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Box office preview: 'The Hobbit,' 'Annie,' and 'Night at the Museum' arrive

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

It's the battle of the three wide releases at this weekend's box office: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesNight at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and Annie are all opening in at least 3,000 theaters each. These huge releases will kick some of the top five mainstays, like The Hunger Games and Penguins of Madagascar, down on the list, and will kick off what's likely to be a successful couple weeks at the box office: Unbroken, The Gambler, and Into the Woods—all films opening in at least 2,000 theaters each—are all opening Christmas week. While Night at the Museum »


- Ariana Bacle

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‘The Interview’ Replaced at Dallas Theater by ‘Team America: World Police’

18 December 2014 5:54 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The Alamo Drafthouse was totally going to show “The Interview,” threats or no threats. But now that Sony Pictures has pulled its Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy completely, the Dallas theater is going with Plan B: a free screening of “Team America: World Police.”

The Texas movie house provided a pretty simple explanation for the substitution via Twitter: “Because America, F Yeah,” it wrote.

Sony yanked the Christmas release — and any possibilities of a future offering — of its newest comedy on Wednesday, »


- Tony Maglio

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FBI Confirms North Korea Behind Cyber-Attack; Terrorists Demand The Interview Not Be Released Online or on DVD

15 minutes ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

It appears that today will be yet another circus with regards to The Interview and the cyber-terrorists behind its non-release.  Despite a new promo spot popping up online last night that proclaimed “In Franco and Rogen We Trust”, Sony removed all clips and the aforementioned video from the internet while also scrapping the film’s worldwide release.  Now a couple of new developments have arisen, chiefly: the FBI has officially named North Korea as the culprits behind the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures.  Moreover, a new message has arrived from the “anonymous” terrorists calling Sony “wise” not to release The Interview and demanding that the film not show up online or on DVD.  More after the jump. The FBI released a statement today, per USA Today, saying North Korea is behind this truly upsetting cyber attack: "As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U. »

- Adam Chitwood

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First Image from Sisters Starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; Says They Are Going to Fucking Crush Star Wars

20 minutes ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are an unstoppable duo.  They were great together on SNL, Baby Mama is a pretty enjoyable movie, and whenever they host the Golden Globes, they knock it out of the park.  Now the two are teaming up again for the new comedy Sisters (formerly "The Nest"), which has them playing "estranged siblings who reunite to clean out their childhood home before their parents sell the family house, during which they decide to throw one final blow-out party."  And if you don't have enough reason to admire Fey and Poehler, they're not afraid to have their movie share the same weekend as Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  ''We said we'd only do the movie if it opened against Star Wars,'' Poehler tells EW. ''We're not scared. It's what gets us up in the morning: We are going to f---ing crush Star Wars.'' Hit »

- Matt Goldberg

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Bet You Can Guess How The Hackers Celebrated The Interview Being Pulled

23 minutes ago | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

You may have thought the hacking scandal was officially over. Well, that's sort of true. Yesterday, the popular studio announced it was pulling The Interview.s Christmas Day release and had no plans to make the film available in the future. To celebrate, the hackers allegedly did what hackers do best, sent another email with more demands, promising the data breaches would stop, if a few more conditions were met from now until forever. According to CNN, the hackers want Sony to agree to never release the film on any form, including but not limited to Blu-ray and VOD. They don.t want to see the film on any piracy sites, and in addition, they allegedly want the company to pull down any trailers, advertisements and any additional signs of the film.s existence. In short, they want it to be like the movie simply never existed. Gee, the blackmailers »

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‘Hobbit’ Finale Takes $9.9 Million on Second Day, ‘Night at the Museum’ Opens with $491,000 in Latenight Shows

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

“Hobbit” fans have kept coming to U.S. theaters, with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” taking in a solid  $9.9 million at 3,875 locations on its second day for a two-day total of $34.4 million.

