A small band of online consumer advocates is attempting to turn this Friday the 13th into a nightmare for exhibitors and movie studios. The activist group, calling itself WeCanDoThis.com, is spreading its message via e-mail and its Web site pleading that consumers not see a movie Friday in order to protest the high price of tickets. It’s calling the effort the National Ticket Picket. WeCanDoThis.com expected its site to be up and running by Tuesday; its online home has been at IdeaTown.com. “”Thousands and thousands visited the site in the past 24 hours,”” said spokesman Mark Jonathan Davis, and hundreds of e-mails were sent asking that recipients pass the word along to boycott movies Friday.
As a result of the tragic events that unfolded in New York on Tuesday, several upcoming Hollywood productions were postponed, altered or canceled. Here’s a short list of the moves Hollywood made after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center:
– Teaser trailer for Sony’s “”Spider-Man,”” which features the hero stringing bank robbers up on a web between the Twin Towers, has been pulled from theaters and the Web. USA Today reports that the filmmakers also will airbrush the buildings out of the final film.- Tim Allen’s comedy “”Big Trouble”” has been rescheduled for 2002, based on a subplot involving a character who sneaks a bomb onto an airplane.- “”Collateral Damage,”” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest about a fireman who loses his wife and son in a terrorist attack, has been postponed indefinitely. – Ed Burns’ (“”She’s The One””) romantic comedy, “”Sidewalks of New York,”” reportedly has been moved back from September until November.- An upcoming Jackie Chan film, “”Nosebleed,”” is being altered as a result of the attack. The original concept involved Chan as a window washer at the Trade Center who foils a terrorist’s plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty. The plot will be re-worked.The television industry also made some major moves as a result of the attack. The Emmy’s, scheduled for Sunday night, have been postponed. And Thursday morning, NBC announced that they will delay the launch of their Fall Television schedule, and urged the other networks to so the same.– Sean O’Connell
Despite its three-hour length and dark themes, New Line Cinema’s PG-13 epic “”The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”” racked up $18.2 million in its Wednesday domestic bow.In 13 overseas territories, including the U.K., France and Germany, the film collected $11.5 million in its first day.The domestic start puts the pic on track to become the biggest December opener in history. Most industryites foresee a five-day total in the $70 million-$80 million range.
Pic, which opened Tuesday at midnight to sold-out theaters across the country, is playing on 5,700 screens and 3,359 theaters, with a strong average of $5,104 per engagement.Better than expected””These numbers well exceed our expectations,”” said New Line distrib chief David Tuckerman. The studio had estimated a $10 million take per day, or roughly $60 million for the Wednesday-Sunday frame.Warner Bros.’ “”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,”” the corporate cousin to which “”Rings”” often is compared, grossed $23 million on its first Friday in release on the way to a record $90.3 million three-day bow. “”Harry”” opened on an unprecedented 8,000-plus screens and a record 3,672 theaters.This story comes from Variety.
Halle Berry announced on NBC’s The Tonight Show on 12/21 that she is the new Bond girl in the upcoming film. She said that she “”kicks butt.””
Film and TV director Ted Demme, whose work includes the 2001 feature “”Blow,”” died Sunday after collapsing during a celebrity basketball game in Los Angeles and suffering a cardiac arrest. He was just 38 years old.
Demme, nephew of fellow helmer Jonathan Demme, was rushed to the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. Cause of death is as yet undetermined, but an autopsy is planned.The Gotham-born director’s other projects include 1996’s “”Beautiful Girls,”” the 1994 Denis Leary comedy “”The Ref”” and several episodes of the critically acclaimed NBC police series “”Homicide: Life on the Street.”” Demme lived in West Hollywood.
Actor Tobey Maguire, who portrays the title character in director Sam Raimi’s highly-anticipated “”Spider-Man”” movie — is signed to a deal that locks him in to two sequels.
The first film, which also stars Kristen Dunst and Willem Dafoe, is due on May 3. The contract calls for a second “”Spider-Man”” film in January 2003, according to Variety reports. If the first movie hits it big, as anticipation seems to suggest, the option on the sequels will almost certainly be exercised. So viewers should expect a “”Spider-Man 2″” in January if 2003.
Variety is reporting that Michael Mann’s Forward Pass are teaming to produce a biopic on automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari, whose family redefined the concept of the high-powered Italian sports car and almost single-handedly created Formula One racing.
Project, inspired by Brock Yates’ 1991 book “”Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Race, the Machine,”” has spent a decade in development. As far back as 1993, Mann intended to direct the film with Robert De Niro in the lead. Mann now plans only to produce the film, however. David Rayfiel (“”Sabrina””) is penning the latest draft. Ferrari’s ambition to build and race the world’s finest cars is an epic tale shaped by the forces of two world wars, the rise of fascism, family tragedies and a single-minded determination that pushed him to work seven days a week but left little room for personal relationships. Project also spent some time under development at Italian shingle Cecchi Gori. Spyglass principals Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Mirage’s Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Mann and Gianni Nunnari will produce the film, with Cecchi Gori serving as executive producer.