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Turkey Day Domestic Box Office Dips As ‘Mockingjay’ Flies Past $200M Overseas

1 hour ago

Update, Friday Am: As is traditionally the case, box office for Thanksgiving Thursday was softer than on Wednesday across the top films. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 still leads the pack, grossing an estimated $11.05M on Thursday, down from Wednesday’s $14.55M. The domestic cume is now $168.6M. On the international front, however, the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer has flown past $200M for an estimated worldwide cume of $370M thus far.

Penguins Of Madagascar, in 3,654 theaters on Thursday, was down 37% from the previous day with an estimated $3.95M. The cume is now $10.2M domestic and I’ll have international numbers on Sunday as the DreamWorks Animation adventure directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J Smith is rolling out in 40+ markets.

The other new entry, Horrible Bosses 2, took a 28% pay cut on Thursday, earning $3.06M at 3,321 dates. With a B+ CinemaScore, the comedy has now cumed $7.31M over two days. »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Making Music In ‘Whiplash:’ Teller, Simmons, Chazelle On Playing The Room

2 hours ago

In this video from our Oscar showcase The Contenders, Whiplash stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons talk about their own surprisingly substantial music backgrounds and how that helped shape writer/director Damien Chazelle’s intense, mostly autobiographical tale of the relationship between a teacher and a jazz drummer.

“We were making music in the room,” says Simmons of the film’s performance segments, shot alongside professional jazz musicians. “It was really cool.”

The film also stars Melissa Benoist and Paul Reiser. It was produced by Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster and Michael Litvak.

Whiplash won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance last winter. It has grossed about $4.1 million worldwide, on an estimated production budget of $3.3 million since its Oct. 10 release.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Let us know.

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- David Bloom

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‘Paddington': Potential Game-Changer For Studiocanal; Euro Major Bares Ambition

3 hours ago

Darkest Peru may seem an unlikely place to find the inspiration to become a global player. For Studiocanal, however, the jungles of the Latin American country may just have led them to a game-changer in the guise of a lovable bear called Paddington.

Based on Brit author Michael Bond’s much-loved series of books, Paddington the film is, by some margin, Studiocanal’s most ambitious project ever. (See trailer below.) In addition to cementing its position as Europe’s leading film company, Paddington represents a strategic entry into the family space for Studiocanal, which hopes it will consolidate efforts to be the leading provider of studio-quality product to the global marketplace.

Arguably, it also marks the most concerted attempt by a European independent company to launch an international multi-quadrant franchise outside of the studio system. Quite an achievement for a film about a homeless bear, who loves marmalade.

Paddington’s budget of $55M, »


- Ali Jaafar

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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Brings The Dark Side, And The Light: Hot Teaser

3 hours ago

Stormtroopers, droids, X-wing fighters, light sabers, John Williams’ iconic theme and the Millennium Falcon (!) all make an appearance in the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The 88-second sneak (above) just dropped this morning after beginning to unspool in 30 North American theaters bright and early. Secrecy has shrouded Jj Abrams’ hugely anticipated Episode VII and this brief look doesn’t give much away in terms of plot. But every element is already being dissected across the internet (which for some reason is not yet broken). The Twittersphere is also going crazy with praise, and a lot of questions — is that voiceover possibly Benedict Cumberbatch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The trailer is playing in North American moviehouses belonging to Regal, AMC, Carmike and Cinemark, along with Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, and Disney’s own El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The rest of the world »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Cannes Pics Vie For Delluc Prize; China Plans 6 ‘Three Body’ Films: Global Showbiz Briefs

6 hours ago

The shortlist for France’s Louis Delluc Prize, one of the country’s highest film honors, has been released with 14 films making the cut across two categories: Best Film and Best Debut Feature. Among the eight main movies, six hail from this year’s Cannes crop. Saint Laurent – which is France’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar – by Bertrand Bonello; Olivier AssayasJuliette Binoche/Kristen Stewart-starrer Clouds Of Sils Maria; veteran Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D Goodbye To Language; Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu; Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, starring Josh Charles; and Claus Drexel’s Au Bord Du Monde will vie alongside Venice pics Trois Coeurs, by Benoît Jacquot, and Robin Campillo’s Eastern Boys. Godard, Ferran and Jacquot are all former Delluc laureates. The Debut Feature shortlist is made up of Thomas Cailley’s well-received Fortnight film Love At First Fight; Camera d’Or winner Party Girl; Virgil Vernier »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Mike Leigh On Painting Timothy Spall Into ‘Mr. Turner:’ The Contenders

22 hours ago

Mr. Turner writer-director Mike Leigh, who has been nominated for Oscars five times, knew exactly who he wanted to play the lead role in his new biopic about the revered and irascible English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner.

