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Box Office: ‘Maze Runner’ Outpaces Liam Neeson on Way to $31 Million Debut

3 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ya adaptation “The Maze Runner” has far outpaced the Liam Neeson-starrer “Walk Among the Tombstones.”

The Maze Runner” opened to $11.3 million Stateside on Friday. Fox’s dystopian drama is on track for a higher-than-anticipated $31 million weekend debut – double the expected earnings for the runner-up, “Walk Among the Tombstones.”

Based on the first book in James Dashner’s trilogy of the same name, the $34 million production follows a group of teenage boys (and one girl) who are trapped in a maze. The young cast is led by “Teen Wolf” star Dylan O’Brien, whose character comes up with a strategy to escape their prison.

Fox hopes to appeal to the young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Divergent” into thriving franchises.

Universal’s crime thriller “Walk Among the Tombstones” launched to $4.7 million on its way to a $14 million weekend, which is below forecast. Neeson’s most recent movie, »

- Maane Khatchatourian

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Simon Pegg’s ‘Kill Me Three Times’ Bought for U.S. By Magnolia

3 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Magnolia has acquired U.S. rights to Australian thriller “Kill Me Three Times,” starring Simon Pegg, Alice Braga and Luke Hemsworth.

The low seven figure-deal comes after “Kill Me Three Times” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section.

Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Bryan Brown and Callan Mulvey also star in the film. Kriv Stenders, the director of 2011’s “Red Dog,” helmed from a script by Irish screenwriter James McFarland. The story is told from three different points of view.

See Also: Luke Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, and Kriv Stenders on ‘Kill Me Three Times

Shooting for “Kill Me Three Times” began a year ago in an Australian surfing town. Pegg plays a mercurial professional assassin, hired by a wealthy man (Mulvey) to kill his wife (Braga).

Producers are Laurence Malkin, Share Stallings and Tania Chambers. Production companies are Parabolic Pictures, Inc., Stable Way Entertainment, KM3T Productions Pty Ltd. »

- Dave McNary

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Screen Gems Launching Horror-Thriller ‘Scarecrow’ (Exclusive)

16 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sony’s Screen Gems has bought Mike Scannell’s horror-thriller “Scarecrow” with horror specialist Unbroken Pictures producing.

Scannell’s spec script, set at a remote lake house, revolves around a mother and her two young daughters who must fight for survival after falling into a terrifying and bizarre nightmare conceived by a psychopath.

Bryan Bertino, who directed 2008’s “The Strangers,” and Adrienne Biddle are producing through their Unbroken Pictures banner.

Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper and Scott Strauss will oversee “Scarecrow” for the company.

Bertino wrote and directed “Mockingbird,” which he also produced with Biddle. That title will be released Oct. 6 through Blumhouse’s newly launched Bh Tilt label.

Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper and Scott Strauss will oversee “Scarecrow” for the company.

Unbroken is currently in pre-production on “There Are Monsters” with Atlas and Bertino directing from his own script.

It’s also developing supernatural horror movie “February” with »

- Dave McNary

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Zachary Quinto: ‘Star Trek 3′ Starts Filming Within Six Months

24 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Star Trek 3” is evidently getting ready for takeoff.

According to star Zachary Quinto, filming will begin on the third installment of the rebooted franchise within the next six months.

“I think it’s on the horizon,” Quintowho, who plays Spock in the series, said on “The Today Show.” “Things are rumbling, so I have a feeling that we will be in production sometime in the next six months.”

Quinto had previously said that the movie will most likely revolve around the five-year mission, which is “to to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

See Also: ‘Star Trek 3′ Will Stay True to Original Franchise, Go Into ‘Deep Space

“I think the five-year mission will be a part of this next film in some way,” Quinto said in July. “We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic sci-fi series in entertainment history »

- Maane Khatchatourian

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David Fincher Reveals His 'Life in Pictures,' from Fighting Studios to Multiple Takes

1 hour ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Here are some of the highlights:  On when he knew he wanted to be a director I was fairly convinced at the age of eight that’s that what I wanted to do with my life. And when I was living in Marin [County] my next door neighbor was George Lucas and I was that close to movies that were being made. Then my parents decided to tear us out of there and take us to this place [in Oregon] where there was no cinema except for this little cinema. I worked after school directing plays and doing lighting for plays and at night, from six to midnight, one in the morning, I was a projectionist. At the weekends I would shot E&G footage for a local television station. If a barn was burning down I was the guy out there trying to get a shot of it. So I worked in »

