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Category: Films

Film Headline News

Next Besson Film to Be His Last

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 12:00am

Luc Besson (THE PROFESSIONAL, THE FIFTH ELEMENT) has told the ASSOCIATED PRESS that his forthcoming film, ARTHUR AND THE MINIMOYS, will be his last directorial effort. Besson plans to focus his energy on civic projects, including a foundation he is forming to help youths in France's inner cities.

MINIMOYS will open in France on Dec. 13, 2006, and in North America on Jan. 12, 2007.

"They are my 10 little babies," he said. "I love them all. I am pleased to have completed this cycle. That is finished."

Film Headline News

Stone’s Jagger to Produce Animated Ruby Tuesday

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 12:00am

Mick Jagger is set to co-produce RUBY TUESDAY, an animated film written and directed by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi, VARIETY reports.

The Rolling Stones singer will produce the film via his Jagged Films production company along with EuropaCorp, which will also handle distribution and sales of the film globally. EurpaCorp's Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam will co-produce.

Filled with 12 Rolling Stones tunes, the film will follow a single mom looking for happiness in New York City.

Film Headline News

Dead Man’s Chest Gets $1 Billion Booty

Walt Disney Pictures PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST officially crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office on Friday, Sept. 8, thus becoming only the third film in history (behind TITANIC and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING) to achieve this rare feat. DEAD MANS CHEST did it in nine weeks compared to 10 for THE RETURN OF THE KING. However, through the weekend ended Sept. 11, DEAD MANS CHEST has run its total to $1,004, 091,183, according to boxofficemojo.

Headline News

The Covenant Leads Soft Box Office

Screen Gems horror flick, THE COVENANT (with vfx from Luma), captured the top spot at the box office in a weak weekend for the period ended Sept. 10, 2006, with $8.8M. HOLLYWOODLAND, (with vfx by Mr. X) inspired by the mysterious death of actor George Reeves (TVs SUPERMAN), bowed in second, picking up $5.9M for Focus Features. INVINCIBLE, the previous leader, slipped to third, catching $5.6M and $45.5M for Buena Vista. THE PROTECTOR, from The Weinstein Co., debuting in fourth with $5M. Lionsgates CRANK followed in fifth with $4.9M and a cume of $19.9M.

Effects Headline News

Luma Makes a ‘Covenant’ with VFX

Luma Pictures completed more than 75 visual effects shots for THE COVENANT, the new supernatural thriller from ScreenGems and Lakeshore Ent., and director Renny Harlin (opening Sept. 8, 2006). Included in the package are the films eerie opening sequence in which four teenage boys leap off a towering cliff, a mystical rite of passage sequence, as well as its climactic battle sequence.

Imax Headline News

Happy Feet Won’t Debut in IMAX 3-D

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 12:00am

HAPPY FEET wont be dancing in IMAX 3-D just yet. Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX announced that due to time constraints the animated feature about a tap-dancing penguin from Animal Logic would open in IMAX 2-D rather than 3-D on Nov. 17. There just wasnt sufficient time to deliver the master print and then convert it to 3-D by IMAX.

A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. Pictures noted that a 3-D release of the film was still in the cards at some point.

Headline News

Invincible Still Unbeatable

Buena Vistas real-life football drama, INVINCIBLE, held the top spot at the box office for the second consecutive week over the Labor Day Holiday weekend ended Sept. 4, 2006. INVINCIBLE caught $12.1M for a cume of $34.7M. Two newcomers occupied second and third place: Lionsgates CRANK and Warner Bros. update of THE WICKER MAN (with vfx by Worldwide FX, Pacific Title and Lava Studio). CRANK pulled in $10.4M compared to THE WICKER MANs $9.6M. Fox Searchlights LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE dipped to fourth while increasing its percentage with $7.6M for a cume of $33.7M.

Framestore Headline News

Framestore & MPC to Handle Prince Caspian VFX

London-based Framestore CFC and Moving Picture Co. (MPC) will be the lead vfx houses on THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA sequel, PRINCE CASPIAN (a summer 2008 release from Disneys Buena Vista), reports IGNFILMFORCE and confirmed by the production company. Dean Wright resumes overall vfx supervision. Framestore and MPC have worked on several Hollywood franchises, including HARRY POTTER and X-MEN, and are among several London vfx houses that have recently expanded their 3D character animation.

Universal Headline News

Peter Jackson to Produce Dambusters Remake

Production will soon begin on DAMBUSTERS, the World War II adventure based on one of the most daring missions in aeronautic military history, for Universal Pictures in association with StudioCanal. Peter Jackson will produce and vfx vet Christian Rivers will make his directorial debut.

Film Headline News

Gellar Addicted to Asian Remakes

Sarah Michelle Gellar is set to star in supernatural thriller ADDICTED, which will be is loosely based on 2002 South Korean picture, JUNGDOK, according to VARIETY. The Yari Film Group is financing and producing with Vertigo and Spitfire.

Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist, who helmed the acclaimed Swedish film THE INVISIBLE, will direct from a screenplay by Michael Petroni.

The story chronicles the tale of woman whose husband and brother-in-law end up in a coma after a horrible accident. When the brother-in-law wakes up, he claims he is her true husband.

Headline News

Invincible Unbeatable in Debut

While SNAKES ON A PLANE faded fast, Buena Vistas real-life football drama, INVINCIBLE, debuted in the top spot at the box office with $17M for the weekend ended Aug. 27, 2006. Holding second place was Sonys TAKKADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, which hauled in another $8.1M for a cume of $127.8M. Shooting up to third place was Fox Searchlights LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE with $7.3M and $22.8M. The fourth spot belonged to newcomer BEERFEST from Warner Bros., with $7M.

