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18 items from 2003


Anita Mui dies; among H.K.'s top film, music stars

31 December 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

HONG KONG -- Anita Mui, a Canto-pop singer and major Hong Kong film star, died here Tuesday of complications from cervical cancer. She was 40. Mui was often dubbed the "Hong Kong Madonna" because of her ever-changing image. As an actress with close to 50 features under her belt, she worked with such stars as Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh in The Heroic Trio, Jackie Chan in The Legend of Drunken Master and Rumble in the Bronx and Chow Yun-fat in The Greatest Lover. Her latest role was in the critically acclaimed July Rhapsody, for which she was nominated for best actress in the 2002 Hong Kong Film Awards. »

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Chan Signs Up for 'Pink Panther'

20 November 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

High-kicking star Jackie Chan has signed up to join Steve Martin in the new Pink Panther movie. Chan will play Inspector Clouseau's hapless servant Kato in Birth Of The Pink Panther - following the news Martin has secured the role famously played by the late Peter Sellers in the hit series of comedies. Chan replaces Burt Kwouk in the role, which will see Kato joining Clouseau in trying to solve the murder of the French soccer team manager. Chan is next slated to be seen in the all-star version of Around the World in 80 Days. »

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Final boxoffice: 'Freddy' spree persists with $13.2 mil

25 August 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The horror grudge match "Freddy vs. Jason" shredded the competition to remain the No. 1 movie with $13.2 million in its second weekend. The best debut among new movies was for the Jackie Chan action comedy "The Medallion", which opened with $8.1 million. The top 10 movies at North American theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distributor, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday are:

1. "Freddy vs. Jason", New Line, $13,152,967, 3,014 locations, $4,364 average, $61,197,607, two weeks.

2. "S.W.A.T.", Sony, $10,581,327, 3,204 locations, $3,303 average, $87,847,065, three weeks.

3. "Open Range", Buena Vista, $9,481,315, 2,163 locations, $4,383 average, $29,317,253, two weeks.

4. "Freaky Friday", Buena Vista, $9,304,643, 3,058 locations, $3,043 average, $74,431,693, three weeks.

5. "The Medallion", Sony, $8,111,324, 2,648 locations, $3,063 average, $8,111,324, one week.

6. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," Buena Vista, $7,275,447, 2,404 locations, $3,026 average, $260,925,697, seven weeks.

7. "Seabiscuit", Universal, $6,170,290, 2,534 locations, $2,435 average, $92,936,230, five weeks.

8. "Uptown Girls", MGM, $5,606,943, 2,495 locations, $2,247 average, $22,318,159, two weeks.

9. "American Wedding", Universal, $5,464,405, 2,467 locations, $2,215 average, $90,515,725, four weeks.

10. "My Boss's Daughter", Miramax, $4,855,798, 2,201 locations, $2,206 average, $4,855,798, one week. »

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'Freddy' spree persists at boxoffice

25 August 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Amid a late summer clearance of moderate to dismal new wide releases and a slew of limited engagements and expansions, New Line's slasher fantasy match Freddy vs. Jason made the cut once again. The horror film sat atop the boxoffice chart with an estimated $13.5 million intake. Freddy is the first film since 20th Century Fox's X2: X-Men United, released back in early May, to hold the top spot for two consecutive weekends. The R-rated horror film dropped 63% from its debut and has taken in an estimated $61.5 million in 10 days. Sony's S.W.A.T. was in the second spot with an estimated $10.8 million, slipping 40% in its third frame while the total inches closer to the $100 million mark with an estimated cume of $88.1 million. Screen Gems' The Medallion was the strongest performer among the new wide releases this weekend as the Jackie Chan starrer placed fifth with a respectable estimate of $8.2 million. Dimension's My Boss's Daughter debuted in the 10th slot with an estimated $5 million. The PG-13 rated comedy, starring Ashton Kutcher and Tara Reid, was at the high end of what was expected but was still not enough to write home about. The David Zucker-helmed picture had a per-theater average of a weak $2,272. And the opening of Paramount's Marci X was more in line with an ad campaign for its video release than a theatrical debut. The comedy, starring Lisa Kudrow and Damon Wayans, proved its very limited appeal with an estimated gross of $865,000 from 1,200 theaters, averaging a miserable $721 per theater. »