That was, as he tells Deadline’s Pete Hammond in this video clip from our recent Oscar showcase The Contenders, veteran character actor Timothy Spall.

Spall was the only actor Leigh said he considered for the role, and he’s perhaps best known for his ratty role as Wormtail in the Harry Potter films. But before Spall picked up a paintbrush in the film, Leigh said he made Spall take two years of painting lessons. That’s dedication.

The film also stars Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson and Marion Bailey. It was produced by Georgina Lowe.

Mr. Turner is scheduled for a limited release beginning Dec. 19, after a lengthy string of film festival appearances, »


- David Bloom

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Frank Yablans, Former Paramount President, Dead At 79

22 hours ago

Frank Yablans was president of Paramount during some of the studio’s most golden years from 1971 to 1975. Working under notorious owner Charlie Bludhorn, Yablans’ tenure included such Oscar winners and nominees as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Paper Moon, Chinatown and Murder On The Orient Express. He died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes this morning, his son, ICM PartnersEddy Yablans, told Deadline.

Frank Yablans worked in his early years for Warner Bros, The Walt Disney Company and Filmways and joined Paramount in the late 60s where he spearheaded marketing for Arthur Hiller’s Ryan O’Neal/Ali MacGraw tearjerker Love Story before ascending to the presidency. After leaving Paramount, he went on to a successful career as a producer/exec producer on such films as Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedy Silver Streak and Brian De Palma’s The Fury. He also wrote and produced such »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Plan For Imposing Quota On Hollywood Movies Scrapped By Russian Parliament

23 hours ago

Proposed legislation that would have cut the current number of Hollywood films playing in Russian theaters by as much as half is dead, according to Leonid Levin, head of the information policy committee of the Russian Duma quoted by local media. He called regulating the features that hit Russian theaters by imposing a quota unnecessary. “If there are good Russian movies, people turn out to see them anyway,” he said.

Levin’s announcement comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin weighing in on the issue earlier this month, calling the idea for imposing restrictions on foreign films wrong.

The proposed legislation was introduced in March by Robert Schlegel, a member of the Parliament group of the ruling party United Russia. Hollywood was relatively unmoved when the proposal first surfaced, with execs believing it didn’t sound realistic even despite Russia and the U.S.’ ongoing frosty relationship. It’s a fast-burn market, »


- Nellie Andreeva

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P.D. James, Veteran British Crime Novelist & ‘Children Of Men’ Author, Dies At 94

23 hours ago

One of the most prolific and beloved of British crime novelists, P.D. James, passed away today in Oxford, England. Best known for her series of detective novels centering around Scotland Yard Commander/poet Adam Dagliesh, James was 94. Her non-Dagliesh book, Children Of Men, was the basis for Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 Oscar nominated film of the same name. She also recently was the impetus for Death Comes To Pemberley, a BBC and Masterpiece miniseries based on her novel that imagines Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice characters later in life and faced with a murderous scandal. Several of her earlier books were also transferred to the small screen including Death Of An Expert Witness, Unnatural Causes, A Taste For Death, Devices And Desires, A Mind To Murder and Death In Holy Orders.

Phyllis Dorothy James White was born in Oxford in 1920 and began writing in the mid-50s. Her first Dagliesh novel, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘Star Wars’ Teaser Will Be Online Friday – Update

26 November 2014 3:25 PM, PST

3Rd Update, 3:18 Pm: For those of you scoring along at home, that first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available online Friday, the same day it hits theaters. Here’s a new tweet from the official Star Wars account:

The Force is with you on #BlackFriday when #TheForceAwakens teaser hits @iTunesTrailers.

Star Wars (@starwars) November 26, 2014

2Nd Update: After Regal jumped the gun announcing Friday’s Star Wars sneak peek, Disney and Lucasfilm have gone ahead and announced all 30 North American theaters playing the 88-second Episode VII preview. (Scroll down for the full list.) Among the participating chains cashing in on the ticket-driving force of The Force are Regal, AMC, Carmike, Cinemark, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, and – of course – Disney’s own El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The rest of the world will have to wait until December for a theatrical peek.