Meanwhile, Fox’s comedy “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” opened with a moderate $491,000 from 2,531 locations in latenight shows Thursday. With school still in session Friday for most of the kid demo, the studio had not been expecting a large number.

The opening for “The Battle of the Five Armies” — the final movie in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga — comes in the wake of  Sony’s decision on Wednesday to cancel its comedy “The Interview” due to terrorist threats from the hacking group Guardians of Peace.

“Five Armies” has been projected to pull in between $70 million and $75 million over its first five days in U.S. theaters. Thursday’s figure represented a 58% decline »


- Dave McNary

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FBI officially blames North Korea for Sony hack

32 minutes ago | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The FBI has concluded that the crippling computer hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment and subsequent leaking of embarrassing emails and proprietary information that lead to The Interview being shelved, was ordered by the North Korean government. NBC Nightly News posted excerpts of the FBI's update on the investigation, which concludes that "technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in the attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed." According to the FBI, the Sony cyberattack also resembled a similar criminal hack of South Korean banks and media outlets that was committed by North Korea in March. »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Amber Tamblyn Wraps Directing Debut With Punk Rock Tale ‘Paint It Black’

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

Amber Tamblyn is wrapping her directing debut “Paint it Black” this week, based on the book of the same name by “White Oleander” author Janet Fitch.

Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”) stars in the independent film as a young woman unraveling the mystery of her boyfriend’s disappearance who begins a dangerous relationship with his pianist mother, played by Janet McTeer.

Set against the Los Angeles rock scene, it co-stars Alfred Molina, Emily Rios and Rhys Wakefield.

The screenplay was written by Tamblyn and Ed Doughtery.

Produced by Wren Arthur for Olive Productions and Amy Hobby and Anne Hubbell for Tangerine Entertainment, the film is exec produced by Olive’s Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi. McTeer is also an exec producer.

Fitch’s novel “White Oleander” was made into a 2002 film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Renee Zellweger.

UTA Independent Film Group reps North American rights; UTA also reps Tamblyn along with Hyler Management and Sloane Offer. »


- Pat Saperstein

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Colcoa French Film Festival Bows TV Competition

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

Paris– Colcoa, the L.A.-set French film festival, is kicking off a competition lineup dedicated to TV titles for its 19th edition.

Backed by the Franco-American Cultural Fund (Facf) and promotion org TV France International, Coloa Television will present a competition of French films made for television, from dramas to mini-series and documentaries.

Over the last few years, France has delivered a number of upscale TV series, notably “Braquo,” “Spiral” and “The Returned” (pictured above), that have clicked with international audiences.

Audiences will vote for the Colcoa Best TV Program Award, which will be announced on April 28.

“As has been the practice in the U.S., films made for television have become an important part of the French production and, as such, an increasing number is acquired for the U.S. market or developed and co-produced between both countries,” said François Truffart, Colcoa’s exec producer and artistic director. »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Watch the Star-Studded Musical Finale for The Colbert Report

43 minutes ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

After nine years on the air, The Colbert Report came to an end last night as host Stephen Colbert prepares to take over Late Night from David Letterman next May.  It was a fitting finale in that Colbert provided a funny and outlandish sendoff for his Colbert Report alter ego, complete with a musical finale featuring the most random assembly of celebrities ever.  Seriously, name three random people and they were probably on The Colbert Report last night singing “We’ll Meet Again.”  George Lucas?  Check.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?  Check.  Tom Brokaw?  Yep.  Even Big Bird showed up.  Comedy Central has now made the musical Colbert Report finale available online, so if you missed it or just want to watch again (which is totally acceptable), you can now do so. Watch the Colbert Report finale video after the jump, which also features James Franco, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ariana Huffington, J.J. Abrams, »

- Adam Chitwood

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Hackers Now Reportedly Say Sony Can Release 'The Interview,' But With Changes

