Source: facebook, ComingSoon.net

Bill Condon, who recently officially jumped on board to direct the two-part Twilight finale Breaking Dawn, reached out to his new audience by posting a letter to the series' official facebook page. It reads:

Greetings Twihards, Twifans, Twilight Moms, Team Edward, Team Jacob and Team Switzerland,

I just want to say hello to all of you and let you know that I'm stoked to be getting underway on the adventure of making BREAKING DAWN. As you've probably heard, I've been given a very warm welcome by Stephenie and Team Summit - who are super-focused, as you know, on getting these movies right.

I'm pretty busy bringing myself up to speed on what you already know by heart: I've read BREAKING DAWN twice, rewatched Catherine's and Chris's movies 2-3 times each, have all four CDs playing in my car, and have Catherine's notebook, Mark Cotta Vaz's companion books, and even Volume 1 of the graphic novel here on my desk - a corner of my office is starting to look like Hot Topic. I realize that this barely qualifies me for "newborn" status in the universe you've been living inside for a few years now, but a guy's gotta start somewhere.

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Like many of you, I've always been slightly obsessed with vampires, dating back to the prime-time series DARK SHADOWS, which I followed avidly as a kid. But that alone hadn't been enough to get me interested in making a vampire movie, even though my early screenwriting and directing efforts grew out of a great love for horror movies and thrillers. Since making GODS AND MONSTERS thirteen years ago, however, I've been yearning for a return to a story with Gothic overtones.

The wonderful world that Stephenie has created has obviously struck a chord with you, and I don't think it's difficult to see why. For me, her characters are simultaneously timeless, yet very modern. Rooted in a beautiful, real landscape with a great sense of place, Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the rest of the Forks/La Push menagerie, experience emotions that are primal, and universal: desire, despair, jealousy - and it all comes to fruition in BREAKING DAWN. This is a final chapter in the best sense; not just wide in scope and scale, but emotionally charged and intense throughout.

I'm a huge admirer of the already-iconic Kristen, Robert, and Taylor, and wanted to be the one to work with them as they face the challenges of bringing your beloved characters to the end of their journeys. Really, what could be more fun than that?

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below, and I'll do my best to answer them. I hope that this will be the first of many occasions I'll get to check in with you as we set to work bringing BREAKING DAWN to the screen. I am excited and grateful to have all of you alongside me for my TWILIGHT journey.

All best,

Bill Condon

P.S. Answer #1: No, there won't be any musical numbers

Summit has also released two new photos from the upcoming sequel Eclipse, which you can see at ComingSoon.

The David Slade-directed Eclipse will open on June 30th, 2010, while the first part of Breaking Dawn is set for 2011.

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COLUMBUS, Ga--Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today reported results for the three months ended March 31, 2010.

"The 2010 first quarter was hampered by severe weather conditions as well as higher film rental costs on blockbuster and 3-D films as compared to our 2009 first quarter which had mild weather and high performing movies with lower film costs. As a result, our first quarter went from what otherwise was a strong quarter to a respectable quarter. Notwithstanding these challenges we improved our financial liquidity by refinancing our bank debt set to expire as early as 2011 with debt maturing in 2016. The refinancing gives us the flexibility to fund our long-term strategies and it was completed at rates below our initial expectations," stated Carmike Cinemas President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman.

Carmike's Chief Financial Officer Richard B. Hare stated, "Carmike's patrons spent $10.34 on average per visit during the first quarter of 2010, up 8.0 percent versus the comparable 2009 period. Average admissions advanced 7.4 percent to $6.85 as 3-D premiums of $2.50 and higher increased the average ticket price per attendee. Concessions and other revenue per patron increased 9.4 percent to $3.49, versus $3.19 in the prior year period.

"On the expense side, general and administrative expenses were up primarily due to an increase in stock incentive compensation. Other theatre operating costs were up 6.2% for the quarter to $53.9 million from $50.7 million primarily due to an increase in rent associated with new theatres, additional 3-D costs, an increase in repairs and maintenance and the impact of minimum wage increases. Quarterly interest expense declined slightly to $8.9 million, compared to $9.0 million the prior year. Importantly, we pre-paid $15 million in bank debt during Q1, leaving us with a March 31 bank debt balance of $249.3 million. Our results for the period were impacted by a $2.6 million charge related to the issuance of our new senior secured credit facility. We will continue our focus on deploying free cash toward improving our balance sheet in the near term," concluded Mr. Hare.

Mr. Passman concluded, "Despite the challenging first quarter comparisons to the prior year and the issues that negatively affected our current period results, Carmike has made significant progress on a number of critical fronts. We have enhanced our patrons' theatre experience as a result of our corporate 'refresh' program, we have a steadily improving capital structure and we have a highly motivated team of associates focused on delivering Carmike's patrons a great experience each and every time they visit one of our entertainment complexes. As well, we have a leading digital theatre circuit with cutting-edge technology - to which we recently added approximately 50 new 3-D screens."

