April 17, 2014

Tag Archives: Human Interest

From 1997 to 2009 there were five $1 billion film grossers. Between 2010 and 2012, we added an additional ten such films.

Just a few years ago, had I written a piece entitled “There are no films guaranteed to gross $1 billion this year”, you likely would have laughed and said “Of course not!”. As recently as 2010, the idea that any movie could or would gross $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales was somewhat of a pipe dream.
From 1997 to 2006, there were just two films to reach that milestone, they being Titanic (the biggest movie of all-time with a seemingly insurmountable $1.8 billion) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Oscar-winning chapter to what can be argued is the finest screen trilogy of our time (that’s a debate for another day). In 2006, we saw the powerhouse success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which parlayed the unexpected popularity of the first film into an even larger haul for its sequel, breaking the domestic opening weekend record at the time ($135 million) and earning a massive $423 million in America and $642 million overseas.
In 2008, The Dark Knight pulled another “massively popular sequel to unexpectedly well-liked original” trick to the tune of $533 million in America (good for the second biggest grosser of all time in America, if only for a year) and just over $1 billion worldwide despite not playing in China due to that pesky “Chinese gangster hides Gotham mob money” subplot. 2009 saw James Cameron do that trick that James Cameron does yet again, with Avatar earning $1 billion worldwide in about seventeen days and going on to earn an eye-popping $2.7 billion.
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“Oblivion” opens at No. 1 worldwide with an estimated weekend gross of $61.1 million

“Oblivion” opens at No. 1 worldwide with an estimated weekend gross of $61.1 million from 52 international markets. The film was No.1 in 48 of the 52 markets and opens in the US and Canada this coming Friday. Also, 20th Century Fox International crossed the $1 billion mark on April 12. They are the first distributor to do so in 2013 and this is the 10th year in a row they have surpassed this milestone.”
The top-12 domestic weekend box office estimates listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, April 14, 2013 are below.
1. 42 – Warner Bros. – $27.2M
2. Scary Movie 5 – The Weinstein Company – $15.2M
3. Croods, The – 20th Century Fox – $13.2M
4. GI Joe: Retaliation – Paramount – $10.8M
5. Evil Dead – Sony – $9.5M
6. Jurassic Park – Universal – $8.8M
7. Olympus Has Fallen – FilmDistrict – $7.3M
8. Oz The Great and Powerful – Disney – $4.9M
9. Tyler Perry’s Temptation – Lionsgate – $4.5M
10. Place Beyond the Pines, The – Focus Features – $4.1M
11. Host, The – Open Road – $2.4M
12. Call, The – Sony – $1.9M
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Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom in Zulu by Jerome Salle to close the 66th Cannes Film Festival

The 66th Festival de Cannes will close on 26th May with a screening of the thriller Zulu, shot entirely on location in South Africa by Jérôme Salle and adapted from the novel of the same name by Caryl Férey.
The action takes place in Cape Town, in a South Africa still overshadowed by apartheid, where destitute townships rubs shoulders with affluent neighbourhoods. Two cops on the beat, Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean by Gore Verbinski, Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson) and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland by Kevin McDonald, Ghost Dog, La Voie du Samouraï by Jim Jarmush) are caught up in a suspenseful search which combines elements of political film noir and social study (…).
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Hollywood Film Fest injects new talent into the heart of the filmmaking industry

The 17th Annual Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), hailed by “Variety” as “the ultimate networking opportunity” and by The New York Times as “the first mandatory stop in the awards season.” A long-standing and well-respected celebration of the very finest in big-screen storytelling, HFF presents promising filmmakers with countless opportunities to network with the industry’s top executives and brightest stars. It’s no wonder so many winners of HFF have secured representation and distribution deals through outlets including HBO, Miramax, IFC, 7th Art Releasing, Indican, and Starz, among others.
Jon Fitzgerald is the new Executive Director of the Hollywood Film Festival.
In the last ten years, HFF has seen a total 96 Oscar nominations and 32 Academy Awards presented its official selections and to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards, HFF’s companion event. HFF awards are covered by print and online media, as well as by cable and network television stations the world over. Heralded as a “pre-Oscar showcase” by “The Los Angeles Times,” last year’s event honored Richard Gere, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, John Hawkes, and Quentin Tarantino. Few events can compete with HFF’s heady mix of A-List star power and career-making industry exposure or with its desire to help deserving talents find their place on the world stage.
HFF has launched numerous successful careers and has exponentially increased the visibility of the talents it honors. After HFF hosted the world premiere of his first film, The Poor & Hungry, director Craig Brewer secured the sale of Hustle & Flow to Paramount Studios for a cool $9 million. That picture would go on to snag an Academy Award for Best Original Song and an Oscar nomination for its star, Terence Howard. Other notable HFF successes include director Robert DeFranco, (who sold his film, Telling You, to Miramax) and Zoe Clarke-Williams, who was signed to direct an MGM film after being honored at the festival. HFF-winning documentarian Janine Hoskins sold her film, My Khmer Heart, to HBO.
   