44 minutes ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

There was a much simpler, more innocent time a couple of months ago when "The Interview" was just another enjoyably dumb comedy coming down the line from Seth Rogen and James Franco. Now, it's at the center of a national security maelstrom, media frenzy, and ongoing discussion about how the entertainment industry should handle threats to their art and product, with George Clooney the highest profile name to publicly put his opinion out there. And now, things have taken another twist. USA Today reports that the hacker group known as Guardians Of Peace issued a message last night, stating that "The Interview" could be released...but only if changes were made. Here is the anonymously posted message:  This is Gop. You have suffered through enough threats. We lift the ban. The Interview may release now. But be carful. September 11 may happen again if you don't comply with the rules. Rule »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Force Was With Jason Reitman’s ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Live Read; Full Recap and Photos

47 minutes ago | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

The things fans love about The Empire Strikes Back are not things present in a live read: John Williams unbelievable score, the breathtaking action set pieces, and locations like Hoth, Dagobah and Cloud City. At a live read, it’s just the actors, the script, a few images and the audience. As a massive Star Wars […]

The post The Force Was With Jason Reitman’s ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Live Read; Full Recap and Photos appeared first on /Film. »


- Germain Lussier

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Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton Grants First Interview on Hacking Crisis to CNN

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

Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton will break his silence on the devastating hack attack that has brought the studio to its knees in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria slated to air this Sunday.

Lynton is scheduled to tape the segment with Zakaria on Friday. It’s set to air on CNN’s Sunday program “Fareed Zakaria Gps” on Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. Eastern.

To date, Lynton has not spoken publicly about the hack. Internally, the studio chief has communicated with employees and has insisted that the attack “will not take us down.”

“You should not be worried about the future of this studio,” Lynton told staffers at a town hall meeting Monday.

The cyber-attack on Sony has become a national security issue for the U.S., as officials have tied the incident to the North Korean regime. The FBI said Friday that it had concluded the country was responsible for the incident. »


- Todd Spangler

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Sarah Silverman Brings Her Unorthodox Humor to Jerusalem

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

Jerusalem – Sarah Silverman brought her rape jokes, boundary-busting comedy and foul-mouthed charm to the Jerusalem Cinematheque Thursday evening, appearing as a special guest at the 16th annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival and attending a screening of her HBO documentary, “We are Miracles.”

Silverman, whose sister Susan is a well-known feminist rabbi in Jerusalem, joked that the fest’s timing was perfect as it allowed her to also attend her nephew’s bar mitzvah next week. Prior to the screening, the comedien was honored with an achievement award, presented by Cinematheque founder and Jerusalem film maven Lia Van Leer, who told Silverman, “You are a miracle!”

Silverman was given a gold Chanukah menorah, which she joked looked like a pair of brass knuckles before slipping it onto her right hand to prove her point.

After the screening, Silverman returned to the stage for a Q&A with Israeli comic Einav Galili, »


- Debra Kamin

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First Ted 2 Image Has Mark Wahlberg and Ted Ready to Do Some Scuba Diving

56 minutes ago | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

A Million Ways to Die in the West and the 2013 Oscar Ceremony taught us that people don't want to see Seth MacFarlane; they just want to hear him.  Ted is one of the most successful R-rated comedies of all-time, and now we have the first Ted 2 image.  We still don't know much what John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted will be up to in the sequel other than part of the movie will take place at Comic-Con, Ted will need a civil rights lawyer (played by Morgan Freeman), and Amanda Seyfried has replaced Mila Kunis as the female lead.  Also, MacFarlane tells EW that there won't be any new talking creatures in the sequel.  "It's basically the way we treated Stewie in Family Guy,'' says MacFarlane. ''He's the only one of his kind who can talk.'' Hit the jump to check out the new Ted 2 image.  The »

- Matt Goldberg

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Why Night At The Museum 3 Is Actually The Touching Sendoff Robin Williams Deserves

