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Remote Controlled: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Boss Aline Brosh McKenna on Unpacking the ‘Crazy’ in Season 3

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety‘s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, talks with co-creator and executive producer of “Crazy Ex-GirlfriendAline Brosh McKenna.

McKenna, who also penned the scripts for “The Devil Wears Prada” and “27 Dresses,” teases that “we have a lot of fun stuff to deal with next year” as the show heads into its fourth season.

Considering the fact that series star Rebecca Bunch, who is played by co-creator Rachel Bloom, may
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Podtalk: Malin Akerman of ‘Rampage’ on Michigan Avenue Cover

Chicago – The restaurant Katana, in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, was the setting for the unveiling of Michigan Avenue Magazine’s latest cover on April 3rd… their 2018 Spring Style issue. Actress Malin Akerman, whose latest film is “Rampage,” graced the front of the issue.

The event, sponsored by the magazine, celebrated the Spring Issue with an appearance by Ms. Akerman, who walked a Red Carpet and posed for photos with the assembled attendees. Michigan Avenue Market President/Group Publisher Dan Uslan and Editor-in-Chief J.P. Anderson were also there to represent the magazine and toast the new issue. Malin Akerman’s role in “Rampage” – which is primarily set in Chicago – will be seen when the film is released on Thursday, April 12th, 2018.

Michigan Avenue Magazine Celebrates its Spring Style Issue with Cover Star Malin Akerman at Katana Chicago

Photo credit: Nigel Barker for Michigan Avenue Magazine

Malin Akerman was born in Stockholm,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Aline Brosh McKenna to Produce Female-Driven Comedy for Paramount Players

Aline Brosh McKenna to Produce Female-Driven Comedy for Paramount Players
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna is teaming with two fellow writers on The CW comedy, Rachel Specter and Audrey Wauchope, to create a female-driven comedy for Paramount Players, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Brosh McKenna will produce the untitled-laugher set in the world of law enforcement, with Specter and Wauchope penning the scripts. McKenna earned her stripes in screenwriting, penning female comedies like The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses.

She returned to TV with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with star and co-creator Rachel Bloom. The CW half-hour with "musical elements" starred Bloom as Rebecca — a young woman who abandons...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Co-Creator Aline Brosh McKenna Has a New Series in Development

Brosh McKenna: Academy Originals/YouTube

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna has a new female-led comedy in the works. She’s joining forces with two writer-producers from the Rachel Bloom-starrer, Rachel Specter and Audrey Wauchope. The trio have closed a deal with Paramount Players for an untitled comedy set in the world of law enforcement, according to an exclusive from Deadline.

Few details are known about the project, but Specter and Wauchope will pen the script and Brosh McKenna is set to produce.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” concluded its third season in February. No word on whether The CW musical comedy will be returning for Season 4. Brosh McKenna signed a two-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios back in May 2017. Her big screen writing credits include “The Devil Wears Prada,” “27 Dresses,” and “Annie.” She co-penned “Cruella,” Disney’s upcoming live-action story about the villain from “101 Dalmatians” starring Emma Stone.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Suits Season 8 Adds Kathine Heigl - Who Will She Play?!

  • TVfanatic
With the series-jolting loss of stars Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle, Suits has to something to equally as exciting to replace them.

They've made their move by engaging Katherine Heigl as the newest lead for Suits Season 8.

That's right, Suits is moving away from the male buddy dynamic built around Adam's Mike Ross and Gabriel Macht's Harvey Specter and giving it a go with a male/female driven show.

Heigl will star opposite Macht as Samantha Wheeler – a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally … or most powerful enemy.

Heigl joins the Suits ensemble alongside Macht, Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt) and new series regular Dulé Hill (Alex Williams). Season 8 begins production this April in Toronto.

“Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an Ep I
See full article at TVfanatic »

Katherine Heigl Joins ‘Suits’ Season 8

Katherine Heigl Joins ‘Suits’ Season 8
Katherine Heigl is joining “Suits” Season 8 as a series regular, USA Network announced Wednesday.

