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“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” dominated the global box office for the second week in a row, taking in $105.5 million from 59 foreign markets.
The best opening this weekend was in South Korea, where “Five Armies” brought in $10.4 million, and it posted the biggest opening of the year in Spain with $6.3 million.
Also Read: Box Office Gets $90 Million Goodbye Gift from Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ Finale
But the holdover performances were even better. »
- Todd Cunningham
On the face of it, 2014 has been a rather strange year for film, a step down from an annum of classics and simultaneously a slalom into the realms of adventure and discord. It is rather significant that now, more than halfway through December, most talk has turned to trailers and announced releases for next year, the long-term planning of industry giants and the hunt for the next super-franchise. It is simply continuing the trend; of the twenty highest grossing films of 2014 (so far), an eye-watering seventeen are sequels, adaptations (of source material or franchise brand), reworks, reboots or otherwise unoriginal content. Of the three left over, two were unheralded comedies. 2015 promises more of the same, with the arrival of Jurassic World, Terminator Genisys (sic), Mad Max: Fury Road as well as Avengers 2, The Hunger Games 4, Fast and Furious 7, Taken 3 and a Fantastic Four reboot. Oh yeah, and Fifty Shades of Sh Grey… »
- Scott Patterson
Picture, if you will, the end credits for our 2014 Year in Review. Credits rolling. Perhaps a little incidental orchestra music from the soundtrack (or if this was a romantic comedy, “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers). We’re past the soundtrack credits, and the special thanks. Here’s the MPAA logo — clearly, we’re at the end here. Then, blackness. Then, a flash of color! We’ve snuck one more end-of-the-year thinkpiece in after the credits. And to think, if you had walked out during them, you might have missed it. The post-credits stinger is changing. As of 2014, they remain ubiquitous (though there’s always a sizable section of the audience in the opening weekend of any Marvel movie that leaves as soon as the lights come up; surely you’ve danced this dance before, people). Studios are keen to throw all kinds of crap in after the movie’s over — gags, teases »
- Adam Bellotto
Following up on the artwork for Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero 6 and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Poster Posse has published an array of stunning artwork to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi classic, Alien.
The beloved 1979 masterpiece may have spawned an entire universe across different mediums but, much like The Creative Assembly’s recent survival horror title, Alien Isolation, Poster Posse’s latest work returns to a film that changed a genre and, ultimately, created two stars in the making in Ellen Ripley and the deadly Xenomorph.
The artwork is truly impressive, and renders Scott’s vision in a wholly unique way 35 years after the film first terrified audiences the world over. Whether it’s the alien’s head portrayed in the shape of the number 35 or the Nostromo suspended in the blackness of space over a cluster of galaxies that resemble the Xenomorph itself, »
- Michael Briers
Written by James Lepine, based on a musical by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Rob Marshall
What is there to say about a film that is destined to succeed in spite of its weak ambitions and generic form? Rob Marshall’s newest project, Into the Woods, has been granted a Christmas Day release. which will no doubt pay off bigtime for the director and Disney Studios. It has all the ingredients of success: it is based off an incredibly popular Stephen Sondheim musical, it features a fairy-tale motif, and it has an all-star cast. It also cashes in on the fact that musicals are once again a highly commercial prospect, and while innovation within the genre seems to be at a virtual stand-still, audiences will flock to see nearly any Hollywood adaptation of a popular Broadway musical. More shrill than charming, Into the Woods shares more in »
- Justine Smith
The ongoing slide from film to digital has resulted in the vast majority of movies being shot on the latter, newer format. While I still think there's a noticeable aesthetic difference between the two mediums, the cost benefits of shooting on digital (along with the time-saving benefits since time really is money, especially on a film set) have definitely made a dent in the budgeting process for most projects. Still, some directors have the clout to shoot on celluloid. Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan come to mind and even Ti West was able to shoot In a Valley of Violence the old fashioned way. With the amount of hits under his belt, one assumes that Kingsman: The Secret Service director Matthew Vaughn has some say in this matter when it comes to his projects, and he claims he's made the switch to digital. Permanently. Steve recently learned this when he »
- Evan Dickson
November and December are always good for a holiday-themed movie or several, but ever notice how many of today's biggest and most popular filmmakers tend not to make straight-up Christmas movies? At least not often enough, if you ask us. So if we want to see folks like Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, Christopher Nolan and Alfred Hitchcock inject a little of that holiday spirit straight into our jingle-bell'n souls, we have to rely on spoof videos like the one below, courtesy of Fourgrounds and Suitcase in Point Theatre Company. This isn't the first time they've staged a holiday-themed video showcasing the fictional Christmas movies from popular filmmakers. Check out last year's version, too. If you had to pick one filmmaker to...
