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Box Office: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' & 'Frozen' Break Thanksgiving Records; 'Oldboy' Tanks

1 December 2013 11:54 AM, PST

Blazing at the box office, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" shot out the other tributes and made a whopping $74.5 million this weekend, part of an even more eye-popping $110.1 million for the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend (shattering the $82.4 million record set by "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"). Entering its second week, 'Catching Fire' has a domestic running total of $296.5 million and a worldwide total of $573 million (beating out the domestic $269.3 million and the worldwide $384.3 million of its predecessor "The Hunger Games" in its second week). Whereas last weekend the film topped the ranks of all recent uber-successful Ya series (breaking records set by 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter' franchises), this weekend it's joined the big boys with its second weekend ranking fourth of all time behind "The Avengers" ($103.1 million), "Avatar" ($75.6 million), and "The Dark Knight" ($74.5 million), displacing "Iron Man 3" ($74.5 million). With little franchise »

- Diana Drumm

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R.I.P. Paul Walker (1973-2013)

30 November 2013 7:17 PM, PST

"I love doing action. I'm still just a big kid. My favorite days are the days that I get to show up on a movie like this and I get to run and jump and blast dudes around, hop over fences," Paul Walker told Movies Online back in 2009 during the press run for "Fast & Furious." And certainly is his all too brief run at the movies, he got to do the very thing he loved in a variety of pictures, including one of the biggest franchises on the planet. Sad news rolls in tonight, as Paul Walker has tragically passed away at the age of 40, following a car accident in southern California. TMZ reports (and have confirmed the news with his representatives, who have issued an official statement -- see below), the actor and another passenger lost their lives after they lost control of the vehicle they had been driving. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Bob Weinstein Says 'Sin City' TV Show & 10-Part 'The Mist' Miniseries In The Works

30 November 2013 10:13 AM, PST

With TV the new home for ambitious entertainment that can also be financially lucrative and critically acclaimed, it's hardly a surprise that the Weinstein boys are making a play into that arena. In fact, the seeds were planted a few years ago when Harvey struck a deal with the new owners of Miramax to develop TV projects out of their old movies, and it's now starting to bear fruit. This past summer, a "Scream" TV series got the the thumbs up and now a couple more shows that originated as movies on the Dimension label are getting the episodic treatment. A recent New York Times article about the Weinstein brothers' expansion into TV highlighted their upcoming slated original and spinoff programing, revealing that a "Sin City" show was in the works, along with a miniseries based on "The Mist." Of the pair, "Sin City" seems like more of a no brainer (sex and violence, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: New International Trailer And Images For Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'

29 November 2013 7:36 PM, PST

The Pilgrims might have sailed over on the Mayflower, but that was nothing to compared to what Noah went through (if you really believe the Earth was flooded and a man, his family and a lot animals rode it out on an ark). Whether real or metaphor, the story is tailor-made for spectacle and Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" will attempt to tell it next spring. A brand new international trailer has landed for the Biblical epic, and it brings with it some new bits of footage. Russell Crowe leads the movie as the man of God who is warned of the coming disaster while Ray Winstone plays the villain of sorts, clearly not pleased at watching this devout man answering to a higher calling. Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and more are along for this one and yes, there will be water. "Noah" opens on March 28, 2014. Watch below. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Charlotte Gainsbourg Gets A Naughty Christmas Gift In Nsfw Clip From 'Nymphomaniac'

29 November 2013 3:52 PM, PST

While Americans fought the crowds and sometimes each other to score discounts on Black Friday, for the rest of the world it was business as usual. And for Lars von Trier and company, that meant yet another provocative clip from "Nymphomaniac," but this time with a bit of holiday spirit. A sequence from the sixth chapter of the eight chapter film has dropped, and it's just as naughty and risque as you would expect from "Nymphomaniac" at this point. This time around, Jamie Bell presents Charlotte Gainsbourg with a Christmas gift ... one that results in her bent over a sofa. Here's the summary: Chapter 6: The Eastern and the Western Church (The Silent Duck) The Eastern Church is often referred to as the Church of Joy, and the Western Church as the Church of Suffering. Should you make a mental journey from Rome eastwards, you'll find that you move away from guilt and pain, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Over 1 Hour Of Interviews With Christian Bale For 'Out Of The Furnace'

