Industry News: The First Purge, House of Cards, Claude Lanzmann and More!
FIRST PURGE, JURASSIC WIN BIG AT INDIE DAY B.O.: The July Fourth box office did well this year, with the top 20 movies making $43.3 million, a 27% bump over Tuesday’s business. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom earned $11.6 million, bringing its running tally to $297.7 million; Incredibles 2 landed $9.7 million, bringing its total haul up to $468.2 million, and Universal/Blumhouse’s The First Purge nabbed $9.4 million.
HOUSE OF CARDS SHARES ‘MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT’: On the Fourth of July, Netflix shared a message from President Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). “Happy Independence Day… to me!” she says in the video, released on July 4 via Twitter. The sixth and final season of House of Cards will focus on Claire. Kevin Spacey, the former president, will not be featured. Netflix gave him the boot after several men accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Greg Kinnear, Diane Lane, Michael Kelly, Jayne Atkinson, Patricia Clarkson, Constance Zimmer, Derek Cecil, Campbell Scott, Boris McGiver and Cody Fern are also on board.
CLAUDE LANZMANN DIES AT AGE 92: Claude Lanzmann, the French director best known for Shoah, a documentary about the Holocaust, has died at age 92. He died in Paris, just as his latest film, Les Quatre Souers, hit theaters. The film features testimonials from four Holocaust survivors who were not featured in Shoah. Lanzmann was born in Paris in 1925 and he and his family went into hiding and joined the French Resistance when he was 17. He later became close with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
CAST SET FOR RICKY GERVAIS COMEDY: Ricky Gervais’ After Life, currently shooting in London, has set its cast. Downton Abbey and Doctor Who star Penelope Wilton, Harry Potter’s David Bradley, Extras’ Ashley Jensen, Plebs’ Tom Basden, Edge of Tomorrow’s Tony Way and several others are joining forces for the Netflix original. Gervais created the show, and will star in and direct it. It follows Tony (Gervais), a man with a picture-perfect life until his wife dies and he throws caution to the wind.
BBC TAKES CONTROL OF WAR AND PEACE PRODUCER: The BBC’s production and distribution arm has snapped up the 51% it did not already own of Lookout Point, the U.K. based producer behind War and Peace and Ripper Street. Lookout Point will operate as an independent studio within the BBC Studios business when the deal closes. In 2014, the BBC acquired a 35% stake in the company, then increased it to 49% in 2016. Joint CEOs Simon Vaughan and Faith Penhale will still run the day-to-day business.