Category Archives: Movies

Why Film ‘Jerusalem’ in Malta?

IT MIGHT SEEM ODD, BUT OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS movies that are set in Jerusalem are actually filmed very often in other Mediterranean countries, like Malta, Morocco and Greece. Now Israel is trying to cash in on the multibillion-dollar industry and lure Hollywood producers to film in the Holy Land, by promising better tax breaks, terror attack insurance and handouts of up to $400,000.

According to conventional wisdom in Hollywood, Jerusalem is too volatile to ensure smooth filming on location. International insurance companies have traditionally refused to provide terrorism risk coverage, or have offered it at exorbitant prices.

For a long time, it didn’t make financial sense for the producers. While Israel in the 1980s attracted such star-studded productions as Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo 3” and Chuck Norris’ “The Delta Force,” it later lost out to other countries that started giving big tax incentives to producers.

Nowadays, most major Hollywood productions have preferred to set up their movies about Jerusalem elsewhere: “World War Z,” the new Brad Pitt movie, part of the plot of which takes place in Jerusalem, but is actually being currently filmed in Malta. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” opens with Kevin Costner escaping from a prison in Jerusalem – but the movie was filmed in England and France. In Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” about Mossad assassinations of Palestinians who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics, a Tel Aviv beach promenade scene was filmed in Malta.

Part of the push to get Jerusalem into movie theaters is to present a more positive image of the city than the conflict seen in the news – “the Jerusalem that more than 3.5 billion people of faith around the world wish to see,” said Stephan Miller, spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

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The Hit List: This Week’s Hottest Entertainment in Israel (Week 35, 2011)

Israel has gone on a Smurf-craze since ‘The Smurfs’ was released, and this week, even when the movie grossed a lot less than the weeks before, it’s still very high above the average grossing for a #1 Israeli movie. It has made more than $600,000, leaving ‘Rise of Planet of the Apes’ as a non-mover at number 2. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde, is this week’s highest new entry in the blockbusters’ chart.

In music, while there’s no change at the top 5 in the international air-play chart, there’s still a new number 1. The bizarre ‘Pata Pata’ gains 90 spins on the Israeli radio stations this week, and is brought to the top of the chart. In the domestic air-play chart, however, there’re a lot of changes. Last week’s number 1, Idan Yaniv, is kicked out of the top five, while former Israeli idol Idan Amedi is making a new entry at number 1, and there’s another new entry at #3 for the highly successful Mediterranean male vocalist, Moshe Peretz.

In television, we gave you a glimpse of what Israelis are watching on the biggest commercial channels in Israel, and besides the weekly news there’re two shows that are actually the biggest and most talked about at the moment.

The Israeli version of ‘Master Chef’ which airs twice a week and amazingly gets the #1 and #2 spots, and new original comedy ‘Sabrey Maranan,’ that follows the big Jewish family of a newly wedded couple. The comedy’s secret ingredients are its actors, most of them hugely famous in Israel for years, both on TV and in theater: Yehoram Gaon, Sandra Sade, Tuvya Tzafir and Yona Elian.

Music: Airplay Chart – International

1. Milk and Sugar Feat. Miriam Makeba and Jungle Brother – Hi-A Ma (Pata Pata)

2. Bruno Mars – Marry You
3. Sak Noel – Loca People
4. Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
5. Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger

Music: Airplay Chart – Domestic (Israeli)

1. Idan Amedi – ‘Elayich’ (‘To You’)

2. Avihu Shabbat – ‘Ei Efshar Itach’ (‘Impossible with You’)
3. Moshe Peretz – ‘Elef Pe’amim’ (‘A Thousand Times’)
4. Yhuda Poliker – ‘Puma Puma’
5. Adir Getz – ‘Boey Nered El Hayam’ (‘Let’s Go Down to the Beach’)

Movies: Box Office Chart

1. The Smurfs ($652,237)


‘The Smurfs’ Israeli Promo: This is how it sounds in Hebrew

2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($235,427)
3. Horrible Bosses ($82,932)
4. Cowboys & Aliens ($70,616)
5. Captain America: The First Avenger ($69,749)

Rating: This Week’s Biggest Shows in Israel (Domestic, Commercial channels)