29 November 2013 7:01 AM, PST

Christian Bale is a chameleon; a man who enjoys putting himself through torture (in an acting sense) to achieve the proper character (see his work in “The Machinist” as proof). With two very different films coming out within weeks of each other, Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” Bale is, once again, the man of the hour. So let’s take a look at a few interviews with him, shall we? In a recent chat with Details magazine, transcribed in full at Bale Heads Blog, Bale discusses his methods of getting into character as well as his work alongside some rather prestigious directors. It’s a fascinating interview, blending Bale’s philosophical look at the world of acting—and, at times, utter indifference to it—with a humor you don’t expect from a man known for such seriousness. Of course, it »

- Kristen Lopez

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Designer Claims His 'Oldboy' Poster Artwork Was Stolen, Spike Lee Responds

29 November 2013 6:22 AM, PST

With Spike Lee's "Oldboy" remake in theaters this weekend, a whole other conversation is emerging around the movie that has nothing to do with Josh Brolin's preferred 3 hour cut or the studio mandated edits to the iconic hammer hallway fight sequence. Rather, it has to do with the film's marketing and a designer who claims his concepts were used without his permission. Juan Luis Garcia has taken to his personal website and written an open letter in which he details his experience working on early artwork for "Oldboy." In short, he claims in January of this year he was hired by an ad agency, who was working directly with Spike Lee, to put together artwork for "Oldboy." Over two months Garcia says he was "taken advantage of, lead on, lied to, manipulated, and harassed" by the agency but was told Lee really liked what he came up with. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Got NC-17 Stamp Before Cuts Were Made To Secure An R Rating

28 November 2013 11:41 AM, PST

As we know by now with the MPAA: violence good, sex bad. And so today brings with it another tale of a movie that has made the ratings body just a bit too hot under the collar, but it also happens to be one of the biggest films of the year: "The Wolf Of Wall Street." THR reports that Martin Scorsese's upcoming epic—with the trade also confirming recent reports that it runs 2 hours and 59 minutes—was initially returned with an NC-17 rating thanks to "abundant, explicit sex (not to mention drugs)." Of course, no major studio movie is ever going to get released with an Nc-17, so trims, cut and edits were made (though it's not clear how extensive they were) to ensure the movie got an R rating, and it seems everyone is happy (or at least not making their concerns public). That quite can't be said »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Christian Bale & Amy Adams Bond Over Duke Ellington In Clip From 'American Hustle'

28 November 2013 6:58 AM, PST

Chatting as we do around the water cooler from time to time, before various members of The Playlist team headed to parts unknown for Thanksgiving weekend, we got to talking about "American Hustle." And more specifically, about what music might be found in the movie that really revels in its '70s/'80s setting, and now we know at least two songs that will be in there or mentioned. A brand new clip has dropped from David O. Russell's highly anticipated film and it finds conman Christian Bale bonding with Amy Adams over jazz legend Duke Ellington, who has just died (which would place the scene in 1974, Fyi). And the song they both cherish? "Jeep's Blues" from Ellington At Newport, a live album which is largely credited with reviving the icon's career. Meanwhile, playing in the background is Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" So, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Full Performance Of 'Please Mr. Kennedy' In Clip From 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

28 November 2013 6:38 AM, PST

While we live in a culture where numerous clips, photos and more land online weeks and months before a movie hits theaters, sometimes things are best experienced cold. And while you've likely already heard some rumblings about the performance of "Please Mr. Kennedy" in "Inside Llewyn Davis," if you can wait, we urge you to watch it first in the actual movie. But if you are curious, it's there for you below. Basically, the sequence finds Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) landing a paying gig as a musician on a session for some tunes being cut by his friend/rival Jim (Justin Timberlake), whose more accessible songs are exactly the type of stuff Llewyn hates. And "Please Mr. Kennedy," a rather crude novelty tune, finds Llewyn reluctantly lowering his professional standards while Al Cody (Adam Driver) steals the entire thing with his backup vocals. Again, this probably works better in the framework of the movie, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Explosive First Trailer For Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline' Starring Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich & More

