The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'The Croods' Notches Best Animated Opening Since November

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 24, 2013 11:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Normally, we’re besieged by animated fare during all months, but not so far in 2013. The only animated film of the year thus far was “Escape From Planet Earth,” a production from The Weinstein Company that was treated like a last minute dump, posting numbers that only counted as a hit compared to the film’s small budget and meager ad campaign. Before that, DreamWorks kept “Rise of the Guardians” active in over 3,000 sparsely-attended engagements, though over the holidays it seemed kids would rather toss snowballs around than watch a weirdly oppressive, vaguely non-denominational holiday movie. Which meant that all Fox had to do was not embarrass themselves with “The Croods,” supplying the kids market with a 3D diversion that stands as the second biggest opening of the year, far ahead of the middling 'Guardians' debut.

'The Spectacular Now,' 'Austenland' & 'The Look Of Love' Lead First Wave Of Sundance Acquisitions

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 21, 2013 9:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Sundance Film Festival has been underway for a few days now, but the buyers' market has been slow to get moving. It's not entirely surprising; as we documented last week, a run of disappointments has left distributors a little more cautious than in the past, and with few films attracting across-the-board raves, there's further reason to keep the purse strings tightened until most of the major films have screened.

FilmDistrict Pick Up Gerard Butler White House Actioner 'Olympus Has Fallen,' Set For April 5th, 2013

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 29, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Every year has its own equivalent to the duelling volcano/asteroid/Truman Capote movies -- two films greenlit independently focusing on the same subject matter, and whose fates end up inextricably tied together. 2012 has seen two such square-offs; the Battle of the Snow Whites, with "Snow White and the Huntsman" vanquishing "Mirror Mirror" at the box office, and the Duel Of The Prosthetic Jowls, with HBO biopic "The Girl" taking on the same central character as the upcoming "Hitchcock." And for our 2013 face off, it looks like we're getting... "Die Hard" in the White House movies.

James Wan & Leigh Whannell Get Moving On The Inevitable Sequel To Surprise Horror Hit 'Insidious'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 3, 2012 9:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In a time where profitability for even the biggest movies is still a roll of the dice, there's one vein of gold than remains consistently reliable -- low-budget horror. You can make a picture for only a few million dollars, without stars, and even if it doesn't do great business (see something like "Apollo 18"), you'll still make a tidy return on your investment. And if it becomes a phenomenon, like "Paranormal Activity," then, well, it's time to order your platinum-covered limousine.

Sundance: FilmDistrict Take Rights To 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' Magnolia Buy 'Compliance,' 'Nobody Walks,' '2 Days In New York'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 30, 2012 11:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Sundance may be over for another year, but as Gordon Gekko mercilessly taught us: money never sleeps. So even though Park City has born witness to their annual mass exodus, there are still some films hanging around waiting to be bought and we have news of six films that have snagged distribution deals.

Sony Will Distribute 'The 'Evil Dead' Remake, Filming To Kick Off In 2012

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 30, 2011 3:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The remake train keeps on rolling, and yes kiddies, Sam Raimi is producing a remake of his own cult classic, "The Evil Dead," and now a powerhouse studio is behind the movie.

Idiot Woman Sues Distributor Of 'Drive' Because It Wasn't 'Fast Five'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 9, 2011 2:37 AM
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  • 40 Comments
We've all had that feeling where we walk out of a movie and realize that we've been sold something quite different from the finished product. It's particularly prevalent with more "difficult"' projects; distributors will play up the sexier, genre-led elements in order to bring in the crowds. It's a fact of advertising, and one that most people are accepting of -- we've certainly never been left particularly angry by a trailer that feints one way, and a movie that goes another. In a world where so few surprises are left, it can actually be kind of exciting. But not for Sarah Deming.

'Red Dawn' Remake Finds A New Home At FilmDistrict, Poised For 2012 Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 26, 2011 9:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The road to the "Red Dawn" remake has been long and bumpy, with some dubious do-overs and even some mild insults being thrown around. The film was shot and wrapped way back in 2009, but the financial woes of MGM kept the film on the shelf for a long time as the studio tried to become viable enough to give the picture a release. But as their priorities were squarely on the "The Hobbit" and "James Bond 23" it soon became apparent that "Red Dawn" was going to need to find a new home. While MGM sought a buyer it became clear that the anti-China storyline was going to make it a tough sell because studios/distributors are increasingly relying on Chinese dollars to pad out foreign box office, so some digital retooling was done to give North Korea a bigger role as the antagonists. Well, the gambit has paid off as "Red Dawn" is finally closer to finding its way to a multiplex near you.

Weekend Box Office: 'Lion King' Beats Back 'Moneyball,' Boy Brawler 'Abduction' To Keep #1 Slot

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 25, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 8 Comments
"Hakuna Matata!" proclaims Disney, discovering what amounts to an entirely new revenue stream. “The Lion King 3D” has taken the crown decisively for the second straight weekend with $22 million, amidst some otherwise heavy fall competition that was a lot buzzier and, without a doubt, more expensive. The original plan was to play the film for two weeks, but after ten days, it’s been far and away the biggest movie attraction, and the film will be extending its stay at the multiplexes which could add nearly $40 million to the coffers.

Weekend Box Office: Families Complete The Circle Of Life, Pack Theaters For Movie They Own On DVD

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 18, 2011 3:49 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Right now, some jerk at Disney is finding a way to use the term “circle of life” to define how they can release “The Lion King” anytime, and it will always make money. A 3D re-issue of the film became the number one weekend attraction by a very wide margin with $29 million, a huge middle finger to those who claim audiences are looking for something “fresh” or “new.”

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