1. Master Chef – Israel (Wednesday) (740,000 Viewers)
2. Master Chef – Israel (Thursday) (705,000 Viewers)
3. Channel 2 Weekly News (Saturday) (667,000 Viewers)
4. Sabrey Maranan (Saturday) (665,000 Viewers)

5. Sabrey Maranan (Wednesday) (660,000 Viewers)

 

(Music Charts are provided by Media Forest, TV Chart by Keshet-Channel 2, Box Office chart is powered by Box Office Mojo)

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The Hit List: This Week’s Hottest Entertainment in Israel (Week 34, 2011)

Here’s another weekly report of the biggest songs, movies and TV Shows in Israel: In Movies, ‘The Smurfs’ continues to rule at the box office this weekend as well (Israelis LOVE The Smurfs!) as grossing almost $2.5 million in its 2 weeks running, which is a lot for the Israeli market. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ makes a nice entry into #2, pushing the most successfull comedy of the year, ‘Bridesmaids,’ out of the top 5.

In Music there’s a new entry straight into #1 on the domestic chart, Idan Yaniv, the new prince of Mediterranean music, with his self-titled song, pushes Adir Getz down one slot to number 2. On the International music scene there’s no change at the top, aside from Adele’s new single, ‘Set Fire to the Rain,’ which has peaked at number one in Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands and is now going up to number 2 in Israel, aiming to get to the top spot next week. Also, ‘The Voice’s judges, Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera, are making their way to the top 5 this week with ‘Move Like Jagger.’

Finally, we received the top 5 TV shows on cable, and it’s no surprise that ‘House’ is in the lead after a few members of its cast paid a visit to the Holy Land earlier this year, but it is a surprise to see 2 Showtime dramas in the top 5.

Music: Airplay Chart – International

1. Bruno Mars – Marry You
2. Adele – Set Fire to the Rain

3. Milk and Sugar Feat. Miriam Makeba and Jungle Brother – Hi-A Ma (Pata Pata)
4. Sak Noel – Loca People
5. Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger

Music: Airplay Chart – Domestic (Israeli)

1. Idan Yaniv – Mi Im Lo Idan Yaniv (Who If Not Idan Yaniv)

2. Adir Getz – Boey Nered El Hayam (Let’s Go Down to the Beach)
3. Subliminal Feat. Liran Aviv – Me..Ohav (In…Love)
4. Yehuda Poliker – Puma Puma
5. Avihu Shabbat – E Efshar Itach (Impossible with You)

Movies: Box Office Chart

1. The Smurfs ($860,794)

2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($262,827)
3. Captain America: The First Avenger ($145,709)
4. Horrible Bosses ($124,366)
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two)($111,029)

Television: Biggest TV Shows (Cable)

1. House MD (Fox)

2. CSI (CBS)
3. The Big C (Showtime)
4. Mad Men (AMC)
5. The Borgias (Showtime)

(Music Charts are provided by Media Forest, TV Chart by Hot Cable TV Entertainment, Box Office chart is powered by Box Office Mojo)

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And the Nominees for the Israeli Oscar are…

By Yanir Dekel

EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE ISRAELI FILM ACADEMY ANNOUNCED the nominees for ‘The Ofir Prize,’ otherwise known as ‘The Israeli Oscars.’ The winner of ‘Best Picture’ will be sent, like every year, to compete for the ‘Best Foreign Film’ category at the Oscars which will be held in February 2012.

The Movie ‘Footnote’ (‘He’arat Shulayim’) is leading with 13 nominations, including nominations for Best Director (Joseph Cedar), Best Actor (Shlomo Baraba) and Best Supporting Actor and Actress. The movies ‘Good Morning Mr. Fidelman’ (‘Boker Tov Adon Fidelman’) and ‘My Beautiful Sister’ (‘Achoti Hayafa’) are following with 11 nominations each. Also nominated in the Best Picture category: ‘The Police Officer’
(‘Hashoter’) and ‘Guests for a Second’ (‘Orchim Le’Rega’).

The two movies that are expected to go head-to-head at the Israeli Oscars this year, ‘Good Morning Mr. Fidelman’ and ‘Footnote,’ are already gaining acclaim around the world. After the screening at the Cannes Festival earlier this yea (and ‘Footnote’ winning Best Foreign Script) , both of the movies were accepted to the Toronto Film Festival, the most important film festival in North America, that this September has run for 35 years. The movies ‘Footnote’ and ‘The Police Officer’ were accepted to the New York Film Festival which will occur at the end of September.

Good Luck to everyone and… We’ll be following!

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Will Sarai Hunt ‘The Wolverine?’ Cross Your Fingers!

By Yanir Dekel

ISRAELI HOTTIE SARAI GIVATY IS reportedly doing really well in the auditions for ‘The Wolverine,’ the next installment in the X-Men movie franchise.

Apparently Givaty has already passed two auditions for the role of one of Wolverine’s sexy hunters, and now she’s set for an audition with the movie’s director, James Mangold.

‘The Wolverine,’ which is still in the early stage of production, is set for a summer 2012 release, and rumored to take place mostly in Japan, where the Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) goes to train with a samurai warrior. Two other actresses have already joined the cast, Kelly Hu who recently guest -starred in the new version of ‘Hawaii Five 0’, and Naturi Naughton (2009’s ‘Fame’).

Hugh Jackman in ‘The Wolverine’

Sarai Givaty has already claimed her fame when she guest- starred in the #1 TV show ‘NCIS’ as Ziva’s nemesis, and she recently finish filming ‘Black Velvet’ opposite Ray Wise (‘Twin Peaks,’ ’24’). She’s currently finishing recording her debut album in Israel, from which the first single has already been released, called ‘Paris’.

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The Hit List: This Week’s Hottest Entertainment in Israel (Week 33, 2011)

NEW AT ABBANIBI.COM: The hits of Israel. Weekly report of the biggest songs, Movies and TV Shows in Israel. What is currently a hit in the holy land?

Music: Airplay Chart – International

1. Bruno Mars – Marry You
2. Sak Noel – Loca People
3. Milk and Sugar Feat. Miriam Makeba and Jungle Brother – Hi-A Ma (Pata Pata)
4. Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
5. Red Hot Chilli Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

Music: Airplay Chart – Domestic (Israeli)

1. Adir Getz – Boey Nered El Hayam (Let’s Go Down to the Beach)
2. Yehuda Poliker – Puma Puma
3. Avihu Shabat – Ei Efshar Itach (Can’t do Without You)
4. Subliminal Feat. Liran Aviv – Me…Ohav (In Love)
5. Smadar Akrai – Lo Hitkavanti (I didn’t Mean to)

Movies: Box Office Chart

1. The Smurfs ($935,406)
2. Captain America: The First Avanger ($251,527)
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($152,069)
4. Horrible Bosses ($148,363)
5. Bridesmades ($113,037)

Television: Weekly Ratings (coming soon…)

(Music Charts are provided by Media Forest, Box Office chart is powered by Box Office Mojo)

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‘Paranornal Activity’ Director Developes New and Exciting Projects!

ISRAELI DIRECTOR OREN PELI WAS A MAGICIAN in 2009 when he created ‘Paranornal Activity’ with the ridiculous budget of $15,000, and the movie became a blockbuster and grossed almost $200 million around the world. Since then Peli became a producer and while he’s already producing ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ which is currently being filmed, there’s talk already about his next project, which he wrote himself and which is due for a 2013 release.

The as yet untitled flick, picked up by FilmNation, follows a group of friends who become stranded in a ghost town overrun by nature, where they discover they’re not alone. Peli is producing with Brian Witten (‘Friday the 13th,’ ‘Final Destination’) and has tapped Brad Parker to direct.

Brad Parker began his career in the early 1990s as an animator and art director at MTV, where he co-founded the company’s digital animation lab. He joined Digital Domain in 1998 to work on visual effects for “Fight Club,””XXX” and “We Own the Night.”

Peli himself is also expanding to television, with ‘The River,’ a drama series which he co-produced and which got picked up by ABC to air later this fall. The series follows the crew of a state-of-the-art research vessel on a quest to find a missing TV explorer in the Amazon.

The Cast of ‘The River’

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