Heigl will play Samantha Wheeler, a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally or most powerful enemy. She joins returning series regulars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman, and new series regular Dulé Hill. The new season begins production this April in Toronto.

“Joining ‘Suits’ was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an Ep I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” Heigl said. “I have watched ‘Suits’ from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”

Heigl is an Emmy Award-winning and two-time Golden Globe-nominated actress, as well as a producer. She is best known for starring in the feature films “27 Dresses,” “[link
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Aline Brosh McKenna, Lesli Linka Glatter, Ava DuVernay Celebrate Women Directors With ‘Female Filmmaker Friday’ Social Media Movement

A handful of female Hollywood directors took to Twitter on Friday for #FemaleFilmmakerFriday, a hashtag launched to highlight women working behind-the-scenes and inspire the next generation.

Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creator and showrunner of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” tweeted a photo of herself on set, writing “We were planning this for 2/2 but people were excited, so let’s go for it! My friend Tamra Davis recently posted a photo of herself directing and it inspired me, so I invited some women to do the same.”

“It’s hard to become what you do not see,” added McKenna, who also wrote “The Devil Wears Prada” and “27 Dresses.”

We were planning this for 2/2 but people were excited, so let's go for it! My friend Tamra Davis recently posted a photo of herself directing and it inspired me, so I invited some women to do the same. It's hard to become what you do not see. #femalefilmmakerfriday pic.twitter.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Warner/New Line Set June 1, 2012 Date for 'Rock of Ages'

Warner/New Line Set June 1, 2012 Date for 'Rock of Ages'
Warner Bros. and New Line have set a June 1, 2012 release date for the much-anticipated Adam Shankman film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages." Warner/New Line have also decided to release the Bryan Singer-directed kidde-classic adaptation "Jack the Giant Killer" on June 15, 2012. Lionsgate, meanwhile, has moved Sidney Kimmel-produced action comedy "One For the Money" from Summer to Jan. 27. According to an individual close to the studio, the first-quarter success of comps inlcuding "27 Dresses," "No Strings Attached" and "Bride Wars" bodes well for the latest Katherine Heigl
See full article at The Wrap »

Twilight Takes A Bite Out Of Teen Choice

  • WENN
Twilight Takes A Bite Out Of Teen Choice
Vampire movie Twilight led the way at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night - scoring a massive 11 wins.

The bloodsucker film was named best movie drama in the ceremony at Universal Studios' Gibson Amphitheatre, with its stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart taking home best actor trophies.

The hit 2008 picture also secured wins in a string of off-beat categories including best romance and best liplock, while Cam Giganget was named best villain and Taylor Lautner lauded as the year's fresh face male.

Pattinson was also named choice male hottie alongside choice female hottie Megan Fox.

Other big winners in the acting categories were Hugh Jackman who picked up two prizes for his comic book blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Zac Efron who landed two honours for his role in 17 Again and a further award for his turn in High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Teen drama Gossip Girl ruled the TV section, picking up four awards, including best drama show and best actor awards for Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford. Ed Westwick was named best TV villain.

Miley Cyrus landed four surfboard trophies in the acting categories - two for her big screen outing in Hannah Montana: The Movie and two for her Hannah Montana TV show. Her father Billy Ray Cyrus was named TV's top parental unit for his part in the teen franchise and her co-star Emily Osment was named best TV sidekick.

Cyrus also led the way in the music categories with her hit track The Climb being named single of the year and her Jonas Brothers collaboration Before the Storm winning best summer song.

Taylor Swift was named best female artist and handed the best female album award for her hit record Fearless while Jason Mraz landed the male equivalent in both categories, winning best male album for We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things.

Other music stars to pick up honours included Kanye West (rap artist), Beyonce (R&B artist) and Paramore (rock group).

The Jonas Brothers, who hosted the show and performed their track Much Better, won five surfboards, including male red-carpet icons and breakout TV show (Jonas).

The night also saw performances from the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Kingston and Miley Cyrus, who went on to present Britney Spears with the coveted Ultimate Choice award, telling the crowd, "I'm a big fan of hers!"

