film Red Circle has similar potential, as it will be set in Hong Kong. Collet-Serra hasn’t fixed on his next feature assignment. When he returns from Berlin, he will go right to work directing The River, the ABC series thriller pilot hatched by Paranormal Activity‘s Oren Peli. Collet-Serra’s repped by CAA.
Verve has signed John Collee, the Australian writer whose credits include Master & Commander, Happy Feet, Creation and Legend of the Guardians. Collee had been at CAA. He is currently scripting Walk with the Dinosaurs, the animated that that IM Global recently sold to Fox for $65 million at AFM. Collee is also repped by Kaplan Perrone and The Agency Group.
Verve also signed Karl Gadjusek, who has written on The Mechanic and the upcoming Unknown and Trespass. He most recently rewrote The Best and the Brightest (Unman) for Paramount and Montecito, a remake of the 1971 John Mackenzie film. Gadjusek continues to be managed by Benderspink.
The 3-time Tony winner and Academy Award nominee will be repped by Toni Howard and Adam Schweitzer. The latter, who was recently promoted to co-head ICM’s motion picture talent department, signed William Hurt earlier this week. Last year, the Frost/Nixon Best Actor nominee waited until Oscar voting had closed before jumping from Innovative to William Morris Agency’s Ed Limato. Langella followed Limato to WME and this is his first agency move since Ed’s death.
Langella has had a strong 2010. He starred in the Oliver Stone-directed Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and he opens today in All Good Things, starring with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst in the Andrew Jarecki-directed drama based on the case of Robert Durst, scion of the Gotham-based real estate empire The Durst Organization. He next stars opposite Liam Neeson in Unknown for Warner Bros.
Warner Bros has released a new trailer for the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed Unknown, a paranoid thriller from Dark Castle starring Liam Neeson and January Jones. Warner Bros, which had originally dated the film for January 7th, has grown bullish after watching the completed picture. The studio is moving it to February 18, to take advantage of the long President’s Day weekend:
EXCLUSIVE: Writer Sascha Penn has landed 2 premium script deals: one at Fox for Unknown, a drama with Brett Ratner attached to executive produce, and one at the CW for Confessions of a Back-Up Dancer with Marcos Siega attached to direct and produce. The CW pact is now being finalized.
Unknown is described as an action series in the vein of The Fugitive that follows a man on a journey to discover who he really is. Penn wrote it on spec, which Martha Haight, president of Rat TV, took to Bert Salke, the recently appointed president of 20th TV’s division Fox21. Fox21 is producing the Fox project, which is eyed to film abroad, possibly in China. Ratner is executive producing with Penn serving as co-exec producer.
Confessions of a Back-Up Dancer, from Warner Bros. TV and Alloy Entertainment, is an adaptation of Alloy’s young adult novel by Tucker Shaw. Penn is writing the project, which explores the glamorous and gritty behind-the-scenes world of a major pop tour from the point of view of the star’s troupe of backing dancers. The show’s producing team includes Alloy’s Les Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo, Penn and Siega. This is the second consecutive year that CW, Warner Bros. and Alloy are developing a series adaptation of Confessions. Last year, it was written by The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken and didn’t go to pilot. Siega, …