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Box office report: 'Hansel and Gretel' wins with $19M; 'Movie 43' flops with $5M, 'D' CinemaScore

27 January 2013 11:12 AM, PST

This weekend, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters hunted down the No. 1 spot at the box office with $19 million from 3,372 theaters. Although Hansel and Gretel can hardly be called a fairy-tale success at this point, it proved far more bewitching than fellow newcomers Parker and Movie 43, which were left with only bread crumbs in their sad debut frame.

Paramount and MGM spent $50 million to produce Hansel and Gretel, which was shot in 2011 and originally scheduled to be released in March 2012. Distributor Paramount moved the film’s release to this month to capitalize on star Jeremy Renner, whom the studio »


- Grady Smith

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Sundance 2013: Miller twins explain how the West was won with 'Sweetwater'

27 January 2013 7:55 AM, PST

Six years ago, Logan and Noah Miller ambushed Ed Harris after a screening at the San Francisco Film Festival and told him that he had to play their late father in their movie. Daniel Miller had passed away on a jailhouse floor four months before after a life marred by alcoholism, but before he’d died, the identical twins had promised him that they would make a movie about his life — and that Ed Harris would play him. Despite no Hollywood experience and no financing in place, the boys were persuasive and Harris rather quickly agreed. “They’re smart and »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Sundance 2013: Morris twins explain how the west was won with 'Sweetwater'

27 January 2013 7:55 AM, PST

Six years ago, Logan and Noah Miller ambushed Ed Harris after a screening at the San Francisco Film Festival and told him that he had to play their late father in their movie. Daniel Miller had passed away on a jailhouse floor four months before after a life marred by alcoholism, but before he’d died, the identical twins had promised him that they would make a movie about his life — and that Ed Harris would play him. Despite no Hollywood experience and no financing in place, the boys were persuasive and Harris rather quickly agreed. “They’re smart and »


- Jeff Labrecque

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'Argo' wins Producers Guild Awards

26 January 2013 10:12 PM, PST

As goes the Producers Guild, so goes the Oscar for Best Picture …

At least, that’s how the past five years have worked out. So Argo’s win on Saturday night is the strongest indicator yet that the rescue thriller is the frontrunner in the most fiercely competitive Academy Awards race in recent memory.

The 10 nominees in the producers race were Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty. Only nine nominees are in the Academy’s top race, with Skyfall and Moonrise Kingdom out, »


- Anthony Breznican

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Sundance 2013: The deal report

26 January 2013 9:00 PM, PST

Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is a temple to the glory of independent film and the purity of the art of cinema and blah blah blah. But it is also a vital marketplace for indie distributors to find the next blockbuster Little Miss Sunshine, or acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, or wildly overpriced Happy, Texas. With the festival drawing to a close, Sundance 2013 has already proven to be one of the biggest deal-making festivals in recent memory, producing several major sales of movies that will either go on to become some of the buzziest films of the year, or, »


- EW staff

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Sundance 2013: 'Fruitvale' takes two major festival prizes

26 January 2013 8:49 PM, PST

Fruitvale became the first Sundance film to win the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film since Precious in 2009. First-time director Ryan Coogler was inspired to write the film after 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by Oakland transit police on New Year’s Day morning 2009. Fruitvale tells the story of Grant’s last 24 hours alive, as he attempts to become a better father, a better boyfriend, and a better son and friend. “It’s about human beings and how we treat each other,” said Coogler, “how we treat people that »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Sundance: Ashton Kutcher gets his angry geek on in 'jOBS,' a fascinating Steve Jobs biopic that leaves you wanting more. Plus, James Franco's 'Interior. Leather Bar.

