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While rodeo bull riding was the backdrop for Dallas Buyers Club and this year’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride, it’s set to get even more of a starring role thanks to Emily Blunt and Bronco Belle. Writer/director Khurram Longi is busy rounding up the rest of the cast for the film, which follows the exploits of Raylene Jackson (Blunt), a woman with a chip on her shoulder who harbours a dream of becoming a champion bull rider. She’ll need some support from an old trainer seeking redemption and a shameless hustler of a promoter to make it in a highly competitive field.According to Longi, the idea was born during a road trip across America. “We were driving down from New York and ended up in Texas where, by chance, we stumbled across the world of rodeo. I had never been to one before. We »
There will likely be much speculation about the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron failed to top the original film in its opening weekend at the box office. Never mind that the latest Marvel offering still made an estimated $187.7 million at the box office and has already grossed $626.7 million worldwide, putting it in closer company to previous champ Furious 7 (which settled for third place this week with an estimated $6.1 million and a bucket load of cash in its pockets). Still, a nice trend of this weekend is not how much the movies are making, but that studios have been releasing their numbers. Surprisingly, some films have done better than appearances first seemed.
The Age of Adaline took second with an estimated $6.3 million, and along with seventh place finisher Ex Machina (estimated $2.2 million) are the only two on the list that have not released their costs. With both making modest »
- Seth Paul
Kyle Patrick Alvarez (“The Stanford Prison Experiment”) will direct an adaptation of Graham McNamee’s Ya thriller “Acceleration” for Theresa Park’s Pow! Productions and Peter Safran, Variety has learned exclusively.
Alvarez will direct from a script he’s adapting with Adam Shazar. “Stanford Prison Experiment” debuted in January at Sundance, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
“Acceleration,” published in 2003, unfolds over a blisteringly hot summer, during which the 17-year-old protagonist is working in the bowels of the Transit Authority’s Lost and Found department, cataloging misplaced belongings. When he stumbles across a lost diary filled with the twisted secrets of a serial killer, he quickly realizes the killer is stalking his prey in the subway and that his next victim has already been chosen.
Park, a longtime literary agent who is also Nicholas Sparks’ producing partner, recently founded Pow! to develop »
- Dave McNary
Nothing happened at the domestic box office this weekend. Well, almost nothing. The biggest news came from overseas, where "Avengers: Age of Ultron" opened almost everywhere except here.
At home, the box office seemed to be biding its time until the "Avengers" sequel opens this Friday. Meantime, "Furious 7" remained on top for the fourth straight weekend, as if no studio could be bothered to mount a serious challenge to it. "Age of Adaline" opened in third place, and "Little Boy," the weekend's other new wide release, opened way down at No. 13. Overall, the domestic box office declined for the third straight weekend, selling not even $100 million worth of tickets from Friday to Sunday.
Nonetheless, there were a few spots of good news:
o. With its estimated $18.3 million take representing nearly a fifth of all ticket sales this weekend, "Furious 7" is the first film since the original "Hunger Games »
- Gary Susman
For the fourth weekend in a row, Furious 7 took first place at the domestic box office. Also, thanks to its record-setting performance in China, Furious 7 is now just the third movie ever to earn over $1 billion overseas.Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted in 44 international markets and earned a stunning $201.2 million. In nearly all of those markets, it opened above The Avengers and Iron Man 3.For more coverage on Avengers and Furious 7, see the Around-the-World Roundup below.In the U.S., Furious 7 eased 37 percent to an estimated $18.3 million. The last movie to hold on to the top spot for four weekends in a row was The Hunger Games, which did so back in March/April of 2012.So far, Furious 7 has earned $320.5 million at the domestic box office. If it can hold decently against Avengers next weekend, it has a strong shot at reaching $350 million. »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the calm before the storm (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Furious 7 continued its dominance over the North American box office, while The Age of Adaline had a respectable debut in third place. The sixth sequel amassed another $18.3 million, getting its best hold yet with a 37% drop. It is the first movie since The Hunger Games in 2012 to top the box office for four straight weekends. Of course, without major new competition before the summer box office begins next weekend, another crowning position on the charts was expected.
