GLOBAL: 'Monsters University' Crosses $700M on August 29, 2013

MonstersUStill3.jpegMonsters University became the fourth Disney/Pixar to cross the $700 million mark on Thursday, joining Toy Story 3 ($1.063B), Finding Nemo ($922M), and Up ($731M) as one of the top grossing releases worldwide for the companies. Monsters University is expected to overtake Toy Story 3 as the biggest Pixar film of all time in China. 

Superman/Batman Movie Set To Film In Michigan on August 29, 2013

Is Michigan Hollywood's new backyard? 

It certainly seems like it these days. Michael Bay is currently shooting the next Transformers in Detroit, and now Zack Snyder will bring his Man of Steel sequel there as well. (See official press release below.)

The Untitled Superman/Batman Film will hit theaters on July 17, 2015.

The Michigan Film Office announced today that the next DC Entertainment Super Hero movie from Warner Bros. Pictures has been approved for a film incentive from the state.

The film, from director Zack Snyder, brings together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time-Superman and Batman-for the first time on the big screen. Production on the new film is expected to begin in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan sometime in the first quarter of 2014. Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who is writing the screenplay. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing the film, which will star Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

"This project will further strengthen the reputation of Michigan and metro Detroit as a premier film destination," said Margaret O'Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office. "We look forward to the spotlight shining on our incredibly talented workforce and the businesses that support our film industry here in Michigan."

"Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie," stated filmmaker Zack Snyder. "Detroit and the entire state of Michigan have been fantastic collaborators, and we are looking forward to working together on this film."

The as-yet-untitled feature film was awarded an incentive of $35 million on $131 million of projected in-state expenditures. The production is expected to hire 406 Michigan workers, with a full time equivalent of 426 jobs, plus an additional 6,000 man/days of extra work. The production anticipates using approximately 500 local Michigan vendors during the course of production and spending $5.1 million on local hotels, as well as an additional $3.5 million in out-of-town cast and crew per diem payments that will be spent in the local economy but which fall outside of the incentive program.

The incentive funding for the project will be allocated out of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget. However, any funding remaining from the budget at the end of the current fiscal year will be directed to offset the full incentive amount for this project.



LOS ANGELES -- In the midst of its biggest ticket-selling summer in company history, Fandango announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Quantum Loyalty Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of movie ticket-related promotions and owner of Hollywood Movie Money, a trusted and widely recognized movie currency that is accepted at more than 36,000 screens nationwide. The acquisition of Quantum will accelerate Fandango's promotional movie ticket and gift card business, dramatically increasing the company's broad array of product offerings and marketing solutions for studios, exhibitors, advertisers, and promotional sponsors worldwide. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

For nearly three decades, Quantum has connected top brands with blockbuster movies through creative Hollywood Movie Money promotions and customer loyalty programs, centered on the moviegoing experience. Recent campaigns have supported some of the year's biggest films including "Iron Man 3," "Despicable Me 2," "Man of Steel," "Monsters University," "Fast and Furious 6," "Star Trek into Darkness," "The Heat" and others.

"The marriage of Quantum's promotions business and Fandango's ticketing platform will offer unprecedented new opportunities for studios, exhibitors and brands to engage with millions of moviegoers," said Paul Yanover, President of Fandango. "We look forward to working with the Quantum team to build on Hollywood Movie Money's momentum and help drive even more movie fans into theaters."

The union will make Hollywood Movie Money currency more convenient for consumers, as many rewards will now be redeemable through Fandango's website and mobile apps, visited by more than 41 million moviegoers each month. For the first time, consumers redeeming Hollywood Movie Money rewards will also be able to purchase additional movie tickets for their friends or family who are accompanying them to the theater.

Fandango provides online and mobile ticketing to more than 21,000 screens nationwide, more than 75% of U.S. theaters with advance ticketing capabilities. With the addition of Quantum, Fandango will have an unparalleled movie ticket promotion capability reaching over 95% of U.S. theaters, as well as many theaters in major international markets.

The acquisition follows Fandango's recent announcement that it signed its fifth new exhibitor this year, Pacific Theatres, expanding its Southern California footprint to cover 80% of theaters with advance ticketing capabilities. The other new exhibitor agreements include Muvico, Studio Movie Grill, Krikorian Premiere Theatres and Penn Cinema, in addition to Fandango's extension of its long-term partnership with Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater circuit.