The list of main winners is as follows:

Movie Action Adventure: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Movie Drama: Twilight

Movie Bromantic Comedy: Marley & Me

Movie Comedy: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Movie Chick Flick: 27 Dresses

Movie Horror/Thriller: Friday the 13th

Movie Music/Dance: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Movie Hissy Fit: Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie

Movie Actor Drama: Robert Pattinson, Twilight

Movie Actress Drama: Kristen Stewart, Twilight

Movie Actor Action Adventure: Hugh Jackman, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Movie Actress Action Adventure: Jordana Brewster, Fast & Furious

Movie Actor Comedy: Zac Efron, 17 Again

Movie Actress Comedy: Anne Hathaway, Bride Wars

Movie Actress Music/Dance: Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie

Movie Actor Music/Dance: Zac Efron, High School Musical 3: Senior Year

TV Show Drama: Gossip Girl

TV Show Action Adventure: Heroes

TV Show Comedy: Hannah Montana

TV Actor Drama: Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl

TV Actress Drama: Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl

TV Actor Comedy: Jonas Brothers, Jonas

TV Actress Comedy: Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana

TV Breakout Show: Jonas

TV Villain: Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl

TV Parental Unit: Billy Ray Cyrus, Hannah Montana

Music Single: Miley Cyrus, The Climb

Choice Music Hook-Up: Lady Ga Ga and Colby O'Donis, Just Dance

Music Male Artist: Jason Mraz

Music Female Artist: Taylor Swift

Music Rap Artist: Kanye West

Music R&B Artist: Beyonce

Music Rock Group: Paramore

Music Album Male Artist: Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things

Music Album Female Artist: Taylor Swift, Fearless

Choice Award: Britney Spears.

Endeavor inks Edward Burns, Elisabeth Moss

Endeavor inks Edward Burns, Elisabeth Moss
Actor-filmmaker Edward Burns and "Mad Men" co-star Elisabeth Moss have signed with Endeavor.

Burns, most recently seen in the romantic comedy "27 Dresses," is prepping his ninth indie feature, following his 2007 film "Purple Violets."

Moss is nominated for a SAG Award in the lead actress in a drama series category for her role as Peggy Olson on AMC's "Mad Men." The actress, whose series credits also include "The West Wing" and "Invasion," stars on Broadway in the revival of David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow." She continues to be managed by Gay Ribisi.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

The Dark Knight Cleans Up At People's Choice Awards

  • WENN
The Dark Knight Cleans Up At People's Choice Awards
Batman sequel The Dark Knight clutched a handful of prizes to steal the show at the 35th annual People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

The action film claimed Favorite Superhero, Favorite Movie, Favorite Onscreen Match-Up, Favorite Action Movie and Favorite Cast at the climax of the event.

Batman Christian Bale and co-star Aaron Eckhart and director Christopher Nolan were given a lengthy standing ovation as they took to the stage at the Shrine Auditorium, and then Bale remembered his Joker, Heath Ledger, in his brief acceptance speech.

He said, "Here's to Heath," as he raised one of the awards the cast and crew were presented with to the heavens.

The Dark Knight was the last film Ledger completed before his tragic death a year ago.

Meanwhile, Carrie Underwood was a triple threat at the prizegiving, claiming a trio of big prizes as America's awards season got serious.

The country star claimed the Favorite Country Singer, Favorite Country Song and Favorite Star Under 35 accolades, and also performed at the glitzy Shrine Auditorium prizegiving.

R+B star Chris Brown, Will Smith, Hugh Laurie and The Secret Life of Bees were all double winners, while Meryl Streep won a rare musical honour when her rendition of Abba's Mamma Mia, from the movie musical of the same name, earned her the Favorite Song From A Soundtrack award.

Queen Latifah, who hosted the event, was stunned when her film The Secret Life of Bees won the Favorite Film (Drama) award, while Wall-e was named Favorite Family Movie and 27 Dresses claimed the night's Favorite Film (Comedy) prize.

