A more appropriate title would be hard to find as Warner Bros’ 300: Rise Of An Empire dominated global box office on an estimated $132.9m and pulled off an $87.8m international launch on 14,478 screens in 58 markets.
Spurred on by Academy Awards glory, New Regency, River Road and Plan B’s acclaimed drama by Steve McQueen has surged past $100m through Lionsgate International licensees.
Warner Bros’ 300 sequel beat off the competition from DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, while Fox Searchlight capitalised on 12 Years A Slave’s Oscar glory and scored a massive limited debut on The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The studio has picked up North American rights at SXSW to Eduard Sanchez’s Bigfoot film, which International Film Trust handles for international sales.
UPDATE: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has acquired all international rights to Space Station 76, while in separate deals Picturehouse has acquired The Guest and Starz Digital Media has taken North American rights to To Be Takei ahead of their Austin screenings.
EXCLUSIVE: Cinema Paradiso director reunites with The Best Offer team on upcoming film.
Period drama tops action epic in the online buzz chart.
The director of The Basketball Diaries starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg has been found dead at this home in Woodland Hills outside Los Angeles. He was 49.
Ivan Reitman will receive the CinemaCon Lifetime Achievement Award at the Las Vegas convention on March 27.
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to continue to back high-end film and TV tax credit breaks, claiming that they are “working so well”.
Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive and Andrzej Wajda’s Walesa: A Man Of Hope will open this year’s ¨Febiofest¨.
Lenny Abrahamson’s feature, starring Michael Fassbender, in competition at the Istanbul Film Festival.
Stones Throw Records to self-distribute documentary about the label, featuring interviews with Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.
Tribeca Film Festival 2014 world premieres include Every Secret Thing, Miss Meadows and Zombeavers.
Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón to produce; Gael García Bernal to star.
California’s film czar Paul Audley has called on the state legislature to boost tax incentives in light of a sobering report that illustrates the extent of the state’s decline as a production hub.
The former head of domestic television distribution at Summit has joined the agency in the new role of global distribution strategist.
Former UK distribution firm Feature Film Company has been re-launched as an independent production, finance and consultancy company with an adaptation of football hooligan bestseller Running With the Firm.
Principal photography has commenced in Morocco on Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram For The King starring Tom Hanks.
Top brass at the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) have announced the films in competition for the New Directors Prize and the Golden Gate Award contenders in the documentary category.
The video platform will promote a $10m investment at SXSW on the anniversary of its Vimeo On Demand platform.
EXCLUSIVE: Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast is being adapted for the big screen by Elizabeth screenwriter Michael Hirst and actress Mariel Hemingway.
Doug Block’s HBO Documentary will kick off proceedings in Durham, North Carolina, on April 3.
TWC-Dimension has hired Mark Bomback to write its adaptation of Ira Levin’s Broadway thriller Veronica’s Room.
Phase 4 Films has acquired North American rights to Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie from SModcast Pictures.
Richard Shaw appointed BFI director of marketing, communications and audiences.
Abbas Kiarostami is to head the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury of the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
Icon Film Distribution adds execs Jeremy Baum and Sophie Wong.
Good Universe and Point Grey Pictures principals Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver have formed an alliance to focus on producing and packaging mainstream comedy.
Chris New, one of the stars of the acclaimed Weekend, has just wrapped principal photography on his feature directorial debut A Smallholding.
FremantleMedia International (FMI) acquires worldwide distribution rights to the Lindsay Lohan documentary series.
Former Warner Bros film chief Jeff Robinov is reportedly in talks with China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corp to secure financing for a new venture that will produce five films a year.
Organisations launch return-to-work training initiative for female TV directors.
River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International and Focus Features will finance and distribute Apache’s upcoming fantasy from Juan Antonio Bayona.
The former co-president of eOne Films Canada and evp at Alliance Films is joining upstart Canadian distributor Elevation Pictures as co-president alongside Laurie May.
The Jeremy Renner dramatic thriller is set to open in the US on October 10. Sierra/Affinity handles international sales.
The New York-based production company co-founded by Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick has promoted the longtime producer to partner.
The studio has picked up US rights to Marjane Satrapi’s Sundance world premiere.
The partners have picked up US rights to Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi starring Christoph Waltz.
Jeffrey D Brown’s child trafficking film will open the 12th Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles (IFFLA), while Jasmine Jaisinghani has been appointed the festival’s first artistic director.
South African director boards US romantic comedy.
