OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M; Mr. Peabody and Sherman (FOX) $30M+ strong; Son of God (FOX) drops 55% or more in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY: Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal $54,000 per screen on Friday night.
UPDATED, Friday 1:00 A.M.: Phenomenal per screen average numbers for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s idiosyncratic comedy starring an impressive ensemble cast (Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, etc.) led by Ralph Fiennes, just came in and have been added below (scroll down).
PREVIOUS, Friday 12:02 AM.: Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman (Fox/DreamWorks) are both kicking it at the box office this weekend based on Friday night numbers. After a stellar $3.3M in late nights Thursday, Rise of an Empire is on track to make anywhere from $43M to $45M this weekend and could have a per screen average over around $12,300, according to early Friday night estimates. It received a B Cinemascore. The animated Peabody is barking up the right tree and is expected to take in around $30M+ and all hopes are that it will appeal past the kiddie market. It got an A CinemaScore. In third place will be Non-Stop (UNI) which is holding well (a drop of only 37%) in its second weekend out for a 3-day weekend haul of around $18M+. Total cume on the Liam Neeson starrer could top $55M by the end of the weekend. All eyes, however, have been on the faith-based Son of God from Fox which could take a 55% to 63% hit in its second weekend out. Still, the re-purposed film will have made around $43M by Sunday. And Disney’s Frozen is still in the Top Ten after 16 weeks at No. 7 or 8 while Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave expects to pull in around $2.6M more thanks to Fox adding screens which is traditionally done after Oscar weekend for those pictures still playing in theaters.
NOTEWORTHY: The Grand Budapest Hotel from filmmaker Wes Anderson opened on 4 screens in L.A. and N.Y. and took in $216K Friday night for a per screen average of $54,000, surpassing The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis. Distribs have it estimated at a $663K weekend or a screen average of $165,900 for the weekend. Uh no, not kidding. Sony’s Monuments Men shed about 1,000 theaters as did Sony/MGM’s RoboCop (down 1,171 runs and expected cume after the 3-day at $54.7M) — same with Pompeii (cume is only $21.2M) as exhibs know when to cut and run other films. Here are the numbers tonight, but positions and estimates may change in the morning:
1). 300: Rise of an Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / $17M Fri. / 3-day cume: $43M to $45M / Wk 1
2). Mr. Peabody and Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / $8M to $8.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $30M to $32M / Wk 1
3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / $4.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $18M / Total cume: $54M to $55M+ / Wk 2
4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / $2.4M to $2.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $11.6M / Total cume: 225.6M / Wk 5
5). Son of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / $2.6M to $2.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $11M / Total cume: $41M to $43M / Wk 2
6). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / $4.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.2M to $3.5M / Total cume: $70.8M / Wk 5
7/8). Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / $625K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3M / Total cume: $393.1M / Wk 16
3 Days to Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / $900K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3M / Total cume: $25.5M to $26M / Wk 3
9). 12 Years a Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 620K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.6M / Total cume: $53.6M / Wk 21
10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) / $555K Fri. / 3-day cume: 1.9M / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8
“We are all Sarah Jones,” “Never Forget. Never Again,” and “Safety for Sarah” were the rallying cries tonight during the first of two tributes held this weekend by local unions for the 27 year-old assistant camerawoman killed on the set of Midnight Rider two weeks ago. Tonight’s tribute began at 7 PM this evening with candlelight walk and vigil that started at the DGA building and ended at the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 offices two blocks down Sunset Blvd.
The crowd of almost 1,000 members from across several unions participated in the memorial vigil held for Jones who was killed on a train track on the set in Georgia. Seven others were injured included two seriously — the 42 year-old hairstylist Joyce Gilliard and the make-up artist.
Related: ‘Midnight Rider’ Suspends Filming Following Train Death
A scholarship fund has been set up in Sarah Jones’ name and donations can be made to the BCHS Foundation in c/o Sarah Jones, 1300 State St., Cayce, SC 29034.
The evening’s tribute began with a video slide presentation of Sarah Jones set to the music of Somewhere Over the Rainbow (the Brother Iz version) as her grieving (and very courageous) parents, Elizabeth and Richard Jones from South Carolina, along with members of the Local 600 — including a very emotional Bruce Doering, National Executive Director of the International Cinematographers Guild — spoke, but none so impassioned as Mike Miller, VP of the IATSE.
