‘Dr Seuss’ The Grinch’ Surpasses $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Illumination and Universal Pictures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” has surpassed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office, making it the sixth Illumination movie to reach the half-billion mark.

The film’s opening weekend grossed $67.7 million (Illumination’s seventh no. 1 opening) and has since grossed $270 million domestically. That makes it the sixth-highest grossing film of 2018 and the second-highest grossing animated film of the year.

The film also opened no. 1 in 30 territories that included Norway, Mongolia, Thailand, Iceland, Romania, France, Spain, Belgium, Greece and New Zealand. Internationally, the film has earned $231 million.

Also Read: ‘The Grinch’ Pilfers $66 Million at Box Office

Worldwide, “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” was the highest-grossing opening for a Christmas-themed movie and has since become the highest-grossing Christmas-themed movie ever — as well as the biggest Dr. Seuss film ever.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” featured the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the infamous Grinch, who lives alone in a cave on Mt. Crumpet, with just his dog Max keeping him company. Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury voiced characters as well. Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney directed.

Also Read: ‘The Grinch’ Leads Box Office as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Keeps Going Strong

The last “Grinch” film was 2000’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which was directed by Ron Howard and featured the voice of Jim Carrey as the titular character. That film grossed $345 million globally.

Next up for Illumination is “The Secret Life of Pets 2” starring the voices of Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and Harrison Ford. The film will hit theaters on June 7.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Grinch’ Swipes $2.2 Million at Thursday Box Office

‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’ Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming

Will ‘The Grinch’ See Box Office Green in Crowded Month of Family-Friendly Movies?

Do the Oscars Have an Asia Problem in the Foreign Language Film Race?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A version of this story first appeared in the Foreign Language issue of TheWrap magazine. 

South Korea has never received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film and never even been shortlisted in the category, despite 29 previous entries and an abundance of world-class filmmakers. The country, which is in the race this year with Lee Chang-dong’s acclaimed “Burning,” is one of the more striking examples of a country whose filmmakers have been unable to land an Oscar nomination despite sustained critical praise.

But it is far from the only country in that boat. And the further east you go, the more the Academy’s foreign-language voters seem to have difficulty with foreign cinema.

Over the last 20 years, more than half the nominations that have gone to countries in Asia have been for Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Israel and Palestine. If you focus on East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, the picture is sobering: Two nominations and one win for Japan, one nomination each for Cambodia, China, India, Nepal and Taiwan and nothing for Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Also Read: ‘Burning’ Film Review: Korean Auteur Lee Chang-dong Returns With Breathtaking Drama

The grim total: 20 years, 17 countries, 228 submissions and just seven nominations, during a period when Europe had 59 nominations and North America, a continent with only two eligible countries in Canada and Mexico, had nine.

The list of esteemed international auteurs who’ve been bypassed by Oscar voters in that time includes South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk (“Pieta”) and Bong Joon-ho (“Mother”), Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Nobody Knows”), Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien (“The Assassin and Flowers of Shanghai”), Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-wai (“The Grandmaster”, which was shortlisted but not nominated) and Johnnie To (“Life Without Principle”), China’s Chen Kaige (“Caught in the Web”) and Zhang Yimou (“The Flowers of War”) and Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”).

You might be able to blame part of this on the curious submissions made by Asian countries, which often seem to play politics or try to second-guess Oscar voters in their choices. And Asian representation in the Academy itself has been woefully small over the years, with an estimated 250 members in 2016, augmented by a substantial number who’ve been invited to join since then. Even so, the 8,000 current members likely include fewer than 500 Asian Oscar voters.

Also Read: Oscars Foreign Language Race 2018: Complete List of Submissions

And there’s more to it than that. “European films are just a lot more comfortable for the voters,” said one Academy member who has attended many of the members’ screenings. “Unless it’s something like ‘The Grandmaster’ or ‘Departures’ [a 2008 Japanese film which gave that country its only win], voters just never seem to connect to Asian cinema.”

As voting nears its conclusion in this year’s race, though, two films seem to have a strong shot of landing on the shortlist and being nominated: “Shoplifters,” Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Palme d’Or winner from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and “Burning,” which didn’t win any awards from the Cannes jury but set a new record as the best-reviewed film in the history of Screen Daily’s Cannes critics poll.

