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Eric Zumbrunnen, Film Editor and Frequent Spike Jonze Collaborator, Dies at 52
Creative kindred spirits, Zumbrunnen and Jonze collaborated for more than two decades, teaming for the features Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013), an Oscar nominee for best picture.
Zumbrunnen won the best edited feature film award (comedy or musical) from the American Cinema Editors for Being »
- Mike Barnes
Summer Slows to a Crawl as 'Hitman's Bodyguard' and 'Logan Lucky' Debut
The downward trend continues this weekend. Two new releases arrive in theaters and neither will debut with enough to even marginally turn the summer box office tide. In fact, we may be looking at the worst weekend at the box office this year with a top twelve that could struggle to generate a combined $80 million. As for the new releases, Lionsgate's release of The Hitman's Bodyguard will do what it can to challenge Annabelle: Creation for the weekend's top spot while Bleecker Street's release of Logan Lucky is a fascinating study in and of itself and whether it pushes higher than $10 million will be something to watch. At the top of the weekend box office it's looking like a competitive race between last weekend's strong opening performance for WB and New Line's Annabelle: Creation and Lionsgate and Summit's The Hitman's Bodyguard. Annabelle delivered a $35 million opening, which is just a »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Film in the Works (Exclusive)
Sources say talks are at the earliest of stages and that the project has no script. If a deal makes, Daldry would oversee the development and writing with Lucasfilm brass. It's not known at this stage if Ewan McGregor will reprise his role.
The Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the »
- Borys Kit
Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Teaming on ‘The Goldfinch’ (Exclusive)
As part of the pact, Amazon will invest more than a third of the movie’s budget, which is estimated to be in the $40 million range, according to insiders. In return, it will get streaming rights to the picture and debut it on home entertainment platforms in what is commonly referred to as the pay-tv window, the term for when movies debut on HBO and Showtime.
Warner Bros. will distribute the film in theaters worldwide. There were several other parties interested in boarding the project, but Amazon was the most aggressive. The e-retailer believes the project is a good fit for its customer base, because Tartt’s novel was a big seller on its platform. It also views the partnership on the movie as a good branding opportunity. »
- Brent Lang
Alan Arkin Joins Tim Burton’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ (Exclusive)
Disney’s 10 Biggest Box Office Openings
The original story followed an ostracized baby circus elephant who strives to achieve his full potential. In this version, the film follows Holt Farrier (Farrell), a former circus star who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from the war. Circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) enlists Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when Holt’s children (Parker and Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive »
- Justin Kroll
Director David F. Sandberg gives an update on Shazam and his comic book inspirations
Fresh from the box office success of Annabelle: Creation, director David F. Sandberg is now turning his attention to the DC Extended Universe and his next project, Shazam!. Speaking to Film Riot (via Heroic Hollywood), Sandberg has provided an update on Shazam!, confirming that the script is ready and it will be the next DC movie to go into production after Aquaman.
“There’s a script, it’s the next DC movie to shoot,” said Sandberg, who also confirmed that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam will no longer feature in the film. “There’ve been variations of the script, like before I came along, where… you know, variations where Black Adam was in and out and, you know. But now, this is about Shazam.”
Sandberg also talked about which comic books he’s been reading in preparation for the project: “I’m taking it all in. Some of those really old ones are quite fun, »
- Gary Collinson
'It' Tracking for Record $50M Debut in U.S.
The Warner Bros. and New Line horror film, rolling out in theaters Sept. 8, could clear $50 million or more in its first weekend, besting Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48 million) to score the biggest start ever for the month of September, not adjusting for inflation. Some even believe it could approach $60 million.
Warners insiders are being more cautious and saying $40 million-$45 million, noting the sluggish marketplace and the fact that September has never been known for huge openings. Also, It is rated R.
- Pamela McClintock
The Weinstein Company launches animation label Mizchief
First release will be Leap!, featuring Elle Fanning.
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is launching an animation-focused distribution label titled Mizchief.
The first release under the new banner will be Eric Summer and Éric Warin’s Leap! [pictured]. The animated feature has a voice cast including Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Maddie Ziegler, with Carly Rae Jepsen, Kate McKinnon, and Mel Brooks. Leap! has been given a Us release date of Aug 25.
Mizchief’s second release will be The Guardian Brothers, from director Gary Wang and Life Chaser Animation Studios. The film’s voice cast includes Meryl Streep, Mel brooks, Nicole Kidman, Edward Norton, Dan Fogler, and Bella Thorne.
