17 items from 2008
Movie producer Ryan Kavanaugh is facing jail this week, after he was arrested in October for driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding and driving with a suspended licence, all while still on probation for an earlier DUI charge.
The 34-year-old financier, whose Hollywood credits include Charlie Wilson's War, 3:10 to Yuma, 21 and the forthcoming musical Nine, was reportedly stopped by cops as he drove home from a film premiere in Los Angeles on 23 October.
It comes just two years after he was arrested for driving drunk in Malibu, California.
News of his arrest emerged on Friday, as it was revealed he will be arraigned at a Beverly Hills court on Friday 12 December.
A jail term could be handed out for both the second DUI charge and for violation of the probation he was placed on in 2006.
Kavanaugh's Relativity Pictures has big money deals with almost every major movie studio, including a $550 million (GBP366 million) partnership with Sony Pictures and a recently-signed $3 billion (GBP2 billion) contract with NBC Universal.
But Hollywood bosses are standing by Kavanaugh. Sony spokesperson Jim Kennedy tells the New York Times, "We do not anticipate that this will have any impact on our current business." »
Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey has blasted reports of his expanding entourage, insisting he always travels alone - except when he has a media engagement.
The 21 star was rumoured to have hired a host of extra helpers to assist him on a daily basis - taking them everywhere he goes.
A source tells Britain's Ok! magazine, "He's got bodyguards, several publicists, a make-up artist, a personal hairdresser, someone styling him..."
But Spacey's representative has dismissed the claims, saying: "A publicist, a groomer and security are there when he does press. Just like they are for any other stars." »
21 star Kate Bosworth is the latest actor to migrate over to CAA. Bosworth joins a growing list of talent that has moved over to the Century City talent agency in recent months, including Ashton Kutcher, John C. Reilly and Vince Vaughn.
First up is Ugly Americans, based on Mezrich's 2004 nonfiction book. The story follows an American who takes a job in Hong Kong with an investment banker and realizes his boss is in cahoots with organized crime and is embezzling from the company -- a situation even more precarious when he finds himself promoted to become his boss's right hand man. Robert Schenkkan wrote the initial adaptation. 2929 picked up Rules from DreamWorks in turnaround.
The second project, Q, is set in a near future where the U.S. government goes into lockdown when an epidemic breaks out. "Q" is based upon a book by Mezrich to be published in the fall. The novel is based on actual but little-known draconian quarantine laws.
Brunetti and Spacey are producing via Trigger Street. »
The general temperature of the international boxoffice was the opposite of the weekend's unseasonably hot weather in much of Europe, with the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall emerging No. 1 with an estimated $7 million from about 1,000 screens in nine markets.
The Judd Apatow co-production, starring Jason Segel and Kristen Bell, finished on top in Australia and in the U.K., where the Universal International release opened to an estimated $4.1 million from 393 sites for a $10,433 per-screen average, representing 26% of the market. Sarah's 11-day overseas total stands at $9.3 million; it's at $44.4 million worldwide.
With mid-80s temperatures holding down weekend theatrical attendance in many European markets, the spring season overseas went out with a whimper. But things will change rapidly this week with the start of the summer blockbuster season.
The first tentpole out of the gate internationally is Paramount's release of the Marvel Comics $135 million version of Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr., opening in 57 markets worldwide from Wednesday-Saturday.
Tied for second place on the weekend with an estimated $6.2 million each were Sony's 21 and Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!"
"21," the saga of MIT math whizzes at blackjack, played 1,775 screens in 28 markets for an overseas cume of $30.7 million. The animated Horton played 5,100 sites in 45 markets for a cume of $127.2 million. »
With the beginning of the summer blockbuster season a fortnight away, the international circuit logged another soft weekend that saw 20th Century Fox International's Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! take the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive stanza with an estimated $9.7 million from 5,301 screens in 52 markets.
The animated comedy has rolled up a six-week overseas gross of $117.7 million.
Horton barely beat out the weekend's No. 2 title, Sony's 21, about MIT students applying mathematical skills to blackjack. Thanks to robust openings in four big territories including Russia, Brazil and Italy, it grossed an estimated $9.6 million from 1,729 screens in 21 markets for a cume of $20.8 million.
In third place overall was Street Kings, a drama about a Los Angeles policeman (Keanu Reeves) accused of killing another officer. It drew an estimated $8.5 million from 2,429 spots in 37 markets. Co-starring Forest Whitaker, Kings has rolled up a total overseas gross of $10.3 million in 10 days.
