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by Daniel Loria @danyloria

After scoring a hit with their screenplay for Horrible Bosses, writing partners John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein established their reputation as a go-to duo for studio comedies. They teamed up to deliver screenplays for films like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 before getting the chance to tackle New Line's long-awaited reboot of Vacation. Daley and Goldstein got the nod to make their feature directing debut after delivering their screenplay for the movie, which stars Ed Helms as Rusty Griswold, the now grown-up son of Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold from the original films, as he travels with his family on a nostalgic road trip to Walley World-the theme park where the original Vacation took place. The filmmakers recently spoke with BoxOffice about bringing their take on Vacation to the big screen.

Do you consider Horrible Bosses the breakthrough project in your careers as filmmakers?

Jonathan Goldstein: Horrible Bosses was our big entry into the world of features. It was a project that had been kicking around for a while when we got involved, and we were really psyched with how it came together-we were so happy with the cast that signed on and how the movie turned out.

John Francis Daley: We had written a couple of things for New Line before Horrible Bosses came to be. What was crazy was that it was put together faster than anything that we had previously worked on, which just goes to show the pace that something gets picked up when people get excited about making a movie. Makes us wonder what the heck they thought about our other movies.

How did you first encounter your latest project, Vacation?

JFD: We were given the chance to write it; New Line wanted to reboot it or make a sequel for a while and were looking for the right people to make it, so they asked us if we'd be interested in it. We saw the inherent risk involved since it's a beloved existing franchise; we knew we had to be careful but were still very interested in taking it on. We pitched ourselves to direct after we finished writing it. 

That's always a tough challenge, getting a project like this one and giving it your own tone and style so it doesn't feel like it's factory-made. How did you go about making Vacation your own?

JG: It was important for us going in that it would be a film that could stand on its own without people having to see the original series of movies, but would still pay respects to the original because it's such a comedy classic. Our film introduces the next generation with Ed Helms playing Rusty Griswold all grown up, married, and taking his own family on a trip to Walley World-remembering the trip he took when he was a boy and the character was played by Anthony Michael Hall. He's blocked out all the terrible things that happened on that trip.

You were originally slated for release in October.

JFD: We had always wanted this to be a summer movie: it takes place during the summer, it's a family road-trip movie, and we were just really excited that the studio moved up our release date. We were championing a summer release from the get-go.

JG: These are decisions that are made on a very high level and are usually a result of an early preview screening, in this case in Burbank, and it played so well with the audience-the laughter, excitement, and energy was great. Warner Bros. felt confident enough to move us up to summer against the new Mission: Impossible. What can go wrong?

Is your working relationship any different when you're on set directing as opposed to writing?

JG: Everything we do on set is very collaborative. We've heard that some directors divide what they focus on-some work closer with actors while others are looking more at technical aspects-and while sometimes I wish we could do that, mostly because it would probably be more efficient, we're both more involved in every aspect. 

JFD: It would also be a flaming violation of DGA regulations [laughs]. The way we write is always together in the same room, and that's different from a lot of writing teams that go off and do their own drafts separately. We direct in the same way, always throwing ideas at each other. It's easier to know if something works if you have someone else weighing in with their opinion. 

JG: Especially in comedy, we've found that if one of us finds something funny but the other doesn't, it's questionable. But if we both think it's funny, we figure it's probably going to seem funny to other people. 

JFD: Or we could just be the only two weird people in the world who think it's funny.

JG: Yes, that also happens. 

Are there advantages to working with your own screenplay?

JG: As writers, we imagine how everything would look when we write it. You have the freedom to create anything. As directors, it's all the more satisfying when you have the idea for something and have the chance to put it up on the screen. In a way there's a greater sense of freedom there. But there are also limitations in that, all of a sudden, all the things you imagined on the page are, in reality, practically impossible to realize. So you really need to navigate what's possible and what isn't. We have a fight sequence near the end of the movie, and in the script we wrote, "They fight." When you show up on set, you need to get a fight choreographer and spend a lot of time in making sure the fight works. Those are the details you need to pay attention to when directing after getting used to simply writing something and letting someone else figure it out.

I'm very interested to see these characters go back to Walley World, but did you ever consider setting it abroad? Europe, Latin America?

JG: We have to save something for the sequel!

JFD: It was New Line's idea to bring back the notion of a road trip, and we thought that if we were to put them back in a car and make them go cross-country, it would not be gratifying unless their final destination was Walley World again. We embraced the fact that it was something Rusty did 30 years ago. We also wanted to have Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in the movie at some point; it would have been far-fetched to have them in the movie if we had set it in a far-flung destination. 

Did you have anyone in mind for any specific role?

