Box office blues a drama for local films

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'Gran Turismo' tops North American box office with $17.3M - 27th August 2023


Gran Turismo - starring Orlando Bloom and David Harbour -- is the No. 1 movie in North America, earning $17.3 million in receipts this weekend, Box Office Mojo announced Sunday.

Coming in at No. 2 is Barbie with $17.1 million, followed by Blue Beetle at No. 3 with $12.8 million, Oppenheimer at No. 4 with $9 million and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem at No. 5 with $6.1 million.

Rounding out the top tier are Meg 2: The Trench at No. 6 with $5.1 million, Strays at No. 7 with $4.7 million, Retribution at No. 8 with $3.3 million, The Hill at No. 9 with $2.5 million and Haunted Mansion at No. 10 with $2.1 million.



Pro Wrestling themed movie getting rave reviews from insiders


The Iron Claw due for release December 22

“Ever since I was a child, people said my family was cursed. Mum tried to protect us with God. Pop tried to protect us with wrestling,” Kevin delivers in a voiceover.

“He said if we were the toughest, the strongest, nothing could ever hurt us. I believed him; we all did.” Kevin Von Erich (portrayed by Zac Efron)

The first trailer for “The Iron Claw” debuted Wednesday, featuring Efron and White as wrestlers Kevin Von Erich and Kerry Von Erich, respectively. The biopic cast also includes Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich, Stanley Simons as Mike Von Erich, and Holt McCallany (“Mindhunter”) as their father, Fritz Von Erich, a 23-time world champion who pioneered the “Iron Claw” wrestling move.

“Based on a true story, the film follows the rise and fall of the Von Erich family, a dynasty of wrestlers who made a huge impact on the sport from the 1960s to the present day,” the official synopsis from A24 says.

According to D Magazine, Jack Adkisson was a football star at Southern Methodist University who briefly played for the then-Dallas Texans of the National Football League. In the 1950s, he started wrestling as a Nazi villain character named “Fritz Von Erich,” and came up with Iron Claw, spreading his hand over an opponent’s face and then squeezing. As his popularity grew, he switched from a heel to a “face,” or a good guy in the ring, while keeping the name.

But the family still struggled financially, living in a trailer park in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where two of their six children were born. Their youngest, Jackie, died at age 7 when he touched a live wire while playing in the trailer park; he was electrocuted, fell face-first in a puddle of melting snow, and drowned. Fritz was away on a wrestling trip at the time.

Jackie’s death was the beginning of what became known as the “Von Erich Family Curse.” The family moved back to Texas and all five of Fritz’s other sons eventually went into wrestling, adopting the Von Erich name. Four of them died under their own tragic circumstances.


The Iron Claw | Official Trailer HD | A24

From writer/director Sean Durkin and starring Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, with Holt McCallany and Lily James. THE IRON CLAW – In Theaters Everywhere December 22. RELEASE DATE: December 22 DIRECTOR: Sean Durkin CAST: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, Lily James



The Iron Claw (IMDB)

The Unbreakable Bunch (IMDB)


June 11th 2023

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)

1. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – $60.5 million ($60.5 million total, $170.5 million WW)

2. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – $55.4 million ($225.4 million total, $389.9 million WW)

3. The Little Mermaid – $22.8 million ($228.8 million total, $414.2 million WW)

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – $7 million ($335.4 million total, $805.9 million WW)

5. The Boogeyman – $12.3 million ($24.7 million total, $39.6 million WW)

6. Fast X – $5.2 million ($138.1 million total, $652.8 million WW)

7. The Super Mario Bros. Movie – $2.1 million ($570.2 million total, $1.315 billion WW)

8. About My Father – $845,000 ($10.8 million total, $11.4 million WW)

9. The Machine – $575 ($10.1 million total, $10.3 million WW)

10. Past Lives – $521,000 ($867,000 total, $867,000 WW)




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'Ferrari' teaser: Adam Driver faces challenges on and off the racetrack


Neon is introducing the new film Ferrari.

The studio shared a teaser trailer for the movie Wednesday featuring Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley.

Ferrari is based on the Brock Yates book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine. The film is a biopic written by Troy Kennedy Martin and directed by Michael Mann that explores the life of Enzo Ferrari, an ex-Formula 1 driver and the founder of Ferrari.

Ferrari opens in the summer of 1957 and will see Ferrari (Driver) face challenges both on and off the racetrack.

"Behind the spectacle of Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura (Cruz) built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage has been battered by the loss of their son, Dino a year earlier. Ferrari struggles to acknowledge his son Piero with Lina Lardi (Woodley). Meanwhile, his drivers' passion to win pushes them to the edge as they launch into the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia," an official synopsis reads.

Sarah Gordon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O'Connell and Patrick Dempsey also star.

Ferrari will have its world premiere Thursday at the Venice Film Festival and open in theaters Dec. 25.

The film is Mann's first since Blackhat, released in 2015. The director is also known for Thief, Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Ali and Public Enemies.



Box office blues a drama for local films - 3rd June 2004
(Credit: Australian Financial Review - f2 Network)

Investing in films, which has been popular in recent years thanks to a generous tax break, has gone off the boil because of the moribund performance of the Australian film industry.

In each of the past two years, Macquarie Bank has launched film and television funds alongside partners Nine Films & Television and Hoyts Distribution. These funds, carrying a 100 per cent tax deduction over time, put money into the development of films and TV movies. But there's no new fund from Macquarie this year.

"Largely I think it's because the Australian film industry just doesn't seem to be performing well at the box office," says Charles Wheeler, executive director at Macquarie. So much so that, although the funds are meant to have a seven-year horizon to allow for production, release and commercial exploitation, it's already looking questionable whether investors will get much of a return - and very possibly a loss.

"[The last fund] had a guaranteed minimum return of 50¢ in the dollar," says Wheeler. "It's whether or not we can do better than that, that's the question."

It's early days for the Macquarie fund because only one of the films in which it has invested has made it to market - the well-received Gettin' Square. "You don't know whether you've got something good or not, it's down to individual taste," says Wheeler. "What I think looks good the rest of the world may hate. But if you have something iconic like a Mad Max that would have a very long life."

After about five years of commercial exploitation, Macquarie will try to sell the remaining interests in those films and pass that on to investors.

But that uncertainty epitomises the problem. It used to be that film investment was edgy because the tax environment was uncertain but that's no longer the case. "Tax hasn't been a big issue in the past 12 months," says Dennis Tomaras, taxation services partner at Alexander & Spencer chartered accountants. "Mainly because everything has been clarified in the past few years. The real issue is the commercial returns on Australian film production, and they haven't been great."

The tax legislation falls within the Income Tax Assessment Act, with two relevant clauses. Rule 10BA allows investors in certified projects to claim an accelerated 100 per cent tax deduction in the year of the investment - to qualify, films must be features or documentaries produced for television or mini-series and made wholly or substantially in Australia with significant local content.

Rule 10B offers the deduction over two financial years, starting when the film is first used to derive income. This is for films, documentaries and a wide range of other products made substantially in Australia but not necessarily with Australian content (the Matrix films, for instance).

The budget did offer an improvement for the local industry, allowing a 12.5 per cent rebate - which has always applied to films made in Australia above a certain budget - to be applied to television productions, too.

But it seems a home-grown blockbuster may be necessary before more products are launched to entice investors into this unpredictable asset class.