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Box Office: ‘Pirates’ Sailing to $75 Million, ‘Baywatch’ Can’t Make Memorial Day Waves

1 hour ago

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will hook in $75 million during the four-day Memorial Day holiday, early estimates showed on Friday.

Should the number hold, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which will be playing at 4,276 North America locations, would wind up slightly below recent expectations of about $80 million. The pricey tentpole, with a $230 million budget, was heading for a $26 million opening day on Friday — including $5.5 million from Thursday night previews.

Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch,” meanwhile, is struggling to make waves, coming in at the low end of projections. The film generated an estimated $4.5 million on Thursday, which includes $1.25 million from Wednesday night previews. Paramount’s R-rated action-comedy, which is opening in 3,647 North American locations, was expected to make between $32 million and $40 million during the five-day  period, but it’s heading for a finish of less than $30 million.

The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” — the »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: Insas Student Valentina Maurel’s ‘Paul Is Here’ Wins Cannes Cinefondation

1 hour ago

Cannes — “Paul Is Here,” from Costa Rica’s Valentina Maurel, a student at Belgium’s Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion (Insas), snagged the First Jury Prize Friday at Cannes Cinefondation on Friday.

Crucially, the First Jury Prize guarantees Maurel presentation of her first feature at the Cannes Festival – a large leg-up when it comes to getting that film made.

The prize was awarded by a jury headed by Romanian 2007 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days”). Also on the jury: French actress Clotilde Hesme (“Chocolat”), Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari (“Chevalier”), “Moonlight’s” Barry Jenkins and pioneering Singaporean helmer Eric Khoo (“In the Room”).

“A study of a relationship in crisis, which has complications, which I hope will touch spectators,” Maurel said. her short turns on a girl whose life is turned upside down by the return of Paul. an old flame, »


- John Hopewell

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HanWay Films’ Gabrielle Stewart on What Independent Distributors Look for in Acquiring Films

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London-based sales and finance house HanWay Films, which was set up almost 20 years ago by Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, and is aligned with Thomas’ production company Recorded Picture Company, is in Cannes with four films in the festival’s official selection, led by Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” Variety spoke to HanWay’s managing director, Gabrielle Stewart.

What sets HanWay apart from other film companies, and defines it?

It’s a big company that is privately owned, and has never, in all its history, gone through a year without profit. Its taste has very much been defined by the fact it is headed up by a very successful filmmaker, Jeremy Thomas, and it has always been known as a filmmaker-friendly company. We have always followed certain filmmakers’ work and been bold in our choices.

Hanway »


- Leo Barraclough

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Why This Year’s Cannes Lineup May Be Too Edgy for Oscar

2 hours ago

For me, tweeting praise for a film at Cannes tends to elicit a two-tiered response from excited movie fans far away from the Croisette. First, quite understandably, come the general exclamations of euphoria and relief that a beloved director or star hasn’t dropped the ball. For days, my mentions will be full of vicarious celebration and can’t-wait-to-see-this buzz from devotees of Sofia Coppola (on wicked form with “The Beguiled”) and Robert Pattinson (hitting a career peak in “Good Time”), which is as it should be. At the same time, however, the good news is met with a more complicated query, usually worded along these lines: “Glad to hear it’s great! Oscar chances?”

As I wrote in my festival preview, Cannes is a festival of mixed fortunes for awards-season geeks: Though it occasionally mints a future titan like “The Artist” or “No Country for Old Men,” its programming »


- Guy Lodge

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‘Twin Peaks’: David Lynch Talks About Reviving the Iconic Series

2 hours ago

He dressed like a G-man.

When he arrived for his interview with Variety, David Lynch wore a black suit, a white shirt, a black tie, and wingtips. His hair was styled the same way as always, but what had once been jet black was now mostly white. The only pop of color on Lynch was incongruous; it emerged when he sat down for the interview. As he gestured while talking, a yellow plastic watch peeked out from the sleeve of his white shirt. It was the only item that didn’t make him look like his “Twin Peaks” character, FBI official Gordon Cole.

Lynch was as affable an interviewee as I’ve ever come across, but his answers were concise: His art may rely on the creation of a mysterious atmosphere, but in talking about his return to the world of “Twin Peaks,” he couldn’t have been more unequivocal and direct. »


- Maureen Ryan

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Cannes: Chloe Zhao’s ‘The Rider’ Tops Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight

3 hours ago

Cannes — Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider,” Sony Pictures Classics’ second pick-up at this year’s Cannes Festival, won the Art Cinema Award, the top prize at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

In further plaudits, all given by the section’s sponsors, Jonas Carpignano’s neo-realist migrant drama “A Ciambra,” executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, won the Europa Cinemas Label Award, open to all European titles in Directors’ Fortnight.

