Rob Thomas‘ Veronica Mars digital spinoff starring Ryan Hansen will be titled Play It Again, Dick, the CW president Mark Pedowitz said during the network’s upfront presentation. Thomas had already said that the Web spinoff is “a comedy featuring Ryan Hansen attempting to put together a Dick Casablancas spin-off of Veronica Mars.” The web series, said to consist of 10-minute episodes, will run on the CW’s digital platform CW Seed.
‘Gosnell’ Tops $2.1M To Become Biggest Indiegogo Campaign Ever For Film; 3rd Most Crowdfunded Pic Ever
Gosnell, the crowdsourcing project for a TV movie about the abortion doctor convicted for murdering babies born alive, just reached its $2.1M goal on Indiegogo – four days early. It now becomes the highest crowdfunding campaign for a movie (a telefilm) ever done on the crowdsourcing site, and is the third-highest crowd funding movie project ever. Veronica Mars still holds the record with more than $5.7M collected, and Zach Braff’s is second with $3.1M for Wish I Was Here. Both of those were done on Kickstarter. Gosnell has 23,500 donors.
Related: ‘Gosnell’ Crosses $1M On Indiegogo
The Gosnell telefilm, which will be produced by Phelim McAleer, his wife Ann McElhinney and Magda Segieda through McAleer’s Hat Tip Productions, will now hire a director. “We will be bringing in an experienced team skilled in TV drama,” said McAleer. The telefilm is about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for horrifically and mercilessly killing babies of botched abortions who were born alive by driving a scissors into their necks and snipping their spinal cords. It is believed that the practice went on for years. The case rocked Philadelphia and the nation in 2010, and he is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. The story is often used by both sides of the abortion argument to push their individual agendas.
CW Seed, the digital-only studio of The CW, said today it has set summer premieres for LA Rangers, created by and starring Hart Of Dixie star Wilson Bethel, and webisodes of the network’s improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Four more original series have landed summer bows: an untitled comedy from Alloy Entertainment, previously announced fashion series The Kelly Cutrone Project; The Real Backpackers, a companion to the broadcast series Backpackers; and Veronica Mars spinoff Play It Again, Dick. The new series will join new episodes of returning original series Husbands, The P.E.T. Squad Files, Very Mallory and CelebTV On The CW. Here are descriptions of the new shows:
Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ No. 1 With $21.8M; ‘Need For Speed’ Crashes; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Only $8M, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again
OPENING: Need For Speed (DIS) no gas for the DreamWorks pic at $18M to $19M+, then $18M and now at $17.8M; Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club (LGF) is one of the worst openings for him to date with about $9.1M to $9.4M, now at $8M; Veronica Mars (WB) strong per-screen to take more than $2M+ for the weekend and did $1.9M; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) expanded to 66 screens with another stellar $55,122 per screen; Frozen (DIS) still in Top 10 after 17 weeks with $396.3M cume.
5th UPDATE, MONDAY 1:18 PM: Final numbers are in, and the No. 1 picture this weekend was the holdover Fox’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman. which, on a $145M negative (not counting marketing/distrib. costs) is now at $63.7M domestically and $149.3M worldwide. See overseas grosses from Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione’s international box office report. The mystery is solved now, too, as to which film rounded out the Top Ten. It appears that Warner Bros’ Veronica Mars made $1.98M for the 3-day weekend, a step behind Sony’s The Monuments Men with $2M, so it didn’t crack it in its opening weekend. Nevertheless, Rob Thomas‘ film had a tidy per-screen average of $6,833, the highest of any Top 10 player with the exception of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has done phenomenally well from Fox Searchlight in its limited release. The Wes Anderson film has taken in almost $25M worldwide so far. It’s per-screen last weekend was a record-breaking $202,000 and now a remarkable $55,122. For more about this picture, expansion plans below and read Deadline’s Brian Brooks’ specialty box office story. 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB/Legendary) showed a lesser percentage drop on Sunday and ended up with $19.2M this weekend to add to its international cume of $159.6M or $238M worldwide in its second week of release. The budget (not counting marketing and distribution costs) is about $110M. Need for Speed, the disappointing DreamWorks offering distributed by Disney, ended up with $17.8M; it didn’t open. Again, worldwide to date, it looks like it has so far made about $63.4M on a $66M negative. Tyler Perry’s Single Mom Club which had a slightly larger Sunday percentage decrease to take in only $8M, giving Wall Street the jitters. NOTEWORTHY: Disney’s Frozen, still in the top 10, will cross $400M domestically this week.
