At a panel at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas agreed that high competition between studios with mega-budget movies is unsustainable, and claimed that movies will eventually play in a manner similar to Broadway shows — for years at a time and at expensive ticket prices. VOD will be the new movie theatre, and that's going to change the kind of films being made. They had some thoughts on the future of interactive gaming too: "The next step is being able to control your dreams," said Lucas. Both Spielberg and Lucas had difficulty getting their pictures to play in theatres this last year. Read more from the panel here.
This Is the End opened in select theatres Tuesday night to a solid $2.2 million. The comedy stars James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, and Emma Watson, who play themselves. They are attending a party at James Franco's house when the apocalypse hits. Helmed by funnymen Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen making their directorial debuts, the film opened nationwide yesterday and is hoping to rake in $30 million over the course of a five-day opening. Read more about this weekend's anticipated box office here.
Scholarships awarded in the memory of movie legends are helping aspiring artists and writers find their footing in Hollywood and beyond. Film critic and legend Roger Ebert passed away this spring, and in his honor, the Sundance Institute recently established the Roger Ebert Scholarship for Film Criticism. The award will allow six to eight young critics attend the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as part of the Indiewire Critics Academy. And the 2013 Heath Ledger Scholarship Award was recently awarded to James Mackay, a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, by the nonprofit organization Australians in Film. Ledger (perhaps best known for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight) was as an ambassador for the guild, which serves Australians in the U.S. film industry, and the scholarship seeks to help Australians make a start in the industry. Read about the Ebert scholarship here and the Ledger scholarship here.
Since Graham King picked up the rights to Tomb Raider from Paramount, there's been little news of development. But now Marti Noxon, best known as a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has officially been brought on to pen the script, and the project is working to get off the ground. GK Films in tandem with MGM have been working closely with the developers of the gaming franchise, looking to produce something in line with their recent video game installment, featuring a younger Lara Croft. In addition to the Buffy series, Noxon's screenplay credits include I am Number Four and Fright Night. Read more here.