MoviePass: After its stellar, $30+ million weekend at the box office, The Best Man Holiday will have another sequel from Universal and director Malcolm D. Lee. The full article from Deadline is below:
deadline: After a rousing opening weekend that saw his sequelThe Best Man Holiday gross over $30 million domestically, Malcolm D. Lee is negotiating a deal with Universal to write, direct and produce another installment of the hit ensemble romantic comedy. Sean Daniel is also in talks to come back and produce another film through his The Sean Daniel Company shingle. No word yet on locking in the ensemble cast. I don’t believe they have options on a third film, so clearly all of them will be looking for pay bumps. First, Lee has to write it. It took 14 years for Lee to come back with a sequel, but this one is going to happen much more quickly. He is rewriting to direct an untitled project for Fox Searchlight, but this clearly becomes a priority project for Universal.
The $17 million sequel had the fifth-largest opening for an R-rated romantic comedy, the second-highest opening for an urban romantic comedy and the sixth-biggest opening for an urban-themed film overall. It also received an A+ CinemaScore across all quadrants. Lee is repped by Resolution and attorney Gordon Bobb of Dell, Shaw, Monves.
Delivery Man starring Vince Vaughn and directed by Ken Scott hits theaters this weekend but some of you have already seen it. In 2011, Ken Scott wrote and directed the French-language film Starbuck about a forty-something man named David Wozniak who finds out that a mix up at a fertility clinic has left him as the biological father of 533 children. Sound familiar? Scott insists that the two films will hold their own but there is no denying the many similarities between them. Several MoviePass members saw Starbuck when it hit indie theaters earlier this year, were you one of them? John M. from California called it a “great film” which he “highly recommended”. What did you think? Will you see Delivery Man?
A sequel fourteen years in the making, Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man Holiday opens this weekend in theaters nationwide. Starring Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, and Monica Calhoun, the film follows a group of college friends reunited over the holidays where forgotten rivalries and old romances reignite. Reviews have been mixed so far but as the only major release this weekend it should be able to nab a healthy slice of the box office pie. However, we predict that Thor: The Dark World will hold steady at #1.
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MoviePass: A trailer has been released for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The biblical epic stars Russell Crowe as Noah, with a supporting cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connolly, and Emma Watson. Release date will be late March!
MoviePass: Disney has released a teaser for Maleficent, the much-anticipated Angelina Jolie star vehicle, directed by visual arts specialist and first-time director Robert Stromberg. Comes to theaters next summer!
MoviePass: To celebrate the premier of Lone Survivor at the AFI Festival, here is a new trailer Universal released for the movie this past weekend. Starring Mark Wahlberg and Eric Bana, the movie goes wide on December 27th.
MoviePass: Star Wars: Episode VII changes course as Michael Arndt passes the screenwriting torch to J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.
-FilmLedger: It was announced on StarWars.com today that producer-director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan will be taking over the screenwriting responsibilities for Star Wars Episode VII. Michael Arndt worked on it for about a year and now as the production start date draws nearer, Abrams and Kasdan have taken the reins. Kasdan is a consultant on the project, having worked for Lucasfilm in the past as screenwriter of Raiders of the Lost Ark and co-screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Production is set to begin at Pinewood Studios in London in the spring 2014. The expected release of the anticipated Star Wars sequel is in 2015.
-411mania: Al Norton: I have to open with the question everyone’s been waiting all summer for you answer…How ‘bout those Red Sox?!?!?!?
Ben Affleck: Obviously its very exciting. Its so strange to be in a world where the sox have a chance to win their third world series in ten years when I grew up in a Boston where even one seemed so remote. I will definitely take it though! It’s a fantastic thing for the great baseball fans here and a great source of pride for the city. Knock wood they can get it done. This is a very good Cardinals team.
Al Norton: I saw you on Jimmy Fallon and I have to agree with you; your work as Girth Brooks was deserving of recognition from Emmy voters.
Ben Affleck: Robbed for my Girth Brooks. What can I say? You win some and lose some.
Al Norton: Do you remember your first thought when the idea of you playing Batman was originally presented to you and was there a tipping point in your decision making process, a moment where you started to think, “I really want to do this”?
Ben Affleck: Initially I was reluctant as I felt I didn’t fit the traditional mold but once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris and Christian made but still in keeping with tradition I was excited. Doing something different and new is always tricky and part of the thrill and the risk is that initially it confounds expectations. The truth is, it’s the movie and the execution of it is what all the actors depend on and I believe in Zack’s vision.
Al Norton: Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara recently said that this version of Batman would be “tired and weary and seasoned and been doing it for awhile”…Is that how you envisioned him as well and what would you add to the description on the Bruce Wayne side of things?
Ben Affleck: Yes, Kevin described it aptly. I don’t want to go further because I want to be able to capitalize on what is new about this iteration by having it be a surprise to the audience.
Al Norton: Who was your favorite Batman?
Ben Affleck: It has been done very well many times before.
Al Norton: Were you looking to get into television or was it simply that TV was the best milieu to tell the story of The Middle Man?
Ben Affleck: The Middle Man was an idea pitched by some guys I met while doing The Town. They had an interesting period take on the Winter Hill gang, and fictionalizing it for the sixties seemed really interesting. There is so much story to tell there that television is the only medium I think the story can work in.
Al Norton: I know that there is a lot of talk about how TV is THE medium right now for telling character driven stories - is that part of the appeal for you to jump into the series development arena the way you have the last few months?
Ben Affleck: Television is clearly the best place to see dramas now—probably for the first time ever. Studios don’t even bother making them much and both cable and broadcast have made huge investments in drama. Extremely talented people are all over television and its to all our benefits. I cast most of my movies from people on great television shows.
Al Norton: I am sure it must be tough to find time to keep up with series with your schedule but are there any shows you watch? Or perhaps a better question is, do you have a list of shows you really want to watch if you had the time?
Ben Affleck: Game of Thrones is my current obsession (dying for its return). Homeland is terrific. Downton Abbey is great. I read Damon Lindeloff’s pilot and know some people on the show. Its going to be amazing. There is an abundance of riches right now.
MoviePass: Looking at the Rotten Tomatoes reception of the two big movies out this weekend, The Counselor, only at 37% for critics and 53% for viewers, seems to be disappointing both parties given the all-star cast while Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is looking better with an impressive 82% positive user reviews vs. 63% among critics. If you see one (or both), tell us what you thought!
October has already been a record breaking month with Gravity passing the $300 million mark in the global box office. After its third weekend Gravity was still holding the #1 box office position leading audiences and industry professional alike to wonder, who will finally end Gravity's impressive box office reign? Last weekend's releases offered a cornucopia of cinematic experiences which may explain why no one movie was able to break through the pack. The appropriately timed Carrie failed to out gross Captain Phillips which also held its #2 position in the weekend box office for the second weekend in a row. Fan favorites Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t breach the top three with their action vehicle Escape Plan. It was also a light weekend for Oscar hopefuls The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave. Can Ridley Scott’s star-packed thriller The Counselor or Jackass’ Bad Grandpa pull in enough audience members to claim the top slot or will one of last week’s releases make a comeback?
The Counselor (111 mins) Cormac McCarthy’s first original screenplay is directed by Ridley Scott in this thriller starring Michael Fassbender as the titular Counselor who finds himself in over his head after striking a deal with a drug cartel. Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt also star.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (92 mins) After inheriting his 8-year-old grandson, Irving Zisman begins an unusual journey across America. Starring Johnny Knoxville, the film follows Billy and Irving as they anger, shock, and confuse unsuspecting bystanders.
Moviepass: Variety reports that Fifty Shades of Grey has a new lead in Jamie Dornan after dropping ‘Sons of Anarchy’ star Charlie Hunnam.
Variety: Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan has been tapped to replace Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey in the Universal and Focus adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Dornan plays Sheriff Graham Humbert in ABC series “Once Upon a Time”; he’s also played a serial killer in BBC Two crime drama “The Fall,” and he appeared in Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” The 31-year-old thesp performs in an Irish folk duo and has modeled for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Armani. His modeling experience may be useful, as the part will require him to act in explicitly sexual scenes.
Dakota Johnson will co-star as Anastasia Steele, with Sam Taylor-Johnson on board to direct.
Universal and Focus Features declined to comment.
The project was hit with a huge curveball when Hunnam departed after being attached for just a month. Universal said Hunnam’s exit was due to scheduling issues with “Sons of Anarchy” and upcoming movie “Crimson Peak,” but some sources said battles over a rewrite and the actor’s doubts about the role may have played a part in his decision.
When Hunnam exited, U and Focus execs decided to go for more of a discovery and brought in Dornan and Billy Magnussen to test with Johnson last Friday. Though the studio considered bringing in more actors to test, as of Wednesday morning sources said no one else had been brought in.
Universal will now work quickly to land thesps for the remaining supporting roles that include Steele’s roommate Kate, a role for which U had already been testing actresses prior to Hunnam’s exit.
Michael De Luca is on to produce the adaptation of E.L. James’ sexy bestseller, which is set to bow Aug. 1, 2014.
MoviePass: FilmDistrict has released a featurette showing the physical transformations Josh Brolin went through to portray Joe Douchett in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. The film releases November 27th!
MoviePass: Tom Hardy is set to portray Sir Elton John in biopic Rocketman.
Deadline: As Deadline reported in June when FilmDistrict paid $10 million to acquire U.S. rights to the Elton John film Rocketman, Tom Hardy has been set to play Captain Fantastic in the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film. The script is by Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall. Gracey directed Fox’s upcoming The Greatest Showman On Earth starring Hugh Jackman, and Disney’s The Muppet Man. FilmDistrict bought it when the film was the talk of Cannes, where it was shopped by UTA, the agency that structured the financing. It was there that UK-based Icon’s production arm AI Film agreed to come aboard to co-finance the film with Rocket Pictures.
The deal went down before FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel too over Focus Features, the label which now has a high profile Tom Hardy film. ’s distribution company paying around a $10 million minimum guarantee for a guaranteed wide theatrical release and size-able P&A. There is also a generous gross corridor after the film recoups. The film follows John’s journey from 5-year old musical prodigy who by age 11 won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, to a young man who rebelled against his strict upbringing, wore outrageous costumes and became a global icon who teamed with songwriter Bernie Taupin to sell more records than just about any musical artist of his era. John’s musical catalog is part of the mix, so this is going to be a major film. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing the project along with Lawrence Bender for AI Film. Sir Elton John and Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik are executive producing the film, along with Icon/AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and FilmDistrict CEO Schlessel.