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Box Office: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' is Tom Cruise's 19th movie to open no. 1

1 hour ago

"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" earned $56 million domestically this weekend to easily beat another newcomer, "Vacation," for the top spot.  While Paramount and the film's major financier, Skydance, have to wonder why it didn't open bigger after rave reviews and an A- Cinemascore rating it could have been much worse.  Pre-release polling from some services were as low as a $42-50 million debut.  For comparison's sake, "M:i-2" debuted to $57 million 15 years ago.  With an estimated production budget of $150 million, "Rogue Nation" will have to fare much better overseas and it's off to a great start with $65 million internationally so far. As for Cruise, you could technically say this is his 20th no. 1 opener, but he wasn't even mentioned in the "Tropic Thunder" billing block or top credits (i.e., his name appears nowhere on the poster) and when you're going to track these things, well, that matters.  The 53-year-old actor »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Best and Worst of 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation': Greatest 'Mission' ever?

15 hours ago

Is the fifth time the charm for “Mission: Impossible”?  The almost 20-year-old franchise has gone through some ups and downs over the years, but “Rogue Nation” has arguably earned even better reviews than the last installment, Brad Bird's “Ghost Protocol.”   Who knew? One reason “Rogue Nation” works so well is because of relative newcomer Rebecca Ferguson.  Actually, you might have caught the Swedish actress in last summer’s terrible “Hercules” (she’s probably hoping you forgot), but to most moviegoers this will be her coming out party.  As an undercover agent straddling allegiances between the bad guys (the mysterious Syndicate) and the supposed good guys (MI6) Ferguson is never from the action or the storyline.  Without her seductive performance much of “Rogue Nation” might have seemed overtly familiar. Director and co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie probably deserves the lion's share of praise, however.   McQuarrie is new to the “Mission” creative team »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Review: 'Hannibal' - 'and the Woman Clothed with the Sun': We are family?

16 hours ago

A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as I'm dressed up in moral dignity pants... "It takes two to catch one." -Hannibal We're now getting deep into this show's adaptation of the "Red Dragon" novel (with winks to the movies along the way, like Freddie Lounds mentioning "manhunters"), which has pros and cons. Having a story that Fuller, Lightfoot and company want to adapt relatively faithfully imposes a structure on the show that hasn't always been there the last season and a half or so. And it's also fun to see particular moments, and hear particular lines, in this context. At the same time, though, I came out of "and the Woman Clothed with the Sun" wondering if the Harris story necessarily lent itself to a more prolonged adaptation (with commercial breaks subtracted, these six episodes will run a little over four hours), and also whether »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Box Office: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' squashes 'Ant-Man' for no. 1 Friday

1 August 2015 12:17 PM, PDT

After stellar reviews from critics and moviegoers you'd think executives at Paramount Pictures and Skydance would be jumping for joy over the fact that "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" opened to $20.4 million on Friday. In reality they are likely breathing a sigh of relief. The fifth installment in the "Mission: Impossible" movie franchise opened to no. 1 with one of the biggest single day tallies of Tom Cruise's career.  The problem is that the Christopher McQuarrie helmed thriller was expected to do more.  Barring an unexpected Saturday jump (or decline), "Rogue Nation" should end up with $54-55 million for the three-day.  A few weeks ago the studio and the film's major financier were expecting a $60 million plus debut.  Want a scary comparison?  In 2000 "M:i-2" debuted to $57 million. At the time it was the no. 3 opening of all-time.  While the brand has certainly remained resilient, how can a film that is »


- Gregory Ellwood

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8 R-rated movie and TV toys we probably shouldn't have been playing with