“The words tonight are wholly inadequate; it’s going to be the actions that we take away from this that is going to make a difference. It makes me sad but also it makes me very angry: No one should ever die making a movie or a television show,” he said. “The loss of Sarah and the trauma and injuries that other members of the crew must now live with should never have happened. It’s not acceptable for crew — husbands, wives, sons or daughters — to be put in harms way on any shoot, no matter the budget, no matter the project, no matter the location. It should never happen. What happened on that train trestle in Georgia horrifies us all. It can never happen again. No one should die making movies or television. Period! No worker should ever be afraid of speaking up or speaking out, reaching out or refusing to participate if they feel they are in an unsafe situation.”
Robert LaBonge, who worked with Jones for three to four years on Army Wives and mentored her remembered Sarah’s sparkling eyes and joyful enthusiasm. Her friend Amanda Etheridge also spoke about her energy and beautiful spirit, and Sarah’s father, Richard (in deep pain and anguish), choked on emotion as he said as he looked out at the crowd of production people gathered, he felt he was among Sarah’s family. “They were filming a dream sequence, but it became our nightmare … do not have a reason for another father to stand up here and give this talk. No one’s daughter and no one’s son should ever die again making a film. Never.” He then pointed to one person after another in the crowd and said, “You are Sarah Jones.”
The crowd was moved to tears as her father spoke. Hundreds of candles burned across a sea of people who wore shirts that carried the message, “Never forget. Never Again,” and “We Are All Sarah Jones” which Rob Mendel from the DGA (representing ADs/UPMs) handed out on safety vests with the words printed on the back of them. Others wore stickers that read “Safety for Sarah.”
Hundreds of people stood shoulder to shoulder holding candles, many in tears. “We are here to stand in solidarity as sisters and brothers to demand the safety of all workers in their workplace,” said Steven Poster (ASC), president of the International Cinematographers Guild. “We must never ever forget this tragedy … the death of Sarah Jones will stand for something and will hold its place of honor in our industry for years to come. There is much to be discovered about this tragedy but we don’t need to have the facts to know one basic truth: No movie, no TV show and no job opportunity is worth the sacrifice of a human life.”
For those in attendance, set safety was utmost on their minds. “I’m here to show my support of Sarah Jones because her life matters,” said boom operator Tanya Peel who has worked for 16 years in the industry. Added Jennifer Caldwell, a SAG-AFTRA member, “Safety is so important in our industry and it is vital that people speak up when they don’t feel safe. I’ve had to do it myself and sometimes there is a lot pressure not to, but it is vital.”
Jones was tragically killed February 20 on the set of director Randall Miller‘s Midnight Rider, a film based on the life of singer Gregg Allman, when she was caught on the tracks and killed by a train as the production crew was filming a dream sequence. The picture was to be distributed in the states by Open Road Pictures. Production has since been shut down until further notice. An investigation into her death and the injuries of others is ongoing.
Jones’ death has spawned a flurry of commentary and calls to action regarding film safety across Hollywood. She has become the symbol of what has become an international movement in production communities. Several black ribbons were seen during Sunday’s Oscars ceremony including by Best Sound Editing winner Glenn Freemantle of Gravity. She was mentioned during the Oscarcast following the In Memoriam segments in a graphic pointing viewers to the Academy’s website. And ‘Slates for Sarah’ – a movement involving production companies all over the world writing her names on movie and tv slates and taking pictures of it and posting on the Slates for Sarah Facebook page — is continuing to grow.
Billy A. Fox, a location manager and scout for 31 years who has worked on about 27 films including I’ll Remember April and Reservoir Dogs as well as 1,000 TV spots and music videos, said that people on the set either need to “do it right or say we’re not doing it.” He said there was no reason whatsoever to have anyone die on a set and he himself has left a set when he felt that safety was being compromised. Added Sharon Day, from the Local 892 Costume Designers Guild who held a banner with her friend Betty Madden, “We’re standing up for Sarah and are here to honor her and Sarah’s parents and begging for job site safety. Everyone says she was a light. She was a beautiful spirit and everyone loved her. This tragedy is a wake-up call and we’re not going to take this lightly.”
She will be honored again Saturday by the Society of Camera Operators at the Skirball Cultural Center as they hold their Lifetime Achievement awards.
