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Box office report: 'Maze Runner' reaps $32.5 million in a successful debut

19 hours ago

On Friday morning, first-time feature director Wes Ball was sweating bullets. His debut film was opening and he was nervous despite the early positive numbers that were already flooding into the box office reporters. “I just don’t want anything to go wrong,” said the young filmmaker in an interview for Entertainment Weekly Radio.

Well, clearly nothing has gone awry with the director’s first entre into feature filmmaking.

For the male-populated young adult adaptation of James Dashner’s best-selling novel The Maze Runner racked up an estimated $32.5 million for a first-place finish, giving Twentieth Century Fox all the necessary »


- Nicole Sperling

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The hidden family heartache behind director Shawn Levy's 'This Is Where I Leave You'

20 September 2014 8:58 AM, PDT

Shawn Levy is what happens when someone who has never forgotten what it means to be a boy becomes a dad.

The director of Real Steel, the Night at the Museum movies, and the new bittersweet family comedy This Is Where I Leave You (in theaters now), is an undeniable family guy. The father of four girls, he’s known for making movies about households run amok (2003’s Cheaper By the Dozen) and parents who desperately want an evening away (2010’s Date Night,) as well as fathers who redeem themselves in their kids’ eyes with the help of boxing robots or magical museums. »


- Anthony Breznican

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Box office update: 'Maze Runner' rakes in $11 million Friday

20 September 2014 8:52 AM, PDT

The Maze Runner, the new Ya adaptation that hit theaters Friday, chalked up an estimated $11 million for a first-place finish, proving that this over-saturated genre has life left in it yet. Populated with a slew of handsome young male actors led by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner, based on the popular best-selling novel by James Dashner, is on track to pull in close to $30 million. (That’s far better than The Giver, which opened in August to $12 million.) And with Twentieth Century Fox already deep into pre-production on the film’s sequel, the early numbers have »


- Nicole Sperling

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Casting Net: Anthony Hopkins cast in 'Go With Me,' Annabelle Wallis joins 'Mine'

19 September 2014 4:34 PM, PDT

• Anthony Hopkins has been cast in Go With Me. The film comes from helmer Daniel Alfredson, whom Hopkins worked with on Kidnapping Freddy Heineken. Adapted from the 2008 novel by Castle Freeman Jr., the story follows a young woman who is harassed by cop-turned-crimelord Blackway upon returning home in the Pacific Northwest. Rather than leave, she seeks the help of ex-logger (Hopkins) and his right-hand man to fight back. Joe Gangemi and Gregory Jacobs are adapting the novel for the screen. A joint production, Rick Dugdale is producing for Enderby Entertainment alongside Lindsay Williams and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein for The Gotham Group. »


- C. Molly Smith

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Critical Mass: Can 'The Maze Runner' find a way out of the Ya wilderness?

19 September 2014 4:15 PM, PDT

Expectations for The Maze Runner, the latest Ya best-seller turned franchise wannabe, seemed low, so much so that critical faint praise suddenly feels like a ringing endorsement. “Don’t let that Ya tag put you off,” says EW’s Chris Nashawaty, in his review. “There isn’t a dying heroine or hunky vampire to be found anywhere in this better-than-average adaptation of the James Dashner bestseller. Just a bunch of confused kids on the run from a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D.”

Based on Dashner’s 2007 post-apocalyptic novel, the first chapter of a trilogy that includes The »


- Jeff Labrecque

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'Star Wars' writer will script Mark Millar's 'Starlight' movie

19 September 2014 3:39 PM, PDT

Further evidence that we are cusping on a space-movie renaissance: Fox has just assigned a writer to work on an adaptation of Starlight, the retro-flavored space-operatic comic book written by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar. The Starlight miniseries only began its run in March, and wrapped in October, but Fox was developing the film even before the first issue arrived in stores. Fox is also producing the upcoming Millar adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has hired screenwriter Gary Whitta, who is also working on the 2016 Star Wars spinoff that will be directed by »


- Darren Franich

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Watch the trailer for 'Low Down,' about pianist Joe Albany

19 September 2014 3:14 PM, PDT

During the jazz scene of the 1960’s and 1970’s, pianist Joe Albany struggled with drug addiction. His struggle was then captured by the memoir of his daughter, Amy-Jo Albany.

