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Fathom Events Hires Regal Executive Ray Nutt as CEO

55 minutes ago

Fathom Events and co-owners AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group have tapped Ray Nutt as new chief executive officer for Fathom Events.

Nutt will be transitioning from Regal Entertainment Group to the role of Fathom CEO, where he will also serve as a board director for Fathom. He’s replacing longtime CEO John Rubey, who has not yet announced his plans.

Fathom specializes in presenting live events and one-night showings for theatrical chains. Fathom’s biggest recent events include “Batman: The Killing Joke” in over 1,160 theaters last year; “TCM Big Screen Classics” screened at more than 700 theaters and “Met Live” at 700 sites.

“As CEO of Fathom Events, I look forward to growing Fathom’s existing program verticals and identifying programming opportunities that will bring new and exciting cinematic experiences to the big screen for our Fathom fans and benefit our content providers, all exhibitor partners, employees and shareholders,” Nutt said. »


- Dave McNary

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Film Review: ‘Mon Mon Mon Monsters’

3 hours ago

All the monsters are in plain sight in “Mon Mon Mon Monsters,” a savagely funny social horror movie about high school teens who capture a flesh-eating ghoul and torture it for their own amusement — and then some. The highly imaginative brainchild of popular Taiwanese author and filmmaker Giddens Ko, “Monsters” paints a disturbing picture of contemporary youth culture while delivering gruesome sights that’ll have horror hounds howling in approval. Though slim in analyzing of what has driven these kids to such extremes, Ko’s vividly decorated and atmospherically filmed exercise in nihilistic horror is a mighty fine ride for those who like this sort of thing. Opening in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore on July 28, the film already has several international fest dates planned, which bodes well for commercial prospects outside the region.

Admirers of Ko’s 2011 debut, a delightful romantic comedy called “You Are the Apple of My Eye,” may »


- Richard Kuipers

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Locarno: Swiss Dominik Locher’s ‘Goliath’ Scooped Up by Wide Management (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Driving into new talent, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has swooped on world sales rights to Dominik Locher’s “Goliath,” the only majority-Swiss film in main competition at this year’s Locarno, Switzerland’s biggest film festival.

Deal excludes Switzerland and is non-exclusive for Germany.

World premiering at Locarno, where Wide, a fixture at the Swiss Festival, will introduce the title to buyers, “Goliath” turns on David (Sven Schelker), a twentysomething who breaks out in panic when girlfriend Jessy (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) tells him that she’s pregnant.

When both are assaulted in a city train and David fails to protect Jessy, his fears of inadequacy as a man take hold, according to the film’s synopsis. Frantic, David inject steroids, work out at the gym, builds his body, self confidence but soon tendency to violence. For Jessy and the unborn child, he becomes a threat.

“After a physical shakedown my insecure protagonist struggles to find »


- John Hopewell and Emiliano Granada

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Film Movement Checks Into ‘Hotel Salvation’ (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

New York-based independent distributor, Film Movement has secured U.S. and Canadian rights for Indian festival title “Hotel Salvation.” Written and directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani, the Hindi-language film follows a son faced with his father’s untimely demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain salvation. It stars Adil Hussain (“Life of Pi”), Lalit Behl (“Titli”), Geetanjali Kulkarni (“Court”), and Palomi Ghosh.

Sajida Sharma and Sanjay Bhutiani produced for India’s Red Carpet Moving Pictures with a $165,000 (€150,000) grant from Venice’s Biennale College and a post-production package worth $56,000 from Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund. The completed film premiered at Venice in 2016, where it won the Grand Prix Enrico Fulchignoni and the Unesco Gandhi Medal.

The film has sold widely in other territories it was licensed by the British Film Institute for the U.K. and Ireland, the Dubai International Film Festival for the Middle East, Bitters End for Japan, »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Film Review: ‘The Gracefield Incident’

5 hours ago

Though the original “Blair Witch Project” will be coming up on its 20th anniversary soon enough (and “Paranormal Activity” just celebrated its 10th), its curse is still very much with us — that being the curse of the found-footage horror movie, which for every revivifying new example still brings us half a dozen or more films like “The Gracefield Incident,” which recycle genre cliches through an exhausted gimmick deployed strictly for cost-cutting rather than imaginative reasons. There are some unintentional laughs to be had from this hectic, silly, defiantly un-scary mashup of stock “cabin in the woods” and alien-invasion formulae. But that dubious plus won’t be enough to soften the scorn of horror fans who plunk down hard cash for this feeble, somewhat amateurish if enthusiastic retread.

