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A preliminary investigation was in fact launched months ago following a lawsuit filed by one of EuropaCorp’s minority shareholders and is now being unveiled by the French media outlet.
This preliminary investigation stems from the allegedly excessive valuation of Blue Event (at 6 million Euros) — privately held at 95% by Besson and EuropaCorp’s CEO Christophe Lambert. Indeed, Frontline transferred the lease of La Cite du Cinema studios to the recently-created Blue Event in 2012 (which generated 3.9 million Euros during the 2012-2013 fiscal year). It acquired Blue Event shortly after in 2013.
EuropaCorp said in a statement »
- Elsa Keslassy
After being fined 200,000 Euros ($250,456) by the French Financial Market Authority (Amf) for reportedly misleading investors in 2009 and 2010, EuropaCorp is now being probed for “abuse of power” and “misuse of corporate assets” in business deals.
Two preliminary investigations have been launched following a lawsuit filed by EuropaCorp’s minority shareholders, who own 38% of the shingle (Besson owns the remaining 62%).
This probe stems from the allegedly excessive valuation of Blue Event (at 6 million Euros) — privately held at 95% by Besson and EuropaCorp’s CEO Christophe Lambert. Indeed, EuropaCorp transferred the rights for the use of the Cite du Cinema studios to Blue Event in 2012 and shortly after, in 2013, it acquired Blue Event.
EuropaCorp said in a statement that the shingle’s representatives had already been »
- Elsa Keslassy
From Russia with Schlock: Martinez’s Derivative Revenge Flick
While there’s certainly a modicum of perverse interest to be satisfied in witnessing the rotund Gerard Depardieu as an ex-con exacting vengeance on a gang of Russian hoods in the type of watered down B-action flick that’s about as originally conceived as the already derivative Liam Neeson franchise Taken (or Pierce Brosnan’s The November Man), Philip Martinez’s Viktor is neither of significant quality nor campy enough to justify its bizarre existence. Depardieu’s well-publicized tax inclined emigration from France to Russia may explain some of how this nonsense came into existence, but Martinez’s workmanlike march through a series of unenthusiastic events makes it seem as if everything was filmed in one, hurried take.
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by Gérard Pirès.
A former pizza delivery man begins a new career as a taxi driver and gets embroiled in a police war against German bank robbers by helping a police officer who cannot drive.
Making its Blu-ray debut thanks to Second Sight Films, Taxi is a 1998 car chase thriller written by Luc Besson (The Transporter/Taken) and featuring some spectacular motor action filmed on the streets of Marseille. In it, Samy Naceri plays Daniel Morales, a celebrated pizza delivery moped rider who holds the company records for delivery times and knows how to handle a vehicle. Daniel quits his job at Pizza Joe’s and becomes a taxi driver, his souped-up Peugeot, cheeky banter and heavy gas pedal foot making his new venture a success.
In the meantime, underperforming cop Émilien Coutant-Kerbalec (Frédéric Diefenthal »
- Gary Collinson
Most big-budget action movies these days are just cartoons directed by bad animators. Somewhere between The Matrix and The Bourne Identity, the whole genre lost its brawl. You've seen one superhero defend his city from an airship armada, you've seen every superhero defend his city from an airship armada. Then there's John Wick. Simple story, not-so-simple thrills. The story: Someone kills an assassin's dog, and the assassin (Keanu Reeves) wants vengeance. The thrills: The movie constructs action scenes with patience and delicacy, filming in steady shots that track the careful choreography of Reeves' punch-shoot rampages. John Wick was directed by a stuntman, »
- Darren Franich
Soon after David arrives at the doorstep of the Peterson’s home, claiming to be a fellow solider and friend of their son who was killed while serving overseas, they benefit from his presence. But David is connected to a secretive past that could come knocking with plenty of firepower. All is not as it seems in Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s The Guest, coming out on home media this winter from Universal.
The Guest will come out in a Blu-ray combo pack complete with both a DVD and Digital HD copy on January 6th. We have a look at the cover art below, as well as the official press release with full details:
“Universal City, California – A mysterious stranger befriends a grieving family, but his hidden past soon puts them all in danger in the edgy, suspense film The Guest, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with DVD and »
- Derek Anderson
Directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, John Wick begins with the death of John’s dog, one of the last things left that remind him of his late wife. When John finds out that his dog was killed by a group of thugs – ones connected to his former employer – he decides to come out of retirement to exact revenge. The flick also stars Ian McShane, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willen Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Bridget Moynahan.