26 January 2013 11:59 AM, PST

Computer culture speeds everything up — makes it more instant, more immediate, maybe more disposable — and so it makes sense, in a way, that the biopics of the computer revolution are coming out so quickly, when the revolution is barely into its second act. (Most of the revered musical legends of the ’60s and ’70s are still waiting for their movie bios.) The Social Network was released just a few years after the launch of Facebook, but it was cuttingly incisive, brilliant, timeless. And now, only a little more than a year after Steve Jobs’ death, the time feels right for jOBS, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Sundance 2013: EOne buys horror thriller 'We Are What We Are'

26 January 2013 11:37 AM, PST

Another Sundance acquisition! Entertainment One confirmed that it’s finalized a deal for director Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are and will release the horror thriller in theaters later this year. The film, a retelling of the 2010 Mexican film by the same name, is about a wholesome-seeming family living in flood-ravaged Castkills, led by a patriarch (Bill Sage) hiding a taste for macabre tradition. Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Jack Gore, Kelly McGills, and Michael Parks co-star.

In a press release, eOne vp Dylan Wiley says: “We’re so very excited to add We Are What We Are to our U. »


- Sara Vilkomerson

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Box office update: 'Hansel and Gretel' wins Friday with $6 million; 'Parker' and 'Movie 43' bomb

26 January 2013 10:19 AM, PST

For the second week in a row, three new movies entered cinemas, and only one of them is scoring healthy grosses, leaving the other two to languish right out of the gate.

Almost a year after its originally scheduled March 2012 release, Paramount’s $50 million Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the chart on its first Friday with $6.0 million from 3,372 theaters. The poorly reviewed film (a phrase that applies to all this weekend’s new releases) stars Gemma Arteron and Jeremy Renner, but the Avengers star has demonstrated little drawing power as a leading man so far. Hansel and Gretel »


- Grady Smith

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Sundance 2013: 'Fruitvale,' 'Before Midnight,' and the same-sex sexytime of 'Concussion'

26 January 2013 9:00 AM, PST

Before the awards are given out tonight at Sundance 2013, I’ve got three of my own to bestow, to movies that have stayed in my mind in the days since I traded the relatively balmy cold mountain air of Park City, Utah, for the frigid wilds of the Northeast.

The first award, for The Best Drama Most Likely to Break Your Heart, goes to Fruitvale — which, I’ll wager, will win other, more official awards later today too. This vivid, fast-moving, fired-up story propels forward with truth in its engine: In the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009, a »


- Lisa Schwarzbaum

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Sundance 2013: 'Fruitvale' director Ryan Coogler on the life and death of Oscar Grant

26 January 2013 8:00 AM, PST

“Call me. I’m a money player. Seriously.”

That’s what the ruddy-faced middle-aged white gentleman said to Ryan Coogler, the 26-year-old first-time writer-director of Fruitvale, as he shoved a business card into the young African-American man’s hand by way of introduction.

Seven days ago, Coogler was a complete unknown, a former college football player turned USC film student who’d captured the attention of Forest Whitaker’s production company with a trio of short films. But when Fruitvale premiered last Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, dramatizing the real-life tragedy of Oscar Grant, the young black man shot »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Sundance 2013: Ashton Kutcher brought his 'short temper to work' to play Steve Jobs

25 January 2013 10:46 PM, PST

When Steve Jobs was in charge of Apple, the launch of a new electronic gizmo was a major media event, cloaked in secrecy and elaborate stagecraft to maximize anticipation and impact. It’s a technique that the team behind jOBS has taken to heart based on Friday night’s red-carpet movie premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. A grand unveiling — featuring Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, who plays Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — finally put the film’s operating system on display after months of speculation.

There had been one slight hiccup: Yesterday, Open Road had released a 62-second video clip from the movie, »


- Jeff Labrecque

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J.J. Abrams officially named 'Star Wars' director

25 January 2013 9:38 PM, PST

J.J. Abrams has officially decided to join Lucasfilm and, together, rule the galaxy.

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy announced tonight. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.” »


- Anthony Breznican

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Sundance 2013: Juror Tom Rothman on the legacy of indie film and the future of robot revolution

25 January 2013 5:32 PM, PST

During his 18 years as an executive at 20th Century Fox, Tom Rothman oversaw two of the biggest movies in history — Titanic and Avatar. But as a juror at the Sundance Film Festival this past week, he has been focusing on some of the smaller, scrappier movies being made on the indie circuit for roughly the catering budget (for a day, maybe) of those kinds of films.