Video-game editor Matthew (producer, writer, director, editor and star Mathieu Ratthe) is driving along with pregnant wife Jessica (Kimberly Laferriere) when they suffer a collision — seemingly due to their oblivious »


- Dennis Harvey

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Memento Films International’s Artscope Boards Ilian Metev’s Locarno-Bound ‘3/4’ (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Artscope, Paris-based Memento Films Intl.’s label for new talent, has boarded Ilian Metev’s eagerly-awaited “3/4,” his follow-up to “Sofia’s Last Ambulance,” which won the France 4 Visionary Award at the 2012 Cannes Critics’ Week.

Set to world premiere early August in the Locarno Cineasts of the Present, the Swiss festival’s more cutting-edge section for younger directors, “3/4” marks Metev’s move into fiction –  though it is said to still very much rooted in the observational documentary approach used winningly in “Sofia’s Last Ambulance.”

Written by Metev and Betina Ip, his editor on “Sofia’s Last Ambulance” and partner at Bulgaria’s Chaconna Films, “3/4”stars an ensemble of non-professional actors, led by Mila Mihova, Nikolay Mashalov and Todor Velchev, who took part in a year-long workshops to create “3/4’s” portrait of a family spending its last summer together.

In “3/4,” Mila, a young pianist, prepares for an audition abroad. Her brother, Niki, »


- John Hopewell

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Esai Morales Urges ‘No’ Vote on SAG-aftra Contract

9 hours ago

SAG-aftra Presidential candidate Esai Morales has urged members of the performers union to vote down the proposed tentative agreement on a three-year successor deal to its master contract.

Morales contends that the pact, which has been sent out to the 160,000 members for ratification, falls far short of what performers need. Ratification ballots will be counted on Aug. 7.

“The nominal gains in this agreement do not match the cost of living increases in the real world,” Morales said in a video posted Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Membership First faction. “Send them back to the table.”

Morales detailed problems with changes in the travel costs, basic cable, motion-capture and background players asserting that SAG-aftra leaders had promised to rectify perceived abuses and have failed to do so.

He also questioned why the union leadership reached a deal at 6 a.m. on July 4, asserting that fatigue may have played a factor in making concessions in the tentative »


- Dave McNary

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‘Fate of the Furious’ Speeds to No. 1 on Disc Charts

10 hours ago

“Fate of the Furious,” the latest installment in Universal Pictures’ successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, debuted at No. 1 on both sales charts the week that ended July 16, with Sony Pictures’ “Smurfs: The Lost Village” a distant second.

“Fate” is the eighth film in the franchise and, with a domestic gross of more than $225 million, the third-highest earner in U.S. theaters. The film sold four times as many copies as the newest “Smurfs” film, a reboot of the cartoon that made less than $45 million at the domestic box office.

The arrival of the two new releases sent Walt Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” to No. 3 on both the Npd VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Lionsgate’s “Saban’s Power Rangers” slipped to No. 4 after two weeks at No. 1 on the overall chart.

Rounding out the top five, also »


- Thomas K. Arnold

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BiFan Film Review: ‘I’ll Just Live in Bando’

12 hours ago

A middle-aged actor on the verge of a nervous breakdown is the engaging central character of “I’ll Just Live in Bando,” the promising feature debut of South Korean indie animator Lee Yong-sun. Pivoting on a deep moral dilemma faced by the protagonist, this low-budget labor of love is dotted with wry humor and will resonate with mature audiences who likely won’t care about, and may even warmly embrace, Lee’s old-school animation technique. Berths at the prestigious Annecy and Ottawa animation fests bode well for the film’s prospects of further international exposure. A limited local release is planned for early 2018.

With an absurdly low $42,000 at his disposal, Lee has wisely invested in getting his script right in the first place and then placing visual emphasis on character design and facial expressions. Background detail and body movement are on the basic side of things, but this has no detrimental effect on the film’s overall »


- Richard Kuipers

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‘Dark Tower’ Director Nikolaj Arcel Joins Matt Damon’s Robert F. Kennedy Movie

13 hours ago

Matt Damon’s Robert F. Kennedy biopic “Rfk” has picked up momentum as “The Dark Tower” director Nikolaj Arcel has signed on to direct Damon in the Warner Bros. project.

Arcel will direct from a script he co-wrote with Rasmus Heisterberg and Felipe Marino. Damon will produce with Jennifer Todd and Drew Vinton. Production is expected to start next year.