The foreign-language shortlist, which will consist of nine films, will be announced on Monday, Dec. 17.

Click here to read more from the Foreign Language issue of TheWrap magazine. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Burning’ Film Review: Korean Auteur Lee Chang-dong Returns With Breathtaking Drama

Critics’ Groups Give Top Cannes Awards to Korean Drama ‘Burning’

Thailand’s Yongyoot Thongkongtoon on ‘Bad Genius’ and Digital Disruption

Read on: Variety.

Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, the Thai film director who enjoys a cult international following, says the film industry in his native Thailand is not in healthy condition. His critique emerged this week as part of a freewheeling in-conversation event at the S…

ATF: Nippon TV’s ‘Abandoned’ Sold to Thailand’s JSL Global

Read on: Variety.

Japan’s Nippon Television Network has sold the scripted format rights to its one-hour drama series “Abandoned” to leading Thai production house JSL Global Media. The deal is the first time that a Nippon TV scripted format is being adapted in Southeast …

Facebook Watch Partners With Fremantle Media to Send Game Show ‘Confetti’ Global

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Facebook Watch’s interactive game show “Confetti” is getting an international makeover. The series, which was originally created by Insider through a partnership with ThumbCandy, a division of B-17 Entertainment, is making five new local versions of its shows for India, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.

The rollout of these new markets will begin in the U.K. and be produced by Fremantle’s Thames — producer of “The X Factor” and “Got Talent.” Additional markets will follow, all premiering before the end of the year.

Launched in June, “Confetti” is a live interactive game show that offers players cash prizes. Since its launch in the U.S., the series’ show page has garnered a following of 200,000, with each episode attracting 90-200,000 contestants. The introduction of the game show was part of a push by Facebook to give its publishers more tools to interact with their audiences, whether through polling, quiz questions or other challenges.

Also Read: Whistle Sports Launches Facebook Watch Series ‘Famous Los and Filayyyy Show’ (Exclusive)

“‘Confetti’ has shown us the power of combining traditional entertainment formats with the social, people-centric advantages of video on Facebook. People who played with their friends were significantly more likely to tune in to the next episode and play again versus people who played alone,” said Matthew Henick, head of content strategy & planning, Facebook. “It made perfect sense to partner with Fremantle, a leader in the gameshow space, to bring ‘Confetti’ to audiences around the world. We are also incredibly excited to take all of the tools that we developed for ‘Confetti’ and give them to our global partners to create their own community-driven reinventions of the game show.”

“We’re excited to combine our market-leading expertise as entertainment producers with Facebook’s global community to evolve the gameshow for new audiences around the world,” added Rob Clark, director, global entertainment, Fremantle. “Our family of producers give us the reach and ability to customize the show for local audiences.”

Also Read: ‘MTV’s The Real World’ Reboot to Premiere in 2019 on Facebook Watch

The partnership marks the latest international deal following the launch of Facebook Watch globally in August, including a partnership with MTV Studios to bring a re-imagined, local versions of “The Real World” to the US, Mexico and Thailand.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Facebook Watch Has a Big Consumer Awareness Problem

Facebook’s Matthew Henick Dishes on What’s Working on Watch

How to Watch Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testify on Data Leak to European Parliament

Mipcom: English-Language Thai Thriller ‘Eullenia’ Strikes Lightning Distribution Deal

Read on: Variety.

Hong Kong-based TV distributor Lightning International has picked up international rights to “Eullenia,” an English-language thriller series produced and set in Thailand. The 6-part series is directed by Paul Spurrier and produced through Commercial Fi…

Tom Waller To Direct Thai Rescue Drama ‘The Cave:’ Hot Toronto Package

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: In another hot package unveiled for buyers here in Toronto, Tom Waller is set to direct his script The Cave, a drama about the harrowing rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team, after 12 boys aged 11-16 and their coach got trapped earlier this …

Elon Musk’s ‘Pedo’ Tweet Inquiry Answered: Thai Rescue Diver’s Lawyer Preps Lawsuit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A lawyer representing the diver who Elon Musk recently accused of being a pedophile said on Wednesday that he sent the Tesla chief a letter that says that he’s preparing to file a libel lawsuit.