- Mark Salisbury

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Fantastic Fest Review: Salma Hayek Does Her Best John McClane In Actioner 'Everly'

1 hour ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

In the quarter century since "Die Hard" was first unleashed on moviegoers worldwide, there have been countless iterations of the same formula, to the point that, for a while at least, it became a whole action movie subgenre. Projects would be pitched (and subsequently produced) with sentences describing the movie as "Die Hard" on a… There's been "Die Hard" on a plane ("Executive Decision," "Passenger 57"), "Die Hard" in a tunnel ("Daylight") "Die Hard" on a bus ("Speed") and "Die Hard" in the White House ("White House Down"). The fact that no one's attempted a "Die Hard" with a female heroine seems like some kind of cosmic impossibility, but it's never happened. Until now. With "Everly," the basic "Die Hard" formula is rehashed with a female lead in mind, and the results are surprisingly spectacular. The shtick still works 26 years later. When »

- Drew Taylor

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Watch: New U.S. Trailer for Mathieu Amalric’s Sexy Cannes Drama ‘The Blue Room’

1 hour ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

With recent turns in films like “Venus in Fur” and “Quantum of Solace,” among many others, Mathieu Amalric has show that he’s just as comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind it. In fact, in “The Blue Room,” he does double duty, both starring in and directing the sexually charged crime thriller. He actually adapted the script from Georges Simenon’s novel too, showing he is indeed a man with many talents. We’ve seen a couple of Nsfw international trailers for the film, but with a domestic release on the horizon, we now have a toned down version for American audiences. The film screened earlier this year at Cannes (read our review here, which calls it “a compelling argument about the dangers of lovers’ chit-chat in a state of post-coital distraction,” and how many movies can you say that about?) in the Un Certain Regard section. »

- Brent McKnight

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Watch: Elle Fanning, John Hawkes in ‘Low Down’ Trailer

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jazz pianist Joe Albany and his soul-warming music come to life in the first official trailer for “Low Down.”

John Hawkes stars as the famed musician and Elle Fanning plays his daughter, who penned the memoir the film is based on. Albany, who performed with the likes of Charlie Parker and Lester Young, died in 1988 after losing a battle with heroin addiction.

The pic, which traces two years of Albany’s troubled life, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The movie has since been re-edited for theatrical release.

See Also: Film Review: ‘Low Down

This is one of several biopics about legendary musicians being released this year. But unlike the James Brown or Jimi Hendrix films, director Jeff Priess’ pic tells Albany’s story not from the perspective of the struggling artist, but from his daughter Amy-Jo’s point of view.

An aged Glenn Close, a nearly unrecognizable »

- Maane Khatchatourian

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Sir Ben Kingsley Talks The Boxtrolls, What Convinced Him to Voice an Animated Villain, His Opinion of the Shakespearean Snatcher, and More

2 hours ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Sir Ben Kingsley lends his extraordinary voice to the diabolical Archibald Snatcher in Laika’s breathtakingly beautiful 3D stop-motion animated adventure, The Boxtrolls, loosely based on Alan Snow’s best-selling children’s book Here Be Monsters!  The mischievous, trash-collecting creatures known as Boxtrolls live beneath the cobblestoned streets of Cheesebridge where they struggle to elude the evil Snatcher who claims they have stolen an orphan (Isaac Hempstead Wright).  Snatcher is determined to exterminate them in exchange for admittance into the town’s elite White Hats.  Opening September 26th, the film also stars Elle Fanning, Nick Frost and Tracy Morgan. At our roundtable interview, Kingsley revealed what convinced him to bring to life an animated villain, why he found Snatcher a great character to play, how the script rang true as a refreshing family film, his unique approach to voicing his character, how he found the recording experience very freeing, why »

- Sheila Roberts

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Friday Box Office: The Maze Runner Sprints Past A Walk Among The Tombstones on Opening Day

