How ‘Star Wars’ Will Blow Up The Record Books With A $615M+ Global Opening
When Disney revives the long slumbering Star Wars franchise on December 18, The Force Awakens will take the global tentpole opening to a history-making high. How high? Many are already predicting a record $615M worldwide opening, and they have plenty of reason to be confident in that number. The first Star Wars in 1977 gave birth to the blockbuster era of filmmaking — and grosses.
As we come off a summer where Jurassic World set the record with a $524.4M global opening… Read
Metrograph, A New Indie Film Duoplex, Will Rise On NYC’s Lower East Side
Orchard Street boutique owner Alexander Olch sells his custom-made ties and haberdashery at high-end retailers, but his heart is in L.E.S., where he has taken over a 5,400-square-foot warehouse next to a Chinese funeral home on Ludlow Street. By February, he plans to open a two-screen theater called Metrograph for art-house and independent films. The building backs onto the long-vacant Loew’s Canal Street theater.
Construction on the $1.4 million interior has been going… Read
Lily Tomlin Takes The Lead In ‘Grandma’; Johnny Knoxville Fetes Childhood Hero In ‘Being Evel’: Specialty Preview
Early awards chatter was ripe this week in the lead-up to Lily Tomlin’s Grandma rollout Friday via Sony Pictures Classics. The film joins a fairly heavy slate of specialty newcomers this weekend as distributors begin to eye the competitive fall roster of awards-season titles coming out of festivals in Venice, Toronto, Telluride, New York as well as the Hamptons, AFI Fest and others. Also taking their theatrical bows are Gravitas’ Sundance doc Being Evel, about the… Read
Cinemark Taps Mark Zoradi To Be CEO, Replacing Tim Warner
Former DreamWorks Animation COO Mark Zoradi will move to the other side of the screen business on Monday when he replaces Tim Warner as CEO of Cinemark, the company just announced.
Warner, 70, is stepping down after 20 years at the company, and 50 in the exhibition industry. The company says he will “provide consulting services” after the expiration of his employment agreement. He’ll also become the board’s vice chairman, under Chairman Lee Roy Mitchell. Warner’s contract… Read
Regal Head Film Buyer Ted Cooper Exiting; Warner Bros’ Mike Viane Taking Post
EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cooper, longtime head buyer of films for Regal Entertainment Group, is going to leave his post at the end of the year and retire, I hear. He’s a well respected exec and this was his choice and he’ll consult for the company for a year. Regal is well along towards replacing him in the post with Mike Viane, the Warner Bros distribution exec. He’s the son of Chuck Viane, who headed up distribution at Disney for years, and his son knows the ropes.
Cooper had… Read
‘Straight Outta Compton’ Advance Ticket Sales Through The Roof On Fandango
Universal’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton currently represents more than 70% of Fandango’s weekend ticket sales. In addition, the online movie ticket agency reports that Compton is a record among pre-sales for musical biopics — read titles like Ray, Walk The Line, Notorious and Jersey Boys. Thursday previews for Compton begin tonight at 8 PM. The film goes wide Friday at 2,751 theaters.
Universal is expecting the F. Gary Gray film to do in the mid-$20M range for… Read
Toronto Unveils Docs, Midnight Madness And Vanguard Screenings
The Toronto International Film Festival today announced a new round of titles that will play at this year’s fest, which kicks off September 10 through September 20, for its docus, Midnight Madness and Vanguard sections. Among the docs playing are David Guggenheim’s much-anticipated Malala Yousefai feature docu He Named Me Malala. Also playing at the fest will be Emmanuel Leconte and Daniel Leconte’s Je Suis Charlie, about the attack on the Charlie Hebdo HQ in Paris by… Read
Kevin Bacon Tops ‘Cop Car’ As Bad Guy; Alexander Sarsgård & Kristen Wiig Lead ‘Diary Of A Teenage Girl: Specialty Preview
A tidy group of specialty bows will head to theaters along with several studio offerings, including Ricki And The Flash, which had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival on Wednesday night. Perhaps no other midsummer festival so comfortably combines a sprinkling of Hollywood alongside a heavy rotation of auteurs including titles that likely will have limited bows stateside this fall or in 2016. But today, Cop Car goes head-on with studio and indie releases. The… Read
Regal Rejects Paramount Film Test That Might Shorten The Theatrical Window
The No. 1 theater chain says it won’t show Paramount’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (to be released October 23) and Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (October 30) — rejecting the studio’s experiment with AMC Entertainment that might cut into the 90-day period when exhibitors want exclusivity.
Paramount said this month it will put the films on digital home video outlets 17 days after each dips below 300 domestic theaters. At that point, exhibitors that show… Read
‘Vacation’ Sputters In Wednesday Debut – Box Office
The Griswolds have started their latest trip to Walley World slower than expected. Warner Bros./New Line’s Vacation made $3.805M in its opening Wednesday, which includes Tuesday night previews of $1.2M. Despite the low number, it was the top film on Wednesday. Current weekend estimates now see a five-day in the high-$20M range. Some exhibitors were reporting a low turnout in theaters last night. Audiences gave the film a B CinemaScore, which is less than other raunchy… Read
AMC Entertainment Reports Record-Setting Q2 As CEO Talks Up Innovation
Strange as it sounds, recliner seats and upscale concessions were the stars of the show for financial types at AMC Entertainment in Q2. The No. 2 theater chain reported record ticket and concession sales.
It showed that “guests are driven by more than a movie slate,” outgoing CEO Gerry Lopez said in his last call with the exhibition company’s analysts. AMC’s venues with plush recliner seats “exceed our 25% [profit] return hurdle by a wide margin.” As AMC expands the build… Read
‘Vacation’ Review: R-Rated Gags Rachet Up Raunch – And Fun – In Franchise Reboot
Time to hit that “holiday road” again with the Griswolds as Warner Bros and New Line Cinema have rebooted the highly successful ’80s comedy franchise Vacation, and as I say in my video review (click the link above) that is a very good thing. The new Vacation is decidedly NOT your father’s version which starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo — first in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation and followed by three theatrical sequels. Now the plot has Rusty, the son in those… Read