BoxOffice's 1st Annual (Unconventional) Summer Movie Awards on August 28, 2013


By Phil Contrino

As Summer 2013 comes to close, we wanted to sum everything up in an unconventional manner. It seems fitting for a summer that has been full of highs, lows and plenty of surprises. Hollywood's busiest season is always fascinating to watch, and this season was certainly no exception. We've decided to hand out some fake awards in order to remember some of the summer's biggest stories:

The "Hey, We Don't Need Superheroes!" Award goes to:

Universal Pictures

Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6 have combined for nearly $1.6 billion globally. The Purge turned into a nice, low-budget hit with $84 million in global receipts. What do all three films have in common? That's easy: there are no superheroes in any of them. As purveyors of snark continue to complain about Hollywood's reliance on superheroes, Universal proved this summer that banking on caped crusaders is not essential to having a successful slate. Moviegoers crave diversity at multiplexes, and Universal succeeded by giving them just that. It's funny that one of Universal's biggest disappointments this year--behind the R.I.P.D. disaster, of course--is Kick-Ass 2, a dark comedy about teenagers trying to be superheroes. 

The "Counter-Programming Really Does Pay Off" Award goes to:

The Great Gatsby

Traditional wisdom says that The Great Gatsby should not have earned $330 million+ globally. The Warner Bros. release opened in between Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness--a daunting task for any film, let alone a stylized take on a popular novel with a depressing ending. Luckily for WB, traditional wisdom isn't always right. The Great Gatsby's staggering $50.1 million opening weekend in North America proved that audiences were hungry for a film that didn't rely on explosions and fight sequences that seem to go on forever. A large percentage of the moviegoing population (read: adults who don't care about sci-fi and action films) is neglected during the summer. When Hollywood pays attention to that crowd, the rewards are palpable. 

The "Movie That Failed Because Of Another Movie" Award goes to:

White House Down

The pairing of two reliable draws--Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx--with Roland Emmerich, a director who knows how to deliver big-budget action extravaganzas that succeed at the box office, should have been led to a massive hit. The problem? Well, White House Down's story about POTUS' abode being invaded was way too similar to Olympus Has Fallen, a sleeper hit that has earned $161 million globally since opening in March. Take Olympus Has Fallen out of the picture and chances are WHD would be lumped in the same conversation with some of the summer's biggest hits. Instead, we lament its underwhelming $131 million global tally. 

The "Movie That Succeeded Because Of Another Movie" Award goes to:

Iron Man 3

Sure, Iron Man 3 would have been massive even without Marvel's The Avengers, but we're pretty confident that success of The Avengers is what helped catapult IM3 to the rarefied $1 billion global plateau. The brand building that Disney/Marvel have accomplished is truly staggering. Keep a very close eye on Thor: The Dark World this November. 

The "It's Really Important To Know Who Your Audience Is" Award goes to:

The Lone Ranger

Who exactly was The Lone Ranger made for? The Disney release proved to be too violent for young children, and it was too hip and edgy for people who enjoyed the classic television show it was based on. Oh, and it opened against Despicable Me 2, a film that did a much better job of appealing to families. The Lone Ranger is one of the biggest duds of all time because it tried to have a little bit of something for everyone, but instead ended up pleasing very few.

The "Hey, there are other weekends in the year to release a movie during!" Award goes to:

Tie: The Hangover Part III and Turbo

One of the main reasons that films bomb in the summer is the amount of competition that exists. Studio cram tentpoles into a very short period of time and there's often not enough room for them all to succeed. We strongly believe that The Hangover Part III and Turbo would have done much better had they opened outside of the summer season. The Hangover Part III was plagued by negative reviews, but it was really hurt by opening on the same weekend as Fast & Furious 6. As for Turbo, it came right after families had just enthusiastic forked out cash to see Monsters University and Despicable Me 2.    

The "One For Them, One For Me" Award goes to:

Ethan Hawke

"One for them, one for me" is the business strategy that many successful actors employ. This summer, Ethan Hawke proved that it can really pay off by starring in two wildly different hits. He anchored The Purge, a solid horror hit that was able to beat out The Internship during its opening frame, and Before Midnight, a critical darling that provided a breath of fresh air for patrons who craved a serious film about the perils of a long-term relationship. 

The "Oscar Contenders Can Make Serious Dough In The Summer" Award Goes To:

The Weinstein Company

You can love him or you can hate him, but nobody is better at maximizing the potential of prestige pics than Harvey Weinstein. This summer, The Weinstein Company helped Fruitvale Station and Lee Daniels' The Butler compete in a market full of expensive action films. That's a commendable achievement. 


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