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Friday, October 30, 2009

"The Mortal Instruments" have Unique Features

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Unique Features partners Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne is in collaboration with Constantin Film to develop Cassandra Clare's bestselling trilogy novels into movie.

Unique Features optioned "The Mortal Instruments" series of novels which comprised of "City of Bones," "City of Ashes" and "City of Glass" several months ago. Writer Jessica Postigo, who wrote "Operation Checkmate" for Screen Gems, will be writing the screenplay based on the three novels.

The movie tells the story of sixteen-year old girl named Clary Fray, who lives in New York with her mother. When her mother went missing, she went in search for her mother. Clues led her into an alternate New York filled with demons, warlocks, vampires and werewolves.

Constantin Film's Robert Kulzer will produce the fantasy movie, while Martin Moszkowicz, also of Constantin, will be exec producer. There is not words yet as to who will be directing the movie.


Anthony Hopkins is Odin, the father of "Thor"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Veteran Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins ("The Silence of the Lambs", "Hannibal")is set to play Odin, the chief god of the Norse gods in Asgard and the father of Thor, in Marvel Studios production "Thor."

Hopkins will be joining Chris Hemsworth who is playing Thor, Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki, and Natalie Portman who plays Thor's love interest, Jane Foster.

"Sleuth" director Kenneth Branagh will direct the movie from the script written by Mark Protosevich and Zack Stentz, which tells of a partially disabled medical student, Donald Blake, who learned that he is Thor's mortal alter ego after the discovery of the Thunder God's disguised hammer that enabled him to change back and forth into the Thunder God.

The movie is scheduled be released on the 20th of May, 2011 by Paramount Pictures.


Columbia wants more "Men in Black"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Columbia Pictures has officially hired ("Tropic Thunder", "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa", "Sherlock Holmes") writer Etan Cohen to write the script for the planned third installment of the "Men in Black" series.

There is no formal deal as yet for the series' stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but it is unlikely that Columbia will go forward with the project without their involvement. Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed the first two movies, might come back to direct this third series.

The studio is aiming to start production in spring 2010.

"MIB" (1997) and "MIB2" (2002) grossed a combination of nearly $1.1 billion worldwide to become one of the most successful comedy franchises.


Producer Heather Rae is going to "Buhl, Idaho"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Producer/Director Heather Rae who produced crime drama "Frozen River" that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, is set to produce Jaffe Zinn's directorial debut feature titled "Buhl, Idaho."

Rae will be producing through her Besito Films banner, with Nina Foxx and Paull Cho executive producing.

According to Variety, the screenplay which was written by Jaffe Zinn is about a tragic event that unfolds over the course of a single day in a small town.

Scott Glenn ("Silverado", "The Bourne Ultimatum") will be leading the cast that comprised of Alison Elliott "The Assassination of Jesse James", Kyle Gallner, Matthew Gubler, Will Estes and Johnny Lewis.

Shooting started this week and takes place in and around the city of Buhl, and expected to wrap up by mid-November.


Kwak Kyung-taek directs "The Battle Of Yellow Sea" in 3D

By Siewaun
Reference: screendaily

Korean director Kwak Kyung-taek, best known for his 2001 box-office record-breaking movie "Friend," and boxer movie "Champion," is getting ready to direct Korea's first 3D live-action movie titled "The Battle Of Yellow Sea" (working title).

The $16.65million (KW20billion) movie is based on true happenings, where in 2002, the biggest naval engagement between North Korean and South Korean navy since the Korean War occurred.

IM Pictures, the company that previously produced "My Sassy Girl", "Tazza: The High Rollers" and "The Big Swindle," is in collaboration with Ocean Drive Entertainment to produce the 3D movie. IM Pictures' CEO Choi Wan will executive produce.

Production is planned to begin in March 2010, and will be released by the end of 2010.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wei Te-Sheng has found "A Real Man aka Seediq Bale"

By Siewaun
Reference: MonkeyPeaches

Director of the very successful movie "Cape No. 7" (海角七號), Taiwanese director Wei Te-Sheng is getting ready to start his next movie titled "Seediq Bale" (which literally mean "A Real Man"), according to MonkeyPeaches.

The movie is based on a true happenings of Wushe Incident, where before the dawn of October 27, 1930, the Atayal Chief Rudao Bai who lead a group of 1200 tribal members to the biggest assault and the last rebellion against Japanese colonial forces in Taiwan. The uprising lasted for 50 days before it finally fell after the Japanese retaliated by dropping poison gas canisters from aircrafts, resulting in a massacre of Atayal tribespeople.

Vivian Hsu, aboriginal actor Umin Boya, Ma Ju-Lung and aboriginal singer actress Lo Meilin will be starring in the movie alongside non-professional aboriginal Taiwanese men and women that makes up the majority of the cast.

I suppose, director Wei has chosen to use non-professionals to add authenticity to the movie, which is a brilliant idea!

Internationally acclaimed director, John Woo, who has vast experience making war movies including "Windtalkers" and "Red Cliff" series, has been attached to executive produce the movie with Terrence Chang who previously produced the "Red Cliff" series.

A press conference was held 2 days ago at Nantou County of central Taiwan (memorial site for Wushe Incident) to mark the start of shooting.


Anne Heche joins Ed Helms at "Cedar Rapids"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Anne Heche will be taking on the female leading role in Fox Searchlight's comedy "Cedar Rapids," alongside Ed Helms who will play the male leading role, and John C. Reilly, reports Variety.

Heche, who will also be starring in Columbia Pictures'"The Other Guys" alongside Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, is set to play a woman who befriends a small-town Wisconsin insurance agent (Helms) who goes to an insurance convention to try to save the jobs of his fellow workers.