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Summertime blues: Studios regrouping for fall schedules

22 August 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Statistically speaking, the summer boxoffice season doesn't end until after Labor Day weekend, but summer is effectively over. The studios are readying themselves for the fall with a massive housecleaning that will give moviegoers a sampling of overstocked merchandise. Three studios will release pictures this weekend, with only one film looking like it will do any significant business. Sony Pictures enters the fray with the best odds. The studio's The Medallion stars America's favorite Asian action hero, Jackie Chan, in yet another crime caper with a twist: He plays a Chinese immigration officer who returns from the dead with supernatural powers. The PG-13 film, directed by Gordon Chan, co-stars Claire Forlani as the beautiful sidekick, but it is unlikely to generate boxoffice comparable to Chan's previous action caper co-starring a young woman, DreamWorks' The Tuxedo, which opened to $15 million last year. Most industry insiders don't expect Medallion to cross the $10 million mark this weekend. »

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Wilson clan in Wright place for '80 Days'

11 July 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Brothers Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson will wing it in Walden Media's Around the World in 80 Days. The duo has signed on for a Days cameo playing the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, the American inventors who pioneered airplane flight in the early 1900s. The two are the latest in a string of names to have joined the project, which stars Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Jim Broadbent -- including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates, Johnny Knoxville and Rob Schneider. Frank Coraci is directing the film, which follows the high-flying adventures of Phileas Fogg (Coogan), Passepartout (Chan) and the characters they meet on a trip around the world. Hal Lieberman and Bill Badalato are producing. Repped by UTA, Owen Wilson previously starred with Chan in Buena Vista Pictures' Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights. Luke Wilson is repped by CAA. »

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Walden takes Schneider on '80 Days' trip

19 June 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Funnyman Rob Schneider is the latest name to join the cast of indie banner Walden Media's Around the World in 80 Days, starring Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Jim Broadbent for director Frank Coraci. The film, currently in production, has previously lined up cameos from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathy Bates, Johnny Knoxville, Cecile de France and others. Based on the classic tale, Days follows the high-flying adventures of Phileas Fogg (Coogan), Passepartout (Chan) and the characters they meet on their trip around the world. Hal Lieberman and Bill Badalato are producing Days, with Walden senior vp production Alex Schwartz and director of development Kisha Cameron overseeing. Schneider, whose upcoming projects include Columbia Pictures' Fifty First Kisses, is repped by Endeavor. »

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Carver promoted to senior vp at Screen Gems

6 May 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Benedict Carver has been upped to senior vp acquisitions and co-productions at Sony Pictures Entertainment's Screen Gems film banner. His duties include overseeing worldwide acquisitions for Screen Gems as well as for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. He additionally initiates co-financing projects with indie film units. Carver joined Columbia TriStar three years ago as vp. He has been involved in the acquisition and oversight of such productions as Screen Gems' "Resident Evil" and its upcoming sequel, "Resident Evil: Apocalypse", as well as TriStar's Jackie Chan starrer "The Medallion" and Screen Gems' "Underworld", starring Kate Beckinsale. "Benedict is exceptionally aggressive, with a keen eye for commercial fare, which makes him the most valuable acquisitions executive in the business today," Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper said. For Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, Carver was involved in picking up rights to the indie projects "Memento", "Enigma", "Tortilla Soup" and "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys." »

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Lee leaves HAF for EMG position

6 May 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

HONG KONG -- Albert Lee has exited as the director of the recently postponed Hong Kong Film Financing Forum 2003 (HAF) to become head of production company Emperor Multimedia Group. Lee replaces CEO Carl Chang, who is leaving EMG at the end of June to concentrate on his own production company, Virus Prods. As part of a transition period, Lee and Chang will work together until the latter's departure. "We already have about six to seven productions in development, some of which we will be producing for EMG," said Chang about his own company. EMG is currently readying big-budget action films that include "The Medallion", starring Jackie Chan, and "The Twins Effect". »