Now, Jeff Preiss is capturing it all on film. Starring John Hawkes as Joe and Elle Fanning as Amy-Jo, Low Down tells the pianist’s story through the eyes of his daughter. The film also stars Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and more.

Low Down hits theaters Oct. 24. »


- Samantha Highfill

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Another John Green story is headed to the big screen

19 September 2014 1:17 PM, PDT

John Green fans rejoice: more of The Fault in Our Stars author’s material is heading to the big screen. Universal has optioned the rights to Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, a short story collection Green wrote with fellow Ya writers Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. The book consists of three, interrelated stories, all taking place at Christmastime. Johnson wrote the first story, The Jubilee Express; Green wrote the second, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle; and Myracle the third, The Patron Saint of Pigs. The stories feature new romances, cheerleaders, and trips to Waffle House. This could end up »


- Esther Zuckerman

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Joe Lynch talks about Fantastic Fest and his Salma Hayek film 'Everly'

19 September 2014 1:03 PM, PDT

Who on earth would set a high-octane, high-body count, bulletfest of an action movie in a single room? The answer is director Joe Lynch. The filmmaker’s new film, Everly, stars Salma Hayek as a prostitute who must kill a small army of assassins sent to murder her at an apartment by a yakuza crime boss. At Christmas.

The director explains that his intent with the film was to combine two cinematic flavors few people might have considered placing together: Action classic Die Hard and the work of the avant-garde Dogme 95 filmmaking collective, whose leading lights include one Lars von Trier. »


- Clark Collis

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Angelina Jolie signs on to direct biopic 'Africa'

19 September 2014 11:14 AM, PDT

Angelina Jolie has only just offered a first look at her next project By the Sea, and her upcoming biopic Unbroken hasn’t yet hit theaters. But already the busy actor/writer/producer/director has lined up her next project.

Jolie has signed on to direct and produce Africa, which is written by Oscar-winner Eric Roth, whose last film was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before he delved into television with projects like Luck and House of Cards.

Africa is another biopic for Jolie, and will tell the story of Kenyan politician and paleoanthropoligst Richard Leakey, who battled with elephant »


- Jonathon Dornbush

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'Into the Woods' character names not getting Disney makeover (Updated)

19 September 2014 10:34 AM, PDT

Update: Musical theater fans can rest easy. According to Disney, a cast listing in which Into the Woods characters were listed as their Disney counterparts on Disney.com was incorrect, and the page has been edited. This post has been updated to reflect this.

Playbill and other sites, including EW, pointed out that on the official website for the Stephen Sondheim adaptation, Cinderella’s Stepmother was listed as Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s Prince was Prince Charming, and Rapunzel’s Prince was Flynn Rider. The generic names of the musical were altered so as to match the Disney-specific versions of those characters. »


- Esther Zuckerman

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'Into the Woods' character names not getting Disney makeover (Updated)

19 September 2014 10:34 AM, PDT

Update: Musical theater fans can rest easy. According to Disney, a cast listing in which Into the Woods characters were listed as their Disney counterparts on Disney.com was incorrect, and the page has been edited. This post has been updated to reflect this.

Playbill and other sites, including EW, pointed out that on the official website for the Stephen Sondheim adaptation, Cinderella’s Stepmother was listed as Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s Prince was Prince Charming, and Rapunzel’s Prince was Flynn Rider. The generic names of the musical were altered so as to match the Disney-specific versions of those characters. »


- Esther Zuckerman

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Amber Heard joins 'Magic Mike Xxl' cast

19 September 2014 9:57 AM, PDT

Magic Mike Xxl has already begun filming, and the final cast has been slowly revealed: Matthew McConaughey is out. Andie MacDowell is in. And now, another female lead has been cast for the sequel. Amber Heard has been hired as one of the film’s new leads, EW has learned.

Details remain unknown about Heard’s character, but she joins a continually growing cast that also includes returning lead Channing Tatum for what has been described as an “on-the-road adventure.”