After departing as co-chairman of the Fox studio last year, Rothman has been working as a producer, helping Steven Spielberg bring the man vs. machines epic Robopocalypse to the screen. EW caught up with him at the festival, »


- Anthony Breznican

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Academy creates new costume designers branch -- Breaking

25 January 2013 4:58 PM, PST

There are 15 separate branches within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the board of governors for the Oscar organization has decided to separate one more.

Costume Designers will no longer be a part of the overall Designers Branch, which includes art directors, set decorators and production designers, and will instead stand alone as their own entity.

In addition to stronger representation within the Academy, this now means only costume designers will select nominees for that Oscar category, and only those who work on sets will vote for the production design contenders. As part of the same branch, »


- Anthony Breznican

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Sundance 2013: IFC scoops up rights to Rooney Mara-, Casey Affleck-starrer 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

25 January 2013 3:17 PM, PST

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, one of 16 films in this year’s U.S. dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, has scored a deal for U.S. distribution rights with IFC Films.

Written and directed by Texas-based Filmmaker David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints stars Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster. Set in 1970s rural Texas, the film tells the tale of outlaw couple Bob Muldoon (Affleck) and Ruth Guthrie (Mara). During a shootout in the Texas hills, Ruth wounds a local officer (Foster), but Bob takes the blame, and when he escapes from prison four years later, »


- Emily Rome

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'jOBS' filmmakers respond to Steve Wozniak's complaints that first clip was inaccurate -- Exclusive

25 January 2013 1:54 PM, PST

Well, that didn’t take long: Just a few hours after EW posted the first clip from jOBS — a Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as the tech visionary and Josh Gad as his partner Steve Wozniak — Wozniak himself took to Gizmodo’s comment boards to deride the film as inaccurate. “Not close,” he wrote. “We never had such interaction and roles…I’m not even sure what it’s getting at…personalities are very wrong although mine is closer.”

Later, Wozniak would expand on his comment in two emails to Gizmodo, calling the scene “totally wrong.” He objected to »


- Hillary Busis

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'Behind the Ballot' video series launches

25 January 2013 1:44 PM, PST

Want to know even more about all of the Oscar movies? Well today is your lucky day! ‘Behind the Ballot,’ ABC’s new video series that delves into the inner-workings of the Academy Awards, has launched.

In the first video, EW’s Adam Vary talks to cinematographers about listening to the director’s vision, creating an atmosphere, and building drama through camera angles. He also answers the most important question: What exactly is cinematography?

Check out Oscar.go.com to watch the video!

»

- EW staff

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Producers prep big-screen 'Jekyll & Hyde': 'It's long overdue'

25 January 2013 12:57 PM, PST

If things go according to plan, Dr. Jekyll will be undergoing one more transformation: to the silver screen.

EW has confirmed that the producers behind Jekyll & Hyde (the musical) are planning a big-screen adaptation, with a hopeful eye toward a 2014 release.

“I think it’s long overdue, a musical version if it,” said Rick Nicita, one of the show’s producers, alongside Phoenix Pictures CEO Mike Medavoy.

Nicita said they reached an agreement with Jekyll & Hyde’s creative team, composer Frank Wildhorn and lyricist/book-writer Leslie Bricusse, just recently.

He added that the success of this season’s big musical, »


- Adam Carlson

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Sundance 2013: The deal report

25 January 2013 12:30 PM, PST

Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is a temple to the glory of independent film and the purity of the art of cinema and blah blah blah. But it is also a vital marketplace for indie distributors to find the next blockbuster Little Miss Sunshine, or acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, or wildly overpriced Happy, Texas. More than halfway through, Sundance 2013 has already proven to be one of the biggest deal-making festivals in recent memory, producing several major sales of movies that will either go on to become some of the buzziest films of the year, or, you know, not. »


- EW staff

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