The racing behemoth has already surpassed the $320 million mark and generally, it would be a lock to cross the $350 mark at this point. However, with Avengers: Age of Ultron set to assemble massive audiences next weekend – and likely gun for the opening weekend record, beating its predecessor – Furious 7 should lose much of its firepower, along with its IMAX and high format screens. »
- Jordan Adler
Lionsgate released their new romantic/drama film, "The Age of Adaline," into theaters this weekend, and all the reviews have been turned in from the top, major movie critics. It turns out that about half of them liked it, which is better than nothing I guess. It got a mixed 51 score out of a possible 100 across 30 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: Harrison Ford, Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew and Michiel Huisman. We've supplied blurbs from a couple of the critics,below. Matt Zoller Seitz from RogerEbert.com, gave it a decent 75 grade, stating: " Ford's voice — always deep, lowered an octave by age and one more by William's longing — is even more powerful. This is Ford's best performance since "The Fugitive," maybe since "Witness." Kyle Smith over at the New York Post, gave it a 75 grade ,saying: " The film is as tender and endearing as a lamb, »
- Andre Braddox
On its surface, The Age of Adaline may look like what might happen if Nicholas Sparks wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But this strange little love story turns out to be the opposite of those Sparks swoon-fests, for better and for worse; in those films, effective, entertaining romance is generally undone by harebrained plotting and tonal mishmash. The Age of Adaline, for its part, delivers the twists and turns of its fantastical plot with elegance and confidence. Here, the weak romance threatens to bring everything down.The film offers us the story of a young woman, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively), born on New Year’s Day in San Francisco in 1908, who loses the ability to age after a freak car accident and lightning strike. (Cutely verbose narration informs us that the specific scientific phenomenon that explains this won’t be discovered until 2035.) So, Adaline remains in her late 20s, »
- Bilge Ebiri
The Age of Adaline is based on the improbable premise that a casting director would expect Blake Lively to play a character wise beyond her years. With a limited film resume mostly spent playing arm candy in dude-driven action flicks, pitching The Age of Adaline makes Lively’s starring dramatic presence a tougher sell than the film’s own romantic fable story. But The Age of Adaline is a smarter beast than its gooey exterior lets on, and its precise use of performers, genre tropes, and aesthetics makes it a pleasantly surprising blend of old and new school fairy tale.
Making no bones about its melodramatic intentions, The Age of Adaline operates with restrained but omnipresent emotionality at all times. For a film that’s really more of a character study than a sweeping epic, The Age of Adaline’s biggest, constant risk is assuming the audience will go along with its somberly operatic tone, »
- Sam Woolf
Thruline Entertainment has signed Gloria Reuben, an Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress who is best known for her regular role on “ER.” The actress has a career spanning thirty years, with recent credits including the newest Nicholas Sparks adaptation “The Longest Ride,” Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” and “Admission” opposite Tina Fey. Also Read: Inside Golden Globes After-Parties: Jennifer Aniston, Jared Leto, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Gold Trophy 'Plus Ones' (Photos) On television, her recent credits include recurring roles on TNT’s “Falling Skies” and NBC’s long-running “Law & Order: Svu.” Reuben will next be seen on USA’s »
- Linda Ge
Daisy Miller meets Dorian Gray — or perhaps “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” meets Nicholas Sparks — in “The Age of Adaline,” a sensitively directed slab of romantic hokum that wrings an impressive amount of emotional conviction from a thoroughly ludicrous premise. A dab hand at invigorating conventional material with storytelling smarts and strong performances (“Celeste & Jesse Forever,” “The Vicious Kind”), helmer Lee Toland Krieger elicits a moving central turn from Blake Lively as a woman for whom eternal youth turns out to be a decidedly mixed blessing — one that plays out in ways both poignant and preposterous, sometimes simultaneously, over the course of her 100-plus years on Earth. Viewers seeking a pleasant alternative to the early-summer blockbuster barrage could do far worse than this genial high-concept romance, a likely modest theatrical performer for Lionsgate whose commercial stature should only improve with age.
The sort of time-skipping, tear-milking supernatural romance that »
- Justin Chang
Even with three major debuts, very little can stop the car-crunching excess of Furious 7, which held the top spot at the box office yet again for a third week with an estimated $29.1 million. However, despite the fact the film has now made over a billion dollars in worldwide revenue, the weekend is beginning to show cracks, as second-place finisher Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 came close with an estimated $24 million. Though a decent start for a film that cost $30 million, the comedy sequel has been severely lambasted by critics and has not shown much hope with audiences, either. On the other end, audiences have been mixed about Unfriended, which earned an estimated $16 million, but critics have been slightly more positive about it, which is more than can be said about almost every found footage horror film of the past year.
Home will soon break even thanks to worldwide gross, »
- Seth Paul
James Wan’s Furious 7 continued defending its position this weekend as the year’s first blockbuster as it earned $29.1 million, winning the box office for the third weekend in a row. The feature also widened its lead as the highest grossing film of 2015 to date, earning more than 2014’s fourth place finisher Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the process.
However, the film was joined by two newcomers in the top 10, as the comedy sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and the horror feature Unfriended finished in second and third place respectively. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the sequel to the 2009 Kevin James vehicle, took in $24 million, while Unfriended finished with $16 million to round out the top three. The two were joined in the top ten by fellow newcomer Monkey Kingdom, as the Disney documentary took in $4.7 million to finish in seventh place.
