Universal Pictures is having a tough year. In fact, it's been a tough couple of years for the studio. The only profitable films it has released in 2010 are Get Him To The Greek and...wait for it...Leap Year. Losses abound, the distribution executives over at the recently remodeled company are racing to adjust their release schedule for the remainder of 2010 and the first half of 2011 to maximize profits. Courtesy of The Wrap, we've got the low down on when a handful of Universal's upcoming products will officially bow.
The biggest change is the George Nolfi-directed sci-fi romantic drama The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon as a rising politician who's affair with a stunning ballerina is thwarted by a shady organization. Based on the riveting short story by the inimitable Philip K. Dick, the film co-stars Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Daniel Dae Kim and Anthony Mackie and has been moved from a September 17th 2010 release to March 4th, 2011. Taking it's place is the M. Night Shyamalan-produced The Night Chronicles: Devil.
Next up is Neil Burger's The Dark Fields, which was set for March 18th 2011 but will instead be seen on January 21st 2011. The film centers on a copywriter who discovers a top-secret drug that enhances intellect and other abilities. As his usage begins to change his life, he begins to consider the drug's shadowy origins; meanwhile, a group of killers trail his every move. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star.
The dramedy Kids In America (which could be released under the title Young Americans), starring Anna Faris and Topher Grace, moves up from January 28th 2011 to December 3rd 2010, while the James Cameron-produced Sanctum moves up a month from March 4th 2011 to February 4th 2011.
Additionally, the studio has set release dates for a pair of films that previously were not on the slate, including The Strauss Brothers' thriller Skyline (November 12, 2010) and the Seth Rogen sci-fi comedy Paul, directed by Greg Mottola and co-starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Source: The Wrap
Top Story: Lewis Hospitalized for Steroids
Jerry Lewis has been hospitalized several weeks to help wean himself off the steroid medication, prednisone, which he had been taking to combat his pulmonary fibrosis, The Associated Press reports. The 77-year-old comedian voluntarily checked himself into a Las Vegas hospital on Oct. 13 to try to recuperate and strengthen his lungs, as well as bring down the noticeable bloating which occurs with taking the drug. "The important thing is he's fine and I would say in a few months he's going to be active again in the business," agent Jeff Witjas told AP. "He's slimming down to his normal weight. This is all a good thing." Lewis' manager Claudia Stabile told AP the hospitalization was designed to improve his condition, but she didn't know if he would switch to an alternative drug for treating the illness after stopping prednisone. "Hopefully the condition will improve enough where he won't have to take meds," she said. AP reports the entertainer is expected to be out in time for a March 4 show being planned at the Orleans hotel-casino. Along with pulmonary fibrosis, which is an increase in fibrous tissue in the lungs, Lewis has been plagued with other ailments, including spinal meningitis, chronic back pain and diabetes.
Kidman Gets Award
Nicole Kidman gave credit to the directors she has worked with in her acceptance of the American Cinematheque award Friday night in Los Angeles. Reuters reports the 36-year-old actress paid tribute to her "film family" including directors Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), Stephen Daldry (The Hours), Robert Benton (The Human Stain) and Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain), who were among those seated with her at the head table. "I am proud of one thing," the Oscar-winning Kidman said in acknowledging the tribute, which was presented to her by last year's Oscar best actor Adrien Brody. "It is that I have searched out or I have been searched out by visionaries, and I've surrendered whatever I have to them." Also in attendance were her two children, Isabella and Connor. The 18th annual ceremony will air on AMC Dec. 1.
Potter Books Break Sales Record
Setting a new record Monday, sales for the Harry Potter books hit 250 million worldwide, to Potter author J.K. Rowling's agent, Christopher Little, told Reuters. They have been sold in more than 200 countries and translated into 60 languages, ranging from Gujarati to Ancient Greek. The latest, launched in India this month, was in Hindi, Reuters reports. "J.K. Rowling's books have paved the way for a new generation of exciting children's writers, causing a revolution in children's enthusiasm for reading," Little told Reuters. The agent also added Rowling has started writing the sixth installment, but no release date has been set.
MPAA's Final Word: Screener Ban Stays As-Is
The Motion Picture Association of America's chief Jack Valenti gave the final word Friday that screeners will go to Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters only, putting an end to the speculation that the MPAA and the studios would make further compromises for other organizations such as the Golden Globes' Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Many were very disappointed since Valenti had been taking meetings with the various organizations over the last few weeks and seemed sympathetic to their concerns, Variety reports. "I was a little bit surprised, truthfully," Independent Feature Project/New York executive director Michelle Byrd told Variety. "It felt like in the conversations we've been having, he's been a man of his word. So we were hopeful. Everybody would've been happy to see the ban lifted, but I think now it's final."
Beckhams Heading for Splitsville?
Soccer star David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, are continuing to deny British tabloid reports that their marriage is on the skids. Last weekend, London's Sunday Mirror ran a story claiming Victoria threatened to walk out unless her husband moved back to Britain from Spain, where he plays for Madrid's soccer team. AP reports a spokesperson for the couple called the statement "rubbish" and stated they may consider legal action. "Contrary to newspaper reports, our marriage is not in crisis," the Beckhams said in a statement last September in rebuttal to a similar tabloid story saying their marriage is in trouble.