In the TV categories, Two + A Half Men was named Favorite TV Comedy, while medical show House picked up the Favorite TV Drama honour.

The award winners were:

Favorite Funny Male Star - Adam Sandler

Favorite Star Under 35 - Carrie Underwood

Favorite Competition/Reality Show - Dancing With The Stars

Favorite Talk Show Host - Ellen DeGeneres

Favorite Combined Forces - No Air by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown

Favorite Male Singer - Chris Brown

Favorite Movie Comedy - 27 Dresses

Favorite Female Movie Star - Reese Witherspoon

Favorite Family Movie - Wall-e

Favorite Male Movie Star - Will Smith

Favorite R+B Song - No One by Alicia Keys

Favorite Leading Man - Brad Pitt

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show - Heroes

Favorite Male Action Star - Will Smith

Favorite Female Action Star - Angelina Jolie

Favorite Pop Song - I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry

Favorite Game Show - Deal Or No Deal

Favorite TV Drama Diva - Kyra Sedgwick (as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson in The Closer)

Favorite Hip-Hop Song - Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

Favorite Funny Female Star - Tina Fey

Favorite Song From A Soundtrack - Mamma Mia by Meryl Streep

Favorite Animated Comedy - The Simpsons

Favorite Rock Song - All Summer Long by Kid Rock

Favorite Male TV Star - Hugh Laurie

Favorite Female Singer - Carrie Underwood

Favorite Country Song - Carrie Underwood

Favorite Scene-Stealing Guest Star - Robin Williams (for Law + Order: SVU)

Favorite Leading Lady - Kate Hudson

Favorite Movie (Drama) - The Secret Life of Bees

Favorite Independent Movie - The Secret Life of Bees

Favorite Female TV Star - Christina Applegate

Favorite TV Drama - House

Favorite New TV Comedy - Gary Unmarried

Favorite New TV Drama - The Mentalist

Favorite TV Comedy - Two + A Half Men

Vote for 'The People's Choice Awards'!

The nominees for "The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards," which will be hosted by Queen Latifah, were announced this morning -- and fans can now vote for their favorite TV, film and music stars. Among the nominees are 'The Dark Knight,' '27 Dresses,' 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' and 'Iron Man' in the film categories; "Grey's Anatomy," "House," "Samantha Who?" and "90210" in the TV categories; and Rihanna, Carrie Underwood and Alicia Keys are just three songbirds who got the nod. People magazine, in celebration of its 35th anniversary, is teaming up with "The People's Choice Awards" to present the first-ever Favorite Star Under 35. To cast your vote, log on to: www.pcaVOTE.com. "The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards" is the first awards show of the season and will air on January 7, 2009 on CBS at 9 p.m. A complete list of nominees follows:
See full article at The Insider »

Jonas Brothers Dominate Teen Choice Awards

  • WENN
Jonas Brothers Dominate Teen Choice Awards
The Jonas Brothers have emerged the big winners at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, scooping a total of six prizes.

The pop trio was named Choice Breakout Group, Choice Male Hottie and Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon Male, while their track When You Look Me in the Eyes won them two awards - Choice Music Single and Choice Music Love Song. Another single, Burnin' Up, earned the siblings the Choice Summer Song gong.

Another major victor was the cast of TV show Gossip Girl - the programme also took home six awards at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

The show was announced as the winner of the Choice TV Show Drama category, while actress Blake Lively was named Choice TV Breakout Star Female and Choice TV Actress Drama.

Gossip Girl actors Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford joined in the celebrations after winning Choice TV Villain and Choice TV Breakout Star Male, respectively.