Kennedy ran the successful 1960 presidential campaign for his brother, John F. Kennedy, and served as U.S. Attorney General and top adviser to his brother between 1961 and 1963. He remained in the post for President Lyndon B. Johnson for several months after his brother’s assassination, then resigned to run for the U.S. Senate, representing New York.

Kennedy served until his assassination in June, 1968, while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination on a platform of ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The last day of Kennedy’s life was recapped in the 2006 film “Bobby,” directed »


- Dave McNary

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J.C. Spink Had Fentanyl and Cocaine in His System When He Died

13 hours ago

Producer J.C. Spink had fentanyl and traces of cocaine in his system when he died in April, according to a coroner’s report released on Wednesday.

The coroner’s office determined that Spink, who produced the “Hangover” franchise, died of an accidental drug overdose.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller, is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It is deadly even in small doses, and was also blamed in Prince’s death in April 2016. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently warned of a dramatic proliferation of fentanyl deaths.

The coroner’s report states that Spink had a history of prescription drug abuse and was known to binge drink and “self-medicate with marijuana.” He also had a history of sleep apnea, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. He was obese as well, weighing 296 pounds, according to the report.

Spink was found unconscious at his home in West Hollywood on April 18 at 7 p.m. »


- Gene Maddaus

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‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ Remake in the Works at Warner Bros.

15 hours ago

Warner Bros. has launched a remake of the classic science-fiction movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and set the project up with producer John Davis.

The Conjuring 2” screenwriter David Leslie Johnson has been tapped to write the script.

The original 1956 movie is based on Jack Finney’s 1954  novel “The Body Snatchers” in which the small California town of Mill Valley is invaded by aliens plant pods, which replicate humans as they sleep. The resulting replicants have no emotion.

The movie, set in the fictional California town of Santa Mira and shot in less than three weeks in black and white in Sierra Madre, Glendale, Chatsworth and Los Felix, ended with the aliens taking over. It was produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel and starred Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers” grossed $3 million in its initial release and grew in critical stature to the point that it was selected in 1994 for »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Dunkirk’ Battles ‘Girls Trip,’ While ‘Valerian’ Looks to Sputter

17 hours ago

Dunkirk” is ready for battle against a duo of 28th century special operatives, and a gaggle of wild women on a weekend getaway.

During a rare summer weekend that brings three non-sequel, non-franchise (at least … not yet) movies to theaters, Christopher Nolan’s latest looks to end up on top. The latest estimates put “Dunkirk” between $30 million and $35 million during its opening weekend. Those aren’t numbers that warrant a standing ovation — especially for a production with a speculated $150 million budget — but Warner Bros. is playing the long game.

Critics have come out in force for the World War II movie, earning it a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and starting the awards season conversation early. After all, July is not a typical Oscar-bait date, but this weekend is the same one when Nolan released his biggest hits (“The Dark Knight” in 2008, “Inception” in 2010, and “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012). It’s also almost 20 years after another World War »


- Seth Kelley

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Watch the Harrowing Trailer for Josh Brolin, Miles Teller’s Firefighter Film ‘Only the Brave’

18 hours ago

Sony’s first trailer for “Only the Brave” shows the ferocity of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 firefighters.

Josh Brolin is the leader of an elite crew, called the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who valiantly try to save their Arizona hometown.

The film, directed by Joseph Kosinski, tells the backstories of the firefighters, focusing on the intensity of the danger and their camaraderie, showing them forming a human pyramid at one point with the declaration, “It’s not about what’s standing in front of you. It’s about who’s standing beside you.”

Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly also star. When Brolin and Teller signed on in 2016, the film was called “No Exit.”

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, Jeremy Steckler, Dawn Ostroff, Mike Menchel, Black Label Media’s Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, and Thad Luckinbill are producing the film. Black Label is financing. The script was written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer »


- Dave McNary

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Chris Hardwick’s Friends, Co-Workers on What Game Shows They’d Like Him to Host

18 hours ago

We asked some of Chris Hardwick’s friends and co-workers to name TV game shows — real or fictional, past or present — that they’d like to see him host next. In the spirit of “@midnight’s” social-media themed #HashtagWars challenge, here are some suggestions to #HardwickaGameShow.

Related storiesChris Hardwick on the End of '@midnight': 'It's Time to Do Something Different' (Exclusive)Chris Hardwick Celebrates 25 Years in ComedyComedy Central to Cancel '@Midnight' »


- Whitney Friedlander

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‘Dunkirk’ Stars Recall Receiving Script Shrouded in Secrecy: ‘I Felt Like I Was on a Spy Film’

18 hours ago

Christopher Nolan might have been the man of the hour, but he was practically invisible at the New York premiere of his new movie, “Dunkirk,” on Tuesday.

