With a takeoff of $24.6M, Buena Vistas FLIGHTPLAN, the Jodi Foster airplane thriller (with vfx from Lola Visual Effects and Peerless Camera Co.), withstood TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE for the weekend ended Sept. 25, 2005. However, Warner Bros. should be pleased with the $19.1M tallied by the stop-motion feature as it goes wide throughout North America. CORPSE BRIDE (with vfx by MPC) now has $19.65M. Coming in third place with $9.6M was DreamWorks romantic fantasy, JUST LIKE HEAVEN (with vfx by Big Red Pixel), which now totals $29.8M.
Paramount has hired Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn to write an adventure version of the legend of St. George and the dragon, according to VARIETY. Red Wagon's Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing. The studio paid high six figures against low seven figures.
The myth chronicles the knight's struggle to save a feudal princess from a fearsome beast. As a twist, the knight will be not chivalrous and the princess not chaste.
With DreamWorks Animation recently announcing its slate of upcoming films, Walt Disney Studios chairman Richard Cook announced Disneys forthcoming films at the Walt Disney Studios Showcase, which offered previews of the studio's slate through 2008 and featured cameo appearances by Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and Elton John, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The daylong event was held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland for exhibitors, retailers, merchandisers and other business partners.
The world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media's THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE will take place Dec. 7 at Londons Royal Albert Hall in the presence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Chosen as the prestigious 2005 Royal Film Performance, the premiere is a fundraising event in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. The movie opens Dec. 9 in the U.S.
Universal Pictures has forked over seven figures to Joss Whedon for him to direct his fantasy thriller spec script GONERS, reports VARIETY. Mary Parent and Scott Stuber are set to produce.
"It's the story of a young woman's journey that involves a great deal of horror and some heroics," Whedon said. "It's certainly darker than SERENITY, and there are a lot of left turns along the way. It is something I had in mind for a while, and it just poured out of me when I finished my film."
Jane Austens classic novel PRIDE & PREJUDICE, one of the greatest and most memorable battles of the sexes ever portrayed in literature, has been enhanced for its latest cinematic release by leading London visual effects house Double Negative.
Jim Carrey is in talks to star in the thriller THE NUMBER 23, directed by Joel Schumacher for New Line, reports VARIETY. Contrafilms Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson will produce. Fernley Phillips penned the script for the film, which is set to start filming in November.
The story follows a man who becomes enraptured by a book that chronicles his life. However, he is plagued with fear when the story ends with a murder.
Writer Michael Seitzman is set to adapt Mary Doria Russell's debut sci-fi/religious novel THE SPARROW for Warner Bros. and Brad Pitt, according to SCI FI WIRE.
"THE SPARROW asks a big question, and it asks a very relevant question," Seitzman said in an interview while promoting his latest film, NORTH COUNTRY. "Can one culture ever reach its hand out to another culture without a built-in arrogance and dynamic that is sure to doom that relationship, regardless of how benign their intentions? And that's what THE SPARROW is about."
Hot off the announcement that MADAGASCAR 2 will hit theaters in 2008, DreamWorks Animation has announced that KUNG FU PANDA will also be released that year, reports VARIETY. The studios still hopes to release two animated films per year at least until 2009. PANDA will star Jack Black as the voice of a lazy panda prophesied to save the Valley of Peace. John Stevenson and Mark Osborne are set to direct with Melissa Cobb producing from a script by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab.
JU-ON director Takashi Shimizu has been attached to direct a screen adaptation of Hitosi Iwaaki's manga PARASYTE, according to ICv2.com. New Line Cinema and the Jim Henson Co. will co-produce the live-action film, which will go into production after Shimizu wrapped on THE GRUDGE 2 for Columbia.
The science fiction thriller chronicles the effects of alien spores that land on Earth and take over human bodies. The 12-volume manga series was one of the first series published by Tokyopop (then known as Mixx Ent.) in the U.S. between 1998 and 2002.
Framestore CFC was honored when Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (CITY OF GOD) and cinematographer César Charlone brought political thriller THE CONSTANT GARDENER to their London premises. In addition to providing some 35 VFX shots, including the creation of the fire elements for a burning village, Framestore CFC created the film's Digital Intermediate.
