When last we left Mike McDermott he was in a New York City cab, heading down Broadway, on his way to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker. The year was 1998 and Miramax’s poker movie Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, made a paltry $23 million at the box office. Fortunately for us, the movie was ahead of its time. Soon after the film’s release, the world of poker changed drastically. The invention of card cameras and the 2003 $2.5 million Main Event victory of everyman Chris Moneymaker, who cites Rounders as one of his biggest influences, made the game of poker boom in a huge way. In 1999, the year that Damon’s Rounders character would have played in the World Series Main Event, 393 people competed and the winner made $1 million. Seven years later, 8,773 competed in the same event with the winner taking home $12 million.
So though Rounders was a theatrical bust, the poker boom made it a home video smash, grossing $70 million in profit for Miramax. The film was recently on a list of catalog titles Miramax was hoping to sequelize along with The Weinstein Company and this week Harvey Weinstein himself, a producer of the original movie and former head of the studio that released it, said he’s still trying to get a sequel to Rounders made. Read More »
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In retrospect, over a decade removed from its previous installment and plagued with lukewarm reviews, maybe it’s not that big a surprise Scream 4 was a box office bomb. The first three films each made around $100 million but Scream 4, released 11 years after the third film, has so far grossed under $40 million. Still, Harvey Weinstein, who has executive produced all the films in the franchise, seems confident that we’ll get a Wes Craven-directed Scream 5 in the future. And after that Scream 4 ending, we really deserve it. Read his quotes after the jump. Read More »
Has Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark taught us nothing? Sure, the show making money (for now) but one would think all of the negative reactions would make producers wary of adapting popular properties that need extensive wire work for the stage. Not Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The New York Observer reports the pair are actively developing musicals based upon Finding Neverland, Chocolat, Cinema Paradiso and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The furthest along is Finding Neverland, which already has music written by Grey Gardens team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie and investors lining up. The 2004 film was directed by Marc Forster and starred Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, the man who created Peter Pan. Read more after the break. Read More »
April Fools? The Weinstein Company announced today that the PG-13 version of big Oscar winner The King’s Speech will open on April 1. The film was originally rated R for a string of expletives uttered by Colin Firth as his character, King George VI, attempts to break through his stutter. Because violence is OK but a couple instances of the word ‘fuck’ aren’t, that was enough to land the film with an R.
When this cut goes out to theaters it will be on 1000 screens, replacing the R-rated version that is currently being shown. So if you want to see the original cut of the film on the big screen, you have eight more days, counting today. Deadline reports that the PG-13 cut involves replacing all the instances of ‘fuck’ with the word ‘shit.’ Otherwise, it is exactly the same as the R-rated version. April Fool’s indeed. Wonder if director (sorry, Best Director) Tom Hooper still disapproves of this move? I’d expect so. The press release is after the break. Read More »
Harvey Weinstein has created a new, more family-friendly PG-13 cut of The King’s Speech, but the film’s director Tom Hooper, the proud owner of a shiny new Best Director Oscar, hasn’t yet seen the cut. Within the context of creative enterprise this is an interesting representation of the cross purposes of storytelling and business, but after the resounding endorsement of the current version of the film (four Oscars, over $100m domestic box office) is the whole idea of a different edit just a weird coda to the film’s success story? Read More »
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The Weinstein Company found itself embroiled in two battles with the MPAA last year. One was over the film Blue Valentine, which was given an NC-17 for one sex scene, and the rating was successfully appealed down to an R without edits being made to the film.
The other was for The King’s Speech, given an R for profanity, most of which is uttered in one sequence where King George VI (Colin Firth) attempts to break through his stutter. That appeal was unsuccessful, and the film’s R rating stuck. But when the film was nominated for many Oscars, the company said it might edit the film to get a PG-13 in order to capitalize on awards momentum. Now the edited version of the film has been given a PG-13. Read More »
What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 40 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!
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Ask Roger Smith, George W. Bush, Charlton Heston and the heath care industry. If there’s one person you don’t want to screw over, it’s Michael Moore. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Moore is well-known for being extremely vocal and diligent. So when he audited his $200 million, 2004 hit film Fahrenheit 9/11 and found “substantial irregularities in the accounting,” he went to the men responsible: Bob and Harvey Weinstein. After several months discussing the matter, Moore filed a lawsuit against the Weinsteins in Los Angeles County Court Monday for “breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud claims.” He claims the Weinsteins used “Hollywood accounting tricks” and “financial deception” to cheat the him out of almost $3 million. Read more after the break. Read More »
Hey, remember when Harvey Weinstein was all incensed last year about the R-rating given to The King’s Speech? It was at the same time as he was campaigning to appeal the NC-17 given to Blue Valentine, so you might have missed the much more minor controversy about Tom Hooper’s film. The rating for Blue Valentine was successfully appealed, but the R given to The King’s Speech was not. (The rating was given for a string of curses, including a many f-bombs, uttered by Colin Firth as King George VI as he tries to break through his stutter.) A lawyer for The Weinstein Company invoked the First Amendment when talking about the R rating, saying “it should strike fear in the heart of every director and producer.”
Now, with twelve Oscar nominations, Harvey Weinstein has basically said ‘fuck it’ with respect to the rating and integrity of the film. He wants to cut the movie to score a lower rating and, hopefully, bring kids into the audience. Read More »