'War for the Planet of the Apes' eyes $65 million domestic opening in early box office tracking LOS ANGELES (Variety.com)--"War for the Planet of the Apes" could see an opening in the $55 million to $65 million range, according to early industry ...
'War for the Planet of the Apes' eyes $65 million domestic opening in early box office tracking
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com)-"War for the Planet of the Apes" could see an opening in the $55 million to $65 million range, according to early industry tracking.
That's in about the same range as the two previous installments in the rebooted franchise. 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opened to $54.8 million domestic, while 2014's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" made $72.6 million during its first weekend. The two movies combined have earned nearly $1.2 billion worldwide. "Dawn" leaned more on the international market, which accounted for over $500 million of its total take. That's a trend that's played out in recent years that "War" is likely to follow.
The latest "Apes" movie is entering a summer season that has not been too kind to franchise sequels. Movies including "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Transformers" have had to bank heavily on overseas markets like China to compensate for their big budgets. But, unlike those two movies, "War" has been generally well-reviewed, which could help it build more positive buzz.
And Fox and Chernin seem confident in their product. The review embargo was lifted more than two weeks before it hits theaters, and the movie has earned a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes so far. "Dawn" and "Rise" also earned general approval, which equated to a 90 percent and 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
"Dawn" director Matt Reeves returns to helm the project, based on a script he co-wrote with Mark Bomback, who also co-wrote the previous movie. This time around Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his army of apes are waging a war against the humans, led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson). This will likely be Reeves' final "Apes" movie since he has been signed on to direct Ben Affleck's standalone Batman movie.
"War for the Planet of the Apes" will open the weekend after Sony's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," which is expected to post huge numbers-tracking suggests it could break $100 million in its first weekend. That's good news considering the summer box office is down nearly 8 percent from last year. Boosts from Spidey and Caesar could help put things back on track.
Fox developing new singing competition
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com)-"American Idol" is set to return this season on ABC, but the network that was its previous home isn't keeping its voice down.
Fox is developing a new singing competition from Israeli producer and distributor Armoza Formats, Variety has learned. Although no series order has yet been finalized, development has accelerated since May, when ABC closed a deal to bring "American Idol" back to television just two seasons after Fox canceled the long-running franchise.
The Armoza project is a variation on classic shiny-floor singing competitions, one in which the show's four finalists are selected in the premiere episode. New contestants then challenge the finalists each week to steal one of the four slots. The winner is named in the season finale.
Armoza made its first sale of the format in April, in France with production company Satisfaction. The show has been being shopped internationally under the title "The Final Four," but will not air in the U.S. under that name so as to avoid confusion with the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments. The still-untitled series could be the first show developed under new alternative programming chief Rob Wade, who joined the network in February, to make it to air.
"American Idol" ended a 15-season run on Fox in 2016, with the network canceling the show after watching it suffer ratings declines and slip from its perch as television's highest-rated series, a position it held for eight consecutive seasons, beginning in 2003-04.
But Fox struggled to develop new series to compensate for the loss of "Idol," which still ranked among broadcast's higher-rated shows through its final season. The network made a late bid for the "Idol" reboot after FremantleMedia began shopping it earlier this year, but was rebuffed in favor of ABC.
If Fox were to premiere its new singing competition at midseason, the show would find itself in the same calendar span in which "Idol" aired. A January debut would give Fox the ability to promote the new series during the NFC playoffs. It would also put the show on the air ahead of ABC's "Idol" reboot, which is expected to premiere in spring, 2018.
ABC's deal to bring back "Idol" set off a scramble for talent in the competition-show space. ABC and FremantleMedia have secured Katy Perry to serve as a judge on "Idol" in a deal that gives her $25 million for the show's first season back. The network and producer are also in advanced talks with Ryan Seacrest to return as host, with a deal set to be announced as early as this week.
NBC, meanwhile, has locked up "Idol" alums Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson to serve as coaches on upcoming seasons of its singing-competition series, "The Voice."
Sony teases 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' re-release
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com)-Sony released a brand new teaser for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" over the long, Fourth of July weekend, prompting reboot and re-release speculation. A new website referencing the 1977 original has also popped up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the science fiction film.