- Erik Davis
Though Jessica Chastain has played some pretty fierce female characters throughout her career, according to the Oscar-nominated actress, women are definitely being under-represented in film.
In a new interview with Indiewire, the 37-year-old Chastain -- who proudly calls herself a feminist -- says she's just been "lucky" to have the opportunity to play such strong female roles in films like Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar.
"When I speak out I'm not doing it from a selfish place because I get incredible opportunities," she says. "I'm speaking out as an audience member who is going to the cinema and noticing there's a problem here because I don't see women being represented. I don't see Asian-American actresses begin represented. I don't see women in their 60s being represented in film. ... There are these really fantastic actresses out there, but there are so few opportunities."
Photos: Who Got Hired in Hollywood?
She points out the lack of female leads when it »
I have another Oscar contender roundtable for you lovely people out there. This one concerns the producers of some of the most talked about films this year. Unfortunately, this roundtable is moderated by Stephen Galloway, so you will have to deal with that. But the things they talk about are still interesting. This roundtable includes Peter Chernin (St. Vincent, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood), Marc Platt (Into the Woods), Emma Thomas (Interstellar), John Lesher (Birdman, Fury), and Eric Fellner (The Theory of Everything). It would have been interesting for this conversation to be filmed after the hack at Sony. It obviously would have come up, especially due to the e-mails from Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal. Alas, you can tell this has been in the can for quite a bit, so we will not get to enjoy that bit of talking. I thought Emma Thomas, »
- Mike Shutt
Throughout the year, we've featured some cool artwork from Poster Posse hyping up films like Disney's Big Hero 6, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. But the latest efforts of artists paying tribute to films with their incredible art work is for a film that hit theaters decades ago. You may not realize it, but this year is the 35th anniversary of Alien, the sci-fi horror classic that introduced us to terrifying xenomorphs and the tough-as-nails Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), and Poster Posse has just rounded up some awesome pieces for the film's anniversary, and we've posted our favorites below. Look! Here's just some of the artwork created by Poster Posse for the 35th anniversary of Alien: If you want to see more, and find out the artists names and seen more intricate details on some of the prints, you can check out all of Phase »
- Ethan Anderton
Sometimes, the right chemistry of material comes together to make for a ripe trailer mashup, and recently those ingredients were found in the most unlikely place: the first trailer for "Knight Of Cups." Featuring more frenzied editing and electronically pulsating music than we're used to from Malick, and with a voiceover that could be ripped out of the diaries of Bruce Wayne, it wasn't long until someone took at shot at marrying the worlds of Terrence Malick and Christopher Nolan. And it was...okay. But two more have landed that raise the bar. First up is an effort from video cutting maestro Nelson Carvajal, who takes the right path of keeping the voiceover and weaving into footage strictly from the The Dark Knight trilogy. And it's an approach Noah R. Taylor utilizes too, with both mashups getting the mix just right. "Knight Of Cups" doesn't have a distributor yet or a release date, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It was a year of many tortured geniuses onscreen — Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, J.M.W. Turner, Brian Wilson — and behind the scenes, where directors like Bong Joon-ho, James Gray and Paul Schrader fought producers and distributors over final cut, and the right to see their films properly released. Of course, the very idea of distribution has become nearly as diffuse in the digital era as that of film itself, a material on which few movies are still made and even fewer shown — unless you happen to be Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino or Christopher Nolan, who earned the ire of some theater owners when he demanded they reinstall 35mm projectors if they wanted to screen his “Interstellar” two days early. In light of the film’s $600 million worldwide gross (and counting), one can only say: poor them.
Speaking of “Interstellar,” if there was one undeniable constant at the movies in 2014, it was time, »
- Scott Foundas
For the first time, the guild is awarding lifetime achievement awards in all four crafts comprising the Adg (Iatse Local 800) at the 19th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in Los Angeles on January 31.
As previously announced production designer Jim Bissell will receive the Art Directors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Camille Abbott will receive the illustrators and matte artists Lifetime Achievement Award, while set designer lifetime achievement honours go to John P Bruce.
Scenic artist Will Ferrell will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the scenic, title and graphic artists craft.
