Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed on Tuesday night that the UK’s relationship with Star Wars will continue. The MP was at Pinewood – where JJ Abrams’ Episode VII moved onto soundstages about 10 days ago – and tweeted, “On set of Episode VII tonight, can announce another #StarWars film will be made in UK. A #LongTermEconomicPlan in a galaxy far far away.” The Conservative politician caught a lot of flack on Twitter for the latter remark, but by and large the Star Wars movies, and other big Hollywood projects, are bringing a flood of money into the UK which has very lucrative film tax breaks. The currently filming Episode VII is due for release on December 18, 2015 and the standalone Star Wars Osborne referred to last night will also be shot next year. The spinoff is being directed by Gareth Edwards. Per local reports, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid added last night, “Given Lucasfilm’s decision to film another Star Wars movie in the UK, it is clear that the Force is strong here.”
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar’s latest film Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, had a strong weekend at the international box office. The Friday-Sunday U.S. gross was $394,715 at 144 locations in North America with a $47K increase from Friday to Saturday. The Reliance Entertainment release also bowed in the UK, Canada, the Middle East and Australia. It opened to $6.9M in India and in the UAE took $354K. Director A.R. Murugadoss wrote and helmed the film which is a remake of his own Tamil blockbuster Thuppakki. The story follows Captain Virat Bakshi, a soldier who is also an undercover Secret Defence Intelligence Agent. Whilst on a family visit to Mumbai, he is caught up in a gruesome terror attack.
After five years as Managing Director at Banijay International, Karoline Spodsberg is moving to a new role within the group. She will segue to the newly-created position of Nordic Group COO at Nordisk Film TV. Reporting to CEO Jacob Houlind, Spodsberg will be in charge of planning, implementing and optimizing pan-Nordic development and sales operations. She will take up the position following Mipcom in October. Banijay’s Nordic Group has six production and development entities: Nordisk Film TV Denmark, Norway and Sweden; Respirator (Denmark); Pineapple (Denmark); and Banijay Finland. The group is the largest producer in the region, delivering over 1,000 hours of programming to local broadcasters in 2013. Spodsberg will manage the Nordic creative unit, take charge of Banijay Group’s catalogue adaptation across the Nordic territories and increase the focus on exporting Nordic formats. She will also oversee all third party relationships including those with Talpa through the recently established Talpa Nordic JV, as well as with Swedish based Elk and Mexiko.