The company, which has scaled back its theatrical operations in the past 18 months, said in a press release that it is planning to build its slate of animated films and that it has two projects in development – adaptations of Philip Pullman’s The Firework-Makers Daughter and George Selden’s The Cricket In Times Square.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Grater)
Eric Zumbrunnen, Editor on Every Spike Jonze Movie, Dies at 52
Eric Zumbrunnen, film editor and longtime Spike Jonze collaborator, has died at age 52 following a battle with cancer. The editor worked on every Spike Jonze feature, either by himself or with co-editor Jeff Buchanan, and he won the Ace Award for Best Edited Feature Film for “Being John Malkovich.”
Zumbrunnen was born in November, 1964 and graduated from USC with a degree in Journalism. His career in post-production began in music videos, where he edited classic clips for Weezer (“Buddy Holly”), Smashing Pumpkins (“Tonight, Tonight”), Beck (“Where It’s At”), and Bjork (“It Oh So Quiet”), among others.
Zumbrunnen’s work with Jonze extended from his feature films, including “Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “Her,” to the director’s acclaimed Kenzo ad “My Mutant Brain.” The latter won him a Bronze »
- Zack Sharf
John Boyega confirms royal cameos in 'Star Wars'
“I’ve had enough with those secrets”, says actor.
During an interview for BBC Radio4 this morning, Boyega was asked whether the royals were given lines in the film during their cameos as Stormtroopers:
“I think they took that scene out”, he deadpanned.
“I’ve had enough with those secrets,” he laughed. “They came on set. They were there. I’m sick of hiding it. I think it was leaked, anyway. There were images. Every time I get asked, I have to dodge it. I’m tired of dodging it. They were there. So was Tom Hardy.”
The princes visited the Pinewood set in mid-April of last year.
At the time, The Daily Mail quoted a source who claimed that the princes “filmed a scene in which Rey and Finn infiltrate »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Weinstein Company Launches Mizchief Animated Film Label
The Weinstein Company will put a new film logo, Mizchief, on the August 25 release of Leap!, and will use it to make more animated films, TWC cochairman Harvey Weinstein announced. Pic features the voices of Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Rae Jepsen, Kate McKinnon, and Mel Brooks. It is about an orphan who dreams of going to Paris to be a dancer, teaming with a youth who wants to be a famous inventor. The second release under the label is The Guardian Brothers, TWC's first… »
The Morning Watch: ‘The Defenders’ Recap Rap, ‘Tomorrowland’ Video Essay & More
(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.) In this edition, The Defenders gets a Recap Rap in order […]
The post The Morning Watch: ‘The Defenders’ Recap Rap, ‘Tomorrowland’ Video Essay & More appeared first on /Film. »
- Ethan Anderton
‘Dirty Dancing’ at 30: How Baby and Johnny Won Over the Skeptics
It’s been 30 years since Baby and Johnny had the time of their life, but “Dirty Dancing” remains as popular as when it opened on Aug. 21, 1987. Actually, it’s even more popular: When the ABC remake aired May 24 this year, fans immediately registered anger and/or disappointment on social media. It was a reminder that the magic of the 1987 version could not be duplicated.
The original “Dirty Dancing” was one of the summer’s biggest surprises. It was filmed on a $6 million budget and earned $213 million at the box office, plus has a long and booming afterlife in video and spinoffs.
Filming of the Vestron movie — written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino — was done on two main locations: Lake Lure in N.C., and the Mountain Lake Lodge in Giles County, Va. Mountain Lake was responsible for many of the exterior shots. The lodge, built in the 1930s, had »
- Tim Gray
‘Scary Mother’ Wins at Sarajevo Film Festival; Bosnia-Herzegovina Selects Oscar Entry
The 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival has wrapped with the announcement of Ana Urushadze’s “Scary Mother” as winner of the fest’s top prize, while host country Bosnia-Herzegovina has picked its entry in the race for the foreign-language Academy Award.
“Scary Mother” won the Heart of Sarajevo on Wednesday night, the festival’s prize for best feature film which includes a €16,000 ($18,800) award. The Georgian-language movie, which is a co-production between Georgia and Estonia, was written and directed by Urushadze (pictured center).
The drama stars Nata Murvanidze (pictured, far right) as a 50-year-old housewife struggling to choose between her family life and a passion for writing which she has suppressed for years. Deciding to following her passion, she plunges into writing, sacrificing herself mentally and physically. The film, produced by Lasha Khalvashi (holding the Heart of Sarajevo) and Tinatin Kajrislvili (far left), also won the Cineuropa Nagrada partner’s award from the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and »
- Robert Mitchell
Australian Courts Order 59 Piracy Sites to be Blocked
In major victories for Hollywood and the local film industries, Australian Federal courts have ordered the country’s major telecoms and Internet providers to block access to 59 websites that carry pirated film and TV content. The studios and distributors have been fighting legal battles Down Under for several years.
