Catch a Fire
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8 items from 2006


'Saw III' sharp with $34.3 million opening

30 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Thanks to its Saw franchise, Lionsgate continued its tradition of domination at the North American boxoffice on the weekend before Halloween. The third installment of the R-rated horror fest grossed an estimated $34.3 million during the weekend, a record for the series and the studio and practically a guarantee that Lionsgate will resurrect Jigsaw for another go-round.

The weekend's other new wide release didn't have the same luck. Focus Features' apartheid drama Catch a Fire, from director Phillip Noyce, bowed to a meager $2.1 million and placed outside the top 10.

In limited release, Paramount Vantage's Babel was clearly the winner for the weekend. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's R-rated, globe-trotting drama grossed $365,801 in seven theaters for an astounding per-screen average of $52,258.

Overall, the boxoffice appears to be up 2% compared with the same period last year, when three films opened wide instead of the two this frame. Last year's chart-topper was Saw II, of course, which grossed $31.7 million. This weekend, the top 12 films grossed an estimated $89 million for the three-day frame, compared with $87 million last year at this time.

Of the holdovers, Warner Bros. Pictures' The Departed, which held on to the second spot, continues to impress. In its fourth weekend, the Martin Scorsese-directed drama dropped a slight 27% for an estimated gross of $9.8 million. The Leonardo DiCaprio/Matt Damon starrer has earned an estimated $91.1 million after 23 days in theaters.

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Gore score: 'Saw III,' mercy zero

27 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

For the third year in a row, the diabolical character Jigsaw is back to rule the boxoffice the weekend before Halloween. Lionsgate is looking to continue the winning streak with the third installment of its R-rated Saw franchise, which is on track to be the biggest opener yet for the series that has generated $142 million at the domestic boxoffice.

The other studios appear to be getting out of its way this weekend, with only Focus Features bowing its political thriller Catch a Fire on 1,305 screens and Paramount Vantage unveiling its Oscar hopeful Babel in limited release. It means that last weekend's holdovers will have a chance to do significant business during their second frames.

One holdover that will be watched closely is Paramount Pictures' Flags of Our Fathers, from director Clint Eastwood. The R-rated film bowed last weekend to a soft $10.2 million, and all eyes will be on the strength of its hold. Speculation about the film's ultimate performance has been the subject of many conversations in Hollywood this week. Will the movie play like a typical Eastwood film, holding strong? This weekend could tell the story; the studio will expand its Flags run from 1,876 theaters in its opening frame to 2,190 this weekend.

Director Darren Lynn Bousman is back for his second installment of Saw, with Tobin Bell back for a third time as Jigsaw. In this chapter, the serial killer uses a doctor to help keep him alive while his new apprentice puts a second victim through a game.

Saw II bowed to nearly $32 million, and tracking suggests that the new film will garner an even larger opening number. From screenwriter Leigh Whannell, who penned all three installments, Saw III co-stars Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen and Bahar Soomekh. The film will bow in 3,167 theaters.

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Woodstock, Mill Valley set audience nods

19 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The audience awards at the Woodstock Film Festival, which wrapped Sunday in Woodstock, N.Y., resulted in a pair of ties. The award for best narrative feature went to Susanne Bier's After the Wedding and Udi Aloni's Forgiveness, and the award for best documentary feature went to Barbara Kopple's Shut Up & Sing and Rachel Libert's Beyond Conviction. The audiences at the Mill Valley Film Festival, which wrapped Sunday in California, were more decisive. They voted awards to Phillip Noyce's Catch a Fire as best dramatic feature, Amy Berg's Deliver Us From Evil as best feature-length docu and Wolfgang Murnberger's Lapislazuli: In the Eye of the Bear as best children's film. »

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H'wood fest to unspool 18 world bows

10 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The Hollywood Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 18-22 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, will spotlight 18 world premieres, including 20th Century Fox's horse drama Flicka, starring Alison Lohman and Tim McGraw; the documentary Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film by Tom Thurman; and DreamWorks Animation's Flushed Away, directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell. The festival's closing night screenings include Phillip Noyce's Catch a Fire, a drama about terrorism in Apartheid-era South Africa, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke. Several other films will highlight contemporary Africa, including Mette Zeruneith's In a Soldier's Footsteps, Jesse James Miller's Uganda Rising and Philippe Diaz's The Empire in Africa. »

