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A Tamil ‘Game Of Thrones?’ India’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan: Part One’ Draws Crowds – Specialty Box Office

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Sarigama Cinemas’ Ponniyin Selvan: Part One crashed the weekend box office at no. 6, looking at $4+ million on 500 screens for a per theater average of $8,260, the biggest of the top ten.

The Tamil-language historical epic being billed as India’s Game of Thrones is based on a Tamil history book series that’s read in schools, full of succession battles, blood and betrayal. It’s not a fictional Westeros, but the actual Chola empire that ruled much of southern India from the 9th to the 13th century.

The strong numbers come with film doing great in Tamil, but less so in other Indian language dubs. Part 2, currently in post, has a release planned by mid-2023.

According to Imax, the Lyca Productions’ film directed by Mani Ratnam reps its third highest domestic opening for an Indian title with $945K from 53 domestic big screens, or 23% of the film’s nationwide total. That’s an $18k per screen average.

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Sticking with Indian titles, Reliance is reporting a $1 billion-plus estimated North American weekend for Vikram Vedha on 558 screens.

And the #encoRRRe train continues to chug on with the re-release tour of the global blockbuster grossing $21,083 from a single showing for a new cume of $221,156. RRR screened at the TCL Chinese Theater as part of Beyond Fest, with filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli in attendance. Awards voters and fans of the film snapped up all 932 seats in less than 20 minutes when they went on sale. “Audiences around the country are well aware that a ticket to an RRR screening is a guaranteed good time at the theater, but this was a screening for the books: the audience jumping to their feet to cheer, literally dancing in the aisles, and giving filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli a standing ovation,” says Variance Films. RRR’s #encoRRRe will continue throughout awards season. It was snubbed when India chose another picture (Last Film Show) as its official Oscar submission for Best International Feature, but that won’t stop RRR angling for picture, screenplay, director, original song and various craft awards. Released in March, the story about two legendary revolutionaries in 1920s India grossed $11M million domestically, $88.6M internationally and has been a top Netflix title.

Other specialty openings: Imax reported Brandi Carlile: In The Canyon Haze, a new kind of Imax live experience, earned an estimated $500K from 87 U.S. screens. The concert, which was last Wednesday, averaged over $5,600 per screen, the highest per screen average to-date for an Imax live event, with many sell out locations including Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, LA, New York, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Vancouver and DC. There’s an encore presentation today in 31 Imax theaters.

Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline-starrer The Good House from Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate had an estimated 3-day gross of $834,170 on 1,062 screens for a PSA of $785. It was also up from Friday ($254,410) to Saturday ($341,034). Sunday estimate – $238,725.

Oscilloscope Labs took in $8,890 for music documentary Sirens at an exclusive engagement at New York’s Angelika Film Center. Executive produced by Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne, filmmaker Rita Baghdadi’s doc about Lebanon’s only all-female heavy metal band premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It will add LA’s Laemmle Royal Theater next Friday followed by nationwide expansion throughout October and November. 

IFC Films’ Vesper released day-and-date reported an estimated weekend gross of $20,000 on 44 screens for a PSA of $455.

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Iconic Events opened Superspreader: The Rise of #LetUsWorship to a debut of $285,000 in 550 locations for a PTA of $518.

Holdovers: noting Neon’s David Bowie doc by Brett Morgen, Moonage Daydream, which sits at over $3.4 million in week 3 with a $472.5k-grossing weekend on 675 screens.  



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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