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January 19, 2020

Animated ‘Weathering With You’ Scores at Box Office — Without an Oscar Boost

This week’s Oscar nominations boosted contenders “1917” (Universal) and “Parasite” (Neon) to further box-office gains. Other nominees saw little impact, from “Bombshell” (Lionsgate) to the second week expansion of French Oscar entry “Les Miserables” (Amazon). While some Oscar also-rans fell short, crowdpleaser “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros.) managed just fine. Such is the uneven impact of the award that dominates the specialized world for nearly half the year.

Even when results don’t meet expectations, things still work out. That’s the case with “Weathering With You” (GKids), the Japanese animated smash that in five days has already in national release grossed $5 million. That’s a nice reminder that innovative strategies, such as initial event weekday showings, can bring success outside the conventional limited release pattern.

After a Los Angeles qualifying run, Alex Gibney’s Russia expose “Citizen K” (Greenwich), about an exiled  billionaire dissident opponent of Vladimir Putin, opened in New York for a strong $10,500 for the weekend. The WGA award contender will expand to further theaters in upcoming weeks (six this Friday), without a hoped for documentary Oscar nomination but still showing appeal.


Weathering With You (GKids) – Metacritic: 72; Festivals include: Toronto 2019

$1,731,000 in 486 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,562; Cumulative: $5,074,000

Even though the #1 film in Japan last year failed to land either Best International Feature Film or Animated Feature Oscar nods, the movie started off its domestic run in spectacular style. From Makoto Shinkai, whose “Your Name.” grossed $5 million three years ago, the movie launched Wednesday and Thursday with event screenings (it was #2 overall both days), followed by regular showings this weekend at nearly 500 theaters nationwide to become the biggest grossing film from GKids, which has released most major international animated films in recent years (though not “Your Name.”)

What comes next: The holiday Monday will boost this more, and these grosses will extend its run and get additional interest for this early-year sleeper success.

VHYes (Oscilloscope) – Metacritic: 49; Festivals include: Fantastic 2019

$28,000 in 22 theaters; PTA: $1,272

Shot on VHS and resembling earlier found-footage films, this comedy about a pre-teen’s adventures with a video camera follows initial successful festival showings with a multi-city release as an event (not full show) release. It sparked interest in some initial showings.

What comes next: This will roll out to additional cities over upcoming weeks.

"Les Misérables"

“Les Misérables”

SRAB Films/Rectangle Productions/Lyly films

Week Two

Les Miserables (Amazon)

$66,569 in 42 theaters (+38); PTA: $1,585; Cumulative: $103,202

Major ad buys and the International Feature Film Oscar nomination were in play for this bigger-than-usual second weekend expansion for a specialized subtitled release. The result remains minor, similar to its platform dates last weekend.  Despite the “Parasite” box office, this reminds how hard it is to get audiences interested in non-English films.

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

1917 (Universal) Week 4

$22,100,000 in 3,612 theaters (+178); Cumulative: $76,800,000

The 40% second-wide-weekend drop is a positive sign for Sam Mendes’ Globe-and-PGA-winning World War I event film. The Martin Luther King holiday, Oscar nominations, and additional theaters helped to boost the total. For context, the last major studio wide release parallel to Oscar nominations was “The Revenant.” That dropped only 20% its second weekend, with the same elements in play, and from a higher previous weekend gross. That suggests this film, with clearly good word of mouth and wind at its back, doesn’t have quite the same momentum. It fell the #3 this weekend, behind new openers “Bad Boys for Life” and “Dolittle.”

Just Mercy (Warner Bros.) Week 4

$6,000,000 in 2,457 theaters (+82); Cumulative: $19,613,000

Despite not getting a hoped for Supporting Actor Oscar nod for SAG-nominee Jamie Foxx, this capital punishment legal drama dropped only 38% this weekend. With terrific word of mouth and Warner’s ongoing support, this could be around for a while.

Parasite (Neon) Week 15

$1,745,000 in 843 theaters (+498); Cumulative: $27,733,000

Still at a $2,000+ PTA despite a big theater count jump and playing only partial shows, this still strong Korean film has more to add ahead of general home viewing availability on January 28. Figure it reaches at least $32 million.

Jojo Rabbit (Searchlight) Week 14

$1,400,000 in 1,005 theaters (+880); Cumulative: $23,500,000

While “Jojo” has been in theaters more than 90 days, Searchlight is delaying its post-theatrical play for Taika Waititi’s comedy Oscar contender. This weekend raised their gross further as they push toward a possible $30 million.

Uncut Gems (A24) Week 6

$1,200,000 in 930 theaters (-1,151); Cumulative: $46,129,000.

