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3D film ‘Dragon 2’ tracking to breathe box-office fire Filmmaker launches Indiegogo campaign

LOS ANGELES,May 26,(RTRS): DreamWorks Animation’s 3D family film “How to Train Your Dragon 2” will open between $55 million and $70 million when it hits theaters on June 13, according to pre-release tracking that came on line . That’s a broad range, but the weekend looks like it will be a big one at the box-office in any case. Sony’s “22 Jump Street” is also debuting, and the initial tracking puts the R-rated Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill action comedy at between $45 million and $50 million. The openings are three weeks away and the marketing campaigns are still kicking in, so both films are hoping to build momentum. Both sequels are follow-ups to hits. “How To Train Your Dragon” brought in $217 million domestically and $495 million globally, after opening to $43 million in March of 2010. And “21 Jump Street” rolled out to $36 million in March of 2012, and went on to take in $138 million domestically and $201 million worldwide.

DreamWorks Animation is banking on “Dragon 2,” which picks up the story of the young Viking Hiccup and his dragon Toothless, for a rebound. It’s coming on the heels of “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” which forced DWA to take a $57 million writedown in April. The opening for the Fox-distributed “Dragon” may not hit the high end, with Angelina Jolie and “Maleficent” landing the week before and certain to attract women, and “22 Jump Street” likely to draw older teens. But it will be the only animated film in the market until Disney’s “Planes: Fire and Rescue” lands on July 18, which should give families plenty of time to catch up with it.

Dean DeBlois returns to write and direct, after sharing those duties with Chris Sanders on the original “Dragon.” Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harrington join the voice cast, which includes Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, fresh from their success with “The Lego Movie,” return to direct “22 Jump Street,” which finds Schmidt and Jenko undercover in college. Ice Cube joins the cast, which includes Nick Offerman and Peter Stormare. Michael Bacall, Rodney Rotham and Oren Uziel wrote the script. “22 Jump Street” will open two weeks after Universal’s R-rated Seth MacFarlane comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and one week before another Sony comedy sequel. the PG-13-rated “Think Like a Man Too.”

 Hal Ashby made seven classic films in ten years, a string that few filmmakers can match. Yet the dawn of the 1980s also marked the end of his career, and the longevity of directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg has rendered Ashby an afterthought. AmyScott has launched a campaign on popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money for a documentary about Ashby and his disappearance from the annals of Hollywood. “He made an unprecedented streak of films in the ‘70s that were these incredible iconographic films,” Scott told TheWrap. “We’re trying to figure out exactly what happened in the 1980s. He was marginalized as a filmmaker.”

Scott is an editor who has worked on social-issue documentaries. Now Scott wants to break into directing, and a film about another editor-turned director appealed. Ashby won an Oscar for his editing work on “In the Heat of the Night” before launching into his career as a director. His movies, which include “Harold and Maude,” Shampoo” and Coming Home,” inspired contemporary filmmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson and Judd Apatow. Scott has already interviewed Jane Fonda, and has the support of Ashby’s family, which is executive producing the film. She needs the money to fund production and chase interviews with the likes of Jack Nicholson, who starred Ashby’s “The Last Detail.” Scott stressed the need to act now, citing the death of Gordon Willis, a renowned cinematographer of the same era who died Sunday. “It’s important to get the old Hollywood guard before it’s too late,” she said. “No one puts it together that did all of those films.”

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