June was a good month for the film business, with many hits and more evidence that the Branded Pictures Entertainment model is a strong one. From a “branded” point of view, Man of Steel’s half billion dollar worldwide gross in about three weeks demonstrates both the durability of a 75-year-old brand (Superman is all based on Action Comics #1 from 1938 by Schuster & Siegel) and the increasingly short window needed to reboot a brand (Superman Returns was just seven years ago in 2006). Although it wasn’t a brand to begin with, the Fast & Furious movies have become one and the sixth installment is rapidly approaching three-quarters of a billion dollars in worldwide gross in six weeks of release. And everyone at Paramount is breathing a huge sigh of relief that delayed and aggressively reworked Brad Pitt vehicle World War Z (based on the Max Brooks novel) had made over 250M worldwide. Meanwhile, the latest Star Trek has reached nearly half a billion in worldwide gross in its seven weeks of release and Iron Man has motored past the 1 billion gross mark in its two months in the marketplace.
Branded Pictures was thrilled to announce the acquisition of the Off Broadway hit Lysistrata Jones for development as a movie with director Andy Fickman (Parental Guidance, Game Plan, Escape to Witch Mountain) attached to direct. The show from 2011 had music by Lewis Flinn and book by renowned playwright Douglas Carter Beane, who currently has two shows running on Broadway, a delightful reworking of Cinderella and the fantastic The Nance starring Nathan Lane. I cannot recommend The Nance strongly enough. It was an exhilarating pairing of a well-written, funny and poignant play with Nathan Lane, who is truly a national treasure.
Also on the theatre scene, I am pleased to be a co-producer on It’s Just Sex, an Off Broadway comedy that I had enjoyed in Los Angeles and was able to help finance for its New York debut. The show opened to delighted audiences on June 25 and should be running all summer in New York at the Actor’s Temple in the heart of the theatre district.
If you’d like discount tickets, go to the show’s FB page and look for the FB discount offer.
Here in Los Angeles, things are heating up for our September debut of Heathers The Musical with the aforementioned Andy Fickman directing a riotous show written by Larry O’Keefe (Legally Blonde) and Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness).
Hope everyone is staying cool. I look forward to staying in touch.