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Box Office: ‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ to Blow Away ‘Geostorm’ in Slow Weekend

33 minutes ago

Tyler Perry’s horror-comedy sequel “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” is providing the only bright spot on a downbeat weekend with about $23 million at 2,388 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday.

Four other new films are showing little traction among moviegoers. The most prominent is costly weather disaster drama “Geostorm,” which is heading for a financial disaster with an opening weekend of $13 million at 3,246 venues for Warner Bros. The studio — which had forecasted a finish in the $10 million to $12 million range — took the unusual step of not holding Thursday night previews, as it had not held screenings for critics.

Sony’s opening of firefighting drama “Only the Brave” is heading for about $6 million at 2,575 locations — a disappointing result, given its $38 million budget. Universal’s murder mystery “The Snowman” is faring even worse with about $5 million at 1,813 North American theaters, well below muted estimates in the $8 million to $12 million range. And Pure Flix’s faith-based “Same Kind of Different as Me” is underperforming »


- Dave McNary

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Lionsgate Unveils World’s First ‘Hunger Games’ Theme Park

56 minutes ago

“Hunger Games” now has its own theme park.

Lionsgate and Dubai Parks and Resorts have partnered to celebrate the opening of the world’s first “Hunger Games” theme park, based on the popular series of young adult novels and films. “The World of the Hunger Games” had its first full day of operations in the Lionsgate zone at Motiongate Dubai, the Middle East’s largest Hollywood-inspired theme park.

“The World of the Hunger Games” features newly designed marquee attractions, never-before-seen content showcasing talent from the film, iconic walk-around characters and entertainment, dining, and retail experiences that include:

Panem Aerial Tour: A hovercraft simulator experience with an exciting twist, featuring custom content created exclusively for Motiongate Dubai.

Capitol Bullet Train: A half-pipe roller coaster that transports guests to the Capitol, featuring a forward and backward launch and multiple inversions.

Peeta’s Bakery: A food and beverage station serving over 20 themed delicacies and local favorites.

Panem Supply »


- Matt Fernandez

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Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser’s ‘Biggest Regret Is Opening That Door’

1 hour ago

The attorney for the Italian actress and model who has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in 2013 says that she is relieved to finally tell her story.

What happened to her is horrible and she is relieved to come forward now, but she’s also extremely scared, and rightfully so,” said attorney Dave Ring, in a press conference outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A.

The accuser, who has not been identified, was interviewed Thursday by detectives from the Lapd Robbery-Homicide division. The 38-year-old woman alleges that Weinstein raped her in her hotel room at Mr. C Beverly Hills in February 2013. She had met him once before, in Rome, and was in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest.

Ring gave few additional details of the case, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

“He bullied his way into her room,” he said. “She »


- Gene Maddaus

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‘Blade Runner’ Breakout Sylvia Hoeks Joins ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

After breaking out in “Blade Runner 2049,” Sylvia Hoeks is looking to move on to another franchise revamp.

The Dutch actress is in talks to join Claire Foy in Sony’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the sequel to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Foy, who stars in the Netflix series “The Crown,” is on board to play Lisbeth Salander. The new installment of Sony Pictures’ Millennium franchise will commence production in January in Berlin and Stockholm. The film hits theaters on Oct. 19, 2018.

The studio had no comment on the casting.

The movie will be directed by Fede Alvarez, who helmed 2016’s surprise hit “Don’t Breathe” for Sony. Hoeks will play Salander’s evil twin in the pic.

Steven Knight wrote the screenplay for “Girl in the Spider’s Web” with the team of Alvarez and Jay Basu, based on David Lagercrantz’s bestseller. Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon will join Scott Rudin and Yellow Bird »


- Justin Kroll

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Former Actress Heather Kerr Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Forcing Himself on Her

2 hours ago

Heather Kerr is the latest actress to come forward and accuse disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

Kerr, in a news conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, asserted Friday that Weinstein had exposed himself to her and forced himself on her sexually in a private meeting in 1989.

“He asked me if I was good,” Kerr said. “I started to tell him about my training and acting experience and he said, ‘No. I need to know if you’re good.’ He said if he was going to introduce me around town, he needed to know if I was ‘good.’ He kept repeating that word.”

Kerr, who appeared on the shows “The Facts of Life” and “Mama’s Family,” said, while she was sitting on a couch with Weinstein, he unzipped his pants, pulled out his penis, grabbed her hand, forced it onto his organ, and held it there.

