How an Oscar Nominee Make a Commercial

You don’t see a lot of commercials directed by Oscar nominees.

But if a new Procter & Gamble ad is any indication, TV would be a whole lot better if you did.

The spot, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, is, like his 2010 film, Biutiful.

Iñárritu, who earned a best director and best picture Oscar nomination for the 2006 Babel, doesn’t deliver some old detergent commercial. Rather, he presents viewers an ad called “The Best Job,” a gorgeous, cinematic love letter to mothers.

Check it out here.

– Joshua L. Weinstein

‘The Hunger Games’ Was No. 3 — Not No. 4 — at the Weekend Box Office

The actuals are in, and The Five-Year Engagement did even worse than originally thought.

On top of that, the actuals show at The Hunger Games was the No. 3 movie in America over the weekend. Estimates on Sunday had Hunger Games at No. 4 and The Lucky One at No. 3. As it turns out, Lucky One was No. 4.

Actuals show that "The Five Year Engagement" had an even worse box-office weekend than originally imagined

Five-Year, Universal’s R-rated comedy, took only $10.6 million in its debut weekend — about a half-million dollars less than the studio estimated on Sunday. Before the movie was released, many box-office watchers figured it would open to something in the $20 million range,

That’s a big “ouch” for a movie that cost about $30 million to make.

Meanwhile, studio estimates for The Lucky One

But don’t weep for Universal — at least not too much.

The studio’s next two movies are looking awfully good — or at least awfully profitable.

Battleship opens domestically on May 18, and already has grossed $170 million internationally.

And Snow White and the Huntsman, which looks very, very cool, opens on June 2. Expect Battleship to open in the $50 million neighborhood, and SWATH to open to around $60 million.

SWATH actually has visuals that looks so compelling, and such an impressive cast, it could do well better than that.

The Five-Year Engagement, though, surprised many box-office watchers by underperforming.

Now, we’re learning its underperformance was worse than imagined.

As it turns out, the actuals on all of the weekend’s top six movies did worse than studio estimates.

No. 1 Think Like a Man took $17.6 million, rather than $18 million.
No. 2 The Pirates! Band of Misfits took $11.1 million, rather than $11.4 million
No. 3 The Hunger Games took $10.81 million, rather than $11.25 million
No. 4 The Lucky One took $10.8 million, rather than $11.3 million
No. 5 The Five-Year Engagement took $10.6 million, rather than $11.1 million
No. 6 Safe took $7.7 million, rather than $7.9 million.

The estimate for No. 7 The Raven was on target, at $7.3 million.

The next two estimates were a touch off:

No. 8 Chimpanzee took $5.2 million, rather than $5.5 million.
No. 9 The Three Stooges took $5.2 million, rather than $5.4 million.

The No. 10 movie at the weekend box office, Cabin in the Woods, took $4.6 million, rather than the estimated $4.5 million.

– Joshua L. Weinstein

‘Think Like a Man’ Another Big Winner for Screen Gems

Screen Gems is on a winning streak.

For the second week in a row, its Think Like a Man is the No. 1 movie in America. The movie, made for about $12 million, has now grossed more than $60 million.

"Think Like a Man," made for $12 million, has grossed more than $60 million

It’s the third Screen Gems movie released this year — and the third to debut at No. 1.

The first, the R-rated Underworld Awakening, was released Jan. 20, and opened to $25.3 million. The movie, made for about $70 million, has grossed $160.1 million worldwide.

The second, The Vow, was the runaway hit of Valentine’s Day. The plot is preposterous: a woman awakens from coma with amnesia, and learns that she is married to a guy played by Channing Tatum. Instead of yelling, “Yesssss!” she resists the idea that he’s actually her husband.

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in "The Vow," which grossed $182 million at the worldwide box office

Despite that, the movie did great. The PG-13 movie cost about $30 million to make, opened to $41.2 million and now has a worldwide total of $182 million.

Now, there’s Think Like a Man. The PG-13 movie is about a group of people who learn that their girlfriends are manipulating them by following advice they found in Steve Harvey’s real-life relationship advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The men use the knowledge to get even.

The movie, targeted at African Americans, is drawing a broad audience. Because it’s well-done, it has likable characters and it’s funny.

Next up for Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Retribution. The R-rated movie, the fourth in the Resident Evil franchise, opens Sept. 14. Considering that the last film in the popular series, the 2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife opened to No. 1 in September 2010, expect this one to do pretty well.

