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Disney's family-friendly movie tops the UK box-office charts, as rival animation Free Birds' fortunes take a dive
• More on the UK box office
• Frozen – review
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – review
Pushing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire aside after its two weeks at the top spot, Disney's Frozen opened with £4.70m. That's by no means the top number for an animation this year – Despicable Me 2 debut gathered £14.82m, including £4.87m in previews in June – but it's a solid start for a film presumed to play to the Christmas audience. Family films targeting the Christmas market have a knack of playing strongly right through until Christmas Eve, and if the festive association is not too strong can, continue to play beyond that date.
Two years ago, Aardman's Arthur Christmas debuted with a so-so £2.11m, but by Christmas Day had managed £19.66m, and eventually reached £20.84m. (A re-release »
- Charles Gant
The line-up of films premiering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival has been released, and there are a lot of good movies, one of which includes The Raid 2, which I am incredibly excited to see! It's easily my most anticipated film at the festival.
The Sundance Film Festival takes place from January 16th to the 26th in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah. From the press release:
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival feature new work from many established independent filmmakers who began their careers at our Festival years ago, which allows us to reflect on the impact, legacy and growth of the independent film movement over the past 30 years.”
Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “In many of the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we see fascinating characters and subjects throughout. »
- Joey Paur
Today, the Sundance Film Festival announced the lineup of its premieres for 2014, a roster of 17 feature films as well as documentary picks. The slate includes new projects from stars like Michael Fassbender and Amy Poehler, and a fair number of oddball comedies among the thrillers and dramas.
15 Must-See Movies From the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
As Variety reports, Fassbender stars with Maggie Gyllenhaal in one of those comedies, Frank, a flick about an avant-garde rock band. Among the other highlights, David Cross writes and directs Hits, which takes on fame and »
The Sundance Film Festival made their final feature film line-ups with the Premieres category announcements. Sixteen films with huge name talent, returnee filmmakers and plenty of buyer interest/and future all night wheeling, and dealing.
After breaking out in Park City with The Guard, John Michael McDonagh returns (alongside actor Brendan Gleeson) the much anticipated Calvary. Mike Cahill (alongside actress Brit Marling) returns with more sci-fi terrain with, I Origins. Jake Paltrow who managed to sink instead of swim with The Good Night, was again surfaces with Young Ones. And this was unexpected, but Jordan Vogt-Roberts makes it back to back years with Toy’s House (The Kings of Summer) re-teams with Nick Offerman for Nick Offerman: American Ham (which is more concert-comedy film than narrative feature).
- Eric Lavallee
The Premieres lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was just unveiled, and along with it a collection of first look images and synopses for said films are now online. Briefly: The Raid 2 – Directed by Gareth Evans; starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, and Alex Abbad. They Came Together – Directed by David Wain; starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, and Christopher Meloni. Frank – Directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy. Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, and Mark Webber. Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th. The Raid 2 / Indonesia (Director and screenwriter: Gareth Evans) — Picking up where the first film left off, The Raid 2 follows Rama as he goes undercover and infiltrates the »
- Adam Chitwood
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival has already announced its lineup for competition films and the At Midnight and Next categories, and today they’ve unveiled the multitude of world premieres that will take place in Park City next month. These films include the action sequel The Raid 2, director Lynne Shelton’s new film Laggies, director Anton Corbijn’s John le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, the David Wain comedy They Came Together, writer/director Jake Paltrow’s sci-fi pic Young Ones, the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, and many more. Hit the jump to check out the full lineup. Here's the premieres lineup: Premieres A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year. Presented by Entertainment Weekly. Calvary / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh) — Calvary is a blackly comedic drama about a priest tormented by his community. Father »
- Adam Chitwood
An unusually strong international flavor pervades the Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres slate, with new pictures from British helmer Michael Winterbottom, Irish directors Lenny Abrahamson and John Michael McDonagh, Dutch filmmaker Anton Corbijn, Welsh-born action maven Gareth Evans and Iranian-born French auteur Marjane Satrapi figuring prominently among the 17 world-premiere titles unveiled today alongside the Documentary Premieres section.
See Also: Sundance Unveils 2014 Competition, Next Lineups
For director of programming Trevor Groth, the flowering of international auteur talent in Premieres is the result of a considered effort that began shortly after he and fest director John Cooper launched their first edition in 2010. While their immediate focus was on beefing up the dramatic competition as a showcase for new filmmakers, broader international outreach across all sections of the festival became a similar priority.
“I think we’ve really built the dramatic competition up in a way that it’s firing at the level we always hoped it would, »
- Justin Chang
The Sundance Film Festival announced the titles selected to screen in its out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Last year, the movies that were launched in these categories — which typically highlight filmmakers who’ve appeared at Sundance before — included Before Midnight, Don Jon, and The Way Way Back; this year appears to be just as promising. In Lynn Shelton’s Laggies, a young woman stuck in arrested-development (Keira Knightley) has her life upended by an unexpected marriage proposal. In David Wain’s They Came Together — surely, a naughty pun, yes? — Wet Hot American Summer alums Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd »
- Jeff Labrecque
Festival top brass announced on December 9 the Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections.
Gareth Evans returns with The Raid 2, Anton Corbijn makes his first appearance at Sundance with the John Le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man, while Michael Winterbottom brings his comedy sequel The Trip To Italy starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (pictured).
The line-up includes I Origins, Mike Cahill’s follow-up to Sundance 2011 prize winner Another Earth, as well as new work from Park City perennials Lynn Shelton with Laggies and Ira Sachs with Love Is Strange.
Documentary Premieres include the indefatigable Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela, Happy Valley from Amir Bar-Lev, the Roger Ebert portrait Life Itself from Steve James, the George Takei film To Be Takei and Joe Berlinger’s hot-off-the-press Whitey: United States Of America v. James »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Premieres of 16 of the most anticipated features of the upcoming year. Calvary / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh) — Calvary is a blackly comedic drama about a priest tormented by his community. Father James is a good man intent on making the world a better place. When his life is threatened one day during confession, he finds he has to battle the dark forces closing in around him. Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Marie-Josée Croz.Frank / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Lenny Abrahamson, Screenwriters: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan) — Frank is an offbeat comedy about a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant garde rock band led by the enigmatic Frank—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy.Hits / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David. »
The movies persist in giving us an outdated view of women
Ed Helmore's welcome article further underlined the woeful position of women in the film industry ("The naked truth: Hollywood treats its women as second-class citizens", In Focus).
There are also still questions to be raised about the representation of women in films. In fact, women rarely appear as women – they appear as sex objects or as ersatz men – sometimes both at once.
I like a strong female lead as much as the next person, but so often that female acts and talks exactly like a man and is surrounded by men – though she is usually allowed to have sex with the male lead at the end of the movie. When can we acknowledge that women do interesting, thrilling, beautiful, unusual, brave and clever things without having to inhabit a "traditionally male" role? Worst of all, the man-woman has now become a cliche, »
Marrakech, Morocco — The local industry started developing at a faster pace in the early 2000s with the creation of the Advance on Receipts, a selective financing mechanism modeled on a French program allowing producers to collect public funds, and the bow of three major film schools: Marrakech’s Superior School of Visual Arts, Ismac in Rabat and Ouarzazate film institute, where students got trained to work on local and international films. The launch of Tangier’s National Film Awards and Marrakech Film Festival also provided emerging filmmakers with a stepping stone and helped build the industry.
Despite the lack of tax incentives, foreign shoots still hit Moroccan shores.
“Producers often chose Morocco over Middle Eastern countries like Dubai because it’s safer, more open — there’s no censorship or limit on what you can say or do — and it’s cheaper,” says Karim Debbagh at Kasbah Films, a production outfit »
- Elsa Keslassy
Who is Oscar Isaac? He stars as a fictitious '60s folk singer in the new Coen Brothers' film "Inside Llewyn Davis," and although he's made plenty of films you've probably seen, he's seemingly come out of nowhere, so much so that a reporter at Cannes (where the film won the Grand Prix award) asked the actor, "Where have you come from?"
The 33-year-old was born in Guatemala, raised in Miami, and educated at Juilliard. He's been acting for more than 10 years, just in roles that haven't gotten him a lot of attention -- until now.
Even if you remember him from "Drive" or "Robin Hood," you've likely never heard him sing before, but he's actually been singing for years. Before breaking out as an actor, he sang and played lead guitar in the band The Blinking Underdogs.