Pitch Headline News

Universal In Agony Over Nimerfro Horror Pitch

Universal Pictures has purchased Scott Nimerfros horror pitch AGONY, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Studio has tapped Scott Stuber and Mary Parent to produce the project via their Stuber/Parent company.

Nimerfro (DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST) is now penning the screenplay, which will center on an urban legend on a college campus that turns out to be true.

The deal was in the low- to mid-six figures.

Star Headline News

Living Dead Girl Alive at Blue Star & Mandalay

Blue Star Pictures and Mandalay Pictures have optioned T.S. Faull's original screenplay LIVING DEAD GIRL, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Eric Tessier (2003s SUR LE SEUIL) is set to direct.

The story centers on a dead woman who rises from the grave as a zombie to track down her killer to stop him from killing again. She is aided by a handsome funeral director who has a case of necrophilia.

Rhiannon Meier is overseeing development for Blue Star. Jason Shuman and William Sherak will produce.

Animation Headline News

Orphanage Animates Fried Worms

When HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS needed a bit of 2D-animated comic relief, they called on the newly formed Orphanage Animation Studios, under the supervision of Genndy Tartakovsky.

HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS is the feature adaptation from New Line and Walden Media of Thomas Rockwells popular young adult book from 1973. It opens nationwide today (Aug. 25, 2006). Its about an 11 year old that inadvertently challenges the class bully on his first day at a new school and must eat 10 worms in one day.

Headline News

Monster House to Haunt Again in 3-D

Hoping to scare up a little more attention and revenue before the fall DVD release of MONSTER HOUSE, Sony Pictures will re-release the all-CG feature in digital 3-D on Oct. 6, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. MONSTER HOUSE will have a two-week engagement in more than 100 Real D screens nationwide. The DVD from Sony Home Ent. bows on Oct. 24. According to Box Office Mojo, MONSTER HOUSE has grossed $68M this summer.

Headline News

Sony Pictures Surpasses $1 Billion Overseas

Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) crossed the $1 billion mark in overseas box office receipts in record time for the company.

The previous record for the studio was Sept. 8, 2002, the year the studio grossed its record high overseas take of $1.305 billion. It marks the sixth time overall and the fifth time in the past seven years that SPRI has amassed more than $1 billion in ticket sales from international territories.

In 2006 to date, films from Sony Pictures Ent. have generated approximately $2.1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

Headline News

Chris Wedge Looking for a Few Good Leaf Men

Director Chris Wedge (ROBOTS and ICE AGE) is collaborating once again with childrens author/production designer William Joyce (ROBOTS) on an adaptation of Joyces illustrated book, THE LEAF MEN AND THE BRAVE GOOD BUGS, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Wedges New York-based Blue Sky Studios would produce the 3D-animated feature in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

Film Headline News

Polish Twins Conjoin for Two WB Pics

Twin brothers Michael and Mark Polish (TWIN FALLS IDAHO, NORTHFORK) have sold two projects to Warner Bros. Pictures, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

The first film will be LOOT, a heist movie set in Middle America that follows a group of blue-collar workers who pull off jobs during tornado season. They will follow that film up with HOW TIME FLIES, a cause-and-effect look at a world where time travel becomes accessible to the common man.

Michael will direct the films, while both he and Mark will write and produce. Mark also plans to act in LOOT.

Headline News

Rogue Finds Lost Squad

Rogue Pictures has bought the feature rights to Chris Kirby's comicbook series LOST SQUAD, VARIETY reports. Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter have been attached to produce.

Illustrated by Alan Robinson, the comic tells the tale of a ragtag unit of Allied soldiers who fight Hitler's occult agents and other supernatural threats during WWII.

Devil's Due Publishing has published five issues since its debut last fall. Devil's Due publisher Josh Blaylock will co-produce the film project.

Films Headline News

South Park Duo Join Two Live-Action Films

For their next foray into features, SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have high school comedy and rubber suit monster movie in the works at Paramount, reports the trades.

The demented duo, who have re-named their Paramount-based company Important Pictures, will first make the Jeff Roda-scripted high school laughter MY ALL-AMERICAN. They will follow that film up with GIANT MONSTERS ATTACK JAPAN!, a film written by J.F. Lawton (UNDER SIEGE) that will combine live-action with the "rubber suit" monsters like GODZILLA.

Headline News

Snakes Takes Mild Box Office Bite

New Lines SNAKES ON A PLANE (with vfx by CafeFX and Hybride) proved less venomous in its box office opening than experts predicted, drawing only $13.8M for the weekend ended Aug. 20, 2006, with an overall take of $15.2M, thanks to a Thursday night preview. Coming in a very close second was Sonys TAKKADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, which hauled in $13.75 for a cume of $114.3M. Holding the third spot was Paramounts WORLD TRADE CENTER (with vfx from Double Negative and Animal Logic), which earned $10.9M for a cume of $45.1M.

Production Headline News

Nightwatch Director Wanted for English-Lingo Debut

Universal Pictures has tapped NIGHTWATCH director Timur Bekmambetov to make his English-language debut with the sci-fi actioner, WANTED, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. James McAvoy, who made a big impression as Mr. Tumnus, the Faun, in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, will star.

Headline News

New Bond Lords Over Golden Compass

CASINO ROYALEs new James Bond, Daniel Craig, has joined the cast of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, the first film in a planned New Line trilogy based on the Philip Pullman series HIS DARK MATERIALS, reports VARIETY. Chris Weitz wrote the script and will direct.

Craig will play Lord Asriel, a ruthless and mysterious adventurer who is the uncle of Lyra Belacqua, the young girl who journeys to a parallel universe to save her best friend.