Monthly Archives: May 2014

PHIL LORD, CHRIS MILLER RETURN TO DIRECT “22 JUMP STREET”

22 Jump Street

With their success on the original “21 Jump Street” and their first film, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and the recent worldwide hit, “The LEGO Movie,” directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have become one of the most important directorial voices in today’s film comedy genre.

Now, the duo returns to the helm the much-awaited sequel, “22 Jump Street” from Columbia Pictures. “The first movie was so innately theirs; it was distinctively Chris and Phil,” says Channing Tatum, who reprises the role of Jenko. “The biggest thing for me was that the tone was different – it had a refreshing feel and a tone I’d never seen in a movie before. That’s why I was so happy that they wanted to come back and join us for the sequel – I knew they’d make the movie something special.”

Though it was clear from the beginning that making “22 Jump Street” feel as fresh and original as the franchise’s first entry would be a challenge, it was just the kind of challenge that appealed to them. In fact, it’s easy to forget that “21 Jump Street” was no slam dunk until Lord and Miller showed how it could be done. “It seems like if there’s a project that’s really hard and there’s only one way to pull it off, that’s the kind of project we want to do,” says Lord.

“Phil and Chris are two of the kindest, nicest, hardworking guys. They really know how to instill heart into their movies,” says producer Neal H. Moritz. “Even in a completely silly comedy scene, they know how to put heart into it and track those relationships from the beginning of the film to the end and make sure that is the center of the story.”

For their part, Lord and Miller were not only excited by the chance to explore the themes of the relationship, but to play with the entire idea of making an action-comedy sequel. “What’s fun about doing this kind of a movie is you get to subvert the genre,” says Lord. “You go see a Neal Moritz movie, and you know it’s going to have a cool car chase – but we’ve got [Jonah Hill’s] Schmidt behind the wheel and he doesn’t know how to drive.”

“Other movies can do the crazy action stuff better than we can. We have to have a strong comic idea that runs through it,” says Miller. “We have to do something that has a funny idea, but also looks as badass as possible.”

Though Schmidt and Jenko forged a successful partnership in “21 Jump Street,” in many ways they have not changed. Schmidt remains neurotic and clingy; Jenko is still plagued by the doubt that he’s not smart enough to solve a case.

Though the characters are inventions, the heart of the relationship between Schmidt and Jenko is modeled after the two real-life relationships behind the cameras: the one between Lord and Miller, and the other between Hill and Tatum.

“The biggest influence we bring is understanding what it’s like to be in a long-term partnership where you don’t sleep together,” says Lord.

In fact, Lord and Miller’s friendship dates back to their own college days, and like Jenko and Schmidt, they had different commitments even as they ran in some of the same circles. In “22 Jump Street,” Jenko goes Greek and Schmidt finds friends in the arts. In real life, Miller notes, “I was in a fraternity, and Phil was in more of a socially progressive type of society.”

Let’s not mince words. “It was hippy-dippy,” says Lord. “And guess which one of those institutions is still standing? The one that’s fun.”

Still, to get a handle on how much things have changed since their college days, Lord and Miller visited a UCLA fraternity for research. As it turns out, no research was required. “It’s all the same today as it was when we were in college,” Miller concluded. “They rage and party and take terrible care of themselves.”

Opening across the Philippines in June 18, “22 Jump Street” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

DREW BARRYMORE TAKES A CHANCE AT LOVE AGAIN IN “BLENDED”

BLENDED

In Warner Bros. Pictures’ new comedy “Blended,” Drew Barrymore stars as single mother who, after a disastrous blind date with single dad Jim (Adam Sandler) agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again.

But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week.

“Blended” marks the third collaboration between stars Sandler and Barrymore, following their successful onscreen pairings in the hit romantic comedies “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.”

“I think Adam and I have always been in sync and really bring out the best in each other,” Barrymore says. “I love working with him. We’re constantly thinking about how to make our characters more personal and genuine and there’s a lot of care that goes into it, but at the same time we can let go and be silly and free together.”

Not surprisingly, their collaboration on “Blended” came about organically, when their hectic work and family schedules finally dovetailed into a lunch date—and, from there, a renewed excitement about working together again. Says Barrymore, “We both felt it was time; let’s get something going. And then, to Adam’s credit, he found us the perfect project—a big, fun comedy with real, touching moments.”

“Blended”not only offered the two stars the chance to recreate their magic on screen but to expand their romantic repertoire as single parents Jim and Lauren, in a scenario that many people can relate to. While struggling to make a living and raise their kids as best they can, looking for love is a more complicated proposition than it once was, involving after-school schedules, babysitters, curfews and tough questions. Priorities have shifted. No longer a matter of just finding that one special person, it’s now about finding that one special person who will also be good for your children. Very often, it’s the dreams and desires of the adults that are the last item on the list.