2 hours ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

The Maze Runner, a big screen version of James Dashner’s 2007 novel,  will not be the latest Ya adaptation to go down in box office flames.  Bucking the trend that saw page-to-screen conversions like Vampire Academy and The Giver open to disappointing numbers, The Maze Runner looks like it may actually exceed expectations.  The Fox release was originally projected to open to $27 million but, after earning a strong $11.2 million on Friday, the sci-fi thriller is now looking at an opening weekend of $35 million or above.  That’s not quite the level that Divergent hit back in March ($54.6 million) but it is well above the $27 million that Ender’s Game claimed last November. Details and Friday’s top five after the jump. While The Maze Runner got off to a sprint, fellow newcomer A Walk Among the Tombstones set a more leisurely pace.  The latest R-rated drama to star born-again tough guy Liam Neeson, »

- Nicole Pedersen

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The hidden family heartache (and healing) behind director Shawn Levy's 'This Is Where I Leave You'

2 hours ago | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Shawn Levy is what happens when someone who has never forgotten what it means to be a boy becomes a dad.

The director of Real Steel, the Night at the Museum movies, and the new bittersweet family comedy This Is Where I Leave You (in theaters now), is an undeniable family guy. The father of four girls, he’s known for making movies about households run amok (2003’s Cheaper By the Dozen) and parents who desperately want an evening away (2010’s Date Night,) as well as fathers who redeem themselves in their kids’ eyes with the help of boxing robots or magical museums. »

- Anthony Breznican

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Listen to a Track from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Gone Girl Score; Plus 9 New Images

2 hours ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

October 3rd seems so close and yet so far away.  Gone Girl is hands down my most anticipated film of the rest of the year, not because of the story or source material, but because David Fincher is one of the few truly uncompromising filmmakers we have left.  When the film hits theaters, we'll know that this is Fincher’s film through and through, and he seems to have a lot to say about relationships and our inherent narcissistic nature in the telling of this story.  Another reason to be excited about Gone Girl is the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  The duo’s work on The Social Network is one of the vital pieces that makes that movie a masterpiece, and while their Girl with the Dragon Tattoo score was a bit too similar-sounding to Social Network for my taste, I’m incredibly curious to see what »

- Adam Chitwood

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Box office update: 'Maze Runner' rakes in $11 million Friday

2 hours ago | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The Maze Runner, the new Ya adaptation that hit theaters Friday, chalked up an estimated $11 million for a first-place finish, proving that this over-saturated genre has life left in it yet. Populated with a slew of handsome young male actors led by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner, based on the popular best-selling novel by James Dashner, is on track to pull in close to $30 million. (That’s far better than The Giver, which opened in August to $12 million.) And with Twentieth Century Fox already deep into pre-production on the film’s sequel, the early numbers have »

- Nicole Sperling

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'Maze Runner' Quick Out of the Gate on Friday

2 hours ago | Box Office Mojo | See recent BoxOfficeMojo.com news »

The Maze Runner jumped out to the front of the pack on Friday with $11.25 million. Otherwise, business was relatively quiet: A Walk Among the Tombstones and This is Where I Leave You fell a bit short, while No Good Deed and Dolphin Tale 2 fell hard going in to their second weekends.Playing at 3,604 theaters, The Maze Runner debuted to more than twice as much as recent young-adult misses like The Giver ($4.75 million) and The Host ($5.3 million). Still, it only opened to around half as much as March's Divergent ($22.8 million), which puts it squarely in the middle of the young-adult range.A closer comparison is last November's Ender's Game, which opened to $9.8 million on its way to a $27 million weekend. If The Maze Runner follows Ender's pattern, it will finish the weekend with just over $30 million (a very good result).Opening at 2,712 theaters, A Walk Among the Tombstones took second place with $4.7 million. »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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The Interview Red-Band Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Are Massive Sell-Outs

2 hours ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Sony Pictures has released a new, full-length The Interview red-band trailer for the upcoming comedy, and it’s kind of fantastic.  The film marks the directorial follow-up of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg after the excellent This Is the End and sees James Franco playing a popular entertainment news interviewer who, along with his producer (Rogen), is tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un in North Korea.  While the first trailer was just a taste of what we could expect from the pic, this new one dives deep into the plot while also revealing a bevy of wonderful cameos from the likes of Rob Lowe, Timothy Simons (Veep), and Anders Holm (Workaholics).  Not only does the movie look incredibly funny (and filthy), but the prospect of Lizzy Caplan as a CIA agent is highly promising. Watch the new The Interview red-band trailer after the jump.  The film opens in theaters on December 25th. »

