U.S. Embassy In Cairo In Twitter Trouble Over ‘Daily Show’ Link
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo temporarily shut down its Twitter feed on Wednesday, deleting a missive it had sent linking to video of The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart defended Egyptian TV host Bassem Youssef. Youssef, aka “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” was called in for questioning by the public prosecutor over the weekend to face allegations of insulting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. The embassy tweeted a link to the video, but when Egyptian authorities said it was “inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda,” the entire account was deleted then restored sans the offending link, The Associated Press reported. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland scolded the embassy as well: “Embassies and consulates and their senior leadership manage the content that is on their feeds and they are expected to use good policy judgment in doing that. Earlier this week, Nuland said the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party then condemned her “imprudent” remarks.
Warner Bros Has Local Language Hit With Mexico’s ‘Nosotros Los Nobles’
Warner Bros.’ Mexican comedy Nosotros Los Nobles has scored the second biggest opening ever for a non-animated local film. Debuting last weekend, it grossed $2.1M and sold over half a million tickets. It’s also the fifth best opening ever for a Mexican film of any kind and the seventh biggest all-time opening for a comedy regardless of the country of origin. It is now the only Mexican film among the top ten where the record-holder is The Hangover Part II. Nosotros Los Nobles opened on 839 screens and, factoring in previews, has grossed $4.45M. Gonzalo Vega stars as a powerful businessman who fakes his own bankruptcy to teach his lazy sons a lesson.
Former Pixomondo Execs To Build Image Unit
Former Pixomondo Shanghai execs Marcus Roth and Daniel Rajcic are setting up their own shop in the wake of Pixomondo shuttering its local office. The company, which recently completed work on Tom Cruise pic Oblivion, closed its London and Detroit offices earlier this year. Roth, who was general manager in Shanghai, tells Deadline that he and creative director Rajcic will base their new outfit, Image Unit, in Shanghai to initially serve the Chinese advertising market. Roth says, “China has become the most important market for a range of products, like cars, mobile phones or cosmetics. Image Unit will design and create the visual content to get in touch with 1.3B potential consumers.” The focus at the outset will be on CGI for high-end commercials and virals, as well as content creation for events, installations and exhibitions. But, the set-up of a VFX department is also planned for later this year. The market is in a state of flux epitomized by the recent woes at Rhythm & Hues. “At the moment,” Roth says, “we are talking with production companies in China and in Europe about visual effects production for co-produced TV features and movies. We are also looking forward to working together with U.S. studio clients in the long run.”
Indian Actor Sues Shah Rukh Khan Over Film Release
Indian actor and director Manoj Kumar is seeking $18.5M in a lawsuit he’s filed against Bollywood mega-star Shah Rukh Khan and Eros International, the producers of 2007 film Om Shanti Om. According to reports, Kumar is concerned that the romantic comedy was released in Japan without deleting scenes that spoof his mannerisms. In 2008, a Mumbai court had ordered the scenes be deleted, but the film’s director told reporters on Wednesday that the wrong version of the movie may have been distributed in Japan. “This has not been done purposely. The film’s distributors may have erred and sent an old print to Japan. Anyway, it’s time to let go. It’s a time to feel happy and proud that it is doing so well in Japan,” The Associated Press quoted her as saying.
‘Child’s Pose’ Strikes Gold At Romanian Box Office
The winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear, Child’s Pose, has become the biggest homegrown hit Romania has had in the past ten years. The story of a mother trying to save her son from prison has sold 72,128 tickets in its first month of release, according to Cineuropa. That’s the most admissions since Nae Caranfil’s 2002 comedy Philanthropy. A Parada Film production, Child’s Pose has outperformed Cristian Mungiu’s 2007 Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days. The top films in Romania so far this year are Oz: The Great And Powerful and Gangster Squad, both with approximately 111,000 admissions. Child’s Pose is currently the number 10 film of the year.
Nordisk Expands Exhibition Reach In Norway
Denmark’s Nordisk Film has acquired all shares in Oslo Kino AS, the largest movie theater chain in Norway, for about $103M. Nordisk already owned 18 cinemas in Denmark and Norway where it will now have a 28% market share after adding Oslo Kino’s 15 sites. Oslo Kino’s theaters sell about 3M tickets annually. The transaction is expected to be complete in the second quarter of the year. Nordisk is owned by the Egmont media group.