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'Matilda' Claims a Record 7 Wins at Olivier Awards

15 April 2012 4:24 PM, PDT

The musical "Matilda" claimed a record-breaking seven prizes at the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards Sunday in London, including best new musical. Among the honors were one for best actress in a musical, presented jointly to the four young girls -- "the little twerps," as the show's songwriter and lyricist Tim Minchin called them -- who share the title role. Also read: Woody Allen Adapting 'Bullets Over Broadway' for Musical on ... Well, Guess One of the four best actress winners, 10-year-old Eleanor Worthington-Cox, became the youngest Olivier winner ever. She was joined on »


- Todd Cunningham

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'Hunger Games' Gobbles Up 4th Consecutive Victory in Down Weekend

15 April 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

The Hunger Games” juggernaut could not be stopped this weekend: Lionsgate’s monster hit easily defeated “The Three Stooges” and “The Cabin in the Woods” for its fourth consecutive victory at the domestic box office. It is the first movie since “Avatar” to notch so many victories in a row. Also read: 'Hunger Games' Box Office: A Rare Four-Peat The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ popular young adult novel grossed $21.5 million domestically, according to studio estimates. That was better than the studio projected and a healthy margin ahead of Fox’s “Three Stooges,” which also »


- Diane Garrett

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Indie Box Office: 'Lockout' Leads 'Bully' Expansion

15 April 2012 3:47 PM, PDT

Lockout” and “Woman Thou Art Loosed” led the indie newcomers in a weekend marked by the Weinstein Co.’s expansion of “Bully” into 158 theaters with a PG-13 rating. Open Road distributed “Lockout,” a sci-fi thriller starring Guy Pearce, for FilmDistrict under a service deal. The movie, released in 2,308 locations, brought in $6.3 million for ninth place overall, according to Rentrak estimates. FilmDistrict picked up the $20 million movie from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp. A spokeswoman said audiences skewed 65 percent male, with the age breakdown close to 50-50 those under and over »


- Diane Garrett

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'Hunger Games' Box Office: A Rare Four-Peat

15 April 2012 2:54 PM, PDT

With its victory at box office this weekend, “The Hunger Games” became the first film to win four consecutive crowns since “Avatar.” These days of front-loaded releases, it’s rare for a movie to score a three-peat, let alone a four-peat. Only four movies have managed that feat post-“Avatar,” according to boxofficemojo.com stats. “The Help” was the sole triple threat last year; in 2010, “Alice in Wonderland,” “Shrek Forever After” and “Inception” won three weekends before relinquishing their crowns. Also read: 'Hunger Games' Gobbles Up 4th Consecutive Victory in Down Weekend “Avatar” managed to »


- Diane Garrett

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'Titanic' 3D Posts China's Best Box-Office Bow Ever at $58M

15 April 2012 2:52 PM, PDT

The 3D rerelease of "Titanic" recorded the best box office opening ever in China this weekend, claiming $58 million for international distributor Fox. Universal got some good news, too. It opened its pricey "Battleship" in 26 territories -- not including China -- and took in $58 million. That represents a pretty good payoff on the studio's early overseas opening strategy. The movie will roll out in the U.S. on May 18. Also read: 'Battleship' Lines Up $50M in Promotional Partnerships With Coke, Nestle The huge China opening for "Titanic" and receipts from 69 other »

- Todd Cunningham

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Maggie Smith On the Way Out of 'Downton Abbey' (Report)

15 April 2012 12:23 PM, PDT

Maggie Smith has reportedly told "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes that she wants out of the hit British drama. "Maggie has asked Julian to write her character out," the U.K.'s Daily Mail is reporting. "She is filming until August and then wants to leave, going out on a high. She thinks that three series is enough and she wants to get back to the stage and big screen."   Also read: 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Death: Who Is It? Smith's Dowager Countess, a master of the potent one-line put-down, is one of the show's »


- Todd Cunningham

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Google Co-Founder Rips Hollywood on Anti-Piracy Efforts