Granted by France’s Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers, the Sacd Award for best French film in Directors’ Fortnight was shared by two titles from leading Gallic auteurs: Philippe Garrel’s “Lover for a Day” and Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In.”

Directed by Zhao, a Chinese-American, and capturing a fast-disappearing part of Americana, “The Rider” charts the frustrated dreams of a South Dakota rodeo rider, played by real-life cowboy Brady Jandreau. “The Rider” also marks a return to Directors’ Fortnight for China’s »


- John Hopewell

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Lionsgate Sets ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween’ for October

3 hours ago

Lionsgate is launching the comedy sequel “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween” on Oct. 20.

Perry brought his signature Madea character back to life last year in his ninth “Madea” movie — “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Perry credited the story’s origin to Chris Rock’s inclusion of a fictitious Madea Halloween movie in his 2014 film “Top Five.”

“This really was Chris Rock’s idea from ‘Top Five,’” he said last year at the premiere. “I gave permission, then went to Lionsgate and said, ‘I can do this.’”

Related

Own Greenlights Fifth Tyler Perry Series, Orders More Episodes of Perry Dramas

Perry is directing from his own script. Cassi Davis and Patrice Lovely will also star.

“Boo! A Madea Halloween” was a solid performer for Lionsgate with $73 million in domestic grosses. Lionsgate dated the sequel Friday and released the following logline: “Madea, Bam, and Hattie venture to »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: China’s Weying Extends Reach Into Content, Asian Neighbors

3 hours ago

China’s Weying Technology may be the clearest cut example to date of a movie company that is driven by data.

The three-year-old company is China’s leading online agency for movie ticketing. But these days all the talk from its executives is about film production and distribution.

At the Cannes Film Festival, Weying is busily trying to establish its name as a distribution brand and has positioned itself as a sponsor of the Vis A Vis conference and presentation series about Chinese cinema.

Previously, it backed China-themed seminars during the American Film Market in November.

While such seminars are helping the rest of the world understand more about the fast-evolving Chinese, Weying’s own strategy is becoming clearer.

The company was hatched in 2014, and established by a core team of executives including Teddy Gu, and Yang Dan, each with several years of industry experience in production, distribution and marketing. »


- Patrick Frater

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Box Office: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Sets Sail With $40 Million Worldwide

3 hours ago

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” set sail with $40 million worldwide during its first two days in theaters, with first-place openings in every market.

The $40 million figure does not include Friday’s earnings from China, where Disney is estimating a first-day total of $20 million.

The sequel grossed $5.5 million from Thursday night previews in the U.S., expanding to 4,276 locations on Friday. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” also generated the best 2017 first-day earnings in Germany, Austria, France, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

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Box Office: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Plunders $5.5 Million on Thursday Night

It opened Thursday in Germany with a 60% market share on its Ascension Day holiday. “Pirates” saw a 59% market share in the U.K. The film earned $4 million on its opening day in Russia, the fifth-highest first day for any movie. The pic earned $3.6 million in Germany and $900,000 in the U. »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: Martin Scorsese-Exec Produced ‘A Ciambra’ Wins Europa Cinemas Label Award

4 hours ago

Jonas Carpignano’s “A Ciambra,” which is executive produced by Martin Scorsese, has won the Europa Cinemas Label Award, the first prize it be announced at the Cannes Festival’s 2017 Directors’ Fortnight.

World premiering earlier this week and sold by Luxbox, “A Ciambra” was picked up for North America by Sundance Selects.

Carpignano’s follow-up and semi-sequel to “Mediterranea,” Ciambra stars Pio Amato, who played a secondary character in “Mediterranea,” as a 14-year-old growing up in a Romani community in Calabria.

Sold by Paris-based Luxbox, “A Ciambra” marks the first title to emerge from a film fund set up to support emerging filmmakers via the production partnership of Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff’s Sikelia Productions and Rodrigo Teixeira’s Sao Paulo-based Rt Features.

The Directors’ Fortnight plaudit comes after ‘Mediterranea,’ also acquired by Sundance Selects, won the Critics Week Grand Prize in 2015.

Jonas Carpignano’s ‘A Ciambra’ is a compelling and accomplished film, »


- John Hopewell

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Sean Baker’s ‘The Florida Project’ Lands at A24 (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

A24 has bought U.S. distribution rights to Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” Variety has learned.