Finishing fourth was Paramount's The Spiderwick Chronicles, which raised its overseas cume to $74 million thanks to a $5.3 million weekend at 3,018 screens in 63 markets. At No. 5 was the smash French rural comedy Bienvenue chex les ch'tis, which dropped from first to third in its eighth frame in France, grossing an estimated $5.1 million from about 800 sites for a market cume of $173.5 million. (The film's grosses from French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium were not available Sunday.)
Universal's release of co-producer Judd Apatow's romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the weekend's No. 2 domestic film, opened day-and-date in Australia and Iceland for an estimated $1.7 million from 213 sites, good for an early global tally of $19 million. »
A soft presummer-blockbuster weekend on the international circuit saw 20th Century Fox International's Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! take the No. 1 spot for the third straight weekend with an estimated $10.6 million from 5,307 screens in 56 markets.
All of the weekend's top five domestic boxoffice titles played overseas with Sony's 21 leading the pack with a debut on 975 screens in six markets for an estimated $8.1 million, enough to qualify as the No. 2 international hit (domestically, it was No. 3). Its early worldwide tally stands at $70.4 million.
The drama starring Jim Sturgess about six MIT students applying their mathematical skills to win at blackjack grabbed the top spot in five markets including Germany with an estimated $2.2 million from 300 screens and the U.K. where "21" won $3.2 million from 355 sites. This coming weekend will see openings of the title in 13 markets territories including Italy, Brazil and Russia.
Universal's Leatherheads, the period football comedy with George Clooney, the No. 5 domestic title, tackled $2.3 million in its second weekend overseas at 545 screens in the U.K., Italy and the Ukraine. The No. 4 domestic title, Nim's Island, the family fantasy with Jodie Foster which Universal/Summit International is releasing overseas, drew $3.6 million from 808 screens in seven markets.
Fox's Street Kings, which finished No. 2 domestically, grossed $1.2 million from 322 screens in 10 markets, including first-place finishes in Thailand and Singapore. Sony opened in Australia Prom Night, the horror outing which finished No. 1 domestically, to an estimated $850,000 from 123 sites.
Fox Searchlight's Street Kings, a gritty crime drama starring Keanu Reeves as a conflicted L.A. cop, opened with $12 million in second place. Sony's leggy Las Vegas drama 21 took third place over its third weekend with $11 million and a $62.3 million cume, while Fox's family fantasy Nim's Island was fourth on a skinny 32% dip from opening grosses to produce a $9 million weekend and a $25.3 million cume.
Universal's George Clooney starrer Leatherheads slipped 51% to $6.2 million in fifth place, with a 10-day cume of $21.9 million. Fox's animated feature Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! fetched $6 million over its fifth frame for a $139.6 million cume.
Miramax's Dennis Quaid starrer Smart People, which debuted with 1,012 playdates, grossed $4.2 million in seventh. Meanwhile, the horror film The Ruins from DreamWorks, Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment fell a big 59% in its sophomore session, ringing up $3.3 million in eighth place to shape a $13.4 million cume.
Overall, the weekend's $95 million in collective grosses represented a 20% decline from the industry total over the same frame last year, according to Nielsen EDI data.
The early spring boxoffice is off a big 19%. That's taken a toll on the year-to-date comparison, with 2008 now off 3% from the same portion of last year at $2.41 billion.
The developments follow a more positive winter boxoffice, which ran from Jan. 2-March 1 and notched a nearly 17% year-over-year improvement at $1.72 billion.
Among the weekend's limited bows, Overture Films debuted its well-reviewed drama The Visitor in four locations and grossed $88,383. That represented an auspicious $22,096 per site prior to anticipated expansions over coming frames. »
After the dust cleared Monday from the weekend's boxoffice scrimmage, Universal's period football pic Leatherheads had been bumped down to No. 3, while Fox Walden's family fantasy Nim's Island floated up to the No. 2 position.
Sony's card-counting drama 21 was still No. 1 on the frame, with $15.3 million over its second weekend. But the switch in the session's second and third place rankings illustrates the occasional disconnect between Sunday's three-day estimates and Monday's official data, or boxoffice "actuals," in industry lingo.
For the George Clooney-toplined and -directed Leatherheads -- toting $58 million in production costs and fetching just $12.7 million in the final figures -- the rankings turnover moves profitability goalposts just a bit.
By contrast, it was a happy Monday for the team at Fox Walden, whose Nim's blew past Uni's pigskin pic with $13.2 million. The PG-rated kids book adaptation, starring Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler, outperformed prerelease expectations while attracting an audience dominated by mother-and-daughter duos. »
Universal's "Leatherheads", a period pigskin comedy toplined and directed by George Clooney, failed to convert pre-release projections into boxoffice glory and finished second this weekend to Sony's repeat champ "21."