The filmmaker didn’t stop for interviews on the AMC Loews Lincoln Square red carpet, and didn’t stay for the after-party at the Rainbow Room, which was overflowing with praise for Nolan.

“The man is a genius,” star Barry Keoghan proclaimed.

Meanwhile masses of crying teens (and their mothers) braved the muggy New York City streets for a glimpse of Harry Styles.

The widest 70Mm release in 25 years! Who cares? These girls were on a mission to meet, and maybe touch, the One Directioner. Like Nolan, the 23-year-old “X Factor” alum didn’t have much time for the media, but he made sure to melt a few hearts with a handshake and a few selfies.

Related

Film Review: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk

Dunkirk” centers on the 1940 evacuation of more »


- Addie Morfoot

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Sundance Documentary ‘Unrest’ Set for September Release (Exclusive)

18 hours ago

Jennifer Brea’s documentary “Unrest,” which won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival, has been set for a domestic theatrical release in September, Variety has learned exclusively.

Unrest” details Brea’s fight to overcome the disabling disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis — commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It will have its U.S. theatrical premiere on Sept.22 in New York,  then open in Los Angeles and San Francisco on September 29, followed by a nationwide release to select cities. “Unrest” will open in theaters in the U.K. on October 20.

Unrest” is one of the first titles to be released with the support of Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship, aimed at empowering entrepreneurial Sundance filmmakers.

Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute, said, “The dedication and creativity of Jennifer Brea and her team has made Unrest a truly special film. This wonderfully honest, vulnerable and eloquent portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around a condition that affects »


- Dave McNary

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Poll: What’s the Best Christopher Nolan Movie?

18 hours ago

The reviews are in, and “Dunkirk” may be Christopher Nolan’s best movie yet.

Variety‘s awards editor Kristopher Tapley called the director’s latest “the first slam-dunk Oscar contender of 2017”; chief film critic Peter Debruge praised it as “a bravura virtual-eyewitness account from multiple perspectives — one that fragments and then craftily interweaves events as seen from land, sea and air.”

But Nolan has a long line of lauded films that came before “Dunkirk,” going back to 1998’s “Following.” A couple of years later came “Memento,” cementing a base of loyal fans who turn out to the box office to solve his cinematic puzzles.

Related

Dunkirk’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

The director also made his mark in the comic book genre, introducing Christian Bale’s Batman in “Batman Begins” and following it up with the massively popular “The Dark Knight,” which won Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker. He »


- Variety Staff

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International Newswire: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Drives Back Opposition in France

19 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” drives back the opposition in an early sortie into mainland Europe, fresh research points to a surge in online video consumption driven by a rise in viewing on mobile devices, and Latin America witnesses an innovation in windowing with the launch of TV series “The Cockfighter.”

Box Office

Acclaimed by most — but not all — French critics, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” swept away the competition at its first early afternoon screenings in Paris, as it made its commercial bow in one of its first major territories abroad. Tickets sold — 3,145 at 35 locations in the French capital — were nearly three times those for No. 2 release, Sony Pictures Releasing’s “Baby Driver,” according to website cbo-boxoffice.com.

Results were under half those of “Despicable Me 3,” the best first-session Paris bow of this year with 7,359 admissions. But “Dunkirk,” released by Warner Bros., came in seventh-best for the year, despite »


- John Hopewell and Leo Barraclough

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Variety’s First-Ever Geek Power List, in Honor of Comic-Con

20 hours ago

To celebrate this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Variety put together its first-ever Geek Power List, comprised of the biggest movers and shakers in geekdom.

Every year, the buzziest shows and biggest blockbusters make the pilgrimage to San Diego for Comic-Con, and with them come A-list stars — like “Deadpool’s” Ryan Reynolds, “Wonder Woman’s” Gal Gadot, and the cast of Netflix’s uber-hit “Stranger Things” — and the people calling the shots on these power franchises, like Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and DC ComicsGeoff Johns.

Check out our list below to see which stars and shot-callers made the cut.

Variety’s Geek Power List Related storiesWhen Pac-Man Met Hello Kitty: '80s Icons Join Forces in Mobile Game, Merchandise Tie-Up'Stranger Things' Creators Duffer Brothers: Season 2 Is 'Bigger, Darker, Scarier'Comic-Con Preview: 4 Big Trends to Watch Out For »


- Jacob Bryant

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