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9 items from 2004


Col joins Blue Star-Revolution deal

7 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Columbia Pictures is coming aboard Revolution Studios' production deal with William Sherak and Jason Shuman and their Blue Star Pictures shingle. Sherak and Shuman were producers on last year's horror film Darkness Falls as well as the comedy Little Black Book. In addition, the team produced Comic Book Villains and the independent film Four Dogs Playing Poker. They are prepping Scarecrow for Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's Ghost House Prods. In addition, Sherak and Shuman are in preproduction on Mr. Lucky, a comedy that will star Cedric the Entertainer and will be directed by Brian Levant for Revolution Studios. Eric Rhone also is producing. »

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Williams talking up show for NBC Uni

24 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Vanessa Williams is close to signing a development deal with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, sources said. The singer-actress has been meeting with syndicators recently as she shops herself as host of a daytime talk show, but the development deal could generate a different type of project, sources said. NBC Universal declined comment. Reps for Williams were not available at press time. Williams most recently appeared in the feature film Johnson Family Vacation opposite Cedric the Entertainer. Her film credits also include Shaft and Soul Food. Williams, who is repped by ICM, also did a stint on NBC's drama series Boomtown. Williams is one of several big names looking to host their own talk show. Others hoping to enter daytime, possibly next year, include Tom Arnold, Tyra Banks, Mo'Nique, Steve Harvey, Isaac Mizrahi and Vera Wang. »

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New 'School' in session for MGM, Cedric

23 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

MGM is developing a remake of the Rodney Dangerfield starrer Back to School, which the studio envisions as a starring vehicle for Cedric the Entertainer. David Ronn and Jay Scherick are writing the script. The remake will be based loosely on the 1986 Orion Pictures comedy, which grossed more than $91 million domestically. Co-written by Dangerfield, the film followed the exploits of a fun-loving businessman who enrolls in college alongside his disheartened son to help him get through school. Cedric and Eric Rhone's MGM-based A Bird and a Bear Entertainment shingle might board the project as a producer. Toby Jaffe and Erik Baiers are overseeing the project for the studio. »

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'Passion' finds new life as 'Alamo' takes hard hit

13 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Newmarket Films' The Passion of the Christ had an astonishing resurrection at the boxoffice in North America during the Easter weekend, rising from the fifth slot a week ago to the top spot with $15.2 million. In its seventh weekend, the gross for The Passion marked an extraordinary 43% increase from a week earlier -- and with 168 fewer venues. Buena Vista's high-priced The Alamo, the weekend front-runner heading into the session, relinquished the fight with a debut in the fourth spot and a discouraging $9.1 million. Fox Searchlight's Johnson Family Vacation was the surprise hit of the session's new wide releases. The Cedric the Entertainer starrer, produced by Magic Hallway Pictures and directed by Christopher Erskin, grossed $9.4 million from 1,317 theaters to place third, taking in $11.8 million since its Wednesday opening. The theater count for Johnson was the lowest of the top 12 films and was half of the venue tally for The Alamo. »

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ShoWest: A-listers beef up Par slate

26 March 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LAS VEGAS -- Committed to partnering with theater owners to present "the best show in town," Paramount Pictures packed ShoWest's priciest punch by pulling out all the stops and all their stars for Wednesday night's Gala Dinner. The last ShoWest showing by Paramount came in 1997, so it was fitting that the glitzy, A-list event served as a throwback to the big-budget events of past conventions. Even the studio's top brass seemed surprised at the level of talent that turned out to help Paramount pump its 2004 slate. "This is the most incredible dais I've ever seen," motion picture group chairman Sherry Lansing said while checking out this year's crop of stars seated around her, including Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Denzel Washington, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Burt Reynolds, Bette Midler, Faith Hill, Marisa Tomei, Cedric the Entertainer, Liev Schreiber, Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey, Jon Lovitz, Seth Green, Dax Shepard, Nia Long, Jane Krakowski, Sienna Miller, Luke Mably, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and Tom Kenny. »

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'Barbershop 2' makes the cut at No. 1

10 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Despite two strong debuts at the boxoffice in North America this past weekend, 2004 continued to chug along on a rather lackluster pace overall. The total gross for the 107 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter came in at $112.2 million -- down 7% from the comparable frame a year earlier. Of the first six weekends of the year, only two have outperformed their counterparts in 2003, which makes for an 8% shortfall for the year-to-date boxoffice. MGM's Barbershop 2: Back in Business took a seat in the top spot with $24.2 million -- the fourth-biggest opening ever in February. The ensemble comedy, featuring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah, and directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, opened 17% better than the original Barbershop ($20.6 million). »

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Boxoffice preview: 'Barbershop 2' in the cut

6 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

MGM's Barbershop 2: Back in Business should take more than just a little off the top of this weekend's boxoffice. The unexpected strength last weekend of You Got Served, from Screen Gems and Melee Entertainment, which bowed at No. 1 with $16.1 million, proved yet again that there is an eager core of black moviegoers and a wider circle of hip-hop fans ready to embrace movies aimed in their direction. Hoping to build on a similar audience -- and cross over to an even broader demographic -- Barbershop 2 should rule the roost this weekend. But, in this case, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The real surprise occurred in September 2002, when the original Barbershop, directed by Tim Story, jumped to the top of the heap with a $20.6 million debut and went on to collect a domestic gross of $75.8 million. Its PG-13 sequel -- with Kevin Rodney Sullivan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) at the helm -- reassembles a cast that includes Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve and Troy Garity and also tosses in Queen Latifah for good measure. »

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Andre 3000 to 'Cool' off MGM sequel

2 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Outkast's Andre 3000 is making his way to the big screen, joining MGM's Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool, along with Harvey Keitel for helmer F. Gary Gray. Shooting starts today in Los Angeles. The duo will star alongside John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Danny DeVito, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Vince Vaughn, James Gandolfini, Cedric the Entertainer and Christina Milian in the Peter Steinfeld-penned project. Cool centers on Chili Palmer, a loan shark-turned-feature film producer who gives up the movie business when he discovers a singer, Linda Moon (Milian), whom he wants to make famous. Andre 3000 will play the leader of a rap group called the Dub MDs, while Keitel will play a record promoter. The role for Andre 3000, who is fast becoming a hot commodity in the music-to-film crossover world, was tailored specifically for the hip-hop star, sources said. »

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Cedric, Milian stay 'Cool' for next 'Shorty'

8 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Cedric the Entertainer and Christina Milian are cool enough for MGM. The duo will star in the studio's comedy Be Cool, the F. Gary Gray-directed sequel to Get Shorty. Lensing starts the first week of February. Cedric and Milian join a cast that includes John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Danny DeVito, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Joe Pesci, Vince Vaughn and James Gandolfini. Be Cool revolves around Chili Palmer, a loan shark-turned-feature film producer who gives up the movie business when he discovers a singer, Linda Moon (Milian), whom he wants to make famous. Cedric will star as Sin Russell, a record producer and manager for a popular rap group. »

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9 items from 2004


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