A video entitled "This Means Something" was uploaded to the Sony Pictures Entertainment YouTube page on Monday, which just so happened to be World UFO Day. The video features an air traffic control radar animation locating an unidentified flying object targeting one of its planes.
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While many fans expected the clip to be an unofficial announcement of a "Close Encounters" reboot or sequel, the studio actually intends to re-release the film theatrically for a week this September, Variety can confirm.
A website-WeAreStillNotAlone.com-gives believers the opportunity to sign up for "updates on UFO sightings." In actuality, it serves as a source for scifi fans to connect with the campaign.
Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" starred Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey. It was originally distributed by Columbia Pictures and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning best cinematography and best sound effects editing through special achievement.
The 4oth anniversary of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is officially on Nov. 16, but the re-release will hit select theaters for one week on Sept. 1.
Maria Menounos battles brain tumor, steps down from E! News
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Maria Menounos is stepping down from her anchor role at E! News as she faces treatment for a brain tumor.
Menounos, 39, told People magazine she was diagnosed with a tumor in April and recently underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove the golf-ball sized growth. Menounos' diagnosis came as her mother, Litsa Menounos, is battling brain cancer.
"I am so grateful for the past three years at E!, I had such an amazing time co-hosting with Jason Kennedy and working everyday with the wonderful roster of talent on the show including producers, staff and crew," said Menounos. "It was such a special, good-hearted group and one I'll always consider family. A special thank you to (NBCUniversal Cable's) Frances Berwick and (E! president) Adam Stotsky for all the support they have shown me through the years especially during these tough times. I will truly miss everyone and looking forward to this next chapter in my life."
Menounos has been with the E! News team since 2014. She worked as a correspondent for "Access Hollywood" and "Today" before landing the co-anchor slot on the syndicated newsmagazine "Extra."
Dior fashion show celebrates 70 years of traveling spirit
French fashion house Christian Dior marked its 70th anniversary on Monday with a show staged outside the Invalides museum in Paris and inspired by its founder's travels around the world. On a fern-lined catwalk dotted with wooden lions and giraffes, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri presented the brand's Autumn-Winter 2017/18 haute couture collection, revisiting the iconic "Bar" Jacket and gray skirt suits with a 1950s feel.
Soaring 'Hive' exhibit blends intimate details into its giant scale
A soaring exhibit of stacked cardboard tubes shaped into three hive-like interconnected structures will make its debut on Thursday at a Washington, D.C., museum as part of its annual interactive art installation series. The "Hive" exhibit, designed by architect Jeanne Gang, will take over the Great Hall of the National Building Museum, standing more than 60 feet (18 meters) tall. It is open to the public through Sept. 4.
Tolkien estate, Warner Bros. settle 'Hobbit' lawsuit
The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien has settled an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the licensing of online games, slot machines and other gambling-related merchandise based on the author's books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." The settlement by the Tolkien estate and book publisher HarperCollins with the Time Warner Inc unit, New Line Cinema and Saul Zaentz Co, which hold various marketing rights, was disclosed in a court filing on Friday in Los Angeles.
Fox Sports dismisses president of national networks
Fox Sports fired Jamie Horowitz, its president of national networks, on Monday, according to a memo sent to employees, which provided no reasons for the dismissal but did emphasize the importance of "professional conduct." Horowitz's departure comes amid allegations of sexual harassment, according to reports by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Reuters could not independently verify those allegations.
DJ Khaled's 'Grateful' tops Billboard 200 album chart
With the help of some of pop and R&B's biggest names, music producer DJ Khaled's latest album "Grateful" debuted atop the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Monday. "Grateful," with songs such as "Shining" with Beyonce and Jay Z and "I'm the One" with Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne and Quavo, sold 149,000 album units, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
New York-bound, a ballet star rises in Bollywood's heartland
Amiruddin Shah has been described as India's "Billy Elliot"-a young lover of dance who rises from humble beginnings to great things on the ballet stage. It is strangely appropriate. Shah, the 16-year-old son of a metal welder, dared to give up his studies a few years back to chase his ballet dreams.
Lagerfeld parades Chanel models under mini Eiffel Tower
Karl Lagerfeld presented Chanel's haute couture collection under a scaled-down version of the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday. Haute couture fashion week is open to an exclusive club of designers who make bespoke collections by hand and includes Chanel, Dior and Jean-Paul Gaultier.