STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH continued its box office dominance for the second consecutive week, grabbing $70M for the four-day Memorial Day weekend ended May 30, 2005. That means that the final STAR WARS saga has earned $270.4M for Fox domestically, continuing to set records for nine-day to 12-day grosses. SITH has also earned $248.9M overseas.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team that co-wrote THE ISLAND for Michael Bay, are tinkering on a script to put the Transformer toys on the big screen for what might be Bay's next project, according to SCI FI Wire.
"We're calling it CAMPBELL SOUP: THE MOVIE, because it's the ultimate product placement," Kurtzman told SCI FI Wire. "The big challenge is how do you do it without making it look like it's just about product placement."
The producing duo of Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are developing a third, scaled-down RING movie, according to SCI FI Wire. The husband-and-wife producing team is planning a different approach and may not need the same mother and son cast of Naomi Watts and David Dorfman, who were in the first two horror movies.
Parkes added, "It's easy to scale down RING 3 as a small picture that's not incredibly expensive. By its very nature it can be a small movie and doesn't need the same cast."
George Lucas has given the greenlight to Jeff Nathanson's recent draft for INDIANA JONES 4, reports VARIETY. Director Steven Spielberg has also given the script a thumbs up and only star Harrison Ford needs to give approval for the film to move into pre-production.
SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION director Frank Darabont had previously written a draft of the script, which passed by Spielberg and Ford, but was rejected by Lucas. Spielberg then enlisted Nathanson to pen the screenplay after having worked with the scribe on CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and THE TERMINAL.
Exodus Film Group announced the addition of two CG-animated features to their film slate THE HERO OF COLOR CITY and AMARILLO ARMADILLO. These two films are a direct response to overwhelming industry and investor interest in Exodus CG-Animated film IGOR, which is currently in production.
STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH has tied SPIDER-MAN 2 for the fastest feature to reach $200M in only eight days. The final STAR WARS saga has tallied $200.4M domestically and $356.9M overseas for Fox, according to boxofficemojo.com.
Disney has hired 102 DALMATIANS helmer Kevin Lima to direct the live-action and CG-animated feature, ENCHANTED, according to the trades. Lima also directed the animated feature TARZAN. Barry Josephson and his Sonnenfeld Josephson production house obtained the rights to the film in 1997 and will serves as a producer. Chris Chase and Sunil Perkash are exec producers. Disney execs Doug Short and Jill Morris are shepherding with Jason Reed and Nina Jacobson.
London-based Framestore CFC created both the digital visual effects and the DI for THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN'S APOCALYPSE, the cult favorite comedy series that makes its way to the big screen June 3 in the U.K. Written by Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, and starring Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith, THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN'S APOCALYPSE was produced by Greg Brenman and Ed Guiney, and directed by Steve Bendelack.
Avi Lerner's Millennium Films, Taurus Ent. and Emmett/Furla Films have announced they will remake of George A. Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD, reports VARIETY. Millennium will finance and distribute the film. Taurus Ent. held the rights to the original and Paul Mason and Jordan Rush brought the project to Emmett/Furla.
The 1985 third sequel in Romero's zombie series followed a group of scientists and military personnel holed up in an underground bunker.
Alias revealed that its Maya software was the chief 3D animation technology and the only non-proprietary animation solution used to realize key 3D characters and scenes in the record-breaking STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH.
Platinum Dunes has hired Jonathan Liebesman (DARKNESS FALLS) to helm the untitled prequel to the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Platinum Dunes' Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing the film for New Line Cinema, who will have Toby Emmerich, Mark Ordesky and Guy Stodel shepherding. Sheldon Turner wrote the first version of the script with David Schow providing a rewrite. The film will probably start filming in late summer in Austin, Texas.
We all knew it was going to be big out of the gate, and STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH delivered a record-breaking $158,449,700 for its first four days in release, Thursday through Sunday, May 19-22, 2005. That number eclipses SPIDER-MAN 2s $130.5M. Along the way, SITH (with eye-catching vfx from ILM) also racked up records for midnight showing, opening and single day, two-day and three-day. For the weekend, SITH collected $108,435,841: the second-best weekend ever next to SPIDER-MANs $114.8M.
The Force is already with REVENGE OF THE SITH, as EPISODE III of the STAR WARS saga grossed an estimated $17M for the special midnight screenings on Thursday. Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution for Twentieth Century Fox, told THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "It seems like the industry got kick started last night at midnight."
REVENGE OF THE SITH began playing midnight shows in 2,900 theaters in North America. Snyder could not give a firm screen count, but noted that it could be significantly higher because of interlocking prints.