The Safdie Bros. edgy drama with Adam Sandler may end up just shy of A24’s best gross (“Lady Bird” at $49 million), but it did this total without either Oscar nods or the usual 10% or greater boost from Canadian grosses (since the film like the rest of the world will play on Netflix there). It stands as their biggest U.S. domestic grosser at this point.

Bombshell (Lionsgate) Week 6

$630,000 in 410 theaters (-879); Cumulative: $29,430,000

A big drop in theater totals and a bigger percentage drop in gross this week for Jay Roach’s Fox News #MeToo film, despite three nominations (including two for acting).

Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16

$95,522 in 167 theaters (+63); Cumulative: $4,192,000

With transitioning to home viewing now starting, Pedro Almodovar’s Best Actor and International Film nominee will end up with a gross close to our estimate for Netflix’s “Roma” and Amazon’s “Cold War” last year, and ahead of Magnolia’s “Shoplifters.”

The Song of Names (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5

$90,522 in 76 theaters (+6); Cumulative: $482,253

This post-World War II story with Tim Roth and Clive Owen reconnecting with each other after decades continues its modest limited play.

Harriet (Focus) Week 12

$68,000 in 95 theaters (-27); Cumulative: $43,017,000

Little change from last week’s gross for this Best Actress and Song nominated biopic which has already reached an impressive total.

Also noted:

Invisible Life (Amazon) – $23,958 in 15 theaters; Cumulative: $119,279

Clemency (Neon) – $17,949 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $135,081

Citizen K (Greenwich) – $10,500 in 1 theater; Cumulative: $37,123

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Source: IndieWire film

January 19, 2020

‘Bombshell’: Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly’s Reaction Video Was ‘Validating’

At the Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards on Saturday night, where she accepted the Stanley Kramer Award, Charlize Theron said that watching the video response from former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, to the Oscar-nominated “Bombshell,” was “really emotional.”

Theron, who plays Kelly in the film, was reacting to a 30-minute taped discussion that Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on January 9, in which she was joined by former Fox co-workers Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann, and husband, Douglas Brunt, after a private screening of “Bombshell,” and then talking about the film afterward.

“When they talked about how the film really got the essence of what it felt like to work there and what they experienced there, the fact that we got that right, that just felt really validating,” Theron said. “Because that’s ultimately as filmmakers what you’re trying to get. You know, it’s not a documentary, but to get that right was important.”

Kelly has spoken at length about “Bombshell,” the Jay Roach-directed movie. She previously took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the film, which she called an “incredibly emotional experience” while stressing that this wasn’t necessarily the version of her story she would’ve told.

According to Kelly, the events portrayed in the movie aren’t exactly as they happened in real life.

“They suggest that I had run my debate questions for Trump by the Murdochs. That’s a fantasy. I never ran it by Ailes or the Murdochs, or anyone other than my debate team,” Kelly said. “The notion that Roger liked the ‘Donald Trump woman question’ because it created controversy in a TV moment was not true. Roger did not like the question at all and was very angry at me for asking it. And at one point eventually asking me, ‘no more female empowerment stuff.’”

Kelly also added, “There certainly were no protests of me at the GOP convention. There were other people’s protests. That was all BS.”

Kelly and former Fox employee Julie Zann also said that Margot Robbie’s character Kayla — a fictionalized composite character meant to represent the young staffers that Ailes reportedly harassed during his tenure at Fox — isn’t portrayed as they’d hoped, especially in a moment where she calls out Kelly’s character for her silence.

The film earned three Oscar nominations last week: Best Actress (Theron), Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Watch Kelly’s full YouTube discussion of “Bombshell” below.

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘The Matrix 4’: The Merovingian May Return to the Franchise

“The Matrix” franchise will continue with a fourth film that’s currently in development, with Lana Wachowski set to write and direct, and Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively.

The project has been kept mostly under wraps, as plot details are currently unknown. In addition to Reeves and Moss, actors already confirmed to be joining the cast include Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe), as well as newcomers Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby Onwumere, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who is rumored to be playing young Morpheus.

Lambert Wilson might soon be added to the list, according to a recent report by French outlet Allocine (via The Playlist), that says Wilson, who played The Merovingian in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” is currently in negotiations to return to for the upcoming fourth film. Pproduction on the film may conflict with his schedule, so it’s possible that he won’t be back.

In the “Matrix” universe, The Merovingian (sometimes called The Frenchman) is an old, powerful program that resides within the Matrix. The self-described “trafficker of information” and his wife Persephone (played by Monica Bellucci) operate a smuggling ring, providing a haven for exiled programs in the Matrix.

Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, one of the most visionary sci-fi writers of our time, are co-writing the script with Wachowski. Mitchell is the author of “Cloud Atlas,” which the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer adapted into a 2012 film.

Additionally, cinematographer John Toll, Academy Award winner for “Braveheart” and “Legends of the Fall,” also nominated for Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” will lens the fourth film.

The word is still out on if, Lilly Wachowski, the original trilogy’s co-director, will be involved in the project.

Over the course of the three previous “Matrix” films, which include “The Matrix,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” the franchise grossed more than $1.6 billion at the global box office. However, the sequels were met with critical derision, which means “Matrix 4” may be an opportunity to stabilize the franchise’s legacy.

Wilson will next be seen playing Charles de Gaulle, former President of France, in the French production, “De Gaulle.”

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘The Batman’: Zoe Kravitz Will Bring ‘Strong Femininity’ to Catwoman, Inspired By Michelle Pfeiffer

Principal photography on Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” kicked off this month in England, with Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, his most enduring love interest, with whom he’s had a complex love-hate relationship.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after a Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation for her upcoming Hulu series “High Fidelity,” Kravitz suggested that, in preparing to play Catwoman, she was looking for inspiration from an actress who previously wore the black catsuit in a movie.

“I think Catwoman is an iconic character,” Kravitz said. “I was never into a lot of comic books, but that world was always really intriguing to me. And then of course Michelle Pfeiffer — her performance has always been super inspiring to me. It just felt iconic.”

Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992’s “Batman Returns” opposite Michael Keaton as the dark knight, in a film directed by Tim Burton, for which she received plenty of critical raves. So Kravitz certainly has big shoes to fill.

“I think Catwoman, Selina Kyle represents really strong femininity, and I’m excited to dive into that,” she said. “I think femininity represents power, and I think it’s a different kind of power than masculine power. That’s something that’s really interesting about Batman and Catwoman. I think Batman represents a very kind of masculine power, and Catwoman represents very feminine power — slightly more complicated, and softer, too. I like the idea that you can be soft, you can be gentle and still be very powerful and still be very dangerous.”

Kravitz was cast in the film, beating out a field of actresses that included Zazie Beetz, Eiza Gonzalez, and Alicia Vikander.

She joins actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway, who have all played the character on the small and big screens.

It marks Kravitz’s second major Warner Bros. franchise movie following “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

She’ll next be seen in Hulu’s “High Fidelity,” which is inspired by the 2000 film starring John Cusack, which itself is based on the 1995 British novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. The original drama series is set to premiere on February 14.

“The Batman” is the tenth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and a reboot of the Batman film franchise. Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro round out the main cast.

Warner Bros. has slotted “The Batman” for a June 25, 2021 theatrical release.

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘Bad Boys’: Fourth Movie Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Is Already Being Planned

Bad Boys for Life”, the third title in the 25-year-old franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, is set to open to a strong $68.4 million, making it the second best MLK weekend of all time, after 2014’s “American Sniper” ($107.2 million). So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Sony Pictures is plotting a fourth movie.

According to a new report in Variety, “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner, who co-wrote the script with Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, is set to return and write the fourquel.

No details on what story the fourth film will tell, although the open ending of the third film all but suggested that the franchise would continue.

Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (replacing Michael Bay, who directed the first two), “Bad Boys for Life” follows detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) reuniting once again to solve a string of murders. All of the crimes are connected by an old case that involved Lowrey, putting his life in jeopardy.

The film sat in development hell for over a decade, with various writers and directors attached. Production was finally set in October 2018, with filming taking place during the first half of 2019 in Atlanta and Miami.

The movie, which opened on January 17, 2020, co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and a returning Joe Pantoliano as police chief.

The threequel also reps the best opening for the action buddy-cop franchise, outperforming 2003’s “Bad Boys II ($46.5 million opening weekend), and “Bad Boys” ($15.5 million).

The second most expensive movie in the franchise, with a $90 million budget, it’s on track to top the trilogy in total box office. “Bad Boys” grossed $141 million worldwide, on a $19 million budget. And “Bad Boys II” grossed $270 million worldwide on a $130 million budget.

Reviews have been mostly positive for “Bad Boys for Life,” with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes score. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich called it a “fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie that updates Jerry Bruckheimer bombast for the modern age of multiplex cinema.”

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are expected to return for the fourquel, but no word on whether directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will do the same.

The film franchise even spawned a television series starring Gabrielle Union, who appeared in the second installment, alongside Jessica Alba, in a spin-off titled “L.A.’s Finest,” which aired on Spectrum in 2019, and was renewed for a second season set to premiere in 2020.

