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“Transformers” -- A $201.2-million Smash In 5-day Opening

Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came within inches -- well, $2.6 million -- of overtaking last year’s The Dark Night as the film with the best 5-day opening of all time. According to studio estimates, it grossed $201.2 million versus $203.8 for Warner Bros.’ Knight. The figure included estimated results for Sunday, therefore final actual ticket sales, to be released on Monday, could push the total past Knight’s record mark. Then again, the Los Angeles Times reported that some competing studios estimated that the total will come in closer to $197-199 million. The newspaper said that Paramount spent about $200 million to produce the film and $150-175 million on worldwide marketing and distribution. IMAX, which has been expanding its giant-screen venues (some critics contend that the size of the newer screens is being misrepresented), contributed $14.4 million to the gross. Although IMAX theaters accounted for less than 4 percent of those screening the movie, they nevertheless produced 7.2 percent of the estimated gross.

Source: Studio Briefing

 
29 June 2009

Jackson Family Conducts Its Own Autopsy

A private, independent autopsy was reportedly being conducted on the body of Michael Jackson this afternoon after the Los Angeles County Coroner/Medical Examiner said that it had been unable to determine the cause of death in its initial examination. In a statement, the coroner’s office said that a final determination would have to await toxicological tests, which could take several weeks. Earlier today (Saturday) the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is not related but who has close ties to the Jackson family, said that the family had asked for an independent autopsy because there were still “unanswered questions” surrounding the singer’s death. He said that they also wanted to question Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad R. Murray, who reportedly was living at Jackson’s rented estate when the performer went into cardiac arrest on Thursday and was administering CPR to him when paramedics were called. Meanwhile, Dr. Murray’s lawyer told a reporter for the Reuter News Agency that it was untrue that the physician had been hiding from authorities. “Contrary to what has been out there, Dr. Murray has been cooperating with authorities from the outset and will continue to do so,” attorney Bill Stradley said. Following Jackson’s death, several persons close to the singer claimed that he had been abusing prescription drugs and speculated that Dr. Murray may have injected him with the painkiller Demerol shortly before he went into cardiac arrest.

Source: Studio Briefing

 
29 June 2009

“Transformers” Sets New Box Office Record

Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen piled on another $36.7 million to its total gross on Friday, setting a Friday box office record for a film that did not also open on a Friday, according to the BoxOfficeMojo website. The take brought its three-day total to $125.9 million -- before Saturday and Sunday’s receipts were added. “$175 million plus for Wednesday through Sunday is a virtual certainty,” said box-office tracker Paul Dergarabedian. The Los Angeles Times forecast that the movie will earn $190 million through Sunday and that it is now “possible, albeit unlikely” that it will beat the five-day record of $203.7 million set by last year’s The Dark Knight. Some analysts had predicted that business for the movie would fall dramatically after opening day if word-of-mouth echoed the scathing reviews of critics. That apparently did not occur. The movie is packing them in overseas as well. Daily Variety reported on its website Thursday that the Michael Bay movie earned a whopping $59 million at the foreign box office on its opening day Wednesday. "This is the best opening number I can ever remember," Andrew Cripps, Paramount's head of international distribution, told Variety.

Source: Studio Briefing

 
29 June 2009

“Transformers” -- How Gigantic Will It Become?

After its $60.6 million debut on Wednesday, Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen fell to $27 million on Thursday -- not nearly so impressive as the Wednesday result but impressive for a Thursday nonetheless. With $67.2 million already accumulated, box-office analysts are predicting that it could wind up with one of the heftiest five-day grosses ever. The movie is packing them overseas as well. Daily Variety reported on its website Thursday that the Michael Bay movie earned a whopping $59 million on Wednesday. "This is the best opening number I can ever remember," Andrew Cripps, Paramount's head of international distribution, told Variety. It's expected to dwarf the competition at the box office this weekend as it tries to unseat The Dark Knight, the current record holder with $203.8 million over five days. Its principal competition this weekend will come from two romantic comedies, the holdover The Proposal from Disney and the Warner Bros./New Line drama My Sister's Keeper, starring Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz. Also opening in limited release -- but in most of the major markets -- will be the Stephen Frears costume drama Cheri, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Source: Studio Briefing

 
29 June 2009

Movie Reviews: My Sister's Keeper

Warner Bros.' My Sister's Keeper, directed by Nick Cassavetes, could very well prove to be a bigger contender against the Transformers sequel (the New York Post's Lou Lumenick calls it "sacrificial counter-programming") at this weekend's box office than many analysts had anticipated -- if word-of-mouth echoes the opinions of several of the major critics. The film has an intriguing premise: one child, we learn, was genetically designed to become a source of organs for her dying sister.
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