The decisions came on Friday in two separate rulings. In a case brought by Village Roadshow, the judge ordered telcos including Telstra, Optus and Tpg to block 42 piracy sites. In a case brought by Foxtel, a second judge ordered the blocking of another 17 sites.
In the Village Roadshow case the judge said that copyright violations were “flagrant and reflect a blatant disregard for copyright owners.” Some, he said, offer tutorials on “how to frustrate any legal action.” The ISPs have 15 days to block the 59 sites and 127 domains.
Sites to be blocked include PrimeWire, MegaShare, Eztv, Limetorrents, Project Free TV, Watch Series, KissCartoon, »
- Patrick Frater
Quest review – love and hope win out on the Us poverty line
Jonathan Olshefski’s documentary, shot over the eight years of the Obama presidency, sees the Rainey family rise above poverty, drugs and gun violence
Sadly, the problems affecting the Raineys, the African American family whose north Philadelphia home accommodates this heartening documentary, are all too familiar: poverty, drugs, gun violence. It could have been filmed at any point in the last 40 years, but debut director Jonathan Olshefski follows them over a pointed stretch: the eight years of the Obama presidency.
Little shifts materially for them, but they are beacons of self-reliance and generosity. Christopher runs a home studio offering “Freestyle Fridays” for local rappers, and Christine works at a domestic violence shelter. Their optimism is tested when daughter Pj catches a stray bullet from a shootout and loses an eye. Her and her parents’ inspirational courage glows in the rich palette with which Olshefski captures the neighbourhood, investing it with love not fear. »
- Phil Hoad
China’s Puji Capital Invests In Peter Guber’s Mandalay Endurance
Shanghai-based investment firm Puji Capital has launched Puji Films, a new entity that will focus on investments into the Chinese and Hollywood film industry. To kick open its doors it's backing former Columbia Pictures head Peter Guber's Mandalay Endurance Media Ventures. Memv is a joint venture between Mandalay Entertainment, Endurance Media and sports owner Jeff Vinik. Guber heads up the new production, financing and international distribution platform with Steve… »
Haugesund: ‘Sound of Noise’ Producer Steps up Ambitions (Exclusive)
New Swedish production company Silver Films is launching with the English-lingo psycho thriller “Car:y” The feature project will be pitched at New Nordic Films’ Nordic Genre Boost strand in Haugesund, which runs Aug. 22-25, and will epitomize what Silver Films stands for: Audience-driven artistic content.
The new Stockholm-based company is co-founded by writer/director/producer Olivier Guerpillon – whose production credits include the critically-acclaimed “Sound of Noise,” released by Magnolia Pictures in the U.S., and “Broken Hills Blues” – and writer/producer Anna Byvald (“Maggie in Wonderland”).
“In a highly polarized Swedish market where creators of smaller films struggle to stay afloat, it makes sense for two indie producers with similar paths and tastes to join forces,” said the French-Swedish producer who intends to build on his tight relationships with the French and European film industry to create ‘internationally oriented content with a unique point of view’.
He added: “We want to take our expertise to the next »
- Annika Pham
Six UK VoD companies receive $2.5m EU funding
Creative Europe announces new batch of audiovisual promotion grants.
Seven UK companies, including six VoD platforms, have received €2,203,119 ($2.5m) in grants from Creative Europe’s promotion of audiovisual works online scheme.
The platforms that secured funding are: Walter Presents, FilmDoo, Curzon Home Cinema, Mubi, BFI Player and Distrify.
In addition, The Polka Dot Factory received a grant to develop their app Cues, which aims to develop potential audiences for European films.
A total of 14 applications from the UK were submitted, with half selected for funding. The amount allocated to UK companies made up 23% of the scheme’s budget.
In the UK, Mubi received the biggest grant of €668,940. Curzon received €480,000 and the BFI Player received €376,117.
The scheme’s biggest grant went to marketing company Under The Milky Way, which received €900,000.
In July it was announced that four UK companies received combined funding of more than €700,000 from Creative Europe’s Slate Funding scheme. They were Aardman Animations »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando Parfitt)
Sanfic: Fernando Guzzoni Prepares First English-language Feature (Exclusive)
“We’ve been in talks since Toronto [where “Jesus” had its world premiere] where they asked me to present them a project,” said Guzzoni.
Titled “People Still Die of Love,” the romantic drama is a “reflection on the crisis of modern love, where relationships are often fleeting,” but tinged with dark humor, said Guzzoni. He has written a first draft in Spanish, which he’ll later write in English, he said.
Since it has an urban setting, he’s hoping to shoot in New York or Los Angeles, or possibly the U.K.
Guzzoni is closing co-production deals for his third feature, “Blanca,” with Argentina’s Ivan Granovsky and Marion Klotz of Autocroma boarding the project. He’s also in talks with potential co-producers from France, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
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