‘Purge: Election Year’ Sets Off Fireworks On Thursday Night, Beating ‘BFG’ & ‘Tarzan’
Universal’s/Blumhouse/Platinum Dunes threequel Purge: Election Year scored the most dough last night with $3.64M at 2,343 theaters; the biggest preview night for any Purge movie. This blew away Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s The Legend of Tarzan which made $2.55M and Disney/Walden Media’s The BFG which grossed $775K.
Even though tracking has both Tarzan and The BFG with an opening in the low $30Ms, some are expecting Purge: Election Year to surprise, and to be the best… Read
Amazon, PBS Extend & Expand Streaming Deal For Kids Series
Amazon and PBS Distribution have inked a multiyear deal to keep Amazon Prime Video as the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for several PBS Kids series and adds some new ones.
Shows that were part of the companies’ existing slate including Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad and Dinosaur Train will be joined by Nature Cat, Ready Jet Go! and others.
The programs will premiere on PBS stations and then will be made available in Amazon Prime Video… Read
LMNO Sues Its Former Accountant For Fraud & Embezzlement
LMNO Productions, which is embroiled in a legal dispute with Discovery over a half-dozen reality TV shows, has filed a $10.5 million fraud and civil extortion lawsuit against its former accountant. The suit accuses Paul Ikegami of embezzlement, falsifying its books and attempting to extort $800,000 from the company.
The 20-page lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), is just the latest twist in a tangled saga of intrigue and alleged duplicity… Read
Academy Directors Branch Was Most Aggressive On Diversity: Here’s How
EXCLUSIVE: The long-overdue broadening of the Academy membership’s diversity covered every branch, but none reshaped its membership as strongly as did the Directors Branch. The executive committee, chaired by Michael Mann and also headed by Kathryn Bigelow and Ed Zwick, made real strides, according to a memo Deadline got hold of that was sent to Directors Branch members today.
The Directors Branch invited the highest percentage of women and minorities into its fold of any… Read
‘Riverdale’ Star KJ Apa Joins Boston Marathon Pic ‘Altar Rock’
EXCLUSIVE: KJ Apa has landed a lead role in Altar Rock, an indie thriller from director Andrzej Bartkowiak inspired by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. No word on his role in the film, which will shoot on location this summer. Kristin Alexandre and A. Wayne Carter wrote the script.
Apa’s profile will get a boost when he stars as Archie in the CW’s midseason drama series Riverdale. The New Zealand native also has a role in A Dog’s Purpose, Lasse Hallstrom’s pic about one… Read
Universal TV Drama Head Russell Rothberg Exits
Universal TV’s Russell Rothberg is stepping down as EVP of drama development.
Russell’s contract was up in March, and we hear he was planning to leave the studio then, but with the change in direction and reshuffling that’s happened in recent weeks, he felt like the time was right to leave now. This was amicable among all parties and no replacement has been named as of yet, I hear.
Among the drama series Rothberg has developed are Bates Motel for A&E, and Chicago Fire and… Read
#BoycottCinemark Erupts After Exhibitor Asks Aurora Victims To Pay $700K In Legal Fees
UPDATE, 8:31PM: The hashtag #BoycottCinemark filled social media pages today after it was reported that the nation’s third-largest exhibitor was seeking to stick a $700,000 legal bill to victims and surviving family members of the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at the Century 16 multiplex during a screening of Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises.
Even California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was appalled at Cinemark’s legal maneuvers, tweeting out tonight:
Shameful! #… Read
Stuart Nisbet Dies: Prolific Character Actor Was 82
Stuart Nisbet, a character actor with over 172 film and television credits who appeared on everything from Dennis the Menace to In The Heat of the Night and Casino died June 23 at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, California. He was 82.
A Los Angeles native, Nisbet grew up in Bakersfield and studied acting at both Los Angeles City College and Cal State L.A. He would go on to make a career out of guest acting spots, with one of his earliest acting jobs seeing him… Read
Peter Bart: Conglomeration Is Snuffing Out Courage In Hollywood
As the Viacom melodrama nears its dubious climax, a growing sector of the creative community has come to accept this reality: bigger is not better. "Hollywood was far better off before the corporate giants annexed the studios and networks," argues one of the town's prominent players, who does not want to be identified because he works for a multinational.
Going back to the days of Steve Ross and Charlie Bluhdorn, Hollywood has always been suspicious of the conglomerators… Read
Want To Get An Option Deal With Ridley Scott’s Scott Free? Here’s Your Chance
EXCLUSIVE: After Scott Free and Ridley Scott turned Andy Weir’s novel The Martian into a blockbuster Oscar contending picture last year, Scott has opened himself up to the chance to find new novel voices for picture projects. So he’s joined forces with the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, which has broadened beyond screenwriters to include the prospect of authors with strong cinematic voices. Scott Free has committed to option at least one winning project in the… Read
Apple Eyeing Purchase Of Jay-Z’s Tidal Music Service – Report
Less than two years after its high-profile launch, music streaming service Tidal, run by rap music superstar Jay-Z, is reportedly in preliminary talks to be acquired by Apple. The two companies are in “exploratory talks” that may or may not result in a deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. If a purchase happens, it would greatly increase the catalog of the Apple Music streaming service, adding Tidal’s roster of exclusive artists and content to its already large… Read
Legendary Eyeing Scott Eastwood For Key Role In ‘Pacific Rim 2’
EXCLUSIVE: After staking out a February 23, 2018 release date earlier today, Legendary Pictures is targeting Scott Eastwood for a key role alongside John Boyega in the second installment of its Pacific Rim franchise. Deadline revealed June 6 that Legendary was building the Steven S. DeKnight-directed sequel around the Star Wars: The Force Awakens star, and the company is now casting up in earnest and I think Eastwood will be the next to join the fold if his deal makes… Read