Netflix orders first Brazilian scripted drama series

Netflix announced today that they have picked up the first scripted Brazilian drama series and it’s none other than the resilient “3%”.

The show’s story is set on a post-apocalyptic world divided in two where people from the exploited side are given a chance to make it to the “better side” through a cut-throat process where only 3% will make it.

The 7 episode show is scheduled to premiere on 2016 and will be directed by Cesar Charlone, most known for the photography of the  2002 movie “City of God”, and mainstream newcomers Daina Giannecchini, Dani Libardi and Jotagá Crema.

This is a special show and an even more special victory; 6 years ago, Daina, Dani and Jotagá, all my seniors in University at the time, won a government grant to produce Pedro Aguilera’s pilot for “3%”. The pilot was posted online and gained enormous amounts of traction but never got sold. To see it now, being the first ever Netflix original (can we all please forget “A Toca” ever existed? I have.) is a victory for these four very talented people who never gave up on their project, something that the Entertainment Industry in Brazil makes very hard to accomplish.

Above is the link to the original version of the pilot, enjoy!

 

David Lynch drops out of Twin Peaks Revival

Remember last year when you were so excited in finding out that Twin Peaks was coming back you didn’t even know what to do with yourself? Well, better hold your horses.

David Lynch tweeted last night that he has dropped out of the reboot after he and Showtime weren’t able to come to an agreement during contract negotiations.

The director tweets: “After 1 year and 4 months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done,” “This weekend I started to call actors to let them know I would not be directing. Twin Peaks may still be very much alive at Showtime,” he continued. “I love the world of Twin Peaks and wish things could have worked out differently.”

Showtime issued a statement to TheWrap shortly after Lynch broke the news: “We were saddened to read David Lynch‘s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. SHOWTIME also loves the world of Twin Peaks and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.”

With creators  Lynch and Frost  on board to write and produce all nine episodes plus Lynch to direct all the episodes and originals stars Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook all confirmed to participate this was bound to be an amazing project. David Nevins, the man behind Showtime’s increasingly amazing roaster of projects, said in October: “To quote Agent Cooper, ‘I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.’” Now, it remains to be seen.

Do you think it’s even worth pursuing without Lynch on board?

2014’s Studio profitability report

Source: THR

The domestic box-office fell 5.2% and DVD sales dropped 11% in 2014. By those numbers alone one might have thought it was probably a tough year for the major Studios but the 2014 profit report is out and it shows that they did surprisingly well. Tentpole franchises, unexpected mid-range budget unexpected hits, SVOD sales to players like Netflix, cost control and TV hits all helped ease the blow and keep Studios in a good place. Below, how each Studio ranks and the key factors that contributed to their results.

1) WALT DISNEY: $1.7 billion

Disney has the golden touch, we all know that. But in 2014 they reaped big rewards for the mega-hit ‘Fronzen’, placing Disney at number one for the first time in 5 years, a place that was owned by Warner Bros ever since the report started coming out.  Disney also has a big upper hand in home video since most of it’s audience is younger and kids are the biggest home video customers. 2015 will liked keep the good fortune going with a seventh ‘Star Wars’ film and two Pixar titles scheduled to come out.

2) 21ST CENTURY FOX: $1.5 billion

2014 was the best year for Fox since 2010. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, the exquisite ‘Gone Girl’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ and ‘Rio 2’ are the main hits responsible for this result. Fox’s strategy has been a bit different than the other Studios since they’re betting on a more diverse slate and some great mid-range budget hits like ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. (We, the audience, are very thankful for that, Fox). On the TV side, Variety reports that the syndication of ‘Modern Family’, a new season of ’24’ and SVOD revenue from the sale of ‘The Americans’ to Amazon helped temper the loss of the big hit ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

3) WARNER BROS: $1.3 billion

Falling from 1st place to 3rd is largely due to restructuring costs and a wave of flops like ‘Transcendence’.  Big hits helped ease the losses, especially new TV shows ‘Gotham’ and ‘The Flash’ and  ‘The Lego Movie’, ‘Godzilla’ and the final ‘Hobbit’ on theaters. To come, are multiple DC movies (yes, more superheroes), at least 3 more Lego movies and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies from J.K. Rowling.

4th, 5th and 6th place were taken, respectively, by NBCUniversal, Sony and Paramount.

Who do you think will have the best year in 2015?

Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ opens to an impressive Global debut and confirms lucrative Fairytale trend

Women prove yet again that they can drive box-offices – ‘Cinderella’ was this past weekend’s box-office lead as it outperformed it’s already high expectations and grossed $70.1 million domestically and a massive $132 million globally – $25 million of which in China alone.

The opening weekend audience were 68% female, 66% families and 31% under the age of 12. The movie, that cost $95 million to produce, is well on its way to being highly profitable since it still has yet to open in many major international markets. This is a particularly impressive victory given that the movie wasn’t led by a big start, to the level of Disney’s past fairytale adaptations names like Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, and wasn’t available in 3D.

The movie’s success comes to confirm Disney’s Fairytale strategy where the giant has been investing in live-action blockbuster adaptations of classic tales as we’ve seen before with ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  Also already announced for the near future are ‘Dumbo’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ adaptations.

Could Princesses be the new Superheroes? The female audience is largely discredited as to it’s box-office power but the landscape might be changing. It’s particularly interesting to note that both ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Thor’ were directed by Kenneth Branagh and the Disney Princess has outperformed the Marvel Superhero in it’s opening weekend.

The Wrap recently did an interesting article regarding the two distinct tentpole trends. In their experts opinion, the Princesses won’t beat the Superheroes anytime soon. Their main argument is that Superheroes have the advantage from coming from a serialized source material that lends itself to new adaptations whereas fairytales are singular antiquities that would make sequels feel inorganic.

Also listed as reasons is the wider, four-quadrant gender appeal of the Superhero fare – men and women, above and below 25 – versus the female dominated audiences of the Princesses and some other, more arguable reasons as fairytales being constricted by accuracy to the originals and lack of dialogue currency.

The issue’s development remains to be seen but, so far,  as long as there’s fairytales to be adapted Disney will continue to make bank on them.

Do you think the Superhero fare is getting old and something new is coming along? Let us know in the comment section.

China surpasses U.S.’s box office for the first time

After showing great results in 2014 with 34% box office growth (versus a 5% decline in the U.S.’s box office in the same period) China is starting 2015 with even bigger numbers. In February, the country’s box office surpassed the U.S.’s for the first time with a whopping $650 million, making the giant the biggest box office market in the world. The growth trend, that has been under Hollywood’s radar for long, is largely reinforced by these news.

A few interesting facts about the Chinese film market:

  • The Chinese State regards foreign films as propaganda and controls the amount of films that are exhibited with yearly quotas;
  • Only 34 foreign films per year can use the lucrative revenue-sharing model and 14 of those must be 3D or IMAX films;
  • Chinese cinema admissions grew by 236% since 2009;
  • Ticket prices grew 268% since 2009 and keep increasing;
  • In 2012, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second biggest film market, behind only the U.S.;
  • Chinese cinema screens have increased by 886% since 2004;

The censorship system has long been a major challenge for north-american Studios to break into the Chinese market. Not only is the number of allowed pictures per year very limited but the rules as to what sort of content is permitted are very unclear and restricting. China seems to be slowly trying to balance this policy with its efforts to grow their film industry though and has announced that they will start looking into clarifying the existing laws and possibly add new legislation regulating the movie and TV industry.

The censorship and quota rules are in place to culturally protect the socialist ideology in the country and are a big remainder that China is still a communist nation despite its capitalist endeavors. Rules or not, China’s should set a firm hold on the first place sooner than later, especially given the hinted relaxation of the censorship rules in the future and ever-growing screens numbers.

What do you think about the Chinese market protection? Could a system like this strengthen national film industries in other countries or is the price in freedom of access too high?

What female Hollywood producers have in common

My post on Reese Witherspoon’s production company Pacific Standard (from “Wild” and “Gone Girl”) has a feminist backbone to it and it’s surprisingly my most viewed and commented so far, which goes to show people wan’t to know more and discuss this important subject. My classmate Giada Palma wrote a post on female producers in Hollywood, that I’m reblogging below, where she takes the time to showcase the work that some great women are doing in Hollywood and also some upsetting stats on gender representation in the industry. Be sure to also check her blog for more great content.

What are your thoughts on gender representation in our industry?

GIADA PALMA Today in L.A.

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This post derives from my recent encounter with an article about the adaptation of The Seven Five, the Tiller Russell-directed and Eli Holzman-produced documentary about one of the most corrupt police forces in 1980s New York.

Sony Pictures just brought on board John Lesher and Megan Ellison as producers. And I started wondering,

who are the most influential female producers in Hollywood? Where do they come from and what do they have in common?

1)     Megan Ellison is always a controversial example for me, as it’s pretty easy to become a producer when you’re the only daughter of a multi billionaire, who gives you $200M as a 25th birthday present. You can be the smartest script digger on earth, a talented and strong willed executor, a charming comrade, but at the end of the day, I’ll never think of you as a model for my career path. A lot…

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The full details on HBO Now

Earlier today HBO announced more details on their much anticipated standalone OTT service, HBO Now. The service will be available starting in April, 2015— just in time for the Game of Thrones premiere we’re all waiting for— exclusively on Apple devices for a monthly subscription fee of $14.99.

As you can check on the video above, their offer is pretty irresistible: full access to all of HBO’s acclaimed original programming — past, present and future — as well as their huge catalog of blockbusters. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on Netflix since it seems that  HBO Now will have a much more current and relevant offering for only a couple more dollars and, even though Netflix has had a good run for a while its original programing is starting to level off with most programmers especially after House of Cards Season 3 was so poorly received.

This is probably the most anticipated event of 2015 for TV fans. Curd-cutters and cord-nevers have been around for years now and they’re not changing their minds – times have changed, content consumption habits followed along and there’s no way out for programmers except to adapt. It is a complicated issue for them because going standalone OTT is a big hit on the cable providers but no one else was in a better position to start the movement than HBO.

Will you be subscribing to HBO Now?