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With a strong marketing effort*and a boost from 3D ticket pricing*Gravity blasted off to a fantastic $55.8 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Runner Runner couldn't find its footing, and overall business wound up down 13 percent from the same weekend last year.At 3,575 locations, Gravity's $55.8 million debut is a new opening weekend record for the month of October ahead of 2011's Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million). It's also the highest start ever for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney ahead of The Heat and Batman and Robin, respectively. Recognizing that Gravity had huge commercial potential, Warner Bros. rolled out a blockbuster-level marketing effort in the past month. Advertisements played up the movie's unique setting and stunning visuals, and also positioned it as a thrilling, action-packed adventure. Leading up to the release, Warner Bros. started emphasizing the movie's critical reception, which was nothing short of fantastic (it currently has a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Also, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With an aggressive marketing campaign and stellar reviews, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity is poised to easily take first place this weekend. The real question at this point is how high it can go, though it's hard to imagine an original Fall release debuting above $40 million or so. Runner Runner also opens this weekend, though it's unlikely that the Justin Timberlake/Ben Affleck thriller puts much of a dent in Gravity's grosses.Opening at 3,575 locations, Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts who are stranded in orbit after their shuttle is destroyed. Advertisements for the movie put the astronauts in all kinds of precarious situations, which has nicely showcased the movie's stunning visuals and intense, high-stakes thrills. As of late, commercials have also emphasized the movie's reviews, which are nothing short of fantastic (it currently has a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes). If there's any complaint to be made about the marketing, »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
It seems Lionsgate and Pantelion have finally found the instructions for how to target widespread Hispanic auds. Pantelion’s “Instructions Not Included” is the rare film that started with a medium-sized opening and continues to add theaters and increase B.O. in its fourth week.
The $34.3 million domestic grosser is shaping up as a record-breaker in several ways: It’s about to overtake Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” as the highest-grossing Spanish language film ever in the U.S. It’s also the top limited release (under 1,000 screens) of the year, and this last weekend became the biggest Mexican film opening weekend ever in Mexico, with $11.6 million.
Having expanded to 978 theaters from 348 screens in the past few weeks, “Instructions Not Included” has played well in major markets like Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Dallas, with the highest-grossing theaters in California and Texas.
But why has this film »
- Andrew Stewart
Exclusive: Todd Hoffman, who at ICM Partners built a strong business repping writers as well as intellectual property storehouses like The New York Times, 60 Minutes and New York magazine, has launched the management/production company Storied Media Group. Hoffman, who left ICM over the summer after a long run there, brings with him a stable of writer clients that include Emmy-winning Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, Nebraska co-writer Bob Nelson, Moneyball‘s Stan Chervin, playwright-writer-director Stephen Belber (Management), Girl In Progress scribe Hiram Martinez and Ad Jeffrey Lynch. He also brings with him the above-mentioned publications as well as 60 Minutes Sports, Public Radio International, The McClatchy Company and Say Media. The idea behind the latter is to make outlets like Nyt, 60 Minutes and New York magazine’s partners in option deals that are made for content originated by the publications. I’ve always found Hoffman to be one of the smarter guys in this niche. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Mexico City — English speakers need subtitles to understand the movie and probably Google to know where they've seen the star, if at all.
But a movie featuring a Mexican actor whose shows have been a TV staple in Mexico for years has taken Hollywood by surprise.
The movie "Instructions Not Included," with Eugenio Derbez as actor, director and one of the writers, turned in the biggest Spanish-language opening ever over the Labor Day holiday weekend in the U.S., according to studio estimates Monday.
It took in $10 million and ranked fifth at the box office, competing with blockbusters such as "The Butler" and Disney animation "Planes" that were shown in 10 times more theaters.
"Latinos are becoming more and more the population. In a way, you can count on them to be an anchor audience," said Charles Ramirez Berg, media studies professor at the University of Texas and author of "Latino Images in Film. »
Few (if any) box office analysts accurately predicted this weekend's top five movies, since one of them was a film few pundits had ever heard of: a Mexican dramedy called "Instructions Not Included," starring Mexican comic actor Eugenio Derbez. It opened on just 347 screens, but by Sunday, it had earned an estimated $7.5 million, good for fifth place. (It was projected to earn $9.3 million by the end of the Labor Day four-day weekend.) It averaged a robust $21,614 per theater, more than any other film this weekend, and more than three times as much as any of the wide-release films currently in multiplexes.
