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6 items from 2014

Box Office: Liam Neeson’s ‘Non-Stop’ Soars With $30 Mil, While ‘Son of God’ Earns Solid $26.5 Mil

2 March 2014 8:37 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As an action star, Liam Neeson can do no wrong.

The actor’s latest pic, Universal’s “Non-Stop,” estimated $30 million in its opening frame, enough to beat Fox’s overperformer “Son of God,” with $26.5 million, and Warner Bros.’ former box office champ “The Lego Movie,” which grossed $21 million through Sunday.

Making global headlines in the run-up to Sunday’s Oscarcast, Disney’s two-time nominated toon “Frozen” crossed the $1 billion mark, making it only the second 2013 release to do so — coincidentally, the Mouse had the other: “Iron Man 3.”

Another Oscar-nominated film to hit a milestone this weekend, Fox Searchlight’s best picture hopeful “12 Years a Slave” crossed the $50 million domestic mark after more than four months in theaters.

In limited release, Lionsgate-CodeBlack Films’ urban-targeted Forest Whitaker pic “Repentance” failed to attract much of its core demo, grossing just $530,000 from 152 locations, averaging $3,487 per screen.

The Metropolitan Opera celebrated its 75th live transmission this weekend, »

- Andrew Stewart

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Liam Neeson’s ‘Non-Stop’ Battles ‘Son of God’ for Box Office Glory

27 February 2014 4:58 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A pair of saviors battle for box office glory during Oscar weekend, with Universal’s Liam Neeson action-hero pic “Non-Stop” expected to gross in the mid-$20 millions, ahead of Fox’s Biblical drama “Son of God,” tracking in the mid-to-high teens.

Non-Stop” should knock “The Lego Movie” from its three-week winning streak. The Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow hit toon is expected to land around $20 million (down around 35%) through Sunday; domestic cume is nearing $190 million.

Expectations for both wide new entries are difficult to nail down, however.

Non-Stop,” for instance, battles comparisons to past Neeson action pics: “Taken” bowed to $24 million over Super Bowl weekend in 2008, while its sequel earned more than twice that during opening weekend in 2012.

Son of God,” on the other hand, has seen sizable online ticket sales, according to both Fandango and, though pre-sold tickets for the film weren’t necessarily for this weekend. So far, »

- Andrew Stewart

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Win Tickets To The Advance Screening Of Non-stop In St. Louis

19 February 2014 1:27 PM, PST | | See recent news »

On February 28th, have a safe flight.

Global action star Liam Neeson (Taken series, Unknown) is U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks in Non-stop, a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air. During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, Marks receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into a numbered account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes.

Struggling with his personal demons has drained Marks of any passion for the heroic calling of his profession. He has come to view his important assignment as merely a desk job in the sky. However, another day at the office becomes a high-stakes crisis when shortly into a routine transatlantic flight, Marks’ world is upended.

Surrounded by only a couple of people he initially believes are trustworthy—including his fellow passenger, »

- Movie Geeks

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Berlin: Studiocanal Rolls Out ‘Non-Stop’ Around the World (Exclusive)

10 February 2014 10:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film producer and financier, will launch a distribution practice very few non-Hollywood majors can match.

The French major is initiating an almost day and date-release strategy for Liam Neeson starrer “Non-Stop,” which it financed and will distribute in certain major territories, rolling out the pic out Feb. 26 in France and Feb. 28 the U.K., followed in quick succession by Australia and New Zealand and Germany.

On Feb. 28, it opens the airplane action-thriller in the U.S., where Studiocanal sold it to Universal Pictures.

Pic is helmed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown”) and produced by Joel Silver and Andrew Rona at Silver Pictures.

Non-Stop” bows March 13 in Germany, and on Feb. 27 in Australia and New Zealand, via Studiocanal.

For Studiocanal, the release of “Non-Stop” is a coming of age, “the first big Studiocanal production to be fully financed by Studiocanal with (almost) same-time worldwide release,” said Studiocanal chairman-ceo Olivier Courson. »

- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy

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Silver Pictures Promotes 3 to Oversee Production

7 February 2014 10:46 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Silver Pictures has upped Ethan Erwin, Sarah Meyer and Aaron Auch to share the duties of overseeing all aspects of production.

The three will report directly to Joel Silver, with Erwin serving as exec VP and Meyer and Auch serving as senior VPs.

During their tenure at Silver Pictures, the trio have worked on the development and production of projects like “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Orphan,” “Unknown,” “Sherlock Holmes” and “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.”

Next up for Silver Pictures is “Non-Stop,” which stars Liam Neeson and bows Feb. 28, and “The Gunmen,” which stars Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Javier Bardem and bows later this year.

The promotions come in the wake of Andrew Rona leaving to start his own company with Silver Pictures Evp Alex Heineman.


- Justin Kroll

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Execs Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman Exiting Silver Pictures

27 January 2014 11:43 AM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Exclusive:  Big shakeup at Silver Pictures, Joel Silver‘s producing label. I’m told that his two top creative executives — president Andrew Rona and Evp Alex Heineman – have just left the company. Both Rona and Heineman came there after Universal sold Rogue Pictures to Relativity and Rona, who ran that label, moved on. He took the Silver Pictures job after longtime head Susan Downey exited to partner in Team Downey with husband Robert Downey Jr. I’m told that Rona and Heineman intend to start their own production shingle. A spokesperson for Silver confirmed the moves, and said Silver wished them well as they set up their new venture. Silver kept a prolific pace even as the producing great transitioned from a longtime Warner Bros producing deal to being backed by StudioCanal and distributing through Universal Pictures. During Rona and Heineman’s time at Silver, the label produce 12 movies including »


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