Furious 7 still on track to 800 million as the film adds 252 million; Sony Pictures to preview Steven King: The Dark Tower based on novel collection; Lionsgate and Splash Entertainment team up to continue Alpha and Omega franchise

Fast 7 exceeds its speed! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Universal’s biggest action hit broke all box office records around the world last week and is on track for another record breaking weekend. With 252 million in tow, this could be the rebound the box office is looking for! Can Vin Diesel and crew continue revving up more toward box office record territory Gene?

 

Gene:

 

 

Universal’s Furious 7 easily led the weekend box office for a second straight frame with an estimated weekend take of $60.6 million. That represented the twelfth largest second weekend performance of all-time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). The well-received seventh installment of the blockbuster franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker was down 59 percent from last weekend. While that was obviously a sizable second weekend decline, it nonetheless represented an impressive hold given the size of the film’s grosses and that the previous three installments of The Fast and The Furious franchise all experienced second weekend declines in the range of 61 percent to 64 percent. Furious 7 was aided by strong word of mouth, strong critical reviews and the lack of any new direct competition this weekend. And as massive as last weekend’s debut was; it was likely still deflated slightly by Easter weekend.

Furious 7 has grossed $252.52 million through ten days of release, which ranks as the ninth largest ten-day start of all-time. The film is running an extremely impressive 48 percent ahead of the $171.00 million ten-day gross of 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 and 2 percent ahead of the $248.48 million ten-day gross of 2012’s The Hunger Games.  Furious 7 is now the highest grossing film of The Fast and The Furious franchise domestically, as it has already surpassed the $238.68 million final gross of Fast & Furious 6.  Furious 7 will zoom past the $300 million domestic milestone before long and is in excellent shape to eventually surpass the $350 million mark.

Home held steady in second place with an estimated $19.0 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down 30 percent from last weekend. On the heels of last weekend’s sizable second weekend decline, Home stabilized nicely this weekend. Home continues to exceed expectations in a very big way with a 17-day take of $129.55 million. That places the film 3 percent ahead of the $125.35 million 17-day gross of 2013’s The Croods. Home will have a good chance of holding up well going forward, especially with no new animated films entering the marketplace between now and the June 19th launch of Disney’s Inside Out.

Fellow Fox release The Longest Ride debuted in third place with an estimated $13.5 million. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood opened on the lower end of pre-release expectations. Compared to other Nicholas Sparks adaptations, The Longest Ride debuted 35 percent ahead of the $10.00 million start of last year’s The Best of Me and 40 percent below the $22.52 million launch of 2012’s The Lucky One.

The Longest Ride opened with $5.50 million on Friday (which included an estimated $625,000 from Thursday evening), fell 11 percent on Saturday to gross $4.90 million and is estimated to decline 37 percent on Sunday to take in $3.10 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at just 2.45 to 1. That isn’t the greatest early sign for the film going forward. However, The Longest Ride did receive a very encouraging A rating on CinemaScore.

Warner’s Get Hard placed in fourth with an estimated $8.64 million. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart was down one spot and 34 percent from last weekend. Much like Home, Get Hard also stabilized very nicely this weekend after experiencing a sharp decline last weekend. Get Hard has grossed $71.20 million through 17 days of release. That is towards the lower end of expectations and places the film 19 percent behind the $88.25 million 17-day take of 2010’s The Other Guys.

Cinderella rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $7.23 million. Disney’s blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was down one spot and a healthy 29 percent from last weekend. Cinderella has grossed $180.77 million in 31 days, which leaves the film $19.23 million away from reaching the $200 million domestic milestone. Cinderella is running 10.5 percent behind the $202.01 million 31-day gross of last year’s Maleficent.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent placed in sixth with an estimated $6.85 million. The second installment of Lionsgate’s young adult franchise was down one spot and just 32 percent from last weekend. Insurgent has grossed $114.85 million in 24 days. That places the film 8 percent behind the $124.76 million 24-day take of last year’s Divergent.

The Weinstein Company’s Woman In Gold followed in seventh with $5.85 million in its first weekend of wide release. The drama starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds generated a per-location average of $3,891 from 1,504 locations. Woman In Gold was up 180 percent over last weekend’s limited launch and has grossed a very solid $9.30 million in twelve days.

On the platform front, A24’s Ex Machina was off to a strong start with an estimated $249,956 from 4 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed Alex Garland directed sci-fi film a per-location average of $62,489 for the frame. Ex Machina will expand into additional locations going forward.

 

To recap, Fast 7 gains for more speed as it burns rubber 1st, Home holds on in 2nd, The Longest Ride drives in 3rd, Get Hard moves in 4th, and Cinderella dances in 5th.

 

 

If you’re a Steven King fan and if you’re a fan of his horror books, then consider yourself lucky, the master of Macabre continues his trail of horror as Sony Pictures takes his latest collection of his latest saga The Dark Towers and conjures up their newest flick. Will it combine all of his books Angie or be separate?

