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Box Office: ‘Hobbit’ Finale Marching Toward $88 Million

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

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is marching toward a box office victory.

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy grossed $16.6 million on Friday in the U.S. on its way to hauling almost $54 million this weekend, which would put its five-day total at $88 million. This is far above recent estimates of $80 million.

The fantasy adventure is miles ahead of the other newcomers this pre-Christmas weekend. Another sequel, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” is headed for $19 million, while the reboot of “Annie” trails slightly behind with $18.5 million. The films are in a neck-and-neck race after initial forecasts as late as Friday pegged “Secret of the Tomb” as the clear winner.

Aside from giving a much-needed boost to the U.S. box office, if estimates hold, “Five Armies” will have the year’s eighth highest-grossing opening, behind “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Despite the strong showing, »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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See Bradley Cooper Play a Reluctant Hero in New 'American Sniper' Clip (Exclusive)

15 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

American Sniper is not off to the sort of start that Warner Bros. wanted for its principal Oscar hopeful this season — after landing a spot on the AFI's year-end top 10 list, it was completely excluded from the SAG and Golden Globe nominations and recognized only in the action movie categories of the Critics' Choice noms — but Oscar nomination voting doesn't begin until Dec. 29, and there is still time for Academy members to catch up with and/or come around on Clint Eastwood's drama about the deadliest American sniper of the Iraq War, Chris Kyle, who is

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- Scott Feinberg

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What happened to 'Top Five' at Golden Globes, and can it rebound at Oscars?

16 hours ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"Top Five" is a comeback of sorts for Chris Rock, a celebrated stand-up comic and TV host whose filmic ventures have ranged from successful (the "Madagascar" animated franchise) to not so much ("Pootie Tang," "I Think I Love My Wife," the critically drubbed "Grown Ups" films). But with "Top Five," which he wrote, directed, and stars in, he has gotten the best reviews of his film career. So why were he and the film snubbed at the Golden Globes? -Break- Shocking Golden Globes snubs: Angelina Jolie (twice), Bradley Cooper, ... The film has scored 81 on MetaCritic and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Manohla Dargis (New York Times) calls it "fast and blisteringly funny … a romantic comedy that’s also an extended riff on art, identity, authenticity and what it means to be a black entertainer." Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) adds that it's Rock's "best movie by a mile … authentica..." »


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'The Hobbit' is as big a hit as 'Lord of the Rings,' so why no Oscars love?

19 hours ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third and final installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy, is already a hit: it opened Wednesday with an impressive $24 million first-day haul. The previous two films in the franchise were also blockbusters – "An Unexpected Journey" (2012) made more than $1 billion worldwide, and "The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) earned nearly that much – but even though the films have made money on par with Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, they have not fared nearly as well with critics and awards voters. -Break- 'Interstellar,' 'Hobbit,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy' on Oscars shortlist for Visual Effects The three "Hobbit" films have averaged a respectable 61 on MetaCritic (58 for "Journey," 66 for "Smaug," and 59 for "Battle") and 67% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes (64% for "Journey," 74% for "Smau..." »


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Academy’s Music Branch Still Wrestles With Rules Change

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

Last year’s much-talked-about disqualification of a song nominee prompted rule changes for the 2014 Oscars, but they remain controversial for some of the Academy’s 240-member music branch.

Alone Yet Not Alone,” from a little-seen, faith-based film, was yanked from the 2013 competition when word leaked that its composer, former branch governor Bruce Broughton, had emailed fellow composers and songwriters calling attention to the tune (one of 75 eligible from the 2013 batch).

In June, Acad governors amended the campaign regulations to state: “Music branch members may not contact other music branch members to promote the nomination of their own song in any way, including via mail, email, telephone or social media account.”

Composers and songwriters were, and still are, divided over the idea that you can’t inform your friends, who toil in the same business, about your own work.

“Everybody’s working it,” says one Oscar-nominated songwriter who did not want to be identified. »


- Jon Burlingame

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Sony Hackers Taunt FBI, ‘Congratulate’ Its Success

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

A new email claiming to be from the group responsible for the Sony Pictures hack seems to mock the FBI, which just named North Korea responsible for the attack.

“The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eyes,” reads the message. “We congratulate you success. FBI is the Best in the world.”

The message sent to journalist on Saturday — dubbed a “Christmas gift” — links to a YouTube video that calls the law enforcement agency idiots and includes writing in a foreign language.

More to come.

