If you've were on Twitter at all this weekend, you probably saw some weird tweets ending with the hashtag "#sharknado." The bizarre film exploded all over social media, but you won't find it playing at your local theater. A release on the Syfy television channel, Sharknado was produced by The Asylum, a production company that specializes in "mockbusters"—B-movie mock-blockbusters, often parodying recent films. Asylum partners David Rimawi and Paul Bales were recently interviewed by GQ. "The only we haven't done is straight drama," said Rimawi. "In other words, good films," said Bales. According to Syfy's website, the film will be re-aired tonight at 9/8 c, so tune in and join the tweeting. Read more here.
Despicable Me 2 dominated the box office for its second weekend running, beating out the openings of Grown Ups 2 and Pacific Rim. (If you're having trouble deciding between which of the three to see, go read our review of Pacific Rim and Grown Ups 2here, and then stick with the yellow minions.) Grown Ups followed Despicable Me with a $42.5 mil opening, and Pacific Rim came in at $38.3 mil.
A small specialty opening, Fruitvale Station, pulled in $377,285 from the seven theaters it opened in this weekend. That makes it one of the best per-theater-averages of 2013. Fruitvale, a production of The Weinstein Company, won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance this year. It's based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a young black man living in the Bay Area who was unjustly shot by a police officer, and the reeling impact the incident had on the community. The uncanny timeliness of the story—in light of the Zimmerman trial—has contributed to the general stir over this film. Read what The New York Times has to say about it here, and check out more box office numbers here.
Robert McKee, the well-known author of the book Story and lecturer on the art of story-telling, has just attached a director to his screeplay Madness. It's a thriller that tells the story of a researcher and practitioner couple living in the Amazon who find a plant that cures madness, a discovery worth billions and accompanied by a myriad of complications and dangers. The man at the helm is Miguel Urrutia (Wake Up and Die, The Game of Hangman). McKee, who describes himself as a "classical storyteller," says some might wonder why he would take his work to "an art movie director in Colombia." He appeals to the kinds of classically-made films coming from Argentina which are being told in three to five acts. It has been optioned to several studios, but has yet to be picked up because it's "too dark," according to McKee. Read more about the film and the McKee-Urrutia team here.