The movie about a homeless family in the Sunshine State premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight. Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon”) stars alongside Caleb Landry Jones (“X-Men: First Class”), and newcomers Brooklynn Prince and Bria Vinaite. Baker co-wrote the picture with Chris Bergoch.

Related

Jane Campion on Lack of Female Filmmakers, ‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’

The film enjoyed strong reviews, which sparked interest from multiple bidders. Amazon Studios, Neon, and Annapurna circled the project this week, but some players dropped out after bidding on the micro-indie passed $1 million.

In a favorable notice, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote that Baker’s “follow-up to ‘Tangerine’ is another vibrant tale of the American lower depths, this one rooted in the magic and heartbreak of childhood.”

Baker’s last film, “Tangerine,” was »


- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang

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Box Office: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Plunders $5.5 Million on Thursday Night

5 hours ago

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” pillaged $5.5 million at Thursday night screenings in North America.

The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” — the first since 2011 — is poised to dominate Memorial Day moviegoing, while Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch” should deliver moderate results during the holiday. Recent forecasts placed “Dead Men Tell No Tales” in the $80 million range as it launches at 4,276 North American locations during the Friday-Monday weekend.

The Thursday night preview number was significantly higher than the comparable $4.2 million figures generated by both “Maleficent” and “The Jungle Book.” The latter went on to gross $364 million domestically and $966 million worldwide last year.

The international “Dead Men Tell No Tales” debut — which began Wednesday — should deliver between $150 million and $175 million.

“Baywatch” opened with an estimated $4.5 million on Thursday, which includes $1.25 million from Wednesday night previews. Paramount’s R-rated action-comedy, which is opening in 3,647 North American locations, had »


- Dave McNary

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Swiss Fests Pact on ‘Connect to Reality’ Initiative to Boost Local Film Industry

6 hours ago

The Locarno, Zurich, and Geneva Tous Écrans festivals have joined forces to launch a collective initiative and think tank called Connect to Reality meant to help Swiss industry professionals analyse specific challenges they face in film development, production and distribution.

The new initiative marks a rare case of the three events joining forces, in an effort to to give Swiss productions a boost on both the domestic and international markets.

Though quite different, these fests are effectively competitors.

Connect to Reality comes at a time of ups and downs for the industry in Switzerland where admissions were down more than 7 percent in 2016, a year marked by the smashing success of Swiss stop motion animation pic “My Life as a Zucchini,” directed by Claude Barras, following its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight launch.

This year Switzerland is repped in Cannes by Barbet Schroeder documentary “The Venerable W,” about an Islamophobic Buddhist monk, launched as a special screening. »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Cannes: Michel Hazanavicius’ Dramedy ‘Redoubtable’ Lands at Cohen Media

6 hours ago

Cohen Media Group has bought the North American rights to Michel Hazanavicius’ dramedy “Redoubtable” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie centers on iconic French director Jean-Luc Godard and the drama surrounding the shooting of his controversial 1967 film, “Le Chinoise,” which starred his then-wife, Anne Wiazemsky, and foreshadowed the global student protests that erupted in 1968.

Cohen Media Group plans a North American release in early 2018. The film stars Louis Garrel (“The Dreamers”) as Godard and Stacy Martin (“Nymphomaniac Vol. I” and “Vol. II”) as his second wife, Anne Wiazemsky.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman gave the film a positive review, writing, “The surprise of ‘Redoubtable,’ which turns out to be a lightly audacious and fascinating movie (if not exactly one to warm your heart), is that though it is, in fact, structured around Godard’s marriage to Wiazemsky, its real subject is his life as an artist — in particular, »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: Oscilloscope Buys Pyrotechnic Documentary ‘Brimstone and Glory’

6 hours ago

Oscilloscope has bought North American rights to Viktor Jakovleski’s documentary “Brimstone & Glory” for release later this year.

The film focuses on the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, a 10-day celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics.

Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger said, “‘Brimstone & Glory’ is not just an epic feast for the eyes and the ears (though it is that), it’s a brilliant display of portraiture. It introduces us to people and a community — intimately, intensely, and beautifully – and sets the stage for a long career for Viktor. I have no doubt this is just the beginning.”

Producers are Dan Janvey, Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, »


- Dave McNary

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Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham, Will Smith Steal the Show at Cannes amfAR Gala

7 hours ago

Leo and David! Leo and David! Everybody was trying to get near this year’s power duo at the Cannes amfAR gala. At around 8 p.m., at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, the world’s biggest movie star was chatting with the famous soccer player, as bodyguards flicked away photographers. Leonardo DiCaprio looked animated, using his fingers to count down talking points, as David Beckham nodded politely.