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Actor Luke's Research Leads to Mandela Prison Cell

10 October 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Derek Luke was left shocked during a research visit to a South African prison for new movie Catch A Fire, when he spent time in the cell where former South African leader Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. In the film, Luke plays real-life coal worker-turned-African National Congress militant Patrick Chamusso, who served 10 years at Robben Island prison. And during a visit to the lock-up, Luke found himself lying on what was Mandela's bed. He says, "Part of my research was going to Robben Island. I'm walking around and they're showing me the different cells where Patrick could've stayed. They gave me this key and I think it was 006 or 007 and they told me to open up the cell. I walk in the cell and they asked me to lie down in the cell. So finally I do it and I remember lying in the cell and I felt like I was starting to shake. They said, 'Are you comfortable?' I said, 'I'm not comfortable.' They said, 'This is the cell of Nelson Mandela' He was in prison in this cell for 18 years. In a corner there was this pail and the pail is where he washed his clothes, where he ate and also where he went to the rest room because there was no toilet in the cell." »

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Filmmakers to mentor in 2-day seminar

28 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The second annual Filmmaker Forum, organized by Film Independent, is expanding into a two-day seminar to be held in late October at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The forum will kick off Oct. 26 with a preview screening of Phillip Noyce's political thriller Catch a Fire, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke, at the Mann Festival Theatre in Westwood. A Q&A with Noyce, screenwriter Shawn Slovo and producer Robyn Slovo and an opening reception at the Hammer Museum will follow the screening. Participants in the two days of panel discussions on Oct. 27 and 28 will include Peter Broderick (Paradigm Consulting), Micah Green (CAA), Rena Ronson (William Morris Independent), Anne Thompson (The Hollywood Reporter) and Nancy Utley (Fox Searchlight) as well as filmmakers Stephanie Allain, Anna Boden, Neill Dela Llana, Kirby Dick, Ryan Fleck, Sean Furst, Ian Gamazon, Sam Kitt, Peggy Rajski and Wash Westmoreland. »

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Filmmakers to mentor in 2-day seminar

27 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The second annual Filmmaker Forum, organized by Film Independent, is expanding into a two-day seminar to be held in late October at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The forum will kick off Oct. 26 with a preview screening of Phillip Noyce's political thriller Catch a Fire, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke, at the Mann Festival Theatre in Westwood. A Q&A with Noyce, screenwriter Shawn Slovo and producer Robyn Slovo and an opening reception at the Hammer Museum will follow the screening. Participants in the two days of panel discussions on Oct. 27 and 28 will include Peter Broderick (Paradigm Consulting), Micah Green (CAA), Rena Ronson (William Morris Independent), Anne Thompson (The Hollywood Reporter) and Nancy Utley (Fox Searchlight) as well as filmmakers Stephanie Allain, Anna Boden, Neill Dela Llana, Kirby Dick, Ryan Fleck, Sean Furst, Ian Gamazon, Sam Kitt, Peggy Rajski and Wash Westmoreland. »

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'Fire' the latest in new genre: African reality pic

12 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- In the wake of such recent Oscar contenders as The Constant Gardener and Hotel Rwanda, a new subgenre has emerged at this year's Toronto International Film Festival: the dramatic thriller based on the real-life horrors of Africa. While Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland centers on Uganda dictator Idi Amin, Phillip Noyce's Catch a Fire chronicles the true story of Patrick Chamusso's transformation from oil refinery worker to African National Congress radical. Fire -- an Oscar hopeful from Focus Features that will have its second Toronto screening tonight -- isn't just trying to catch a trend, though. Its screenwriter, Shawn Slovo, has been interested in the subject ever since her late father, ANC leader Joe Slovo, told her about Chamusso in the mid-1980s. After Chamusso's successful ANC assault on the oil refinery in Secunda, Slovo's father told the writer, "If you ever want to write a story about this period in South African history, tell the story of the unsung hero Patrick Chamusso." »

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8 items from 2006


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