What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:57 AM 6/28/2017

by THR Staff

Courtesy of Wilson Webb

What's news: Edgar Wright's Baby Driver opens today to a new round of critical acclaim. Plus: Jimmy Fallon snaps Stephen Colbert's ratings win streak, Hugh Jackman is going to play Gary Hart, George Lucas' L.A. museum gets a greenlight and a Rupert Murdoch-inspired play hits London. — Matthew Belloni, Erik Hayden and Jennifer Konerman

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  • 'Wonder Woman' Overseas Battle

    Warner Bros./Photofest

    Already, Wonder Woman has become the top-grossing live-action movie directed by a female director with north of $657M in global ticket sales through June 27. Pamela McClintock takes a closer look at the numbers: 

    Revenue in the U.S. and Canada accounts for $322M, or 49 percent of the bottom line, compared to roughly $336M to date internationally, or 51 percent of total revenue (hardly a poor showing). Still, in many cases a Hollywood tentpole collects 60 percent-65 percent of its total take from the international box office.

    So why is Wonder Woman following a different course? "Historically, an origin superhero film does big business domestically," says Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein.

    Case in point: rival Disney and Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), likewise featuring a superhero who has strong American roots but isn't a well-known comic book hero overseas, grossed $176.7M domestically (48 percent) and $193.9M internationally (52 percent).

    Sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) made huge gains overseas, earning $714.3M internationally (64 percent) compared to $259.8M domestically (36 percent). Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy also made strides offshore with each successive film.

    Elsewhere in film... 

    Fox unveils The Greatest Showman trailer. Hugh Jackman stars in this film about P.T. Barnum, billed as "an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business." Watch here.

    Jason Reitman, Hugh Jackman team for political drama. The Logan star will play Gary Hart, who in 1988 was considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination before revelations of an extramarital affair. Reitman wrote the screenplay.

    Gail Mancuso to direct Besties for DreamWorks. The Modern Family director is taking on the road trip comedy written by Cassie Daniels and Mark Bartosic. Ivan Reitman and Ali Bell are producing the project, which is eyeing a late 2017 start.

    Cathy Schulman plans Trials of Nina McCall film. The Welle Entertainment adaptation of Scott W. Stern's upcoming book centers on the true story of the incarceration of thousands of American women accused of carrying and spreading STIs.

    Robert Zemeckis drama adds Gwendoline Christie. The untitled feature will star Steve Carell as a man who builds a miniature WWII-era village as a way to cope with assault. Christie will play his caretaker. 

    New Batman director teases "noir-driven" movie. While promoting War for the Planet of the Apes, Matt Reeves noted that his version of Batman really gets inside the hero's head: "It's really that emotionality that I'm interested in."

    ^New round of Baby Driver reviews arrive. As the hyped Edgar Wright film hits theaters today, a new crop of reviews from major outlets have appeared, cementing the title's acclaim. Current Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent. (THR, at SXSW in March, deemed the film "a sweet and speed-crazed crime film you can dance to.") 

    + NYT: "is so good that you want it to be better." LAT: "showmanship of a very high order." Rolling Stone: "the most fun you'll have at the movies this summer." The Atlantic: "a fast, fun summer ride."

    Ed Asner walks back actors’ criticism of SAG-AFTRA. Former SAG president, the lead signatory on an April letter excoriating the union for alleged financial improprieties, has apologized “for the publicity surrounding this letter at the time." 

    L.A.'s George Lucas museum is a go. The L.A. City Council put its stamp of approval on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, approving plans for the $1.5B museum by a unanimous vote. Groundbreaking is scheduled for later this year.

    L.A.'s first environmental film fest unveiled. The Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival, from KCETLink Media Group, will kick off in late July with An Inconvenient Sequel as its opening film and a slate of other titles.

    R.I.P., Michael Nyqvist. The actor, who starred in the original Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movie thrillers with Noomi Rapace, died Tuesday after battling lung cancer, his family said. He was 56. Full obit.

    R.I.P., Michael Bond. The author of the books about much-adored children's character Paddington Bear, which became big screen feature Paddington, has died. He was 91. Full obit.

    ALSO: Disney denies Trump turmoil at Hall of Presidents. According to Vice, a planned debut this summer for the Trump robot has been pushed to fall amid "much behind-the-scenes drama and internal machinations about whether or not Trump would have a speaking role in the attraction." Disney calls the story "inaccurate."

