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The first NYC edition of the PGA’s `Produced By’ confab launched this morning with a conversation between former PGA president and producer Hawk Koch and Nightcrawler‘s Jake Gyllenhaal, also in town prepping for his Broadway debut in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Constellations.
Pointing out that Gyllenhaal already is a certified film star (with an Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain behind him all the way up through his “amazing performance” in Nightcrawler) Koch started off by asking him that, with all the problems associated with the job, Why become a producer?
“I think that headaches and heartbreak are part of any job if you put your heart into it,” Gyllenhaal responded. “I grew up with my parents behind the camera and that was the language that I knew. It wasn’t until later that I became an actor. I’ve aways been fascinated with the abrasion between »
- Jeremy Gerard
The time is nearly upon us when we’ll finally say goodbye to Middle Earth, as Peter Jackson’s last hurrah – The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – will soon be arriving in theatres. For those detractors who believe stretching out a pamphlet into a three-part fantasy epic is to blame for The Hobbit‘s sluggish pace, we’ve got news for you. According to EW, the ending scene will be a mammoth 45-minute long battle sequence.
“We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,” Peter Jackson told the magazine. “Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.”
Along with Jackson’s interview are several key pieces of artwork, focusing on the climactic showdown. The brawl will take place at the foot of Lonely Mountain, as all races »
- Gem Seddon
Empire CEO Mario Haddad and Gulf Films chief Selim El-Azar discuss distribution in the region at Abu Dhabi show business conference.
Cinema audiences in Middle East, and especially the Gulf, are growing and set to get bigger in coming years, leading distributers in the region told delegates at the International ShowBiz Expo in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
“The market has mushroomed since the early 2000s and continues to grow,” Mario Haddad, CEO of pan-Arab distributor Empire International and Empire Gulf told the conference.
“Of course, it’s difficult in some territories due to current events but you might be surprised to learn that there is a cinema open in Damascus and still some business in Iraq,” he added.
Gulf Film CEO Selim El-Azar, who was also on the panel, noted that his company had released Fury in Damascus’ one remaining cinema this week.
“When people look at the region from afar they consider it as a whole »
Against the general mediocre trend of stuntmen turned directors, Chad Stahelski’s unassumingly titled John Wick is a surprisingly adept action thriller, resurrecting Keanu Reeves for his most enjoyable screen persona in years. Though its premise is pure pulpy amalgamation of basic revenge tropes forcing a criminal mastermind’s return to his lethal expertise (something we’ve seen a variety of grizzled visages return to this year alone, including Pierce Brosnan and Kevin Costner), the Stahelski strikes the kind of entertaining tone that many of these mind numbingly violent films are often unable to capture. Fast, fun, and with care taken on elements outside of the requisite action sequences, it’s a film that succeeds in generally conquering the fatigue of its own familiarity.
- Nicholas Bell
Ouija is your clear winner this weekend, by which I mean there's not all that much competition. This, believe it or not, is a Hasbro production, following the proud history of Transformers, G.I. Joe and Battleship. Trivia: When was the last horror film to win an October weekendc That would be Paranormal Activity 4 in 2012 with $29 million. This will be less than that, at $22.1 million, but that will still be enough to take the weekend with ease. I haven't seen a production budget yet, but something tell me it will be around the cost of a few board games, but not much more. Same with the Rt score, it's not in yet, but expect it to be limbo low. John Wick won't do The Equalizer numbers, not even close, which I guess is the difference between Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves at the box office. Or perhaps September vs. Octoberc Regardless, »
- Laremy Legel
3rd Update, 2:45 Pm (Pt): Finals are in for Guardians Of The Galaxy, the No. 1 Bollywood movie this year stateside Bang Bang, director David Fincher’s thriller Gone Girl (which passed $100M stateside), the Denzel Washington action/drama The Equalizer, the animated The Boxtrolls, the Ya hit The Maze Runner, Luc Besson’s Lucy, Universal’s Dracula Untold, Fox’s sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Ice Age: The Meltdown In 3-D which debuted in China this weekend to $3.2M on 2,800 plays, and also its buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops. In addition, Warner Bros.’ just reported for its horror film Annabelle and the courtroom drama starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall The Judge, and lest we forget Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which debuted strong in the UK this weekend) and Hercules which are still playing in 17 markets. Final tallies for stateside newcomers Fox »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Relativity is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. distribution rights to writer-director Mike Binder's racially-charged drama “Black or White,” which stars Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, TheWrap has learned. Relativity plans to release the film through its new multicultural division before the end of the year so that it may qualify for awards such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. “Black or White” premiered last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it screened as “Black and White.” Open Road had been in negotiations to acquire the film but those talks failed to lead to a deal. »
