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In 2012, Warner Bros. and Peter Jackson were eager to show the world the latest innovation in filmmaking technology: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in High-Frame-Rate (48 frames per second) 3D. Reaction to the format was mixed, but the picture did over $1 billion at the box office.
This year, Hfr 3D is back for part two of the trilogy, and there are 812 screens in the U.S. showing the Hfr version of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — up from 462 for “An Unexpected Journey.” The studio chose not to show the Hfr version of “The Desolation of Smaug” to press this year, but Jackson isn’t backing down. He not only says Hfr is the best way to see the picture, he’s promising audiences will see a better version of Hfr, thanks to lessons learned on part one.
Jackson insists “48 (frames per second) is a way, way better way to look at 3D. »
- David S. Cohen
Warner-based producer Bill Gerber is hopeful that “Grudge Match” will offer a parallel box office success story to the 2008 hit “Grand Torino,” which starred Clint Eastwood and went on to gross $270 million worldwide. Warner Bros. opened “Gran Torino” in limited release in mid-December and expanded it in January as the drama caught on to become Eastwood’s highest grossing film by far.
- Dave McNary
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” is expected to cross the $500 million mark globally on Saturday, becoming one of the most successful sci-fi movies of all-time and the biggest box office hit of both Sandra Bullock’s and George Clooney’s careers.
The 3D sci-fi smash, which is being tipped for a run at the Oscars, has earned a boffo $235.9 million domestically and over $261 million overseas. Last month, “Gravity” became the highest-grossing live-action feature in October history with over $400 million worldwide.
Bullock’s previous highest-grossing film was “Speed” ($350.2 million) while Clooney’s benchmark was “Ocean’s Eleven” ($450.6 million).
“We know what we have here,” Warner Bros distribution president Dan Fellman recently told Variety. “This is a phenomenon where people are asking friends and family not only if they’ve seen the film, but where.”
The $100 million space odyssey largely benefitted from premium 3D and Imax ticket prices as well as repeat viewings. »
- Stuart Oldham
Peter Jackson loves the controversial high-frame-rate format, but no other filmmaker has adopted it as Warners adds screens for "Desolation of Smaug." Says Bryan Singer, "I had concerns."This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
There's no doubt in my mind that we're heading towards movies being shot and projected at high frame rates," predicted Peter Jackson in 2012 as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first big movie made at 48 frames per second, headed to theaters. A year later, though, with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug due Dec. 13, Hollywood's interest in high frame rates, or Hfr, remains unfocused at best.
For all of Jackson's proselytizing, at most, 1,000 screens out of the 39,056 screens in the U.S. will be equipped to show his new movie in the eye-popping new process. And while other filmmakers are intrigued, none, so far, has followed Jackson's example. Bryan Singer, »
- Gregg Kilday
The Wizard of Oz is a film that needs no introduction (certainly not since the 70th Anniversary Edition), but the latest release is one that actually gives you a lot to talk about, mainly by way of the 3D aspect.
The hype was pretty impressive for the 3D release of the film in theaters, and if you have a 3D home option, this is probably a key film despite the lack of massive effects, but if you’re in the market at all, you also probably have a copy of this.
Of course, there is some additional bonus content (unless you’re getting the massive Collector’s Edition, and then you’re all set… reviews are unnecessary for you), and it’s actually very cool, but the majority of the special features are on that competing Blu-Ray you already own.
So, there are three big questions for the new Wizard of Oz Blu-Ray 3D. »
- Marc Eastman
Warner Bros. financial partners Legendary Pictures and Village Roadshow were among a number of potential backers who decided they didn’t want to board Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D space odyssey “Gravity.” Today, that seems like a galactic miscalculation.
Of course, these companies had no way of knowing they would be passing on one of the biggest box office phenoms in recent years. In just over two weeks, the film crossed $200 million worldwide. But during its long gestation, industry skeptics believed “Gravity” could crash and burn if Cuaron couldn’t develop the cutting-edge technology needed to make the story fly.
Photos: 10 Actors Who Could Star in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
Ultimately, with the arrival of the high tech know-how tailor-made for screening the film in 3D and on mega-format Imax, the effect has been astounding.
Audiences are turning out in droves — and not just for a single screening, but for the »
- Andrew Stewart
Fall is upon us at the movies, and so is the usual bottleneck of adult-skewing awards bait. But unlike in past years at this time, adults are showing support for an unusual suspect: 3D.
In just two weeks, Warner Bros.’ 3D event “Gravity,” which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, has amassed $191 million worldwide, of which $123.4 million comes from North America. Last weekend, “Gravity” saw 59% of its audience over 35 and scored a whopping 80% from 3D, which rose to 82% in the film’s second frame.
Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., attributed the “Gravity” hold to two primary reasons: First, audiences over 35 are discovering the film in 3D. And second, “Gravity” is broadening to younger audiences, hence the rise in the film’s 3D share.
- Andrew Stewart
Only five days after its record-breaking launch, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Gravity” has flown past $100 million at the worldwide box office. The film has earned an estimated $68.5 million domestically and $35.8 internationally for a global total to date of $104.3 million. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Following weeks of enthusiastic critical acclaim and huge anticipation from moviegoers, the Alfonso Cuarón-directed dramatic thriller exceeded all expectations on its opening weekend. Taking in $55.8 million domestically, “Gravity” broke a number of box office records, including those for the biggest October opening for any film, the largest IMAX opening in October ($11.8 million), and the highest opening weekend ever for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
In making the announcement, Fellman stated:
“We are all thrilled by this start—from the tremendous critical acclaim to the fantastic response from audiences. »
- Kellvin Chavez
Warner Bros.’ 3D hit isn’t ready to come back to Earth just yet.
After setting an October record this past weekend at the U.S. box office, “Gravity” crossed the $100 million mark globally on Tuesday.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the space drama earned an additional $6.6 million Tuesday in the U.S. — almost unheard of for midweek in October — bringing its domestic total to $68.4 million.
“Gravity’s” foreign cume, meanwhile, currently stands at $35.8 million.
Cuaron’s long-gestating space drama benefited from 3D ticket sales in its debut weekend (80% of the pic’s sales last weekend were for the 3D version) in addition to strong word of mouth.
“October is strong, but not a lot of people have taken a shot at it,” Warner domestic distribution prexy Dan Fellman told Variety. “To jump out at 80% (in 3D) opening weekend is phenomenal.”
The film’s $55.6 million weekend launch, a career best for »
- Stuart Oldham
The Warner Bros. adventure debuted with $55.55 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday — the biggest October opening ever and the biggest openings for Bullock and Clooney.
He credited director and co-writer Alfonso Cuaron, who takes viewers into orbit with a film that's set almost entirely in space and explores the challenges faced by two astronauts during a spacewalk. Cuaron's team developed equipment and technology to replicate the weightlessness of space. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
In a record-setting debut, Warner Bros.’ 3D space epic “Gravity” scored a starry estimated $55.6 million, of which mega-screen exhib Imax — a significant partner on the film, considering the push the studio gave helmer Alfonso Cuaron’s cutting-edge filmmaking — contributed $11.2 million domestically. Both totals were records for October.
Internationally, “Gravity” estimated $27.4 million from 27 markets, including Russia, which led with $8.1 million, followed by Germany and Australia, each contributing north of $3 million.
The overall three-day domestic gross for “Gravity,” boosted by a whopping 80% from 3D, eclipsed the month’s previous record holder, “Paranormal Acitvity 3,” which earned $52.6 million in 2011. (Interestingly, the 3D share was less overseas, at 70%.)
The weekend’s other wide release, Fox’s Ben Affleck-Justin Timerlake actioner “Runner Runner,” grossed a meager $7.6 million Stateside. The studio launched the film last weekend internationally; the pic’s worldwide total so far is $31.2 million. »
- Andrew Stewart
Sandy Cohen, AP Entertainment Writer
The Warner Bros. adventure debuted with $55.55 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday - the biggest October opening ever and the biggest openings for Bullock and Clooney.
He credited director and co-writer Alfonso Cuaron, who takes viewers into orbit with a film that's set almost entirely in space and explores the challenges faced by two astronauts during a spacewalk. Cuaron's team developed equipment and technology to replicate the weightlessness of space.
"It's never been seen before, visual effects like this," Fellman said. "Just the space shots are mind-boggling. It looks like you're right there."
Last week's top movie, »
- The Associated Press
While Warner Bros.’ “Gravity” may not hit stratospheric heights this weekend at the box office, the 3D space epic starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is displaying exceptional pull with audiences in 3D, with tracking suggesting a $40 million-plus Stateside opening.
According to online ticketing site Fandango, “Gravity” is on track to score record 3D pre-sales, outpacing “Avatar” with 91% of tickets sold in stereo. That’s especially significant since 3D has been on such a downslide lately.