NEXT WEEKEND OPENERS: Divergent (LGF/Summit; wide) Could be a monster; Muppets Most Wanted (Dis; wide) Should do decent business for this family film (yes, very surprisingly, it crosses over to adults — well, at least this one); The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) and Bad Words (Focus) both expand.
Top 20 Chart follows:
Angry comments have erupted on the Veronica Mars Kickstarter site from donors upset that they are unable to download the movie via the service provided: Flixster/Ultraviolet. The film, which was funded on Kickstarter, promised that donors who pledged $35 or higher would “receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut, plus the T-shirt, plus the pdf of the shooting script.” After Warner Bros declined to finance the idea based on its 2004-07 TV series, Veronica Mar’s creator/exec producer Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell went to the crowdfunding site with an intention of raising $2M to bring the popular TV series to the big screen, but it quickly ended up raising a whopping $5.7M.
The comments range from, “This is a bunch of crap. Where is the MP4 download that just works, for everyone, with no problems?” and “This is ridiculous. I can’t even get a full download of Flixter (sic) to even attempt to watch the movie. Both I and my husband have been alternately trying to download it for over an hour. I have never been so disappointed … I’ve been looking forward to this for a year” to “I’m disappointed that the Flixster streaming/download isn’t working when we had a whole evening planned around watching the movie. I ended up paying $7.00 to rent the movie through amazon … ” Others wrote: “What a way to say ‘screw you’ to backers” and “I regret this funding.” And still another: “Giving up getting digital download to work. Happy movie got made but can’t help but feel ripped off for not getting the copy of the movie I was promised.” In response, Thomas sent out this statement to donors:
“We’ve read all of your comments since yesterday’s update. We know that some of you have strong opinions about the decision to provide digital versions of the movie through Flixster. As you’ll see in the original FAQ on our Kickstarter page, we’ve always planned to include Flixster as a digital distribution platform. But I also know that many of you use iTunes, Amazon or other platforms, and would prefer to claim your digital copies on your favorite service, so we hoped we’d also be able to arrange for more options. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible. In the end, Flixster was the best option for getting the digital movie reward out to all of you, worldwide, at the same time.” He suggests calling the customer support team … okay, a total debacle.
Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Late Night Off To Races With $1.1M; Questions For No. 1, 2, and 3 Spots; ‘Veronica Mars’ Midnight Surprise
UPDATED: 12:45 P.M.: Mr. Peabody & Sherman from Fox/DreamWorks is doing very well today with what looks like a $6M take in early estimates to come in second right now behind Need For Speed which is about $1M to $2M higher. Like I said below, this animated pic will get a nice bump from family audiences this weekend and about 19% of kids are off for early Easter break so that is fueling it. Tight race.
PREVIOUS, Friday, 9:58 A.M.: Need For Speed, the soft PG-13 cross-country racing film from DreamWorks based on the Electronic Arts video game of the same name, opened with what distributor Disney said is a $1.1M take on Thursday night. The late shows started at 8 PM to grab good numbers — in fact, Oblivion, which opened in April of last year, also took in $1.1M in late nights. Need For Speed is expected to open around $25M-$28M for the three-day weekend to take the No. 1 spot. We’ll see how many gamers come out and bring a friend this weekend.
Deadline caught up with Veronica Mars creator and executive producer Rob Thomas tonight at the Dolby Theatre before the opening panel of PaleyFest 2014, which celebrated a reunion of the former CW show’s cast prior to tomorrow’s bow of its Warner Bros feature film spinoff. “There’s language in the cast’s deals about a sequel and Kristen Bell and I have talked about it, but it’s all about hitting that magic [revenue] number with box office and VOD,” said Thomas about the franchise’s long-term prospects. Although Thomas – who leaves for Vancouver in 10 days to start production on his CW pilot iZombie — wouldn’t specify what that magic figure is for Veronica Mars to earn a sequel greenlight, speculation is that Warner Bros has built this project to win. In addition its day-and-date VOD release tomorrow, Warner Bros will bow Veronica Mars in 291 theaters and will be content if it generates $1 million in theater ticket sales by Sunday. The studio’s only exposure is in P&A. But even if Veronica Mars falls short, Thomas said: “I wrote the movie in such a way that if we don’t see Veronica Mars again, the audience will be satisfied in a way that Season 3 did not. I wanted to go down swinging on this series.”