Update: This weekend’s »


- Jen Yamato

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‘The Imitation Game’ Review: Pete Hammond On Cumberbatch’s Enigma

26 November 2014 1:52 PM, PST

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley sparkle in this tremendous telling of the story of Alan Turing, the cryptology and computer-science pioneer whose work broke Germany’s Enigma code during World War II but who later was hounded into suicide by the English government because he was gay.

As I say in my video review, this is easily one of the year’s best films, and I’m particularly impressed by the work of Cumberbatch and Knightley. The film also stars Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear and Matthew Goode.

Morten Tyldum directs, in his first English-language film, from a script by Graham Moore, based on Alan Hodges’ biography of Turing. Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman are producers. The Weinstein Company is handling U.S. distribution.

After a long string of almost weekly film festival screenings – including Toronto, Telluride and London – the film finally debuts in theaters Friday.

Will you see the film? »


- Pete Hammond

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‘Unfinished Business’ Redband Trailer: Vince Vaughn And Company Invade Europe

26 November 2014 11:35 AM, PST

Here’s the decidedly Nsfw redband trailer for the international comedy starring Vince Vaughn. A relentless businessman with his own company, he heads to Germany with his only two employees (Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco) to clinch a make-or-break deal. Complications arise. Sienna Miller and James Marsden also star in Unfinished Business, from director Ken Scott — who helmed Vaughn in last year’s Delivery Man — and scribe Steve Conrad. Fox opens it wide March 6.

 

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- The Deadline Team

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‘Manson Girls’ To Go Helter Skelter

26 November 2014 11:28 AM, PST

Exclusive: As Charles Manson gears up for his behind-bars nuptials to a young follower named Star, a February shoot has been set for long-gestating indie drama Manson Girls. Susanna Lo is directing the film about the female devotees who joined Manson’s flock in the 1960s and helped carry out brutal killings meant to start an apocalyptic race war. Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects) will portray Manson in the film, which TriCoast Worldwide boarded this month at Afm.

Rather than probe the twisted brain of Manson himself, Manson Girls will chronicle how eight young women in his brood came from diverse and even privileged backgrounds to become the most notorious female serial killers of the decade’s Love Generation. The pic will follow the girls’ pre-Manson teen years through their indoctrination into the Family and up to the bloody summer of 1969 when their violent “Helter Skelter” campaign that »


- Jen Yamato

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Making ‘The Boxtrolls:’ “Like 18 Months Of Opening Nights” – The Contenders

26 November 2014 10:08 AM, PST

The Boxtrolls producer Travis Knight (ParaNorman, Coraline) and director Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) talk with Deadline’s Pete Hammond about the challenges and joys of stop-motion animation, a creation process nearly as old (and beloved) as cinema itself, in this video from Deadline’s recent Oscar showcase, The Contenders.

Actually making a film with the stop-motion process, however, can be incredibly stressful, says Stacchi. It’s like ” 18 months of opening nights with no rehearsals.”

The voice cast includes a number of notables, including Ben Kingsley, Tracy Morgan, Elle Fanning, James Urbaniak, Toni Collette and Simon Pegg (plus uncredited work by Mr. SpongeBob SquarePants (and Adventure Time Ice King) himself, Tom Kenny).

Stacchi directed the film with Graham Annable, from a script by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava, from Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters! The movie was produced by Knight and David Bleiman Ichioka. It has grossed $105.7 million worldwide since its Sept. »


- David Bloom

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Natalie Portman In Talks To Join Steve Jobs Biopic

26 November 2014 9:03 AM, PST

Exclusive: Natalie Portman is in talks to join Universal’s Steve Jobs biopic. Character details were not revealed, but it is expected to be a major role. Should be a deal be done, this would mark a further positive reversal of fortunes for the Danny Boyle-helmed project. Deadline revealed last week that it had been put in turnaround by Sony Pictures, to the shock of many in the industry. Universal Pictures picked it up Monday.

Michael Fassbender recently was courted to play the Apple genius in the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film , adapted from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography Steve Jobs. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.

