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Frank Grillo Discusses His New Indie Thriller ‘Into The Ashes’ & Reuniting With Fellow Marvel Alum Anthony Mackie In ‘Point Blank’ [Interview]

Working tirelessly for over 25 years as an actor, Frank Grillo didn’t catch his stride in Hollywood until his turn as Brenden Conlon’s (Joel Edgerton) no-nonsense trainer, Frank Campana, in 2011’s “Warrior.” A flurry of substantive roles followed in noteworthy films such as “The Grey,” “End of Watch,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Purge: Anarchy,” “The Purge: Election Year,”and ‘Wolf Warrior 2,” China’s highest-grossing film and the biggest in history outside of Hollywood.

Continue reading Frank Grillo Discusses His New Indie Thriller ‘Into The Ashes’ & Reuniting With Fellow Marvel Alum Anthony Mackie In ‘Point Blank’ [Interview] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

China Thrilled by Prospect of Chinese Casting for Shang-Chi, ‘Marvel’s First Chinese Hero’

  • Variety
China’s internet is thrilled by news that Marvel appears to be insisting on casting an ethnic Chinese actor as Shang-Chi in the master of kung fu’s own spinoff film and has begun scouting out candidates for the role.

Variety reporter Justin Kroll tweeted Sunday that Marvel is apparently “putting out test offers for a group of men in their 20s” for its “Shang-Chi” movie. He added that the studio has “been adamant to reps offering up their clients for the role” that candidates “have to be of Chinese ancestry,” with no other Asian ancestry accepted.

Twitter is blocked on China’s highly censored internet, but that hasn’t stopped the tweet from going viral in the mainland. Users have screen-grabbed it and spread it on China’s parallel Weibo platform, where the hashtag “Shang-Chi casting” has since been viewed 100 million times, and the hashtag “Marvel’s first Chinese
See full article at Variety »

Will the second half of 2019 offer more hope for indies at the Us box office?

Will the second half of 2019 offer more hope for indies at the Us box office?
After a string of disappointments, ’Midsommar’ may offer some hope.

Early box office reports for A24’s horror film Midsommar, starring Florence Pugh, could be just what the Us independent sector needs after a rocky ride in the first half of 2019.

Ari Aster’s follow-up to Sundance 2018 sensation Hereditary is forecast to gross around $13m this weekend and could not come soon enough. If it builds on the $3m Wednesday opening day reported by A24, on a reported $10m marketing spend, that could deliver at least temporary respite for a gloomy independent sector reeling from a string of disappointing releases.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mike Liotta Exits True Public Relations, Launches PR Machine

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Mike Liotta has stepped down from his role as VP at True Public Relations to launch PR Machine. The newly formed boutique agency will be based in Los Angeles and focus on personal publicity.

Working in PR for 14 years, Liotta joined True Public Relations in 2005 as an assistant and quickly rose through the ranks before stepping into the position of VP.

Joining Liotta at PR Machine is Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Regina King as well as Emmy-nominated actors Tim Matheson and Melora Hardin.

Others on his client roster include NAACP Image Award-nominated actress Logan Browning, Jon Huertas (This Is Us), Cress Williams (Black Lightning), Elizabeth Tulloch (Grimm), Byron Mann, Radha Mitchell (The Romanoffs), Summer Bishil (The Magicians), Anthony Alabi (Family Reunion), Adrian Martinez, WWE Superstar Cj “Lana” Perry (Total Divas), Allen Maldonado (The Last O.G.), Celina Jade (Wolf Warrior 2), Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural), Paul Ben-Victor (The Wire), Jocko Sims (New Amsterdam), Tzi Ma, Peter Macon (The Orville), Denim Richards, Osric Chau (Supernatural), Joseph Gatt (Dumbo), Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite), Josie Ho (Contagion), Adam Korson (The Twilight Zone), Dakota Shapiro (Valley of the Boom), Mark Gagliardi (Blood & Treasure), Lily Ji (Pacific Rim: Uprising), Juliet Landau (Bosch), Jimmy Wong (Mulan), Malcolm Freberg (Survivor), Johann Urb (Arrow), Madeline Zima (Californication).

His roster also includes on-air personalities Jillian Barberie and Carly Steel; as well as Apple TV+ series co-creator/showrunner Dara Resnik (Home Before Dark). Liotta also represents Movie Trivia Schmoedown and the annual Dreamer Dinner charitable fundraiser for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles.
See full article at Deadline »

Iran's 'Castle Of Dreams' takes top honours at Shanghai film festival

Iran's 'Castle Of Dreams' takes top honours at Shanghai film festival
Drama directed by Reza Mirkarimi scooped best film, best director and shared the best actor prize with China’s The Return.