Other multiple winners at the annual prizegiving included Will Smith, Juno star Ellen Page, R+B singer Chris Brown, and the event's host, Miley Cyrus.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Choice Movie Action Adventure: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Choice Movie Drama: Step Up 2: The Streets

Choice Movie Chick Flick: 27 Dresses

Choice Movie Bromantic Comedy: What Happens in Vegas

Choice Movie Comedy: Juno

Choice Movie Horror/Thriller: I Am Legend

Choice Summer Movie Action Adventure: Hancock

Choice Summer Movie Comedy: Get Smart

Choice Movie Actor Drama: Channing Tatum, Stop-Loss

Choice Movie Actress Drama: Keira Knightley, Atonement

Choice Movie Actress Action Adventure: Rachel Bilson, Jumper

Choice Movie Actor Comedy: Ashton Kutcher, What Happens in Vegas

Choice Movie Actress Comedy: Ellen Page, Juno

Choice Movie Actor Horror/Thriller: Will Smith, I Am Legend

Choice Movie Actress Horror/Thriller: Jessica Alba, The Eye

Choice Movie Villain: Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Choice Movie Breakout Female: Ellen Page, Juno

Choice Movie Breakout Male: Drake Bell, Superhero Movie

Choice TV Show Drama: Gossip Girl

Choice TV Show Action Adventure: Heroes

Choice TV Show Comedy: Hannah Montana

Choice TV Reality Dance: America's Best Dance Crew

Choice TV Reality Music Competition: American Idol

Choice TV Celebrity Reality: The Hills

Choice Summer TV Show: The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Choice TV Actor Drama: Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill

Choice TV Actress Drama: Blake Lively, Gossip Girl

Choice TV Actress Action Adventure: Hayden Panettiere, Heroes

Choice TV Actor Comedy: Steve Carrell, The Office

Choice TV Actress Comedy: Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana

Choice TV Breakout Show: Gossip Girl

Choice TV Breakout Star Female: Blake Lively, Gossip Girl

Choice TV Breakout Star Male: Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl

Choice TV Male Reality/Variety Star: David Cook, American Idol

Choice TV Female Reality/Variety Star: Lauren Conrad, The Hills

Choice TV Villain: Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl

Choice Music Single: Jonas Brothers, When You Look Me in the Eyes

Choice Hook-Up: Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, No Air

Choice Music Male Artist: Chris Brown

Choice Music Female Artist: Miley Cyrus

Choice Music R+B Artist: Chris Brown

Choice Breakout Group: Jonas Brothers

Choice Music Love Song: Jonas Brothers, When You Look Me in the Eyes

Choice Music R+B Track: Chris Brown, Forever

Choice Summer Song: Jonas Brothers, Burnin' Up

Choice Male Hottie: Jonas Brothers

Choice Female Hottie: Vanessa Hudgens

Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon Female: Carrie Underwood

Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon Male: Jonas Brothers

Choice Comedian: Adam Sandler

Choice Male Athlete: David Beckham

Choice Female Athlete: Shawn Johnson

Choice Action Sports Male: Ryan Sheckler

Do Something Award: Chad Bullock

Choice Most Fanatic Fans: David Archuleta

Choice MySpacer: Ryan Sheckler

Choice Music Rap/Hip-Hop Track: Lil Mama featuring T-Pain and Chris Brown, Shawty Get Loose.

MGM nabs 'Still You'

This gives new meaning to the phrase, "Are we there yet?"

MGM has picked up the original comedy pitch Still You from screenwriter April Blair for $300,000 against $625,000. Jennifer Eatz, Walt Becker and Aline Brosh McKenna are producing. MGM executive vp production Cale Boyter and vp production Becky Sloviter will oversee for the studio.

Blair's story line revolves around a family vacation complicated by the appearance of the wife's flashy ex-boyfriend.

"Metaphorically speaking, your past occupies a part of every relationship," Blair said. "In our story, it's sort of the physical manifestation of your ex-boyfriend literally in the third row of your minivan."

Blair and McKenna met in a Mommy & Me group and developed an idea they took to Becker and Eatz, who had worked with McKenna on her previous movie, 27 Dresses.

McKenna is finishing up a draft of Morning Glory for Bad Robot at Paramount. Becker is completing postproduction on the Disney comedy Old Dogs and could move on to the MGM comedy The Zookeeper, to which he is attached as director and producer.

Heigl Upsets Grey's Staff With Emmy Snub

Heigl Upsets Grey's Staff With Emmy Snub
Latest: Katherine Heigl has upset staff on the set of Grey's Anatomy after withdrawing from the Emmy awards as part of a protest about her character's development on the hit show.