'John Wicks' Reviewed
Across the board, critics have praised John Wick as a refreshing take on the assassin and revenge subgenres among action films. It’s stylish, short on filler dialogue and builds up slowly to unleash the chaos. For Reeves, John Wick is said to provide a return to form. »
In real life and in photographs, Liam Neeson is a very handsome man. And yet, for some reason, when it comes time for Neeson's films to place his comely mug on their posters, they never choose a simple photo. Instead, they almost always go with a bizarre Photoshop painting of Neeson's face that makes him look like a cross between Frankenstein's monster and a potato. Check out some of the worst offenders below. (Some of these are international posters.) A Walk Among the TombstonesThis is the work of a police sketch artist who has only seen one Liam Neeson film (Darkman, 20 years ago). TakenFor this poster, the artist has decided to depict Neeson as Vincent Price. UnknownWelcome to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, which is apparently lit like the inside of a high-school boiler room. Taken 2Once again, an impossible dark shadow appears above Neeson's brow. What is he trying to hide? »
- Nate Jones
The deal caps a year that’s seen EuropaCorp generate a solid hit with Scarlett Johansson’s “Lucy” through Universal with $415 million worldwide, along with launching a joint distribution venture for the U.S. with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media.
“The facility will be used mainly to finance EuropaCorp’s slate of English language movies, as well as to fund marketing and distribution costs related to these new productions that will be distributed in the U.S through the joint venture Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution.”
The new lines of credit include a $400 million senior line of credit, a $150 million accordion and a $50 million second lien credit facility.
J.P.Morgan acted as the »
- Dave McNary
3rd Update, 2:45 Pm (Pt): Finals are in for Guardians Of The Galaxy, the No. 1 Bollywood movie this year stateside Bang Bang, director David Fincher’s thriller Gone Girl (which passed $100M stateside), the Denzel Washington action/drama The Equalizer, the animated The Boxtrolls, the Ya hit The Maze Runner, Luc Besson’s Lucy, Universal’s Dracula Untold, Fox’s sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Ice Age: The Meltdown In 3-D which debuted in China this weekend to $3.2M on 2,800 plays, and also its buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops. In addition, Warner Bros.’ just reported for its horror film Annabelle and the courtroom drama starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall The Judge, and lest we forget Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which debuted strong in the UK this weekend) and Hercules which are still playing in 17 markets. Final tallies for stateside newcomers Fox »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Before I Go to Sleep casts Kidman as a 40-year-old woman who wakes up every day with a blank memory. Firth is her husband who tells her they.ve been married for 14 years and Mark Strong is her neuro-psychologist who encourages her to keep a daily video diary so she can help rebuild her life.
The thriller directed by Rowan Joffe, adapted from S. J. Watson.s best-selling novel, may not have sent audiences to sleep but relatively few bothered to turn up as the film fetched $418,000 on a very wide 194 screens.
Nationwide takings dropped by 16% to $9.7 million as none of the other newcomers much enthused cinemagoers, according to Rentrak.s weekend estimates. Distributors say the market is soft and especially shallow below the top three titles. »
- Don Groves
You can’t win ‘em all. Sometimes the challenge with a film festival, as opposed to say a music festival, is that not everything you see will be good. Sometimes you may decide it just wasn’t for you, and sometimes you wonder why they even decided to choose that film in the first place.
The Young Kieslowski was this year’s dud. It broke the rule I held that there are no romantic leads named “Brian”, and if there are fictional Brians they end up writing term papers while everyone else gets paired off with Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheady. And yet it doesn’t help that Brian Kieslowski is remarkably repellent.
Hardly an edgy sex comedy on par with any college-aged romp you can imagine from the last 10 years, and trying desperately to be a mix of Ferris Bueller, Juno and maybe a dash of 500 Days of Summer, »
- Brian Welk
Clive Barker fans are still drooling down their chins at Scream Factory’s recently released Director’s Cut of Nightbreed (and with good reason, it’s amazing), and today’s announcement from the Sf folks regarding their upcoming Collector’s Edition Bluray of Lord Of Illusions is one more reason to let the Barker flag fly high. It’s so awesome to be a horror fan these days, as so many of our favorite cult films are getting the special treatment, it’s kind of awesome to be honest.
Hitting shelves and websites on December 16th, the release has quite a few awesome special features and some incredible new artwork to go along with it. Check out the full details below!