Steven Paul's Crystal Sky and Sony's Screen Gems are set to adapt videogame classic TEKKEN into a feature film, reports VARIETY. Budgeted at $50 million, the film is scheduled to start production this fall. For Crystal Sky, this is one of two properties picked up in turnaround from Dimension. The second begins with Marvel's WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, which Paul will produce with Marvel Studios' Avi Arad.
When one thought that Dick Tracy had hung up his badge for good, the yellow-cloaked detective is now in the news again with a possible TV deal as well as a lawsuit.
Dick Tracy comicstrip owners Tribune Co. have struck a deal with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Outlaw Prods. Partners Bobby Newmyer and Scott Strauss to bring DICK TRACY to the small screen, reports VARIETY.
However, this deal flies in the face of Warren Beatty's lawsuit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court seeking damages against Tribune and a declaration that Beatty owns the Tracy rights.
Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group is the pre-production stages on a sequel to Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE, according HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Chow and his writing team from HUSTLE, including Tsang Kan Cheong, have been writing the first draft while on the 30-country Sony Pictures Releasing International press tour for the original film.
"He works well within our system," Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia md Barbara Robinson said. "He knows we love (HUSTLE); he's seen the way we've gotten behind him, and we have great distribution clout."
France's most successful movie franchise ASTERIX THE GAUL will return to the big screen, reports VARIETY. The last effort to bring the franchise back a Viking-themed installment was turned down by the original ASTERIX cartoon books rights holders. Now Thomas Langmann (BLUEBERRY) has devised a new script ASTERIX AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES with director Frederic Forestier attached.
Despite leading the pack in its debut, New Lines MONSTER-IN-LAW did nothing to quell the 12-week dry spell at the box office that should get a big jolt with this weeks anticipated monster hit, STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH. The Jennifer Lopez/Jane Fonda comedy collected $23.1M for the weekend ended May 15, 2005. That was better than two other newcomers: KICKING & SCREAMING, which kicked up $20.1M for Universal, thanks to the presence of Will Ferrell, and UNLEASHED, which grabbed $10.9M for Universals specialty division, Focus.
The Jim Henson Co. is in the planning stages for a sequel to its 1982 fantasy cult classic, DARK CRYSTAL, reports VARIETY. David Odell (THE MUPPET SHOW) is writing THE POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL along with Annette Duffy. No director has been announced as of yet. Odyssey Ent. will worldwide sales for the film.
The film will combine live action, animatronic characters and CG animation and is set to start filming this fall. The film will be available in the early part of 2007.
Melwood Pictures and Exodus Film Group announced that they have optioned the rights to world-famous magician and illusionist Nicholas Nights CG-animated/live-action feature film PAVLOVS DOG.
Celluloid Dreams has inked several animation deals, which includes THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS, GRASS ROOTS, KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEASTS and WALLACE AND GROMIT, reports VARIETY.
Celluloid Dreams will handle international sales on a feature length clay-animation adaptation of cult 1960s comic series THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS.
DreamWorks Animation SKG has announced their next film collaboration with Aardman, a new comedy entitled CROOD AWAKENING. The announcement was made during a tribute to Aardman at the Cannes Film Festival, by DreamWorks Animation ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg, together with Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton.
CROOD AWAKENING will mark DreamWorks fourth film collaboration with Aardman, following 2000s CHICKEN RUN, this years WALLACE & GROMIT THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT and FLUSHED AWAY, which is planned for release in 2006.
CritterPix Studios has added key talent for a team now in pre-production on its first feature-length film, OLLIE THE OTTER, according to Kelly Williamson, ceo of CritterPix. The feature, budgeted at $30 million, is about the misadventures of a sea otter and his landlubber and oceanic friends, and is being produced in association with New Regency Prods.
From Pixar, Chris Rock has signed on as CG supervisor. While at Pixar, Rock was a technical director on MONSTERS, INC., FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES and CARS.
SHREK producer John H. Williams has partnered again with U.K.-based sales and financing company Odyssey Ent. to bring the animation producer's latest project, RIBBIT, to the market, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The new deal between Williams Ealing Studio-based Vanguard Animation and Odyssey is the fourth time Odyssey has taken international sales duties for the Oscar-winning producer's properties.
Sherman Oaks, California-based Swordplay Entertainment Inc., has begun principal production on the animated feature film, CONAN: RED NAILS, based on the classic story by the best-selling fantasy author Robert E. Howard, a new 2D/3D animated feature film, targeting a fall 2006 release on video/DVD, with a theatrical release pending test screening. New Line Home Entertainment has acquired all North American distribution rights to the animated feature film.