- Jeff Sneider and Linda Ge
Author John Grisham‘s recent remarks about men being unfairly imprisoned after watching child pornography has left Rosie O'Donnell in utter disgust. So much so that she suggested police should investigate him. See photos: 20 of Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson's Biggest Box Office Hits (Photos) “Did John Grisham feel like these people needed a champion and he was it?” she said on Friday's “The View,” telling her co-hosts that she was “horrified” by what the author said. Grisham said in an interview with The Telegraph this week: “We have prisons now filled with guys my age — 60-year-old white men — in prison, »
- Ryan O'Connell
David Ayer is probably best known as the former U.S. Navy sailor who broke onto the scene with his screenplay for Training Day, the film that won Denzel Washington a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal as a nefarious L.A. police officer. Since then, Ayer has cultivated a reputation as a writer-director of intense urban thrillers; his directorial credits include Harsh Times, Street Kings and End Of Watch, all films that depict the streets as chaotic war zones where the cops and gangsters »
- Eric Walkuski
Nobody makes movies as unrepentantly manly as David Ayer. The director started his career writing "Training Day," a script that would ultimately win Denzel Washington an Academy Award for Best Actor, and went on to write and direct similarly gritty crime movies "Harsh Times" and "End of Watch." Earlier this year, he co-wrote and directed "Sabotage," a modern day drug world variation on an Agatha Christie story that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. All of Ayers movies up until now have been about men —sweaty, foul-mouthed, violence-loving men, with female characters serving as another way in which those men communicate with one another. But his most macho movie yet is this week's "Fury," a mud-and-blood-covered World War II yarn about a squad of soldiers in a tank (commanded by Brad Pitt) during the waning days of the European theater (read our review). We sat down with Ayer earlier this week and talked. »
- Drew Taylor
Director David Ayer made his directorial debut with his original screenplay Harsh Times. The gritty drama, starring Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez, which was released in the fall of 2006. Ayer garnered widespread acclaim and accolades for his hyper-realistic portrayal of life behind the blue line in End of Watch (2012). He moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and the experiences of his upbringing shaped much of his artistic vision and his inside knowledge and affection for the culture surrounding law enforcement can be seen throughout his work.
Ayer joined the United States Navy, where he served as sonar man aboard a nuclear attack submarine during the Cold War. After an honorable discharge, Ayer began writing. He wrote and was a co-producer on his “calling card” spec script Training Day, which became a hit film and garnered Denzel Washington an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Ayer also co-wrote the submarine thriller U-571, »
- Kellvin Chavez
With the recent releases of A Walk Among The Tombstones and The Equalizer, the crime film is as present as ever in our cinemas. Tombstones is a brutal, gritty mystery, seemingly tailor made for Liam Neeson’s brand of tough, haunted heroism. Those who enjoy a taut, page-turning thriller novel will love it (which is appropriate, considering it is based on a series of books by Lawrence Block). The Equalizer satisfies as a more heightened, bombastic crime story, featuring Denzel Washington excelling as an ingeniously badass defender of the downtrodden who takes on the Russian Mob pretty much single-handedly. These films seemingly exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they show just how much room for manoeuvre there is in the crime genre, with potential for many varied types of story to be told.
Many observers and fans of the genre would say that the 1970’s were »
- Michael Gordon
When The Theory of Everything debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, audiences couldn't stop talking about Eddie Redmayne, who generated instant Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist who's spent most of his adult life in a wheelchair and speaking through a computer. The praise is well-deserved. Hawking might be the story, but the film is based on the book of his first wife, Jane, played by Felicity Jones. They married in 1965, shortly after Hawking was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and doctors estimated he only had two years to live. With her unflagging devotion, Hawking went »
- Jeff Labrecque
Annabelle edged out Gone Girl this weekend internationally, pulling in $28.1M compared to $26.89M that the Ben Affleck thriller scooped up. Annabelle is now tracking 6% ahead of The Conjuring at the same point in its run. The Conjuring went onto to gross $180.6M overseas for a worldwide total of $318M when it bowed last year. For market by market breakouts, see below. Also added are finals for The Judge, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hercules and Relatos Salvajes.
