7 items from 2015
Relativity was founded with the intention of starting a new studio from scratch using data to mitigate risks and maximize profits. From launching its own domestic distribution operation on the back of failed Overture Films to making deals in China, here are some of the pitstops on the road to declaring bankruptcy on Thursday.
2006: Relativity’s Gun Hill Road I fund co-finances 17 movies with Sony and Universal including “The Pursuit of Happyness” (above) and “Nanny McPhee”; Gun Hill II co-funds 18 films with Sony and Universal, including “Evan Almighty” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.”
2008: Hedge fund Elliott Management makes a $1 billion investment in Relativity.
2009: Relativity buys genre label Rogue Pictures from Universal for $150 million; sets multi-year distribution pact with Lionsgate. »
- Dave McNary
Steve Oedekerk's 2002 dubbed comedy Kung Pow: Enter the Fist is one of those comedies I'll always have to regret liking when I was around nine-or-ten years old. It's a sophomoric, slappy-happy rip-off of Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily written with all the sophistication and charm of two middle-school boys riffing on a copy of an old 1970s martial arts feature. It probably had to do with my love of kung fu -- something I still adore today -- and being of the right age. This is all to say, it's one of those black marks in my film-loving life from which I constantly atone for. It didn't make a dent in the box office, but I suppose it had a modern following on home video who clamored up its irreverence in a pre-YouTube era as I did then. Does that warrant the need to have a sequel »
- Will Ashton
Paramount tried a few approaches in the new Terminator reboot. But if a franchise hits the doldrums, how can a studio resurrect it?
Fingers are being crossed at Skydance and Paramount Pictures that the critical mauling handed out to Terminator: Genisys last week won't be reflected fully in the box office numbers. So far, the plan for a new trilogy of Terminator films is arguably just about alive, courtesy of a total gross for the new film of $131m worldwide. That's below expectations, but if it can eventually crawl its way to $400m, that's probably enough to move ahead with a Genisys sequel (it'd be more than the hugely-acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road).
But even if a new film gets greenlit, it's clear that things have to change again. As many have pointed out, the consensus is now that there have been more bad-to-middling Terminator films than good ones, »
National Geographic Channel and Revelations Entertainment are partnering on The Story Of God, a new global series exploring mankind’s quest to explore the divine. Morgan Freeman, who coincidentally played God in Bruce Almighty and the sequel Evan Almighty, will host and produce the series. It’s slated to air on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Mundo in 2016 in the U.S. and globally in 171 countries and 45 languages. Each episode will center on one big question… »
Thanks to the news of Trevor Noah taking over Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" desk, we remembered something: Wow, "Daily Show" alums have basically taken over the world. If they're not landing primetime sitcom gigs, they're scoring Oscar nominations and populating romcoms. To celebrate Noah's new post, let's take a look at five Netflix picks starring the friends, colleagues, and cronies of Jon Stewart. Watch 'em now. "Trevor Noah: African American" If you haven't been introduced to your new "Daily Show" host's brand of observational humor yet, check out his comedy special where he discusses his home country of South Africa and why racial relations there, even during the age of apartheid, are/were less complicated than in the U.S. His bit about Oprah Winfrey's leadership academy is particularly inspired. And a little unsettling! "Bruce Almighty" Oscar nominee Steve Carell wasn't always scarring you with his fake "Foxcatcher" nose and deathly "Foxcatcher" stare. »
- Louis Virtel
Having debuted on History in January, the exciting miniseries Sons of Liberty is now available on Google Play (clickHere) and Amazon (clickHere). We recently caught up with actor Dean Norris, who stars as Ben Franklin in this 3-part look at our rich American History. Sons of Liberty is a dramatizing of the early American Revolution events in Boston, Massachusetts, the start of the Revolutionary War, and the negotiations of the Second Continental Congress which resulted in the drafting and signing of the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence.
Directed by Kari Skogland, the series theme music was composed by Hans Zimmer. Best known as DEA Agent Schrader on Breaking Bad, Dean Norris currently stars in Under the Dome, where he plays town councilman James "Big Jim". His other credits include TV's NYPD Blue, The X-Files, The West Wing, and Lost and films such as Lethal Weapon 2, Total Recall, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, »
Exclusive: Australian director Fred Schepisi’s Simon Baker/Leslie Mann-starring romantic drama, The Olive Sisters, has added several cast members ahead of the Efm in Berlin this week. Anthony Lapaglia, Jacki Weaver, Melissa George, Gia Carides, Josh Lucas and Alexandra Schepisi have all boarded the adaptation of Amanda Hampson’s bestselling novel which was short-listed at the 2006 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
The story focuses on Adrienne Bennett (Mann), a successful businesswoman with an enviable lifestyle. But when her business goes down the tubes, her life falls apart and her self-confidence quickly crumbles. She is forced to move from her chic New York apartment to the small rural community of Duffy’s Creek, Australia and the run-down olive grove she has inherited from her grandparents. Initial culture shock give way to a personal treasure hunt through the history of a family she barely knew. As she works to restart her life, »
- Nancy Tartaglione
7 items from 2015
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