SPECTRE No. 1 in U.S.-Canada for 2d weekend

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE was the No. 1 movie in the U.S. and Canada for the second weekend in a row with estimated box office of $35.4 million, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO.

The 24th James Bond film’s second weekend declined by about half compared with its debut weekend, which is a typical drop.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER said SPECTRE has generated $130 million so far in the region, down from about $161 million during the comparable period for its 007 predecessor, 2012’s Skyfall. Last weekend, SPECTRE debuted at $70.4 million, compared with $88.4 million for Skyfall’s first weekend.

The new 007 film “is making up ground overseas, where it is pacing head of Skyfall in many markets,” THR’s Pamela McClintock wrote, concerning SPECTRE’s box office outside the U.S. and Canada.

SPECTRE “was No. 1 globally for the second straight week and has rung up more than half a billion dollars in roughly two weeks,” THE WRAP‘s Todd Cunningam wrote.

Skyfall’s global box office was $1.11 billion, the first Bond film to go past the $1 billion mark. Of that figure, $304.4 million came from the U.S. and Canada.

The No. 2 film this weekend was The Peanuts Movie at $24.2 million. Peanuts also debuted last weekend. In 2012, Skyfall was the only new movie in general release in its opening weekend.

UPDATE: The Wrap HAS PUBLISHED more information. The website said SPECTRE had an opening of $48 million in China and that the movie’s global box office is almost $550 million.

SPECTRE has $73 million opening in U.S.-Canada

SPECTRE promotional art

SPECTRE promotional art

SPECTRE generated estimated box office of $73 million for the Nov. 6-8 weekend in the U.S. and Canada, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO

The 24th James Bond film was the No. 1 film for the weekend, which also includes Thursday night ticket sales. SPECTRE, despite higher ticket prices, was 17 percent lower than the $88.4 million opening of 2012’s Skyfall.

Three years ago, Skyfall was the only new movie in general release in the U.S. and Canada. Other new films out that weekend, such as Lincoln, were available only in limited release in a few cities. Skyfall also was the 50th anniversary 007 movie, and it enjoyed a big promotion from the 2012 Olympics, where the Opening Ceremonies included an elaborate James Bond skit, featuring Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth.

This time around, SPECTRE had more competition in the form of The Peanuts Movie, an animated film based on the comic strip, which had an estimated $45 million weekend.

Final figures for the weekend will be released on Monday.

Meanwhile, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reported that SPECTRE had a global weekend of “nearly $200 million” and its global box office so far is “north of $300 million.” The movie debuted late last month in the U.K.

Skyfall was the first Bond film to crack the billion-dollar-mark, with worldwide box office of $1.11 billion.

Craig on 007’s misogyny, his own training, other topics

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz at Dec. 4 media event.

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz at Dec. 4 media event.

Daniel Craig did AN INTERVIEW with a website called The Red Bulletin. It’s being cited by other media outlets (including The Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair) because of his comments on James Bond’s misogyny, but it actually covers a range of other subjects also.

A quick look:

On the character of 007: “But let’s not forget that he’s actually a misogynist…(W)e’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place.”

On Bond’s appeal: “I guess that one of the biggest reasons why the character has endured for so long is because he represents the eternal struggle between good and evil.”

Workout and diet related to filming:: “Then, three months before we began filming, I started going to the gym five or six days a week. While we’re filming, I stick to a diet—it’s all about preventative measures, so that I don’t get ill or injured.” Referring to a knee injury he suffered during SPECTRE filming, he added, “But as you’ve seen, of course, something unpredictable can happen anyway. There’s no way around that.”

Craig also said, “This time, I deliberately took time off to get involved in the script.” There were no additional details in the interview about that. To read the entire interview, CLICK HERE.

Reading between the lines of THR’s story on MGM and Sony

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

The Hollywood Reporter has A STORY BY GREGG KILDAY examining whether Sony Pictures will no longer release 007 films after SPECTRE. But the story has some other interesting data as well.

Sony has released all four Bond films of the Daniel Craig era, but its current two-film deal expires with SPECTRE. Here’s a look at some of the other side issues raised in the story.

SPECTRE’s budget: Kilday quotes sources he doesn’t identify as insisting “that the final net budget now stands in the neighborhood of $250 million.”

It’s known, thanks to the Sony hacks, that SPECTRE spending was on track to reach around $350 million. The Hollywood Reporter story suggests that production placement and similar deals (such as the subsidies Mexico paid out to the production) helped bring in about $100 million to offset a substantial portion of those costs.

Mind games between studios: There’s also an anecdote in the story about some mind games between Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio that controls half of the Bond franchise along with the Broccoli-Wilson family.

According to the story, MGM told Sony in June 2013 if it wanted its name in a press release announcing the release date of the then-untitled movie, Sony had “to opt in immediately.” At the time, there was no firm budget but Sony was being pressed to commit anyway, THR says. (Not mentioned in the story: there wasn’t even a first-draft script. That wasn’t submitted by initial writer John Logan until March 2014.)

The release was issued in JULY 2013.It had this joint quote from Sony executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal: “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”

Subsequently, Logan was replaced writing the movie and Pascal was fired after bad publicity from the Sony hacks.

To read the entire Hollywood Reporter story, CLICK HERE.

Bill Finger to get credit on Batman adaptations, THR says

Gotham promotional art

Gotham promotional art

Bill Finger, widely viewed as the co-creator of Batman, is to get a credit for his work on Batman-related adaptations, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SAID.

Finger will begin receiving a credit on the Gotham television series “beginning later this season,” according to a statement from DC Entertainment published by THR. Finger (1914-1974) will also get a credit in the 2016 film Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice, DC said in the statement.