1 August 2015 11:37 AM, PDT

The '80s and '90s were a time when you could be too young to watch a particular movie and yet still be targeted by endless Saturday morning commercials peddling toys based on that movie.It was truly a less P.C. time. I don't know which of these I find most shocking, though I might have to give the edge to Kenner's 18" "Alien" action figure from 1979, which just so happened to be spun off from the bleakest, most shocking, most phallic sci-fi/horror film of all time. Guess what? It didn't sell well. But I'd venture a guess that many of the other toys listed below did, thanks to targeted advertising campaigns that boxed the ultraviolence of the film and TV properties in question into a more kid-friendly package -- if you can call the excessive marketing of automatic firearms "kid friendly," which I wouldn't. In fact, I »

- Chris Eggertsen

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10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Tom Cruise plans on 'Mi:6'

31 July 2015 9:50 PM, PDT

In this week's edition of 10 Stories You Might Have Missed: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" is just opening, but Tom Cruise is already feeling firm on a "M:i 6." Plus: this Ryan Seacrest show got canceled after only two shows... These new "Deadpool" photos reveal a Copycat... New Order drops their first new song in 10 years... Tommy Lee Jones joins up with this Matt Damon franchise... ... and more! »


- Katie Hasty

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What to expect from Fear the Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2

31 July 2015 9:42 PM, PDT

"Fear the Walking Dead" will move slowly--like a walker, maybe, though there probably won't be as many of those as there are in the original series. In fact, the first season will cover just three weeks in the characters' lives. "We purposefully built the show a little more slowly," showrunner and executive producer Dave Erickson said this afternoon at TCA. "We tried to slow-burn the story to make it as much about the anxiety tension and paranoia that goes with this outbreak" instead of "confrontations with zombies," he said. AMC has already ordered a second, 15-episode season of "Fear The Walking Dead" (which the producers said they are referring to as just "Fear"), and the series will not catch up to the start of "The Walking Dead"'s first season. As a result, don't expect crossovers. "There's no intention of having character references or Easter eggs," he said, though there »


- Andy Dehnart

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140 days until Star Wars: Mark Hamill is an Autograph Jedi

31 July 2015 5:24 PM, PDT

In the time before time — when fans wanted their favorite celebrity’s autograph and not a selfie with them — getting a famous person’s John Hancock was the cat pajamas (or whatever people said in the time before time). But not all celebrity signatures were created equal. Case in point: Mark Hamill was a regular Dad Joke™ generator. Redditor iBleeedorange somehow stumbled into a cache of old Star Wars cards signed by Hamill. For those unfamiliar with the cards — or only familiar with their digital counterpart — these Topps trading cards came packaged in a set along with a stick of gum. They were a Huge collector’s item, so it’s no wonder some fans sought out Hamill to up the value of their cards even further. They got more than they bargained for. Well played, Mark Hamill. Well played indeed. »


- Donna Dickens

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Those 1,000 Foo Fighters fans drumming in Italy? 'See you soon' says Dave Grohl

31 July 2015 4:48 PM, PDT

One of the coolest viral videos that we’ve seen lately was by the Rockin’ 1000, a project spearheaded by a Foo Fighters fan named Fabio Saffagnini, in which a thousand fans got together to record a video of their performance of the Foo Fighters‘ “Learn To Fly.” The project wasn’t just for fun, though. Zaffagnini actually had a very specific purpose for the event in mind: to attract the attention of Dave Grohl in hopes of bringing the band to Romagna, Italy, for a concert, where he says they haven’t played since 1997. Like everyone else who saw the video, Grohl was pretty blown away by the video... Read the full story at Radio.com. »


- Brian Ives - Radio.com

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Watch Kendrick Lamar's new video, 'For Free'

31 July 2015 4:41 PM, PDT

With the release of Kendrick Lamar’s second studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly, the Compton rapper has proven two things: he’s incapable of fizzling into the ether as many breakout artists do, and he can hold onto superstardom with no compromise in artistic and political integrity. Kenrick’s pulled out all of the stops in previous visuals for Tpab. He flew upside-down in “Alright,” he danced with the crew across “i” and “King Kunta,” and now, he returns to the screen with the ‘For Free? (Interlude)’ music video.  Read the full story at Radio.com. »


- Jake Hirshland - Radio.com

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Radio personalities time travel from 1950 to harass ‘Fantastic 4’ cast

