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Film News Roundup: ‘Wizard of Oz’ Sets Single-Day Record for Fathom

In today’s film news roundup, “The Wizard of Oz” sets a record among classic films, the “Grudge” reboot moves to 2020, CAA signs horror specialist William McGregor and the DGA unveils its awards show presenters.

RECORD

Fathom Events’ 80th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” took in $1.2 million at 408 North American sites on Sunday, setting a new Fathom record as the highest-grossing single-day classic film release.

“The Wizard of Oz” also had the highest per-screen average of any film in wide release on Sunday. The 1939 release is part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series, which will include “My Fair Lady,” “Field of Dreams,” “Glory,” “Alien” and “Lawrence of Arabia” this year.

“The Wizard of Oz” will have two additional nationwide screenings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Due to the audience response, Fathom Events has scheduled two additional presentations on Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. and Feb. 5 at 7 pm.

Fathom also reported that its concert film “BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Seoul” grossed $2.9 million at 997 North American locations.

RELEASE DATE

Sony Pictures has moved “Grudge,” its reboot of the 2004 supernatural thriller “The Grudge,” backwards to Jan. 3, 2020, from June 21.

The film stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver. The 2004 film was a remake of the 2002 Japanese film “Jun-On: The Grudge,” which centers on a curse created when someone dies in rage or sorrow.

“Grudge” is directed by Nicolas Pesce for Ghost House and Good Universe. Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert will produce for Ghost House with Nathan Kahane and Erin Westerman executive producing for Good Universe alongside Schuyler Weiss, Roy Lee, Doug Davison, John Middleton, and Andrew Pfeffer.

“Grudge” becomes the second title dated for the first weekend of 2020, joining an untitled Blumhouse project.

CAA SIGNING

CAA has signed writer and director William McGregor, director of the Eleanor Worthington-Cox gothic-horror feature film “Gwen,” Variety has learned exclusively.

He has directed episodes of the television shows “Poldark,” “One Of Us,” “Misfits” and “The Missing,” and award-winning commercials for BMW, Pepsi, Ford, Barclays, Boots, Sega, and Google.

McGregor’s short film “Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite” won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama. He continues to be represented by Jennie Miller at Independent Talent in the U.K. and managed by Grandview.

DGA PRESENTERS

The Directors Guild has selected Yalitza Aparicio, Christian Bale, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Elliott, Ron Howard, Jordan Peele, John David Washington and Constance Wu as presenters at its Feb. 2 awards show.

The event, held at the Hollywood and Highland center, is expected to be attended by all five feature film nominees — Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”) and Adam McKay (“Vice”).

The DGA will also present awards for best first-time feature director and nine other awards in television, documentary and commercials.

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