Comics Creators

Box Office Mojo


Life Itself (written and directed by This is Us’s Dan Fogelman) had the second-worst ever opening for a movie in 2500+ theaters, with $2.1M:


…suggesting that Amazon should stick to streaming movies instead of producing them.


Amazon only distributed it. It was finished when they came on board.


And I’m not sure how much they care about box office? The new streaming services have their own measures of success and cinema’s place in that remains fluid.

What they (and Netflix) need every year is an additional thousand or so hours of new content. TV shows and movies, fiction and documentaries, comedy, horror, scifi, domestics drama and fantasy.

I’m not sure where this fits in that though.


They paid at least $10M for it, so I doubt they’re happy.


It also looks like the theatrical release was a condition of the deal, so once they realised the film wasn’t going to be a prestigious awards candidate or a big crowd pleaser, they were still stuck with $10m for the movie and another $20m (conservatively) for the P&A of a wide release.

Amazon can afford all of that of course, but it’s clearly not a good thing.


Here’s a rundown of projects Apple has purchased and allegedly ruined with hilariously puritianical demands:

Stephen Spielberg’s Amazing Stories … which was deemed “too dark.”

– An M. Night Shyamalan psychological thriller… in which crucifixes in the background were deemed “too controversial.”

Vital Signs , based on the life of Dr. Dre… reportedly horrified Apple CEO Tim Cook with orgies, drug use, and “drawn guns.” Bro.

– A drama about a morning news show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon… which was shamed back to development Hell after concerns that it wasn’t “upbeat” enough.

I really don’t see this going well for Apple.


This one hurts


@Jim, @garjones, and @DaveWallace, AKA Pablo:

Fueled by the prolific output of Emmett Furla Oasis, MoviePass Films intends to produce 10 or 12 films per year, and the intention is to acquire or engage in co-productions on eight to 10 films per year as well. That includes the just-wrapped Bruce Willis-starrer 10 Minutes Gone. MoviePass bought the production company in May.

They have money to do this?


Yeah, sorry Apple, but there’s already enough companies in the streaming game. Disney will crush everyone on the family friendly side of things, so if you’re not willing to also be a little edgy then you’re screwed. And in these cases, it looks like Apple is too afraid to even offend one single person. Crucifixes are controversial now? Come on, Apple…


It would hilarious to see some of those shows dropped by Apple only to be picked up by Netflix where they can be produced as originally envisioned.


How about a show that is just a 24/7 live feed of Bono, which starts playing as soon as you turn your TV on?


I think we’d want Apple to turn people’s TVs on for them, to make sure they definitely see it.


Red Granite Pays Off $60 Million Settlement in Malaysian Corruption Case

Red Granite Pictures has paid off the balance of its $60 million settlement with the U.S. government, bringing an early end to its involvement in a $4.5 billion Malaysian corruption case.

The production company behind “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Daddy’s Home” reached a deal with federal prosecutors in March. Under the agreement, the company did not admit wrongdoing and promised to pay the settlement amount in three installments over the course of nearly a year. The company has now paid the final installment four months ahead of schedule, officially ending the case.

“Red Granite paid its obligation to the government in full,” they said in a statement. “The company is pleased to put this matter behind it.”

Red Granite was accused of using more than $100 million embezzled from 1MDB, a Malaysian development fund. The 1MDB scandal led to the downfall of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was recently arrested in Malaysia on corruption charges. His stepson, Riza Aziz, is the CEO of Red Granite.


The Justice Department has accused financier Jho Low of masterminding a scheme to steal $4.5 billion from the fund.

Despite the negative headlines, Red Granite is continuing to operate as a going concern. It is unclear if Aziz, who reportedly fled the U.S., will continue as CEO and who owns the company. Its future looks cloudy. Red Granite financed the recent flop “Papillon,” but has little else in development. It only has roughly a half dozen films in its library, and most of these are only generating revenues from television licensing deals.

Aziz’s legal problems may not be behind him. The government is also seeking to seize several luxury properties, which Aziz allegedly bought with stolen funds. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are also pursuing a criminal investigation, and he has been questioned by Malaysian anti-corruption authorities.


Government bins film subsidy cuts after Avatar threat

The government has abandoned plans to rein in ballooning subsides for Hollywood, citing film industry opposition and the threat of lawsuits from the producers of James Cameron’s Avatar films.

The Weekend Herald reported in June these payments - that sees studios get cash payments of up to 25 per cent of their local spending on productions - had totalled $575 million since 2010, prompting Economic Development Minister David Parker to announce he was looking at ways to cap or limit the escalating costs to taxpayers.

But yesterday Parker, speaking from Australia, said following consultations with industry around the viability of their business - and thousands of accompanying jobs - without subsidies, and legal advice over a 2013 deal signed with Avatar producers, said cuts or changes to the subsidy scheme were now off the table.

“We’re not proposing to introduce a cap. We accept that the subsides are necessary, and we accept there’s a benefit to the country,” he said.

In 2013 the National government signed a memorandum of understanding with Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox committing the government to paying for a quarter of the costs of the upcoming Avatar sequels.

Parker said any changes to the subsidy scheme would expose the government to legal risks.

"The advice we had is that the last government had agreed to an uncapped liability for future subsidies for the Avatar film series. If we were to cancel that and to pull out of that deal there would have been litigation issues," he said.

Parker said the costs to government from that deal would be significant. The 2013 agreement suggests the Avatar films will cost a minimum of $500m, of which a quarter - or $125m - will be paid by government.

Actual spending on the films - and the accompanying subsidy - is likely to substantially exceed this minimum as two films are already in production with the prospect of two more in the pipeline. The first Avatar film cost $360m to produce in 2009, and Hobbit trilogy of films, also filmed in Wellington under the subsidy scheme, ended up costing a total just over $1b.

Parker sheeted this exposure, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to the taxpayer, back to the previous National government.

Subsidies are a big issues in the film industry these days. There’s a constant campaign to get the or get rid of them, pretty much everywhere.


It looks like Venom is projected at an opening between $60 and $70 million in the US. I guess we’ll see but that seems optimistic to me.

I think A Star is Born will make more money in North America overall, although not opening weekend.


Given the pounding it’s getting in advance opinions it feels like Venom will bomb.


I want to see “A Star Is Born” more than I want to see Venom.

It’s interesting that “A Star Is Born” is rated R.


I would suspect for cursing more than anything.


The BBFC rate it a 15 for strong language and drug misuse, so it looks like you’re right.