31 July 2015 4:27 PM, PDT

The press blitz for the new “Fantastic Four” movie has begun! Which means the cast will be subjected to a never-ending carousel of journalists asking variations of the same dozen questions. But hey, it’s part of the job and most actors are consummate professionals…even when the people interviewing them aren’t. Recently Jason Bailey and Southside Steve — the morning show hosts of Wnnx Rock 100.5 in Atlanta — sat down with Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell to ostensibly talk about the movie. Instead, things went off the rails almost immediately. http://susenstorm.tumblr.com/post/125531088539 Straight out of the gate, Jason Bailey brings up the question of Sue Storm being white and Johnny Storm being black. Kate Mara answers, “Sue Storm was adopted.” End of line of questioning, right? Nope. Bailey can’t seem to let it go, completely ignoring Mara’s succinct response. Over and over »


- Donna Dickens

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Cate Blanchett is bringing the Rathergate realness in first 'Truth' image

31 July 2015 3:30 PM, PDT

Is Cate Blanchett going for the triple crown this year?  The two-time Academy Award winner already delighted audiences as the wicked, but semi-sympathetic step mother in Kenneth Branaugh’s live action “Cinderella” in March.  In May she earned critical acclaim for her work as the title character in Todd Haynes’ “Carol.”  The Weinstein Company is going to release that highly anticipated awards player in November.  But, Blanchett fans can rejoice because they’ll have one more shot to enjoy the incredible Aussie’s talents before the end of 2015 and it promises to tell the “Truth.” Sony Pictures Classics announced today that "Truth," James Vanderbilt’s directorial debut, will open in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 16.   Based on a true story, the new drama chronicles the final days of legendary CBS News anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) as both he and the network deal with the ramifications of a »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Steven Moffat has revealed what he thinks it would take to have a female Doctor

31 July 2015 2:47 PM, PDT

Steven Moffat has revealed what he thinks it would take to have a female Doctor on Doctor Who. When popular Doctor Matt Smith exited the BBC’s “Doctor Who” fans anxiously awaited the reveal of the new Doctor. Given the nature of the character’s regenerative powers, many wondered if executive producers Steven Moffat may go in a different direction for the character, perhaps casting a non-Caucasian man or a woman of any race for this iteration of the series. The conversation frequently centered on the question: Can The Doctor be a woman? There was a lot of back-and-forth in the press about Moffat’s take on the matter. Reports wavered between indicating that he was entirely opposed to the prospect to that he was open. Ultimately, it was Peter Capaldi – a white male – who stepped in to replace Smith. At today’s TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, Moffat »


- Roth Cornet

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Set photo from live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' definitely looks like Disney

31 July 2015 1:26 PM, PDT

In case you forgot, Disney hired Hermione Granger to star in the live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.” Things have been quiet but apparently production wrapped a few days ago. Josh Gad — who plays the toadie Le Fou — posted a photo from the set to celebrate.   That's a wrap! Will miss the cast of #beautyandthebeast especially my brilliant Gaston #LukeEvans A photo posted by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on Jul 29, 2015 at 2:16am Pdt   As a Disneyphile, there are two (terribly mundane) things this photo reveals. The movie will still take place in the winter and the Beast’s castle is still based on fantastical combination of gothic, rococo, and baroque architecture. Because as Cogsworth says, “If it isn’t Baroque, don’t fix it.” »


- Donna Dickens

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What did we do to deserve 'Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter Jr.'?