Bruce has worked on Jaws, The Matrix, Armageddon, The Sting and The Killer Inside Me.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” is state of the art, yet old-fashioned: He filmed in L.A. as much as possible, prefers physical sets to greenscreen and watches the rushes in 35mm. Audiences like the results: The film has passed $620 million so far at the global box office. Here, Nolan talked with Variety about his unique process with production designer Nathan Crowley, working with longtime collaborators, and the “weird” surprise he gave Hans Zimmer.
Production design, Nathan Crowley
“He’s one of my most closest and inspiring creative collaborators. Often when I’m finishing a script, before we have anybody on board, he’ll come on — and in my garage, we will start throwing ideas around, doing sketches, building models; we noodle around, just as a pure fun time. There are no mouths to feed at that point, there are no big departments needing to know what to build, how much »
- Tim Gray
Tastes change. Not just those of the moviegoing public, who’ve gotten so wise to the sales pitches and story formulas that the town has had no choice but to adapt, propelling a self-aware superhero movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” above the likes of Cap and Spidey at the box office, and making sly, meta-minded directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller — responsible for ultra-blockbuster “The Lego Movie” and wink-wink sequel “22 Jump Street” — the hottest helming duo in town. But over time, critics’ tastes change, too.
In February, I relocated from Los Angeles to Paris, to take up my new post as Variety’s chief international film critic. As you can imagine, my diet underwent a radical upheaval — and I’m not talking about crepes and chocolate mousse, either. What I wasn’t prepared for was how swiftly my moviegoing palate might adapt to this new post.
I’d been raised on junk-food American fare, »
- Peter Debruge
Assembling a year-end top-10 list has always been a personal, even self-indulgent, ritual, a way of disguising a whimsical ranking of favorites as a carefully curated declaration of personal taste. At the risk of making things even more solipsistic than usual, let me begin by noting that the fraught relationship between artists and critics provided 2014 with one of its most compelling movie themes, with critics themselves — food critics, art critics, theater critics and, yes, film critics — figuring among the year’s most favored characters. And by favored, of course, I mean mocked, loathed and misunderstood at every turn.
In one of the most talked-about scenes in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s virtuoso backstage farce “Birdman,” a washed-up movie star named Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) comes face to face with a notoriously nasty New York Times theater critic, Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan), who calmly informs him that she’s going to eviscerate his new Broadway play, »
- Justin Chang
It was bound to happen, and is probably the first of what will be a handful of attempts, but Terrence Malick's "Knight Of Cups" has been reconfigured for the world of Batman in this trailer mashup. It's a decent attempt, but there's lots of room for improvement. Ulitizing the voiceover from the "Knight Of Cups," this 90-second re-edit cuts together footage from both Malick's upcoming film and Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' series, but leans pretty heavily on the former. We'd think a more interesting approach would be to keep the voiceover but only use footage from the Nolan films and see what could be pulled together. Nothing says lost souls and love like the pained life and exploits of Bruce Wayne, so get cracking, mashup artists! For now, check out the below. »
- Edward Davis
In a new interview, Dumb and Dumber To star Jim Carrey answered a question about whether or not he'd want to reprise the role of the Riddler in a future Batman film. While he admits that his iteration of the character probably wouldn't fit in the world that the upcoming slate of DC films is building, he does say he'd be up to give it a go again if asked. Carrey also touches on his desire to work with Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) again after their Howard Hughes-biopic failed to see the light of day. Check out the interview below! The Dark Knight is back on the big screen for the third feature in the blockbuster Batman series ... now battling two supervillains simultaneously--but this time joined by his protégé, Robin, to protect Gotham City. Jim Carrey stars as criminal genius, The Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones plays Two-Face. »
What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in Ja »
With our Sound and Visions series, Vulture explores the future of movies and the movie industry. We hope you’ll plug us directly into your cerebral cortex. The speed with which digital cinema took over the world has been nothing short of astonishing. Back in 2007, researchers forecasted that around 50 percent of the world’s movie screens would be digital by 2013 — which seemed like a pretty sci-fi prognostication at the time. In fact, by the end of 2013, the figure was closer to 90 percent. Last month, Christopher Nolan made news by actually daring to release Interstellar early to some theaters on 35mm (and 70mm) film. Within a few years, photochemical film has gone from an industry standard to a novelty act. Progress, right? Digital files, as we’ve been told over and over again, don’t decay and fade and damage the way celluloid film does. The movie looks exactly »
- Bilge Ebiri
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