The actress insisted her name be left off the official ballot because she felt her character was awful during the most recent season of the medical drama.

But the move has disgruntled workers on the programme.

A source tells America's Entertainment Weekly, "The show bent over backwards to accommodate her film schedule, and then she criticises the show for lack of material?

"It's an ungrateful slap in the face to the very writers responsible for her Emmy win in the first place."

Heigl won the Best Supporting Actress prize at the Emmys last year. She has since established herself as a movie star with roles in Knocked Up and 27 Dresses.

'Horton' on top overseas

'Horton' on top overseas
With spring school holidays still in force in scattered foreign markets, the animated Horton Hears a Who! moved to the forefront with a weekend take of $13 million from 5,875 playdates in 52 territories.

At the same time, the prehistoric epic 10,000 BC, the international market's top draw for the past three weeks, came in a strong second with $12.5 million from 6,000 prints in 62 markets. Also making a play was the French stunner, "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis," which placed third at its fifth weekend with an estimated $12.2 million from about 1,000 screens in France and in neighboring French-speaking Belgium and Switzerland.

There were signs, however, of the beginning of a boxoffice downswing -- the traditional lull before the summer outbreak on May 1, which this year will witness a week-after-week blockbuster blitz of Paramount's Iron Man, Warner Bros.' Speed Racer, Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

In the meanwhile, a batch of entries slowly making its way around the globe had a chance to grab the limelight in strewed foreign markets. 27 Dresses grabbed the No. 1 spot in U.K. with $3.5 million from 426 screens, highlighting its weekend performance of $5.8 million from 1,451 screens in 21 countries, lifting its international gross to $58.9 million.

Jumper, with a $5.7 million weekend from 1,778 screens, hit No. 1 in about nine countries, with Germany delivering $2.3 million from 205 screens; Mexico, $2 million from 591; and Brazil, $1.2 million from 213. The international cume has reached $118.6 million.

The Kite Runner made it to the top in Italy with almost $3 million from 404 screens, raising its overseas cume to about $35.9 million.

Four join 'Proposal'

Four join 'Proposal'
Malin Akerman, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson and Aasif Mandvi have joined the cast of Touchstone's romantic comedy The Proposal.

Disney is distributing the film that stars Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock. Anne Fletcher directs from a script by Peter Chiarelli. The story centers on a publishing executive (Bullock) who forces her assistant (Reynolds) to marry her so she can avoid deportation to Canada.

Mandeville's David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing; Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are executive producing.

Production is slated to begin this month.

Akerman (27 Dresses) is repped by Endeavor and Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management. Steenburgen (The Brave One) is repped by Gersh and Management 360. Nelson (Blades of Glory) is repped by Paradigm and Forward Entertainment. Mandvi ("Music & Lyrics") is repped by Leading Artists in New York and Silver Massetti & Szatmary in Los Angeles.

'Spartans' conquer 'Rambo'

Lionsgate's Rambo proved neither dynamite nor dud during the weekend with an estimated $18.2 million opening, yet the Sylvester Stallone starrer lost the battle for the domestic boxoffice in an $18.7 million sneak attack by the Fox comedy Meet the Spartans.

Rambo, in which the Weinstein Co. holds 50% equity, performed roughly as expected. But Spartans, a New Regency co-production that spoofed last year's 300, took advantage of an eleventh-hour surge in young male interest to capture the frame.

Fox's Katherine Heigl starrer 27 Dresses fell a modest 41% in its second frame to ring up $13.6 million and finish in third place. Paramount's monster film Cloverfield, which topped the domestic chart last weekend, fell a big 68% in its sophomore session to $12.7 million in fourth place with a $64.3 million cume.

Sony's serial-killer thriller Untraceable, starring Diane Lane, debuted fifth with $11.2 million, while Paramount Vantage's urban step-dancing film How She Move debuted outside the top 10 with $4.2 million.