28 November 2013 6:22 AM, PST

Dirty cops, drug dealing biker gangs.... Now this is Shakespeare. Ethan Hawke has reteamed with his "Hamlet" director Michael Almereyda for a contemporary take on "Cymbeline" and they are moving fast. Lensing only went down in August, yet a trailer has emerged online already and it certainly throws any preconceived notions of the Bard out the window. Co-starring Ed Harris, Milla JovovichPenn BadgleyAnton Yelchin and Dakota Johnson, this new adaptation takes the tale of Roman and Celtic nobility battling it out and takes it to the streets. With explosions, machine guns and lots of people looking pretty grimy, we'd wager it's probably the most exciting treatment the otherwise less celebrated "Cymbeline" has ever gotten. No release date or even U.S. distributor yet for this one, though it has sold in numerous territories worldwide. Watch below. [Ontd] »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: 'These Birds Walk' Authentic, Poignant Doc On Pakistani Runaways & Youth Home

27 November 2013 2:17 PM, PST

At daybreak twilight, an unsteady camera captures a young boy Omar running to the ocean and his wordless reveling at reaching the water, these opening shots bordering on Malickian. As with most moments of pure joy and freedom, it's not to last as we see him taken into police custody and then to a youth home, the central subject of Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq's "These Birds Walk." The film cuts from the frolicking boy to an old man washing clearly malnourished toddlers, his concerns over their poor health being brushed off by their caregivers. The man is Dr. Abdul Sattar Edhi, founder of the Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani welfare organization that offers 24/7 emergency assistance and runs the Edhi youth home. At the time of filming, the elderly Edhi is visibly waning in health, but continues performing his duties and running the organization, which under his leadership since 1951 grew »

- Diana Drumm

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Michael Mann’s Cybercrime Thriller Hits January 2015, ‘Warcraft’ Moves To March 2016 To Make Way For ‘Star Wars 7’

27 November 2013 1:57 PM, PST

Universal Pictures and their new partners at Legendary Pictures (they said "see ya later" to Warner Bros. this year after “Pacific Rim”) have unveiled a quintet of release dates for their 2015/2016 season. Let’s get right to it. The first and perhaps most disappointing news is that Michael Mann’s untitled project (a cybercrime thriller set in Hong Kong starring Chris Hemsworth) has been dated for January 16, 2015. January is a crappy date, so it sucks, right? Well, for one, we’ll see if that date sticks, for two, Ron Howard’s Hemsworth-starring “In The Heart of The Sea” opens two months later and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a few months after that, so perhaps the studio is just trying to strategize around those dates. News that every fanboy in the world already expected, Legendary’s “Warcraft,” directed by Duncan Jones, is moving from its December 18, 2015 release date, to »

- Edward Davis

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10 Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Projects Of Spike Lee

27 November 2013 1:01 PM, PST

You hardly need to be a daily reader of our humble blog (though if you're not, what's wrong with you?) to know that there are few filmmakers we are more eternally fascinated by than Spike Lee, despite, and let's be honest, often because of his predilection for pissing people off. Lee is an epochal figure even away from the feuds and the tiffs and the controversies; we will never forget just how awestruck we were when we first saw "Do the Right Thing" and went on to enjoy the fruits of the independent filmmaking scene that it pretty much revolutionized. If Lee had never made another film, he'd deserve our attention just for that. But of course, Lee has made other films, and if anything, the way he has subsequently swung wildly from near-genius ("The 25th Hour," "Malcolm X," "4 Little Girls") to what the what? ("Girl 6," "She Hate Me, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Watch: 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Has Big Dreams In TV Spot Plus New Pics From The Film; Guild Screenings Start This Weekend

27 November 2013 12:22 PM, PST

This weekend, "The Wolf Of Wall Street" will finally be unveiled....if you're lucky enough to be a member of the guilds. And even those folks likely didn't invited to the super exclusive, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio hosted screening on Monday night in New York City. Either way, by the time the turkey and stuffing leftovers are packed and everyone gets back to work on Monday, we're likely to start hearing the first word on the movie. But until then, here's some more peeks at what is one of December's hottest tickets. A new TV spot and a few more images from the '80s set, financial world drama that will set you back three hours (which has been confirmed btw, 2 hours and 59 minutes to be exact). So what can we expect? Something like "Goodfellas." “It is very much [in that vein],” wrier Terence Winter recently told us. “It’s sort of written in the same style, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Break Bad With New ‘Cold Comes The Night’ Photos & Clips With Bryan Cranston & Alice Eve; Hits Theaters/VOD In January

