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Berlin Film Festival Ties On ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ International Premiere

2 hours ago

Mr Grey will see his first international audiences at the Berlin Film Festival in February. As a Berlinale Special Gala, Universal and Focus Features’ highly-anticipated Fifty Shades Of Grey will be screened one-time only on February 11 with director Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in attendance. Also in Berlin will be author El James, upon whose erotic mega-seller books the adaptation is based. Although it’s not a world premiere, this is the latest high-profile get for the Berlinale after it was announced last week that Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups will bow there in competition and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella will play out of competition. Berlin runs February 5-15. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades Of Grey starts its international rollout on February 11 and releases Stateside on February 13.

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- Nancy Tartaglione

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China Says It’s Against Cyberterrorism; Stays Mum On North Korea, Helping U.S.

2 hours ago

In a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said late Sunday that China is against all forms of cyberattacks and cyberterrorism. A report by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news service says Wang made the remarks after Kerry briefed him on his views on the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack attack. The report includes no direct mention of North Korea, but says Wang affirmed, “China is opposed to any country or any individual to launch cyberattacks via facilities in another country on a third country.”

China is the North’s most significant ally and, as reported Saturday, the Obama administration has reached out to the Middle Kingdom, asking for its help in squashing any North Korea cyberattacks. According to Reuters, in the conversation with Kerry, Wang made no reference to the U.S.’ calls for action against North Korea. Help from China would »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘Hobbit’ Rules While Chinese, Indian And French Films Make Noise: Intl Bo Update

12 hours ago

Update, 5:20 Pm Pt: Depending on how we slice it, the international weekend was down about 13% across the Top 10 studio titles versus last weekend. Then again, it was up about 15% if we factor in big local movies from China and India. Regardless, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies continued its assault on the offshore box office with a $105.5M take in its 2nd frame while the No. 2 (non-studio) title was China’s Gone With The Bullets at $36M, and the 3rd major player was Aamir Khan-starrer Pk which opened in India and 21 other markets for a $25.6M cume. Among other solid performers, Penguins Of Madagascar was up over last frame with an added $16.5M, including from openings in Mexico and France, where, in the latter, a local movie about a deaf family is making a lot of noise.

New studio entry, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb opened in 28 markets, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Oscar Watch: How Will Real Life Events Affect ‘Selma’ Awards March?

13 hours ago

With its Christmas Day opening fast approaching, Paramount’s acclaimed racial drama Selma finally had its official West Coast Academy screening Saturday afternoon at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in their Beverly Hills headquarters. Reportedly about 250 attendees showed, a slow turnout for the pre-holiday screening (later that night Into The Woods had about double the number) even though director Ava DuVernay, star David Oyelowo and others were advertised for the post- Q&A.

The DVD screener of the film had landed in Oscar voter mailboxes the day before so that could have held back attendance. I am told applause at the end was enthusiastic and strong, as it has been for most screenings of this very fine film since its stirring debut at AFI Fest in November.

Selma ranks high on many pundits lists for key Oscar nominations so there was interest in how it would actually play  with the largely white, »


- Pete Hammond

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