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- Maane Khatchatourian

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Sony Claims We Still May Get To See The Interview At Some Point

1 hour ago | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Between George Clooney trying to rally a petition to President Obama criticizing the studio.s decision, Sony has caused some serious uproar in deciding to pull The Interview from theaters. But, the uproar and especially the president.s comments have left Sony surprised. And now, Sony has issued a statement that claims The Interview is not gone for good, and there still will be opportunity for it to be seen. Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton began voicing his opinions after President Obama.s statement yesterday calling out Sony.s decision as a mistake. So what is one to do when the President of the United States says you are wrong? Change your story. So Sony released a statement claiming that they are and always will be committed to the First Amendment and that free expression should never be suppressed. The statement explained that this decision not to move forward »

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How This Year's Pack of Holiday Openers Impacts the Oscar Race

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

Below, listed alphabetically, are all the films in the awards mix opening over the next two weeks, at least in Academy voter hubs Los Angeles and New York. If you don't live there, good luck seeing most of these before the Golden Globes (Jan.11) or Oscar nominations (Jan. 15). They will reach most major markets by Oscar night Feb. 22.   I recap the three unreleased titles on the Foreign Language short list with American distributors at the end. American Sniper (Warner Bros.) 12/25 - New York, Los Angeles 1/16 - Wide Following the pattern set by previous Clint Eastwood awards contenders as well as the similar "Lone Survivor" last year, this is opening narrow on Thursday before its wide availability next month.  Big Eyes (Weinstein) 12/25 - Wide Originally intended as a mid-level opening, TWC just announced (likely because of the opportunity afforded by Sony's "The Interview" pull-out) that this will have a much wider, »


- Tom Brueggemann

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Friday Box Office: 'Hobbit' Finale Bests First Day of 'Night at the Museum' and 'Annie'

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

Exact comparisons to the previous two Peter Jackson adaptations of the Tolkien classic are tricky since the first two opened on Fridays (roughly a week earlier) and with less competition.  But the $51 million total so far added to the $122 million banked from its foreign haul through Thursday makes this already a success, more so with the best moviegoing days of the season still ahead. The other two openers posted encouraging if not yet decisive numbers (the real indication of how strong films will ultimately perform won't come until next Thursday and right after). And both are family films, meaning their response today will be more telling. That said, "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" (20th Century Fox) at $5.6 million bested "Annie" (Sony) at $5.3, though the latter played on 669 fewer theaters. Both have a chance to thrive ahead. But despite the positive results (badly needed balm for a reeling »


- Tom Brueggemann

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The 10 Best Guilty Pleasure Movies of 2014

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

When Pauline Kael wrote “movies are so rarely great art, that if we can’t appreciate great trash, there is little reason for us to go,” she may as well have been describing some of the films on this list. Combining elements of high and lowbrow art with varying degrees of success, these ten titles make up for in verve, goofiness and style what they lack in depth.

Pompeii

Despite its tepid love story, this tale of a doomed civilization perched on the edge of a CGI volcano was the most unabashedly enjoyable sword-and-sandal movie of the year. Weightier than both Hercules adventures, Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Pompeii” took itself far less seriously than the Biblical epics “Noah” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” And while the 3D eruption of Mount Vesuvius was indeed stunning, it’s Kiefer Sutherland’s wonderfully hammy turn as a villainous Roman Senator that stole the show. »


- Matthew Chernov

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Friday Box Office: The Hobbit 3 Stays on Top; Night At The Museum 3 and Annie Battle for Second

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

On a week that focused more on the film audiences won’t be able to see this Christmas rather than the handful that they will, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies remained the clear box office leader.  After posting a strong debut of $24.4 million on Wednesday, The Hobbit 3 added another $9.9 million on Thursday (down almost 60%), for a two-day total of $34.4 million.  That’s a bit under projections but, even so, with an estimated $16.5 million from 3,875 locations yesterday, director Peter Jackson’s final trip to Middle Earth had no trouble staying ahead of two new family-themed holiday releases.  Fox’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb came in second on Friday with a reported $5.6 million from 3,785 locations – just ahead of Sony’s remake of Annie.  Despite being part of the now-infamous studio hack that claimed the box office life of Sony’s The Interview, Annie over-performed yesterday with an estimated $5.3 million from 3,116 locations. »

- Nicole Pedersen

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Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Quvenzhane Wallis Talk Annie, the Fun Shoot, Collaborating with Will Gluck, Embarrassing Moments on Set, and More

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

Now playing in theaters is Will Gluck‘s modern reimagining of the Broadway classic Annie.  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  For more on Annie, watch the trailer, five clips and eleven minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, or read Matt's review. At the New York City press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Quvenzhane Wallis.  They talked about collaborating with Will Gluck, how much fun they had making the film, embarrassing moments on set, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.  Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Quvenzhane Wallis: Some shoots are tough. »

- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

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Sony Hack: ‘The Interview’ Facebook, Twitter Accounts Are Deleted

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

The Facebook and Twitter pages for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview” — the satirical film at the center of North Korea’s alleged cyber-attack on the studio — were not accessible as of Saturday morning.

Via email, a Sony rep said that after the studio concluded it was not moving forward with the Christmas Day release date for the movie, “It was also then decided to work towards taking down respective promos and materials promoting the movie and the date in theaters.”

At last count, “The Interview” on Facebook had more than 366,000 followers, while the film’s Twitter account (@TheInterview) had 35,000 followers. The Twitter page for the Sony picture as of 9 a.m. Pacific time Saturday said “@TheInterview hasn’t tweeted yet,” indicating the account is inactive.

