Coach Carter
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12 items from 2005


Hill to handle corporate PR at Paramount

22 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With vice chairman Rob Friedman no longer on the Paramount lot, changes are afoot in the Paramount Pictures publicity arena. MTV Networks corporate spokeswoman Janet Hill, who has been functioning as Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey's PR flack for some months, has finally vacated Santa Monica for Paramount's administration building. In a new corporate hierarchy, Grey has named Hill his executive vp corporate communications, reporting to him. Hill will oversee internal and external business and media communications and public relations. In a statement, Grey praised her track record, leadership skills and communications experience, citing her strong contributions on MTV Films' Jackass: The Movie, The Longest Yard, Coach Carter and Better Luck Tomorrow as well as her work on Nick Movies' Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. »

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Helmer Carter, Par team for 'Dixon' bio

10 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Coach Carter director Thomas Carter is reteaming with Paramount Pictures on Marcus Dixon, a feature film about the former Vanderbilt football recruit who was controversially imprisoned in a case that stirred up racial tensions and grabbed headlines. Carter will produce and direct. Paramount has acquired life rights from Marcus Dixon, who was convicted of aggravated child molestation after having consensual sex with a fellow student who was three months shy of 16. Dixon, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after -- his supporters argued -- a law passed to stop child molestation was wrongly used to convict him. Dixon was released after 15 months in prison. »

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Helmer Carter, Par team for 'Dixon' bio

10 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Coach Carter director Thomas Carter is reteaming with Paramount Pictures on Marcus Dixon, a feature film about the former Vanderbilt football recruit who was controversially imprisoned in a case that stirred up racial tensions and grabbed headlines. Carter will produce and direct. Paramount has acquired life rights from Marcus Dixon, who was convicted of aggravated child molestation after having consensual sex with a fellow student who was three months shy of 16. Dixon, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after -- his supporters argued -- a law passed to stop child molestation was wrongly used to convict him. Dixon was released after 15 months in prison. »

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Par adds titles to growing UMD list

23 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Paramount is planning to announce Monday an ambitious slate of 11 titles for Sony's PlayStation Portable entertainment device, including Sahara, arriving Aug. 30, the same day as its home video release. Paramount titles also draw heavily from fellow Viacom divisions Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, making Paramount the first studio to bring TV shows to the PSP's Universal Media Disc format. The first wave of titles, due Aug. 9, consists of Team America: World Police, Coach Carter and Without a Paddle. The second wave, arriving in stores Aug. 30, includes The Italian Job and, MTV's Viva La Bam: Vol. 1. Other titles coming this the year include The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and compilation UMDs of Chappelle's Show, The Ren & Stimpy Show, South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants episodes. »

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EIDC stays in school with LAUSD renewal

18 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Los Angeles' regional permitting agency has been awarded a contract to manage on-location production at the more than 800 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The contract originally was given to the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. in 2002 but recently was put out for bid. School officials said they stuck with the EIDC because of its proven ability to administer the permits, which now generate about $1 million annually for the district. LAUSD's campuses recently hosted such productions as 20th Century Fox's Fat Albert and Paramount Pictures' Coach Carter as well as the television series Malcolm in the Middle, Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia. »

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Carter, Fox going to the chapel

18 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Hot off the success of Coach Carter, director Thomas Carter is going to direct and executive produce Fox's untitled wedding chapel drama pilot. Meanwhile, CBS has given the green light to two untitled comedy pilots, one from writer Marsh McCall and producer Jerry Bruckheimer and one to star comedian Susie Essman. The wedding chapel project, from Spelling TV, revolves around a brother and sister team who manage a one-stop-shopping Vegas wedding emporium, their complicated romantic relationships and the outrageous entanglements of their employees and clients. Carter will executive produce the pilot with Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent and the project's writer, Jeffrey Lieber. »

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Coach Carter

7 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Taking its cue from the life of Ken Carter, a California high school basketball coach who turned a team of underachievers into winners both on the court and in the classroom, Coach Carter essentially serves up nothing that we haven't seen countless times before in the Stand and DeliverLean on MeHoosiersRemember the Titans tradition.

But even though it adds very little to that well-traveled inspirational genre, it goes to show that you can hit all the usual posts and still manage to stand out from the pack if you've got a guy the caliber of Samuel L. Jackson on your team.