- Adam Chitwood

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Box Office Friday: ‘Maze Runner’ Over $30M; Liam’s Leisurely ‘Walk’ To $14M; ‘Where I Leave You’ Stays Put At No. 3

3 hours ago | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Updated, Saturday 7:30 Am: This morning, The Maze Runner is right in line with our estimates last night, given that we think today will be a strong moviegoing time for this Ya offering from Fox. While it looked much softer in matinees yesterday, we held off reporting because we knew that the audience for this picture was going to come out in the evening and late night showings. They did. If this gains tonight by around 10%, Fox will see the weekend end at $30M to $32M (as it looks now). It grossed about $11.3M yesterday. Between a strong Friday, its A- CinemaScore (which should give it a 3.5M multiple) and its international performance, it should give Fox yet another profitable film from the Ya genre. Pretty darn good for a picture whose star is Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), but props to Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee, too. Kudos to The Gotham Group, »

- Anita Busch

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Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen As James Franco

3 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

"It's our attempt to make our version of a big political spy thriller," Seth Rogen told us in the spring about their latest comedy “The Interview.” "But starring me and James Franco. It's kind of the formula we always do which is we take a genre we like and add idiots to it. It's like "This is the End" is a horror movie with idiots in it and "Pineapple Express" is an eighties action movie with idiots in it. So this is our "3 Days of the Condor" with idiots in it. And Kim Jong-un is one of the main characters in the movie, which is something that I'm curious about how people will react to." Well, that kinda says it all, no? “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco is a spy thriller with idiots. Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, their second directorial effort after “The Is The End, »

- Edward Davis

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David Fincher talks Gone Girl, film career

4 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Director discussed being “sodomised ritualistically” on Alien3, his reputation for multiple takes, the opportunities of TV and his latest film, Gone Girl.

Us director David Fincher opened up about his career to date at BAFTA in London last night, entertaining the sold-out ‘A Life In Pictures’ event with anecdotes surrounding the highs and lows of his filmmaking.

The visionary director behind Se7en, Fight Club and The Social Network is on the promotion trail with his latest feature, Gone Girl, a psychological thriller based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel that stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Flynn also wrote the screenplay based on her own novel, about a man who becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance after being the focus of an intense media circus.

“It begins as a mystery, it becomes an absurdist thriller and is ultimately a satire,” said Fincher. “I’d never seen someone try to juggle those things and actually do it. It »

- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Best of the Week: Oscar Bait, Missing Pictures, 'Serena' & More

5 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Awards: Anne Thompson's Updated Oscar Predictions 2015 "Boyhood" Star Patricia Arquette Will Campaign for Supporting Actress Oscar Four Reasons Why Clark Terry Doc "Keep On Keepin' On" Is Oscar Bait Updated: Foreign Language Oscar Contenders Where Are the Missing Pictures? Box Office: "Skeleton Twins" Scores Best Limited Opening Since "Boyhood" Top Ten Box Office Takeaways: "No Good Deed" Tops Weak Field, "The Drop" Scores, "The Giver" Soars News & Features: As TriStar Lands Ang Lee, Who's In Line to Replace Sony's Pascal? Fantastic Fest Preview: 10 Must-See Films How Kevin Kline Helped Israel Horovitz's "My Old Lady" Film Debut It's Not Getting Better for Women in Hollywood, But There Is a Silver Lining "New Girl" vs. "The Mindy Project": One's a Winner Take a "Walk Among the Tombstones" with Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare »

- TOH!

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Toronto Film Review: ‘Boychoir’

7 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A welcome return to feature filmmaking by “The Red Violin” director Francois Girard, this relatively by-the-numbers boarding-school drama distinguishes itself through song, thanks to the exceptional musical talents of the American Boychoir School, preteen sopranos whose otherworldly talent lasts for only a few years at most. The mystery of where that ability comes from, coupled with the urgency to share it, lends urgency to an otherwise generic coming-of-ager sure to delight those seeking spiritually grounded, emotionally uplifting entertainment.

The distressing thing about most talent is that it tends to come with a shelf life, nearly always fading over time. (That means you, Justin Bieber!) From pop stars to Olympic gold medalists, exceptional ability typically has an expiration date, and few fields illustrate that narrow window of opportunity better than that of the boychoir: angelic-voiced young men racing against puberty to make their mark. (The rather drastic Italian “solution” of castration »

- Peter Debruge

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