HIGH POINTS: Budgeted at $ 26 million, “Sleepless in Seattle” was a romantic comedy that held its own against summer action movies. “Cliffhanger” proved hugely profitable (TriStar held all domestic rights and 40% foreign) and marked a comeback for Sylvester Stallone.
LOW POINTS: Bumped off the 1992 schedule, “Mr. Jones” and “Wilder Napalm” did no business domestically when they finally found theaters in 1993. “Look Who’s Talking Now” was a bitter disappointment (it will turn a slight profit). Woody Allen won acclaim for “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” but U.S. audiences stayed away.
ON THE BUBBLE: “Philadelphia” is a public relations triumph but has so far been overshadowed by “Schindler’s List” and “The Piano” on critics’ lists. Studio insiders say tracking indicates a potential B.O. triumph when the movie widens this month. “‘Philadelphia’ is selling out every show, and word of mouth is really good,” said TriStar chairman Mike Medavoy. The pic also solidifies the relationship between filmmaker Jonathan Demme and TriStar president Marc Platt.
ON THE MOVE: Richard Gere ankled a first-look deal at TriStar to set up shop at 20th Century Fox. Senior VP of production Jonathan Darby shifted into a first-look deal as he hopes to parlay his short debut “Contact” into a directing career.
ON EVERYONE’S MIND: For more than two years, Hollywood has speculated about the status of TriStar chairman Medavoy. The current scenario hashim accepting a rich production deal or settling out altogether.
Some say it might happen by spring. Others say it is highly unlikely before his contract expires in a year or so. “Whatever happens, I’m sure my relationship with (Peter) Guber will be a good one,” was Medavoy’s response.
OUTLOOK FOR ’94: Under Medavoy, Platt and president of production Stacey Lassally, TriStar has assembled a prestigious slate from Andrew Bergman, Norman Jewison, Kenneth Branagh, Ed Zwick, Stephen Frears and Nora Ephron.
Medavoy said Bergman’s “Cop Tips Waitress” and Jewison’s “Just in Time” shape up as major summer pix. Others said Zwick’s “Legends of the Fall” looks like a fall sleeper.
RISING STARS: Platt and Lassally could be on the rise corporately. Studio execs say dailies from Branagh’s “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” indicate he is ready to enter the ranks of A-list directors.
LEAPIN’ LIZARDS!: TriStar has only one copy of the “Godzilla” script by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (“Aladdin”), which Platt keeps under lock and key.
Sources say it adds an Indiana Jones twist. Producers Rob Fried and Cary Woods say they expect a late 1994 greenlight for the most important movie of their careers.
IN THE FAMILY WAY: TriStar will produce a sequel to Buena Vista’s “Three Ninjas,” and “Cops and Robbersons” is a good, clean comedy.
Sources say 1994 could bring go-aheads for Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,””Really Rosie” and the long-talked-about animated version of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”