The developments come after a debilitating — and exhausting — four-week period for Sony Pictures. North Korea is responsible for the attack on the studio, the FBI announced Friday. »


- Todd Spangler

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Top 5: Sony Cancels The Interview, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Star Trek 3 Director Shortlist, Knight Of Cups, 10 Underrated Films of 2014

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

Return readers will remember that I used each October installment to recommend a horror film that I thought you may have missed for one reason or another. I'll do something similar this week with a Christmas movie that I think is worth your time if you find yourself looking for a new seasonal favorite. Since seeing it in theaters in 2007, writer/director Preston A. Whitmore II's This Christmas has become annual holiday viewing at my house. Starring Idris Elba, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, and Loretta Devine, the film hits every beat you can ask for in a Christmas movie: siblings returning home from separate parts of the country to celebrate the holiday together, finding romance with a person from your past, helping an estranged member of your family out of a life-threatening jam, pre-loathsome Chris Brown absolutely slaying a Christmas number at open mic night when no one in »

- Jason Barr

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Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden, James Lapine and Rob Marshall Talk Into The Woods, Casting, the Rehearsal Process, “Tinderella” and More

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

Twenty-seven years after Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Into the Woods premiered on Broadway, the piece is making its was to the big screen.  The story centers on the Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) who so desperately want to have a child, but come to realize that they can’t unless they reverse The Witch’s (Meryl Streep) curse.  Meanwhile, elsewhere in the kingdom, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) is busy slaving away for her wicked stepmother (Christine Baranski) while dreaming of attending the King’s festival and dancing before The Prince (Chris Pine). With Into the Woods making its way into theaters on Christmas Day, Corden, Blunt, Pine, Kendrick, Lapine and director Rob Marshall all came to New York City to participate in a press conference.  The group discussed the unique layers of the characters, the challenges of making a movie musical, the extensive rehearsal process and loads more. »

- Perri Nemiroff

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Geek Gifts: Baby Groot Hot Toys Collectible Offers the Most Detailed Version Yet

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

As soon as audiences saw Guardians of the Galaxy opening weekend, fans were clamoring to own a dancing Baby Groot of their own.  Production on the collectible took a while, as director James Gunn opted not to have the toys manufactured in advance for fear of having the character’s fate spoiled before the movie opened, but things have started to catch up, and now an official Baby Groot Hot Toys collectible is poised for release.  The 1/4th scale “Little Groot” collectible features three interchangeable head sculpts as well as moveable arms and body to recreate the character’s “I Want You Back” dance.  At the reasonable price of $44.99, this thing would make a swell Christmas present.  It’s expected to ship in January. Take a look at the Baby Groot Hot Toys figure after the jump, and click here to pre-order. The Little Groot Quarter Scale Figure includes: Authentic »

- Adam Chitwood

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This Week In Trailers: Deli Man, R100, The Taking of Tiger Mountain, Stand, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

3 hours ago | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week […]

The post This Week In Trailers: Deli Man, R100, The Taking of Tiger Mountain, Stand, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel appeared first on /Film. »


- Christopher Stipp

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Creator John Rogers Talks The Librarians, Filling the Genre Gaps on TV, Expanding the Movies to a TV Series, and More

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

Based on TNT’s hit movie franchise, the delightfully fun adventure series The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around.  Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) and Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) are the newest protectors of the world’s mystical treasures, helping out Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), his Guardian, Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), and a reluctant caretaker (John Larroquette). During this phone interview with Collider, show creator/executive producer/writer John Rogers talked about filling the genre gaps on TV, why people are so intrigued by libraries, finding the key to expanding this as a series, always being aware of their budget, keeping Noah Wyle on the show in a limited capacity, due to his schedule, putting this ensemble of actors together, getting Bruce Campbell to guest star as Santa Claus, »

- Christina Radish

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'Hobbit' Finale Conquers Friday Box Office with $16.6 Million

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

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies dominated the box office on Friday, while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie essentially tied for second place.The final installment in the Hobbit trilogy added $16.58 million yesterday, which brings its three-day total to $51 million. It was up 67 percent from Thursday, which is a bigger jump than any of the Lord of the Rings movies had at the same point.For the three-day weekend, Battle of the Five Armies should earn at least $50 million. That would translate in to a five-day opening at $85-million-plus, which is a very solid result.Playing at 3,785 locations, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened to an estimated $5.63 million on Friday. That's a fairly disappointing number for this big-budget threequel: in contrast, the first Night at the Museum earned $12.1 million on opening day back in December 2006. This opening puts Secret of »


- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Watch Dave Bautista Do His Best Tinkerbell Impression In This Guardians Outtake

3 hours ago | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

One of the most terrifying characters in Guardians of the Galaxy also enjoys floating like a fairy. James Gunn, director of the film, posted a video to Facebook showing former WWE superstar, Dave Bautista float through the air doing his best Tinkerbell impression while in Drax costume. Watch below: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by James Gunn. The video shows an outtake of Dave Bautista aka Drax the Destroyer as he flaps upwards through the air against a green screen. Gunn explains in the comment section that this was the shot when Drax is in the Kyln, lands with a robot and tears in into two. You can see Bautista laughing at the end »

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