The Moving Picture Co. (MPC) has completed more than 750 visual effects shots for WALLACE GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, the stop-motion animated feature directed by Nick Park and Steve Box. This first feature-length WALLACE & GROMIT outing was created by Aardman Animations with distribution through DreamWorks. The picture was color graded by Max Horton in the MPC DI lab
While DreamWorks romantic fantasy JUST LIKE HEAVEN (with vfx by Big Red Pixel) ruled the box office for the weekend ended Sept. 18, 2005, seducing $16.4M in its debut, TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE (with vfx by MPC) attracted a lively $385,078 in its five-theater bow, good enough for a whopping per-screen average of $77,015.
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE-director David Cronenberg is trying to line up an adaptation of Martin Amis novel LONDON FIELDS as his next project, reports SCI FI WIRE. The story chronicles a psychic who senses that one of two men in a pub will kill and sets forth to make it really happen.
With a jewel-encrusted carriage parked outside the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Walt Disney premiered the digitally restored print of CINDERELLA. The celebration was in anticipation of the two-disk DVD release of the film, retailing for $29.99, on Oct. 4, 2005. On the same day, Disney will also release a special platinum collectors edition of the film, featuring addition special features and a special booklet on the film for $49.99.
Pre-production has begun on the animated action/adventure feature, GENE-FUSION, it was announced today, Sept. 15, 2005, by producers Banjax Studios, pop 6, and Beckett Entertainment Inc. announced today. The film for TV/DVD and theatrical release in selected territories will be delivered in late 2006 with a 26x30 series to following 2007.
Walden Media has optioned the animated the animated pitch, TORTOISE AND HIPPO, according to VARIETY. SHREK co-writer Roger S.H. Schulman will write the script. The film will be a combination of live action and photo-real CGI animation.
DC Comicss THE LOSERS has been selected for a big screen adaptation from Warner Bros. Pictures, reports VARIETY. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS helmer Peter Berg and Akiva Goldsman will produce the film, with Berg to write the script and possibly directing. John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey of Berg's Film 44 will also produce along with Kerry Foster for Goldsman's Weed Road.
The film chronicles the adventures of a highly skilled CIA team as they are attacked by their own agency and left for dead. The title was recently revived under the Vertigo label after a 30-year hiatus.
DreamWorks Animation ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the studio will produce a sequel to MADAGASCAR, which has now passed the $500-million mark at the worldwide box office, making it the companys most successful original movie ever.
Katzenberg also announced that Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith will be reprising their roles. He said he was looking forward to other original cast members returning to their roles for the sequel.
The sequel will once again be produced by Mireille Soria and co-directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath.
TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE, Warner Bros. Pictures stop motion animated feature directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton, utilizes the visual-effects services of London-based Moving Picture Co. (MPC) on 460 shots, supervised by MPCs Jessica Norman. The picture was color graded by Max Horton in the MPC DI lab.
TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE made its North American debut Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the director and a few of his collaborators commented on the stop motion animated feature at Sundays press junket.
Screen Gems THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE surprised everyone with its screaming debut of $30M for the weekend ended Sept. 11, 2005. Budgeted at $19M, the indie horror/courtroom drama, contains vfx from Captive Audience Prods.
MTV Films announced that it has acquired an option on the worldwide film rights to the award-winning, action-horror videogame property, THE SUFFERING, from Surreal Software, a subsidiary of Midway Games Inc.
Revolution Studios has optioned a comedy pitch titled HENCHMAN VS. SIDEKICK via the studios former founding partner Todd Garner's new production house Broken Road, reports VARIETY. The spoof follows the fight between a sidekick and a henchman after their respective superhero and supervillain kill each other. Writers Kathy Gori and Alan Berger hatched the idea.
Columbia Pictures has hired former music video director David Slade to helm the horror film 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, according to the trades. Ghost House Pictures will be the production firm on the film with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert producing. Grant Curtis will shepherd the film for Ghost House. Mike Richardson, Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will serve as exec producers. Shannon Gaulding and Adam Milano will shepherd for Columbia.