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LOS ANGELES--In an alliance that underscores its international leadership position in the 3D technology market, XpanD is now officially the exclusive technical partner of the Cannes Film Festival for 3D. The partnership, which extends through 2012, will draw on XpanD's 3D expertise to provide the necessary equipment and training of personnel for all of the 3D screenings shown at the Festival

In addition to providing its expertise for all 3D screenings at the Festival, XpanD will also employ its 3D technology for other parallel film festival sections, including Un Certain Regard, Cannes Classics, and more. All of the digital 3D projections will be made in co-operation with the technical representative of the Cannes festival, the Commission Superieure Technique Du Cinema (CST).

As the first film festival to premier digital films with Star Wars and 3D films with Phantoms of the Titanic, the Cannes Film Festival has a history of innovation and foresight when it comes to cinema. This year, the Festival continued in that tradition by screening the 3D film UP as the opening film.

"We are very excited to begin the transition to 3D technology in film and home theater," said Laurent Hebert, General Delegate for the CST. "We believe that XpanD's partnership with the Cannes Film Festival signifies the first step towards a new era in film, and we really couldn't be happier about that."

 

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Polanski Speaks

Add Comment on May 02, 2010

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In an attempt to clear his name, Roman Polanski has released a statement via Paris friend and author Bernard-Henri Lévy, director of the French magazine La Règle du Jeu:

Throughout my seven months since September 26, 2009, the date of my arrest at Zurich Airport, where I had landed with a view to receiving a lifetime award for my work from the representative of the Swiss Minister of Culture, I have refrained from making any public statements and have requested my lawyers to confine their comments to a bare minimum.

I wanted the legal authorities of Switzerland and the United States, as well as my lawyers, to do their work without any polemics on my part. I have decided to break my silence in order to address myself directly to you without any intermediaries and in my own words.

I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.

It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfil te entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States.

This affair was roused from its slumbers of over three decades by a documentary film-maker who gathered evidence from persons involved at the time. I took no part in that project, either directly or indirectly.

The resulting documentary not only highlighted the fact that I left the United States because I had been treated unjustly; it also drew the ire of the Los Angeles authorities, who felt that they had been attacked and decided to request my extradition from Switzerland, a country I have been visiting regularly for over 30 years without let or hindrance.

I can now remain silent no longer!

I can remain silent no longer because the American authorities have just decided, in defiance of all the arguments and depositions submitted by third parties, not to agree to sentence me in absentia even though the same Court of Appeal recommended the contrary.

I can remain silent no longer because the California court has dismissed the victim's numerous requests that proceedings against me be dropped, once and for all, to spare her from further harassment every time this affair is raised once more.

I can remain silent no longer because there has just been a new development of immense significance.

On February 26 last, Roger Gunson, the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, now retired, testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren, the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question him, that on September 16, 1977, Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that my term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence I would have to serve.

I can remain silent no longer because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie. In the same statement, retired deputy district attorney Roger Gunson added that it was false to claim, as the present district attorney's office does in their request for my extradition, that the time I spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

The said request asserts that I fled in order to escape sentencing by the U.S. judicial authorities, but under the plea-bargaining process I had acknowledged the facts and returned to the United States in order to serve my sentence. All that remained was for the court to confirm this agreement, but the judge decided to repudiate it in order to gain himself some publicity at my expense.

I can remain silent no longer because for over 30 years my lawyers have never ceased to insist that I was betrayed by the judge, that the judge perjured himself, and that I served my sentence.

Today it is the deputy district attorney who handled the case in the 1970s, a man of irreproachable reputation, who has confirmed all my statements under oath, and this has shed a whole new light on the matter.

I can remain silent no longer because the same causes are now producing the same effects. The new District Attorney, who is handling this case and has requested my extradition, is himself campaigning for election and needs media publicity!

I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago.

I can remain silent no longer because I have been placed under house arrest in Gstaad and bailed in very large sum of money which I have managed to raise only by mortgaging the apartment that has been my home for over 30 years, and because I am far from my family and unable to work.

 

Such are the facts I wished to put before you in the hope that Switzerland will recognize that there are no grounds for extradition, and that I shall be able to find peace, be reunited with my family, and live in freedom in my native land.

 

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This week the Summer season officially gets kicked off with Iron Man 2. The buzz for the film has been the massive, and appears to be steadily building over the past few weeks.

Iron Man 2 had 56,036 tweets on its lead-up frame last week. Yes, over 50,000, a truly impressive feat. Only The Twilight Saga: New Moon received more tweets in its leadup week since last September 2009 with 78,268. It has been by far the biggest pull on Twitter over the last few weeks and it consistently pulls more than 30% of all tweet traffic for all openers in the next 4 months. It has brought in around 40,000 tweets for both Friday and Saturday this week also which is a good sign that its Monday will be north of 50,000 given usual jumps. That should give it a 200,000 - 250,000 tweet week next week. New Moon had a full week ratio of 5,171 but Iron Man 2 should be a ways under that since it has a broader appeal and much less of the buzz is about the actors (no Twihard nation here). At this point I'm going to go with a predicted ratio of 3,500 and a Friday of $60 - $65 million.

Check back Monday night for analysis of the Monday tweet totals. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets043010.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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