How did a film not on any pundit's radar become such an instant box office hit? The answers suggest that there's a large, untapped, Spanish-speaking movie audience in America, hidden from view by an industry blind spot. Here are some of the factors behind the success of "Instructions": »
- Gary Susman
Over a busier-than-expected three-day weekend, 3D concert flick One Direction: This is Us narrowly took first place at the box office ahead of Lee Daniels' The Butler. Including Labor Day, however, The Butler ultimately came out on top over the holiday weekend.The big story, though, is the incredible performance of Spanish-language family comedy Instructions Not Included, which wound up in fifth place despite playing in fewer than 400 theaters.For the four-day frame, overall business came in over $160 million*that makes this the highest-grossing Labor Day weekend ever. The riches were spread across a ton of titles: over the four-day weekend, 26 different movies grossed over $1 million.Playing at 2,735 theaters, One Direction: This is Us opened in first place with $15.8 million ($18.5 million four-day). That's way off from the concert movies featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, all of which started with over $23 million. Still, it's noticeably ahead of »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The final weekend of the summer movie season saw a surprisingly robust debut for Eugenio Derbez's "Instructions Not Included," a Mexican film released via Lionsgate and Pantelion Films (which courts Hispanic audiences). The film -- which follows a man who finds his family threatened when the birth mother of the daughter left on his doorstep 6 years ago resurfaces -- grossed a massive $7,500,000 from 347 theaters for a jaw-dropping $21,614 average, making the overall top 5 despite playing on a fraction of the screens. It grossed six times the entire release of Lionsgate and Pantelion's previous film, "Girl in Progress," and made clear there is a hungry film market in America's Hispanic population. In a much more limited debut, Jill Soloway's "Afternoon Delight" -- which won the directing award at Sundance earlier this year -- hit 2 theaters care of The Film Arcade and managed a decent $28,088 gross, averaging $14,044. Starring Juno Temple, Kathryn Hahn, »
- Peter Knegt
Mexican actor-writer Eugenio Derbez has been entertaining audiences in Latin America for over 20 years with hit TV comedy shows and novelas. Now Derbez is tackling Hollywood. Two years ago he made his first crossover attempt with a supporting role in Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill and last year he costarred with Eva Mendes in Girl in Progress. His most recent project, Instructions Not Included, opens in theaters this weekend and marks Derbez's first English starring role and directorial debut. Derbez stars as a carefree playboy living in Acapulco without a worry in the world until a former fling surprises him by leaving their daughter at his doorstep. We got to chat with Derbez in Los Angeles to talk about his most daunting film project to date and how Twitter made it all...
- Elisa Osegueda
Mexican actor-writer Eugenio Derbez has been entertaining audiences in Latin America for over 20 years with hit TV comedy shows and novelas. Now Derbez is tackling Hollywood. Two years ago he made his first crossover attempt with a supporting role in Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill and last year he costarred with Eva Mendes in Girl in Progress. His most recent project, Instructions Not Included, opens in theaters this weekend and marks Derbez's first English starring role and directorial debut. Derbez stars as a carefree playboy living in Acapulco without a worry in the world until a former fling surprises him by leaving their daughter at his doorstep. We got to chat with Derbez in Los Angeles to talk about his most daunting film project to date and how Twitter made it...
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New season means new cast members for the Atlantic City gangster saga which takes place during the 1920s. Joining Boardwalk Empire stalwarts as Steve Buscemi (Fargo), Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men), and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) will be Jeffrey Wright (Source Code) as a violent Harlem power broker, Ron Livingston (The Conjuring) as a business and romantic prospect, Patricia Arquette (Girl in Progress) as a Florida speakeasy owner, Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) as a Federal Agent, and Domenick Lombardozzi (Blood Ties) and Morgan Spector (The Last Airbender) portraying the brothers of Al Capone.
After barely surviving an overthrow by gangster Gyp Rossetti, Nucky Thompson is laying low at the end of the Boardwalk. But the calm will be short-lived, as Nucky faces new challenges, including a clash with the mayor, a battle with his brother Eli over Eli’s college-age son, and the irresistible lure of »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its 276-member-strong class of 2013.
The list, published by The Hollywood Reporter, includes actors, cinematographers, designers, directors, documentarians, executives, film editors, makeup artists and hairstylists, "members-at-large," musicians, producers, PR folks, short filmmakers and animators, sound technicians, visual effects artists, and writers.