“In the world where magic is real, death is the ultimate illusion. From best-selling author and celebrated director Clive Barker comes a supernatural thriller that rips apart the boundaries between sanity and madness, »
- Jerry Smith
There’s been a lot of talk about the Nightbreed Blu-ray release, but fans of Clive Barker also have a Lord of Illusions Blu-ray to look forward to in December. Scream Factory officially announced the upcoming Collector’s Edition and we also have a look at the cover art:
“In the world where magic is real, death is the ultimate illusion. From best-selling author and celebrated director Clive Barker comes a supernatural thriller that rips apart the boundaries between sanity and madness, and between the art of illusion and the terrifying forces of magic. Written and directed by Clive Barker (Nightbreed) and based on his popular short story, The Last Illusion (from Books of Blood Vol. 6), the 1995 cult film classic Lord Of Illusions stars Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap), Kevin J. O’Connor (The Mummy), Famke Janssen (X-Men, Taken, Hemlock Grove) and Daniel Von Bargen (Crimson Tide, The Faculty).
On December »
- Jonathan James
Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (Dar), a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film (see the TV version here). Provided by ListenFirst Media, Dar measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind Dar, scroll to the bottom of the article.
Digital Audience Ratings (Dar) Weekly Top 5 Wednesday Oct 1, 2014 – Tuesday Oct 7, 2014 Rank Last Week Film Rating(000) 1 – Taken 3 7,282 2 – Interstellar 5,229 3 5 Annabelle 4,556 4 1 Dracula Untold 4,202 5 – Exodus: Gods and Kings 3,174 -
Key First time on the chart Pinnacle Rank -
- Jason Klein
3Rd Update, Monday, 3:25Pm Pt: The majors — Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. — have updated their weekend estimates which are now reflected throughout the story. Some dips from what was originally reported yesterday among Sony and Paramount’s titles, but nothing too earth-shattering. While Gone Girl barely notched No. 1 with roughly $400K more than Annabelle stateside, $37.5M to $37.1M respectively; their spread at the overseas B.O. is wider in their weekend takes with the David Fincher film grabbing $24.5M and The Conjuring spinoff taking $20.7M for the weekend. However, Annabelle has a leg up on Gone Girl since it opened in Russia last weekend, hence the horror film’s total cume is $23.6M, $887K short of Gone Girl’s foreign take. Next weekend, the spooky doll film and the missing chick pic will pull each other’s hair in France and Spain where they bow against each other. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
It seems like every week, one of the cast members of "Game of Thrones" books a role on the big screen. That's likely because there are so many characters in the HBO series that the cast is rather sizable, but it's also a testament to just how that show has made many of those actors in demand. The latest star of the fantasy series heading to the big screen is Richard Madden, the deceased former King of the North Rob Stark, as Variety reports he will join Idris Elba in the developing action thriller Bastille Day. The film has been in the works for a couple years and previously had Taken helmer Pierre Morel attached to direct back in 2012, but now it's James Watkins (The Woman in Black, Eden Lake) at the helm instead. Read on! With a script from rising writer Andrew Baldwin, the story follows a rogue U. »
- Ethan Anderton
To celebrate the release of one of the most outrageous comedies of the year A Million Ways to Die in the West on Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 6th, we’re giving five lucky winners the chance to get their hands on a copy of the DVD!
Don your cowboy hat, grab the nearest sheep and join Seth MacFarlane (Ted, Family Guy), Liam Neeson (Non Stop, Taken), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman, Hancock) in this Wild West comedy like no other. From co-writer, director and producer Seth MacFarlane, the guy who brought you Ted, don’t miss out on the most unique comedy of the year when A Million Ways to Die in the West is released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on 6th October 2014, available to pre-order now.
©2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved
Order A Million Ways to Die in the West via Amazon. »
- Gary Collinson
You won't believe how much some stars make, even when they're monkeys.
We all knew celebs make big bucks for appearing in films, on TV, in commercials, in video games, and for just showing up at night clubs. But according to this recent comprehensive examination of Hollywood salaries by THR, some stars make way more than we ever realized, while others make significantly less.
Here are 12 of the most surprising things we learned from the report…
The Iron Man series is one of the most successful film franchises ever, so it shouldn't come as a shock that he would get good money. But $75 million is a lot, no matter who you are. How did he make that much? Part of his deal included getting 7% of the film's total gross.
Leo Made Way More Than Jonah On 'Wolf Of Wall Street'
While they both got Oscar nominations »
It’s been a while since the action thriller Bastille Day pinged our news radar. The last we heard (nearly a year ago), Idris Elba was attached to star. He’ll have some company, in the shape of Richard Madden.The thriller follows a rogue CIA operative assigned to interrogate a young American con artist and then make him disappear to as to avoid red faces in the government when the man is accused as the prime suspect in an attack on the Paris Metro.But to the operative’s surprise – and after a few more terrorist incidents – it turns out that the man is innocent and may be the only way to track the actual person responsible for the bombings. But can he keep him alive long enough to find the real threat?While Taken’s Pierre Morel was attached earlier in the film’s development, The Woman In Black »
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