  • Fallon's Back on Top

    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC; Gail Schulman/CBS

    It was bound to happen eventually. The tight audience battle between Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon tipped back in NBC's favor last week, Michael O'Connell notes: 

    With an abbreviated average, on account of CBS excluding Thursday and Friday repeats, NBC's The Tonight Show averaged a slim 34,000 viewers more than CBS' The Late Show for the week. That's the first time since the week of Jan. 30 (the Trump inauguration) that NBC has posted such an advantage. Late Show has won the total viewer race for the five months since, though by varying margins.

    The victory for Tonight, however, may be short-lived. Late Show's winning streak has also seen the CBS telecast widen the margin of victory with live-plus-3-day returns. (In short, more people catch up on Late Show with DVR and VOD, so that 34,000-viewer gap may evaporate.) What time-shifting won't change is Tonight's continued dominance among adults 18-49. 

    Elsewhere in TV... 

    Fox News retains ratings lead over CNN, MSNBC. In the second quarter, between 8 and 11 p.m. ET, FNC out-rated MSNBC by 21 percent among adults 25-54 — an average 472,000 to 389,000. CNN posted a narrow No. 3 with an average 370,000.

    Pay TV Industry projected to lose 10.8M subscribers by 2021. The latest forecast from research firm Kagan: "accelerated declines of traditional multichannel subscriptions to 82.3 million" by 2021, about 20 percent off its peak levels.

    AMC renews Better Call Saul. The Breaking Bad prequel, produced by Sony Pictures TV, will return with 10 new episodes in 2018. Season three averaged 3.7M total viewers and 1.7M adults in the 18-49 demographic. 

    Netflix plans 1990s-set comedy series. The streamer has handed out a 10-episode straight-to-series order for Everything Sucks. Its from the team of Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec.

    "This is your limited window for TV catch-up." Critic Daniel Fienberg notes: After a crazy spring of prestige TV, you have a few weeks to catch up on stuff before the next onslaught begins with Game of ThronesHere are some strategies

    ^Pretty Little Liars creator says goodbye to show. As the series finale aired last night, I. Marlene King gets nostalgic about the the Freeform hit in a guest column: "I had my box of tissues ready. I hope you did, too."

    Hulu acquires Find Me in Paris for U.S. The streamer nabbed the English-language dance drama produced by France's Cottonwood Media and Germany’s ZDF, from creators Jill Girling and Lori Mather Welch

    YouTube orders Doug Liman drama. The series, produced by the Edge of Tomorrow director, is based on the third novel in Steven Gould's Jumper series. It will debut on Red, YouTube's premium streaming service, in 2018.

    Disney Junior enlists Lauren Graham. The Gilmore Girls star has signed on to voice the mother of a young vampire girl in the new animated series Vampirina, which also stars James Van Der Beek.

    Crackle’s The Oath adds to cast. Ryan Kwanten has boarded the action-packed series from the Sony Pictures Television Network streaming service starring Sean Bean. The actor will also serve as a producer on the 10-episode show. 

    In THR, Esq: Ex-BET exec defends lawsuit. BET's former head of originals Zola Mashariki is firing back at claims that she failed to adequately plead her case in a discrimination lawsuit that followed the announcement of her exit from the network. Details. 

  • Murdoch's First Year on Fleet Street

    Courtesy Photo

    In the London play Ink, playwright James Graham and director Rupert Goold revisit the wild early days of Rupert Murdoch's reign on Fleet Street, as he and The Sun editor Larry Lamb reshaped British tabloid journalism. The review: "a sharply written, vibrantly theatrical, boisterously performed piece of work."

    What else we're reading... 

    "Why Jon Hamm hasn’t become a movie star, yet." Angelica Jade Bastién notes: "Maybe this mid-level stardom is enough for him. But there are moments in his career, like Baby Driver, that suggest greatness is possible." [Vulture]

    "Can Megyn Kelly outrun her NBC 'nightmare'?"' Sarah Ellison writes: "The broadcaster’s first month at the network has been full of surprises, and not the kind anyone wants. Can she put it behind her?" [Vanity Fair]

    "Jay Leno still cares about tonight’s show." Dave Itzkoff's profile, where the comic shares "why he performs about 210 stand-up shows a year." [The New York Times]

    "Why cat films are better than dog films." Ellen E Jones contends: "Films with cats are cool and mysterious. Mutt movies are a soppy wet lick to the face." [The Guardian]

    "Nowhere mag." Kyle Chayka writes: "Can Monocle's globalist chic survive in an age of populism?" [The New Republic]

    Today's Birthdays: Jon Watts, 36, Elon Musk, 46, Mike White, 47, John Cusack, 51, Mary Stuart Masterson, 51, Kathy Bates, 69, Mel Brooks, 91.

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