The Overture comedy Mad Money fell a modest 40% in its second weekend to ring up $4.6 million in 10th place, pushing its 10-day cume to $15.3 million.

Industry boxoffice marked a sixth consecutive improvement compared with the same session a year earlier, Nielsen EDI said. Year-to-date, 2008 is up 15% over the same portion of last year.

Oscar best-film nominees dominated the weekend's specialty action.

Fox Searchlight's comedy Juno rung up another $10.3 million in sixth place to take its cume to a distributor-record $100.2 million.

Paramount Vantage's Daniel Day-Lewis starrer There Will Be Blood, a Miramax co-production, added 496 theaters for a total of 885 and grossed $4.9 million in eighth place. That represented a sturdy $5,522 per venue, with Blood now boasting a $14.8 million cume ahead of an anticipated expansion Friday to more than 1,400 theaters.

The Miramax-distributed "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," a Par Vantage co-production, added 16 playdates for a total of 123 and grossed $402,000, or $3,268 per engagement, with a $3.1 million cume.

Trio 'Traveling' with Universal

CORRECTED 11:57 p.m. PT Jan. 22, 2008

Dan Fogler, Judy Greer and Martin Sheen are packing their bags for "Traveling", Universal's Stuber/Parent comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart.

Joe Anderson ("Across the Universe") and John Carroll Lynch ("K-Ville") also have joined the cast. "Traveling" is being directed by Brandon Camp and produced by Scott Stuber and Mary Parent as well as Mike Thompson.

The script, written by Camp and Thompson, follows a widowed self-help author (Eckhart) headlining a grief seminar in Seattle who rediscovers love and happiness after meeting a hotel florist (Aniston).

Fogler is the guru's overzealous manager, while Greer will play the florist's employee and friend. Anderson is the florist's musician boyfriend and Lynch is a reluctant seminar attendee.

Sheen will play the author's father-in-law with whom he has a strained relationship.

J. Miles Dale and Rick Solomon are executive producing.

Fogler, repped by WMA, was last seen in "Good Luck Chuck" and headlined "Balls of Fury".

CAA-repped Greer can be seen in "27 Dresses". Sheen is repped by ICM.

'Cloverfield' bow is big

Paramount's modestly budgeted and stealthily marketed monster film Cloverfield opened monstrously indeed, with an estimated $41 million over its first three days, blowing away the weekend record for the long Martin Luther King holiday frame.

Similarly cashing in on what's become a key winter boxoffice session for the industry, Fox's wedding-themed romantic comedy 27 Dresses put $22.4 million into its gift purse, bowing in second place.

The 2001 military action film Black Hawk Down had marked the previous best MLK weekend. It posted a three-day gross of $28.6 million, which it stretched to $33 million through that year's Monday holiday.

Paramount executives expect Cloverfield to fall just short of $50 million through Monday.

Also during the weekend, Overture debuted the first of its slate of modestly budgeted films, bowing the female-ensemble comedy Mad Money about as expected with $7.7 million in seventh place.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros.' Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer The Bucket List dropped a tiny 22% from the previous weekend -- its first in wide release -- to gross $15.2 million in third place, shaping a $42.7 million cume.

Fox Searchlight's platforming comedy Juno added 86 engagements for a total of 2,534 and grossed $10.3 million in fourth place, good for an $85.4 million cume.

Sony/Screen Gems' Ice Cube starrer First Sunday dropped 56% in its second session to gross $7.8 million in sixth place, toting a $28.5 million cume. Universal's animated The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie tumbled from the top 10 despite a modest 35% decline from the previous weekend to $2.8 million, with a $7.7 million cume.

In a limited bow, the Weinstein Co. unspooled Woody Allen's latest drama, Cassandra's Dream, in 107 theaters. Starring Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor, the film grossed $400,000, or an acceptable $3,740 per venue.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, Focus' Keira Knightley-James McAvoy starrer Atonement added 341 theaters for a total of 1,291 and grossed $4.8 million to finish 10th overall. With a sturdy $3,687 per venue, the latest grosses brought the cume for the Working Title-produced period drama to $31.9 million.
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