"Resident Evil: Retribution" is Screen Gems' next release, opening Sept. 14

All the success shows that the label’s president, Clint Culpepper, knows what he’s doing.

He’s run Screen Gems since 1998, and has consistently shown that he knows how to make modestly priced movies — and make them succeed at the box office. The formula of horror movies and urban comedies has delivered for him.

Culpepper’s not a guy to crow about his successes, but his string of wins deserves some recognition.

(Corporate parent Sony, incidentally, is enjoying the strong year as well, and has a killer slate that includes MIB3, The Amazing Spider-Man, and the comedy That’s My Boy all three of which look like ridiculous fun. The studio’s Total Recall remake also is sure to generate some significant interest, and the Meryl Streep-Tommy Lee Jones Hope Springs looks charming.)

– Joshua L. Weinstein

Bernadette Peters to Play Animated Glinda

Summertime Entertainment’s animated 3D adaptation of The Wizard of Oz sequel cast Broadway legend Bernadette Peters as Glinda the Good Witch, according to Variety’s Dave McNary. The project, called Dorothy of Oz, also stars Glee‘s Lea Michele as Dorothy, Martin Short as the jester, Jim Belushi as the cowardly lion, Dan Aykroyd as the scarecrow, Kelsey Grammar as the tin man, Smash‘s Megan Hilty as China Princess, Hugh Dancy as Marshal Mallow, Oliver Platt as Wiser the Owl, and Patrick Stewart as Tugg.

If many of those character names sound unfamiliar, it’s because this movie takes place after the classic Wizard of Oz ends, and follows Dorothy and the gang on the adventures outlined in Roger Stanton Baum’s novel Dorothy of Oz. Given the vocally talented cast, we’re expecting the movie to be replete with memorable sing-a-long tunes. Bernadette Peters isn’t going to sing just anything.

The songs had better be good, given the abundance of Oz projects in development around town. There’s Oz Wars at Vanguard Films and Animation, which sets Dorothy in a contemporary and dark world with witches, warlocks, martial arts, monsters, and black magic. Warner Bros. is developing Oz: Return to Emerald City, a modern retelling of the classic tale and Oz, about Dorothy’s granddaughter returning to Oz to fight evil. New Line has Oz, a remake of the original film. Disney is shooting Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to the original. Not to mention Universal’s Wicked, based on the famed Broadway show based on the novel about how the Wicked Witch of the West grew to be so wicked.

– Cindy Kaplan

Hot Trailer: ‘Prometheus’

The latest trailer for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus is making its way around the interwebs, making those Monday doldrums just a little little less dol. Or drummy. Whatever.

The movie follows a team of scientists who try to track down a mysterious ancient force and, of course, get more than they bargained for. It’s badass, dark, and looks to be worth the wait.

The film hits theaters on June 8. Have you marked your calendar yet?

– Cindy Kaplan

Warner Bros. Buys Dinosaur Attack Pitch

Warner Bros. has picked up an untitled sci-fi action pitch about dinosaurs who attack modern day LA from James Cameron employee John Clisham and Mike Bayam, according to the Deadline team.

The project originally was intended to be a web series, produced by Break Media. But it got the attention of Warner execs Greg Silverman and Sarah Schechter who say feature film potential in the project and brought it into the studio.

Clisham will direct and Bayam will produce with Break Media’s Greg Siegel and Scott Nocas exec producing.

It sounds like a pretty cool project. Jurassic Park meets Godzilla with an Avatar sensibility? Total action sci-fi gold.

What’s your favorite creature attack movie? Alien? Godzilla? Jaws? Tell us in the comments section below.

– Cindy Kaplan

CAA Closed Due to Lack of Power

CAA is closed due to a lack of power.

That’s right, the top Hollywood talent agency is closed for the day due to a power outage. Take that as you will, but we’re big fans of the double entendre.

Assistants at the annual JHRTS Holiday Party

Agents are encouraged to work from home today, but since you can’t roll calls from a cell, we’re betting there’s an assistant block party somewhere in town. In our imagination, said party is sponsored by WME, who can now reign king over the other agencies. It’s not that we’re saying Ari cut the power lines…but…



In all seriousness, agents can be reached by cell and email, and we’re assuming the power will come back on asap.

– Cindy Kaplan