Director Miguel Arteta, who is best known for directing comedy thriller "Chuck & Buck" in 2000, is attached to direct "Cedar Rapids" from the script written by Phil Johnston.

Arteta's latest directorial apart from "Cedar Rapids" is "Youth in Revolt," a romantic comedy starring Michael Cera and due out in 2010.

Alexander Payne will be producing the comedy with his Ad Hominem Enterprises partners, Jim Taylor and Jim Burke.


Carlos Brooks to find "Someone in the Dark"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Carlos Brooks ("Quid Pro Quo", "Burning Bright") will be directing a teen thriller which was recently acquired by DreamWorks, titled "Someone in the Dark".

Gavin Polone "Zombieland" is collaborating with former DreamWorks exec Marc Haimes to produce from the screenplay written by Richard Blaney and Gregory Small based on an idea by Brooks.

Plot details are still being kept under wraps.

Brooks just recently wrapped up filming "Burning Bright", which is about a young woman and her autistic little brother who are trapped in a house during a hurricane, with a hungry tiger stalking them.


Tony Scott dances with Chippendales

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Tony Scott ("True Romance", "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3") is set to direct a biopic of Somen "Steve" Banerjee, the man who created Chippendales Clubs in the 80s when male strip clubs was phenomenon.

According to Variety, the biopic will follow the rise and fall of Banerjee, who bought a failed Los Angeles club named "Destiny II" and turned it into a nightclub, which would later evolves into Chippendales Clubs and expanded to New York's Club Magique, London, Hamburg, Philadelphia and Florida, and extensive shows tour internationally. After bringing on choreographer/director Steve Merrit to polish the all-male dance troupe, Banerjee became so rich that he turned unreasonably competitive and paranoid. Banerjee hired a hitman to murder the choreographer when negotiations went sour. He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering, and murder for hire, and died in jail awaiting trial.

Scott will produce the biopic through his Scott Free banner, with David Permut's Permut Presentations, Firoz Nadiadwala and Steve Longi. Executive producer is Peter Saphier, who previously co-produced "Scarface."

Screenwriter Lisa Schrager "Pay the Girl" wrote the script for the movie by adapting a manuscript written by Rodney Sheldon.


James Caan and Vera Farmiga are "Henry's Crime" partners

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

James Caan ("The Godfather", "New York, I Love You") and Vera Farmiga ("The Departed", "Up in the Air") have signed on to join Keanu Reeves in romantic comedy "Henry's Crime." Malcolm Venville "44 Inch Chest" will be directing the movie from the script by Sacha Gervasi "Anvil! The Story of Anvil."

Reeves who is also attached to upcoming movies "Jekyll" and "Cowboy Bebop", produced the movie with his Company Films' partner Stephen Hamel, Lemore Syvan "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" and, David Mimran and Jordan Schur of Mimran Schur Pictures. Scott Fischer will executive produce.

Farmiga will be starring as the love interest of a bighearted man played by Reeves, who is falsely accused of robbing a bank in Buffalo. Caan's role has yet to be disclosed.

The movie which marks the debut movie in production for Reeves' Company Films, is scheduled to begin shooting in upstate New York later this year.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Milla Jovovich to star in "Faces in the Crowd"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Milla Jovovich has signed on to star in writer-director Julien Magnat's first English-language directorial debut, a psychological thriller "Faces in the Crowd". Magnat "Bloody Mallory" also wrote the screenplay.

According to Variety, the story is about a woman who is survived an attack by a serial killer. She wakes up in hospital with head injury that leaves her "face-blind." No longer able to recognize faces, she must navigate a world where everyone looks different each time she loses sight of them. All the while the killer is determined to eliminate the only potential eye-witness.

Scott Mednick "Where the Wild Things Are" will be producing alongside Sylvain White "Stomp the Yard", Jean-Charles Levy, Clement Miserez and Kevin DeWalt.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in March of 2010.


Adam Sandler is both "Jack and Jill"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

After doing stand-up comedy in "Funny People", Adam Sandler now wants to play Jack and Jill, and go up the hill, but let's hope he won't...urm...falls down and break his crown, and comes tumbling after!

Variety reports that Sandler will star in the romantic comedy "Jack and Jill", where he will play Jack as well as twin sister Jill.

Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions producing partner Jack Giarraputo will be co-producing with Todd Garner "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." Steve Koren ("Saturday Night Live", "Bruce Almighty", "Click") wrote the script.

The movie is scheduled to begin shooting next year, and will be released in early 2011 by Sony.


Yuen Woo-ping finds "Garnet on the Golden Sand"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Yuen Woo-ping's Hong Kong-based FilmCan Production has formed a partnership with Ambush Entertainment's Matthew Leutwyler and Miranda Bailey to co-produce a new kungfu movie which he will also direct.

Script of the movie, "Garnet on the Golden Sand" was written by Jun Tan "Dead & Breakfast". Set in the 17th century, it revolves around a European merchant and two Chinese swordsmen who are recruited by the leader of a prosperous trade town along the Silk Road to fight off a notorious desert raider.

Woo-ping was a prolific director in the ’80s and ’90s, directed movies including Drunken Master (1978), Last Hero in China (1993), Tai Chi Master (1993), Iron Monkey (1993) and Iron Monkey 2 (1996). He also done action choreography for "Kung Fu Hustle," "Kill Bill" and "The Matrix" franchise.

Woo-ping is now busy directing another kungfu movie "True Legend" starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, Andy On, and Guo Xiaodong.

Shooting of "Garnet..." is scheduled to begin next Summer in China.


Jim Jacks to produce "Mortis Rex"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Producer Jim Jacks, who previously produced movies includes "Mummy" franchise and The Scorpion King, has signed on to produce the $25 million supernatural action thriller "Mortis Rex." The movie marks the directorial debut of "Hellboy" co-writer Peter Briggs, who also wrote "Mortis Rex" script.

Jacks will be producing through his Frelaine Productions banner, with Stuart Pollok, Matthew Dench of The Dench Arnold Agency and Marisa Kagan of Magenta Management and Production.

The story is set in 123 AD, where a disgraced Roman war hero is sent to defend a Roman garrison stationed in remote Scotland from a spate of mysterious killings. The hero reclaims his rightful warrior status by uniting with the local Druids and vanquishing a terrifying supernatural beast.

London-based film finance and international sales company Intandem Films will be executive produce with Blowtorch Entertainment Dominic Ianno, who played a key role in securing the financing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in spring 2010 in the UK, Italy and Eastern Europe.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in talks for Coen Bro's "True Grit"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

If the results of the negotiations with the Coen Brothers are fruitful, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin will be the latest to join Jeff Bridges in the redo of John Wayne's 1969 western drama, "True Grit," reports Variety.

Bridges is starring as U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn, a role which John Wayne previously starred in. Damon would be playing a young Texas Ranger, La Boeuf (previously played by Glen Campbell), who teams with Cogburn to help a 14 year old girl Mattie Ross to track down her father's killer Tom Chaney (previously played by Jeff Corey), which would be played by Brolin. There is no word yet on who will play Mattie Ross.

The Coens who have written a screenplay which they hope is more faithful to the Charles Portis novel than the 1969 film was, will be producing the movie with Scott Rudin and Steven Spielberg.

Shooting is expected to begin in March 2010.


Art Director Yoshiro Muraki passed away at 85

By Siewaun
Reference: Tokyograph

85 years old veteran Japanese production designer, art director and costume designer Yoshiro Muraki died of heart failure at his home in Setagaya, Tokyo, on Monday night, according to Tokyograph.

Muraki was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for his work in the 1970 American-Japanese war movie Tora! Tora! Tora! and director Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985). He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design for his work in Akira Kurosawa's 1961 period drama Yojimbo.

He won Award of the Japanese Academy for Best Art Direction five times - Ran (1985), Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku (1991), Madadayo (1993), Shijushichinin no shikaku (1994), Ame agaru (1999).


Steve Carell connects the "Missing Links"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Steve Carell is set to produce comedy movie "Missing Links," through his studio-based Carousel Production banner, according to Variety.

Bobby Cohen who previously produced ("View from the Top" and "Revolutionary Road") will also be producing, while Carousel's Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock will executive produce.

Jay Lavender "The Break-Up" has been hired to write the adaptation of Rick Reilly's novel of the same title.

Reilly, who is a columnist for ESPN the Magazine and, wrote the novel which centers on a group of golfing friends who ply their hobby at Ponkoquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli. One day the group inadvertently discovers that all along they've been playing right next door to the Mayflower Club, an elite golfing club. Then a bet is on to see who will be first to sneak in a round at the Mayflower.


"Short Circuit" heading for remake

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

The 1986 sci-fi comedy movie "Short Circuit," which starred Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg is the latest oldies but goodies movie heading for a remake! Unbelievable!

Variety reports that "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" director Steve Carr has been hired by Dimension Films to remake the movie.

Dan Milano wrote the script for the remake, which revolves around Number 5, a highly sophisticated robot built by the military that undergoes a sudden transformation after being struck by lightning. He develops self-awareness and consciousness.

David Foster Productions' David Foster and Ryan E. Heppe will be producing with John Hyde of Rehab Entertainment. Executive producer is Jason Taragan of Rumpus Entertainment.


Woody Allen's " Stranger" co-produced by Antena 3

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Variety reports that Woody Allen's new movie "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" will be co-produced by Spain's Antena 3 Films and Spain's Mediapro.

The movie script which revolves around a family whose members are attempting to sort out their tangled relationships, was written by Allen. He will also be directing.

The star-studded cast includes Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Gemma Jones and Lucy Punch.

Antena 3 Films previously collaborated with Mediapro and Gravier Productions to produce "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which was also directed by Allen.


"I Saw You" says George Tillman

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director/Producer George Tillman and his State Street Pictures co-founder Bob Teitel have acquired screen rights for "I Saw You: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections," says Variety.

"I Saw You" is a collection of comics based on real-life missed connection ads collected from Craigslist, weeklies and newspapers, and edited by Julia Wertz.

Teitel will be producing a romantic comedy focused on turning around a missed opportunity to begin a life-changing relationship, for Tillman ("Men of Honor" and "Notorious") to direct. Julia Wertz, Matt Prizker and Rene Rigal will be executive producers.

Tillman was quoted as saying,"I'm fascinated with the concept of people who feel they missed something great because they didn't have the courage to speak up."


Three new crews on board Richard Ayoade's "Submarine"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Richard Ayoade's "Submarine" has three new crews coming on board!

Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins have joined Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Michael Sheen and Paddy Considine to star in TV writer/director Richard Ayoade's feature debut "Submarine," according to Variety.

The movie, which is adapted from Joe Dunthorne's novel of the same name, is about a 15-year-old Oliver Tate who is on a quest to lose his virginity to a pyromaniac bully and to stop his mother leaving his father for her capoeira teacher.

Film4, the U.K. Film Council's New Cinema Fund, Wales Creative IP Fund and Film Agency Wales funded the movie, in which Warp Films collaborated with Red Hour Films to produce.

Producers are Andy Stebbing, Mark Herbert and Mary Burke.

Ayoade is best known for his role as a technically brilliant but socially awkward Maurice Moss in Channel 4's "The IT Crowd", having won the award for an outstanding actor in a television comedy series at Monte-Carlo Television Festival for his performance.


Box Office Oct. 23-25 Results

1 Paranormal Activity - $22,000,000
2 Saw VI - $14,800,000
3 Where the Wild Things Are - $14,420,000
4 Law Abiding Citizen - $12,713,000
5 Couples Retreat - $11,097,140
6 Astro Boy - $7,000,000
7 The Stepfather - $6,500,000
8 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - $6,347,970
9 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - $5,600,000
10 Zombieland - $4,300,000


Box Office Oct. 24-25 Results (Japan)

1 I Give My First Love To You (JPN.) - Toho
2 The Unbroken (JPN.) - Toho
3 Kaiji (JPN.) - Toho
4 The Rebirth Of Buddha (JPN.Animation) - Toei
5 FAST & FURIOUS - Toho Towa
8 The Hovering Blade (JPN.) - Toei
10 Villon's Wife (JPN.) - Toho


Monday, October 26, 2009

Andrew Fleming got his "Permission"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Andrew Fleming ("Nancy Drew" and "Hamlet 2") has been hired by CBS Films to direct romantic comedy movie "Permission," says Variety.

"Permission," which was written by screen writer Karen McCullah Lutz ("Legally Blonde", "She's the Man" and "The House Bunny"), is about a married couple in their 30s who give one another permission to sleep with someone else while on separate vacations.

Lutz will be producing the movie with "10 Things I Hate About You" exec producer Seth Jaret.


Ron Livingston is invited to "Dinner for Schmucks"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Ron Livingston has joined Steve Carell, Zach Galifianakis, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak, Sacha Cohen, Lucy Punch, Bruce Greenwood and David Walliams in "Dinner for Schmucks."

Jay Roach ("Austin Powers" franchise and "Meet the Parents") will direct the movie for Paramount, DreamWorks and Spyglass.

The movie, which is a remake of Francis Veber's 1998 award-winning comedy "Le dinner de cons," is centers on an extraordinarily stupid man (Cohen) possesses the ability to ruin the life of anyone who spends more than a few minutes in his company.

The movie is set to be released on the 23th of July, 2010.


Diane Kruger and January Jones to find an "Unknown White Male"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Diane Kruger "Inglourious Basterds" and January Jones "Pirate Radio" are set to join Liam Neeson in the Dark Castle and Warner Brothers thriller, "Unknown White Male," reports Variety.

Spanish-born American film director Jaume Collet-Serra ("House of Wax" and "Orphan") will direct from the script written by Karl Gajdusek, Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell.

The movie is about a Berlin doctor (Neeson) who falls into a coma after a car accident. When he wakes up, he discovers that he’s been replaced by someone else. No one, including his wife (Jones), believes him. With the help of a taxi driver who happens to be a young woman (Kruger), he embarks on a quest to uncover the truth.

Joel Silver, Leonard Goldberg and Andrew Rona will produce the movie. Steve Richards, Sarah Meyer and Peter McAleese will exec produce.

Shooting is scheduled to start in late January in Berlin.


Warner Bros. eyeing peacock animation feature

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

After winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for their animated feature "Happy Feet," in 2006, Warner Bros. is eyeing a return to animation.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the studio is in final negotiations to acquire the script from writers Austin Winsberg and Heath Corson, which revolves around a peacock.

Warner Bros' Elishia Holmes will be producing with Underground Management's Trevor Engleson and Nicholas Osborne. Logline is still under wraps.

"Happy Feet," the music-themed penguin animated movie directed and co-written by George Miller, was the top grosser for three weeks at the 2006 box office, and grossed about $384.3 million worldwide.


"Paranormal" tops "Saw VI" at box office

Source: Variety

Becoming the biggest box office phenomenon of the year, Paramount's microbudgeted horror pic "Paranormal Activity" toppled "Saw VI" to win the weekend at $22 million from 1,945 theaters and hit an out-of-this-world cume of $62.5 million.

"Saw VI," coming in No. 2, opened to an estimated $14.8 million from 3,036 theaters, an opening gross less than half that of any of the previous four films in the horror franchise. It also came in below the original "Saw" (2004), which opened just north of $18 million. Lionsgate was quick to assure that the franchise will continue.

Even without competish from "Paranormal Activity," "Saw VI" also showed franchise wear overseas, where it grossed $5 million from 800 runs in eight markets. In the U.K., it came in No. 2 behind Disney holdover "Up." Worldwide opening total for "Saw VI" was $19.8 million.

"Up," the Mouse House and Pixar toon, won the weekend foreign crown with $19 million from 4,789 runs in 26 territories; international cume is $324.2 million.

"Paranormal Activity" doesn't begin its run internationally until later this month.

Elsewhere at the domestic B.O., the three other new nationwide releases all came in on the lower end of expectations and couldn't compete with a healthy crop of holdovers.

Summit Entertainment's family entry "Astro Boy" came in No. 6, grossing an estimated $7 million from 3,014 theaters. Toon was fully financed and produced by Imagi Entertainment.

Universal's Halloween entry "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" grossed an estimated $6.3 million from 2,754 runs to place No. 8. Film was co-financed by U and Relativity Entertainment and produced for $40 million.

Released in far fewer runs, Fox Searchlight's Amelia Earhart biopic "Amelia" grossed a solid, but hardly spectacular, $4 million from 818 theaters for a per-location average of $4,921. Driven by older women, the pic's fate will depend upon its legs. "Amelia," directed by Mira Nair and starring Hilary Swank, placed No. 11 for the sesh.

Claiming the highest per-location average of the weekend was Sony Pictures Classics' specialty title "An Education," which grossed an estimated $408,002 from 31 screens in its third frame for a cume of $980,896.

Among new prestige titles, Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" grossed an estimated $73,500 from six locations for a per-location average of $12,250. Freestyle Releasing's Uma Thurman starrer "Motherhood" struggled in opening to an estimated $57,544 from 48 runs for a per-location average of $1,199.

Overall, ticket sales were up 13% at the domestic B.O. While "Paranormal Activity's" perf was by far the headline of the frame, holdovers doing good biz included Warner Bros.' "Where the Wild Things Are," which declined 56% in its soph sesh to $14.4 million from 3,735 runs; cume is $54 million. Decline confirmed that the Spike Jonze film, while based on the bestselling children's book, is playing older than a family film.

"Wild Things" came in No. 3 for the frame, followed by Overture Films' "Law Abiding Citizen," which fell just 40% to an estimated $12.7 million from 2,890 runs for a cume of $40.3 million in its second outing.

Universal's laffer "Couples Retreat" continued to rock, declining a slim 36% to an estimated $11.1 million from 3,074 theaters for a cume of $78.2 million in its third frame.

Above all others in the marketplace, or any other film in recent memory, "Paranormal Activity" stands to be the most profitable, having cost Par only $300,000 for domestic distribution rights. International rights were sold off, although Par would have world rights to any sequel.

The coming weekend should prove whether "Paranormal Activity" has a shot at matching the $140.5 million grossed domestically by "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), generally regarded as one of the most profitable films of all time, having cost $25,000 to produce ("Paranormal's" budget is even lower, at $11,000-$15,000).

"Blair Witch" grossed $108.1 million overseas for a total worldwide haul of $248.6 million, but like "Paranormal Activity," rights were split overseas, so Artisan collected only domestic grosses.

It's already legend how "Paranormal Activity" began as a DreamWorks project but was never released when DreamWorks was owned by Par. After the divorce, the project went to Par. Former DreamWorks exec Adam Goodman, now Par's prexy of production, urged the studio to go ahead and release the horror film, produced by Jason Blum.

"I couldn't be happier with our team's great work. Adam Goodman believed in this movie and championed it from the first day he saw it. He recognized it was a great story with commercial potential, and made sure it had a home in our schedule and the release it deserved," Par chair Brad Grey said Sunday. He also praised the film's marketing and distribution teams.

Studio, which said it has spent $10 million on marketing up to this point, far less than the usual pricetag, decided to launch the film in 33 midnight runs only. Based on demand alone, the studio expanded the film to 160 runs two weekends ago and 763 last weekend, when it came in No. 3 at $19 million with a boffo per-screen average of $25,711. This weekend's average was still impressive at $11,311.

Before the film left DreamWorks, Steven Spielberg aided the filmmakers with a new ending.

"No one knows the ceiling on this thing. It's not even on 2,000 runs yet," one rival exec said. (Par expands by 400 or 500 runs Halloween weekend.)

A big problem for Lionsgate was that it didn't see "Paranormal Activity" coming and thus couldn't alter its marketing plan.

Lionsgate prexy of distribution David Spitz said "Saw VI" remains very profitable for the studio and Twisted Pictures, since the film cost $15 million to produce. He said the franchise, which launched the category of horror known as torture porn, remains the most profitable horror franchise in history, having grossed more than $340 million at the domestic B.O. alone.

"This will not be the swan song for the "Saw" franchise," Spitz said.

Also, "Saw VI" will continue to roll out overseas.

Like previous "Saw" titles, "Saw VI" drew a younger audience, with 65% under age 25. Males made up 52% of the aud. "Paranormal Activity," by contrast, drew a more balanced audience in terms of age and showed particular strength in people 17-35.

Searchlight's "Amelia" was the clear choice among older females, who made up more than 60% of the audience. Film played well across top markets despite generally poor reviews. The studio specialty arm believes the film did well enough to have legs. The pic also stars Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor.

Summit and Universal said their financial risk on "Astro Boy" and "The Vampire's Assistant," respectively, was minimized. But more so for Summit, since "Astro Boy" was fully financed by Imagi.

Summit prexy of distribution Richard Fay said "Astro Boy" succeeded in getting young boys and fathers, but not enough of them.

Universal prexy of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco said "The Vampire's Assistant," based on the bestselling book, was co-financed equally by U and Relativity Media. The film cost $40 million to produce.

"Beyond the slight disappointment that it would do more, the film was made for a responsible budget," Rocco said.

Audience for "Vampire's Assistant" was split evenly among moviegoers over and under age 25. Pic had shades of playing like a family title, since 40% of those 35 and older were parents, but teens also showed up along with kids.

At the specialty box office, other new openers included Samuel Goldwyn's comedy "Untitled," which grossed $19,145 from three locations for a per-location average of $6,382.

The Metropolitan Opera's live high-def broadcast of "Aida" in 600 runs grossed an estimated $2.2 million for a per-location average of 3,667.

Among other specialty holdovers, Sony Pictures Classics scored a per-location average of $13,161 for "An Education" in its third frame. Overseas, 20th Century Fox Intl.'s "Fantastic Mr. Fox" opened in the U.K. to $2.5 million from 483 runs to take No. 3 behind "Up" and "Saw VI."

Overall, Disney also took the No. 2 spot internationally with "G-Force," which grossed $8 million from 35 theaters in 3,013 markets for a cume of $138.9 million.

"Saw VI" appeared likely to have taken the No. 3 spot on the foreign B.O. chart for the weekend.

Universal Pictures Intl.'s "Inglourious Basterds" grossed $4.5 million from 2,640 runs in 50 markets for a foreign cume of $173.5 million.

"Couples Retreat" grossed $3.9 million from 950 runs in seven territories for a foreign cume of $17.2 million.

And Fox's "Agora" grossed another $2.8 million in Spain for a boffo cume of $21 million in its third weekend of play in that territory.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fan Bingbing's star is glowing ever so brightly

By Siewaun

Chinese actress and singer, Fan Bingbing’s star has been glowing brightly ever since she starred as Jin Suo in the ever popular TV drama series “Huan Zhu Ge Ge”.

And she became popularly known in the international film scenes after starring in the controversial Chinese film by director Li Yu, “Lost in Beijing” (苹果). The film was banned by Chinese authorities in January 2008, even though it was successfully released internationally by French company Films Distribution.

Bingbing has a very busy schedule this year filming several high budget movies. After “Shinjuku Incident”, in which she starred alongside Jackie Chan was released in April, she starred in director He Ping’s US$6 million historical drama film “Wheat” (麦田).

She also starred in a Chinese-Korean film, “Sophie’s Revenge”(非常完美), which also starred Zhang Ziyi.

In the upcoming all-star film “Bodyguards and Assassins” (十月圍城), Bingbing will star alongside Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Nicholas Tse, Tony Leung Ka Fai and Eric Tsang. The movie is scheduled to be released December 18 this year.

Next, she will be starring in director Wong Jing’s US$20 million sci-fi actioner “Future X-Cops” (未来警察) alongside Andy Lau.

In the latest news, it was announced that Bingbing will also be starring as the female lead opposite Nicholas Tse as the male lead, in the US$29 million budget kungfu action epic, new “Shaolin Temple”. Andy Lau, Jackie Chan and Wu Jing would also be co-starring.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Hathaway, Harris, Santoro in talks for "Rio" voice-over

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Anne Hathaway, Neil Patrick Harris and Rodrigo Santoro are in negotiations to voice characters in the 3D digital animation movie "Rio," reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox and director Carlos Saldanha are set to collaborate again for "Rio," after the successful 3D animation "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" which grossed $882 million worldwide.

Twentieth Century Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison was quoted as saying,"We are thrilled to embark upon our next project with the immensely talented Carlos Saldanha. He is sure to bring this story and world to life with great vibrancy and imagination."

"RIO" centers on a nerdy macaw who leaves the comforts of his cage in small town Minnesota and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime while heading to his targeted destination which is Rio de Janeiro.

Chris Jenkins "Surf’s Up" and Bruce Anderson "Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!" will be producing.

The movie is scheduled to be released on April 8, 2011 by Fox.


Kalogridis catches "Ghost in the Shell"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Laeta Kalogridis, the screenwriter who wrote the script for Martin Scorsese's upcoming thriller "Shutter Island," has been hired by DreamWorks to adapt Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell." She replaced Jamie Moss who was previously attached to write.

DreamWorks acquired the rights to "Ghost in the Shell" in April last year, planning to make the futuristic police thriller as a 3D live-action movie.

Shirow Masamune's multimedia franchise manga series "Ghost in the Shell" has been adapted into three anime movies: Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society; two anime tv series, and three video games.

Seaside Entertainment's trio of Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul will be producing the movie.


DreamWorks has turned "Wicked"

By Siewaun
Reference: BusinessWire

Co-Presidents of Production of DreamWorks Studios Mark Sourian and Holly Bario announced today that the studio has acquired the rights to the young adult book series "Wicked," according to Business Wire.

The Benay brothers (Aaron and Matthew) who wrote the "1906" script for Pixar, Warner Bros, has been hired to write the adaptation, which The Gotham Group will produce.

The story revolves around a young woman who learns she is a descendent of a powerful coven of witches. Complications arise when she falls in love with a boy who turns out to be a member of a rival coven sworn to destroy her family.

The five-book series "Wicked," was written by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. The first "Wicked" includes the novels Witch, published in 2002, and Curse, published in 2003. "Wicked 2" includes Legacy and Spellbound, both published in 2003. The fifth book, "Resurrection," was published in July this year.

Mark Sourian was quoted as saying, ""Wicked" has all the elements for a great movie - adventure, mystery, star-crossed lovers, bitter enemies, and the supernatural," "Aaron and Matthew came in with an intriguing take on the books and a story that we feel will really speak to all audiences."


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rob Hardy to direct "Stomp the Yard 2"

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Writer-director Rob Hardy, who previously wrote and directed "The Gospel," "Trois," and "Trois 2: Pandora's Box," will direct the sequel to 2007 dance movie "Stomp the Yard" for Rainforest Films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming" will be produced by Will Packer, who also produced for director Sylvain White to direct the highly successful "Stomp the Yard" which grossed $75 million worldwide on a $13 million budget. Hardy was the executive producer of the movie.

Actor Columbus Short, who starred in the original movie as DJ Williams, a krump dancer in inner-city Los Angeles, is in talks to reprise his role.

Other casting is reportedly still under way.

The shooting of the movie is set to begin early next month in Atlanta.


Viola Davis "Trust"s that "It's Kind of a Funny Story"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Viola Davis, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Tonya in "King Hedley 2", has signed on to star in "It's Kind of a Funny Story" and "Trust", reports Variety.

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" will be directed by Ryan Fleck for Focus Features. The story revolves around a 15-year-old clinically depressed teenager (presumably Zach Galifianakis) who gets a new start after he admits himself to a psychiatric hospital. Davis will star as the psychiatrist who helps him through his problems and regain faith in himself.

"Trust" will be directed by David Schwimmer for Millennium Films. The story is about a 14 year old girl who has been victimized by an online sexual predator who posted as a teenager on a chat room. Davis will play the counselor tending to the girl's case. Clive Owen and Catherine Keener will also be starring as the girl's parents.

Davis received numerous nominations playing Mrs. Miller in a film adaption to the Broadway play, "Doubt". She can currently be seen in "Law Abiding Citizen," which also stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler. Her forthcoming movie is "Eat, Pray, Love" in which she will star with Julia Roberts.


Cast announced for the new "Shaolin Temple"

By Siewaun
Reference: andylausounds

The cast of the New "Shaolin Temple" movie has been confirmed with Nicholas Tse as the male lead, and Fan Bingbing as the female lead. Andy Lau, Jackie Chan and Wu Jing would be taking on supporting roles.

Hong Kong's director Benny Chan ("New Police Story" and "Rob-B-Hood") will be directing the kungfu action epic, which boasts a $29 million budget.

Benny confirmed that the movie is not a remake of Jet Li’s version of Shaolin Temple, but instead an entirely new story written by Alan Yuen who previously wrote the script for "New Police Story." He added that this new "Shaolin Temple" has advantages over other Shaolin Temple theme films because it's shooting will be located in the temple, which means the Songshan Shaolin Temple would also be heavily involved.

Cory Yuen, who has previously done "Red Cliff" and "The Transporter" will be the action director.

In the movie, Nicholas Tse will be playing an arrogant Hao Jie who has no respect for the Shaolin monks. But when his own family is tragically wiped out by a warlord, he is forced to take refuge in the Shaolin temple. Chinese kungfu actor Wu Jing will be playing Tse's fellow apprentice in the temple who later betrays his Shaolin master.

The movie is co-produced by China Film Group Corporation, Hua Yi Brothers, Hong Kong’s Emperor Group and Henan TV.

Shootings is expected to begin at the end of this year with a release slated for late 2010.


Bibo Bergeron hunts for "A Monster in Paris"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Eric "Bibo" Bergeron, the director who previously directed animated adventure and comedy "The Road to El Dorado" and "Shark Tale", has been picked by EuropaCorp to direct a $42 million movie "A Monster in Paris."

Bergeron also co-wrote the movie script with Stéphane Kazandjian.

"A Monster in Paris," which will be featuring the voice of Vanessa Paradis and Matthieu (dit Chedid, is set in Paris, 1910, where Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colorful inventor, joined forces with Lucille, the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret, an eccentric scientist and his irascible monkey to save the monster.

The movie is a co-production between Bergeron's Bibo Films and EuropaCorp.

EuropaCorp co-founder Pierre-Ange Le Pogam said that the movie is aimed at international audiences, and is scheduled to be released in 2011.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

David and Alex Pastor to direct "Strange, but True"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Spanish directing siblings David and Alex Pastor who previously directed "Carriers" for Paramount Vantage will set to direct an adaptation John Searles' novel, "Strange, but True."

The story revolves around a young woman who appears before the parents of her boyfriend and tells them that she is pregnant with his baby, five years after he died.

Ross Katz and Fred Berger's Civil Dawn Pictures will co-produce with Tim Williams' GreeneStreet Films. Screenplay was is being co-written by Searles and Eric Garcia (Author of "Matchstick Men").

"It's a dramatic thriller with a big heart in the line of 'Fargo' and 'A Simple Plan,'" Alex Pastor told Daily Variety.

Filming is scheduled to begin in February or March of 2010.


Chow Yun Fatt will "Let the Bullets Fly"

By Siewaun
Reference: english.cri

Chow Yun Fatt will be co-starring with Chinese actor Ge You in Chinese director Jiang Wen's action comedy "Let the Bullets Fly". They will be joined by the movie's other cast, including Hu Jun, Chen Kun, Shao Bing, Liao Fan and Zhang Mo.

This movie is the second collaboration between Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures and Jiang Wen's Beijing-based company, Buyilehu Films. They had previously worked together in "The Sun Also Rises".

Chow will be starring as a ruthless but humorous gangster leader in mid-20th century China.

Producer Ma Ke was quote as saying, "As director Jiang Wen was very demanding, it took six months and nine writers to revise the script, which was finally completed earlier this week".

"However there are more than ten options for the ending of the movie. Finally the director and Chow came up with the final version after an impromptu discussion while they went out for drinks", he added. "Now we can say Chow's role was tailor-made for him."

The HK150 million movie has already started filming early October in suburban Beijing, and will be released in fall of 2010.


Five joined Rachel Weisz as "The Whistleblower"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Monica Bellucci, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Anna Anissimova has signed on to co-star with Rachel Weisz in "The Whistleblower".

"Whistleblower" is a political movie based on a true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, who served as a U.N. peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia in 1999. The story is center on Bolkovac (Weisz) a Nebraska policewoman who risks her job and her own safety to reveal and bring to light sex crimes involving peacekeepers, police, and U.N. workers in postwar Bosnia.

Larysa Kondracki will be making his directorial debut with this movie. The screenplay was written by Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan.

The movie which is a Canadian-German co-production in partnership with Barry Films, will begin shooting in Romania next week.

Primary Production's Amy Kaufman, First Generation's Christina Piovesan and Plum Pictures' Celine Rattray will be producing the movie.


Fukunaga in final talks to redo "Jane Eyre"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Cary Fukunaga who recently won the Best Director award at Sundance Film Festival for his directorial debut movie "Sin nombre" is in the final round of negotiation with UK Ruby Films to direct a movie adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's novel "Jane Eyre".

Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Films are producing the movie with BBC Films from the script written by Moira Buffini.

The 19th century story with gothic elements is center on Jane Eyre, who during her time as governess at Thornfield Manor, falls in love with her byronic employer, Edward Rochester.

This movie is a remake of the original "Jane Eyre" 1996 movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli, which starred William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Owen and Trijbits are aiming to start filming next year.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gil Kenan is directing "Airman"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Gil Kenan was directing a short film titled "The Lark", and caught the attention of Robert Zemeckis. That got him the job of directing the 2006 film "Monster House", which Zemeckis executive produced with Steven Spielberg. That got him a nomination in the 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Now according to Variety, he is picked by Zemeckis again to direct a movie he is producing.

Kenan is set to direct the $150 million fantasy adventure movie "Airman", in which Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey are producing through their ImageMovers banner in collaboration with Disney.

The story is about a boy by the name of Connor who lives on an island off the coast of Ireland, where his father is the king's bodyguard. When the king is murdered, Conor is blamed for the crime and thrown into prison. While in prison, he spend his time designing a flying machine that he will use to escape and save his family.

The movie screenplay will be written by Ann Peacock, who is best known for writing "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".


Selena Gomez knows "What Boys Want"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Disney's "The Wizards of Waverly Place" teen star Selena Gomez has been cast as the leading role of a teenage girl who can hear what men are thinking in "What Boys Want".

New Line recently acquired Amy Andelson's and Emily Meyer's "What Boys Want" comedy pitch.

Kevin Misher, who most recently produced Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" and Dito Montiel's "Fighting", will be the producer of the movie. While Principato-Young's Allen Fisher and Gomez's mother Mandy Teefey will exec produce.

Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer also wrote the "Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List" script for Fox Atomic, with "Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere starring.


Adam Shankman to direct "Rock of Ages"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Two years after his highly successful musical movie "Hairspray" in 2007, director Adam Shankman is set to direct his second musical movie for New Line Cinema. The movie is adapted from the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages".

The story took place in the 80’s and revolves around a man and a woman who falls in love at a Sunset Strip rock club called Rock of Ages, and fell apart amidst the rock and roll life.

The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia and other groups.

Shankman was quote as saying to Daily Variety,"I had the best time of my life making 'Hairspray' and badly wanted another musical, and when I watched 'Rock of Ages,' I was struck by the fact that not only had much of the audience seen it more than once, every guy in the audience knew the words to the songs. What an extraordinary opportunity to open the genre to an audience that otherwise wouldn't go see a musical."

He went on to say,"I'm thinking big, and absolutely am going to attempt to cast with movie stars. Now that musicals are working again, actors are much more open to it."

Chris D'Arienzo, the creator of the Broadway musical wrote the script for the movie adaptation.

Producers of the movie are Carl Levin, Matt Weaver, Scott Prisand, Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Gibgot. Executive producers are Janet Billig and Hillary Weaver.

The movie production is expected to start by next summer and scheduled for release by Warner Bros. in 2011.


Box office October 16-18 Results

1 Where the Wild Things Are - $32,470,000
2 Law Abiding Citizen - $21,250,000
3 Paranormal Activity - $20,163,000
4 Couples Retreat - $17,948,685
5 The Stepfather - $12,300,000
6 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - $8,100,000
7 Zombieland - $7,800,000
8 Toy Story/ Toy Story 2 in 3D - $3,011,000
9 Surrogates - $1,922,000
10 The Invention of Lying -$1,905,000


Box office October 17-18 Results (Japan)

1 Kaiji (JPN.) - Toho
2 The Rebirth Of Buddha (JPN.Animation) - Toei
3 FAST & FURIOUS - Toho Towa
6 The Hovering Blade (JPN.) - Toei
7 Villon's Wife (JPN.) - Toho
9 20th Century Boys -Chapter 3- (JPN.) - Toho
10 Kamui (JPN.) - Shochiku


Monday, October 19, 2009

Scott Derrickson to direct "The Living"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Scott Derrickson who last collaborated with Lakeshore Entertainment on "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" in 2005 which grossed $145 million worldwide, is set to collaborate again with the studio.

The studio has again hired him to direct supernatural suspense thriller "The Living". The movie is based on the original pitch from Derrickson and producer Paul Harris Boardman. However the story plot is still being kept under wrap.

Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi of Lakeshore Entertainment will develop and produce along with Paul Harris Boardman who serves as producer.

Paul Harris Boardman previously produced Fox "The Day the Earth Stood Still" which was directed by Derrickson.


Donnersmarck is top choice for "The Tourist"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has become the top choice to direct Spyglass thriller "The Tourist", even though Donnersmarck hasn't formally negotiate with the studio yet, according to Variety.

The movie, a remake of the 2005 French spy thriller Anthony Zimmer, was originally developed for Tom Cruise and Charlize Theron, with director Bharat Nalluri planning to direct. But the three have stepped away since, and are replaced by Sam Worthington, Angelina Jolie and most probably Donnersmarck.

If negotiation is fruitful, the movie will be back on track to start production February next year, and is likely to be released in 2011.

Spyglass is in partnership with StudioCanal to produce the movie. Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Jonathan Glickman will be producing from the script by Christopher McQuarrie "Valkyrie".


Mike Mitchell is forming the "Monster Squad"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Director Mike Mitchell "Shrek Forever After" has been hired by Warner Bros. to direct its long-gestating comedy-fantasy project "Monster Squad", says Variety.

"Monster Squad" was formerly known as "Nightcrawlers", when Warner picked up the Brian Lynch's spec in 2000, which tells of an international coalition of kids combating various types of monsters hidden under the beds.

Director McG was originally attached in 2007 to direct from a Michael Arndt script about a neurotic father who must face his fear of childhood monsters who have haunted him, but latest version of the script by Brad Copeland "Yogi Bear" was kept under wraps by the studio.

Donald De Line, Jonathan Shestack, Chris Bender and J.C. Spink will be producing the movie. Warner aiming to begin production next summer.

Mike Mitchell previously also directed "Sky High" and "Surviving Christmas".