Thanks mainly to his considerable presence, Coach Carter works more effectively than expected, although, carrying the unnecessary weight of an almost 21⁄2-hour running time, it doesn't always move with the grace of a trained athlete.

The big question is how many people will come out and pay to see something that seems so familiar, however truthful the source or noble the intention. Obviously Paramount and Tollin⁄Robbins, the production team who has done well in this arena in the past with such movies as Varsity Blues and Radio, are hoping for big turnouts, but the picture will probably have its greatest payoff on video.

Directed with a sturdy efficiency by Emmy winner Thomas Carter (Don King: Only in America), who, incidentally, is not related to his subject, the film takes a straight-ahead approach in retelling the events that brought Ken Carter first cheers and then jeers in his efforts to turn around the members of the Richmond High Oilers.

When Carter Jackson) returns to the school he attended -- still holding a number of his old team's records -- it's late 1998, and things at Richmond High have definitely taken a turn for the worse.

As it turns out, Carter has more than the basketball championship on his agenda. Sure, he successfully turns his team into contenders who have an enviable undefeated record, but when his players fail to keep their part of the bargain on the academic front -- he had them all sign contracts -- he padlocks the doors to the gym and benches the entire team until their grades improve.

That decision causes an uproar among parents and teachers alike, attracting national news coverage and assuring Carter a place in the inspirational sports movie pantheon.

The script, credited to One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn and busy Tollins⁄Robbins scribe John Gatins (Hardball, Summer Catch), gets the job done without really ever breaking a sweat on the originality front.

Although director Carter, who did well by Save the Last Dance, occasionally allows the necessary element of tension to slacken and the movie never sufficiently builds to a crowd-rousing crescendo, he gets committed performances out of his young cast, including singer Ashanti, who makes an impressive acting debut as the pregnant girlfriend of one of the players.

But it's ultimately Jackson, with a winning combination of no-nonsense authority and quirky charisma, not to mention a love of flashy neckties, who breathes life into the film bearing his character's real name.

He makes Coach Carter a guy you'd like to meet, even though you could have sworn you've met him many times before.

Coach Carter

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures presents an MTV Films Tollin/Robbins production

A Thomas Carter film

Credits: Director: Thomas Carter

Screenwriters: Mark Schwahn, John Gatins

Producers: Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin, David Gale

Executive producers: Van Toffler, Thomas Carter, Sharla Sumpter, Caitlin Scanlon

Director of photography: Sharone Meir

Production designer: Carlos Barbosa

Editor: Peter Berger

Costume designer: Debrae Little

Music: Trevor Rabin

Music supervisor: Jennifer Hawks

Casting: Sarah Halley Finn, Randi Hiller

Cast:

Coach Ken Carter: Samuel L. Jackson

Damien Carter: Robert Ri'chard

Kenyan: Rob Brown

Tonya Carter: Debbi Morgan

Kyra: Ashanti

Timo Cruz: Rick Gonzalez

Worm: Antwon Tanner

Junior Battle: Nana Gbewonyo

Jason Lyle: Channing Tatum

Maddux: Texas Battle

Principal Garrison: Denise Dowse

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 140 minutes »

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Weekend boxoffice goes 'There'

23 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sony's family comedy Are We There Yet? starring Ice Cube arrived in first place at the weekend boxoffice with an estimated $18.5 million, according to Sunday's studio figures. Playing in 2,709 theaters, that translates to a solid $6,829 average for the PG-rated caper. The weekend's other new wide release, Assault on Precinct 13 from Focus Features' Rogue Pictures genre label, debuted at No. 6 with an estimated $7 million for the weekend. The cume for the remake of the John Carptenter cult classic stands at about $8.6 million since its Wednesday opening. Paramount's Coach Carter, last weekend's top film, dropped to second place with an estimated $11 million in its sophomore frame, a 55% drop from its debut. Universal's comedy sequel Meet the Fockers kept rolling along in third place as the smash hit added an estimated $10.2 million to its dowry, which now stands at an estimated $247.7 million after five weekends. The distributor's In Good Company nabbed fourth place with an estimated $8.5 million. Warner Bros.' family film Racing Stripes rounded out the weekend top five with an estimated $7.1 million. Final figures will be released Monday. »