Then it was time to go inside the dinner, held in a massive tent with a 1920s Hollywood vibe and dancing showgirls. As Beckham strode through the grass, a fan managed to sneak by him to ask for a selfie. Beckham hesitated, before reluctantly agreeing.

“David, you should charge money for that picture, man,” one of his handlers cracked. “$10,000 a shot!”

Related

Nicole Kidman, Jessica Chastain Attend amfAR Gala in Cannes (Photos)

It might not have been a bad idea. This year »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Cannes: Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance,’ Tom Volf’s ‘Maria by Callas’ Sell in Major Markets (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Following its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Japanese film master Naomi Kawase’s “Radiance” has found a home in major markets across the world.

Represented by MK2 Films, “Radiance” marks Kawase’s fifth Cannes competition title. The film centers on the blossoming romance between a photographer (Masatoshi Nagase), who is slowly losing his sight, and a translator working for the visually impaired.

“Radiance” has been acquired for Germany/Austria (Concorde), Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Spain (Betta Pictures), Scandinavia (Nonstop), Portugal (Leopardo), Greece (Ama), Brazil (Imovision/Tag Cultural), China (DDDreams), South Korea (Green Narae), Hong Kong (Edko), Taiwan (Filmware), Turkey (Filmarti), Poland (Aurora Films), Hungary (Cirko Film), Israel (New Cinema), Cis (OvalGrid), and ex-Yugoslavia (McF Megacom).

MK2 Films is currently in negotiations to close U.K., U.S., Australia/New Zealand, Singapore, and Inflight. Kino Films will distribute “Radiance” in Japan and Haut & Court will handle the distribution in France. »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Cannes Film Review: ‘L’amant double’

7 hours ago

It practically goes without saying that the French have different standards when it comes to kink. For example, when “50 Shades of Grey” opened overseas, the French barely raised an eyebrow, giving the tawdry sado-maso potboiler a light “forbidden to children under 12” rating, which meant that even young teens could see it.

Superior in nearly every regard — not least of all its pulse-racing perversions — director François Ozon’s “L’amant double” may as well be France’s answer to the “Cinquante nuances de Grey” phenomenon. And though nuance itself may be in short supply, Ozon has made a deliciously twisted erotic thriller in which a sexy young mental case (Marine Vacth, whom Ozon discovered with “Young & Beautiful”) gets mixed up with a pair of twin psychotherapists (both played by Jérémie Renier). One wants to marry her, while the other relies on more unconventional methods, forcing his damaged-goods patient to confront her »


- Peter Debruge

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Cannes Film Review: ‘In the Fade’

8 hours ago

First off: Fatih Akin’s “The Cut” was an aberration, as we all suspected. The director celebrated for his edgy takes on intriguing characters more or less returns with “In the Fade,” a well-constructed, at times moving story of a Hamburg woman seeking justice after the murder of her Kurdish husband and son by a couple of Neo-Nazis. “More or less” because the excellent first quarter gives way to a relatively standard-issue though handsomely produced legal drama with several stock characters and a script that feels too guided by the presumed requirements of mainstream cinema. Diane Kruger’s powerhouse performance in her first German-language production goes a long way toward compensating for the narrative’s dip into overly crystalline waters, and international sales have been unsurprisingly brisk given the film’s incontrovertible general appeal.

For good or bad, Akin has to grapple with the fact that everyone continues to compare his recent films with “Head-On, »


- Jay Weissberg

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‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins: ‘Just Trying to Make a Bada–’

10 hours ago

On Thursday, Wonder Woman — the final of DC Comics trinity (the others being Superman and Batman) — finally held the world premiere of her first movie at the Pantages theater.

Gal Gadot revealed at the premiere that one of the things she’s most looking forward to about the films release is a new kind of role model.

“Growing up I had Superman and Batman to look up to. All the girls and all the boys, that’s what we had,” she said. “I think that it’s so important that we also have strong female figures to look up to, and Wonder Woman is an amazing one. It’s great that after 75 or 6 years she finally gets her own movie.”

#WonderWoman star @GalGadot: "Growing, I had Superman and Batman to look up to." pic.twitter.com/TAWZybsidb

— Variety (@Variety) May 26, 2017

Although Gadot has already been seen as Wonder Woman, in »


- Jacob Bryant

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