Stephen King Tale Heads To Big Screen; Weekend Box Office Newcomers Tracking Weak: Biz Break

Stephen KingAlso in Friday afternoon's round-up of news briefs: The estate of author William Faulkner is suing over a quote used in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris; Iranian dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi wins a major peace prize; And a preview of the weekend's Specialty Release newcomers.

Box Office Weekend Looks Soft with Holdovers Set to Outpace Newcomers
Cloud Atlas, and Silent Hill Revelation may not gross more than holdover Argo. Teen comedy Fun Size and surfing drama Chasing Mavericks are also tracking soft, THR reports.

William Faulkner Estate Is Suing Over a Quote Used In Midnight in Paris
The Faulkner estate is suing distributor Sony Pictures Classics for copyright infringement, commercial appropriation and for violating the Lanham Act. In Midnight in Paris Gil Pender, the disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, says, “the past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party," Deadline reports.

Stephen King Tale Heads to the Big Screen
King's fantasy-horror Mercy is an adaptation of Stephen King's short story Gramma. British actress Frances O'Connor will star in the project that Peter Cornwell will direct from a script by Matt Greenberg. The story concerns a mother with two young sons who come to discover their ailing grandmother is a witch, THR reports.

Iranian Filmmaker/Dissident Jafar Panahi Wins 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
The European Parliament awarded the prize to Panahi and a dissident lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh in a "message of solidarity and recognition to a woman and a man who have not been bowed by fear and intimidation." Panahi's films are known for their humanist perspective on life in Iran, often focusing on the hardships of children, the poor and women. He won the Camera d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, A.P. reports.

Specialty Release Preview: The Loneliest Planet, Orchestra of Exiles, Pusher, The Zen of Bennett
Two music-oriented documentaries are rolling out in this weekend’s Specialty arena. Tribeca Film Festival 2012 doc The Zen of Bennett will begin a slow release with the focus on legendary Tony Bennett. Orchestra of Exiles heads to theaters trailing the Israeli Philharmonic to various cities along with the film about its WWII origins. Sundance Selects will bow Julia Loktev’s long-time-in-coming The Loneliest Planet,, starring Gael García Bernal and Hani Furstenberg in a limited release. And Radius TWC will open its first pickup title Pusher in select cities, Deadline reports.