The Boston Marathon bombing drama has found a director and a studio, but it’s lost its star. Variety reports that 20th Century Fox has acquired Boston Strong, which is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa in talks to take the helm. Casey Affleck was previously attached to star when it was looking for a studio home, but his deal eventually fell apart. The Fighter scribes Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy penned the script, which follows the massive manhunt for the two men responsible for the tragic Boston bombing in 2013. More after the jump. News of these developments for Boston Strong comes via Variety, which adds that EOne Television was originally developing the project as a miniseries before those plans fell apart. No reason is given for Affleck’s departure, but he was certainly a draw to the film. »
- Adam Chitwood
20th Century Fox has scooped up the screenplay for the Boston Marathon drama Boston Strong, THR has confirmed. Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa is circling the film, which chronicles the aftermath of the 2013 attack that left three dead and scores wounded. The project, which was shopped to studios over the past few weeks, is based on Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge’s book of the same name, which was adapted on spec by The Fighter writers Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy. Boston native Casey Affleck, who graduated from the same high school as the two men alleged to have carried out
- Tatiana Siegel
“Boston Strong” follows the massive manhunt to apprehend the two men believed to be responsible for the bombings, as well as examining the city’s reaction following the events.
Casey Affleck had originally been attached to star in (as well as produce) the real-life drama, but his deal eventually fell apart, according to insiders.
EOne Television had also been attached to the project last April on to develop it as a miniseries, but those plans fell apart earlier this summer. »
- Justin Kroll
We've been hearing about a big screen adaptation of the "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" video game for years, mostly when David O Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) was attached. Then it became clear that he has never played the game and the helmer eventually dropped out. Then Neil Burger (Limitless) stepped in to replace Russell, and soon after Burger was replaced by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), who is still on board. And now comes word that the project is becoming more of a priority for Sony, which just hired Oscar-winning writer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) to polish the script originally written by David Guggenheim (Safe House). The studio still needs to finds its leading man before the film can move forward. Mark Wahlberg was briefly attached, but has since moved on. More recently, Sony made an offer to Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), but he passed. »
Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) has been brought on to do a "three-week production polish" on the screenplay for the video game adaptation of Uncharted which will be directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) following the previous draft written by David Guggenheim (Safe House). Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) recently passed on an offer to play the film's lead, an Indiana Jones type named Nate Drake, a descendent of explorer Sir Francis Drake, who believes he has learned the whereabouts of the fabled golden South American city El Dorado from a cursed statue. The film is currently slated for a June 10, 2016 release. THR Jack O'Connell (Unbroken, Starred Up) and Julia Roberts are in talks to join George Clooney in director Jodie Foster's financial thriller Money Monster in which Clooney stars as Lee Gates, a bombastic financial TV personality who offers up stock advice on his »
- Brad Brevet
Celine Sciamma’s “Girlhood,” above, which opened Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in May, won the top prize, the Bronze Horse, at the Stockholm Film Festival Nov. 14. Strong American contenders, such as “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler,” went away empty-handed at the award ceremony.
Sciamma’s suburban drama, which is being sold by Films Distribution, was awarded for “its energetic storytelling” and for filling “a gap in the stories that get told about Paris,” according to the jury’s remarks. The jury, led by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (”Safe House”) also included helmer Debra Granik, Swedish producer Erica Wasserman and Johannes Bah Kuhnke, star of Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure.”
“Girlhood” d.p. Crystel Fournier also nabbed the prize for best cinematography, shared with her camerawork for “These Are the Rules,” the Croatian drama that also took acting prizes for stars Emir Hadzihafizbegovic and Jasna Zalica, who play a couple who loses their teenage son. »
- Jon Asp
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt has officially passed on the video game adaption Uncharted for Sony. But not all is lost, as the studio moves forward on the project by hiring Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal, the driving force behind Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker.
Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief director Seth Gordon is taking on this big screen adventure based on the popular franchise Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. David Guggenheim (Stolen; Safe House; the upcoming Narco Sub and Bad Boys 3) wrote the most recent draft, with Mark Boal being set up to finish the job. He will do a three week polish.
While Uncharted might seem like an odd fit for the more reality based writer, Mark Boal is a self-proclaimed fan of the video game. And he will help continue to see the studio's vision of Uncharted as a swashbuckling Indiana Jones type adventure.
Uncharted, Sony’s long-gestating adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, is getting a shot in the arm. Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) has been brought on to work on the film's screenplay, which will be directed by Seth Gordon. David Guggenheim (Safe House) wrote the most recent version of Uncharted that got the studio excited and brought it to the finish line. Boal has come on board to do a three-week production polish. The action project might seem an odd choice for the journalist-turned-filmmaker, who is known for hard-hitting news-oriented
- Tatiana Siegel
Blu-ray Release Date: Dec. 9, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Father James (Gleeson) is a good priest who feels sinister forces closing in after being threatened by a mysterious parishioner. As he continues to comfort the troubled members of his community, including his own fragile daughter (Kelly Reilly, Flight), Father James begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary.
Also starring Chris O’Dowd (Frankie Go Boom), Aiden Gillen (TV’s Game of Thrones) and M Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner), the R-rated British film was well-liked by the critics, earning an impressive 7.6/10 rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 143 reviews. It rang up a not-bad $3.6 million at the domestic box office during its limited release to theaters in August, »
Composer Ramin Djawadi (Pacific Rim) has signed on to provide the score for director Duncan Jones' video game adaptation Warcraft, which is currently in post-production after wrapping principal photography in July.
Warcraft is based on the massively popular video game of the same name, where players control characters in a long-standing war between the Horde and the Alliance in a mystical realm full of various creatures. We reported in May that the project will undergo nearly two years of post-production work, before it is released in March 2016. Producer Thomas Tull revealed that the video game adaptation will employ "next generation" technology to bring this fantasy world to life. The first footage was shown at Comic-Con this summer, but it's unclear when the general public may get to see what this massive movie looks like.
Annabelle edged out Gone Girl this weekend internationally, pulling in $28.1M compared to $26.89M that the Ben Affleck thriller scooped up. Annabelle is now tracking 6% ahead of The Conjuring at the same point in its run. The Conjuring went onto to gross $180.6M overseas for a worldwide total of $318M when it bowed last year. For market by market breakouts, see below. Also added are finals for The Judge, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hercules and Relatos Salvajes.
Final Update, Monday, 12:18 Pt: Final numbers are in for many films, but we’re still awaiting Warner Bros. to weigh in before we know who won the weekend wrestling match between its horror film Annabelle and Fox’s Gone Girl (which has held the No. 1 one for two weekends in a row stateside). Fox has reported a little under $27M »
- Nancy Tartaglione
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 was a good run, Liam Neeson. The 62-year-old who was Oskar Schindler and Alfred Kinsey spent the last seven years kicking the crap out of much younger bad guys in bone-crushing B-movies, best epitomized by the Taken films. But as of this past weekend, there's a new sheriff in town. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, one of the biggest movie stars of the past 25 years, and almost always, the coolest guy in the room, delivered his 12th No. 1 film, The Equalizer. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), The Equalizer is a Neeson-ized adaptation of the 1980s CBS detective drama series that starred Edward Woodward. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Next year’s full to bursting with potentially brilliant geek films, so to help, here’s our pick of 25 must-see movies out in 2015…
Compiling a list of next year's most exciting films is extremely difficult. What do you put in? What do you leave out? Those are some of the questions we've had to ask ourselves as we drew up the long-list of our most anticipated films of 2015. In an attempt to limit the number of sequels which can fill up a list such as this, we've left out something like Fast & Furious 7, even though we're fairly sure it'll be a lot of fun. With but two significant exceptions, we've excluded some of the films we were looking forward to this year that have been delayed until the next, such as Kingsman: The Secret Service and Frankenstein.
What we're left with, we hope, is a fairly broad selection of action and comedy, »
The Equalizer, 2014.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her.