15 April 2012 10:14 AM, PDT

Hollywood and the entertainment industry are "shooting themselves in the foot, or maybe worse than the foot" by pushing the current anti-piracy legislation, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. He said the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act that Hollywood has been lobbying for would have led to the U.S. using the same technology and approach it has criticized China and Iran for using. Brin (with Google co-founder Larry Page, above) made the comments in an exclusive interview with the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper. Also read: Sunk! How Hollywood Lost the »


- Todd Cunningham

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Robin Gibb, Former Bee Gees Star, Gravely Ill

15 April 2012 9:03 AM, PDT

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb remained in a coma Sunday. The 62-year-old singer has contracted pneumonia while battling cancer. His family has reportedly been keeping vigil at his bedside at a hospital in Chelsea, west London. A statement on the singer's website RobinGibb.com said: "Sadly the reports are true that Robin has contracted pneumonia and is in a coma. We are all hoping and praying that he will pull through." Also read: Davy Jones Appreciatioin: "Monkees Star Wore the Mantle of Teen Idol Effortlessly Gibb had intestinal surgery 18 months ago for an unrelated »


- Todd Cunningham

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'SNL': Steven Spielberg's 'Laser Cats' -- and Meet 'The Californians'

15 April 2012 9:03 AM, PDT

Of course Steven Spielberg's "Laser Cats" would be the best one. Bill Hader and Andy Samberg enlisted the director's help for "Laser Cats 7," the latest in their extremely low-budget saga about a future where lasers fire from cats mouths. It quickly turned into an homage to Spielberg's films, with an E.T. doll at the center of the action, host Josh Brolin bringing back one of the creeepiest "Raiders of the Lost Arc" villains, and Spielberg himself making a "Hitchcockian" cameo... that was somewhat less subtle than Hitchcock's. An aside: Californians came »


- Tim Molloy

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'Hunger Games' Fends Off 'Three Stooges,' 'Cabin in the Woods' for Early Weekend Lead

14 April 2012 9:26 AM, PDT

Updated Saturday 9 a.m. Pt "The Hunger Games" fended off two new challengers Friday at the box office, with "The Three Stooges" and "Cabin in the Woods" neck in neck for second place behind Lionsgate's smash hit. "The Hunger Games," which has won the past three weekends and is expected to repeat for a fourth, brought in an estimated $6.45 million from nearly four thousand domestic locations on Friday. Fox's "Three Stooges" had a stronger than expected opening day, bringing in $5.6 million at 3,477 locations to edge past Lionsgate's horror movie, »


- Diane Garrett

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Mel Gibson Really Hits the Wall in 'Get the Gringo' Trailer (Video)

13 April 2012 4:18 PM, PDT

Mel Gibson, crashing his car into a wall while trying to evade the authorities? No, it's not just another night in Malibu -- it's the new trailer for "Get the Gringo," his latest cinematic masterpiece, coming exclusively to DirecTV on May 1. In the movie, Gibson -- who's made headlines in recent days for allegedly spouting some pretty nasty things -- plays Driver, a American criminal who crashes through the border wall while trying to outrun the U.S. Border Patrol. A series of events land him inside the walls of a »


- Tim Kenneally

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Les Moonves' $69.9M Makes Him Highest-Paid Media CEO of 2011 -- So Far

13 April 2012 3:31 PM, PDT

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves received $69.9 million in compensation last year, making him the highest-paid media CEO of companies that have so far disclosed their executives' 2011 pay. His compensation was up 21 percent from the $57.7 million he received in 2010, which was up 34 percent from the year before. His compensation was included in a Security Exchange Commission filing Friday. CBS stock was up more than 40 percent last year. "In fact, the company is the second best performing stock in the entire S&P 500 since March of »


- Tim Molloy

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Jesse Eisenberg Re-Teaming With Aaron Sorkin for HBO's 'Newsroom' Pilot

13 April 2012 3:11 PM, PDT

Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Sorkin are having a little bit of a reunion. Eisenberg, star of "The Social Network," will appear in the pilot episode of Sorkin's HBO series "The Newsroom." (Sorkin, of course, wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the 2010 film about the gestational era of Facebook.) Also read: "True Blood," "Newsroom" Premiere Dates Confirmed by HBO Alas, Eisenberg's participation will be fairly minimal -- he has a small voiceover part, and only for the pilot episode, which airs June 24 at 10 p.m. Also read: HBO Debuts Trailer for Aaron Sorkin's "The »


