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Film News Roundup: 25th Anniversary Showings of ‘Friends’ Generate $2.9 Million

In today’s film news, 25th anniversary showings of “Friends” draw impressively, Screen Gems is developing a Santa Muerte movie and Australian story “ATM Boy” is in the works as a feature film. 

FRIENDS’ ANNIVERSARY

Fathom Events’ three-night showing of NBC’s sitcom “Friends” generated $2.9 million from over 1,600 North American theaters — the second-highest-grossing 2019 U.S. event cinema release after “BTS World Tour.”

Fathom and Warner Bros. partnered on “Friends 25th: The One With The Anniversary,” which attracted more than 230,000 admissions. The release was the widest ever for Fathom, which is operated jointly by the AMC, Cinemark and Regal chains.

The event, which landed in the box office top 10 on each screening day, brought together 12 fan-favorite episodes with each night featuring four episodes that were newly remastered in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative. The programs also included interview footage, which was shot by Extra during the first week of production. “Friends” ran from 1994 to 2004 and starred Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc.

The episodes shown on Sept. 23 were “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate,” “The One With the Blackout,” “The One With the Birth” and “The One Where Ross Finds Out”; on Sept. 28 “The One With the Prom Video,” “The One Where No One’s Ready,” “The One the Morning After” and “The One With the Embryos” showed; and on Oct. 2 viewers watched “The One With Chandler in a Box,” “The One With Ross’s Wedding Part 2,” “The One Where Everyone Finds Out” and “The One Where Ross Got High.”

‘SANTA MUERTE’

Gigi Saul Guerrero is set to direct a film based on the Mexican mythology of Santa Muerte for Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems.
Santa Muerte, or “Our Lady of Holy Death,” is the personification of death and is associated with safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. The latest draft of the script is by Shane McKenzie. Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment is producing with Mario Celaya.
Guerrero recently signed a first-look film and television deal with Blumhouse, under which she’ll write and direct scripted television programming and feature films for the studio. She recently wrapped the penultimate episode of Blumhouse Television’s “The Purge” for USA and made her feature-length directorial debut with Into the Dark’s “Culture Shock,” an installment of the feature length episodes Blumhouse Television produces for Hulu.
Guerrero is the co-founder of Luchagore Productions, where she and McKenzie worked together on several short films including “El Gigante.” Her directing credits include “A Luchagore Christmas” and “Evil Dead in 60 Seconds.” Guerrero is repped by Verve, Valor Entertainment and MiloknayWeiner LLP. The news was first reported by Deadline.
PROJECT LAUNCH
Gritty Film Productions principal Ted Collins and 1170 Productions chief Stefan Avalos are teaming on the film project “ATM Boy.”
The story centers on broke Australian barman Dan Saunders who discovers a glitch with his ATM card that enables him to withdraw seemingly limitless amounts of money from the National Australia Bank. Within four months, Saunders burned through more than $1.6 million dollars on a wild spree of high roller gambling and extreme purchases — even renting a private jet to an exclusive island in the Pacific with his friends.
Avalos discovered the project through a series of articles written by Adam Shand, one of Australia’s most prolific crime authors. Saunders approached Shand after deciding that he should be held accountable for his crimes.
“The magic card that dispense limitless money truly has global appeal,” Collins said. “The fact that Dan Saunders is also a really sweet everyman only adds to it. We can all relate, and we love him in spite of his completely bonkers binge.”
Collins’ credits include “Mr. Fish Cartooning from the Deep End.” Avalos directed the documentary “Strad Style.”

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