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'Coach' starts out strong with $29.2 mil in 4 days

19 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Paramount's Coach Carter displayed its prowess on the boxoffice court this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend as the Samuel L. Jackson starrer rang up an impressive $29.2 million in four days. The MTV Films and Tollin/Robbins production, helmed by Thomas Carter, did better than anticipated heading into the frame and generated strong exit poll numbers. It was the third time that an MTV Films produced picture sat in the top spot at the boxoffice on the King weekend, and it was a company-best opening as well. The debut of Coach Carter was the third-best opening ever for the King holiday frame (HR 1/18). Coach Carter managed to set itself apart from a crowded field this weekend -- a total of five films opened or expanded into wide release. Strong performances from most of the new wide releases combined with solid holdovers led to the second-biggest King weekend on record with $168.5 million, up a sterling 22% from the comparable session last year and off just 1% from the record $170.7 million set in 2001. »

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Final boxoffice: 'Coach Carter' wins tourney

18 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With five new films hitting the marketplace in wide release during the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Paramount's Coach Carter sat in the top spot with an impressive score of $29.2 million, according to Tuesday's final figures. The opening for Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Thomas Carter, was slightly better than expected and marked the third-best-ever performance for the King holiday behind the first weekend of wide release for Sony's Black Hawk Down ($33.6 million) and Universal's Along Came Polly ($32.5 million). Co-produced with MTV Films and Tollin/Robbins, it was the third time a picture from MTV Films has sat in the top slot during the King weekend, Varsity Blues and Save the Last Dance, the latter also directed by Carter, being the other two. It was also a company-best opening for MTV Films, topping Save the Last Dance ($27.5 million). Overall, the combination of solid holdovers, new films and expansions, has contributed to what at the very least will be the second-best King weekend on record. And depending on how the final numbers shake out, the weekend has a shot at challenging the record $170.7 million set in 2001. In addition, with five new films appearing in more than 1,000 theaters each, not only was it a crowded marketplace, but the boxoffice had to compete for attention with the NFL playoffs and the Golden Globes this weekend. »

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'Coach Carter' wins boxoffice tourney

18 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With five new films hitting the marketplace in wide release during the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Paramount's Coach Carter sat in the top spot with an impressive score of an estimated $29.2 million. The opening for Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Thomas Carter, was slightly better than expected and marked the third-best-ever performance for the King holiday behind the first weekend of wide release for Sony's Black Hawk Down ($33.6 million) and Universal's Along Came Polly ($32.5 million). Co-produced with MTV Films and Tollin/Robbins, it was the third time a picture from MTV Films has sat in the top slot during the King weekend, Varsity Blues and Save the Last Dance, the latter also directed by Carter, being the other two. It was also a company-best opening for MTV Films, topping Save the Last Dance ($27.5 million). Overall, the combination of solid holdovers, new films and expansions, has contributed to what at the very least will be the second-best King weekend on record. And depending on how the final numbers shake out, the weekend has a shot at challenging the record $170.7 million set in 2001. In addition, with five new films appearing in more than 1,000 theaters each, not only was it a crowded marketplace, but the boxoffice had to compete for attention with the NFL playoffs and the Golden Globes this weekend. »

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Boxoffice preview: 'Coach' ready to play

14 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Hollywood is taking advantage of the first holiday frame of 2005, offering four new wide releases to duke it out over what should be a competitive extended weekend. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday offers something for everyone, with fare ranging from a family title and a comic-book actioner to an urban drama and an adult romantic comedy. Paramount Pictures' Coach Carter is looking like a big winner for the three-day period. If so, it would allow Paramount to continue a comeback streak that began with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Carter could open at numbers north of $20 million for the three-day frame. The film, which Paramount previewed at ShowEast in the fall, sneaked Saturday and played very well. Based on a true story, it stars Samuel L. Jackson as Ken Carter, the controversial high school basketball coach who benched his undefeated team because of their poor academic record. The PG-13 film comes from director Thomas Carter (Save the Last Dance) and writers Mark Schwahn and John Gatins. R&B singer Ashanti co-stars. »

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12 items from 2005


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