UPCOMING DEADLINE – SUBMIT TODAY
April 30, 2013 – Regular Deadline
MISSION AND OBJECTIVE
The Hollywood Film Festival bridges the gap between established Hollywood and the global creative community, providing an avenue of discovery for emerging filmmakers.
MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The Festival will initiate a series of meetings between independent filmmakers and industry professionals, through the Hollywood Network program. And with an aim toward promoting philanthropy and social awareness, HFF engineered the “Hollywood Gives Back” [...]

Brad Pitt set to star in “Fury”

Columbia Pictures has acquired domestic distribution and a good portion of the available international distribution rights to David Ayer’s epic war film FURY, with Brad Pitt set to star in the leading role, it was announced today by QED International CEO Bill Block and Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures. QED is producing the film with John Lesher?s Le Grisbi Productions and Ethan Smith. Alex Ott is co-producing the feature with Ayer. Principal photography is set to begin in September 2013 and Columbia anticipates releasing FURY on November 14, 2014.
FURY is set at the very end of World War II, in April 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theater, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
?We loved this script from the moment we read it,? Belgrad said. ?This is epic and authentic storytelling at its finest and we couldn?t be more excited to be in business with David Ayer and Brad Pitt on this incredible story of sacrifice and heroism.?
QED and the studio previously partnered on the worldwide hit DISTRICT 9. FURY is Ayer?s second film with QED, which is financing and producing his ensemble action thriller TEN, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Mireille Enos, and which is set for release from Open Road Films in January 2014. FURY also reteams Ayer with John Lesher, who produced his last film, END OF WATCH.
Josh Grode and Noel Lohr represented QED in the transaction.
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“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will come out in 2014

Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Marvel Studios’ release, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” production on the highly anticipated release, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has commenced in Los Angeles, Calif., with production also including locations in Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington D.C. Directing the film is the team of Anthony and Joe Russo (“Welcome to Collinwood”) from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) & Stephen McFeely (“Captain America: The First Avenger”). Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” returns Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America, along with Scarlett Johansson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury. In addition, film icon Robert Redford has joined the all-star cast as Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is set for release in the U.S. on April 4, 2014.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will pick-up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” features an outstanding supporting cast that includes Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Black Swan”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker,” “Million Dollar Baby”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Cobie Smulders (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “How I Met Your Mother”) as Agent Maria Hill, Frank Grillo (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as Brock Rumlow and Georges St-Pierre (“Death Warrior”) as Georges Batroc. Rounding out the talented cast are Hayley Atwell (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Peggy Carter, Toby Jones (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Hunger Games”) as Arnim Zola, Emily VanCamp (“The Ring 2,” “Revenge”) as Agent 13 and Maximiliano Hernández (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Thor”) as Agent Jasper Sitwell.
Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Alan Fine, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee. The creative production team on the film includes director of photography Trent Opaloch (“Elysium,” “District 9”), production designer Peter Wenham (“21 Jump Street,” “Fast Five”), editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. and Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E. (“Star [...]

“GI Joe: Retaliation” is once again the No. 1 film worldwide

“GI Joe: Retaliation is once again the No. 1 film worldwide with an estimated weekend of $61.3 million.
The worldwide cume now stands at $231.9 million. Also, The Croods passed the $200 million mark and Jack the Giant Slayer passed the $100 mark internationally this weekend.”
The top-12 domestic weekend box office estimates listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, April 7, 2013 are below.
1. Evil Dead – Sony – $26.0M
2. GI Joe: Retaliation – Paramount – $21.1M
3. Croods, The – 20th Century Fox – $21.1M
4. Jurassic Park – Universal – $18.2M
5. Olympus Has Fallen – FilmDistrict – $10.0M
6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation – Lionsgate – $10.0M
7. Oz The Great and Powerful – Disney – $8.2M
8. Host, The – Open Road – $5.2M
9. Call, The – Sony – $3.5M
10. Admission – Focus Features – $2.1M
11. Spring Breakers – A24 Films – $1.2M
12. Identity Thief – Universal – $0.8M
Courtesy of Rentrak Corporation, the global leader in box office measurement.
For more information on Rentrak, please visit www.rentrak.com
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“42″ the Jackie Robinson saga, is a brilliant, straightforward telling story