27 November 2013 11:44 AM, PST

Cold Comes The Night” is one of those indies you hear about for a long time, but often don’t see right away. It stars Bryan Cranston, Alice Eve and “Prometheus” star Logan Marshall-Green so it’s gotta be good, right? Well, it came out in the U.K. in September and it barely made a peep and now it’s been slotted for a U.S. release date: January 10, 2014 on VOD and theatrically, so…. well, you do the math. If you’re still curious though, some new photos have arrived and we’ve rounded up a few clips from the U.K. where you can check out Cranston’s vaguely Easter European/Slavic accent. In case you’re unaware, “Cold Comes The Night” tells the story of a struggling motel owner (Eve) and her daughter (Parker) who are taken hostage by a nearly blind career criminal (Cranston) to be »

- Edward Davis

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'Aquaman' Is A "Priority" For DC Comics; Stan Lee Bringing Yet Another Superhero To The Big Screen

27 November 2013 11:23 AM, PST

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any superhero movie news, or even any more weekends between now and 2024 without a superhero flick scheduled for release...comes news of two more spandex-scented projects (sort of).  First off, spectacular Stan Lee, nearing 91 years of age and still showing up in every single Marvel movie, has found a bit of time between cameos to come up with a whole new character. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Lee, along with ex-Marvel Studios head and “The Amazing Spider-Man” producer Avi Arad, is working up a new film, though they're refusing to give out any details on the character, the plot or even the title. They're meeting with writers, though, so if you want to work with ol' Stan himself, now's your chance. Meantime, Marvel's great rivals DC would like you to know that they have just as many awesome movies just waiting to be made, »

- Ben Brock

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New Pics From 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Plus Warner Bros. Note On The Frame Rate

27 November 2013 10:41 AM, PST

"The Hobbit" is big, this we already know. Peter Jackson's three movie spanning adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel goes into every nook and cranny of Middle Earth and beyond, leaving few stones unturned or untouched. In short, the director is trying to craft an unforgettable experience and part of that is, for better or worse, 3D and high frame rates. As folks may remember, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was accompanied by a lot of chatter about the use of 48fps — how it looked unreal to some or awesome to others, where it was screening in the high-def format, whether or not it truly enhanced the movie and more — to the point that it became as much a topic of discussion as the movie itself. This time around, the studio is playing things a bit more conservatively and have issued a fairly simple Q&A (via Emma F »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Contest: Win 'Homefront' Poster Signed By The Cast Plus Watch 2 New Clips From The Movie With James Franco & Jason Statham

27 November 2013 10:16 AM, PST

This weekend at the movies, you'll have no shortage of choices including award season contenders, shiny blockbusters and fare for the whole family. But sometimes, during the holidays, you need a break from the grind and some escapist entertainment in the shape of "Homefront" could bit the bill. Opening today, our review notes that the movie "is [Jason] Statham’s show, and as always he doesn’t disappoint." With the holidays now upon us, we've some treats for fans of the action star. But first, in case you're still catching up, the movie, co-starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo, was written by Sylvester Stallone, and follows a widowed ex-dea agent who retires to a small town with his 10-year-old daughter only to run afoul of some potent baddies. The genesis of the movie started with the novel by Chuck Logan, and we have some copies of it »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 1-Hour 1981 PBS Special On The Making Of ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’

27 November 2013 9:43 AM, PST

Raiders of the Lost Ark” was the first and either the best or the second-best of the Indiana Jones films (you know this to be true, commenters), and it now seems like such a stone-cold, well-known classic that it's hard to believe its 1981 release was a gamble of sorts. Sure, it had George Lucas and Steven Spielberg behind it, who at the time were amicably tied for the title of “most powerful film-maker in the world”: but the film appeared to be a hokey, intentionally old-fashioned attempt at a two-fisted tale about ne'er-do-well Nazis and shifty Arabs, starring that guy who played Han Solo in those movies about space. This could easily have been a “Lone Ranger”-type situation. Well, it wasn't, and Indiana Jones took off into a whole big franchise (until it nuked its very own fridge), but it's interesting to look back at the moment when it was an untested idea, »

- Ben Brock

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