Raids Seize Thousands of Counterfeit CDs
New York authorities confiscated over 55,000 compact discs and recording equipment in raids of four locations as a result of an 18-month investigation, Reuters reports. "We have undercover agents working with police on the streets to fight piracy," Recording Industry Association of America spokeswoman Amy Weiss said. Some of the seized compact discs contained music that had yet to be released to the public. Most were urban or Latin music styles.
CBS CEO Tisch Dies
Self-made billionaire Laurence "Larry" Tisch, best known for rescuing CBS Inc. from a hostile takeover in 1986 and running the network until 1995, died Saturday in Los Angeles from complications of gastric cancer, Variety reports. He was 80.
Producers Top Broadway Sales
The limited run of The Producers starring original cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick broke box office records when tickets went on sale Sunday. As of midnight, sales on Sunday totaled $3.6 million for a 12-hour period--the highest one-day take in Broadway history, John Barlow, a spokesman for the show, told AP Monday. For more information about getting tickets, check out the special offer on www.broadway.com.
Top Story: Frost, Law File Divorce
Actress Sadie Frost is seeking a divorce from her husband, Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law, after five years of marriage, citing "unreasonable behavior," Reuters reports. In a statement released Thursday by her publicist, Frost said, "I have come very reluctantly to the decision that my marriage to Jude is over." The actress added, "We have agreed that a divorce is the only way forward but we have equally agreed that we will do everything in our power to make certain that this is as painless a process as possible for the benefit of the children. They are our No. 1 priority and have always been so and will remain so." The couple, who were married in September 1997, have three children--Rudy, who was born in September, Rafferty, 7, and a daughter, Iris, 3. When news about the couple's marital problems broke earlier this year, Law, 30, vehemently denied allegations that he was having an affair with Nicole Kidman, who co-stars with him in his upcoming film Cold Mountain. Last month, Kidman won a libel suit against the British tabloid Daily Mail over the same matter.
Italian Job Gets Another Crack
Paramount Pictures has decided to re-release their moderate hit The Italian Job in between 1,500 and 2,000 theaters Aug. 29 before the Labor Day weekend, Reuters reports. The film has grossed $96.4 million since it was first released in May, and the reissue should push it past the $100 million mark, especially since the only other wide release scheduled that week is the horror flick Jeepers Creepers 2.
Film Organization Fetes Kidman
The American Cinematheque, a nonprofit film organization, has tapped actress Nicole Kidman as their 18th annual American Cinematheque award recipient. Variety reports the Cinematheque singles out an "extraordinary artist in the entertainment industry, who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture." Last year's honoree was Denzel Washington. Kidman will be feted at the annual benefit Nov. 14. The ceremony will air Dec. 1 on AMC.
Jury in Sizemore Case Deliberating
A jury reached verdicts Thursday on some of the 16 charges facing actor Tom Sizemore, The Associated Press reports, including vandalism, threatening to inflict injury on a person or property, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, and making harassing phone calls. The judge, however, was asked by the jurors to hold off on accepting the verdicts already reached until they had resolved the rest of the counts. "I'm deferring to their wishes in this matter," AP reports Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. said after summoning lawyers to the courtroom. The jury was to resume deliberations Friday morning. If convicted on all 16 counts, Sizemore faces up to 13 years in prison.
Roseanne To Have Hysterectomy
Roseanne Barr's doctors have ordered her to have a hysterectomy, her assistant Becky Pentland told AP Thursday. The surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday. "It's not life-threatening or anything," Pentland said. "She's a real healthy person, so we hope she won't be down very long." The operation may delay the taping of her new ABC Family cooking and lifestyle show Domestic Goddess, which is set to premiere Sept. 20.
Star Trek Actress' Lawsuit Rejected
A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit against dating service Matchmaker.com filed by actress Christianne Carafano, aka Chase Masterson, who starred in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, AP reports. Carafano accused the site of participating in creating a fake Internet profile with her image and home address, which resulted in Carafano receiving several unwanted calls and emails, including some threatening ones. The court ruled it wasn't the company's fault, AP reports.
Stefani Starts New Handbag Line
No Doubt frontperson Gwen Stefani and her new fashion brand L.A.M.B. will launch their first limited-edition collection of handbags in the fall, AP reports. L.A.M.B. stands for love, angel, music, baby--words that are meaningful to Stefani. In partnership with LeSportsac, the bags are made of black rip-stop nylon and covered with words and phrases in a white gothic font, AP reports.
Role Call: Jack Osbourne Takes a Minute, Spielberg Adds More to Terminal
The newly rehabbed Jack Osbourne will make his feature film debut opposite the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, in their film New York Minute. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Osbourne will play the young manager of a band featuring Mary-Kate's character, a 17-year-old punk-rock rebel named Roxy. Ashley will play her twin sister, Jane, an overachiever looking to qualify for a prestigious college scholarship. Can't wait…Meanwhile, The Reporter writes that Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna have joined headliners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Hanks in the new Steven Spielberg film Terminal, a story about a Balkan immigrant (Hanks) who makes an airport transit lounge his home after he learns that the borders of his war-torn nation have been blurred, voiding his passport and leaving him without a country.