Iranian drama Castle Of Dreams, directed by Reza Mirkarimi, was presented with three of the top awards at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (Siff), including best feature.

The film, about a father who returns to his children after a long absence, was also awarded best director and the best actor prize (Hamed Saberi Behdad), which was shared with China’s The Return (Chang Feng). Mirkarimi’s credits include Under The Moonlight, which won the Critics Week Grand
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Shanghai: Chinese Studio Beijing Culture Unveils Slate of Four Films

Rising Chinese film company Beijing Culture, the studio behind local mega-blockbusters Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth, on Monday touted its forthcoming film slate during a showcase event held at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The company promoted Chinese director Lu Chuan's forthcoming action-adventure pic Bureau 749, which Beijing Culture boarded earlier this year as a 35 percent financier, alongside fellow film powerhouses Huayi Brothers Media and Tencent Pictures. The movie is in the final stages of production, but little had been revealed about it prior to Monday.

Lu, whose early works Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2004) and City of Life and ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Terence Chang’s ‘Wings Over Everest’ Adds to Growing List of Chinese Rescue Films

  • Variety
Terence Chang’s ‘Wings Over Everest’ Adds to Growing List of Chinese Rescue Films
Wings Over Everest,” a new action-adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.

The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, Japanese actor Koji Yakusho and Taiwanese actor Austin Po-Hung Lin (“The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang”). It is the first feature from writer-director Fei Yu, a former VP and lead game producer at Gameloft, who later transitioned into screenwriting and content development.

Everest” is backed by Lu’s Spring Era Films, Fei’s firm Mirage, Beijing Saite Century Films, and Tokyo-based entertainment company Vap, a subsidiary of Nippon TV. It is the second collaboration between producer Chang and actress Zhang, who previously worked together on the Andy Lau-starring 2017 action film “The Adventurers,” which grossed $34 million (RMB237 million).

Shot in China, Canada and Nepal, the movie tells the
See full article at Variety »

Shanghai: Wu Jing Unveils First Trailer for Everest Epic 'The Climbers'

Shanghai: Wu Jing Unveils First Trailer for Everest Epic 'The Climbers'
Chinese action hero Wu Jing and his fellow actors in the upcoming mountaineering adventure film The Climbers brought a big dose of star power to the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday.

The actor — China's reigning box office king, thanks to mega-blockbusters Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth — bounded to the stage at a packed gala hosted by Shanghai Film Group to unveil the first official trailer for his next action spectacle. (See the trailer below.)

Wu was accompanied at the event by the film's all-star production team and cast, including director Daniel Lee; producer Tsui Hark; actors ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie ‘Legend Hunters’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie ‘Legend Hunters’ (Exclusive)
British director Simon West, who made the Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film.

“The Legend Hunters” is the next installment in the “Mojin” universe, based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set for release next July and stars A-list male leads Zhang Hanyu and Jiang Wu and Hong Kong actress Celina Jade, who crossed to the big time in “Wolf Warrior 2.”

It is produced by industry veteran Zhang Wang, who also goes by the name Eryong. Currently halfway through shooting at the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, it expects to wrap in Russia in mid-August.

Screenwriter Li Yifan co-directs alongside West, helping to ground the film in a Chinese sensibility. The film references elements from ancient Chinese shamanic funeral traditions, and “we were worried it’d
See full article at Variety »

Shanghai Film Festival Yanks ‘The Eight Hundred’; Chinese War Epic Was Due To Open Event

  • Deadline
The Shanghai International Film Festival has made an abrupt and surprising change to its program, pulling Huayi Brothers’ big-budget Chinese war drama The Eight Hundred from its lineup on the eve of the event’s kick-off. The $80M epic was due to open the proceedings tomorrow and has been expected to be the 800 lb gorilla at the Middle Kingdom summer box office. Officially, the festival says the reason for the last-minute cancellation is “technical problems,” although there is speculation surrounding censorship concerns, and whether the film maintains a July 5 release date. A source on the ground in China says the atmosphere at the festival is “intense.”

China has nixed screenings of its films at high profile festivals before, recently pulling Zhang Yimou’s One Second from Berlin. It has also cancelled the bows of foreign titles at local fests, but yanking one of its own movies from such a key
See full article at Deadline »

China: Could Trump’s Trade War & Stricter Local Controls Extend Summer Hollywood Movie Blackout To October?

  • Deadline
When it comes to box office, we often hear that China needs Hollywood just as much as Hollywood needs China — and both sides know it. But amid ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and the Middle Kingdom, there’s more than a whiff of concern over a potential government-imposed rift in the coming months that could see Hollywood movies sidelined in the massive market to as late as October.