Source: IndieWire film

January 17, 2020

I Just Bombed My Pitch. How Did it Happen?

Bombing a pitch happens to everyone, but sometimes you have no idea why it did. Let’s go over a few scenarios.

Pitching a movie or TV show is an art form. You go in, weave an entertaining tale in around fifteen minutes, and then field a series of questions. Afterward, some people meet up and decide if they liked your pitch.

Those people are usually executives or creatives that can make the project happen.

But sometimes you don’t have to wait for the execs.

Sometimes you know in your heart of hearts that you bombed that pitch.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Bombing is its own art form. A spectacular spiral of problems and guttural noises that leaves you feeling weak and the knees and nauseous. But it’s something you need to get used to because all writers bomb pitches. Every single one. I have bombed plenty.

There are many reasons you can bomb a pitch. And them ore you’re aware of the reasons, the more you can do to keep yourself from bombing it.

So, come with me as I look back on some bombs, and share your own stories and lessons in the comments.

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

January 17, 2020

How to Deal with “Unexpected Villains” in Your Story?

Source: Visual Storytelling

January 17, 2020

Tokina Introduces New 85mm F/1.8 FE Prime for Sony Mirrorless Cameras

Tokina kicks off its new mirrorless lens line with an 85mm f/1.8 for Sony E-mount.

Meet the debut lens for Tokina’s mirrorless atx-m series, the atx-m 85mm f/1.8 FE for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras.

This prime lens has some pretty impressive features, including a new fast and quiet ST-M autofocus motor, a smooth manual focus ring, and great low-light performance and beautiful bokeh thanks to its fast f/1.8 aperture.

It’ll also allow users to capture high-res images that are sharp from edge to edge with “well-controlled” chromatic aberrations. Its optical design includes ten glass elements in seven groups, one SD (Low Dispersion) lens, and Super Low Reflection Multi-Coating, which is exclusive to Tokina, to produce natural color, good contrast, as well as protection from water, oil, and dust.

And because this lens meets Sony’s licensed specifications, it’ll work just fine with Sony’s 5-axis image stabilization, Face/Eye Priority AF, Real-time Eye AF, MF assist, and electronic distance scale.

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

January 17, 2020

Meet Platyball, an Inverted Ball Head with an LED Level

From the makers of Platypod comes an innovative, new ball head system that is tough, sleek, and has an electronic leveling system.

Platypod has made a name for itself for giving filmmakers unique, compact, and rugged pieces of gear on which to shoot their films. Case in point: Platypod Ultra and Max, which double as mini-tripods and mounting plates for small mirrorless and larger DSLR cameras that can be set up virtually anywhere.

To round out this system, the company has introduced both the Platyball, an inventive little ball head system that will not only make a lot of Platypod fans happy but will also give filmmakers options they may not expect to see in a compact ball head.

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

January 17, 2020

Put Your Product or Service to the Test During SXSW Release It – Application Deadline January 17

Release It 2019 Winners - Lumos Helmet - Photo by Akash Kataria

If your company has a product or service that is in the works or has recently launched, then have we got a special pitch competition for you – SXSW Release It!

Compete in a group of ten cutting-edge companies and pitch your product or service in front of a panel of judges comprised of technology industry experts, venture capitalists, and high profile media who will select the product or service most likely to succeed in the marketplace.

Past winners for the Release It event include Potrero Medical, Honest Dollar, Inteliclinic Inc., Neuroon Open, and Abartys Health. To be considered for one of the coveted spots in the event, be sure to apply before the deadline on Friday, January 17, 2020.

Apply Now

To help with applications, we’ve put together some staff tips – make sure to review them carefully in order to take advantage of the product validation, professional coaching, media spotlight, and networking opportunities that are available to Release It participants.

Staff Tips for Applying

  • Meet the minimum SXSW Release It Eligibility Criteria

  • Showcase a startup that is innovative and disruptive

  • Include a direct link to a video in your application to further illuminate your product or service for the judges

  • Showcase what makes you different in the market (i.e. your market differentiator)

  • Highlight key members of your team and/or those supporting your startup (Staff, Advisory Board, Board Members, Mentors, Funders, Accelerator and/or Incubator involvement, etc.)

Each company will be allowed to submit only one product/service at this year’s event. Read the eligibility requirements and FAQ before you apply by the deadline on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:59pm PT.

Apply Now

Attend SXSW 2020

Join us for SXSW 2020 from March 13-22 in Austin, TX. Check out how to attend, plan your housing, and stay up to date on SXSW 2020 news by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Featured Image by Akash Kataria

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Source: SxSW Interactive