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'Time' for change in Chan pic

6 May 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

HONG KONG -- "Titanium Rain", the new Jackie Chan actioner for Media Asia Films, has been renamed "Time Breaker" and will also undergo a plot and script change. The film is expected to start shooting in August after Chan wraps "Around the World in 80 Days". While the original concept of "Titanium Rain" was of a Chinese warrior who travels through time to modern-day America, Chan will play an intrepid adventurer a la Indiana Jones who gets transported back to a previous life when he goes after a valuable treasure. "The new concept will have a lot more Chinese cultural aspects and beliefs in it, such as the belief that our past, present and future lives are somewhat linked," said John Chong, Media Asia general manager and production chief. »

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Yip exiting EMG for Fortune Star

30 April 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

HONG KONG -- Emperor Multimedia Group acquisitions and distribution manager May Yip will be leaving her post at the company today. Yip is expected to take up a new position in May as head of distribution at Fortune Star, the distribution and production arm of News Corp's Asian satellite broadcaster, STAR. EMG is the producer of such films as the upcoming vampire actioner The Twins Effect and the Jackie Chan starrer The Medallion (formerly Highbinders). Raymond Liu will assume Yip's duties at EMG. »

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Maverick getting in the 'Game'

7 April 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Madonna and Guy Oseary's Maverick Films has optioned David Nathaniel Titcher and Jack Saltzberg's script Army Navy Game. The buddy actioner centers on two best friends -- an Army Delta Force member and a Navy Seal -- whose relationship is challenged by an order from the Pentagon. In order to test and train the readiness of military installations, the Pentagon encourages the Army to attempt to infiltrate Navy installations of its choosing and vice versa for the Navy. Producing the project will be in-house producer Casey Hoelscher along with Ed Morrisey from Tiger Mountain Prods. Hoelscher is credited with bringing the project to the attention of Maverick Films president Mark Morgan. The scribes are repped by Agency for the Performing Arts' David Saunders, A Management's Christopher Pratt and attorney Stuart Rosenthal. The script marks their first collaboration. Titcher previously penned Around the World in 80 Days, which is currently in production with Frank Coraci directing and Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Jim Broadbent starring. Larry Shire and Robert Strent of Grubman, Indursky & Schindler negotiated the deal on behalf of Maverick. »

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Fox, NBC split lacklaster Sunday

1 April 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Talk about your ho-hum Sundays. Fox and NBC split the nightly primetime win as each of the Big Four networks served up underwhelming numbers even though all of them had fresh episodes of regular series. Fox's new 9:30 p.m. sitcom The Pitts had only a so-so premiere, drawing an average of 9 million viewers and a 3.8 rating/8 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. Pitts dipped from its 9 p.m. Malcolm in the Middle lead-in (11 million, 4.7/11) to third place behind the night's most-watched program, NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (14.4 million, 4.9/11), and ABC's Alias (9.7 million, 4.6/10). The WB Network also came up short with its 9 p.m. drama series premiere, Black Sash, which posted a 3.3/5 in Nielsen's 55 overnight metered markets. Even The Simpsons (12.4 million, 5.3/13) had an off night, falling below its usual Nielsen heights. But it still drove Fox to the nightly win in the adults 18-49 demo (3.9/10), while NBC prevailed in total viewers (10.8 million) and placed second to Fox in the demo (3.5/9). CBS had a slow night all around with its regular lineup of 60 Minutes, My Big Fat Greek Life, Becker and the 9-11 p.m. telecast of the 2000 Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson theatrical Shanghai Noon averaging 10.3 million viewers and a 3.1/8 in adults 18-49 for the night. »

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Fox, NBC split honors for lackluster Sunday