The Las Vegas card-counting drama dropped a modest 37% to ring up an estimated $15.1 million over its second frame with a $46.5 million cume, while the Clooney vehicle chugged to just $13.5 million in opening grosses.
Fox Walden's family fantasy "Nim's Island" copped third place with $13.3 million. Fox's "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" finished in fourth with $9.1 million over its fourth outing yielding a $131.1 million cume.
MGM/Dimension's comedy spoof "Superhero Movie" fell 43% from opening grosses to $5.4 million, good for sixth place and a $16.9 million cume. Paramount's Iraq War drama "Stop-Loss" tumbled from the top 10 with a 49% slide to $2.3 million, collecting a 10-day gross of $8.2 million.
Industrywide, the session's $95 million in collective boxoffice represented a big 23% decline from the same frame last year, according to Nielsen EDI data. The year-ago frame was an Easter weekend and thus was bolstered by the holiday's generally more robust boxoffice.
But seven of the last eight weekends have been marked by downticks in year-over-year comparisons, and the latest underperforming frame -- hampered a bit by preoccupation with Final Four telecasts -- hardly gets April off to an auspicious start.
The recent weakness has also taken its toll on the year-to-date comparison with 2007: 2008 now trails the same portion of last year by 1%, with $2.2 billion in the industry's boxoffice coffers so far.
Among this weekend's limited openers, Paramount Classics' "Shine a Light", a Rolling Stones documentary directed by Martin Scorsese, unspooled in 276 theaters to gross $1.5 million, or a solid $5,475 per venue. »
Fox's Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! rung up $17.4 million over its third session to grab second place and push 17-day cume to $117.3 million. MGM/Dimension debutante Superhero Movie, a PG-13 superhero spoof, bowed with $9.5 million in third place.
A $4.5 million opening by Paramount's drama Stop-Loss, though good enough for eighth place on the frame, is unlikely to stop red ink from flowing on yet another Iraq War misfire. And Picturehouse's British comedy Run Fat Boy Run, hampered by seriously mixed reviews, failed to break the top 10 with its $2.4 million debut in 1,133 theaters.
Among second-week performances, it appears clear that Lionsgate's urban comedy Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns has failed to cross over into mainstream audiences. Browns dropped a big 61% from its opening to $7.8 million in fourth place with a $32.8 million cume.
Paramount's Owen Wilson starrer Drillbit Taylor tumbled a more modest 44% in its sophomore session, earning $5.8 million in fifth place with a $20.6 million cume. Shutter, the Fox-distributed remake of a Thai horror pic, was off 49% over its second outing with $5.3 million in sixth place and a $19.1 million cume. »
The Superman Returns star drank to calm her nerves before the revealing scene - but admits she overdid it.
She says, "We were both so drunk. Jim and I became such good friends, we decided to have a couple of drinks, loosen up and go for it."
Sturgess adds, "We were on Grey Goose (vodka), I think. It was brilliant for about half an hour. As we continued to drink, it just became sloppy and messy. I couldn't stand up at one point."
In 21, Bosworth and Sturgess play college students who use their brains to break the bank in Las Vegas. »
Don't bet the house on Horton.
It would take an exceptional third-session hold by "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" for Fox's family comedy to three-peat atop the domestic boxoffice. And though none of the four wide openers appears to be a sure shot to topple the animated feature from the top position, Sony's card-counting drama 21 is a strong lead candidate.
"We're certainly in the game to be No. 1 this weekend," Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said, hedging his bets appropriately.
"21" revolves around a group of college math whizzes out to beat the odds in Las Vegas, so its release at the tail end of spring break probably is helpful. About 35% of public school students are free from classes Friday, and 17% still will be on spring break Monday.
Kevin Spacey's role as a professor involved in the gambling scheme will help with older demos. In fact, prerelease tracking is strongest for older males, with younger males close behind and female demos also showing decent interest.
An opening somewhere in the midteen millions seems a safe proposition for "21," but a $20 million-plus opening isn't out of the question. »
What happened in Vegas? Don't ask Kate Bosworth – she can't remember! The 25-year-old actress cannot recall shooting her love scene with Jim Sturgess for 21, she told People at Wednesday's Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Jeans-sponsored screening of the film in Manhattan. "We were both so drunk," the Superman Returns star said. "Jim and I became such good friends, we decided to have a couple of drinks, loosen up and go for it." Surgess – who plays the lead in the shot-on-location casino flick, based on Ben Mezrich's book, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six Mit »
- Jeffrey Slonim and Kate Stroup
South by Southwest
AUSTIN -- Just as veteran gamblers realize that the house always wins, moviegoers know what happens to wide-eyed kids who strike it rich by ignoring the angels on their shoulders. Still, a predictable rise and fall doesn't keep the ride in 21 from being enjoyable. Moviegoers should respond well at the boxoffice to the film's glossy pleasures.
