Hollywood wasn’t the only big winner at the Thanksgiving holiday box office. Still smarting from the $8.5M dent Hurricane Sandy put in their coffers, Broadway shows reaped big receipts and broke records during all of Thanksgiving week. According to figures from The Broadway League, 31 shows scored $27.02M for the seven-day period ending November 25, compared to $20.88M for 33 shows the week before. Although that will help with some of the post-Sandy recovery, it wasn’t enough to beat last year’s Thanksgiving week of $28,086,475, the Associated Press reported. The long-running Wicked had the best eight-show week in Broadway history with $2.29M in box office.
Big Movie Musicals Coming As Universal Courts Stephen Daldry For ‘Wicked’ Film As Jon Favreau Gets Close To ‘Jersey Boys’
EXCLUSIVE: While Disney is at Comic-Con today to unveil some details on its Sam Raimi-directed Oz: The Great And Powerful, Universal is finally moving forward with its screen adaptation of the cash cow musical Wicked. I’m told that the studio is courting Stephen Daldry to direct the film, and I’m optimistic that he’ll make a deal. At the same time, Jon Favreau is in negotiations to direct Jersey Boys. Both Wicked and Jersey Boys are among the top-grossing Broadway musicals on a weekly basis.
Favreau has been the rumored front runner for some time to helm Jersey Boys, but Daldry is a surprise. Universal and the musical’s producer Marc Platt have been meeting with helmers since last year, as this was one of the most coveted gigs to come along in a long time. Wicked, a Wizard of Oz prequel, is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West and focuses on the early relationship between Glinda the Good and Elphaba, a green-skinned beauty before she ended up flying on a broomstick. Wicked began as a movie development project with Platt and Universal, before they changed course and took it …
EXCLUSIVE: Glee creator Ryan Murphy is Sony Pictures’ top choice to direct a re-imagining of the Broadway musical Annie, with Willow Smith playing the lovable orphan. The project was recently set at Sony Pictures by Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith in the joint venture they formed with Jay-Z to generate films. Sony Pictures has made the approach to Murphy, but it’s early days.
Though Willow Smith is a relative newcomer to the screen (she has I Am Legend and Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl on her resume), she scored a hit record with Whip My Hair!, and Sony’s bet on her brother Jaden in the Overbrook-produced Karate Kid remake resulted in a big hit. Murphy is also well regarded at Sony, where he directed Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and made a $5 million …
ABC is looking to get back in the event mini-series business with Wicked, an eight-hour mini-series produced by Salma Hayek, TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello reports. The project is not based on the highly-successful Broadway musical but on Gregory McGuire’s bestselling book that spawned it. Despite a long tradition of TV musicals like Cinderella, Annie and The Music Man at ABC that flourished under Susan Lyne as head of TV movies and mini-series and then entertainment president, the genre disappeared from the network under Lyne’s successor Stephen McPherson. In fact, McPherson passed on the Wicked mini-series a couple of year ago, a decision that was reversed by new ABC president Paul Lee. Wicked, which is in active development, is being produced by ABC Studios and Hayek and Jose Tamez’s studio-based Ventanarosa Prods. Erik Jendersen (Band of Brothers) is writing the script. For now, there are no plans for Hayek to star. Coincidentally, ABC and ABC Studios are developing a comedy musical series starring Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Elphaba in the Wicked Broadway musical, winning a Tony for the part. The musical, perennial top Broadway grosser that premiered in 2003, is currently being developed as a feature.