Shout! Factory has signed a deal with California-based distributor Cinevox to release Brazilian Western (Faroeste Caboclo) in the US and Canada.
Participant Media and the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project (MIP) are building an algorithm to gauge the social impact of entertainment media on the audience.
Mike Myers’ directorial debut sold following its market premiere at Berlin’s EFM.
Irish animation outfit Cartoon Saloon, one of the producers behind Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells and upcoming Tomm Moore animation Song of the Sea, is in development on new project The Breadwinner, a co-production with Canadian company Aircraft Pictures.
Anonymous Content has appointed Dave Fierson as head of business operations.
The star of the recent 3 Days To Kill and the upcoming Draft Day will receive the 2014 Cinema Icon Award in Las Vegas on March 27.
Robocop had a strong opening in China last weekend, grossing $20.67m (Feb 28-March 2), but The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug kept the top spot in the box office chart.
The dates for the 65th Berlinale have been set.
Alexander Payne and Haskell Wexler and commercial location scout Scott Dewees will receive the Location Managers Guild Of America’s first honorary awards.
UPDATE: 300: Rise Of An Empire has already plundered $32.8m from 58 markets from Wedensday to Friday.
Berlin’s Picture Tree International (PTI) has secured several deals with US distributors, following its debut as an exhibitor at the European Film Market (EFM).
International colleagues have expressed concern at the news that Kateryna Kopylova, head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency since December 2010, was forced to resign her post at the end of last week.
The BBC has announced details of a new arts documentary festival that will take place as part of the Glasgow International Festival.
Patrick Hughes, currently directing The Expendables 3, will direct the remake of The Raid for Screen Gems.
Tribeca Film Festival top brass have announced (4) the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections and Viewpoints titles, comprising 47 of the 89 features that will screen at the festival over April 16-27.
Nicholas Hoult to lead UK dark-comedy, distributed in UK by StudioCanal.
Le Chef (France-Spain) from Daniel Cohen and Jennifer M Kroot and Bill Weber’s To Be Takei (US) will open the 2014 RiverRun International Film Festival, while Phillippe Le Guay’s Bicycling With Molière (France) will close the festival.
Imax Corporation and Russian exhibitor Mori Cinema have signed a deal to instal five Imax theatres across the country.
The social network and film marketing platform for upcoming movies has received further seed funding as a soft launch continues.
Pilot P&A fund launched at Sundance extends to SXSW.
The veteran publicist most recently served eight years at Block/Korenbrot.
EXCLUSIVE: Pathe executive to join Altitude as head of development.
EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles-based Iconic Media Production has lined up a North Carolina shoot for $10m drama The Five.
Disney feature is the first animation to top 10 million admissions in Korea.
Other winners include Sacro GRA, The Special Need and Pipeline.
The San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) and Kenneth Rainin Foundation (KRF) have selected 15 finallists for the latest round of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired all North American rights to Joel Potrykus’ comedy.
Vantage Media International (VMI) will represent world rights to Benetone Hillin Entertainment’s (BHE) horror title.
Lionsgate has struck an output agreement with fast-rising Leone Film Group in Italy, one of the last territories not covered by the company’s global network of partners.
Historical drama wins three including Best Picture; Gravity leads the pack with seven wins.
EXCLUSIVE: The distributors behind Sunday night’s (2) big Oscar winners are readying theatrical expansion plans in the wake of their triumphs.
12 Years A Slave wins best picture, best supporting actress, best adapted screenplay; Gravity wins seven Oscars including Best Director.
The Oscars speech of the night goes to newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who won best supporting actress for her role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave.
Warner Bros’ animation stays top for third straight week; Non-Stop records second best-ever UK bow for StudioCanal; Universal’s The Wolf of Wall Street becomes UK’s highest grossing 18-rated film.
Roman Polanski wins best director; Blue Is the Warmest Colour’s Adèle Exarchopoulos wins best female newcomer.
Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has named Jin Park a World Cinema programmer starting this month. Park will be responsible for films from Central and South America.
Hong Kong’s Edko Films has appointed Esther Yeung as general manager of sales & acquisitions, as the company’s veteran buyer, Audrey Lee, takes a step back to focus on her personal interests after 33 years with the company.
Wei Te-sheng-produced sports drama Kano topped the box office over its opening weekend in Taiwan (Feb 27-March 2).