The development is the latest twist in the entrepreneur’s turbulent summer on Twitter and comes one day after Musk questioned why the diver hadn’t sued him if his claims were untrue.

“You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services,” asked Musk in reply to @Yoda on Twitter.

Also Read: Elon Musk Needled for Tearful NY Times Interview About Having to Work Through His Birthday

Attorney L. Lin Wood, who is representing diver Vernon Unsworth, replied to the thread on Wednesday, saying that Musk “should check his mail before tweeting.”

@elonmusk should check his mail before tweeting. pic.twitter.com/3c9QWtdp25

— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) August 29, 2018

Musk originally called Unsworth — a diver that criticized Musk’s attempts to help the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave as a “PR stunt” — a “pedo guy” in July. Musk later apologized for his comment, saying it was “spoken in anger.”

Also Read: Elon Musk Says He Won’t Take Tesla Private After All

“You published three different tweets to your twenty-two million followers that Mr. Unsworth engages in the sexual exploitation of Thai children, and you did so at a time when he was working to save the lives of twelve Thai children,”  Wood said in his letter, dated August 6, to Musk. “You did so without any basis.”

Wood added that he’s prepping a civil libel complaint against Musk.

A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Even without a potential civil suit on his hands, it’s already been a controversial month for 47-year-old entrepreneur. Musk is under the regulatory microscope after bringing Wall Street to a halt earlier this summer, tweeting he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private. Musk announced last Friday, after talking to shareholders, to keep Tesla a publicly traded company. Tesla shares have dropped about 20 percent to $305 a share since Musk tweeted about going private.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Elon Musk Says He Won’t Take Tesla Private After All

Elon Musk Needled for Tearful NY Times Interview About Having to Work Through His Birthday

Elon Musk’s Tweets Put Tesla Under Regulatory Microscope

Thai Cave Rescue Sparks International Showdown From 6 Production Companies

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Thailand’s recent cave rescue has sparked a showdown between six production companies that have expressed interest in developing a film, according to multiple reports.

“Five international film production companies have proposed to the commerce and foreign ministries that they make a movie and a documentary about the rescue operation,” Thailand’s culture minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said Thursday, as reported by Thai PBS. Three of the companies have approached the Foreign Ministry for the rights, while two have contacted private agencies in Thailand, he said.

Aside from the five international production companies, Thai-Irish producer and director Tom Waller and his Thai production company De Warrenne Productions said it was working on a script based on the rescue operation, according to Variety.

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Jon Chu to Develop Second Thai Cave Rescue Movie

Rojpojchanarat declined to share the names of the companies seeking to make a film about the rescue, but Pure Flix Entertainment announced it was seeking rights to the story. “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures said they would be developing a film as well.

On July 10, Discovery ordered a one-hour documentary special on the daring rescue.

According to Thai PBS, the Ministry of Culture is thinking about setting up a national ad hoc committee to take care of the copyright issues of the information related to the cave rescue operation, in order to protect the privacy of the 12 young soccer players and their coach.  The idea will be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration on July 24.

Also Read: Thai Cave Rescue Has Everyone Making the Same Scarlett Johansson Joke

Twelve boys, aged 11 to 17, and their 25-year-old coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 when heavy rain started to flood the cave and trapped the boys deep inside. On July 2, two divers found the group 2.5 miles from the cave mouth.

The rescue operation involved guiding the boys through a partially flooded cave system that took the life of one diver who attempted to reach the trapped soccer team. Some sections of the cave required climbing equipment, and one section that was flooded by stormwater was so narrow that the divers needed to remove their oxygen tanks in order to get through. By July 10, all the boys were rescued from the cave.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Producers of Cave Rescue Movie Have Deep Thai Connections: ‘We Didn’t Just Fly on Over for a Story’

‘God’s Not Dead’ Producer Already in Thailand Researching Movie About Soccer Team Cave Rescue

Discovery Orders Documentary on Thai Soccer Team Cave Rescue

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Jon Chu Developing Second Thai Cave Rescue Movie

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures (producers of “Crazy Rich Asians”) are reteaming and developing a second film about the Thai cave rescue operation after Pure Flix Entertainment announced it was seeking the film rights to the rescue operation, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch. That won’t happen or we’ll give them hell,” Chu tweeted Wednesday.