Bob Kane has received sole creator credit for Batman since the character debuted in 1939, including seven Warner Bros. movies released since 1989.

Finger’s contributions to the character include major revisions to Kane’s original costume (such as the cowl and gauntlets as well as a dark color scheme), the Bruce Wayne true identity, Bruce Wayne back story, the original Robin, the original Robin’s back story, etc. Finger wrote the first Batman story published in Detective Comics No. 27 and many other early stories.

In 2014, illustrator Ty Templeton did a cartoon showing what Batman would have been like without Finger’s contributions.

DC said in the statement published by THR it and Finger’s family “reached an agreement that recognizes Mr. Finger’s significant contributions to the Batman family of characters.”

In addition to Batman, Finger also co-created the original version of Green Lantern, which debuted in 1940. Finger also co-wrote a two-part story in the 1966 Batman television series.

DC has long been owned by the various parent companies of Warner Bros. DC now is part of Warner Bros. and moved to Burbank, California, from New York, the comics company’s long-time home.

U.N.C.L.E. movie underwhelms in U.S. opening

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

UPDATE (Aug. 17) — Revised figures on Monday, ACCORDING TO THE NUMBERS WEBSITE, put The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie at $13.4 million, compared to $60.2 million for Straight Outta Compton.

(ORIGINAL POST): The Man From U.N.C.L.E. underperformed in the United States and Canada, finishing No. 3 in its debut weekend with estimated ticket sales of $13.5 million, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Guy Ritchie’s reinterpretation of the 1964-68 television series trailed Straight Outta Compton, a film about the rap group N.W.A. at $56.1 million and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, in its third weekend of release.

The Tom Cruise M:I film had estimate weekend ticket sales of $17 million, according to A TWEET from Exhibitors Relations.

Straight Outta Compton initially was estimated to produce a $30 million opening weekend and is coming in at almost twice that. It also was also shown on 2,757 screens, compared with U.N.C.L.E.’s 3,638, according to the Box Office Mojo website.

Over the weekend on social media, there was some debate about all this. Those who were annoyed (or worse) that the movie didn’t retain the series’ secret headquarters, Jerry Goldsmith theme (only a few notes were used in the film), or who wanted different casting, etc., said the results validated their positions.

The answer, though, may be more simple than that. It could be that outside of the aging U.N.C.L.E. fan base (including folks such as the Spy Commander) and the younger Henry Cavill fan base, there weren’t that many people who wanted to see the movie.

Warner Bros. can’t be blamed for a lack of marketing support. The studio bought ads all over U.S. television the past few weeks. For example, it paid for a two-minute ad on the ABC prime-time telecast of the ESPN ESPY awards. The spot ran shortly before transgender ex-athlete Caitlyn Jenner picked up an award for sports courage, the main highlight of the show.

Would having Jerry Goldsmith’s full theme boosted the box office take? If a great Goldsmith theme had that much impact, the 1973 series Hawkins on CBS would have lasted longer than a season and the 1975 Archer series (as in Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer) on NBC would have run longer than six episodes.

Would having the secret HQs, complete with Del Floria’s tailor shop have changed the outcome? 2015 audiences already had a secret HQs in Kingsman: The Secret Service. It was basically an updated version of the U.N.C.L.E. secret HQs of the show.

Would having, say, Jon Hamm, the star of the now-completed Mad Men series, as Napoleon Solo instead of Henry Cavill changed things?

Hamm’s Million Dollar Arm in 2014 was No. 4 its opening weekend in the U.S. at $10.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo. It finished with worldwide box office of $38.3 million. Of course, to be fair, he also was the voice of Herb Overkill in Minions, which had worldwide box office of more than $900 million.

Would having cameos by Robert Vaughn or David McCallum, the stars of the original show, increased ticket sales significantly? Would ticket sales double or triple? Or would they have risen by 1 percent or less? Meanwhile, McCallum endorsed the film in a Fox News interview and that doesn’t seem to have had much impact.

For Warner Bros., the best hope for the film may be in overseas markets. The DEADLINE: HOLLYWOOD website reported there were early signs of a better reception in various countries, including Russia.

Movie draws attention to U.N.C.L.E.’s origins

The original U.N.C.L.E.s, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum

The original U.N.C.L.E.s, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie comes out this week, prompting the Los Angeles Times to examine the origins of the 1964-68 series it’s based on.

The story looks at a number of angles, including how 007 author Ian Fleming was involved in the first few months of the show’s development.

Susan King of the Times talked to the likes of Dean Hargrove, one of the main writers on the show; Steven Jay Rubin, author of books about James Bond; film and TV music expert Jon Burlingame, who produced a series of U.N.C.L.E. soundtrack recordings in the 2000s; and Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media in New York.

Here’s an excerpt:

Young moviegoers checking out the feature film version Aug. 14 starring Henry Cavill as Solo and Armie Hammer as Kuryakin probably don’t realize the original TV series existed — let alone know of the show’s impact on baby boomers.

“Man From U.N.C.L.E.” hit at the right time. Noted Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media in New York, “The same excitement seeing the Beatles live on television which happened a few months before, I think the same thing happened when ‘Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ debuted in fall 1964.

“There was something cool about it. It created an emotional resonance for TV. It became the most popular show on campus in 1964, ’65 and ’66 — the first two seasons. It was a cultural phenomenon.”

Separately, The Hollywood Reporter talk about how U.N.C.L.E. MAY HERALD THE RETURN OF SPY ACRONYMS.

U.N.C.L.E. helped popularize such acronyms, although Marvel Studios has beaten the U.N.C.L.E. movie to the punch by including SHIELD (which didn’t debut until a year after U.N.C.L.E.) in its films.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in knowing more about the show, CLICK HERE for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode guide, produced by The Spy Command.


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