Malik Yoba is set to co-star opposite Terrence Howard in Fox’s hip-hop industry drama pilot Empire, from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Brian Grazer. It centers on Lucious Lyon (Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public. Yoba, repped by Innovative and the Arlook Group, will play Vernon Turner, Lucious’s longtime friend from the streets and business associate who is now the chairman of the board of Empire Entertainment.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
‘Gone With The Bullets’ Sets China Release Date
Jiang Wen’s Gone With The Bullets has secured a December 18 release date in China. The film is the follow-up to Jiang’s blockbuster Let The Bullets Fly, which made $140M worldwide in 2010. Based on a true story, 3D comedy Gone With The Bullets is set in 1920s Shanghai. Ma Zouri (Jiang Wen) and Xiang Feitian (Ge You) establish a notorious beauty pageant called the Flowers Competition. All of the city’s elite attend the gala event, but when an unexpected winner is crowned, it sets into motion a series of tragic events that change their destinies. Per FilmBizAsia, Jiang’s Buyilehu Film told local media that it hopes the title will represent China at the Oscars next year. The film will be handled internationally by Sony Pictures Releasing International. December is a hot time locally for Chinese films with U.S. movies often out of the frame. FBA says other films believed to be eyeing a December release include Tsui Hark’s The Taking Of Tiger Mountain, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem and Chen Kaige’s Taoist Mountain.
‘Intouchables’ Helmers’ ‘Samba’ Hits French Theaters In October
Gaumont has set an October 22 French release date for Samba, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s follow-up to smash hit The Intouchables. The directors have again teamed with star Omar Sy, who is joined in the film by Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim and Izia Higelin. Sy, who won the Best Actor César for Intouchables, this time plays a homeless man in the moving social comedy. Gaumont is co-producing with Quad Productions. Gaumont handles French distribution and international sales. Released on November 2, 2011, Intouchables grossed more than $440M worldwide. It is the all-time highest-grossing French film at home.
Filming Underway On Feminism Drama ‘Suffragette’
Pathé has started principal photography on Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan. Sarah Gavron directs the drama based on a script by Abi Morgan. Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep also star. The intense drama tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal state as they fought for the right to vote. They were willing to lose everything in their quest for equality. Ruby Film’s Faye Ward and Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks) are producing. Executive Producers are Pathé’s Cameron McCracken and Film4’s Tessa Ross. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK and France and is handling International Sales.
HBO Asia Miniseries ‘Grace’ Gets March 10 Start Date
HBO Asia’s second original miniseries starts shooting on March 10. Grace is a four-part horror mini in English and Mandarin. Set in urban Asia, it’s about a father’s mistake that condemns his family to unspeakable horror. Grace stars Russell Wong (What Women Want; HBO Asia’s Serangoon Road), veteran Singaporean actress Constance Song and Pamelyn Chee (Serangoon Road). Other cast members include Singaporeans Jean Toh and Vivienne Tseng and Taiwanese actress Teresa Daley (Transformers: Age Of Extinction). Grace is produced by HBO Asia and Infocus Asia with the support of the Media Development Authority of Singapore. Serangoon Road’s Tony Tilse directs.
I’ve learned that NBC’s comedy pilot Fifth Wheel is not going forward, at least for now, after difficulties with casting. With the number of original scripted series on cable and digital platforms exploding, there were major concerns going into this broadcasting season that the depleted talent pool would put extra strain on casting, leading to a number of pilots folding over problems finding the right actors. So far, those concerns have not materialized, with Fifth Wheel the first pilot this season to be pushed. There will not be a noticeable void left as NBC already had ordered the most comedy pilots, 14, as well as two series, Tooken and Mr. Robinson, for next season. Fifth Wheel, from ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co., was written on spec by Heidi Niedermeyer & Elena Crevello. It an ensemble comedy of a tight-knit group of friends that centers around a young woman who confronts her new reality after her last single friend gets engaged. Gordon and Andrea Shay executive produce, with Niedermeyer and Crevello as supervising producers.
Personal responsibility seldom seems to be the focus (or lesson) of romantic comedies, much less relationship dramas, which may be why “Kelly & Cal” feels so fresh and different.
Directed by Jen McGowan from a script by Amy Lowe Starbin, the film takes a familiar scenario — two uncomfortable people find comfort from each other — and renders it in sensitive, human dimensions. And with the help of terrific performances by Juliette Lewis and Jonny Weston (“Chasing Mavericks”), “Kelly & Cal” never fails to recognize that the solutions to life's problems are usually as unglamorous as the circumstances that make them necessary.
Lewis plays Kelly, a new mom struggling with the challenges of taking care of a baby, a task made all the more difficult due to the grinding work schedule of her husband Josh (Josh Hopkins of TV's “Cougar Town”). After trying and failing to make friends with some of the other moms in her neighborhood, Kelly crosses paths with wheelchair-bound teenage neighbor Cal (Weston), who's feeling his own sense of constraint.
The two oddballs strike up an unusual camaraderie; Cal provides her with a reminder of her younger, wilder days, and Kellay offers him with much-needed, unsentimental companionship. As they grow closer, however, Kelly begins to realize that her flirtation with youthful irresponsibility actually has consequences, and she soon finds herself juggling the responsibilities of a fragile marriage she wants to preserve and a tenuous romance she wants to revert to a friendship.
The idea of new parenthood is hardly a novel subject for a movie, nor is the disillusionment of adulthood, although typically these challenges are foisted on poor young husbands rather than their mostly-capable, put-together wives. First-timers McGowan and Starbin literally flip the script, making Kelly a female manchild, nostalgic for her reckless, “fun” adolescence, emotionally unprepared for parenthood and completely lost amidst the mundane duties of child rearing.
Lewis is ideally cast in the role, bringing her own eclectic history as an actress along with the substantive loneliness she gives the character, an island of rock & roll cool in an ocean of suburban affluence. The evolution of her attraction to Cal — mostly platonic but, starved for attention from her husband, occasionally flirtatious — never overshadows the truth that she is married and wants to stay that way.
As Cal, meanwhile, Weston skillfully avoids sentimentality, even amidst the laundry list of his achievements prior to the accident that cost him the use of his legs. A kid just smart enough to get himself into trouble and just desperate enough to interpret Kelly's friendship as something more, Weston makes Cal a fully dimensional counterpart, especially once he starts choosing inappropriate ways to express his interest in his lonely neighbor.
See photos: The Faces of Pilot Season 2014
At precisely the moment when the audience might be asking why Kelly can't just talk to Josh, she thankfully starts wondering that too. McGowan and Starbin never let either of them skate past their problems with an easy turn of phrase or superficial solution, which is ultimately why “Kelly & Cal” ranks among the more honest films about adulthood, much less parenthood, made in recent years.
It's a film that takes its characters and their crises seriously, allowing them to fully explore their situation before providing them (and the audience) a genuine roadmap for finding their way through.
The post ‘Kelly & Cal’ Review: New Mom Juliette Lewis Finds an Unlikely Suburban Soulmate appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
BREAKING: Even as Jeff Berg was locking down an investment in the agency this week from Beijing-based Bison Capital, rumors raced that other less desirable shakeups were about to happen. We are hearing that veteran motion picture agents Adam Kanter and Martin Spencer, longtime CAA agents who left to join Resolution last year, were escorted out of Resolution headquarters tonight and likely are on their way to Paradigm. Each of the agents brought key clients with them — Kanter brought Doug Liman and Pete Segal, only to see them leave. This is the hard part of trying to launch a talent agency in a most competitive climate, luring agents in as you build enough clientele to enable packaging. It tests client loyalties. I hear they were asked to take pay cuts and didn’t want to. More coming as I hear more about a developing situation.
Related: Director Doug Liman Returns To CAA
Scott Kalvert, who went from helming music videos to the features The Basketball Diaries and Deuces Wild, has died. He was 49. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said it is investigating his death as a suicide but provided no other details. Kalvert had a knack for working with unknown acts who would go on to become huge stars. He started in the music video business, hitting paydirt with his first project: “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” a 1988 pop hit by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince that launched the career of Will Smith. It was named Best Rap Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. The NYC native went on to direct videos for such acts as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Cyndi Lauper and, notably, “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, which featured a muscle-bound unknown named Mark Wahlberg. He also helmed the 1988 concert video Guns N’ Roses: Live At The Ritz, which aired on MTV. In 1995, Kalvert directed The Basketball Diaries, an adaptation of “People Who Died” singer Jim Carroll’s 1978 memoir. The film starred a teenage Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll along with Wahlberg in one of his first film roles and featured three actors who go on to be regulars on The Sopranos: Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperoli and Vincent Pastore. Kalvert’s only other feature directing credit was the 2002 actioner Deuces Wild, starring Stephen Dorff and Brad Renfro.
Talent agents Adam Kanter and Martin Spencer have left Resolution, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.
