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1-20 of 33 items from 2005   « Prev | Next »


Kong knocks out BFCA

21 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Kong, the star of Peter Jackson's King Kong, will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Performing Arts Award on Jan. 9 at the 11th annual Critics' Choice Awards gala. The Broadcast Film Critics Assn., the group behind the event, is creating the special award to recognize "the singular achievement in creating this character, representing a revolutionary leap forward in synthesizing visual effects with an actor's performance," the BFCA said. "Many BFCA members wanted to vote for Kong for best actor because they were so impressed by the astonishing way in which he expresses love, lust, humor and rage in the tradition of the finest human actors," BFCA president Joey Berlin said. "The BFCA board of directors feels this recognition is necessary to live up to our goal of honoring the finest in cinematic achievement at the Critics' Choice Awards show." »

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'Kong' king of b.o. jungle as 'Narnia' holds sway in 2nd

20 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

As expected, Universal's King Kong was crowned the winner at the boxoffice this past weekend in North America, even though the gross wasn't quite as high as some industry observers had thought it would be. The Peter Jackson-helmed adventure grossed $50.1 million during the weekend and was the fourth-biggest debut ever in December, while the five-day total reached $66.2 million. Buena Vista's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe held up well on its sophomore session, taking second place with $31.8 million, down a relatively modest 51% from its debut. Based on the beloved series of books by C.S. Lewis, Narnia has levitated $113.2 million in 10 days. Opening successfully in a counterprogramming move, 20th Century Fox's The Family Stone placed third with a higher than expected $12.5 million. The female-oriented comedy is helmed by Thomas Bezucha and stars an ensemble cast featuring Diane Keaton and Sarah Jessica Parker. »

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No chains will ever hold 'Kong'

15 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

King Kong, the self-proclaimed eighth wonder of the world, burst into theaters this week, but the early numbers did not reflect the scope of director Peter Jackson's latest masterpiece. Still, they should catapult the film to a solid five-day opening. The PG-13 action-adventure movie from Universal Pictures opened Wednesday in 3,568 theaters and grossed $9.8 million. The film is unlikely to set records this weekend but should have strong legs through the holiday season. Universal is looking for opening numbers that rival Jackson's first Lord of the Rings project, 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring, which opened to $75 million over five days. That easily should be surpassable considering the massive amount of hype surrounding Kong. However, the new movie is going to have to score big today through Sunday because its Wednesday take was a little more than half of Fellowship's opening-day gross of $18.2 million. »

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'Kong' Remake Roars And Scores

15 December 2005 1:02 AM, PST | AirlockAlpha.com | See recent Airlock Alpha news »

The long wait is over, and the verdict is in: Peter Jackson's much-anticipated follow up to his epic "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, "King Kong," can be summed up in one word ... awesome!Jackson has not only managed, to stay faithful to the 1933 monster/love story created by maverick filmmaker Merian C. Cooper (with a few changes), but also topped himself in terms of masterful storytelling, mixed with awesome special effects action sequences and believable human characters.This new "Kong" also erased memories of Dino DeLauurentiis' ponderous 1976 remake, which introduced future two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Lange to movie audiences, and a man-in-a-monkey suit (AA Winner, Rick Baker).The new three-hour-and-seven-minute epic begins (and ends) in New York City, 1933, where wild-card »

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Jackson Sheds Weight

9 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Director Peter Jackson has lost a staggering 70 pounds in weight in just 10 months. The Lord Of The Rings director stunned journalists at promotional interviews for his new movie King Kong with a svelte new look, a million miles from the overweight film-maker made famous by the fantasy trilogy. Jackson claims the grueling editing process on King Kong, which saw him working 21-hour days, helped him slim. He says, "I just got tired of being overweight and unfit so I changed my diet from hamburgers to yogurt and muesli and it seemed to work. It was just cutting out junk food." »

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'Geisha' cleared for release in China

8 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Memoirs of a Geisha will be released Feb. 9 in China as one of the first 20 foreign films of 2006 allowed by law to share boxoffice revenue in the world's most populous nation, Sony executives said Wednesday. Though Geisha may follow Peter Jackson's King Kong, which United International Picutres executives say they hope will open Jan. 13 in China, the Columbia Pictures' film -- which stars Chinese idols Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi opposite Japan's Ken Watanabe -- is already igetting more attention in China and provoking strong opinions in Chinese Internet chat rooms, fueled by the two countries' historically strained relations. Geisha, which had its world premiere Nov. 29 in Japan, was approved for nationwide release in China by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, Sony Pictures Releasing International senior executive vp Mark Zucker said. »

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'Geisha' cleared for release in China

8 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Memoirs of a Geisha will be released Feb. 9 in China as one of the first 20 foreign films of 2006 allowed by law to share boxoffice revenue in the world's most populous nation, Sony executives said Wednesday. Though Geisha may follow Peter Jackson's King Kong, which United International Picutres executives say they hope will open Jan. 13 in China, the Columbia Pictures' film -- which stars Chinese idols Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi opposite Japan's Ken Watanabe -- is already igetting more attention in China and provoking strong opinions in Chinese Internet chat rooms, fueled by the two countries' historically strained relations. Geisha, which had its world premiere Nov. 29 in Japan, was approved for nationwide release in China by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, Sony Pictures Releasing International senior executive vp Mark Zucker said. »

