‘Mockingjay’ Sings High Abroad, But Why Is Katniss Shooting Low At Stateside B.O.?
2:49AM: Late night industry domestic B.O. estimates for Friday show Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with $55.5M from 4,151 screens including Thursday previews of $17M. While that number ranks third behind Catching Fire's first day from a year ago of $70.95M (-22%) and The Hunger Games' March 23, 2012 opening day of $67.26M (-17%), Mockingjay is rocketing toward the sky overseas where it's collected $33M in its first two days, pacing 5-10% ahead of Catching… Read
SVP Alternative Among Several Eliminated Positions At CW
The CW SVP alternative programming Kristen Connolly Vadas in exiting the network as her position is being eliminated, one of several being cut at the network. I hear none of the others are in programming. It is unclear whether the cuts are related to the ongoing layoffs at Warner Bros. Entertainment, which co-owns the CW with CBS.
Vadas was one of two alternative executives at the CW, leading the network's unscripted efforts since previous CW top unscripted executive… Read
Nora Arnezeder To Co-Star In ‘Zoo’; Christian Campbell Joins ‘True Detective’
French actress Nora Arnezeder (Safe House) is set to co-star opposite James Wolk in CBS' new summer drama series Zoo. Based on the novel by James Patterson, Zoo is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet. It centers on Jackson Oz (Wolk), a renegade American zoologist running safaris in the wilds of Africa who is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery of the pandemic. Arnezeder will play Chloe Tousignant, a French… Read
‘Jump Start’ Comic Strip To Be Adapted As Family Comedy For Fox
Black-ish's The Johnsons may be joined by another Black family in primetime next season. Fox is developing Jump Start, a single-camera comedy based on Robb Armstrong's long-running comic strip. Co-written by Armstrong and Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm In The Middle), the project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment, follows a Philadelphia cop who finds it harder to “serve and protect” at home than on the streets. Armstrong, Orenstein and Kaplan… Read
Resolution’s Cynthia Booth & Emma Lewis Join Don Buchwald & Associates
Veteran agent Cynthia Booth and manager-turned-agent Emma Lewis have joined Don Buchwald and Associates in Los Angeles. Both come from now-shuttered Resolution.
Booth, most recently head of the TV/talent division at Resolution, began her career at CAA and subsequently worked at Writers and Artists.
Lewis began at ICM working for Leigh Brillstein. She segued to Brillstein Entertainment and spent time on both the talent and literary sides before being brought in as an agent… Read
Hobbit Sings Sweet Farewell To Middle Earth
Billy Boyd, who played the precocious hobbit Pippin in The Lord Of The Rings, has sung a swan song for Peter Jackson's Middle Earth obsession that ends after six films with The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies. It certainly brings back memories. While I've heard sentiments that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, like Twilight Saga, need not have stretched its final book into two films–it's all about profit–the trailer for the Hobbit finale indicates that audiences as… Read
‘Mockingjay Part I’ Preys Upon $33M In 2-Day Overseas Debut: Int’l Box Office
Lionsgate earlier today reported that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I was tracking 5% over last year's Catching Fire overseas. In 2013, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire did slightly better abroad than domestically at about $440M vs $425M. We now have some dollar estimates on the first installment of the franchise finale's performance in several offshore markets. The estimated early total through Day 2 of international release is over $33M.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss… Read
Charles Sipkins Exiting Sony As Corporate PR Head
Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton just issued an internal notice that SVP Communications Charles Sipkins has resigned to pursue other opportunities. “We thank him for his contributions and wish him success in the future,” the memo said.
Sipkins, whom I always found to be an effective, stand up guy, came aboard in August 2013 after working with several media companies in his role at crisis PR firm Sard Verbinnen, including advising for Yahoo and… Read
Tina Fey & Robert Carlock’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Moves From NBC To Netflix With 2-Season Pickup
Netflix has stepped in to pick up cancelled series before — The Killing, Arrested Development and most recently Longmire. Now the streaming service is taking over a series that has not yet premiered, midseason NBC comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.
Netflix has doubled the 13-episode order the series starring Ellie Kemper had at NBC. The 13-episode first season will debut on Netflix in March, around the same time it should've premiered on… Read
Exhibitors Agree To “Landmark” ADA Compromise On Closed Captioning
Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act could have cost movie exhibitors as much as $275 million for equipment and services. That burden may lighten, however, as a result of a compromise proposed today by the National Association of Theatre Owners and five groups representing the hearing-impaired. The groups will urge the Department Of Justice to tweak its proposed rules to give theaters more flexibility to offer closed captioning and equipment.
The agreement… Read
SAG Pension & Health Plan Whistleblower Craig Simmons Wasn’t First To Ring Alarms
EXCLUSIVE: Fully two years before whistleblower Craig Simmons alerted the U.S. Department of Labor to alleged malfeasance at the $3 billion SAG Pension & Health Plans, fellow employee Gary Mathis made virtually identical allegations to the federal agency, Deadline has learned.
Mathis and Simmons both filed claims and wrongful-termination suits, with decidedly different outcomes. Mathis' claims were rejected by an arbitrator, but Simmons' claims went public, with coverage… Read
WME Signs ‘Starry Eyes’ Directing Duo
EXCLUSIVE: Writing and directing partners Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer have signed with WME as their dark thriller Starry Eyes continues to climb the iTunes charts. The partially crowdfunded indie about a wannabe Hollywood actress (Alexandra Essoe) who makes a demonic pact for fame debuted in select theaters and digital platforms last weekend via Dark Sky Films, which snapped up the pic after the film's well-received debut at Austin's South By Southwest this March… Read