 

 

Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)-Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman has found a franchise to sink his teeth into. Sony Pictures has teamed with MRC to co-finance The Dark Tower, Stephen King’s novel series set in a world woven with magic and revolving around the gunslinger Roland Deschain. Sony will distribute what is planned to be the first in a series of movies. A complementary TV series is also being developed by MRC.

The new script is primarily based on the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, and the relationship between Roland and Jake. The film is a blend of horror and fantasy. The latest draft of the script is co-written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. It was totally reconceived by Goldsman and Pinkner from the version that had been previously developed and which took root first at Universal and later at Warner Bros. Goldsman is producing through his Weed Road with Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins, and I believe the author is also in a producing capacity. Pinkner will be exec producer.

Sony and MRC will go right out after filmmakers with this script, and put this on the fast track that hard-core fans of King’s book have long desired. Numerous stars including Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe have eyed the role of the gunslinger, but that role won’t be filled until after the director is set.

 

King, who options his works for $1 and likes to see progress, has been incredibly patient as this mammoth project — it’s his answer to Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels — has taken its time and its twists and turns. He’s sparked about where the project is now.

“I’m excited that The Dark Tower is finally going to appear on the screen,” he said in a statement. “Those who have traveled with Roland and his friends in their search for the Dark Tower are going to have their long-held hopes fully realized. This is a brilliant and creative approach to my books.”

Said Rothman: “There are few projects out there that compare with the scope, vision, complex characters and fully drawn world that Stephen King has created with The Dark Tower. I am a giant fan. And, as Stephen himself does, we love the direction that Akiva and Jeff have taken. This is a great opportunity for a director to put his or her stamp on a cool global franchise.”

When Rothman was set to rise from his perch running TriStar to replace Amy Pascal as chairman, his biggest challenge was to create franchises. All around Hollywood, from Disney’s franchising of Marvel and Star Wars properties, Fox’s 3-sequel Avatar plans and Paramount hiring Goldsman to supervise Transformers sequels and spinoffs for his college pal Michael Bay, the studio business is all about the care and feeding of global franchises, and it is getting harder to find fresh intellectual properties. Rothman has found one with a wide built-in fan base.

 

You’ll be howling for more fun as Lionsgate continues the Alpha and Omega franchise as Kate, Humphrey, and their family continue their animated adventures. How long will the next batch of flicks take to finish them up Dan?

 

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Splash Entertainment (Splash) has partnered with Lionsgate, a premier next generation global content leader, for three new 45-minute films in its highly successful animated franchise Alpha And Omega, the two companies announced. Under the terms of the agreement, Lionsgate will have distribution rights to the three films in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom and Splash Entertainment will handle international distribution in other territories.  The first movie under the new agreement is set to be released in early 2016.

Lionsgate launched Alpha and Omega in 2010, and the film grossed over $50 million at the worldwide box office and has reached millions of consumers on DVD and digital platforms.  The Company later expanded the franchise to include multiple sequels released on DVD and digital platforms including Alpha And Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games and Alpha And Omega: The Legend of Saw Tooth Cave.  The next film in the franchise is Alpha And Omega: Family Vacation, scheduled for release in August.

Filled with their trademark humor, action and family values, the three new stories produced with Splash will focus on the misadventures of “Alpha” Kate and “Omega” Humphrey and their three wolf pups, Claudette, Stinky and Runt, as they confront life lessons in the great outdoors.

“We are excited to continue to develop the Alpha and Omega franchise for families worldwide with the addition of these three new films.  Alpha and Omega is one of those unique properties that has true worldwide appeal and we are confident that Nicolas, Mike and the team at Splash Entertainment will bring to life wonderful stories in beautiful animation.” said Anne Parducci, Lionsgate EVP of Marketing and Family Entertainment.

“We are very proud to be working with Lionsgate again. Our first project together, the January 2016 animated feature film Norm of the North, has been eagerly anticipated since we announced the film last September.  We are confident that these three new Alpha and Omega movies will resonate with their audience as well,” commented Nicolas Atlan and Mike Young, Co-CEO’s of Splash Entertainment. “The Alpha And Omega franchise is a brand that is enjoyed around the world and we are privileged to be the international distributor,” added Mevelyn Noriega, President of Distribution for Splash Entertainment.

Executive producers overseeing the production will be Ken Katsumoto, Executive Vice President of Lionsgate Family Entertainment, and Liz Young, President of Splash Entertainment. The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Wendy Jaffe, EVP, Business & Legal Affairs, Acquisitions & Co-Productions and for Splash Entertainment by Steve Rosen, COO/CFO, and Mary Parkinson, Director of Business Affairs.

 

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 1,720 fans sign in as Team Skipper cheers on the Furious crew.

 

 

Make sure you order some bread because Buhdeuce and Sway Sway have returned! Follow the duck duo every Sunday night starting tonight. And catch the latest SpongeBob specials as a bonus! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep looking for new special orders this week!

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