UPDATE with more details on Stallone project: STX Entertainment film chief Adam Fogelson took the stage at CinemaCon today and emphasized the company’s commitment to mid-budget films — the ones that fall through the cracks as the majors devote more attention to tentpoles. The difference? STX product has more stars. That was highlighted by the big news of the presentation: an appearance by Sylvester Stallone who announced he was doing a new movie at STX but was mum on details.
“It’s a privilege to be part of something that’s going to provide entertainment and artistic value,” said the Rocky and Rambo multi-hyphenate.
There were no further details coming from STX, but we’ve learned Lawrence Grey is producing the Stallone pic via his Grey Matter Productions shingle. Grey, whose horror film Light’s Out is part of Warner Bros’ CinemaCon presentation later today, hatched the MI6 formation story Section 6 at Universal and Winter’s Knight at Sony with Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg directing.
While STX hasn’t overly wowed the industry in Year 1, Fogelson acknowledged that and mentioned that the studio is farther along than other nascent studios in their first year. A profit wonder for them last year was Joel Edgerton’s Blumhouse title The Gift, which was made for $5M and grossed more than $43M at the domestic box office. This year’s slate will boast 10 titles; the first two were The Boy and Hardcore Henry.
Pound for pound, STX brought more stars today than Paramount did at its presentation yesterday. While Megan Fox, Will Arnett and Jack Huston were the only live shows last night, some of the big names that STX trotted out were Stallone, Matthew McConaughey, Mila Kunis, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Hailee Steinfeld and Kyra Sedwick.
The first clip shown was for Free State Of Jones, the Civil War film McConaughey that comes out on June 24. It’s an intense film with the scene showing McConaughey’s Newton Knight trying to save a boy on the battlefield. Knight was a Mississippi farmer who led a rebellion against the Confederate Army. McConaughey and director Gary Ross took the stage with actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Fogelson mentioned it was the first movie that STX greenlighted.
Fogelson said that The Edge Of Seventeen is reminiscent of John Hughes’ work and was an obvious greenlight when Jim Brooks walked through the doors with the project. It’s a bawdy, female-driven teen comedy starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson directed by Kelly Fremon with hues of Sixteen Candles. It drew laughs and applause. Fremon’s directorial debut, it comes out September 30.
There also was an early first look Jackie Chan’s gritty The Foreigner, STX’s first co-production with China. Chan stars as a grieving father who takes revenge after his daughter is killed in an IRA bombing and the authorities refuse to do anything about it. Pierce Brosnan co-stars, and Martin Campbell directs.
STX sent the crowd out on a funny note with raunchy gal comedy Bad Moms starring Kunis, Applegate, Bell, Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Hahn and Annie Mumolo. A lot of potty-mouth sex talk in this one. STX specifically has it on July 29, a counterprogramming pic on the weekend Universal opens Jason Bourne.
“I feel like since I’ve become a mom, my life has become more R-rated … just more savage” said Mumolo, who was Oscar-nominated for her Bridesmaids screenplay.
No footage was shown for STX’s first animated featureThe Uglydolls.
Other trailers shown included horror title The Bye Bye Man (June 3) and The Space Between Us (August 19). Deadline’s Pete Hammond will weigh in with more details later.