“He said this is how things work in Hollywood »


- Dave McNary

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Female Animators Call for End of Culture of Sexual Harassment in Open Letter

2 hours ago

In the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement, 217 women and gender non-conforming people working in the field of animation signed an open letter to a dozen studios calling for the end of a culture of sexism and sexual harassment in the industry

The letter, which was signed by high-profile figures like “Steven Universe” creator Rebecca Sugar and Shadi Petosky of “Danger and Eggs,” was addressed to executives at Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Bento Box, OddBot, Paramount, Shadowmachine, Sony Pictures Animation, Stoopid Buddy, Titmouse, and Warner Bros. The letter draws attention to the lack of women in the industry and summarizes their grievances with three demands: that sexual harassment policies are made clear and seriously enforced, that the Animation Guild add language to its constitution and create an anti-harassment committee, and that male colleagues take the initiative to prevent further instances of harassment. »

- Matt Fernandez

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Actress Sean Young Alleges Harvey Weinstein Exposed Himself to Her

3 hours ago

Sean Young has come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The actress alleges Weinstein exposed himself to her while working on 1992 film “Love Crimes,” which was produced by Weinstein’s former company Miramax.

Young recounted the experience on the Dudley and Bob with Matt Show podcast in Austin, Texas. She said on set, she “personally experienced him pulling his you-know-what out of his pants in order to shock me.”

“My basic response was, ‘You know, Harvey, I don’t really think you should be pulling that thing out, it’s not very pretty,'” Young recalled. “And then leaving, and then never having another meeting with that guy again, because it was like, ‘What on earth?'”

She said she got a bad reputation for saying no. “The minute you actually stand up for yourself in Hollywood, you’re the crazy one,” she said.

Young also claimed she was harassed by Warren Beatty and was »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Jessica Chastain’s ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Lands at A24, DirecTV

3 hours ago

A24 and DirecTV have acquired U.S. rights to the western drama “Woman Walks Ahead,” starring Jessica Chastain.

The movie had its world premiere last month at the Toronto International Film Festival. The drama, also starring Sam Rockwell, Michael Greyeyes, Ciaran Hinds, and Bill Camp, is directed by Susanna White from a screenplay by Stephen Knight.

Producers are Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Erika Olde, Richard Solomon, and Andrea Calderwood. The production companies are Bedford Falls and Black Bicycle Entertainment in association with Im Global, Potboiler Productions, and LipSync.

A24 and DirecTV are planning a 2018 release, in which A24 will give the film a national theatrical rollout in all major markets.

Chastain portrays Catherine Weldon, a widowed artist from New York in the 1880s, who travelled to North Dakota to paint a portrait of chief Sitting Bull, who is portrayed by Greyeyes. The duo strikes up an improbable friendship, joining forces to take on the U.S. government »


- Dave McNary

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Canal Plus, Telecom Italia Launch Joint Venture

4 hours ago

Canal Plus and Telecom Italia have joined forces to launch a joint venture focusing on acquisitions and production of films and TV series.

The joint venture aims at bolstering the pay TV offer of Telecom Italia across linear and non-linear (Svod, VOD and catch-up) and allow the company to thrive amid a highly competitive landscape.

Under the partnership, the two companies will produce together Italian and international content as well as board co-productions. Telecom Italia and Canal Plus will also co-acquire sports rights, among others.

Telecom Italia will detain 60% of the joint venture, Canal Plus will have 40%.

Canal Plus’s original series as well as the in-house productions of Studiocanal (Canal Plus Group’s film and TV subsidiary) which have a strong international potential will also be part of the offer.

Jacques du Puy, Canal Plus International president, said Italy was a major market.

“We delighted to be developing premium content with Telecom Italia and leverage our expertise »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Animation Is Film Festival Readies Its L.A. Debut

4 hours ago

Back in the 1990s, Eric Beckman started the New York Intl. Children’s Film Festival, which gradually grew a reputation for screening the types of independent and international animation that too often went missing next to the macrobudget cartoon hegemony of Disney and DreamWorks.

The fest eventually blossomed into an Oscar-qualifying institution. Yet Beckman was often peppered with questions from festgoers: Where can I see this film again? Where can I find it online? Sensing a vacuum, he and partner David Jesteadt hatched their own distribution company, Gkids, which looked to find homes and craft carefully tailored release strategies for idiosyncratic animated features.

Founded in 2008, Gkids has become a serious name in animation remarkably quickly. It’s gone on to secure nine Oscar nominations for the likes of “Chico and Rita,” “My Life as a Zucchini” and “The Secret of Kells,” and it became the U.S. distributor for Japan’s venerable Studio Ghibli.