Kanter did not respond to TheWrap's request for comment and denied he was leaving the agency earlier this week.
Former ICM chairman Jeff Berg launched Resolution in January 2013, and Kanter and Spencer were two of his highest-profile hires after the duo left CAA. At the time, Berg said that the duo would play ”a key role in the development of our new agency.”
It is not immediately clear what led to Kanter and Spencer's exits or what their future plans are, but one studio executive described the agents as two of Resolution's top dealmakers. It also remains unclear whether any of the duo's clients will leave Resolution with them.
Kanter is a well-respected agent whose exit had been heavily rumored over the past week. He represents filmmakers such as Malcolm D. Lee, Stephen Sommers and Joe Johnston.
Spencer represents J. Michael Straczynski, Stuart Beattie and Mark Steven Johnson. He also represents Simon West along with Kanter.
Resolution recently received a sizable investment from Beijing-based financial company Bison Capital Holdings.
The post Talent Agents Adam Kanter, Martin Spencer Exit Resolution (Exclusive) appeared first on TheWrap.
Jason Bateman is tired of being the straight man. After playing the yuppie family guy in “The Change-Up,” “Identity Thief” and TV's “Arrested Development,” Bateman thrusts both middle fingers into the air — one at his nice-guy image and the other at good taste — in “Bad Words,” his abrasive directorial debut.
As a dark comedy that leans more on shock than actual humor to produce laughs, this tale of a miserable sonovabitch (Bateman) hell-bent on destroying a kids’ spelling bee shares with the tonally similar “Horrible Bosses” a misanthropic verve that exhilarates in the first act and grates by the third.
Shorn of his white-collar good looks with an unflattering buzzcut, Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, an eighth-grade dropout who exploits a loophole in the spelling-bee rules to enter a national competition. Guy's an arrogant competitor and a sore winner, advising the parents in the audience at a regional contest to pick up some rubber pillowcases for the night: “[The] little pricks are going to be counting tears, not sheep.”
Despite his juvenile antics, Guy is obviously whip-smart (he's later revealed to have a genius IQ and a photographic memory), so there's clearly something else making him act like an a-hole.
The mystery of his motivation isn't revealed until much, much later, when it reaches the “too little, too late” mark, though it's telegraphed steadily beforehand. Until then, quirky characters are what happens to movie protagonists while they're busy making other plans, so Guy soon has his plate full between frumpy blogger Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), who orders him not to look at her while they do the naked grunt, and fellow competitor Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), a preteen with a gapped-smile, too-short pants, and no parental supervision who pathetically trails Guy like a three-legged puppy.
Allison Janney's death glares and Philip Baker Hall's walrus-eyed gravitas are also put to good use in those character actors’ side roles as incensed spelling-bee officiators.
The formula-hewing friendship between Guy and Chaitanya largely sidesteps sentimentality because the older man is too shameless to ever feel regret. One night, the two pals go on a giddy meanness spree: they prank a random driver into thinking he's run Chaitanya over, leave a live lobster in a men's room toilet (yes, the worst does happen), and buy the ten-year-old a private peep show with a prostitute. Expertly cut and timed, the sequence is the film's absolute highlight.
Clearly, and admirably, “Bad Words” strives to keep the hugging and learning to a minimum. Too many a film comedian has been chewed up and spit out by the redemptive-arc machine, which produces soft and indistinguishable lumps of meat in polo shirts whose personalities are subsumed by apologies. Bateman knows this, which is why he smartly employs a light touch in making his character more sufferable.
And yet it's that same unrepentance that makes “Bad Words” an occasionally hostile experience. Guy punches often and always low, and because Bateman never gets enough distance from his character, he asks his audience to go along with his character's deeply sexist and racist jokes. He has a cover: Guy's insults are probably more competitive trash talk, albeit on the extreme end, than reflective of personal biases.
Either way, it still means sitting through the character elaborately comparing a woman's vagina to an old sweat sock for a solid minute and listening to him call Chaitanya “Slumdog,” a Thai prostitute, a terrorist, and sundry other brown-skin-specific slurs throughout the film, none of which are remotely funny. Sure, the boy eventually stands up for himself, but watching Guy offend women, non-white and fat kids (the vast majority of his targets) is simply dispiriting in its lack of imagination about what “edgy comedy” can mean.
The post ‘Bad Words’ Review: Jason Bateman's Directorial Debut Exhilarates Until It Grates appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap: