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Jun 26

Inside the deal that brought Sony's 'Spider-Man' back to Marvel's cinematic universe

by Ryan Faughnder, Contact Reporter

Sony Pictures Entertainment was running out of options for its most valuable film franchise, Spider-Man. After 15 years and five movies of web-slinging, and $4 billion in global box office, the studio was struggling to give the character a much-needed reset.

So in early 2015, Sony's top two executives, Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, flew to the Palm Beach, Fla., home of Marvel Entertainment Chief Executive Isaac Perlmutter, who'd spent months lobbying Sony to let his company, owned by rival Walt Disney Co., reboot the popular hero.

It was an extraordinary proposition for Sony -- to lend the keys to its lucrative property to a rival. But Sony was finally willing to swallow its pride to get a Spider-Man movie made by the most successful superhero producer ever, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Over lunch at Perlmutter's swanky oceanfront residence, the executives hashed out budgets, sequel possibilities, and how Spider-Man would interact with other Marvel characters.

The results of that deal will be tested when "Spider-Man: Homecoming" hits theaters July 7. "Homecoming" is the first Spider-Man movie to exist in Marvel's broad "cinematic universe" of interwoven superhero movies, something fans of the comics have desired for years.

Continue Reading at: Los Angeles Times

Jun 25

Weekend Box Office: 'Transformers 5' Opens to Franchise-Low $69M

by Pamela McClintock

How the mighty bots have fallen.

Paramount and Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight grossed $69.1 million from 4,069 theaters in its five-day debut at the North American box office, a franchise low and casting doubt on the future of the series. That figure includes a Friday-Sunday take of $45.3 million.

The Last Knight, which Paramount says cost $217 million to make before a major marketing spend, is the latest summer sequel to spring an oil leak, at least in the U.S., coming in 31 percent behind Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). And it is the first Transformers movie not to open to $100 million or more.

The good news? Transformers 5 is wielding a sharper sword overseas, where it earned $196.2 million from its first 40 markets - including $123.4 million in China alone - for a global start of $265.3 million. The movie's performance continues the trend set by Age of Extinction, which did far more business internationally, becoming the first Transformers film to clear $1 billion worldwide upon grossing $858.6 million offshore, compared to a domestic take of $245.4 million. Imax theaters contributed $24.3 million.
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Sunday estimates show Wonder Woman tying with Disney and Pixar's Cars 3 for second place. The outcome will be determined when final weekend numbers are tallied on Monday.

Cars 3 shows an early worldwide total of $141.3 million (the movie is rolling out slowly overseas). It fell 53 percent domestically, a relatively steep decline for an animated event film. Last weekend, the threequel debuted to $53.7 million, a franchise low.

Indie shark movie 47 Meters Down placed No. 4 with $7.4 million, while All Eyez on Me and The Mummy were in a close race for the No. 5 spot with roughly $5.8 million each.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jun 24

'Wonder Woman' Breaks Records: Biggest Live-Action Box Office Hit by Female Director

Director Patty Jenkins (left) and star Gal Gadot at 'Wonder Woman' premiere event (image courtesy Rex Features / Shutterstock)
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by Brent Lang

"Wonder Woman" set a new milestone on Friday, becoming the highest-grossing live-action film to be directed by a woman.

The superhero adventure eclipsed the $609.8 million racked up by "Mamma Mia!," the Abba musical that was directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

"Wonder Woman" was directed by Patty Jenkins, who previously oversaw the Oscar-winning "Monster." Despite the critical raves that "Monster" earned, Jenkins had to wait 14 years before directing another feature film. She only got the "Wonder Woman" gig after the original choice, Michelle MacLaren, was pushed out in the wake of creative differences.

"Wonder Woman" was backed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Critics loved the film, praising it as a breath of fresh air after a series of downbeat comic book films such as "Suicide Squad" and "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Jenkins hasnít officially signed on to direct a "Wonder Woman" sequel, but in an interview with Variety, DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns said he is already working with the director on a treatment for a follow-up.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Jun 22

Ron Howard Steps in to Direct Han Solo Movie

by Borys Kit, Kim Masters

The Millennium Falcon has a new pilot.

Ron Howard has been named as the new director of Lucasfilm and Disney's untitled Han Solo movie, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter exclusively. The official announcement came later Thursday morning.

The move comes two days after directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were let go from the movie they had spent over four and a half months directing. Creative differences over style and tone came to a head between the duo and Lawrence Kasdan, with the studio backing the veteran screenwriter.

The firing sent shockwaves around Hollywood and beyond as the movie was about three-quarters through principal photography and the replacement of a director at that stage is near-unprecedented. The movie was scheduled to shoot for three and a half more weeks, with five weeks of reshoots built into the schedule - the latter a standard procedure on large franchise productions.

Howard, sources tell THR, will meet with the actors - Alden Ehrenreich is playing the iconic smuggler and Donald Glover is portraying Lando Calrissian, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton also on the roll call - to soothe a rattled set and will pore over a rough edit to see what the project needs. Filming is set to resume July 10.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jun 21

Daniel Day-Lewis says he's retiring from acting

Daniel Day-Lewis, pictured here at the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards, has announced his retirement from acting (image courtesy Invision / AP)
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by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most widely respected actors of his generation and a three-time Oscar-winner, says heís retiring from acting.

The 60-year-old actor announced Tuesday that he has shot his last film and performed in his last play. That makes Paul Thomas Anderson's already filmed Phantom Thread, due out in December, his final film.

"Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor," his representative Leslee Dart said in a statement. "He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject."

The announcement sent shock waves through Hollywood, where Day-Lewis is revered as possibly the finest actor of his time. But Day-Lewis has also long been an exceptionally deliberate performer who often spends years preparing for a role, crafting his characters with an uncommon, methodical completeness.
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A five-time Academy Award nominee, Day-Lewis is the only one to ever win best actor three times. He earned Oscars for My Left Foot, Lincoln and There Will Be Blood.

Continue Reading at: The Toronto Star

Jun 18

Box Office: 'Cars 3' Beats 'Wonder Woman' With $53.5M; 'All Eyez on Me' Nabs $27M

A scene from 'Cars 3' (image courtesy Disney / Pixar)
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by Pamela McClintock

Despite signs of franchise fatigue, Pixar and Disney's Cars 3 dominated the road at the North American box office over the weekend.

The threequel opened to an estimated $53.5 million from 4,256 theaters, enough to beat ruling champ Wonder Woman. It is anticipating a brisk Sunday, thanks to Father's Day (the movie is skewing slightly male). Overseas, Cars 3 debuted to $21.3 million from its first handful of territories for a global start of $74.8 million.

Make no mistake, Wonder Woman continues to impress, falling a scant 30 percent in the U.S. to $40.8 million for a domestic cume of $274.6 million. The Warner Bros. movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, enjoyed one of the best third weekends in history for a superhero film. Internationally, Wonder Woman's hold is almost as good, earning another $39.5 million for a foreign total of $297.2 million and worldwide tally of $571.8 million.

In the coming days, Wonder Woman will eclipse 2008's Mamma Mia! ($609.8 million) to become the top-grossing female-directed film of all time, not accounting for inflation.
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The other big headline of the weekend was the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me, directed by Benny Boom. The movie, landing at No. 3, came in ahead expectations with $27.1 million from 2,471 theaters.

Lionsgate's Codeblack Films partnered with Lionsgate on the movie, which was released on what would have been the late iconic rapper's 46th birthday. Named after Shakur's fourth studio album, the film includes over a dozen songs from his music catalog.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jun 18

Ryan Reynolds tweets sneak peek of 'Deadpool' sequel?

by Postmedia Network

Once again, no one was home at the X-Mansion.

That seems to be the theme when it comes to Deadpool.

On Saturday, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds tweeted a picture of himself as the masked vigilante in full costume lying down on the ground in front of the fictional Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

"Dropped by the X-Mansion. Big f---ing surprise. No one's home," Reynolds tweeted along with the photo.

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Jun 16

'Daddy's Home 2' Trailer Welcomes Mel Gibson, John Lithgow to the Family

by Arlene Washington

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are back in Daddy's Home 2, except this time they're joined by their fathers, played by Mel Gibson and John Lithgow, respectively.

With Wahlberg's and Ferrell's characters (Dusty and Brad) putting their differences aside to pull off the perfect Christmas for their kids, their parents arrive. It once again pits the strong alpha male (Gibson) against the sensitive dad (Lithgow) just in time for holiday chaos.

John Cena will also return to the Sean Anders-directed sequel in a more prominent role along with Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio.

Daddy's Home 2 hits theaters on Nov. 10.

Watch the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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