Related: PaleyFest 2014 Schedule
Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell‘s crowdfunded Veronica Mars movie is slated to make its world premiere next Saturday at the SXSW Film Festival, but an early sneak peek at the film’s first two minutes has been released online. The clip bridges the gap between the cancelled CW series’ end and the film with a voice-over by ex-teen P.I. Veronica Mars (Bell), in a montage “where we tell new fans everything they’ll need to know,” Tweeted series co-creator and director Thomas. WB will release Veronica Mars theatrically and day and date on VOD March 14. In January The CW announced a spin-off digital series to follow starring Veronica Mars‘s Ryan Hansen.
WB’s crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie will hit theaters March 14 globally and on VOD/digital the same day, helmer Rob Thomas announced Friday on the film’s Kickstarter page. The move marks a first for WB which like most major studios has kept the theatrical window intact before releasing to home vid/digital. It stems from the rewards promised in Thomas’s initial Veronica Mars crowdfunding campaign. Donors who contributed $35 or more were promised a digital copy of the film in exchange to follow shortly after the pic’s theatrical release. Those backers will now get the pic day and date as a streaming download link as Veronica Mars also hits iTunes, Amazon, and other digital and cable distributors for rental on opening weekend. The CW spin-off movie starring Kristen Bell was funded last spring in a crowdfunding campaign that raised a $5.7M budget. Veronica Mars will make its world premiere next month at the SXSW Film Festival.
UPDATE 7 PM: The Veronica Mars digital series now has a premise and a star, courtesy of series Rob Thomas, which made the announcement on Twitter. “The CW web series: a comedy featuring attempting to put together a Dick Casablancas spin-off of .”
PREVIOUS 1:30 PM: The Veronica Mars comeback continues. On the heels of the long-gestating movie finally getting made this year through a kickstarter campaign, Veronica Mars also is getting a spinoff series, for now online only. The CW made the announcement at the top of its TCA presentation. No details were given about the series, which will be for the CW’s digital platform CW Seed, but it hails from Veronica Mars creator and the movie’s co-writer/director Rob Thomas. “He is very excited about it,” CW president Mark Pedowitz said, noting that Thomas will focus on the digital series after he completes work on the Veronica Mars movie as well as on a hot drama project he has at the CW, iZombie, which I hear looks very good for a pilot pickup. Pedowitz said the spinoff originated with the digital division of Warner Bros., the studio behind the original series, which reached out to CW Seed. The deal was sealed with a phone call by Pedowitz to Thomas who committed to the project. Thomas has concept ideas and plans for “potential people who could be involved” but nothing …
Look’s like something’s really going to be cooking in Austin this spring and we don’t mean BBQ. The SXSW Film Conference and Festival said today that Jon Favreau’s Chef will open the confab this year on March 7. It also announced six additional premieres including Rob Thomas’ crowdfunded big-screen continuation of TV series Veronica Mars, which Amazon Prime made available for streaming today; Fox’s re-launched COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson in person; and the addition of a conversation with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and an acting workshop with Jeffrey Tambor.
The full SXSW lineup is scheduled to be revealed January 30, but here are the films unveiled today:
Break Point (World Premiere / SXsports screening)
Director: Jay Karas, Screenwriters: Gene Hong, Jeremy Sisto
Two estranged brothers reunite to make an improbable run at a grand slam tennis tournament. The mismatched pair, with some unlikely help from a precocious 11-year-old boy, re-discover their game and their brotherhood.
