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Los Angeles Film Critics Awards: 'Gravity' ties with 'Her' for Best Picture, James Franco ties with Jared Leto

8 December 2013 2:39 PM, PST

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association named ties in three major categories, Sunday. Gravity tied with Her for Best Picture. James Franco and Jared Leto tied for Best Supporting Actor award for their performances in Spring Breakers and Dallas Buyers Club, and Cate Blanchett and Adèle Exarchopoulos tied for Best Actress for their work in Blue Jasmine and Blue is the Warmest Color.

The Lafca did choose distinct winners in the other major acting categories. Bruce Dern was named Best Actor for his portrayal of Woody Grant in Nebraska, and Lupita Nyong’o picked up a supporting actress win for »

- Lindsey Bahr

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Box office report: 'Frozen' rises to No. 1 with $31.6 million, leaves no heat for 'Out of the Furnace'

8 December 2013 11:23 AM, PST

The first weekend in December is a notoriously weak one at the box office, and, true to form, most movies faced harsh declines this weekend after the record-breaking Thanksgiving frame. But Disney’s animated musical Frozen managed to score a not-so-severe 53 percent fall to $31.6 million this weekend, which sent it past Catching Fire and straight into the No. 1 spot on the chart.

Frozen has earned $134.3 million after 12 days in wide release, 39 percent more than 2010′s Tangled, which had earned $96.6 million at the same point in its run. The film will match its $150 million budget by this time next week, and »

- Grady Smith

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'La Cage aux Folles' director Edouard Molinaro dies

8 December 2013 8:13 AM, PST

Edouard Molinaro, nominated for an Oscar for directing La Cage aux Folles, a French farce about a gay couple that struck a chord with a broad range of audiences, has died at 85.

French President Francois Hollande’s office confirmed the death in a statement of condolence Saturday, praising Molinaro as “great, appealing and original” and a director who “conquered the public and the admiration of his peers at the same time.” The statement didn’t provide further details.

Molinaro’s career spanned six decades, including crime films and historical adaptations. He was best known for 1978′s La Cage aux Folles, »

- Associated Press

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Peter Jackson on bringing the 'Hobbit' villain Smaug to life: 'He's the Hannibal Lecter of the dragon world.'

7 December 2013 11:44 AM, PST

For months, director Peter Jackson has been teasing audiences with fleeting glimpses of the fearsome dragon that lies in wait for Bilbo Baggins and his cohorts in the second part of his epic Hobbit trilogy: a blast of fire here, a menacing baritone voice there (courtesy of actor Benedict Cumberbatch). In just six days, with the Dec. 13 opening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the director will finally pull back the curtain on his interpretation of one of the best-known villains in fantasy literature.

Author J.R.R. Tolkien pulled out all the stops in his depiction of the vain, arrogant »

- Josh Rottenberg

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Box office update: 'Catching Fire' tops Friday with $7.7 million, but 'Frozen' may take the weekend

7 December 2013 10:24 AM, PST

Even on a relatively quiet day at the box office, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is still red-hot. After earning a record-breaking gross over the Thanksgiving frame, the sequel topped the chart yesterday, its third Friday, with $7.7 million. That sets the blockbuster up for a $27 million gross and about $337 million total through Sunday.

In second place, Disney’s animated musical Frozen grossed $6.8 million on its second Friday in wide release. While that number is slightly below expectations (I predicted a $34 million gross this weekend), family-friendly matinee showtimes on Saturday and Sunday should help Frozen hold up quite nicely over the rest of the frame. »

- Grady Smith

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Casting Net: Dustin Hoffman joins Lance Armstrong biopic, more

6 December 2013 5:52 PM, PST

Dustin Hoffman will appear in director Stephen FrearsLance Armstrong biopic. The still-untitled project stars Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) as the disgraced cyclist. Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons, Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), and Lee Pace (The Hobbit) also star. The movie is currently shooting in Europe, and Hoffman is set to join when the production moves back to the U.S. The two-time Oscar winner recently wrapped work on Jon Favreau’s Chef (out May 9) with Robert Downey Jr. and is currently filming The Cobbler with Adam Sander. [THR]

Amr Waked, an Egyptian actor who has appeared in Syriana and Contagion, »

- Lindsey Bahr

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Vin Diesel recalls his conversation with Paul Walker's mom

6 December 2013 5:07 PM, PST

Less than a week after the tragic death of Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, Vin Diesel has once again taken to his Facebook account to remember his friend.