When Warner Bros. “42″ hits screens April 12, the Jackie Robinson saga will slap moviegoers with a fresh take on just how accepted racism was in the U.S. back in 1947, when Robinson broke the color barrier as the first African American player admitted into Major League Baseball. That’s the word from Alan Tudyk, who plays Robinson tormentor Ben Chapman in the Brian Helgeland film that stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey.
“It’s a very, very good telling of the story, starting with the amazing script Brian wrote,” notes the “Suburgatory” and “Firefly” actor. “He’s obviously a proven writer — ‘L.A. Confidential,’ ‘Mystic River’ and so many things. This is a brilliant, straightforward telling of this story. People who know the history and the trivia of this time are going to like it because it’s an accurate portrayal. A lot of the quotes known from this story are in the movie.
“I certainly wasn’t aware of the extent of the abuse Jackie had to take and how different the country was,” Tudyk admits. “Racism was very openly accepted as a form of humor — blackface, things like that. In that atmosphere, the things that were considered offensive are just completely outrageous. To my ears and my eyes in 2013, it was amazing, what he had to put up with and how he had to meet all the threats against him. He couldn’t react.”
Tudyk’s character, outfielder-turned-Phillies Manager Ben Chapman, was among the biggest thorns in Robinson’s side — opposing integration and instructing his players to bean him with the ball at every good opportunity.
“He goes out on the field and calls Jackie every name in the book. Then he catches grief for it from the press and gets called out for being a racist. Then, in an effort to save face, he asks Jackie — or, that is, he tells Jackie — that he wants to take a publicity picture with him out on the field before they play the next time. So Jackie agrees to go out and take pictures with this guy, who has been such an ass to him. He’s the bigger man. And then, even when he goes out on the field to do this favor for him, Ben Chapman won’t shake his hand! They’re like, ‘Shake his hand.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m not touching his hand.’ There’s a famous [...]

“Jurassic Park” a major film that absolutely delivered the goods

I’ll make this simple. My first theatrical viewing of Jurassic Park remains, without question, the best theatrical movie going experience of my life. It encapsulated pretty much everything good about the theatrical experience, including any number of elements that are perhaps non-replicable in today’s film culture.
The viewing was an unexpected advance-night screening, back before every movie opened on Thursday at 12:00 am, if not 10:00 pm or earlier. Jurassic Park had a whole slate of advance screenings on Thursday the 10th of June, starting at I believe 8:00 pm. I had presumed I would be seeing it sometime that weekend, but my mother informed me that my dad was coming home from a business trip and he was picking me up in time for a 10:00 pm screening.
Obviously excited, I hurriedly rushed to finish the original Michael Crichton novel that I had been blazing through. We got to the theater early enough and the auditorium, as well as the auditoriums around us, were absolutely jammed packed. Everyone was excited to be there, but nobody really knew what they were in for.
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2013’s “Evil Dead” biggest shock

Evil Dead is a surprisingly faithful yet reimagined retread of the legendary Sam Raimi film that pushes the limits of commercial theatrical wide release horror films. This is a horror film that isn’t afraid or ashamed to be one. With a intense, blood-drenched finale that should leave a packed theater cheering, Evil Dead falls on the side of good remakes.
The story of this iteration of Evil Dead surrounds a girl, Mia (Jane Levy), who is being taken out to an old abandoned secluded cabin, once owned by her family, to hopefully detox her current drug problem. Along the way to assist, are 2 of her friends and her brother with his girlfriend. Upon exploring a smell in the basement, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and David (Shiloh Fernandez) find a ritualistic set of dead cats and the Book of the Dead. After reading some passages, wild things begin to happen to Mia. Should her friends believe the things she says or is it her trying to escape cold turkey detox?
By Brandon Peters
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