War Horse: Joey Hoofs It on the Red Carpet at the Royal London Premiere

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It took 14 different horses to play the part of Joey in War Horse. Producer and director Steven Spielberg made sure that at least one of them was front and center at the London premiere of the film on 8 January 2012. In this brief video, you see Spielberg, along with lead actor Jeremy Irvine (Albert) enjoy a brief reunion with Sultan, the “Joey” who galloped through the trenches in the film.

The reunion of the two stars and their director took place on the red carpet outside the Odeon Theatre in London’s Leicester Square–the same red carpet where all the stars could be found. But Joey got there first–and attracted the biggest crowd! The crowd respectively stayed quiet for Joey, but the paparazzi shouts broke out when Jeremy Irvine stepped onto the carpet, as you can hear on the clip.

warhorsenews GOLD logo SMALLAmong Joey’s admirers on the red carpet: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, known to Americans as Prince William and Kate.

The Duke and Duchess greeted members of the cast and Spielberg before watching the film. Six hundred serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families were invited to the Premiere. The proceeds of the evening will benefit British military charities, which the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry helps to support. The servicemen and women were invited from The Duke of Cambridge’s regiments, including RAF Search and Rescue, Household Cavalry, Irish Guards, Royal Air Force Coningsby, Scotland Royal Naval Command and Submarines Royal Naval Command.

Sultan was escorted by Tom Cox of Devils Horsemen stunt riders. Dan Naprous of Devils Horsemen, the assistant horse master of the film, was in charge of Sultan’s trip to London, and kindly gave War Horse News a brief interview after the event.

The first thing I asked him was if he’d need a shovel on the red carpet, and he assure me that his horse was very well-trained–and that he’d been very lucky that the evening was uneventful.

“It was a lot of pressure with all the cameras,” Dan admitted. Tom Cox had led Joey on the carpet with Dan following behind and ready to jump into action (something he does very well, professionally) if there were any mishaps.

Dan said that “backstage” in London, Sultan had enjoyed another reunion, with equine makeup artist Ali Bannister from the War Horse crew. (See yesterday’s post for more about Ali.)

Did you notice that only was Tom, the handler, dressed in an authentic World War I uniform, but Joey was wearing period military tack, including a horseshoe pouch (packed with two spare horseshoes an 12 nails), buckled onto the saddle.

“The whole thing was extremely well planned out,” Daniels told me about the evening’s schedule. “And it went without a hitch.”

Still, I could tell that he was relieved to be able to report that news to me.

Sultan is an Andalusian, a breed that Daniel uses a lot for special training for films. His family offers about 60 trained stunt and seasoned carriage horses for period films, commercials, public appearances, television–and every other sort of public event. Sultan is planning another reunion, with War Horse actor Tom Huddleston (Captain Nicholls), in the upcoming film Henry V; this special horse then plans to co-star with Russell Crowe in the film version of Les Miserables.

Is there a union for movie star horses? Sultan has earned his card!

A report about the people at the premiere will be posted on Monday–but the horses had to come first!

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Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

Why You Need to See War Horse This Week: First-week Stats Help Future Horse Movies

The Horsey Set‘s Rhonda Lane is back as the raconteur-du-jour here on War Horse News. Today Rhonda admonishes all you wait-and-see types to get-thee-to-the-cinema because War Horse‘s first-week stats and gross box office income can effect studios’ sentiments toward producing more horse-related films! Over to you, Rhonda!

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For people who want to see more horses in the movies, the opening week of War Horse, directed by Hollywood visionary Steven Spielberg, is an excellent opportunity.

War Horse News small gold logo badgeThanks to War Horse and Mr. Spielberg, horses are in the mass media spotlight right now. Maybe they’re not actually on the red carpet, but they are in the forefront of cultural consciousness–for once–at some time other than Kentucky Derby week.

This is our chance to show that good movies about horses will draw crowds and make money.

Mr. Spielberg met us halfway by making an excellent movie. So, I think we horse people should look at our calendars to pick out an afternoon or evening this weekend to grab our tissues and go see War Horse during its first full weekend at the box office.

(Or, in the case of many, go see it again. And bring some friends.)

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Can Joey help War Horse leap the box office barricades and gallop off with impressive stats?

The “Bean Counters” who determine our choices for entertainment want to see who’s thirsting to see a movie, according to the blog post “Who Comes on Opening Night?”by marketing guru Seth Godin.

Maybe you’ve noticed, after watching the obligatory weekly Sunday night newsbreaks, that the movie that has the biggest opening of the weekend is mentioned in the financial news report, along with the amount of money made. The “Powers That Be” in entertainment make their decisions about what we’ll see in the future in large part based on the numbers they see during those few days after a movie opens.

We’ve all remarked at one time or another about how we wanted to see a movie but that it left theaters before we had a chance to go. The old rules of “I’ll wait to go see it” don’t apply anymore, not if we want to see more of a particular kind of entertainment.

So, if we want to see more horses in the movies, we need to make time to go see “War Horse” and as soon as we can. How about this weekend?

A PS from War Horse News: Rhonda Lane is, as usual, so right! NASDAQ’s film income forecast today validated everything she said and had this comment about War Horse’s predicted box office: Heading into its first full weekend, Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” also should be one of the biggest benefactors of a lack of new releases. Backed by some steady critical buzz, “War Horse” is expected to be a major contender at the upcoming Academy Awards, though a lot of that will depend on how it does commercially over the next couple of weekends. “War Horse” might be too heavy for some audiences this weekend, but an intake in the $10 to $12 million range still seems likely.

Rhonda Lane, The Horsey Set

Playbill.com listed War Horse as #7 last week, which is pretty wonderful, considering it only had one day’s income to report. The site also tells us: The highest-grossing film of the (Christmas) weekend was “Mission: Impossible,” which earned $29,500,000. Others in the top 10 include “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” “The Adventures of Tintin, “We Bought a Zoo,” “New Year’s Eve,” “The Darkest Hour” and “The Muppets.”

War Horse took in $7,515,402 at the box office on Christmas Day, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Rhonda Lane writes one of my favorite blogs, The Horsey Set. She is a native of Kentucky who now lives and writes in Connecticut. She’s currently working on a mystery novel. Follow Rhonda on Twitter (I do!): @RhondaLane

Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

Countdown to War Horse: Film Launch Dates by Nation

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As you read War Horse News about the DreamWorks film, most of the stories will have the US market for the film in mind. Just to be clear, however, here is a full rundown of the dates when the film premieres and when it actually opens in theaters in its major markets of USA, Great Britain, France, Germany and Australia. War Horse is going around the world in about 37 days!

4 December 2011 – US premiere

25 December 2011 – US and Canada theaters

26 December 2011 – Australia

5 January 2012 – Germany

8 January 2012 – UK premiere

11 January 2012 – France

13 January 2012 – UK theaters

Be brave! Entrench yourself in War Horse News on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you!