JG: We always had Ed Helms in mind for the lead; he's perfectly suited to play the likable, somewhat put-upon dad. There are two sons in the movie, and we had a nationwide search to find the kids. Christina Applegate is on our short list of the funniest women in comedy, and we were very excited to have her on board. The rest was just a process of figuring out the funniest possible people we could get to be in the movie. Chris Hemsworth was a surprise to us; he was suggested to us by his agent and had never really done comedy before. We know him from Thor and he's certainly good looking, but we had no idea what we were going to get-and we couldn't be happier with how damn funny he is. I think he has a big career in comedy ahead of him.  

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PRESS RELEASE:

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LOS ANGELES, CA, July 28, 2015 - Woodland Hills-based Hollywood Software announced today that it has signed a deal with independent entertainment company, Broad Green Pictures, to utilize its TDS Distributor product for upcoming theatrical releases. Broad Green, which was founded last year by brothers Gabriel and Daniel Hammond, is a film production, financing and distribution company.

"Broad Green conducted an intensive search for a distribution product that could support our current needs and grow with us as we release more films," said Travis Reid, President of Theatrical Distribution, Broad Green. "I was already familiar with Hollywood Software's systems, having worked with them when I was at Screenvision. After comparing their new TDS Distributor against similar products in the market, we quickly realized TDS is the most versatile, efficient and comprehensive system for our needs and we're excited about all the support it will offer us as we expand."

"Broad Green is just the kind of company we love to work with," said David Gajda, President, Hollywood Software. "They're a new era movie studio that provides artists with all of the tools they need to not only get films made, but to get them widely distributed. They were planning to release their first movie, Director Mia Hansen-Love's Eden, a week after we met. From the moment we signed with them it took only 24 hours to train their staff and enter their first booking-a remarkably fast turnaround. They were able to get up and running immediately, putting them in a great position to manage their first feature, and all future releases.

Broad Green's upcoming slate includes 99 Homes, starring Andrew Garfield; A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford; I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman; and three Terrence Malick films: Knight of Cups, Voyage of Time and an untitled project starring Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Broad Green Pictures by their CTO, Jeremy Fuchs.

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By Daniel Garris

Disney's Ant-Man led the daily box office on Monday with $3.32 million. The Paul Rudd led superhero film from Marvel has topped the daily box office each of the past three days. Ant-Man was down 57 percent from Sunday and down a sizable 48 percent from last Monday. The film continues to perform on the lower end of expectations with a solid $109.54 million eleven-day take. Ant-Man is currently running 10 percent ahead of the $99.70 million eleven-day gross of 2008's The Incredible Hulk and 9 percent behind the $120.86 million eleven-day haul of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger.

Minions placed in a fairly close second on Monday with $3.09 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated spin-off from Universal and Illumination Entertainment fell 57 percent from Sunday and 46.5 percent from last Monday. While Minions has been significantly front-loaded thus far, in the bigger picture the film remains a very strong performer with an 18-day take of $265.54 million. That places Minions just behind the $268.60 million 18-day total of 2013's Despicable Me 2.

Sony's Pixels followed closely behind in third with $2.86 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy was down a solid 56 percent from Sunday's performance. Pixels has grossed a lackluster $26.87 million through four days of release. That places the film a disappointing 42 percent behind the $46.27 million four-day start of 2013's Grown Ups 2 and a modest 7 percent ahead of the $25.02 million four-day take of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 earlier this year. Those comparisons are especially underwhelming given that Pixels has the added advantage of higher priced 3D and IMAX admissions.

Universal's Trainwreck claimed fourth place with $2.14 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy from director Judd Apatow declined 58 percent from Sunday and a solid 39.5 percent from last Monday. Trainwreck has grossed a very promising $63.67 million in eleven days and is highly likely to hold up even better going forward thanks to strong word of mouth. The film is running an impressive 42 percent ahead of the $44.97 million eleven-day take of 2009's Julie & Julia and 7 percent behind the $68.56 million eleven-day gross of 2007's Knocked Up.

The Weinstein Company's Southpaw rounded out Monday's top five with $2.00 million. The Antoine Fuqua directed sports drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal fell 58 percent from Sunday. Southpaw is running slightly ahead of pre-release expectations with a healthy four-day start of $18.70 million. That places the film 30 percent ahead of the $14.42 million four-day gross of 2012's End of Watch. Southpaw may hold up well going forward thanks in part to the film going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

Paper Towns took sixth place with $1.81 million. On the heels of this weekend's significantly softer than expected start, Fox's young adult adaptation starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne stabilized nicely on Monday by falling only 35 percent from Sunday. Yesterday's hold strongly suggests that Paper Towns will be relatively stronger on weekdays than on weekends. Paper Towns has grossed $14.46 million in four days, which places it 15 percent behind the $16.95 million four-day take of last year's If I Stay.

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Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Monster Hunt (捉妖记) will continue its improbable climb to ¥2 billion ($322 million) unimpeded by this week's crop of eight new local releases, and fellow summer blockbusters Jianbing Man (煎饼侠) and Monkey King: Hero Is Back (西游记之大圣归来) should also rest easy without much in the way of audience competition.