With the conflict between Ukraine and neighbouring Russia escalating over the weekend, the organisers of the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF) have reaffirmed their determination to stage the fifth edition from July 11-19.
Tenth anniversary of festival hits landmark for first time; Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin receives its Scottish premiere as the closing film.
Rapper Kanye West is to release a film about his ‘Yeezus’ tour.
UPDATED MAR 3: A number one $20.5m Chinese debut powered MGM and Columbia Pictures’ RoboCop to an estimated $30m weekend as the running total climbed to $136m and the reboot took over pole position from Warner Bros Pictures International’s The Hobbit 2.
StudioCanal’s fully financed action film starring Liam Neeson opened top of the North American charts through Universal on an estimated $30m.
Frozen – the favourite to win the best animation Oscar – crossed $1bn at the global box office on Sunday (March 2) to reach $1.0002bn and cemented its status as the industry’s biggest non-sequel animation and the second biggest animation of all time behind Toy Story 3.
His latest film, The Life of Riley, premiered in Berlin.
12 Years A Slave emerged victorious at the 29th Annual Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday (March 1), taking best feature and a handful of other awards.
The box office might of China was underlined last weekend when Warner Bros Pictures International’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug delivered a titanic debut to rule the roost.
Visit Films will present the world premiere of Carlos Marques-Marcet’s first feature Long Distance (formerly 10,000KM) at SXSW.
EXCLUSIVE: Six-project pilot will see UK distributors and BFI-backed producers split MGs and revenues.
Two separate film tax fraud cases are heading towards trial.
The Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) top brass announced (28) that Massimo Saidel has been named special advisor to the Montreal International Film Market for 2014.
The Book Thief leads the UK buzz chart this week, with 37% intent to view mentions.
The 20th Bradford International Film Festival reveals full programme including seven world premieres.
Winners announced at the 2014 Music+Sound Awards.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has pre-bought all worldwide rights to Groundswell Productions’ comedy The Final Girls.
Relativity International has licensed more than 60 territories to LightWorkers Media’s feature version of smash miniseries The Bible, set to launch on more than 3,000 screens in North America through Fox on Friday (28).
DISTRIBUTION ROUND-UP: Main Street Films, Image Entertainment, Participant Media and FilmBuff and Factory 25 also unveil latest deals.
The National Association Of Theatre Owners (NATO) will present Harkins Theatres owner and CEO Dan Harkins with the 2014 NATO Marquee Award at CinemaCon on March 25.
Taggart Productions and Votiv Films have begun principal photography on the sci-fi psychological thriller.
Pang Ho-cheung’s Aberdeen and Fruit Chan’s The Midnight After will open this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), which takes place March 24-April 7.
The Belgian Government has moved to reform the country’s highly lucrative but controversial Tax Shelter system.
The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has announced the winner of the 2014 Alfred P Sloan Foundation Student grand jury prize for screenwriting (27).
Foresight Unlimited CEO and chairman Mark Damon, Voltage CEO and president Nicolas Chartier, Myriad president and CEO Kirk D’Amico and Nu Image/Millennium co-chairman Avi Lerner will take part in the 2014 IFTA Production Conference.
Denmark-based Final Cut For Real, the outfit behind Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner The Act of Killing, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new film Democrazy.
Principal photography has wrapped on Archer’s Mark’s The Darkest Universe, Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley’s follow-up to their BAFTA-nominated Black Pond.
Comedies lead the pack at the Irish Film and Television Awards; father and son Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson compete for best actor.
Underworld actress joins Simon Pegg in high concept comedy, Absolutely Anything.
Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has signed a multi-year content deal with El Rey Network, the new cable channel established by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
The International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias has confirmed the rest of its programme.
Three titles originally championed by the Sundance Film Festival to return to the big screen.
The UK film and TV industries have a new online guide to production accounting, launched yesterday by industry collective the Production Accounting Forum.
Diane Ladd and newcomer Eden Brolin will star in Katie Cokinos’ debut feature I Dream Too Much with Richard Linklater on board as executive producer.
New films by Mira Fornay, Radu Jude and Stephan Komandarev are among the projects to be pitched at this year’s Sofia Meetings (March 13-16).
Vue Entertainment reports 50% increase in number of people attending event cinema screenings and expects this to double in 2014.
The brand and content management platform has raised $30m in a new financing led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).
Monster movie from director Gareth Edwards to receive “immersive” sound treatment.
Olivia Colman joins cast, led by comedian David Walliams as the voice of the Britain’s Got Talent winner.