31 July 2015 12:34 PM, PDT

A few questions: 1) What the hell is happening? 2) Is this some sick joke? 3) Is it all over? Try your best to make sense out of this: according to a dubious press release, the campy, low-budget 1986 horror movie "Troll" (followed by the so-bad-it's-good cult classic "Troll 2") is being "reprised" for a whole new generation by original writer/director John Carl Buechler as a 3D animated feature entitled -- and I swear to god this is true -- "Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter Jr." It gets better! 2015 Oscar winner Patricia Arquette is allegedly voicing the role of a witch. “The original ‘Troll’ film has achieved cult status, and based upon its success we believed that the timing was right to produce an updated 3D animated version for a whole new generation of filmgoers," said Buechler in a statement. “We are already in pre-production. We have the financing in place and a strong international distributor. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'Trainwreck' outtakes: LeBron thinks you'll love Cleveland

31 July 2015 11:56 AM, PDT

Outtakes in Judd Apatow movies are usually a scream, and the cut footage from "Trainwreck" is no exception. Check out Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer, and LeBron Hames throwing down seven or eight ad-libs per scene. I think my favorite part is the disgusting article idea Bayer pitches to Tilda -- but LeBron's Cleveland ode comes close. »


- Louis Virtel

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Here's the deal with Arya Stark on 'Doctor Who'

31 July 2015 11:40 AM, PDT

Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams is not playing the character fans think she is on the upcoming season of “Doctor Who”…Or is she?  That was the essential message from “Doctor Who” executive producer Steven Moffat at today’s TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour. There are a few popular theories about who Williams -- who most will know as relentless survivor (we hope) Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones” -- would be playing in the upcoming season of the popular BBC series. Perhaps the most frequently postulated is that she will appear as The Doctor’s granddaughter, who was abandoned on earth in a storyline that was established in classic “Doctor Who” series. Support for this theory came in the form of Peter Capaldi’s interactions with Williams' character in the recently released "Doctor Who" Season 9 trailer. “What took you so long, old man?” she says in response to The Doctor’s surprised, »


- Roth Cornet

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How long will Peter Capaldi play Doctor Who?

31 July 2015 11:20 AM, PDT

Peter Capaldi is the 12th actor to play Doctor Who, and he'll be the last, playing the part forevermore. At least, that's what executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat hopes, as he joked about that during the BBC America session at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. Capaldi responded that, clearly, he hadn't read the fine print in his contract. So how long will Capaldi stay? It's unclear. Moffat pointed out that the first question put to David Tennant when he stepped into the role was how long he intended to stay in it. (Tennant and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith each appeared in three seasons.) Even though it's his second season, Capaldi said that he's still developing the part. He half-joked that he has "no idea how to play the part," making the point that "you can't sort of develop a role in isolation, you have to do it with other people. »


- Andy Dehnart

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The 10 Greatest Finds at the 'Mad Men' Prop Auction

31 July 2015 10:41 AM, PDT

Nothing will bring "Mad Men" back (although we can dream of a reunion special in 10 years), but you can hold onto your piece of it. When a show ends, cruel as it sounds, it's various cast-offs are generally thrown away, or if the show has as many hard-core fans as "Mad Men" put up on the auction block. This week, the leftovers of the 1960's advertising drama have been put up for sale at the Hollywood auction site Screenbid. Begins today at noon, with most items starting out for a mere $50 - 100. With a show like "Mad Men" which paid meticulous attention to its period details, the items that went to create Don Draper's world are many and amazing.  Here's 10 of our favorites: »

- Richard Rushfield

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Best and Worst of 'Vacation': It's not that bad is it?

31 July 2015 10:25 AM, PDT

This probably wasn't the reaction Warner Bros. was expecting when they moved the new comedy "Vacation" from October to July.  The fifth big screen edition of the franchise that helped make Chevy Chase a star was supposed to be a summer comedy "surprise."  This year's "Meet the Millers" or "Let's Be Cops," but, um, actually funny.  That doesn't seem to be the case. Directed by the "Horrible Bosses" writing team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, "Vacation" earned just a B Cinemascore from audiences polled after seeing it (an average score is actually an A).  Critics weren't that kind either.  It landed with a terrible 33 out of 100 grade on Metacritic and scored just 26% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes which is pretty rotten. And, no, that's not good for its long term prospects at the box office.  Still, is it really that bad?  Is "Vacation" really one of the worst movies of the year? »


- Gregory Ellwood, Drew McWeeny

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