Heard can next be seen alongside her Friday Night Lights costar Billy Bob Thornton in London Fields, while Xxl will »


- Jonathon Dornbush

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Dax Shepard: The 'CHiPs' remake is like 'Bad Boys' with tighter pants

19 September 2014 9:15 AM, PDT

When news broke that Dax Shepard was writing, directing, and starring in a remake of CHiPs, the popular television series that ran from 1977 to 1983 and followed two California patrol officers, fans immediately wondered what a “more serious” take on the story would look like. And according to Shepard, it will add the FBI to the mix, but retain a few things from the original (namely, the tight pants).

EW caught up with Shepard to get some details on the upcoming remake.

EW: So CHiPs might have been my favorite show growing up.

Dax Shepard: Really? Did you have a major crush on Poncherello? »


- Samantha Highfill

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Nicholas Stoller talks 'Neighbors,' Rose Byrne gets nasty in Nsfw clip

19 September 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, Old School—all classic college comedies that inspired generations of devoted fraternity idiots. But Neighbors, the summer blockbuster that pitted Zac Efron’s fun-loving Greeks against the yuppie couple next door—Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne—realized something new and important: a woman—a mother, even—can be just as outrageously funny and asinine as a dude. When the loud fraternity parties into the night and leaves condoms for the neighbors’ darling baby to play with, Byrne’s Kelly proves to be just as formidable as the guys in the tit-for-tat war that ensues. »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Watch Nick Cave consider his will in this '20,000 Days on Earth' clip

19 September 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

Calling 20,000 Days on Earth “a documentary about Nick Cave” is both accurate and deeply reductive. Yes, its primary focus is a walk through Cave’s life and career and zeroes in on the creation of his last album, 2013’s Push the Sky Away, but it is so full of stunningly considered ideas and cheeky surrealism that it is unlike any rock doc ever made.

That was the point, according to Cave. “Music documentaries are often very similar to meeting a hero, you know? You love the person’s music but you wish you never met them,” he told EW during a discussion of the film. »


- Kyle Anderson

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Play 'The Donna's Brain Show' in this 'Obvious Child' clip

19 September 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

Waiting for a results of a pregnancy test is always an anxiety-filled situation. And for the heroine of this summer’s romantic comedy Obvious Child, it’s especially anxiety ridden, as she tries to remember whether or not she and her one-night-stand used a condom or just, well, played with a condom. 

In this exclusive clip, Donna sets a timer and begins an installment of “The Donna’s Brain Show” in which the guest is “the idiot in question.” So did they use a condom? Well, things are a little bit murky, but Donna does know that Hulk Hogan’s name is Terry. »


- Esther Zuckerman

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'London Has Fallen' loses its director

18 September 2014 6:54 PM, PDT

London Has Fallen is down a director.

Fredrik Bond, a commercial director who also helmed the Shia Labeouf pic Charlie Countryman, has stepped down from the project, EW confirmed Thursday.

The sequel to 2013’s box office hit Olympus Has Fallen was set to begin shooting in just six weeks, with original cast members Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman set to return. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who first reported the news, the split was due to creative differences that may have stemmed from the accelerated production schedule. Bond only boarded the project in August.

Sources tell THR that Millennium Films »


- Lindsey Bahr

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Ang Lee will direct 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk'

18 September 2014 6:31 PM, PDT

Ang Lee never met a literary adaptation he couldn’t tackle, it seems. The multi-Oscar winner, who’s been largely absent since winning Best Director for Life of Pi, has picked his next project: Ben Fountain’s celebrated 2012 novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, about a group of Iraq war vets, including 19-year-old Billy Lynn, who must endure a Thanksgiving Day football game in Texas on their exhaustive “Victory Tour” before they return to the war. TriStar Productions and Film4 announced the news Thursday.

“I am very excited to be going back to work and to be collaborating with my old friend Tom Rothman, »


- Lindsey Bahr

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Watch the trailer for Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes'

18 September 2014 6:24 PM, PDT

Tim Burton may be leaving his world of fantasy for his next film, but the real-life story behind Big Eyes is just as much about the misfits and misunderstood as what we’ve come to know him for.

Big Eyes tells the story artist of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), the woman behind the now-iconic portraits of children with enormous eyes of the ’50s and ’60s. Her images are ones that aren’t immediately understood—Jason Schwartzman’s Ruben surely doesn’t get it at first—but they quickly become popular, and rather lucrative. Unfortunately for Margaret, her husband, Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz’s Walter, »


- Emily Blake

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