Singapore’s Cathay Organisation has announced the production of Our Sister Mambo to commemorate their 80th anniversary in 2015.
Singapore-France-Germany co-production set to shoot in September.
The production chief becomes co-president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group and has signed a new long-term contract.
Eddie Cunningham has been named president of Universal Pictures worldwide home entertainment.
Andy Serkis will receive the CinemaCon Vanguard Award at this year’s convention in Las Vegas.
UK distributor also takes Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton romcom And So It Goes… and zombie comedy Life After Beth.
India and Canada have signed a co-production agreement, wrapping up talks that have been on-going since 2010.
EXCLUSIVE: The Orchard picks up North American rights to Gangster Playboy Legends and sequel.
First image revealed from the home invasion thriller, starring Kaya Scodelario (Skins) and handled by Altitude.
EXCLUSIVE: Balagan Productions options London-set crime thriller The Finest.
India’s FICCI Frames conference, which is celebrating its 15th edition (March 12-14), has confirmed that Australia will be the partner country this year.
Chinese director helps launch a year of business, creative and cultural collaborations between the UK and China.
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o take prizes at awards celebrating diversity.
Former Saatchi & Saatchi exec named development director
BBC’s commercial arm to distribute TV rights to music doc directed by Dallas Buyers Club star.
Debra Winger, Eddie Izzard, Josh Lucas and Kevin McHale have joined Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates on the cast of Informant Media’s Boychoir, which commenced shooting in Connecticut this week (24).
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy in talks for thriller about notorious UK gangsters, from LA Confidential screenwriter Brian Helgeland; Working Title producing.
Sundance Selects has picked up North American rights from UTA Independent Film Group to Kat Candler’s recent Sundance world premiere starring young breakout Josh Wiggins.
Director of Groundhog Day and star of Ghostbusters dies in Chicago.
Phase 4 Films has acquired Canadian rights from StudioCanal to Hossein Amini’s directorial debut Two Faces Of January starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac.
Investment supports international movies and television shows filmed in Jerusalem; including US series Dig, from Homeland’s Gideon Raff and Heroes’ Tim Kring.
Anton Corbijn-directed feature stars Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan.
Fortissimo Films has signed a string of deals on several titles on its Berlin slate, including further sales on Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange, which has gone to Spain (Golem) and Italy (Koch Media) among other territories.
Feature revolving around womanhood set to shoot in France late summer.
Warner Bros’ animation crosses £20m as it stays top of the chart; Artificial Eye’s event release of Nymphomaniac grosses $237,000 (£142,922) from 74 sites for Lars von Trier’s best-ever UK bow.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) will screen the world premiere of Adam Wong’s ICAC Investigators 2014 - Better Tomorrow, which has Dante Lam on board as consultant director, on March 26.
28 Entertainment has acquired film rights to the Navy SEALS interpreter autobiography Code Name: Johnny Walker.
Shout! Factory secures North American rights to CG-animated feature.
Electronic musicians Archive to perform live and present world premiere of their film, Axiom
Protagonist Pictures, Wide, Gaumont and TF1 International have concluded fresh deals in Germany with features from this year’s European Film Market.
A delegation of Canadian animators has arrived in the UK to secure commissions and tap up kids indies for coproduction deals.
Albany, New York, will host the Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange’s first public forum from March 14-17.
Prime Focus has exited its Dean Street building, with staff and kit from the facility housed at the post firm’s Old Compton Street base.
Warner Bros’ global hit was one of the big winners at the Cinema Audio Society’s 50th Annual CAS Awards over the weekend (22).
Retrospective of 10 Sayles films includes Go For Sisters and The Return of the Secaucus Seven.
Indie festival partners with Distrify on new VoD platform.
Muted debuts from Relativity and EuropaCorp’s thriller 3 Days To Kill and Constantin/Impact Pictures’ adventure Pompeii allowed Warner Bros smash The Lego Movie to hold on to pole position for the third consecutive weekend.
UPDATED FEB 24: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug scored a record three-day launch in China for Warner Bros as an estimated $32.7m from 5,500 screens delivered an easy local number one and dominated the international arena.
EuropaCorp has committed around $130m to form a joint marketing and distribution venture with longtime partner Relativity that uses the latter’s infrastructure and gives it the ability to directly distribute in the US.
Helen Mirren attached to star in Simon Curtis’s period drama.
