×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

20th Previews Foxy Lineup

Showest may have been a wash out for most of the majors, but 20th Century Fox came away with the most exhibitor respect. The studio’s powerful product reel, which promoted 24 films skedded for 1991 release and promised 18 more already “in the bank,” knocked ’em dead.

Speaking over lunch, to a crowd of 2,700 exhibitors from a dais that included Fox toppers Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller, film chairman Joe Roth unspooled the reel and said, “Unlike many companies, there’s nothing in here that’s speculative. It’s real.”

Thirty-five minutes later, after so-clever reviewing of old Fox titles and several appearances of distrib head Tom Sherak in cameo, after a showing of tidbits from the lavish “For The Boys,” the tense, effects-laden “Point Break,” the hysterical “Hot Shots” and the moody “The Doors,” the audience was sold.

“I can’t believe this stuff!” one exhib shouted between bites of carrot cake. “This guy [Roth] has turned that place around.”

In the 18 months since Roth took office, the Fox numbers have gone up dramatically. As he pointed out, Fox had 4% of the domestic boxoffice market share (according to VARIETY figures) on the day before it released “Die Hard 2” last July. By January, Fox had captured 19.8% of the same pie, and was the No. 1 grossing studio for the fourth quarter.

There were two surprise announcements: Ron Shelton will direct a basketball story for the studio called “White Boys Can’t Jump,” for which he has already written the script. And Jack Nicholson will, the studio confirmed, assay the lead role in director Danny DeVito’s “Hoffa.”

Upcoming releases include:

* Three titles from “Home Alone” producer John Hughes, “The Nanny,” “The Bugster” and “Ball ‘n’ Chain,” in addition to the already-shot “Dutch.”

* Several music-oriented projects, including an actual musical from James L. Brooks; “The Five Heartbeats,” from director, star and co-writer (with Keenen Ivory Wayans) Robert Townsend; “The Commitments,” from director Alan Parker; and Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.”

* “Point Break,” a caper pic set in the world of surfing, the first film under Fox’ relationship with Larry Gordon’s Largo; Daniel Day-Lewis starring in “Last Of The Mohicans” and “The Age Of Innocence”; and Sigourney Weaver in “Alien 3.”

* Tom Hanks in Mike Figgis’ “Night And The City,” about an ambulance-chasing attorney; Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith in the thriller “Shining Through”; Bruce Willis in the actioner “The Ticking Man”; and Steven Seagal in “Man Of Honor.”

* The environmentally correct animated “Fern Gully: The Last Rain Forest” and “The Endangered”; comedies “The Super” and “My Cousin Vinny,” both with Joe Pesci; “Only The Lonely,” with John Candy; “Love Potion # 9,” from writer-director-producer Dale Launer; “Hot Shots,” from the “Airplane!” people; “Jack The Bear,” with Danny DeVito; Nora Ephron’s “This Is My Life”; and New York-set “29th Street.”

* Higher-toned stuff, such as Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Barton Fink”; the Off Broadway romance “Prelude To A Kiss”; the off- Moscow thriller “Back In The U.S. S.R.”; Roman Polanski also in a Soviet-set thriller, “Icons”; Lawrence Kasdan’s ensemble effort “Grand Canyon”; the legal-eagle “Class Action”; the Barry Levinson-Robin Williams reteaming “Toys”; and the Julia Roberts vehicle du jour “Dying Young.”

Mysteriously missing from the product reel was David Cronenberg’s film of the William S. Burroughs book “Naked Lunch.” One exhib said: “This is a pretty square bunch. That picture would probably make ’em nervous.”

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content