Portman, repped stateside by CAA, has been particularly busy of late. The actress-turned-filmmaker has her feature directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of celebrated Israeli writer Amos Oz’s memoir, in post. »


- Ali Jaafar

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Richard Linklater To Receive Palm Springs Visionary Award For ‘Boyhood’

26 November 2014 8:09 AM, PST

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood received five Indie Spirit Award noms yesterday including best feature and director, and now Linklater can add another kudo to the list. He will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s awards gala on January 3. The fest runs January 2-12.

Past recipients include Academy Award-winning filmmakers Tom Hooper, Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, and Michel Hazanavicius.

Richard Linklater’s latest feature film is the critically acclaimed Boyhood, a one-of-a-kind epic undertaking shot over the course of 12 years with the same cast,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his creative innovations in filmmaking, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Richard Linklater with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Linklater wrote, produced and directed Boyhood, a film about growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. »


- The Deadline Team

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‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Cashes Tuesday Paycheck: Turkey B.O. Update

26 November 2014 8:02 AM, PST

Update, Wednesday 8 Am: Warner Bros./New Line’s R-rated sequel Horrible Bosses 2 nabbed an early bonus last night with $1 million at Tuesday night previews. The comedy about a trio of wacky business guys who kidnap their investor’s son will be playing at 3,321 locations today and expand to 3,375 on Friday. That figure outstrips the $365K chunk of cash Horrible Bosses stole from late night previews in July 2011.  

Previous, Tuesday 1:18 Pm: Penguins will try to carve into a Katniss’ Thanksgiving feast this weekend at the box office but, despite a lower-than-expected debut from the penultimate Hunger Games entry last week, look for the Suzanne Collins adaptation to retain the holiday crown over Madagascar‘s latest entry.

Mockingjay, like Catching Fire last year, has the benefit of Thanksgiving traffic. However, Catching Fire was coming off a franchise record bow and spurred an all-time record for any film, opener or second-framer, »


- Scott Bowles

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Mel Brooks To Voice Adam Sandler’s Vampire Dad In ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′

26 November 2014 7:30 AM, PST

Comedy legend Mel Brooks has been tapped to voice Vlad in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2. He’ll play the very old and grumpy vampire father to Adam Sandler’s Dracula. The sequel to Sony’s 2012 family film sees old-school supernatural meet modern-day cool when Vlad turns up at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together. Genndy Tartakovsky is helming again from a script by Robert Smigel. The original movie made about $360M worldwide and was nominated for a Golden Globe. This one is set for release September 25.

The Oscar-, Tony-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning Brooks has some cinematic vampire experience; he directed, produced and co-wrote 1995’s Dracula: Dead And Loving It, also starring as vamp hunter Val Helsing. He said of the Hotel Transylvania character: “He’s been around for eons, and he’s a pretty crabby guy. Basically, he reminds me of me.”

In a savvy move »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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London Cops Collar Suspected ‘Expendables 3′ Pirates

25 November 2014 6:00 PM, PST

Lionsgate and Millennium are one step closer to vanquishing the pirates who stole and uploaded Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3. London cops today arrested two men on suspicion of leaking the action sequel this summer ahead of its August 15 release. The film grossed just $39.3 million domestically before taking in more than $206 million globally. The first two installments of the franchise grossed a combined $580 million worldwide.

Detectives in the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit arrested the men, ages 36 and 33, who are believed to have illegally obtained a high-quality version of the film from a cloud-based system. They are suspected of uploading it online around July 25, after which it was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in a leak distributors allege cost them millions in lost ticket sales.

The London investigation was opened after Lionsgate began campaigning stateside and internationally to hunt down the culprits. Domestically, the U.S. Department of »


- Jen Yamato

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‘The Imitation Game’ Will Stuff Theaters This Holiday Weekend – Specialty Box Office Preview

25 November 2014 5:57 PM, PST

The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game is the big kid on the block among this holiday weekend’s batch of newcomers. The title is following in the footsteps of past TWC heavyweights The King’s Speech and The Artist, both of which opened to solid box office numbers and eventually scored Oscars for Best Picture. The distributor is expecting good numbers for Imitation Game over the Thanksgiving frame. IFC Films’ horror pic The Babadook has some good buzz heading into the weekend, though it might show its biggest heft via VOD with its day-and-date rollout. Remote Area Medical is one of those films one hopes everyone will see. Timed perfectly for this time of the year’s focus on thanks and giving, the documentary shows the underbelly of America’s healthcare crisis by way of people who provide free medical services to needy people in pop-up clinics around the country. »


- Brian Brooks

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