Aside from “Gravity,” Fox launches Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake action pic “Runner Runner,” which is expected to gross a modest $10 million-$12 million in wide release. The $30 million-budgeted film, from helmer Brad Furman, opened last weekend overseas and has grossed more than $12 million from 43 markets so far. »
- Andrew Stewart
IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures, a division of Time Warner Inc., today announced that Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) will narrate the upcoming IMAX 3D documentary adventure Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. The film will be released in select IMAX and IMAX 3D theaters starting April 4, 2014.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar reunites Freeman with Drew Fellman, who also wrote and produced the 2011 IMAX 3D documentary Born to Be Wild 3D, and director David Douglas, who served as director of photography on that film.
Here's what director Drew Fellman had to say about his latest project.
"I am thrilled to continue my partnership with IMAX and Warner Bros. Lemurs are amazing critters and one of the most canny survivors in the history of life on earth. Their incredible story belongs on the giant screen and deserves to be told by such a powerful and distinctive voice as Morgan Freeman's. »
While the triumph of “Prisoners” at the box office this weekend was a foregone conclusion, its potential in the weeks ahead remains a puzzle for Warner Bros. and rival studios. Could it mimic past fall breakouts and ride strong word-of-mouth to $100 million? Or will it fizzle out? When Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman spoke with TheWrap on Sunday, he compared the movie’s opening to recent early fall breakouts “Looper,” “Moneyball,” and “Argo.” Its $21 million haul topped the openings of all three of those movies, each of which grossed more than $110 million worldwide by the end of their theatrical runs. »
- Lucas Shaw
a solid $21.4 million Stateside opening. Pic, from Alcon
Entertainment, fell in line with pre-weekend expectations.
“Prisoners” opened wide this weekend at 3,260 locations. The Hugh
Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal starrer, which premiered at the Telluride
Film Festival, received an ‘A-’ CinemaScore rating. Not
surprisingly, an overwhelming 72% of the R-rated pic’s opening came
from auds over 25, though the film saw an even split between the
genders. See Also: Interview: Hugh Jackman,
(Video) “This movie, to make well was
always about finding the right filmmaker,” said Alcon co-chief
Villeneuve to direct “Prisoners.” The film, which has the
second-largest three-day opening ever for Alcon behind “The Blind
Side,” is positioned well to play throughout the next couple of
- Andrew Stewart
Warner Bros. Pictures has moved the release date of Spike Jonze’s already much anticipated romantic drama “Her.” The film will now open in limited release in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on December 18, 2013, and wide on January 10, 2014. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The move comes on the heels of strong positive reactions coming out of early screenings. “Her” has also just been announced by the New York Film Festival as its selection for the prestigious Closing Night Gala slot. The date change allows the studio to take full advantage of word of mouth resulting from the Festival screening, placing the film in the key awards consideration corridor and positioning it for its December opening and wider launch in January.
In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “Spike Jonze has created an unconventional love story that is thought-provoking and reflective of our modern age. »
- Kellvin Chavez
One of the most talked about hits of the summer, New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring has surpassed $100 million at the domestic box office on only its third weekend in theatres, it was announced today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. The film crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, August 3, and has earned an estimated $108.6 million domestically to date, and still climbing.
The Conjuring is also off to a great start internationally, opening in just 13 markets thus far. The film opened in the UK this weekend, taking the #1 spot on Friday and Saturday, and it is also holding extremely well in other early release markets, particularly in Australia and Spain. The international total to date is an estimated $28.6 million, with many major markets yet to open, including France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Mexico.
The terrifying supernatural horror thriller, from director James Wan, opened to rave reviews from critics, »
- Michelle McCue
In the end, Harvey Weinstein vs. Warner Bros. did not turn out well for The Weinstein Co., which as of Friday has been ordered by the MPAA to pay a $400,000 fine plus $150,000 in legal fees to the studio. According to one angry senior TWC exec, the company had received a go-ahead from the studio's distribution chief Dan Fellman--and done all the necessary legal work to clear the title, but permission was reneged. That's not what Warners says, however. They say that Weinstein needs to fulfill his legal paperwork like anyone else, and deny that the tussle is about "The Hobbit." "We may want to use the title someday," said one spokeswoman in Comic-Con. That's valid. But Weinstein Co. says that Warners is trying to get away with paying the 5% of the gross that Harvey Weinstein grabbed long ago on the "Lord of the Rings" films for just the first »
- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
In a close race that saw each of the top three films swap places between Friday and Sunday, animated smash Despicable Me 2 once again won the weekend at the box office. The $76 million family film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment fell 46 percent from its debut weekend to $44.8 million, pushing its total all the way to $229.2 million after only 12 days.
Despicable Me 2 has easily asserted its dominance over Disney’s Monsters University in the last two weekends. Though Monsters has been in theaters twice as long (it opened June 21), its $237.8 million domestic total is only $8.6 million more than Despicable Me 2. »
- Grady Smith
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