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DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” distributed by 20th Century Fox, debuted at No. 1 on both national sales charts its first week in stores, displacing Walt Disney Studios’ “Maleficent” as the top-selling disc in the week ending Nov. 16.
“Dragon 2” was a top summer draw at the box office, earning a domestic box office total of $176.9 million to become the top-grossing animated film of the year. During its first week in stores, according to 20th Century Fox, consumers snapped up more than 2 million copies of the film on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and Digital HD.
The film’s home entertainment release also was prefaced with a massive consumer and retail marketing campaign with a heavy emphasis on social media, including a #DragonsDay Twitter viewing party on the Friday night of the Digital HD release. According to 20th Century Fox, “Dragon 2” is the studio’s top Digital HD family title ever, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Update, Tuesday, 4:02 Am Pt: A couple of things have happened in the world of international box office since late Sunday night. We now know that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I will not be bowing in China in the 2014 calendar year, and we have a little more insight into why Korea is like the proverbial black hole for Interstellar (in the good sense). Exerting an incredible gravitational pull, Korea has advanced itself as a massive $35.9M play (so far) for Christopher Nolan’s intergalactic epic. Here’s why: There is a very strong and vocal Nolan fanbase in Korea, which has generated astronomical word of mouth in the market. I’m told there were a few midnight screenings the night before the opening on November 6, and online buzz began building immediately. The not-so-spacey elements have also played very well, with the emotional and family sub-plots broadening appeal. Worth »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Universal Pictures announced on November 17 the official launch of a China office in Beijing to be led by Jo Yan.
The nascent slate is expected to kick off in 2015 with Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and will be followed by Fast & Furious 7 in April, summer releases Jurassic World and Despicable Me 2 spin-off Minions (July) and year-end release Everest.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts (pictured second left), chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Jeff Shell (pictured second right), president of distribution for Universal Pictures International (Upi) Duncan Clark (pictured far left) and Upi’s newly appointed evp and managing director of China Yan (pictured far right) attended an opening ceremony.
“China is the world’s second-largest film market and if the current growth rate continues, it could be »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Signaling a concerted push into China, Universal Pictures and Comcast brass gathered at an opening ceremony for the studio’s new Beijing office today. On hand were representatives from the Chinese film industry as well as Comcast Chairman and CEO, Brian Roberts; Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment, Jeff Shell; President of Distribution for Universal Pictures International, Duncan Clark; and the newly appointed Evp and Managing Director of China for Upi, Jo Yan.
Universal says the establishment of Upi China, which was originally mooted one year ago, is proof of the studio’s commitment to investment in the region. Universal has plans to build a 300-acre theme park in Beijing and is ramping up its local television and consumer products business as well as content production partnerships and acquisitions. Due for release later this week in China is kung-fu action pic Rise Of The Legend which Upi is co-producing with Edko Films and Irresistible Films. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Hong Kong — Universal is to step up movie co-production and consumer products sales in China, as it also expands co-distribution efforts.
The moves were announced by Universal Pictures boss Jeff Shell as the company formally opened a Beijing office.
“We have big ambitions here,” Shell told Variety.
Headed by veteran Disney executive, Joe Yan, who was hired in June, the new office will first take on the role of pitching and submitting the studios movies to the Chinese regulators.
Under a previous arrangement those duties had been served by a partnership with iconic Hong Kong producer-distributor Bill Kong (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Fearless”). While that arrangement has now come to an end, Shell said that Kong remains a good friend of the company and will work with the studio on its local films. Kong attended the opening ceremony on Monday.
The office will attempt to step up its co-marketing and distribution activities in China, »
- Patrick Frater
Three new releases and an extended edition of a recent hit captured the top four spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ending Nov. 9, ending the three-week reign of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” as the country’s top-selling disc.
“X-Men” finished the week at No. 5, ceding the No. 1 spot on both Nielsen VideoScan sales charts to Walt Disney Studios’ newly released “Maleficent,” the live-action powerhouse ($241.3 million box office) that stars Angelina Jolie as the notorious villain from Disney’s 1959 animated classic, “Sleeping Beauty.”
Paramount’s live-action retelling of the “Hercules” legend, with Dwayne Johnson in the title role, debuted at No. 2 on both the First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, and the Blu-ray Disc-only chart.
A third new release, Walt Disney’s animated sequel “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” bowed at No. 3 on both charts, while an extended »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Neil Calloway looks at the superhero movie genre’s dominance of the mainstream, and its impact on adult cinema…
The news that financing on the the film Idol’s Eye, slated to star Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson, had been pulled, just as it was about to go into production surprised me. If a film starring an double Oscar winner like De Niro and a young star like Pattinson can’t attract investors, what films can? Anyone that has an interest in film can’t have helped but notice that Marvel Studios – which only started making films on its own in 2008 – revealed their “phase three” for the next few years, quickly following the announcement from DC comics If these young upstarts can tell us what films they’re going to be making for the foreseeable future, how can a film like Idol’s Eye not secure the money it needs to get made? »
- Oli Davis
When discussing the Minions of the Despicable Me franchise, I’m reminded of how Pinhead described the Cenobites in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: “Demons to some, angels to others.” While Steve Carell’s Gru was the initial selling point of the series, his Rabbids-like henchmen quickly became the stars, despite the polarising effect of annoying the hell out of many a viewer of either film. (Your mileage may vary.)
Money speaks, and so it is that we have a teaser trailer for the Minions spin-off, a film put into production before massive hit Despicable Me 2 was even released. Though their appearances are not included in this footage, the film will feature the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, and Hiroyuki Sanada as Sumo Villain. Considering it originated on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2, kudos to the makers of the below trailer for not »
- Josh Slater-Williams
After helping Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 make all the money, the Minions got their own movie. As the trailer shows, Minions tells the little yellow creatures' history of accidentally murdering the greatest villains of all time. The main plot focuses on New York City in the late '60s, where three minions are looking for their next villain to "help." Maybe it's Don Draper! Actually, Donny Drapes himself is in the movie, as Jon Hamm voices Herb Overkill, the husband to Scarlett Overkill, the super-cool villain du jour (Sandra Bullock). The film hits theaters July 10 next year. You probably should start preparing now for how annoying your kids are going to be, talking all Minion-y. You're going to pray to hear "Let It Go" again. »
- Jesse David Fox
Last summer, Despicable Me 2 managed to make a name for itself by becoming the highest grossing animated film of 2014. Despite the fact that Frozen wound up taking that crown away during its record breaking theatrical run, the latest entry in the series that gave us the Minions managed to make it a very good summer for those who enjoy the hijinks of diminutive yellow beings of lower intelligence. Which is a good thing, because if that weren't the case, then this trailer for the Minions spinoff would have fallen upon deaf ears, instead of deafening laughter. Undoubtedly prepared to be attached to this weekend's Big Hero 6, Illumination Entertainment released the first teaser trailer to set up the Gru-less spin off that puts three Minions . Stuart, Kevin, and Bob . at the center of the prequel's plot. What the trailer promises is a journey of discovery for our little friends, »
Universal has released a slapstick-filled first trailer for Illumination’s “Minions” movie, eight months before its July 10 opening.
The spinoff of the two “Despicable Me” films stars minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob in search of a new master. They wind up in New York in 1968 after serving an Egyptian pharaoh, Dracula, Napoleon and a dinosaur.
“Finding a master was easy,” the voiceover notes. “Keeping a master was tricky.”
“Despicable Me 2″ earned $841 million worldwide last year.
“Minions” will feature the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney and Steve Coogan. Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy are producing with Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda directing from a Brian Lynch script.
- Dave McNary
Universal's "Despicable Me" franchise did very well ($543 million worldwide). Its sequel, "Despicable Me 2," did gangbusters numbers, just $30 million shy of hitting the vaunted $1 billion mark, making for the third highest grossing animated film of all time behind “Frozen” and “Toy Story 3.” What’s a studio to do? Milk that cow as much as you can. And while “Despicable Me 3,” doesn’t arrive in theaters until June 30, 2017, that’s ok, that’s what spin-off films are for. “Minions” is arriving next summer. The first trailer for the film has arrived and it's more of the same, but for Universal, shit ain’t broke so they’re not going to mess with the formula too much. Here’s the official synopsis The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. »
- Edward Davis
To celebrate the release of his new family film, Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which is in cinemas now, we take a look at the rise and rise of Steve Carell.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004 and 2013)
One of Carell’s first leading roles was starring alongside Will Ferrell in the 1970s set cult hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Carell played curiously dim witted weatherman Brick Tamland alongside Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy, and the film went on to gross $90.6 million worldwide. Following its success and cult following, a sequel entitled Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and starring Carell was released in 2013.