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Jackson Honored with Original King Kong Model

6 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Filmmaker Peter Jackson watched his King Kong movie in style at the New York premiere last night - clutching the miniature model of the original Kong in his hands. Movie memorabilia collector Bob Burns, who owns the armature that was created for the 1933 movie, agreed to lend the artifact to Jackson for the evening. It isn't the first time the rare piece of movie history - believed to be the only existing prop from the 1933 King Kong film - has been in Jackson's hands. After hearing of its existence the director flew Burns and his quirky piece of memorabilia out to New Zealand, where he was filming his version of King Kong with Jack Black, Adrien Brody and Naomi Watts. Jackson even took time to film a short animated piece with the 70-year-old model, which he hopes to include on the DVD release of the blockbuster next year. Meanwhile, Sideshow Collectibles, the California-based company which created Jackson's Lord Of The Rings models, are set to use Bob Burns' armature as the model for a new King Kong collectible. »

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Watts Etches Name on Empire State Building

5 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Naomi Watts' is now a part of New York City's Empire State Building, after etching her name at the top of the colossal structure. Watts and filmmaker Peter Jackson went to scout out the Manhattan landmark as preparation for their anticipated King Kong remake, and the screen beauty took the opportunity to leave her personal stamp behind. She says, "(We went) pretty much to the top, certainly further than the public can go. The spike, I didn't go up there, but the last tier, there's a wall only about four or five feet high and I went to there and it was very windy. It was very scary." »

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The Vine: 3-D makeover of 'Kong' eyed

9 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Now that Chicken Little is a 3-D hit, could Peter Jackson's hairy ape be the next animated critter to take the big screen in 3-D? In-Three, an Agoura Hills, Calif.-based postproduction company that converts traditional live-action and animated movies into 3-D, already is at work applying its patented and trademarked "dimensionalization" process to King Kong for director Jackson (HR 1/14). Although there has been ongoing speculation that Kong eventually could reach out from the screen, that talk is taking on added urgency. In-Three offers 3-D shutter glasses, which exhibitors could use to show films without specially treated screens, though so far exhibitors have shown resistance to the idea of using the elaborate glasses, which are expensive to replace and require washing after every screening. In-Three's Michael Kaye declined comment. Real D, which joined with Industrial Light + Magic, Dolby and the Walt Disney Co. to turn Chicken into a 3-D event, could be another candidate to usher a 3-D Kong into theaters. Real D is promising that it will announce as early as next week the next film it will tackle. Asked whether that film was Kong, Real D CEO Josh Greer declined comment. Even if Real D were to take on the assignment, though, it doesn't look feasible that it would be part of Kong's initial Dec. 14 bow. (For one thing, the Real D-equipped theaters probably still will be showing Chicken.) But the betting is, whoever is involved, a 3-D Kong will appear in theaters several months into the movie's run. (Jackson, a natural showman, sold extra tickets to his first two Lord of the Rings movies when he augmented them with first-look trailers of their respective sequels.) A Universal spokesman denied that any plans are afoot to give Kong a 3-D boost during its run, saying, "No, ('King Kong') will not be shown in 3-D." But 3-D fans can still dream, can't they? »

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Jackson Escapes Prosecution in Safety Investigation

24 October 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson's Big Primate production company has escaped prosecution after a crew member was injured on the set of King Kong - because the victim is pressing to change working practices instead of blaming individuals. New Zealand authorities have spent months investigating set practices after an unnamed crew member on the film claimed poor safety efforts left him injured when scaffolding fell on him. And, in an Occupational Safety & Health Agency report last week, investigators agreed that safety practices on the set were suspect and crew members were expected to work long hours. The worker and a colleague were left with concussion and a broken shoulder blade. But, in a letter to Big Primate, the government-funded agency explained the production company had escaped prosecution because the injured worker was not interested in holding anyone responsible for his accident. »

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Jackson Ditches 'King Kong' Score Just Weeks Before Premiere

19 October 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood director Peter Jackson has ditched the score to his upcoming remake of King Kong with only seven weeks to go before the movie is scheduled to premiere. Jackson has hired a new composer after he failed to reach an agreement on how to score the highly-anticipated film with longtime collaborator Howard Shore, who wrote the music for his Lord Of The Rings trilogy. James Newton Howard, who has scored numerous movies including Batman Begins and The Sixth Sense, has stepped in to replace Shore. King Kong stars Jack Black, Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody and is due to premiere in New York City on December 5. Jackson has issued a statement, saying: "During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of King Kong. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film." »

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Jackson Wins 'Halo' Franchise

10 October 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson is turning his favorite video game Halo into a feature-length film. The Lord Of The Rings movie-maker grew addicted to Halo while shooting his latest film King Kong - so he jumped at the chance to snap up the movie rights and take it to the big screen. Jackson will produce the sci-fi film in his native New Zealand. A cast has yet to be announced and it's unknown if he will direct as well. Halo follows hot on the heels of a string of computer games which have been adapted for the big screen, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Resident Evil and Doom. The game has sold over five million copies around the world and charts the adventures of futuristic super-soldier Master Chief in his quest to save mankind from aliens. Bungie, the Microsoft-owned business which developed Halo, says, "We're delighted to have someone who's as committed to the Halo universe as Peter Jackson was to Tolkien's Middle-Earth". »

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Jackson, Walsh ring up 'Halo' duty

5 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the creative duo behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming King Kong, have boarded Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox's big-screen version of the video game Halo as executive producers. At the same time, outgoing Universal heads of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber have joined Peter Schlessel on the project as producers. Jackson and Walsh will give creative input on all aspects of the film via their WingNut Films banner, and Jackson's Weta Digital Ltd. and Weta Workshop Ltd. will provide creatures, miniatures and visual effects for the production. This marks the first time that Jackson and Walsh have performed these services on a major studio film that Jackson is not directing. It also extends Jackson's relationship with Universal, for which he made the upcoming King Kong. »

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Jackson, Walsh ring up 'Halo' duty

5 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the creative duo behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming King Kong, have boarded Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox's big-screen version of video game Halo as executive producers. At the same time, outgoing Universal heads of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber have joined Peter Schlessel on the project as producers. Jackson and Walsh will give creative input on all aspects of the film via their WingNut Films banner, and Jackson's Weta Digital Ltd. and Weta Workshop Ltd. will provide creatures, miniatures and visual effects for the production. This marks the first time that Jackson and Walsh have performed these services on a major studio film that Jackson is not directing. It also extends Jackson's relationship with Universal, for which he made the upcoming King Kong. »

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Jackson, Walsh ring up 'Halo' duty

4 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the creative duo behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming King Kong, have boarded Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox's big-screen version of the video game Halo as executive producers. At the same time, outgoing Universal heads of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber have joined Peter Schlessel on the project as producers. Jackson and Walsh will offer creative input on all aspects of the film via their WingNut Films banner, and Jackson's Weta Digital Ltd. and Weta Workshop Ltd. will provide creatures, miniatures and visual effects for the production. The duo's involvement marks the first time that they have gotten creatively involved on a film that Jackson is not directing. No director has yet been chosen for the film, for which Alex Garland is writing the screenplay. »

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Jackson, Walsh ring up 'Halo' duty

4 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the creative duo behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming King Kong, have boarded Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox's big-screen version of the video game Halo as executive producers. At the same time, outgoing Universal heads of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber have joined Peter Schlessel on the project as producers. Jackson and Walsh will offer creative input on all aspects of the film via their WingNut Films banner, and Jackson's Weta Digital Ltd. and Weta Workshop Ltd. will provide creatures, miniatures and visual effects for the production. The duo's involvement marks the first time that they have gotten creatively involved on a film that Jackson is not directing. No director has yet been chosen for the film, for which Alex Garland is writing the screenplay. »

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Million Dollar Pay Out to Silent 'LotR' Producer

31 August 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The Hollywood producer who owns the rights to The Lord of the Rings books has been paid $168 million by the company behind Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning trilogy - despite never working on any of the hit movies. Saul Zaentz, 84, secured the rights to the J.R.R. Tolkien's books in 1976, and production company New Line made the big money payout after Jackson's trilogy made a staggering $2.9 billion. Zaentz sued New Line for a further $20 million after he said they based his share of royalties from foreign distributors on net income rather then from the gross profits. New Lines are still facing a legal challenge from the trilogy's Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, who says the company withheld his share of profits from the first film. »

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A New Look for Peter Jackson

4 July 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Lord Of The Rings movie maker Peter Jackson has shed 70 pounds of his bulk working on new movie King Kong. The heavyweight director credits a healthier fruit and yogurt diet for his new slim look. He says, "It was all the catering for five years on Lord of The Rings." Jackson has also undergone laser eye surgery so he can ditch his famous spectacles: "I just got tired of being outside with rain and dust on the glasses." »

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Spielberg Voted Best Director

3 June 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has been voted the greatest director of all time. Spielberg - the talent behind huge blockbuster hits including Schindler's List, E.T., Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Saving Private Ryan - topped a poll commissioned by Britain's Empire movie magazine. The 58-year-old beat off competition from Psycho director Alfred Hitchcock and The Aviator creator Martin Scorsese, who came in second and third respectively. Empire's associate editor Ian Freer says, "Steven Spielberg is the closest thing in movies to resemble the impact of The Beatles. A cultural phenomenon, his adventures with sharks, UFOs, whip-crackin' archaeologists and ETs, plus searching historical dramas like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan have defined the movie-going life of an entire generation." Surprisingly, acclaimed film-makers such as Star Wars director George Lucas, Charlie Chaplin, and Tim Burton, fell short of inclusion. The top ten is as follows: 1. Steven Spielberg, 2. Alfred Hitchcock, 3. Martin Scorsese, 4. Stanley Kubrick, 5. Sir Ridley Scott, 6. Akira Kurosawa, 7. Peter Jackson, 8. Quentin Tarantino, 9. Orson Welles, 10. Woody Allen. »

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