Some contend that’s Chicken Little-style hand-wringing. Others say logic has gone out the window in the face of Donald Trump’s escalating dispute with Xi Jinping. And there are those who believe China’s motives might lie elsewhere as it finds itself juggling a need to keep turnstiles spinning while maintaining a positive international-facing image, and at the same time propping up so-called “core socialist values” at home in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic
See full article at Deadline »

‘Aladdin’ Dominates International Box Office With $121 Million

  • Variety
Disney’s “Aladdin” is showing plenty of worldwide drawing power with $121 million overseas for the weekend, opening in first place in nearly all international markets.

The reboot of the 1992 animated classic has received strong family attendance with a significant gain on Saturday and Sunday. China leads the way with an estimated $18.7 million for its three days for a first-place finish.

Disney said that in Europe, “Aladdin” is tracking ahead of “Maleficent” and “Cinderella” for the same markets. The U.K. is the top European market with $8.4 million ahead of openings of both “Rocketman” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” which both debuted ahead of their Us launches. The “Pets” sequel opened with $4.1 million.

Italy generated $6.6 million for “Aladdin” in its second highest opening weekend to date in 2019, behind only “Avengers: Endgame” with a 52% market share. “Aladdin” also posted the second highest opening weekend to date in 2019 in Spain, 37% ahead
See full article at Variety »

'Aladdin' casts spell over global box office in $207m launch

'Aladdin' casts spell over global box office in $207m launch
Fantasy beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and in most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to an estimated $121m international debut and $207.1m worldwide excluding Monday.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

Box office for
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm, casts $256m spell over global box office (update)

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm, casts $256m spell over global box office (update)
Fantasy adventure beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

May 28 Update: A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to $123.2m internationally, rising to $139m including Monday, and $255.8m worldwide by Tuesday morning.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm, casts $255m spell over global box office (update)

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm, casts $255m spell over global box office (update)
Fantasy adventure beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

May 28 Update: A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to $123.2m internationally, rising to $139m including Monday, and $254.8m worldwide by Tuesday morning.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office (update)

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office (update)
Fantasy adventure beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

May 28 Update: A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and in most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to an estimated $121m international debut and $207.1m worldwide excluding Monday.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office
Fantasy beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and in most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to an estimated $121m international debut and $207.1m worldwide excluding Monday.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

Box office for
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office

'Aladdin' dominates Asia, LatAm to cast $207m spell over global box office
Fantasy adventure beats Rocketman, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in UK.

A straight run of number one debuts across all of Asia and Latin America and in most of Europe drove Disney’s Aladdin to outperform Cinderella across the regions as it flew to an estimated $121m international debut and $207.1m worldwide excluding Monday.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum became the highest global performer in the franchise at the weekend, and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to cross $800m in North America on Monday.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

Box office
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Can Wu Jing, The Star Who Took China By Storm, Convert Success On The Mainland Into A Mainstream Hollywood Career? — Deadline Disruptors

  • Deadline
Can Wu Jing, The Star Who Took China By Storm, Convert Success On The Mainland Into A Mainstream Hollywood Career? — Deadline Disruptors
Chinese actor/director Wu Jing has had a massive couple of years, starring in two films that have grossed over $1.5 billion, with nearly all the box office coming from the Middle Kingdom.

A one-time mid-level Hong Kong martial arts actor, Wu stormed screens with 2017’s Wolf Warrior 2—which he also helmed—and this year he was featured in The Wandering Earth, a sci-fi epic that made global headlines, but might not have gotten made had Wu not contributed $9 million of his own money to the budget. A powerhouse who became a household name only in his early 40s, he’s been hailed as China’s Rambo, though some disagree with that notion and wonder if Wu can achieve global stardom.

Frank Grillo, who co-starred in Wolf Warrior 2, calls Wu’s ascension “mindboggling”. When Grillo first traveled to China, after an offer from Joe and Anthony Russo, who were
See full article at Deadline »

Bo Report: ‘Avengers’ beats ‘Pokémon’ movie, ‘Top End Wedding’ holds strong

‘Top End Wedding.’

Pokémon fans flocked to the franchise’s second movie in 20 years last weekend but even more people were keen to see Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which reigned again in its third frame.

Meanwhile word-of-mouth is paying off for Universal’s Top End Wedding, which eased by just 22 per cent in its second weekend.

Universal’s comedy The Hustle, a female reboot of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, over-indexed its Us opening, probably due to co-star Rebel Wilson.

Roadshow’s Poms, an ensemble comedy about seniors in a retirement home who form a cheer-leading squad, had little to cheer about, unwisely scheduled against The Hustle.

A passion project for Kenneth Branagh, Sony’s Shakespearean drama All is True had a respectable debut on limited screens. Of the two new Indian releases, Maharshi proved far more appealing than Student Of The Year 2.

The top 20 titles generated $16.5 million, down 9 per cent
See full article at IF.com.au »
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