57 minutes ago | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Very few of us get the opportunity to script our own farewell. David Chase and Vince Gilligan did it with their own brilliant television programs. Stephen Colbert did it last night. And the late, great Robin Williams pulls it off beautifully with Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which you can start seeing today. This column will talk openly about Night at the Museum, so bail now if you want to avoid all spoilers. Our own Mike Reyes mentioned this in his review of the third and final Night At The Museum chapter, commenting that director Shawn Levy and co-stars Robin Williams and Ben Stiller "end the film with an emotional finale that closes out the series in a bittersweet manner." Williams returns to his role of the wax-figure Teddy Roosevelt, who comes to life each evening to help museum security guard Larry (Stiller) on a series of »

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‘Bulworth’ Writer Jeremy Pikser Selected for Writers Guild’s Jablow Award

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

The Writers Guild of America East has selected Vice President Jeremy Pikser as the recipient of its Richard B. Jablow Award for service to the guild.

He will receive the honor at the 67th annual Writers Guild Awards at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Feb. 14.

Pikser, a member since 1988, co-wrote the screenplays for political satires “Bulworth” and “War, Inc.” He received an Oscar nomination for “Bulworth” along with Warren Beatty.

Pikser was elected to the WGA East Council in 2006 and has served as vice president since 2011. He has also taught a graduate screenwriting workshop at Nyu since 1999, and has been an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab since 2005 and at the Laboratorio de Guionistas in Mexico since 2008.

Jeremy Pikser’s meritorious service to the Writers Guild East makes him a noteworthy and deserving recipient of the Guild East’s Jablow Award,” said WGA East President Michael Winship. »


- Dave McNary

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This Music Teacher's Tribute To Star Wars Is The Greatest Holiday Lights Show We've Seen

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

We.ve now reached the stage where there are so many Star Wars homages out there that it.s almost impossible to be impressed by anything new that tips its hat to George Lucas. beloved series. However a music teacher from San Francisco has managed to do just that with his very own Star Wars music Christmas lights show. It simply needs to be seen to be believed. I know, it really is quite remarkable, isn.t it? And all the credit for this rather wonderful nod to Star Wars belongs to Tom BetGeorge. When he.s not busy trying to blind his neighbors with the power of Christmas lights, Tom BetGeorge is a music teacher at the Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts in Oakland and the Centerville Presbyterian Church in Fremont. He also clearly really, really likes Christmas too. So much so that he choreographed 100,000 lights to seamlessly »

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The 13 Best Movie Trailers Of 2014

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

This job, as you might imagine, involves having to write about a certain amount of movie marketing as well as the actual damn movies themselves. It’s a mixed blessing (who created the motion poster, and why do they hate the world so much?), but there can also be an artfulness to the craft of luring people into movie theaters that shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve already looked at some of the Best Posters of the year, and now, continuing our year-end coverage (which you can find in full here), we’ve decided to look at the top movie trailers of 2014. Little 60- to 180-second mini-movies can give the whole plot away and ruin the best jokes, but they can also excite, intrigue, and even stand alone. Below you’ll find thirteen trailers that debuted over the past twelve months. Not all are from films we liked, some are »

- The Playlist Staff

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Hobbit retains UK buzz lead

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Warner Bros’ climactic outing set for strong second weekend.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies generated almost 40,000 mentions across social media, news, forums and blogs over the past week, according to Way to Blue.

Just under 15,000 of those mentions, made from Dec 11-17, were from people expressing intent to view meaning the climactic Hobbit outing is set to retain the UK lead.

Fox’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb led this week’s new releases with 3,421 mentions, but Universal’s Dumb and Dumber To generated stronger intent to view.

Of the films released on Boxing Day, Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings created the most buzz with over 2,700 mentions and 654 comments expressing intent to view.

Click here for a full explanation of Way to Blue’s charts. »


- ian.sandwell@screendaily.com (Ian Sandwell)

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