“Who doesn’t want to laugh and escape into something that is actually about real life, and family, and love, and the day-to-day things we all go through with our marriages and our kids,” asks Barrymore. “It’s very relevant, and there are some heartfelt, meaningful moments in this movie that will definitely touch you, but make you feel good at the same time.”

Setting the scene of Jim and Lauren’s first meeting, Sandler says, “She’s recently divorced, and my character, Jim, is widowed. They were both married a long time and they’re really not ready to date again, but their friends keep telling them they have to move on. So, somehow they get set up on this blind date and it doesn’t go well. They’re nervous. He says all the wrong things and drinks her beer, and then she ends up choking on her soup and that’s pretty much the high point of the evening.”

“They almost start to get into a rhythm several times but it goes awry each time and that’s so true to life,” adds Barrymore. “How many times have we met someone and maybe liked them, and had things in common, but just couldn’t get it right somehow. And you think, ‘Why does it keep going off the rails with this person?’”

Drew Barrymore has been a favorite of film audiences for almost three decades. She is also enjoying success behind the camera as a producer under her own Flower Films banner, which has produced such hits as “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Never Been Kissed” and “50 First Dates,” and the actioners “Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” In addition to producing the “Charlie’s Angels” features, Barrymore joined Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu to star in both films, which, together, grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide. She is currently executive producing the Esquire Network reality series “Knife Fight,” a dynamic live cooking competition, featuring top chefs and celebrity judges, now in its second season.

Barrymore won a 2010 Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award® and earned an Emmy Award nomination for her performance opposite Jessica Lange in HBO’s “Grey Gardens.”

Opening across the Philippines on June 11, “Blended” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

ED SHEERAN’S SONG IN “THE FAULT IN OUR STARS”

The Fault In Our Stars

John Green’s global bestseller struck a chord not only with young adults, but with readers of all ages, when it came out in 2012. The film, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort is equally compelling, bringing Green’s indelible characters to life on screen. It tells the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster (Woodley) and Gus Waters (Elgort), who are immediately drawn to each other when they meet at a cancer support group. Friendship and a shared sense of humor turn into something much deeper for the pair and we are swept along on their extraordinary journey as they embark on a quest that takes them thousands of miles away from home, to Amsterdam.

Ostensibly centered on two teenagers with cancer, at its heart “The Fault In Our Stars” is moving, funny and upbeat, about the joys and heartache of first love. In short, the film is an insightful celebration of life. There is powerful chemistry between the two stars of the film. Directed by Josh Boone (“Stuck In Love”), the consummate supporting cast includes Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe.

The British musician Ed Sheeran whose music videos in YouTube and songs are widely followed and anticipated, watched an early version of “The Fault In Our Stars” and was immediately inspired and affected by the remarkable movie. Sheeran signed on to write a song for the film: ‘All Of The Stars’.

“Julie Greenwald, who runs Atlantic Records, my record label, kept saying: ‘have you read this book, “The Fault In Our Stars”?  You need to read this book, it’s amazing. They’ve made a movie of it.’ She just kept saying it and then eventually I watched the film and it is amazing! I had a bit of an emotional breakdown and tweeted about it, and I saw the huge reaction just from one tweet. I cracked! I was like, ‘cool, let’s do it.’ I realized there was a pretty sizeable fan base for the book and the upcoming film. I was so excited that I was asked to write a song for the film. I wrote ‘All of the Stars’ and I’m very glad to be involved,” shares Sheeran on how his song for the movie came to be.

When he was only 20 years old, Ed Sheeran’s highly praised EP ‘No. 5 Collaborations Project’, reached number 2 on the iTunes chart. His multi-platinum debut album called ‘+’ (plus) established him as a global presence. In 2011, Sheeran won two Brit Awards, [one for British Breakthrough Act and another for British Male Solo Artist]. He performed with Elton John at the 2013 Grammys, toured with Taylor Swift on The Red Tour and played at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony. He was nominated for a Grammy for  ‘The A Team’ in 2013. This year he was nominated for another Grammy, for Best New Artist. Sheeran has contributed to many film and television soundtracks. He wrote the original song ‘I See Fire’ for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” He wrote two songs for the popular group One Direction, which were in the film “One Direction: This Is Us.” His songs have been featured in TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Sheeran continues to share that, “I wanted to make a very emotive song that would make people cry, I guess. For people who love the book and love the movie, I hope this song makes them cry. That’s the goal. You wouldn’t watch the film if you didn’t want to cry and have a good release. So I hope the song gives people a release. I wanted something very anthemic and euphoric to lead the audience out of the film and to give it emotion.”