31 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Talk about your ho-hum Sundays. Fox and NBC split the nightly primetime win as each of the Big Four networks served up underwhelming numbers even as all of them had fresh episodes of regular series. Fox's new 9:30 p.m. sitcom The Pitts had only a so-so premiere, drawing an average of 9 million viewers and 3.8 rating/8 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. Pitts dipped from its 9 p.m. Malcolm in the Middle lead-in (11 million, 4.7/11) to third place behind the night's most-watched programs, NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (14.4 million, 4.9/11), and ABC's Alias (9.7 million, 4.6/10). Even The Simpsons (12.4 million, 5.3/13) had an off night, falling below its usual Nielsen heights. But it still drove Fox to the nightly win in the adults 18-49 demo (3.9/10), while NBC prevailed in total viewers (10.8 million) and placed second to Fox in the demo (3.5/9). CBS had a slow night all around with its regular lineup of 60 Minutes, My Big Fat Greek Life and Becker, with the 9-11 p.m. telecast of the Jackie Chan theatrical Shanghai Noon averaging 10.3 million viewers and 3.1/8 in adults 18-49. »

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Bates crowned '80 Days' queen for Walden redo

31 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Fresh off her recent Oscar nomination, Kathy Bates is getting the royal treatment from Walden Media. The About Schmidt star is set to play Queen Victoria in Walden's upcoming big-screen adaptation of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days. The project reteams Bates with Frank Coraci, who directed the actress as Adam Sandler's mother in The Waterboy. The Days cast includes Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent, Johnny Knoxville and Cecile de France (HR 3/14). The film follows the highflying adventures of Phileas Fogg (Coogan) and Passepartout (Chan) and the characters they meet on their trip around the world. Days began shooting last month, with locations planned in Thailand and Berlin. Hal Lieberman and Bill Badalato are producing. Overseeing the project for Walden -- which is headed by Cary Granat -- are senior vp production Alex Schwartz and director of development Kisha Cameron. Bates is repped by the Susan Smith Co. »

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'80 Days' journey to R&H for post

20 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Jackie Chan may not actually travel Around the World in 80 Days, but a visual effects team is prepared to make it look as if the actor has. Computer graphics shop Rhythm & Hues has been awarded the bulk of postproduction work on Walden Media's upcoming globe-trotter 80 Days, a big-screen adaptation of the classic novel by Jules Verne. The international production, directed by Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer), began shooting this month in Thailand and Berlin and is expected to continue production through July. Other world travelers booked on the project include actors Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent, Cecile de France and Johnny Knoxville. »

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Knoxville, France on 'World' voyage

14 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Johnny Knoxville and 2003 Cesar Award winner Cecile de France have signed to star alongside Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Jim Broadbent in Walden Media's upcoming Around the World in 80 Days. A big-screen adaptation of the classic novel by Jules Verne, 80 Days begins shooting this month in Thailand and Berlin, with Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) at the helm. Hal Lieberman and Bill Badalato are producing. De France will play Monique de Grave, a young French artist who decides that a trip around the world would be a perfect cure for her lost inspiration. Knoxville plays an eccentric hobo met during the highflying adventures of de Grave, Phileas Fogg (Coogan) and Passepartout (Chan). The star of Jackass: The Movie, Knoxville has been cast in a spate of starring roles lately for such projects as writer-director Tom Bezucha's Hating Her and Grand Theft Parsons, with Christina Applegate and Marley Shelton. De France recently won a French Cesar as most promising actress for her role in writer-helmer Cedric Klapisch's Euro-student comedy L'Auberge Espagnole. Knoxville is represented by CAA and the Firm. De France is repped by Artmedia. Overseeing the project for Walden, which is headed by Cary Granat, are senior vp production Alex Schwartz and director of development Kisha Cameron. »

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Chan: I Only Use Stunt Doubles When Necessary

27 January 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Martial arts hero Jackie Chan has defended the revelation he uses stunt doubles - insisting he only uses them when absolutely necessary. The 48-year-old Rush Hour star, who has often been left with broken bones after daredevil stunts, stunned many of his fans when he revealed he used seven stunt doubles in new movie The Tuxedo. But Chan insists he doesn't use stuntmen for everything. He explains, "I will use stunt doubles if you ask me to ride an F-16 jet fighter, or to jump over a series of hurdles with a crazy horse, or to perform two 720-degree somersaults. But one somersault, I will do it myself. I will do what I could do and I won't do anything that it out of my capability." »

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18 items from 2003


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