EXCLUSIVE: Ray Winstone has joined Patrick Wilson on the cast of the political thriller from 33 Pictures, Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures and Cargo Entertainment.
Robocop ruled the roost last weekend and executes at Sony and MGM will be looking for a repeat performance.
Representatives for Exclusive Media issued a formal statement on Friday (21) following redundancy notices for “six or seven assistant level” staff.
Will Ferrell comedy to return to US and UK theatres with “763 new jokes”.
Kevin Smith-endorsed comedy marks first acquisition for the UK’s Pulse.
Claudia Lennear, a US soul singer featured in Oscar-nominated documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, returned to the stage at Screen’s latest awards-season event.
Jason Maza and Noel Clarke produce film based on the murder of Zahid Mubarek at a Young Offenders Institute in 2000.
The hit animated film remains significantly ahead of its rivals in the online buzz chart.
EXCLUSIVE: German distributors have revealed further acquisitions concluded at last week’s European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin.
Director Marc Webb backs UK anti-piracy campaign as new Spider-Man trailer is released in line with the initiative.
Restoration of London’s Regent Street Cinema receives greenlight.
OddLot Entertainment has closed a $50m revolving credit facility with JP Morgan and Comerica as co-lead arrangers with the option of increasing to $150m.
EXCLUSIVE: Cast rounds out on Ruby Films-Pathe drama about women’s suffrage movement.
eOne Films US has promoted Allen Blackwell to svp urban and comedy, Patrick McDonough to svp and general manager, home video and Hank Lawhead to vp of sales, home video.
The Film Society Of Lincoln Center and The Museum Of Modern Art have announced the complete line-up today for the 43rd edition of New Directors/New Films.
EXCLUSIVE: Cineworld “sincerely apologises for confusion” and will show LGBT thriller.
EXCLUSIVE: Downton Abbey director readies feature debut, Anton Newcombe due to score.
Donald Petrie has been named the Spring 2014 Marion Knott Filmmaker-in-Residence at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
London LGBT film festival reveals full programme; Sundance/Berlin winner 52 Tuesdays booked as closing film; VoD plans.
Oranges and Sunshine director returning to Australia to film Spanish family drama starring Paz Vega.
EXCLUSIVE: Fast-rising global genre specialist XYZ Films has reported a strong response to its recent Berlin sales slate led by Brian Horiuchi’s ensemble sci-fi drama Parts Per Billion.
Chinese platforms Youku and Tudou registered 3.5m screenings for the online film festival.
Dominik Graf’s Berlin drama sells to US, Australia for Global Screen.
Twitter’s chief media scientist to present keynote address.
AMBI Pictures, the Rome-based film production and finance company, has formed a new international sales division.
The new executive director becomes the fourth person in less than three years to lead the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) and arrives after five years at the head of TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
EXCLUSIVE: From Iron Lady to feminist icon – Meryl Streep to join Carey Mulligan in women’s suffrage drama.
The world premiere of Time is Illmatic followed by a performance by the hip-hop star will kick off the 13th Tribeca Film Festival on April 16.
EXCLUSIVE: Metro International inks multiple deals for Toronto premiere, starring Sherlock’s Andrew Scott.
Anchor Bay Films and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have signed a joint distribution agreement to release In The Blood day-and-date in theatres, on VOD and on iTunes on April 4.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, producers of Universal’s upcoming May release Neighbors, will receive the CinemaCon Comedy Filmmakers Of The Year Award.
Freestyle Releasing will distribute war documentary The Hornet’s Nest nationwide in theatres on May 23.
President of distribution Nat Abraham and CFO Michael McGuigan have joined Breakthrough founders Ira Levy and Peter Williamson as partners in the company’s 30th anniversary year.
EXCLUSIVE: Near 20-film haul includes God’s Pocket, Bill, Pound of Flesh, Backtrack, Testament of Youth, The Guest.
Film Festival Flix has picked up North American rights to a three films led by Mary Queen Of Scots.
EFM: Brisk business for Beta Cinema; Pandastorm buys five.
A Thousand Times Good Night sells for Global Screen.
For the first time a daily matinee of a classic film will accompany the new films shown in competition at the upcoming City Of Lights, City Of Angels: A Week Of French Film Premieres In Hollywood.
Documentary about Vienna’s world famous Kunsthistorisches Museum screened at Berlin.
Fourth US indie deal in 18 months
Budget boost of $600,000 covers digital distribution and more.
UK cinema chain has pulled Cannes winner from screens ahead of release.