Jason Bateman, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Mortimer, Sandra Oh, Jason Schwartzman, and Michael Peña are among the roster of actors, while "The Heat" and "Bridesmaids" helmer Paul Feig made the directors' cut.
"We did not change our criteria at all," says Academy president Hawk Koch of this year's larger-than-usual class. "Yes, this year there is a tremendous amount of women, a tremendous amount of people of color, people from all walks of life. This year, we asked the branches to look at everybody who wasn't in the Academy but who deserved to be. »
- Laura Larson
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the 276 members of the entertainment industry invited to join organization. The list includes actors, directors, documentarians, executives, film editors, producers and more. Of those listed below, those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2013. "These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Academy President Hawk Koch in a press release. "Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy." Koch also told Variety, "In the past eight or nine years, each branch could only bring in X amount of members. There were people each branch would have liked to get in but couldn't. We asked them to be more inclusive of the best of the best, and each branch was excited, because they got »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy just added 276 Oscar voters.
That’s 100 more than last year, and part of an easing of a longstanding cap on the number of new members allowed to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences each year.
AMPAS usually adds between 130 and 180 new members, replacing those who have quit or passed away. The membership now stands around 6,000.
- Anthony Breznican
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 276 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2013.
“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy President Hawk Koch. “Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy.”
The 2013 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
The total of new invitees is exactly 100 more than were tapped in 2012. Total membership in the Academy numbers more than 6,000.
“We’re very proud,” Academy prexy Hawk Koch told Variety. “The difference this year is we relaxed the quota system. In the past eight or nine years, each branch could only bring in X amount of members. There were people each branch would have liked to get in but couldn’t. We asked them to be more inclusive of the best of the best, and each branch was excited, because they got to bring in the people who should be in the branch.”
Koch said that in particular, visual effects and documentary were among the branches with the biggest gains, reflecting their intense recent growth.
Among the other »
- Jon Weisman
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 276 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2013. “These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy President Hawk Koch. “Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy.” The 2013 invitees are: Actors Jason Bateman – “Up in the Air,” “Juno” Miriam Colon – “City of Hope,” “Scarface” Rosario Dawson – “Rent,” “Frank Miller’s Sin City” Kimberly Elise – “For Colored Girls,” “Beloved” Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “Lincoln,” “The Dark Knight Rises” Charles Grodin – “Midnight Run,” “The Heartbreak Kid” Rebecca Hall – “Iron Man 3,” “The Town” Lance Henriksen – “Aliens,” “The Terminator” Jack Huston – “Not Fade Away,” “Factory Girl” Milla Jovovich – “Resident Evil, »
- Josh Abraham
Dapper Spanish actor Antonio Banderas will be playing Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to surface; nicknamed Super Mario, he became the face of the miners and the "breakout" media star of the group. Martin Sheen is on board to play a father of one of the miners, and Rodrigo Santoro will play the first miner to be rescued. "The 33" will be produced by Mike Medavoy ("Black Swan," "Shutter Island," "All the King's Men"), who was the first to snag the rights to the miners' story.
The movie, from a script by Mikko Alanne and Jose Rivera, will depict the struggles of the trapped miners, their worried families, and the people organizing the rescue. The miners contributed to the script, »
- Jenni Miller
What Hollywood knows better than anyone, is that truth is not only stranger than fiction but it also has the potential for adaptation. The latest real-life human tragedy ready for cinema treatment is that of the Chilean mining disaster back in 2010. The incident which trapped 33 Chilean miners underground for 69 days obviously attracted attention as human suffering makes for compelling viewing. Aptly titled, The 33, Antonio Banderas and Martin Sheen have signed on to star as two of the miners.
Banderas, who just finished work on Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, will play Mario Sepulveda. Dubbed by the press as Super Mario, Sepulveda was responsible for the men’s video journals sent topside to keep the rest of the world in the loop. Sheen’s role has yet to be revealed, though he’d be suited to play the onscreen counterpart of Luis Urzula, the foreman who lead the men to safety or Mario Gomez, »
- Gem Seddon
The Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days back in 2010 are about to get moviefied in The 33, starring Antonio Banderas as Mario Sepulveda, "the charismatic miner known as 'Super Mario.'" Mexico's Patricia Riggen (Girl in Progress, La Misma Luna) will direct, with production set to take place in Chile. What's weird is that Banderas is also making a movie called 33 Days, where he'll play Picasso. »
- Zach Dionne
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