Tag: Screen Gems

“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

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Team Up in “Central Intelligence” For New Line

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Central

Following the success of Sony’s “Jump Street” franchise, New Line plans to investigate its own buddy action-comedy, enlisting two of Hollywood’s hottest stars: Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. The duo will star in “Central Intelligence,” with “We’re the Millers” filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber directing the movie.

Scott Stuber will produce through his Bluegrass Films banner, along with Peter Principato and Paul Young of Principato-Young Entertainment. “The Hangover” star Ed Helms is executive producing.

The story begins with a class reunion approaching, as a former high school sports star turned accountant (Hart) is contacted by a classmate (Johnson) who was bullied and humiliated back in the day. The “loser” that the accountant remembers is now a CIA contract killer who ropes him into helping foil a plot to sell classified military secrets.

The original “Central Intelligence” writers are ‎Ike Barinholtz and Dave Stassen, with Sean Anders and John Morris writing a subsequent draft and Thurber taking another pass on the latest script.

New Line plans to begin shooting in the spring with Sam Brown and Michael Disco overseeing. Beau Bauman is managing for Bluegrass.

New Line, based at Warner Bros., has enjoyed success through previous projects with both Thurber and Johnson, and Johnson has a number of jobs lined up at the studio — he is currently attached to return for two more “Journey to the Center of the Earth” sequels and will play Black Adam in superhero pic “Shazam.” He is also set to star in disaster film “San Andreas,” which bows next summer.

The movie gives New Line the opportunity to team two of the biggest names in their respective genres in one film. Hart has enjoyed a lucrative year with both “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man Too” striking box office gold. Hart recently finished filming the “Ride Along” sequel and has “The Wedding Ringer” for Screen Gems set to open on Jan. 16, followed by “Get Hard” with Will Ferrell for Warner Bros., which will open March 27.

Johnson has shown his versatility in his ability to move from action-heavy movies to comedies with ease, and “Central Intelligence” looks set to combine both genres. The star’s most recent pic was “Hercules,” which has grossed $242 million at the worldwide box office, and he can next be seen in “Fast and Furious 7,” which bows in April. On the small screen, Johnson will executive produce and star in “Ballers,” a half-hour comedy that HBO recently picked up to series.

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer” Scores With $36 Million Debut

The Equalizer

Denzel Washington still has plenty of firepower at the box office as his latest action film “The Equalizer” looks to be heading to an opening weekend in the $35-$37 million range.With $12.6 million on Friday from 3,236 locations, the Sony release is performing significantly better than the studio’s initial estimates of an opening in the high-$20 millions. That’s the best opening ever for director Antoine Fuqua and one of Washington’s top debuts as well.Produced for $55 million by Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures, “The Equalizer” also benefited from a glowing A- Cinemascore.

The weekend’s other wide opener, “The Boxtrolls” from Focus Features and Laika, took $4.93 million on Friday heading for a weekend of $16 million, which is in line with expectations. The stop-motion animated film opened in 3,464 locations.

Fox’s “The Maze Runner” will fight it out with “Boxtrolls” for the no. 2 spot. The young adult sci fi pic took $5 million Friday for a weekend also in the $16 million range, putting its cume after two weeks near $57 million.

Warner Bros. “This is Where I Leave You” took in another $2.2 million Friday for a possible $7 million weekend, heading to a $22 million cume in its second week.

A pair of pics in their third weekend should top last week’s opener “Walk Among the Tombstones” — Screen Gems “No Good Deed” is hanging in there with $1.35 million Friday for a projected $4.5 million weekend, finishing with a $46.5 million cume by Sunday, while Warner Bros. “Dolphin Tale 2″ took $1.26 Friday for a weekend total of about $5 million.

article by Pat Saperstein via variety.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.

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

Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart and Tim Story Team Up for “Black Phantom”

Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart and Tim
Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

Jamie Foxx and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in Screen Gems’ Black Phantom, with Ride Along helmer Tim Story in discussions to direct.  If a deal makes, the film would re-team Hart and Story with their Ride Along producer Will Packer, who is producing the pic along with Will Gluck. Packer has long wanted to do the film and, after the success of Ride Along and Foxx’s interest to work with Hart, the project seemed like the perfect match for all four men.

Story follows a double-crossed mob hitman who enlists the help of the Black Phantom, the same African-American hitman who had been sent to kill him.  Dave Lease and Megan Hinds wrote the original screenplay. Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper will oversee the project for the studio.

Foxx has been a favorite of Sony’s for some time, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the Annie reboot bowing this year. Given Hart’s recent box office winning streak, the pairing could be a huge win for Screen Gems.  Hart currently can be seen in Screen Gems’ About Last Night.

article by Justin Kroll via Deadline.com

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube’s “Ride Along” Cruising for a Sequel

Ride Along Movie

According to Variety.com, Universal Studios has started pre-production on a sequel to its hit buddy comedy Ride Along, with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart on board to reprise their starring roles.  Ride Along has topped $117 million in U.S. box office after five weekends, starting its run with three consecutive first-place finishes. The film was budgeted at a cost-effective $25 million.

Will Packer, Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez and Larry Brezner will again produce. Tim Story is attached to direct again from a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Universal signed the writers to script the sequel last year.  The decision to greenlight Ride Along 2 comes on the heels of the healthy opening of another Hart comedy, Sony’s About Last Night, which took in $27.8 million over the four-day weekend.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Kevin Hart’s Latest Box Office Success Certifies Star Power

about last night Movie

Kevin Hart more than lived up to his name on Valentine’s day as Sony-Screen Gems’ About Last Night led the charge among couples.  And yet, the comedian-turned-leading man, who stands at just 5’2″ tall, has been quietly building his brand, which has only just blown up at the box office, in order to become one of the most biggest African American stars since Will Smith or Denzel Washington.  Prior to this year, Hart was known more in the stand-up world, with Codeblack-produced and distributed (along with Summit) hits like Laugh at My Pain and Let Me Explain, both of which were preceded by the eponymous Kevin Hart.

In less than two months, Hart has become one of the industry’s sturdiest B.O. players with two major narrative feature hits: Universal’s Ride Along, which became this year’s first $100 million-plus grosser and now “About Last Night,” which topped Friday’s box office with $12.9 million, kick-starting a solid $28.5 million four-day run.

Earlier in his career, Hart had memorable supporting roles in such films as The Five-Year Engagement and Think Like a Man.  Hart’s seemingly overnight hit status also is due, in part, to the recent success of urban-targeted films in general, including The Best Man Holiday and 12 Years a Slave, both of which were released late last year.

Still, neither of those films broke out the way Ride Along has when it scored a rare three straight wins atop the domestic box office.  And while African American-themed films typically do not travel well outside the U.S. (aside from Will Smith — formerly, at least), they are made for a price. About Last Night, for instance, cost only $12.5 million to produce, while Ride Along was budgeted at $25 million.  During opening weekend, Ride Along scored 30% of its gross from Hispanics, with Caucasians contributing 12% of the opening. African Americans still delivered half of the box office, though since then the film’s staying power is attributed to a broadened demo base.  About Last Night, on the other hand, earned an overwhelming 72% of its opening from African Americans.

Regardless, it’s a steady beat for Hart.  Sony is further investing in multi-hyphenate by his upcoming comedy The Wedding Ringer to Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in 2015.

article by Andrew Stewart via Variety.com

 

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