“There’s a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully.”

I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch. That won’t happen or we’ll give them hell. There’s a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully.

— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 11, 2018

Ivanhoe Pictures, an SK Global company, is currently in talks with the most senior officials in Thailand both on provincial and national levels. They are also in talks with multiple studios who have shown interest about this project.

Also Read: Producers of Cave Rescue Movie Have Deep Thai Connections: ‘We Didn’t Just Fly on Over for a Story’

The studio and it’s sister company, SKE, develop international and local language pictures for global audiences with a concentration in the U.S., India, Taiwan, South Korea and Latin America. Their upcoming projects include the three-part series “Ghoul” premiering on Netflix on Aug. 24; the feature film “La Caja” developed in partnership with Mexico City-based Lucia Films; and the upcoming feature “Crazy Rich Asians” set for theatrical release in the U.S. via Warner Bros. on Aug. 15.

All 12 members of the Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach have been now rescued after being trapped in a cave for weeks. The news broke Tuesday morning when the final four children and their 25-year-old coach were saved by Thai Navy SEALs.

Also Read: Colbert Hopes Trump Learns the Right Lesson From the Thai Cave Rescue: ‘Freeing Children Makes People Like You’ (Video)

The rescue operation involved guiding the boys through a partially flooded cave system that took the life of one diver who attempted to reach the trapped soccer team. Some sections of the cave required climbing equipment, and one section that was flooded by stormwater was so narrow that the divers needed to remove their oxygen tanks in order to get through.

The trapped soccer team, which consisted of boys aged 11-16, was found last Monday by a team of divers after a nine-day search. It was originally believed that the team would have to stay in the caves until the end of monsoon season, which would last for several more months. But after the rains flooding the cave worsened, a team of 90 rescue divers — 40 Thai, 50 foreign — were sent in to extract them as soon as possible.

Chu is repped by UTA and Artists First.

Variety first reported the news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michael Rapaport Catches Heat for ‘F—ing Awful’ Joke About Thai Cave Rescue Efforts

‘God’s Not Dead’ Producer Already in Thailand Researching Movie About Soccer Team Cave Rescue

Discovery Orders Documentary on Thai Soccer Team Cave Rescue

Producers of Cave Rescue Movie Have Deep Thai Connections: ‘We Didn’t Just Fly on Over for a Story’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Michael Scott and Adam Smith were already in Thailand when the story of the missing boys soccer team broke. Smith lives in Thailand, and Scott, whose wife is Thai, spends most of his summers there. And, the faith-based producers tell TheWrap, that deep…

‘God’s Not Dead’ Producer Already in Thailand Researching Movie About Soccer Team Cave Rescue

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Michael Scott, PureFlix managing partner and producer of “God’s Not Dead,” is already on the ground in Thailand, working on turning the story of the Thai boys soccer team who were trapped in a cave for weeks into a major motion pictur…

All 12 Thai Boys, Soccer Coach Rescued From Harrowing Cave Ordeal (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Call it a miracle or the combined efforts of thousands — or both — but all 12 members of the Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach have now been rescued after being trapped in a cave for weeks.

The news broke Tuesday morning when the final four children and their 25-year-old coach were saved by Thai Navy SEALs.

For one example of how TV handled the sigh-of-relief moment, watch “GMA” break into an ABC News Special Report here:

WATCH: @ABC News Special Report: All 12 boys and coach successfully rescued from Thailand cave. https://t.co/6zasydhoeq pic.twitter.com/Zllg9fr5RB

— ABC News (@ABC) July 10, 2018

Also Read: Michael Rapaport Catches Heat for ‘F–ing Awful’ Joke About Thai Cave Rescue Efforts

For ABC’s coverage, George Stephanopoulos threw it to Matt Gutman on the scene in Thailand. When Stephanopoulos asked Gutman if the boys were all OK, the reporter said: “Yeah, they seem to be in pretty good shape. From what we hear from health officials here, the first eight that have been brought out and have already arrived at the hospital are doing fine. Two of them are suffering from pneumonia, but that’s easily treatable. And then we have to see the state of the last four boys who came out plus the coach.”

The rescue operation involved guiding the boys through a partially flooded cave system that has already taken the life of one diver who attempted to reach the trapped soccer team. Some sections of the cave require climbing equipment, and one section that has been flooded by stormwater is so narrow that divers must remove their oxygen tanks to get through.

The trapped soccer team, which consisted of boys aged 11-16, was found on last Monday by a team of divers after a nine-day search. It was originally believed that the team would have to stay in the caves until the end of monsoon season, which would last for several more months. But after the rains flooding the cave worsened, a team of 90 rescue divers — 40 Thai, 50 foreign — was sent in to extract them as soon as possible.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Elon Musk Tests Submarine to Rescue Boys in Thai Cave (Video)

Thailand Cave Rescue on Pause After 4 Kids Are Saved

How ‘GMA’ Covered Matt Lauer’s Firing From ‘Today’ (Video)

‘Changeland,’ ‘Triple Threat’ First to Access Thailand Incentives

Read on: Variety.

Thailand has announced the first foreign movies to have successfully accessed the country’s new filming financial incentive scheme: comedic drama “Changeland,” directed by and starring Seth Green, and multinational action film “Triple Threat,” directed…

After Busy FilMart Thailand Takes Pitch Event to Cannes

Read on: Variety.

Following a busy FilMart for Thailand’s film industry, a trio of Thai projects will next travel to France for the seventh edition of Thai Pitch at Cannes. Tongpong Chantarangkul (“I Carried You Home”) will pitch his second feature, “The Fireflies,” set in Barcelona, about a fire juggler; Tanwarin Sukhaphisit, (“A Gas Station”) pitches LGBT-themed project […]

Bitcoin Burglars Hold People Up for Millions in Cryptocurrency

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s not just your wallet, watch or Louis Vuitton purse that thieves have their eye on now.

As the popularity of bitcoin skyrockets across the globe, crooks have pivoted to getting their hands on your virtual currency as well. Six-figure holdups have become routine now, according to a New York Times report, with one Russian tourist being blindfolded and forced to transfer $100,000 in bitcoin last month while in Thailand.

The relative obscurity of cryptocurrency transactions — payments are sent to digital “wallets” that correspond to a lengthy numerical address, rather than a username — adds an extra layer of protection for the perpetrators. It also makes returning the stolen money to the victims a tall task.

Also Read: Millennials Ride the Bitcoin Rollercoaster: ‘I Just Did It Kind of Blindly’

“For this, the advantage of bitcoin is that it’s hard to verify,” a Thai police investigator told the Times. “We asked the victim how to track it since they know bitcoin better than us. We asked them how to check the receiver. They said there is no way. It is hard to do.”

Similar attacks have become more commonplace. Weeks earlier, the head of a bitcoin exchange in Ukraine was held hostage for $1 million. In December, a man in New York City was kidnapped by a “friend” until he forked over a $1.8 million ransom in Ether, the second-most popular cryptocurrency. And last fall, a Turkish businessman was forced by an armed gang to give away his passwords to his digital wallets — with the thugs making off with about $3 million in cryptocurrency.

The rise in cryptocurrency prices in the last year has been followed by a spike in cryptocurrency robberies, and many “crypto rich” people are still grappling with how to best protect their investments. Some have set up a “duress wallet,” or small lump of money, to throw perps off the scent of their bigger nest egg. Others, like Jameson Lopp, told the Times they’ve set up security cameras and bought automatic weapons to safeguard their investment.

Also Read: 50 Cent Is a Bitcoin Millionaire

“If you are rich and you own real estate, or stocks or a sports team, somebody can’t mug you and take your sports team away,” Lopp told the Times. “Having liquid crypto assets makes you much more attractive for that type of criminal attack.”

Read the full NYT report here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

I Lost a Fortune in Bitcoin – But I’m Still All In

The Winklevoss Twins Took Their Facebook Money and Became Bitcoin Billionaires

How Trump Helped Push Bitcoin to Record Highs (It’s Not for Good Reasons)