- Tim Kenneally

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Iatse and AMPTP Reach Agreement

13 April 2012 2:56 PM, PDT

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a tentative three-year agreement, the organizations said Friday afternoon. The two sides resumed negotiations on Thursday, after taking a couple weeks away from the bargaining table to review data. Iatse International President Matthew D. Loeb assured members that the guild protected health and pension benefits by making some concessions in other areas. Also read: Iatse, AMPTP Will Return to the Bargaining Table April 12 “Our goals going into these negotiations have been met,” Loeb said a »

- Tim Kenneally

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Facebook Buys TagTile in Continuing Bid to Own Everything

13 April 2012 1:21 PM, PDT

Facebook has continued its acquisition frenzy Thursday by purchasing San Francisco-based company TagTile. TagTile announced the merger on its website in a post that read, "Today, we are happy to announce that we are joining Facebook, and that they are acquiring substantially all of our assets." Also read: Facebook Acquires Instagram for $1B TagTile provides businesses with a piece of hardware called the TagTile cube (pictured) that their customers can tap their phones with. Customers can then "share their enjoyment of your business with the tap of a button." Merchants, meanwhile, can track »

- Tim Kenneally

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Are Engaged

13 April 2012 1:21 PM, PDT

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have finally answered the question that millions of busybodies have been asking for years: "When are they going to get engaged already?" Pitt, 48, and Jolie, 36, are officially betrothed, according to multiple reports.  "Yes, it's confirmed," Pitt's manager told People magazine. "It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy. There’s no date set at this time." Also read: Brad Pitt Curse? From Angelina Jolie's Leg Baring to Jennifer Aniston's Box-Office Bomb The couple met on the set of the 2005 film "Mr. & »


- Tim Kenneally

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The Bizarre Death - and Life - of Publicist/CIA Operative Michael Sands (Exclusive)

13 April 2012 12:47 PM, PDT

Michael Sands, an effusive Hollywood publicist, has died after a bizarre accident in the deli section of an upscale supermarket in Century City, where he choked to death on a sample of meat. Best known as the brains behind Mr. Blackwell’s annual Worst Dressed List, Sands also was an inveterate self-promoter who claimed to be an undercover CIA operative who may have helped in the capture of Abu Abbas, the terrorist behind the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985. He was 66. “He was eating a beef sample, and since he »

- Frank Swertlow

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Roger Ailes' Soledad O'Brien Dig: She Was 'Named After a Prison'

13 April 2012 12:40 PM, PDT

Roger Ailes probably should probably hire a new joke writer. The Fox News president made headlines Friday after taking an inexplicable -- and not particularly witty -- dig at CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien. The comment came during an appearance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday. Ailes was on campus as part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Roy H. Park Distinguished Lecture Series, but one particular comment from Ailes wasn't particularly distinguished at all. Also read: Roger Ailes to Rupert Murdoch: "If I'd Screwed it Up, »


- Tim Kenneally

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Tina Brown's Newsweek Big Winner, Oprah Big Loser in Magazine Ad-Page Race

13 April 2012 12:20 PM, PDT

Grim news for the struggling magazine industry and the once invulnerable Oprah Winfrey brand.  Advertising sales softened over the first quarter of 2012, with the consumer magazine sector shouldering an 8.2 percent drop in ad pages, according to a new report from the Publishers Information Bureau. It is an indication that print publications have yet to recover from the economic downturn like the television industry. In stark contrast, analysts are predicting record-high pricing at the 2012-13 television upfront thanks to a surge in automotive advertising.  For Oprah Winfrey, the sluggish ad sales are further evidence »


- Brent Lang

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DreamWorks to Cut 10% of Its Staff (Exclusive)

13 April 2012 12:20 PM, PDT

DreamWorks is preparing pink slips as it scales back productions, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The individual said that the the boutique studio is preparing to lay off roughly 10 percent of its 80 person workforce in the next few days. As part of the downsizing, Steve Molen has resigned as head of physical production; he  is not expected to be replaced.  A DreamWorks spokesperson declined to comment on any possible layoffs, but said, "like every other business we’re always focused on allocating our resources to address the company’s »


- Brent Lang

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