This weekend's biggest release in terms of awareness and intent to purchase according to EntGroup's EFMT Index is The Crossing: Part 2 (太平轮:彼岸), the concluding installment in director John Woo's (Face/Off, The Killer) retelling of the sinking of the "Chinese Titanic". Part 1 was released on the Mainland last December to mostly negative reviews calling the story muddled with too many character relationships, and grossed just $32 million on a reported $48 million budget. Even though Hong Kong master director Tsui Hark has been brought in to re-edit this chapter, we don't see many new converts showing up for this dud on opening weekend.

Another Hong Kong action director, Ringo Lam (City on Fire, Full Alert) returns after a 7-year hiatus with Wild City (谜城) opening on Thursday. The film tells the story of a cop-turned-bar owner who unwittingly becomes involved with triads after escorting home a drunken woman. Fans of Lam's previous work as well as stylish Hong Kong action thrillers and residents in the southern cities of Guangdong and Shenzhen may turn up for Wild City, but we don't see this gaining much mainstream traction. Well Go Entertainment will be releasing Wild City in select US and Canadian cities on Friday.

The epic period drama Lady of the Dynasty (王朝的女人-杨贵妃) with superstar Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Leon Lai (Fallen Angels) finally opens Thursday after nearly six years of development and production hell in which the film went through several directors and co-financiers. Despite this, Lady boasts an impressive behind-the-scenes team. Acclaimed director Zhang Yimou (Raise The Red Lantern) was brought on in the latter stages to help director Shu Qi finish the epic Tang Dynasty love story; Emi Wada, Academy Award winning costume designer on Akira Kurosawa's Ran, is crafting the beautiful Tang Dynasty robes worn by the Emperor and his consorts; and Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner, best known for his work with director Krzysztof Kieslowski, is scoring Lady. Lovers of period costume dramas, imperial court intrigue, and fans of the main cast will show up this weekend, but again this film doesn't pose any risk to mainstream hits Monster Hunt, Jianbing Man, and Monkey King.

Other films opening this weekend are Paris Holiday (巴黎假期), Love Will Be Back (等爱归来),The Making of a Man (男人制造), The Little Mermaid: Attack of the Pirates (美人鱼之海盗来袭), and Who in the Pool? (恐怖游泳馆)

Weekend Predictions: Monster Hunt - $25M, The Crossing: Part 2 - $14M, Jianbing Man - $11M, Wild City - $11M, Monkey King - $10M, Paris Holiday - $8M, Lady of the Dynasty - $6M

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PRESS RELEASE:

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New Delhi, July 28, 2015-PVR Ltd., the largest multiplex chain in India, today announced plans to install Dolby Atmos® in 50 of its cinema screens across the country over the next two years. When completed, this will be one of the largest rollouts of Dolby Atmos screens by any multiplex chain in India until now.

PVR's two existing properties equipped with Dolby Atmos technology have garnered tremendous response from patrons. PVR is leaving no stone unturned to ensure this experience is also available in more PVR screens across the country in its endeavor to provide the best cinematic experience to its patrons.

"At PVR, we believe in bringing the most revolutionary and state-of-the-art technologies to its patrons to deliver the highest-quality movie experience," said Mr. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd. "Our collaboration with Dolby goes a long way. Dolby is amongst one of the most celebrated brands in the market for premium sound quality, and it perfectly fits with PVR's mission to offer its audience the ultimate in moviegoing experiences. Feeling extremely optimistic about the association, we together as brands will go an extra mile to woo our audience."

Dolby Atmos, the award-winning Dolby® sound technology, moves audio around the theatre, even overhead, with astonishing clarity, richness, and depth. The lifelike sounds of music, people, and things flow all around the theatre in sync with the action to create a more immersive and moving experience. Dolby Atmos has quickly become the preferred choice for next-generation sound in the cinema, with major studios, directors, and exhibitors from around the world adopting the solution.

Mr. Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd., added, "I believe Dolby Atmos is indeed the best sound technology available in the market. For our brand, PVR, we want nothing but the best. We want to make movie watching a real-time experience for our patrons. And with the premium sound technology that Dolby Atmos offers, we are very confident about the results."

"Dolby looks forward to working with PVR to bring the Dolby Atmos experience to many more moviegoers in India," said Mr. Bob Borchers, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Dolby Laboratories. "With Dolby Atmos, the audience is no longer just watching a movie; they are experiencing it. We are confident that moviegoers will go back again and again for the extraordinary experience that only Dolby Atmos can deliver."

The deal encompasses properties across India and has a huge catchment across geographies vis-à-vis North, South, East, and West. PVR plans to install Dolby Atmos in significant properties, including PVR Sangam (Delhi), PVR Market City (Bangalore), Lulu Mall (Kochi), Ambience Mall (Gurgaon), PVR Phoenix (Mumbai), among many more places.

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