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Moore Best Actress Oscar Helps 'Alice' But Not 'Maps': Box Office

1 March 2015 4:44 AM, PST

'Still Alice' and 'Maps to the Stars' box office: Julianne Moore Oscar helps only one movie (photo: Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in 'Still Alice') (See previous post: "'The Lazarus Effect' Box Office: Olivia Wilde Horror Movie Arrives Comatose.") The Oscars do matter. As mentioned in the previous post, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman was up an estimated 125 percent this weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, following its four Academy Award wins – including Best Picture. Also up a hefty 24 percent – after adding 553 locations – is Sony Pictures Classics' Still Alice, which earned Julianne Moore the year's Best Actress Oscar for her performance as a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. True, an Oscar win – or key nominations – may not create mammoth blockbusters like Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, or Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. For that, »

- Zac Gille

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Low-Budget 'Lazarus' D.O.A. at Domestic Box Office; 'Sniper' to Become Top 2014 Release

1 March 2015 4:10 AM, PST

'The Lazarus Effect' box office: Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass horror movie arrives comatose (photo: Olivia Wilde in 'The Lazarus Effect') (See previous post: "'Focus': Will Smith Has One of Worst Opening Weekends of His Career.") Despite recent news that human head transplants are a mere two years away, the Mark Duplass-Olivia Wilde horror movie The Lazarus Effect – about bringing the dead back to life (as if world overpopulation weren't already a problem) – grossed $10.6 million from 2,666 U.S. and Canada venues on opening weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The Relativity Studios-distributed low-budget horror flick had earned an estimated $3.8 million on opening-day Friday, including $350,000 from Thursday night screenings. Last week, box-office prognosticators had been expecting an opening between $12-$14 million. That was adjusted downward to $10 million or whereabouts after the film's disappointing Friday debut. Some, in fact, »

- Zac Gille

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Smith to Have One of His Worst Domestic Openings Ever: 'Focus'

1 March 2015 1:58 AM, PST

'Focus' movie: Will Smith has one of the weakest weekend box-office debuts of his career (photo: Will Smith in 'Focus') According to those referred to in polite society as "conservatives," winter storms and freezing temperatures are evidence that there's no such thing as global warming. Let's not even go there. Instead, let's focus (bad pun intended) on the Focus movie starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie as a con couple, which opened below expectations – with wintery weather as a possible culprit – in North America this weekend February 27-March 1, 2015. According to box-office tracking, as late as a couple of days ago the modestly budgeted, Warner Bros.-distributed Focus was expected to take in between $22-24 million. Barring a miracle akin to a sudden stop to rising ocean temperatures (pardon the hyperbole), that's not about to happen. Now, before I proceed: "modestly budgeted"? Well, for a Will Smith movie, »

- Zac Gille

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Starmaker Allégret: From Gay Romance with 'Uncle' (and Nobel Winner) Gide to Simon's Movie Mentor

27 February 2015 9:46 PM, PST

Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret.[1] The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »

- Andre Soares

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