Now, Beckman »


- Andrew Barker

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Film Review: ‘Geostorm’

4 hours ago

When it comes to the issue of global warming, the world divides into two camps: those who believe in science, and those who adopt an actively skeptical position toward other human beings’ ability to interpret and in any way impact what nature has in store. An inanely spectacular disaster movie — though perhaps “spectacularly inane” would be more apt — from the producer of “Godzilla” and “Independence Day,” Dean Devlin’s “Geostorm” attempts to have it both ways, treating a gang of scientists who’ve “solved” the problem of global warming as its heroes while exploiting how little its target audience knows about the subject to supply an extreme-weather clip reel with contributions of variable quality from a dozen different visual effects houses.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a tidal wave sweep over the horizon of a waterless desert or eggs frying on a superheated city street, “Geostorm” is the movie for you! And if you »


- Peter Debruge

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Naomi Watts to Star in Psychological Thriller ‘The Wolf Hour’

5 hours ago

Naomi Watts will star in the psychological thriller “The Wolf Hour.”

Watts will portray a woman who was once a celebrated counter-culture figure who now lives alone in her South Bronx apartment, having all but cut herself off from the outside world during the notorious “Summer of Sam” in 1977. As she retreats further into isolation, an unseen tormentor begins exploiting her weaknesses. Watts will also executive produce.

The Wolf Hour” is directed by Alistair Banks Griffin and is supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Bailey Conway Anglewicz from Automatik will produce the film along with Bradley Pilz, who will fully finance and produce under his newly formed Bradley Pilz Productions.

Production is set to start in New York City later this year. HanWay Films will oversee international sales and distribution and will commence sales at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif. CAA is »


- Dave McNary

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‘Loving Vincent’ Breaks Out in Italy

6 hours ago

Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s “Loving Vincent,” a Vincent van Gogh biopic using the painter’s hallmark impasto style, has broken out in Italy to a standout near $1.3 million on a three-day “event” run.

In its latest festival berth, “Loving Vincent” closes the 54th Antalya Intl. Film Festival on Oct. 27.

Bowing on Oct. 16, a Monday, as part of a Nexo Digital season of  Great Art to Cinemas movies, the world’s first fully oil painted feature film, which was distributed by Adler Entertainment, punched 120,000 admissions over its initial three-day run this week.

Figure is more than double the daily box office of “Blade Runner 2049,” Cinema Management Group, the film’s sales agent said in a statement. Nexo Digital called the box office “the most-watched film event ever in Italy.”

In further early openings, “Loving Vincent” was first released in the U.S. on Sept, 22, handled by Good Deed Entertainment, running up nearly »


- John Hopewell

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‘Spinal Tap’ Actors File Amended Complaint, Seek Ability to Reclaim Copyrights

7 hours ago

Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner, the four co-creators of the band at the center of the 1984 “mockumentary” film “This is Spinal Tap,” have filed amendments to their ongoing lawsuit filed against Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Studiocanal for alleged underpayment of music royalties in the film, including adding Umg as a defendant and seeking the right to reclaim their copyrights to the film, its songs and characters.

In October 2016, Shearer’s Century of Progress Productions sued Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Studiocanal for $125 million for the alleged underpayment of music royalties. The lawsuit said Vivendi reported only $98 in total income from soundtrack music sales between 1989 and 2006, and just $81 in worldwide merchandising income. Guest, and companies belonging to Reiner and McKean, were later added to the complaint.

Vivendi argued that three of the co-creators’ companies, which sought up to $400 million in damages, did not have the legal right to sue. In September »


- Jem Aswad

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Academy Museum Gets Funding From Netflix, Charles Roven, Bloomberg Philanthropies

7 hours ago

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received contributions from Netflix, Bloomberg Philanthropies, producer Charles Roven, and Tom Spiegel — bringing the delayed project to nearly 80% of its $388 million funding goal.

The museum project has been beset by cost overruns and remains more than $78 million shy of its revised budget. The Academy Museum was originally slated to open this year; it’s now set to open its doors sometime in 2019.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t disclose the amounts of the new donations, but the total was less than $23 million. Last month, Haim and Cheryl Saban gave $50 million to the Academy Museum, the biggest contribution to date. With the gift, the Academy renamed the May Company building, which will house the main part of the museum, the Saban Building.

The museum, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, is designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano. It will feature »


- Todd Spangler

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Lumière Festival: Henri-Georges Clouzot, an Appreciation

8 hours ago

Nobody is innocent. Nobody is guileless. Nobody is good. Welcome to the seamy, sardonic cinema of French director Henri-Georges Clouzot, whose retrospective at the Lumière 2017 Grand Lyon Film Festival lends a malevolent dark sparkle to a festival named after light. Part of the Cannes-launched “Year of Clouzot,” the selection comprises all 11 of his directorial features, as well as screenwriting credits, his first short and several documentaries, including “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno” which not only explores his unfinished folly “L’Enfer,” but gives great insight into the mercurial, meticulously misanthropic director.