Walker died in a car accident on Saturday, after which many celebs took to social media to say their goodbyes. Diesel most recently showed up at the crash site to thank fans for showing their love to “that angel up in heaven.” And now, Diesel posted to his Facebook page, detailing the first conversation he had with Walker’s mother.

Read Diesel’s post below: »

- Samantha Highfill

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Disney acquires rights for future 'Indiana Jones' films

6 December 2013 3:11 PM, PST

First Star Wars, now Indiana Jones? The Walt Disney Studios announced Friday that it has reached a marketing and distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures for future Indiana Jones films, meaning George Lucas’ two iconic franchises are now firmly in Disney’s hands.

Of course, Disney has owned Indiana Jones production rights since 2012, when the studio acquired LucasFilm. Until now, though, Paramount possessed marketing and distribution rights. Those now belong to Disney, making the process of making and releasing future Indiana Jones films much easier — not to mention more likely. In return for the rights, Paramount will receive “financial participation on any future films. »

- Grady Smith

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Terrence Howard, 'Winnie Mandela' producers remember late Nelson Mandela

6 December 2013 2:37 PM, PST

Terrence Howard and the producers of the 2011 film Winnie Mandela, in which Howard played Nelson Mandela, released a statement about the former South African president’s death Thursday.

“Mandela shall be missed but his spirit remains with us as long as we remember the principal of greater love for one another and respect for oneself,” Howard said. “Rest well brother until the world cries again for the warmth of your brilliant light!”

The Winnie producers added: “Together with our nation and the world, we mourn the loss of South Africa’s greatest hero — former President Nelson Mandela. We extend our »

- Jake Perlman

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Critical Mass: Christian Bale revels in the shadows in 'Out of the Furnace'

6 December 2013 1:29 PM, PST

Is anyone a better movie actor right now than Christian Bale? (Okay, I’ll give you Daniel Day-Lewis… but it’s close and getting closer.) The 39-year-old Welshman is fully in his prime, demonstrated most recently by two powerful performances landing in the heart of Oscar season. The flashier role might be in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which doesn’t open until Dec. 20. In Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which opened Wednesday and expanded Friday, he plays the good-intentioned ex-con whose pursuit of justice — after his ne’er-do-well brother (Casey Affleck) goes missing — puts him on »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Oscar Predictions: EW's Prize Fighter on who is rising and falling

6 December 2013 11:16 AM, PST

December is the time for Oscar whiplash. The last of the Academy hopefuls starts to screen, the first of the non-stop ancillary trophies begin to flow, and those who watch the race closely can find their heads spun in all sorts of different directions as momentum in the Best Picture race shifts, often from day to day.

Here is EW’s Prize Fighter analysis of what’s connecting with voters right now in the big races.

In the Best Picture category, Academy rules allow for anywhere from five to ten nominees, depending on how many films are ranked as the No. »

- Anthony Breznican

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Ian McKellen on 'X-Men': 'I don't always understand the plots of these films'

6 December 2013 9:27 AM, PST

Like we needed another reason to love Sir Ian McKellen. As if being completely awesome in everything he does is not enough, the man is also absurdly charming and, as it turns out, hilariously honest as well. We discovered this first hand when McKellen stopped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this week. After an engaging chat about him reprising his role as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, talk turned to his other big franchise, X-Men, and what we might see in the next installment, Days of Future Past. Well, it turns out, the man who plays Magneto kinda, »

- Dalton Ross

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Man arrested for stealing evidence from Paul Walker wreckage

5 December 2013 8:33 PM, PST

Note to ghoulish would-be criminals: don’t post evidence of your crime and a confession to Instagram.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing wreckage from the Porsche Carrera Gt crash that killed Fast & Furious star Paul Walker last Saturday, and another suspect is being sought by the authorities.