The true -- if sometimes too perfect to believe -- story scripted by Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb centers on Ben Campbell (winningly played by Jim Sturgess), a gentle brainiac whose Harvard Med dreams hinge on a scholarship he's unlikely to get. Ben is a loving son and earnest student who rebuffs repeat invitations to join some MIT colleagues in a scheme to make a fortune counting cards in Vegas.
Only the entreaties of a lovely blonde (Kate Bosworth) change Ben's mind, but once in, he goes whole hog: His supernatural facility with numbers allows him to be the team's cleanup hitter, swaggering up to blackjack tables once scouts have identified which are "hot," then walking away with tens of thousands of dollars. The system may never fully make sense to the viewer, but we accept that the kids know what they're doing, and with the help of a killer pop soundtrack, we enjoy going along for the ride.
Ben's growing ego (he's blowing off nerdy buddies and trusting his apparent infallibility) has him pointed toward a hard fall, but there are external threats to this high-roller lifestyle as well: Lawrence Fishburne, as a casino detective behind the ubiquitous "eye in the sky" surveillance cameras, has a nose for card-counters, and Kevin Spacey, as the prof behind the cheating ring, has zero tolerance for students whose brashness costs him money.
Spacey and Fishburne demonstrate a willingness to take their characters into seriously menacing territory, but director Robert Luketic (known for rom-coms like Legally Blonde) seems not to want to exploit them fully. Spacey never quite plumbs his Glengarry intensity here, and the backstory of Fishburne's last-of-his-breed house dick is explored only enough to justify some plot movement.
The lack of intensity won't matter much to the young audience to which "21" is geared. Escapist moviegoers happy to live out a flashy fantasy get a brief comeuppance and still walk away from the table with a little something in their pockets.
Michael De Luca Prods, Relativity Media, Trigger Street Prods.
Director: Robert Luketic
Screenwriters: Peter Steinfeld, Allan Loeb
Based on the book Bringing Down the House by: Ben Mezrich
Executive producers: William S. Beasley, Ryan Kavanaugh, Brett Ratner
Director of photography: Russell Carpenter
Production designer: Missy Stewart
Music: David Sardy
Costume designer: Luca Mosca
Editor: Elliot Graham
Ben Campbell: Jim Sturgess
Mickey Rosa: Kevin Spacey
Jill Taylor: Kate Bosworth
Cole Williams: Laurence Fishburne
Kianna: Liza Lapira
Choi: Aaron Yoo
Fisher: Jacob Pitts
Running time -- 123 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
Article Templatehttp://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1119669402http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=769341148 var config = new Array();config["videoId"] = 1410389732;config["lineupId"] = null;config["videoRef"] = null;config["playerTag"] = null;config["autoStart"] = false;config["preloadBackColor"] = "#FFFFFF";config["width"] = 286; config["height"] = 277; config["playerId"] = 1119669402; createExperience(config, 8);The cast of Sony's "21," a Las Vegas-set action film slated for release March 28, will receive a special ensemble award at ShoWest 2008, officials said Tuesday.
Cast members including Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey will be feted March 13 at an awards gala set to close the exhibition confab. ShoWest opens March 10 at the Bally's and Paris hotels in Las Vegas.
"Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey have endeared audiences with individual standout roles in a number of previous films, and Jim Sturgess is an actor who is surely about to break through," ShoWest co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser said. "Their unique talents have blended together to produce a dynamic chemistry onscreen."
"21" will premiere March 12 at ShoWest, with an afterparty set for Planet Hollywood.
ShoWest is produced by Nielsen Film Group, a unit of Nielsen Business Media, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter. »
NEW YORK -- Columbia Pictures' fact-based gambling drama "21" starring Kate Bosworth, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne will open the 15th annual South by Southwest Film Conference & Festival.
Robert Luketic's feature, tentatively slated to make its debut at the fest, revolves around a group of students who studied card counting and won a small fortune playing blackjack. It's based on Ben Mezrich's 2002 nonfiction book "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions."
The fest also will unveil two docu world premieres: Steve James and Peter Gilbert's wrongful execution study "At the Death House Door" and "Dreams With Sharp Teeth", Erik Nelson's profile of sci-fi author Harlan Ellison. "Wild Blue Yonder", Celia Maysles' docu portrait of her late documentarian father, David Maysles, will have its North American premiere.
David Schwimmer's Picturehouse comedy "Run, Fatboy, Run" starring Simon Pegg and Michael Radford's period heist film "Flawless" starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore will have their regional premieres at the fest. »
17 items from 2008
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