Final Update, Monday, 12:18 Pt: Final numbers are in for many films, but we’re still awaiting Warner Bros. to weigh in before we know who won the weekend wrestling match between its horror film Annabelle and Fox’s Gone Girl (which has held the No. 1 one for two weekends in a row stateside). Fox has reported a little under $27M »
- Nancy Tartaglione
As we have mentioned numerous times here on this site, the foreign film market is key. All filmmakers, including, and especially black filmmakers, must keep in mind that whatever film they make, they should consider that there is an audience for their film outside the USA, around the globe. Antoine Fuqua’s "The Equalizer" with Denzel Washington, once again challenges the lie that there is no appeal for black film stars in foreign countries. The film opened in late Sept, in 37 territories across Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East (now 39 territories) and, as of yesterday, has grossed some $57 million to date. That’s in addition to the nearly $80 »
Nobody's pulling for Denzel Washington's new action flick more than his young co-star Chloë Grace Moretz -- because she's on the verge of a six-figure haul that will make her one of the highest paid teens in Hollywood. 17-year-old Chloë -- who also starred in the "Kick-Ass" movies -- already took home a $400,000 payday for "The Equalizer" ... but according to the her contract she stands to make a ton more if the movie achieves »
- TMZ Staff
Billy Elliot, André Rieu and Monty Python are leading the charge for the growth of event cinema.
Overpowering the sound of ballet shoes hitting the stage might have been the sound of jaws hitting the floor. On the morning of September 30, the UK industry awoke to the news Universal’s Billy Elliot The Musical - Live was top of the UK box office.
The fact a live broadcast of a musical that opened nine years ago led the box office on $3.1m (£1.9m) is something that might have shocked industry players even five years ago; a decade ago the idea would have been laughed at.
Now, event cinema’s first weekend leading the UK box office is confirmation of what a major force alternative content has become (both creatively and financially) within the film industry.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Despite heavy promotion and promises of epic adventure, Dracula Untold (estimated $23.5 million) took a back seat to more subtle fare as Gone Girl (estimated $26.8 million) took the first-place spot once more. Not to say Dracula Untold will be a failure…accounting for worldwide box office, it has achieved $86.1 million and already bested its $70 million budget…but it has proven unpopular with critics and has a long fight to make itself profitable domestically. On the other hand, third-place finisher Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has little to fear, with an estimated $19.1 million already a good start to its $28 million costs, as well as mildly positive critical praise giving it a leg up.
Annabelle went last week without providing budget numbers, but if it had cost as much as The Conjuring it would be doing pretty well. However, in a stunning reveal, the horror film cost less »
- Seth Paul
“Gone Girl,” “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and “Dracula Untold” emerged relatively unscathed from a pile-up at the box office this weekend, while Robert Downey Jr.’s “The Judge” got banged up from the collisions at the multiplexes.
David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s marital mystery was tops for the second week in a row, unearthing $26.8 million and bringing its total to $78.3 million. At this rate, it could surpass “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” ($127.5 million domestic) as Fincher’s biggest commercial success.
Meanwhile, “Dracula Untold” exceeded pre-release tracking, sinking its fangs into $23.5 million across 2,887 locations. The story of how Vlad the Impaler developed a taste for blood arrives courtesy of Universal Pictures and cost $70 million to produce.
“It’s a very, very solid result,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s distribution chief. “It’s not a horror film. It’s an untold story »
- Brent Lang
This year's BFI London Film Festival is bookended by a pair of World War II movies of vastly contrasting styles. Opener The Imitation Game delved into the complex mind of codebreaker Alan Turing, while the closing night feature is Brad Pitt's Fury, a full-blooded look at the crew of a Sherman tank as they roll through Nazi Germany.
There's nothing particularly deft or subtle about writer/director David Ayer's latest, this is a film that goes for the jugular - literally! The striking opening shot sees a lone German soldier navigate a ravaged battlefield on horseback. Out of nowhere, Pitt's Don 'Wardaddy' Collier leaps from a tank and stabs the enemy soldier to death. It's a moment of savagery from this story's 'hero', and one »
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