“The Fault In Our Stars” opens June 5 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

MUTANTS RULE AT P175 MILLION “X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST” DOMINATES PHILS. BOX-OFFICE OPENING WEEKEND

X-Men: Days of Future Past

It was an epic battle that waged epic receipts at the Phils.box-office as the biggest ensemble in the X-Men universe, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” bowed at number 1 in the Phils. Box-office on its opening weekend (May 21 – 25) with P175 million haul from almost 400 screens nationwide.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Helmed by Brian Singer, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” has dominated the local market with about 84% over-all market share and is now the Biggest Fox Film to open this year so far.   Likewise, the movie is now the Biggest Opening Weekend for a Fox film all-time and the Biggest Opening Weekend for the franchise.

The outstanding box-office receipt is due to the rave reviews and repeat viewing eclipsing the entire lifetime gross of “The Wolverine” (P172M).  The movie has also surpassed that of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (P155M) and is the 2nd Biggest Opening weekend industry-wide (international and local) for the year next to “The Amazing Spiderman 2” (P251M).

X-Men: Days of Future Past

With almost 900,000 admissions nationwide, the top theatres who raked in hefty bulk of receipts in the box-office is led by SM Megamall at P8.2 million followed by SM Mall of Asia at P7.8M and Trinoma ranks third with P7.7M.  Still within the top five theatres are SM North Edsa/The Block at P6.3M and Glorietta4 at P5.9M.

Completing the list of top 20 cinemas that contributed to “X-Men: Days of Future Past’s” outstanding opening weekend are SM Cebu (P4.16M); Greenbelt 3 (P4.11M); Alabang Town Center (P3.99M); Greenhills TheatreMall (P3.98M); Eastwood (P3.92M); SM Southmall (P3.8M); Bonifacio High Street (P3.69M); Ayala Cebu (P3.6M); Powerplant (P3.4M); Gateway Cineplex (P3.36M); Shang Cineplex (P3.31); Newport (P3.1M); Robinson’s Ermita (P2.8M); Market!Market! (P2.7M); Robinson’s Magnolia (P2.53M) and Robinson’s Galleria (P2.51M).

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Playing alongside other movie titles on its opening week in the Phils., “X-Men: Days of Future Past” holds top spot at P175M followed by “Godzilla” (2nd week) at P29M, “The Amazing Spiderman (4th week) at P6.6M, “So It’s You (local film – 3rd week) at 1.6M and “Twin Sisters Ghost” (1st week) P.87M.

Featuring a stellar cast including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Omar Sy, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters, Fan Bingbing and Lucas Till, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, in order to change a major historical event and fight an epic battle that could save the mutants and humankind’s future.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Available in 2D, 3D and 4DX format, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is still showing in almost 400 screens nationwide from 20th Century Fox distributed by Warner Bros.

“GODZILLA” SURPASSES $300-M GROSS WORLDWIDE IN JUST 10 DAYS!

Godzilla

Riding on the tail of its enormous opening weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla” will stomp across the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office today, Sunday, May 25th, only its tenth day in release. The announcement was made today by Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman, and President of International Distribution, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg.

Internationally, the film opened at number one in every major market in which it has has been released, including the Philippines (where total box office gross was P141.58-M as of today), UK, Australia, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Korea, Germany, France and Italy, to name only a few. It also has much-anticipated openings in key markets, including China on June 13th.

“Legendary Pictures wishes to thank our filmmaking partners, our strategic partners worldwide and Warner Bros. for helping to bring this film to theaters around the globe,” said Jon Jashni, Legendary’s President and Chief Creative Officer. “It is very validating for Gareth, for us and for Toho to have been able to reach this early milestone in only a matter of days.”

Fellman stated, “There was tremendous anticipation for ‘Godzilla,’ and the film delivered in a huge way. We congratulate the cast, filmmakers and our partners at Legendary on reaching this benchmark, and, as word of mouth continues to build, we anticipate big returns to continue well into the summer.”

Kwan Vandenberg added, “Godzilla is a global icon and we couldn’t be more excited to work with Legendary, Gareth Edwards and his remarkable cast and crew in bringing a film worthy of that legacy to moviegoers the world over. With outstanding buzz, ‘Godzilla’ rose to the top of even the most crowded international markets, with numbers that have now pushed Warner Bros.’ international grosses past the $1 billion mark for the 14th year in a row.”

The film attracted a huge 3D viewership globally, accounting for more than half of 3D sales in both the U.S. and abroad.

Many moviegoers have opted to see the massive creature on the biggest screen possible, generating record numbers for IMAX®, which saw the highest-grossing opening weekend of the year, for “Godzilla.”

(Still showing across the Philippines in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D in select theatres, “Godzilla” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.)