“The awful thing about life is that everyone has their reasons,” goes the famous quote from “Rules of the Game” by Clouzot’s diametric opposite, Jean Renoir. Yet it’s a worldview that these antithetical titans of mid-century French cinema share. All Clouzot’s faithless wives and foolish husbands, all his pious priests and prim school-teachers, from the working stiff to the prideful professional to the grasping »


- Jessica Kiang

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‘Take My Nose…Please!’ Comedy Documentary Lands at the Orchard

8 hours ago

Parvenu Ventures LLC has granted digital rights for North America for its comedy documentary film “Take My Nose… Please!” to the Orchard.

The film is directed by the 89-year-old first-time filmmaker Joan Kron, former contributing editor at large of Allure Magazine for 25 years and former fashion reporter of the Wall Street Journal. It explores the pressure on women to be attractive through the lens of comedy, and features Jackie Hoffman, Judy Gold, Julie Halston, Lisa Lampanelli, and Giulia Rozzi.

The Orchard will distribute the documentary in the United States and Canada on all digital and on-demand platforms beginning on Jan. 9, which is Kron’s 90th birthday. The film is currently finishing its Oscar-qualifying theatrical run in theaters in Los Angeles and New York.

The film won the audience award at the Miami Film Festival and at the Berkshire International Film Festival.

“I am excited to be working with The Orchard to bring this film to a larger »


- Dave McNary

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Lumière’s International Classic Film Market Focuses on Heritage Films in Greece, Hungary, Latvia

8 hours ago

Lyon, France — Lyon’s International Classic Film Market brought into focus the opportunities and challenges of heritage film in Greece, Hungary and Latvia on Wednesday, presenting stark differences in the three territories.

Greece’s heritage film sector, while a niche market, can be vibrant if handled correctly, according to Spyros Damianakis, managing director of Athen-based boutique distributor Neo Films.

“There is a market in Greece for classical films and this year we decided to jump in,” Damianakis said.

Neo Films, whose current contemporary releases include Gabe Klinger’s “Porto,” starring the late Anton Yelchin, and Joshua Z Weinstein’s “Menashe,” released the 1954 Marlon Brando-starrer “On the Waterfront” and Luc Besson’s 1988 “The Big Blue” this summer – the key season in Greece for classic films, which draw crowds to open-air cinemas.

Cinema-going habits change drastically from summer to winter, Laetitia Kulyk, audiovisual attaché at Greece’s Institut Français, explained. Multiplexes focusing on mainstream blockbusters dominate the winter »


- Ed Meza

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China’s Sarft Head Calls Korean Film, TV Blockade an ‘Emotional Issue’

9 hours ago

Zhang Hongsen, head of China’s powerful media regulator, says that the country’s blockade against South Korean films and TV shows is an “emotional issue.”

Zhang, deputy director of the State Administration of Press Publication Radio Film and Television (Sapprft), was speaking on Friday in Beijing on the sidelines of the Communist Party’s once-in-five-years National Party Congress.

China has boycotted many South Korean goods and services since July 2016, when the Korean government agreed to allow the deployment of the American Thaad missile defense system. The South Korean government argues that the system is needed to protect itself from a nuclear-armed and belligerent North Korea. China says the system’s radar can be used for spying.

Zhang gave no indication of when the blockade would end and said that it depends on people’s feelings and emotions.

“Cultural exchanges are not ordinary trade in goods or commodities. They bear on the friendship of peoples and their »


- Patrick Frater

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Morelia: Locarno Industry Academy Ready for Third Mexican Installment

11 hours ago

Morelia — This year’s Locarno Festival, one of the oldest in the world having been founded the same year as Cannes, hosted one of its news initiatives, its fourth annual Industry Academy at its own festival. The initiative may be recent in its inception, but in reach it has grown rapidly having just this year bowed for the first time at Chile’s Valdivia while it is set to run Oct. 25-29 at São Paulo’s Mostra.

Sandwiched between the two, the Industry Academy will drop anchor in Morelia, Mexico for its third installment at the festival.

Running Oct. 21-25, the Locarno Industry Academy International Morelia-Imcine is open to young professionals from sales, distribution and festival coordination, and is an opportunity to network and learn from long-time professionals in similar fields. Tutors are brought in from international and domestic markets to educate, and be educated by, the young attendees.

There are nearly 20 specialized events for the participants »


- Jamie Lang

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