The Office (2005-2013)
Following a five year »
- Paul Heath
World Soundtrack Awards also honour Pharell Williams’ Happy from Despicable Me 2.
Alexandre Desplat has been named Best Film Composer at the 14th World Soundtrack Awards, held last night in Ghent. He also won best original film score of the year for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The Lifetime Achievement Award winner was Francis Lai.
World Soundtrack Awards 2014
Film Composer of the Year: Alexandre Desplat
Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film: »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Create Advertising Group has promoted two of its veteran executives. Carrie Gormley has been upped to President of Theatrical Advertising, and Jonathan Gitlin is the new President of Television and Gaming. The company, which specializes in film, TV, gaming and branding clients, has created campaigns for such recent hit features as The Lego Movie, Despicable Me 2, Skyfall, Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and TV hits including Modern Family, Sons Of Anarchy, Orange Is The New Black and The Americans. Both execs will report to company co-founder David Stern, who serves as CEO and Managing Partner. “As Create Advertising continues to grow and expand, I couldn’t be more proud to have two of the most creative and innovative leaders as partners helping guide the future of our firm,” said Stern. “Jonathan and Carrie represent the best of Create. They are both longtime members of our »
- The Deadline Team
Carrie Gormley and Jonathan Gitlin have received promotions at Create Advertising Group, as the entertainment marketing agency expands into new areas.
Gormley now serves as president of theatrical advertising, while Gitlin is president of television and gaming.
The two report to Create co-founder and CEO David Stern, as they focus on expanding the company’s portfolio of services and international recognition, while also leading the business, strategy and creative direction of the 100 member firm. This year, it’s received kudos for its work on “Lucy,” “Fargo” and “Orange is the New Black.”
The agency was the first Hollywood agency to open an office in the U.K., for example, and has gained notoriety for its mult-cultural campaigns, especially when it comes to the Hispanic market.
- Marc Graser
Box office sales in Q3 were weaker than most in the industry had expected. But the average outlay for tickets was up, according to data just out from the National Association of Theater Owners, because theaters had more premium priced 3-D and large format (including IMAX) releases than they did in the same period in 2013. This year’s roster included Guardians Of The Galaxy, Planet Of the Apes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Maze Runner, and Lucy – an adult skewing film, where ticket prices typically are higher than they are for kids films. By contrast, two of the top grossing 3-D films in last year’s Q3 targeted kids: Despicable Me 2 and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.
The $8.08 average in Q3 compares with $7.84 in the period last year, and $8.33 in the three months ending in June. Ticket prices typically fall from Q2 to Q3.
- David Lieberman
It’s strictly for kids, this very silly, mostly sweet tale of middle-school angst, with a few nonconformist hand grenades tossed in for good measure. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This is where we are with kids’ movies, in a place where a flick that isn’t nonstop kicks to the crotch and “jokes” about poop seems like a revelation, and hence something to celebrate. If that’s the sitch, fine. I hate that we’ve lowered the bar so far, but we have, and this is where we are. And despite my current abject pessimism about Hollywood, I still love movies — or the idea of movies, anyway — and still feel that kids should be exposed to them and will hopefully come to love them, too.
- MaryAnn Johanson
Frozen is the UK's biggest selling DVD and Blu-ray of 2014 so far.
The record-breaking Disney animation has shifted 2.44 million copies since it was released in March, according to figures released by OfficialCharts.com.
It also holds the title for the fastest selling release of the year, after selling 900,000 copies in its first week alone.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second biggest seller of the year so far. The second instalment of the Jrr Tolkien trilogy has sold 1.9 million copies since April.
Meanwhile, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has sold 934,000 copies since March to make third place.
Pharrell Williams is no stranger to animation; "Happy," his biggest solo hit, was from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack. Now the super producer-turned-"Voice" coach has taken his fondness for animation and video games a step further in the new video for "It Girl." Gwen Stefani should love it. The psychedelic clip mashes up "Sailor Moon"-like anime with 8-bit Nintendo-style gameplay and surreal, painterly animation. Williams pops up in different forms throughout -- usually sporting a variation of his trademark hat -- to interact with jailbait bikini girls. He even selects different outfits for his wide-eyed anime friends to wear, before buying them a spaceship thing to blow up other things. It's good old-fashioned, creepy fun. Or maybe it's just creepy. You be the judge. Watch it below: "It Girl" is on Williams' solo debut "Girl," and the video premiered on "Today" earlier this morning. »
- Dave Lewis
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