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Film News Roundup: ‘Wonder’ Soars Past $200 Million at Worldwide Box Office

In today’s film news roundup, “Wonder” hits a milestone, New Line finds a director for a sci-fi project, and Josh Helman’s directorial debut gets a release.

BOX OFFICE

Lionsgate’s family drama “Wonder” has crossed the $200 million mark in worldwide grosses with $124.2 million domestically and $78.2 million internationally.

The film, which stars Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson, has become the first Lionsgate title to cross the $200 million mark worldwide since “La La Land” did so early last year. “Wonder,” directed by Stephen Chbosky and based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio, follows a fifth-grader dealing with a facial deformity.

The film has been highly profitable for Lionsgate, given its $20 million budget. It was the only film to open against “Justice League” on the Nov. 17 – 19 weekend. Participant Media, Walden Media, and TIK Films backed “Wonder,” which was produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman through their Mandeville Films production company.

Lionsgate and Participant promoted the film extensively through schools and social media, highlighting its message of kindness and inclusion.

DIRECTOR ATTACHED

New Line has hired “How to be Single” director Christian Ditter for its science-fiction thriller “Stillwater.”

“Beauty and the Beast” scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos has been hired to write the script for the movie, which will be produced by Beau Flynn.

Flynn has a first-look deal at New Line and produced “San Andreas” and the upcoming “Rampage” for the studio. Ditter’s credits include “French for Beginners,” “Vickie and the Treasure of the Gods,” and “Love, Rosie.” He also directed and executive produced episodes of Netflix’s series “Girlboss.”

Ditter is repped at UTA, while Spiliotopoulos is repped by WME, Fourth Wall Management, and Cover 1 Entertainment. The news was first reported by the Wrap.

ACQUISITION

Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the North American rights to actor Josh Helman’s directorial debut “Kate Can’t Swim” and set a Jan. 23 release date.

Celeste Arias stars as a woman who is almost thirty, almost engaged, almost settled in her career as a writer — but is deeply dissatisfied. When her best friend Em returns from Paris with a surprising new lover in tow, she must must decide to stay on her current path or burn it all down and forge a new one.

Jennifer Allcott, Grayson Dejesus, and Helman also star. Allcott and Helman wrote the script. The film is co-directed by Evan Jonigkeit, produced by Allcott and Samuel R. Syrop, and executive produced by Jonigkeit and Zosia Mamet.

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