The remains of the sports car were loaded onto the truck and hauled away around 10 p.m. that night, nearly seven hours after the fiery crash that took the lives of Walker, 40, and friend Roger Rodas, 38. The remains of the car were being taken to an impound lot for further investigation, »

- Anthony Breznican

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Box office preview: 'Frozen' ready to cool down 'Catching Fire'

5 December 2013 6:40 PM, PST

After a record-breaking Thanksgiving frame, the box office heads into the proverbial turkey-coma that is the first week of December. Only one new release, Out of the Furnace, is hitting theaters, leaving Frozen and Catching Fire to duke it out for the top spot. Which will win? Here’s how the chart may look this weekend:

1. Frozen – $34 million

Family films thrive over the Thanksgiving holiday — so much so that they’re destined to plummet in the following frame. Still, Frozen’s glowing reception and complete lack of competition will help it maintain success for quite a while. If it falls 50 percent this weekend, »

- Grady Smith

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Casting Net: Jeremy Irons to star alongside Dev Patel in 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'; plus, Amanda Seyfried, more

5 December 2013 5:38 PM, PST

Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) will co-star opposite Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel in The Man Who Knew Infinity, an upcoming biopic about revered Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Matthew Brown (Ropewalk) will direct and pen the screenplay for the upcoming film based off Robert Kanigel’s biography, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan. Irons will play G.H. Hardy, an English mathematician who pulls Ramanujan (Patel) out of Edwardian India and installs him at Cambridge University. [Variety]

Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables) is in talks to star in He’s F-ing Perfect for Universal, about a woman »

- Pamela Gocobachi

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Casting Net: Jeremy Irons to star alongside Dev Patel in 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'; plus, Ian Harding, more

5 December 2013 5:38 PM, PST

Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) will co-star opposite Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel in The Man Who Knew Infinity, an upcoming biopic about revered Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Matthew Brown (Ropewalk) will direct and pen the screenplay for the upcoming film based off Robert Kanigel’s biography, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan. Irons will play G.H. Hardy, an English mathematician who pulls Ramanujan (Patel) out of Edwardian India and installs him at Cambridge University. [Variety]

Pretty Little LiarsIan Harding will star in the upcoming indie Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale. Directed by Tate Steinsiek »

- Pamela Gocobachi

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'X-Men: Apocalypse' will open in 2016

5 December 2013 3:54 PM, PST

Bryan Singer’s X-Men reunion-sequel Days of Future Past doesn’t open until May 23, 2014. But the director has already staked out a release date for his next X-Men movie. Singer’s Twitter account has been active throughout the past year with updates from the set of Future Past, but this morning, he stepped up his pitchman game with this cryptic tweet:

#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!

Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 5, 2013

Two words and a year: Not much to go on, unless you’re a big dumb cool nerd who knows that Apocalypse is one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies. If you were »

- Darren Franich

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Nelson Mandela: Filmmakers of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' react to icon's death

5 December 2013 3:07 PM, PST

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Tuesday at the age of 95, is the subject of the new film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, released last week. The film stars Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World) and is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl). On behalf of the Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, studio Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein released the following statement:

“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have »

- Sean Smith

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Scott Caan on longtime friend Paul Walker's plans after he finished the big movies

5 December 2013 3:00 PM, PST

When Scott Caan was cast in Varsity Blues, he wondered whether or not he’d made a big mistake.

“I had never really been on location for a long amount of time. When you’re in your 20s and leaving all your friends and family, you have no idea what it’s going to be like,” Caan told EW. “I was complaining to my friends like, ‘I’m not going to like any of these guys.’ A bunch of actors, you know?”

Paul Walker was one of the first people he met. In another world, the handsome California native could »

- Lindsey Bahr

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Scott Speedman talks rom-com 'Barefoot' opposite Evan Rachel Wood; see first poster here -- Exclusive

5 December 2013 2:05 PM, PST

Scott Speedman’s no stranger to playing romance on screen. But Barefoot’s central relationship — between an unlikable man and a mental patient — doesn’t read like your typical romantic comedy.

Yet, that’s what Speedman calls it. Directed by Andrew Fleming, the film stars Speedman as Jay Wheeler, the “black sheep” son of a wealthy family who strikes up an improbable relationship with Daisy, a free-spirited patient at a mental hospital played by Evan Rachel Wood. (Check out the first poster for the film above.)

Speedman talked to EW about why he jumped on board to play a “jerk, »

- Shirley Li

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