Since you'll likely be seeing a lot more of Isaac, here's a »
- Sharon Knolle
‘Catching Fire’ box office: To surpass Iron Man 3 in North America? (photo: Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) Thanksgiving was celebrated this past week in the United States. Although the American economy remains in a seemingly never-ending rut, Lionsgate has much to be thankful for, financially speaking: on the weekend of November 29-December 1, 2013, Francis Lawrence’s $110-130 million-budgeted The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, added another $74.5 million from 4,163 North American locations according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Even if Lionsgate’s estimates are (once again) off by a couple of percentage points, that’s a remarkable hold for a sequel. In fact, Catching Fire was down only 53% compared to its first weekend, which included $25+ million from Thursday night and Friday midnight screenings. And let’s not forget that the Hunger Games sequel blew off »
- Zac Gille
Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the Golden Globe Award nominations through December 12th, when the nominations are announced. Here's our take on the best actress in a drama category, which -- like the Oscars -- seems to be down to Cate Blanchett v. Sandra Bullock. Judi Dench and Emma Thompson are all but assured to be joining them, leaving one slot up for grabs (that would have been taken by Meryl Streep, but "August: Osage County" is competing in the comedy/musical categories). If "American Hustle" is all that it could be, that last slot is likely going to Amy Adams. But there's room for surprise in the final slot (or if they end up offering six nominees, which they do from time to time). You have to hand it to the Globes for offering nominations in this category to great performances in tiny films »
- Peter Knegt
‘Catching Fire’ weekend box office: Record breaker with qualifiers — though a huge success all the same (photo: Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) For the weekend of November 22-24, 2013, Lionsgate overestimated the domestic box office take of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by nearly 2%. Doesn’t sound like much? What about $3 million? That figure can make a hell of a difference when we’re talking box office records. In fact, it can be the difference between a movie breaking and not breaking a box office record. All day Sunday heralded as the biggest 2D opening ever in the United States and Canada, the Francis Lawrence-directed Catching Fire actually opened below two movies: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and The Dark Knight (2008). And when inflation is taken into account, as it always should, the The Hunger Games sequel falls behind a couple of other titles as well. »
- Zac Gille
‘Catching Fire’ movie box office: ‘Midnight’ shows nearly 30% ahead of ‘The Hunger Games’ (photo: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Best Actress Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson, raked in a remarkable $25.25 million from evening shows on Thursday, November 21, 2013, in North America (playing at 4,163 locations on Friday), according to estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That’s 28 percent higher than the $19.74 million at 2,565 locations earned by its predecessor, Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games; it’s also one of the biggest domestic "midnight" debuts ever. (See more on that below. Scroll down to check out a video of Jennifer Lawrence yelling back at yelling photographers at the Catching Fire New York premiere. And see also: “‘Catching Fire’ Weekend Box Office: Poised to Surpass ‘New Moon,’ ‘The Hunger Games’?”) Now, in the paragraph above »
- Zac Gille
Sundance Channel just might be getting “A Visit From the Goon Squad.” The cable network is in negotiations to develop an adaptation of Jennifer Egan’s 2010 book “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2011. Also read: ‘White House Down’s’ Maggie Gyllenhaal Is Sundance Channel’s ‘Honourable Woman’ The book revolves around music executive Bennie Salazar and his circle of friends and associates as they find their lives wandering into unexpected directions, and was described as “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age” by the Pulitzer organization. »
- Tim Kenneally and Jeff Sneider
Exclusive: Between nightly guild screenings and the AFI Fest, you could go to theaters all over Hollywood, throw a rock, and probably hit a great director or actor. One I’m intrigued by is Scott Cooper, whose debut Crazy Heart drew an Oscar for Jeff Bridges and a nomination for Maggie Gyllenhaal. His follow-up Out Of The Furnace threatens to do the same for a stellar ensemble cast of Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard. What’s fascinating is Cooper spent years knocking around as an actor, hoping for but never getting the kinds of roles he writes for other actors. He discusses that with Deadline along with the high price of truthful writing, the role of luck, fate and ’70s films in his process, and how painful violence in serious films imprints on a gun-crazy society. Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Out Of The Furnace »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix, blinkbox, Curzon on Demand.
new to stream
Hysteria: breezy, gently naughty film with great performances by a superb cast, including Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Rupert Everett [my review] [at Netflix] Once Upon a Time in Mexico: it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but there’s stirring mythmaking here, and Johnny Depp exuding gunslinger glee [my review] [at Netflix]
new to stream
X-Men: delicious visual popcorn, heartfelt performances, and smart, unexpected depth; a thrilling movie experience [my review] [at blinkbox] X-Men: First Class: like a lost James Bond flick, with mutants, set in a suave 1960s slick with Cold War retro cool [my review] [at blinkbox] X-Men Origins: Wolverine: powerfully fun »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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