Cast: Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, Joshua Rush, J.K. Simmons, Amy Smart
Chef (World Premiere)
Director: Jon Favreau, Screenplay & Story: Jon Favreau
When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John
Amazon and Warners Bros Domestic TV Distribution have inked a deal to stream the Veronica Mars TV series exclusively on Amazon Prime. The series, starring Kristen Bell, will be available starting today, ahead of the March 14 premiere of the Veronica Mars movie, famously funded by a history-making Kickstarter campaign. The announcement comes a day after CBS and Amazon announced an exclusive streaming deal for upcoming CBS summer series Extant starring Halle Berry. The Veronica Mars TV series,created by screenwriter Rob Thomas, first premiered in 2004. The show is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and follows a high school student (Bell) who moonlights as a private investigator under the tutelage of her detective father. The Veronica Mars movie reached its Kickstarter goal of $2 million in just 10 hours back in March. At the end of the 31-day campaign, fans contributed $5.7 million, making Veronica Mars the number one funded project in the film category and the third-highest funded project in Kickstarter history. Here’s today’s full release:
This year is being billed as the biggest William S. Paley Television Festival to date thanks in part to the move to the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland for the fest that runs March 13-28. Added to the already-announced opening-night event featuring the Veronica Mars Kickstarter-funded reunion movie, organizers have added a Lost 10th anniversary reunion on March 16, Netflix participation (Orange Is The New Black), and a so-long session for CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. Also feted this year: Fox’s The Mindy Project and Sleepy Hollow; AMC’s Mad Men; the CW’s The Vampire Diaries and The Originals; ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Showtime’s Masters Of Sex; HBO’s Veep; and NBC comedies Parks & Recreation and Community, the latter of which is back for a fifth season due to “popular demand”, the Paley Center for Media says. The full slate of panels announced today includes the already-confirmed ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars, and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven, which will close out the fan confab. Here’s the full schedule:
Comic-Con attendees were treated to a mini-featurette and trailer for Veronica Mars back in July. Now, the first official trailer has dropped for the March 14th Warner Bros release. The movie made crowdfunding history in March last year when it raised its target Kickstarter goal in just 10 hours. Rob Thomas directs the film that brings back Kristen Bell as the former teen sleuth who’s now a big city lawyer. She’s pulled back into her old ways in Neptune when ex-boyfriend Logan becomes the subject of a murder investigation. Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Tina Majorino, Ryan Hansen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gaby Hoffman and Max Greenfield are also in the cast. A day before the movie releases, PaleyFest 2014 will kick off its schedule with a Veronica Mars panel. Here’s the trailer:
The Paley Center for Media’s 31st annual TV confab is set for March 13-28 and is moving across town from the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills to the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. PaleyFest 2014 will kick off its schedule with Veronica Mars, a panel reuniting the cast of the former UPN/CW series starring Kristen Bell. The date is no coincidence: the much-buzzed about, Kickstarter-elevated Veronica Mars movie from Warner Bros is being released the next day. Also on the panel docket is ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, and the fest will close like last year with the latest incarnation of FX’s American Horror Story. The full lineup will be unveiled January 8.
Participant Media-owned Pivot – the TV network targeting the millenial (age 18-34) generation – has acquired all episodes of Fox’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Warner Bros’ Veronica Mars. The series will be joining the programming roster as a Buffy and Veronica Power Hours block, Pivot said today, featuring back-to-back episodes Mondays through Fridays at 10 PM and 11 PM beginning January 13.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which ran for seven seasons from 1997-2003, stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy. The series was created by Joss Whedon, under Mutant Enemy Productions, and later with co-executive producers Jane Espenson, David Fury, David Greenwalt, Doug Petrie, Marti Noxon and David Solomon. Veronica Mars, which aired from 2004-2007, stars Kristen Bell as a student who progresses from high school to college while moonlighting as a private investigator under the tutelage of her detective father. The Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie raised $5.5 million from more than 90,000 contributors. The series was created by screenwriter Rob Thomas; produced by Warner Bros. Television, Silver Pictures Television, Stu Segall Productions and Rob Thomas Productions.
All those Kickstarter contributors to Warner Bros‘ Veronica Mars movie will be able to reap their rewards now that the studio has confirmed the worst-kept secret in town: the pic has been given a March 14, 2014 release date in select cities. (It means most backers will get a copy of the shooting script on release day while the slightly more deep-pocketing funders will get digital copies of the movie in the mail following opening day.) The film’s website scooped the studio by announcing the date on social media outlets Wednesday. In all, the pic’s crowdfunding campaign raised its target total in 10 hours back in April with donations from 91, 585 people totaling $5.7 million.
Here’s the mini-featurette and trailer that Comic-Con attendees saw yesterday during the Veronica Mars panel.
Ross Lincoln contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage
Will the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie end up a hit? The track record of crowdfunded projects is too mixed to tell, but if the response from attendees of today’s Comic-Con panel is any indication, the risk might just pay off. The panel featured the main cast including star Kristen Bell as well as director and series creator Rob Thomas, who revealed that the feature film based on the WBTV series that ran from 2004-2007 will aim to heavily reward fans for their dedication. Thomas, after quipping that the film has a “Godfather III feel to it”, said he wanted to tell the story he thinks fans want. “I know the pleasure centers of viewers of the show, and I wrote to them,” he said. Later he said that while the film will be accessible to new viewers, it will be packed with “fun little Easter eggs” and “lots of references” for longtime fans.
The panel began with a featurette thanking fans for their contributions to the Kickstarter project — the funding drive was a smashing success, notching its $2M initial goal within 10 hours of launching in March and finishing with 91,585 backers contributing $5,702,153 to …