There’s a scene towards the end of The Equalizer where the stakes should be at their highest. The bad guy is about to kill an innocent man and, right on cue, in walks our hero, Denzel Washington. Water pours down from the sprinkler system overhead, he has a nail gun raised and poised to pull the trigger. The entire scene takes place in slow motion, the thunderous and obnoxious score blasts out, and I believe »
- Gary Collinson
Final Update, 3:30 Pm: Final grosses have been updated for the following films: The Equalizer, The Maze Runner, The Boxtrolls, Annabelle, Lucy, Hercules, Into the Storm, Let’s Be Cops, The Drop, If I Stay, The Dwarf, Boyhood, Get On Up, Sex Tape, horror films The Purge: Anarchy and As Above/So Below, 22 Jump Street, El Nino, Relatos Salvajes, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, and the big U.S. tentpoles Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also added are the thriller about hacking
2Nd Update, 6:37 Pm Pt: Despite the arrival of The Equalizer on 4,994 international screens, for a total take of $19M (including Village Roadshow markets), and the continued effort of The Maze Runner, this was a reasonably quiet overseas weekend whose initial estimates for the Top 10 studio releases are down about 15% on last frame. Those numbers don »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Sony had its sights set on The Equalizer 2 long before Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua.s hard-hitting justice thriller opened to a robust $34.1 million . Washington.s best opening since 2012.s Safe House notched $40.1 million. Those who saw The Equalizer in theaters know that a franchise officially is launched with this initial movie. But where do we stand as far as the immediate future for The Equalizer 2? During an exclusive conversation with Antoine Fuqua regarding his latest movie, we got around to talking about plans he might have for the follow up. He told me: We have talked about it a lot. Myself, the studio and Denzel. Everybody wants to. We.re all adults, we know. Let the audience decide, and we.ll roll with the results. If all goes well, I.ll definitely be back. I would love to do it again. I think there is a lot of room, »
Update, Monday, 1:44 Pm: The Equalizer came in beneath Sony’s estimates, bringing in $34.1 million for the three-day weekend, easily running over the other newcomer, the animated The Boxtrolls. However, the Denzel Washington film is likely to get side-swiped next weekend by the David Fincher-directed mystery thriller Gone Girl, which is already tracking well for an expected big weekend haul for Fox. Based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn, the Ben Affleck-starrer may end up cannibalizing the audience away from Denzel. Gone Girl opens in 50 markets around the world next weekend, too, giving it the first wide international rollout of the fall.
Meanwhile, Focus Features’ The Boxtrolls ended up with a $17.2M take as the first animated fare since June to grace theaters. It gets another weekend before Disney drops Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on October 10. Heck of a title and »
- Anita Busch and Scott Bowles
The Sony-Columbia Pictures release dominated the weekend box office, surpassing some expectations for the film. Washington plays a former commando living a quiet life in Boston when the disappearance of a prostitute acquaintance (Chloe Grace Moretz) lures him into a battle with the Russian mafia.
The strong opening marks the third-best debut in Washington's career, trailing only 2012's Safe House ($40.1 million) and 2007's American Gangster ($43.6 million). Washington, who will turn 60 in December, has been one of Hollywood's most reliable draws without the benefit of anything like a superhero franchise.
"He's the very model of box-office consistency," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "I can't think of another star that's this consistent, that remains this rock solid over the course of three decades."
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Why was anyone surprised that "The Equalizer" was a solid hit, opening at an estimated $35.0 million?
Tracking suggested that the Denzel Washington movie would open only in the high 20s; after all, it's a movie based on a second-tier 1980s TV action drama that no one under 50 remembers fondly, and it's competing in the marketplace with Liam Neeson's similar "A Walk Among the Tombstones."
Nonetheless, "The Equalizer" pulled off the fourth largest September opening ever and marked the 12th straight $20-million-plus opening for a Washington wide-release movie, a track record stretching back a decade.
Clearly, Washington remains, at 59, one of Hollywood's most reliable box office draws. (And like fellow Aarp-aged action hero Neeson, Washington shows no sign of slowing down.)
What is he doing right? What does he have that others don't? Here are a few things.
Consistency. The world-weary, vengeful man-of-action role that Washington plays in "Equalizer" may »
- Gary Susman
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