Last week’s second, third, and »
- Deepayan Sengupta
In this week’s instalment of our series tracking the global box office …
Mexico leads fervent Latin American support for the Fast & Furious franchise
Let’s Get Married is the latest suitor in a Chinese romcom boomThe Longest Ride keeps up Nicholas Sparks’ record of promoting young male stars
Far from assured when Furious 7 was on the starting grid two weekends ago, $1bn global box office for Universal’s delayed tentpole now looks all sewn up – which will make it the first film through that gate in 2015. A $59.6m second frame for Vin Diesel and co in the Us means a 59% drop – the outer edge of what’s expected for big-opening blockbusters – but the studio barely will have blinked with China and Russia dropping into the race this week. The latter, historically F&F-crazy, delivered a $15.9m opening that is a four-day record for the country; China, opening on Sunday, »
- Phil Hoad
It is only April, and already Furious 7 is on track to become the movie to beat in terms of sheer gross income. It dropped in revenue by nearly 60%, but an estimated $60.6 million is still more than most films make in their first weekend, let alone their second. It is by far the top earner of the top ten ($252.5 million domestic, $800.5 million worldwide), winning out handily against Home (estimated $19 million) once again. Home still struggles worldwide to make good on its $135 million costs, but both are doing a sight better than the debut of The Longest Ride. Yet another adaptation of a bestselling Nicholas Sparks novel, its estimated $13.5 million weekend is roughly on par with most Sparks releases, but probably will not reach the lofty heights of The Notebook, the highest grosser of his to date.
Get Hard fell to fourth and may not be a winner with critics, but »
- Seth Paul
If you’re standing in the rain with a lost love, this is the perfect episode to listen to. It’ll dry you right out. This week, Geoff and I will briefly question why Nicholas Sparks keeps getting away with writing the same exact story over and over before sharing a list of some of our favorite tragedies. Somehow, the topics blend together perfectly. Plus, we’ll answer screenwriting questions about annoying characters and overbearingly bleak tones, and The Immigrant writer/director James Gray will talk about actors with surprising styles and what he got out of film school. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Download Episode #92 Directly Or subscribe through iTunes On This Week’s Show: Humble Gray [0:00 – 0:30] Script Sack [0:30 – 14:30] The Longest Tragedy [14:30 – 42:15] Immigrant Song (w/ James Gray) [42:15 – 56:00] Heroes of the Week [56:00 – 58:00] Get In Touch With Us: Ask Us Your Screenwriting Questions Email »
- Scott Beggs
"Furious 7" continued to dominate at the box office in its second week, grossing another $60 million domestically to bring its domestic total to $252 million. The bigger story is that the film has now earned another $548 million from overseas for an incredible worldwide total of $800 million. In only ten days, "Furious 7" already surpassed the entire lifetime domestic gross of "Fast and Furious 6" ($239 million). And it crossed $200 million in eight days, faster than any movie in Universal's history ("Despicable Me 2" was the previous record-holder at 11 days). The new movie will have no problems passing the $1 billion mark. The only new wide release of the weekend was "The Longest Ride," which is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel and stars Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson. It landed in third place with only $13.5 million. That's just slightly better than the $10 million opening of "The Best of Me," which became the lowest-grossing out of all the Sparks' movies. »
You'd have thought that opening "The Longest Ride" opposite the still-strong "Furious 7" would have been a smart counterprogramming move. With all that testosterone on display in the latest installment of the car-chase franchise, surely some female moviegoers would feel underserved and turn to the new Nicholas Sparks movie, that they'd flock to the kind of cathartic tearjerker that is the "Notebook" author's bread and butter.
As it turned out, not so much. "Longest Ride" opened in third place with an estimated $13.5 million, below even the modest expectations for the film (about $14 to $16 million). That's better than the even weaker opening of last October's Sparks entry "The Best of Me" (which premiered with just $10.0 million and topped out at $26.8 million) but well below the $22.5 million debut of 2012's Sparks saga "The Lucky One."
Does the relative weakness of these recent spark-free Sparks movies mean that the Sparks vogue, which has spanned 10 movies over 16 years, »
- Gary Susman
James Wan’s Furious 7, the newest entry in the franchise, rose to the top of the box office for a second straight weekend, earning $60.6 million along the way. The film’s total gross to date makes it the most commercially successful feature of the year, leapfrogging it ahead of Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s 50 Shades of Grey. The film’s total gross of $252.5 million to date also already makes it the most commercially successful outing for a number of stars in its ensemble, including Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, and Kurt Russell.
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young also made a major impact at the box office, landing in the tenth spot on the charts with $1.4 million despite being in limited release. The Ben Stiller-starring feature was not the only new entry in the box office top ten, however, as the Dan Fogelman feature Danny Collins, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
The once-winning Nicholas Sparks formula of a young couple.s quest for love being derailed by illness, death or other misfortune seems to be losing its allure at cinemas.
The Longest Ride, a romantic melodrama based on Sparks. 2013 novel, rang up $1.45 million on 220 screens, including previews, last weekend.
That.s better than the anaemic $758,000 debut last year of The Best of Me, which ended up with $2.2 million,. but it's debatable whether the film will have the legs to match previous Sparks adaptations such as The Notebook (which made $6.4 million back in 2004) and Nights in Rodanthe. ($4.55 million in 2008).
The Longest Ride follows the star-crossed love affair between Luke (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint), a former champion rodeo rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophie (Britt Robertson), a college student who's about to embark on her dream job in New York City's art world.
Alan Alda is along for the ride as Ira, »
- Don Groves
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