Tag: Michael Ealy

“Perfect Guy” Writer Tyger Williams Thrills Again with “Bad Influence” at Broad Green Pictures

Tyger Williams
Screenwriter Tyger Williams (MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Broad Green Pictures is developing the drama “Bad Influence,” based on a pitch from “The Perfect Guy” writer Tyger Williams.

The story is centered on a single mother who has to deal with her son’s obsessive ex-girlfriend. Producers are Offspring partners Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman.

“The Perfect Guy,” starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, was a major success for Screen Gems with a worldwide gross of $60 million on a $12 million budget. Williams writing credits also include the Hughes Brothers film “Menace II Society” in 1994.

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Sanaa Lathan Thriller “The Perfect Guy” Takes 1st Place at Weekend Box Office with $26.7 Million

the-perfect-guy

Thriller “The Perfect Guy” narrowly beat out horror film “The Visit” for first place at the weekend box office, picking up a leading $26.7 million.

“The Visit,” M. Night Shyamalan’s return to the shock and chills genre that made him famous with “The Sixth Sense,” was close behind with a sterling $25.7 million. Going into the weekend, both films were expected to pull in between $15 million and $17 million.

“The Perfect Guy” has more than doubled its $12 million budget in a single weekend, putting it on a path to profitability. The story of a successful lobbyist (Sanaa Lathan) who rebounds from a breakup by embarking on a new relationship with a Mr. Wrong (Michael Ealy) was backed by Sony’s ScreenGems division. The studio had a similar success on the same weekend last year when “No Good Deed,” a thriller with Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, debuted to $24.2 million.

“It’s ideal timing, because there’s not a lot of competition in the marketplace and you can really stand out with a slightly lower [ad] spend,” said Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Sony.

In order to bring in its audience while keeping costs at a minimum, the studio aggressively went after African-American moviegoers. It launched a BET Awards takeover for “The Perfect Guy” and also debuted a customized trailer to appear alongside “Straight Outta Compton” that was wordless save for a sultry rendition of “I Put a Spell On You.”

“We wanted to sell it as a sexy, taut thriller,” said Greenstein. The picture marks the first ScreenGems title he has handled the marketing campaign for since he was brought over to Sony from Paramount Pictures in 2014.

article by Brent Lang via Variety.com

 

“True Blood”‘s Rutina Wesley Books Lead Role in ABC’s Cop Drama Pilot “Broad Squad”

Rutina Wesley

This marks the second TV casting for Rutina Wesley during this pilot season – the first, although not for a pilot, was announced a month ago, when she joined the cast of NBC’s “Hannibal” as a pivotal character from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” novel, for the next season. She’ll play Reba McClane, a blind woman who enters into a relationship with the psychotic Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), and helps soothe his murderous urges – at least at first. “Hannibal” will return to NBC this summer.

The “True Blood” actress has now landed a lead role in ABC’s cop drama pilot titled “Broad Squad,” which, inspired by real-life stories, follows the first 4 women to graduate from Boston’s Police Academy in 1978.

Wesley will play Joanne, a lesbian, described as strong, strict and reserved, who prefers to keep her personal life private, in large part because she’s gay. She’s also a hard worker – a character trait that’s influenced by the fact that she’s black and a woman, and believes that, given her skin color and gender, she will have to work 10 times as hard as her fellow squad members, in order to be recognized and move up the proverbial ladder.

Wesley joins a cast that also includes Charlotte Spencer and Cody Horn, who play 2 of the other “broads” in the “Squad.”

“Broad Squad” will be written by Bess Wohl (“CSI: NY”) which will be executive produced by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Aaron Kaplan.  Coky Geirdroyc will direct the pilot.

Wesley will next be seen on the big screen, alongside Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan and Morris Chestnut in Sony/Screen Gems thriller titled “The Perfect Guy,” which follows a woman (Lathan) who meets an IT expert (Ealy), who seems to be the perfect guy. But after a sexually-charged courtship, she sees a violent side of him and dissolves the budding relationship. In a jealous rage and fueled by insane revenge, he disrupts her life.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

Morris Chestnut Signs Three-Picture Deal with Screen Gems

Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut has inked a 3-picture deal with Sony’s Screen Gems, that will see him act in, as well as produce projects for the studio.

He’s already booked for the upcoming thriller “The Perfect Guy,” which he co-stars in with Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, and he’s now also landed a starring role in the psychological thriller “When the Bough Breaks,” joining Regina Hall.

To be directed by Jon Cassar, “When the Bough Breaks” (previously titled “The Surrogate”), tells the story of a couple who hire a surrogate to have their baby, but, as you might expect, things don’t go entirely as expected.

Director Cassar’s resume includes helming episodes of hit TV series like “24,” “Daybreak” (which starred Taye Diggs), “La Femme Nikita,” the most recently-broadcast “24: Live Another Day,” and more. He’s also currently finishing a western titled “Forsaken,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, and Demi Moore.

Production on “The Surrogate” is set for early winter, with Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, producing.

Meanwhile, Chestnut’s 3rd project under his 3-picture deal with Screen Gems, will be  called “The Syndicate,” from writer Cliff Dorfman (“Entourage”), which Chestnut is producing.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

“Think Like a Man Too” Tops Box Office with $30 Million Debut

think-like-a-man-too-trailer“Think Like a Man Too” raised the roof at multiplexes this weekend, carousing its way to $30 million domestically, according to studio estimates.

The Sony Pictures and Screen Gems sequel premiered on 2,225 screens and cost a modest $24 million to produce. It was able to capitalize on star Kevin Hart’s rising profile as it held off challenges from “22 Jump Street” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

“It’s not bad being number one,” said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures president of worldwide distribution. “The girls versus the guys element and getting the perspective of both sexes is something that’s always appealing to folks.”

The first “Think Like a Man” closed out its run with $91.5 million stateside. The follow-up film, brings back director Tim Story, as well as cast members such as Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Regina Hall and Jerry Ferrara, sending them to Las Vegas for a wedding ceremony that involve bachelor and bachelorette parties that take full advantage of all that Sin City has to offer.

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“About Last Night” 2nd Only to “LEGO Movie”, Earns a Projected $35M Over Holiday Weekend

About Last Night

Benefitting from its strong date night appeal and Kevin Hart‘s current filmic hot streak, About Last Night opened strong on Valentine’s Day and wound up ahead of fellow 1980s remakes RoboCop and Endless Love this weekend, succumbing only to The LEGO Movie, which easily led the box office over President’s Day weekend.

According to boxofficemojo.com, in its second outing, The LEGO Movie added $48.8 million and so far has earned $129.1 million.  Playing at 2,253 locations, About Last Night opened to an estimated $27 million. That’s the best opening for a romantic comedy since 2012’s Think Like a Man ($33.6 million), which also featured Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy and Regina Hall. It is noticeably lower than recent Kevin Hart movie Ride Along ($41.5 million), though that’s a difficult number to match.

According to Sony, About Last Night‘s audience was 63 percent female and 57 percent over the age of 30. They awarded the movie a solid “A-” CinemaScore. Remaining a master builder in its second weekend, The Lego Movie ended Valentine’s Day in a tie with new entry About Last Night, but is expected to zoom ahead on Saturday for a possible $59 million-plus finish over the long Presidents Day weekend.  About Last Night took in $13 million on Friday for a projected four-day opening in the $35 million range.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson