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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Nears $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

1 hour ago

Disney’s blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast” has already topped the $490 million mark at the worldwide box office as it moves into its second weekend.

The live-action musical took in $10.9 million domestically on Thursday, down only 5% from the previous day, to take the seven-day total to $228.6 million — making it one of the top seven opening weeks of all time in North America. Disney noted that the weekday numbers rival those for summer and holidays.

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Box Office: ‘Power Rangers’ No Match for ‘Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast” opened in Australia with $1.6 million on Thursday for the second highest March opening day of all-time behind only “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It had already grossed $1.3 million in previews. In Argentina, the film opened to $600,000, the highest opening day of 2017.

Thursday’s international take was $17.8 million, pushing the overseas total to $262 million. China is the leader with $60.3 million, »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Power Rangers’ Surges to $3.6 Million on Thursday

3 hours ago

Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” has launched with a solid $3.6 million at 2,700 North American locations from Thursday night previews.

Sony’s sci-fi thriller “Life” grossed $800,000 from 2,627 preview showings and Warner Bros.’ comedy “Chips’ pulled in $500,000.

Power Rangers,” a reboot of the 1990’s television show about five teenage superheroes, is opening at 3,693 locations Friday with expectations of about $30 million for the weekend. The cast features Becky G. as the Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger and R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger. Elizabeth Banks plays the evil alien witch Rita Repulsa.

Related

Film Review: ‘Power Rangers

The movie reimagines the origins of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high schoolers given extraterrestrial powers who unite to save the world. Lionsgate and Haim Saban announced plans in 2014 for a live-action movie based on Saban’s “Power Rangers »


- Dave McNary

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NonStop Acquires Nordic, Baltic Rights to Isis Docu ‘City of Ghosts’

3 hours ago

NonStop Entertainment has picked up Nordic and Baltic rights to “City of Ghosts,” Matthew Heineman’s critically acclaimed documentary about the extremist group Islamic State, or Isis.

City of Ghosts” was acquired by Amazon Studios for U.S. distribution out of the Sundance Film Festival and is currently competing at Cph:dox in Copenhagen. It is scheduled for release in the U.S. on July 14.

The documentary charts the rise of Isis, while documenting the courage of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group of citizen journalists who risk their lives to shed light on terrorist activities in Syria.

City of Ghosts” marks Heineman’s follow up to “Cartel Land” which was nominated for an Oscar.

NonStop will release the film in Scandinavia and the Baltics. Miracle Films will partner on Danish distribution, with a theatrical release expected in early fall.

NonStop’s new acquisitions also include “Whose Streets,” Sabaah Folayan »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Cuban-American Actor Tomas Milian, Italian Genre Movies Star, Dies at 84

4 hours ago

Rome – Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday. He was 84.

Milian died of a stroke in his Miami home, according to Italian news agency Ansa.

A Method actor who studied with Lee Strasberg, Milian played in about 120 movies during a career spanning six decades. Most of the films were shot in Italy, where he worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini besides acting in Spaghetti Westerns, cop movies, and the franchise based on his Roman lowlife character “Er Monnezza” (“Mr. Trash”).

Later in his career, Milian moved to the U.S. where, among other films, he appeared in Sydney Pollack’s “Havana,” in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” and played corrupt General Arturo Salazar in Soderbergh’s “Traffic, »


- Nick Vivarelli

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French Government to Back International Series Festival in Lille

7 hours ago

Paris – The French government has decided to back the launch of a new international fest dedicated to series in Lille, in Northern France – the country’s third such event, on top of a recently announced drama festival to be held in Cannes and the high-profile Series Mania festival in Paris. 

The decision to establish a new festival in Lille was taken by a committee specially appointed by the French government and overseen by Audrey Azoulay, the president of the Cnc (National Film Board).

Lille was chosen over Paris, whose Series Mania has already gained international recognition, drawing 40,000 spectators and 1,300 industry professionals in 2016. The upcoming edition of Series Mania will feature world premieres of anticipated shows such as Jim Carrey’s “I’m Dying Up Here,” Adam Price’s “Ride Upon the Storm” and Jimmy McGovern’s “Broken.”

Meanwhile, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, announced the launch of Cannes International »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Cottonwood’s Pre-School Series ‘Ollie & Moon’ Sold to Italy, Finland

7 hours ago

DeAGostini channel Super! in Italy and pubcaster Yle in Finland are the latest buyers on pre-school series “The Ollie & Moon Show,” a Cottonwood Media production distributed by Federation Kids & Family.

The deals add to the show’s global reach of over 150 territories already licensed. Previous key sales include to France Télévisions in France, NBC Sprout in the U.S., Tvo and Knowledge in Canada, Discovery in Latin America, D-Kids in Middle East and North Africa, Vrt in Belgium and Ietv in Israel.

An edutainment short-format series, “Ollie” follows a couple of six-year-old globe-trotting cats on a world tour, introducing to kids the joys of unlikely friendships, global citizenship, memorable adventures and new food, language, cities, and customs.

“These new acquisitions just go to show that good storytelling and magnetic characters are truly universal,” said Monica Levy, senior VP, co-production and sales at Federation Kids & Family, a joint-venture launched in 2015 by »


- Emiliano De Pablos

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Film Review: ‘Bokeh’

9 hours ago

“Last people on Earth” movies are practically a genre in themselves, having begun as a reaction to 1950s atom-bomb anxiety (“On the Beach,” “Five”), then remained a sporadic presence in all subsequent waves of screen sci-fi, including environmental and zombie apocalypses. “Bokeh” belongs to the category’s least populist corner, in which the catastrophic event itself is not depicted and/or left entirely mysterious, with the focus on the few survivors. and how they manage — or fail — to carry on after civilization’s end.

Movies of this stripe (like “Glen and Randa,” “The Quiet Earth” or, more recently, “The Road”) are bound to frustrate those anticipating any conventional fantasy thrills, while instead aiming to provide the abstract rewards of a speculative mood piece. That’s likely to be the reaction to “Bokeh,” which takes its name from the photographic term for blurry parts of a picture produced by variable lens focus. »


- Dennis Harvey

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Galaxy Weiying Receives Additional Investment

10 hours ago

Galaxy Weiying Entertainment, the Hong Kong-based investment vehicle that last week revealed a stake in Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell,” has received an additional cash injection.

The capital has come from family-controlled Huang’s Entertainment. The value of the injection was not disclosed.

Galaxy Weiying is a joint venture between Beijing Weiying Technology, one of China’s leading online ticketing firms, and investor Johnny Hsu. Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China, is an adviser to the fund. Hsu heads Lead Capital, a mergers and acquisitions boutique.

Weiying has moved upstream into film production and investment and aims to make use of its massive access to big data from its cinema-booking services and relationships with other companies, including messaging platform WeChat. In the summer of last year it launched Chinese production company Nextainment. With a more international investment outlook, Galaxy Weiying was established in December.

Galaxy Weiying says »


- Patrick Frater

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SXSW Film Review: ‘The Work’

12 hours ago

Locked away in Folsom State Prison, the tough, tattooed men seen in “The Work” are serving heavy-duty time, in some cases multiple life sentences, for violent crimes. Most will never be released, and yet, as we discover via Jairus McLeary’s remarkable vérité portrait — winner of the SXSW documentary competition — a handful of these maximum-security inmates are committed to mastering their tempers, getting in touch with their emotions, and making an effort to help outsiders do the same.

Pushing its cameras past the gates, past the guards, and even past the imaginary emotional barriers its subjects erected years ago in order to deal with their personal demons, “The Work” brings audiences into the “Inside Circle,” an intensive four-day group therapy program where society’s worst offenders interact with individuals from the free world. It’s not hard to imagine the benefit messed-up convicts might see in addressing their issues; less clear, »


- Peter Debruge

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Disney Eyes Thea Sharrock to Direct Gorilla Story ‘The One and Only Ivan’

16 hours ago

Disney is in talks with Thea Sharrock, director of “Me Before You,” to helm its movie version of the gorilla story “The One and Only Ivan.”

British director Mike Newell had been attached last year for the project, but is no longer involved. Variety first reported in 2014 that Mike White had come on board to script the adaptation of Katherine Applegate’s children’s story.

The book, published by HarperCollins in 2011, centers on the silverback gorilla Ivan, who is in a cage at a shopping center with an elderly elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob. When a baby elephant arrives, Ivan regains his memories and plans an escape to protect the new elephant from their abusive owner.

The book, illustrated by Patricia Castelao and written in the voice of Ivan, won the 2013 Newbery Medal. Applegate based the story of a gorilla named Ivan who spent 27 years in »


- Dave McNary

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Ryan Gosling Explains Why He Laughed During Oscars Best Picture Mix-Up

17 hours ago

Nearly a full month has passed since the 89th Academy Awards show committed what many have come to regard as one of the most egregious and high-profile faux pas in Oscars history: when “La La Land” was announced as best picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”

And yet, “La La Land” leading man and beloved Hollywood “nice guy,” Ryan Gosling, is only just now offering an explanation for his oddly blithe reaction to the best picture mix-up. Amid a legion of shock, bewilderment, and light chaos following the Academy’s correction, the camera panned to Gosling’s face as he erupted into a fit of laughter — picture that has since circulated the viral rounds of cyberspace.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Gosling explained that his reaction (which might have otherwise been interpreted as some derivative of bitterness) was actually motivated by a surge of relief.

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Inside »


- Emily Mae Czachor

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Bryan Cranston-Jennifer Garner Drama ‘Wakefield’ Gets May Release Date

17 hours ago

IFC Films has acquired the independent drama “Wakefield,” starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner, for a May 19 theatrical release and a May 26 VOD launch.

The film, which screened at the Telluride and Toronto festivals last year, also stars Jason O’Mara and Beverly D’Angelo. Producers are Julie Lynn, Bonnie Curtis, Wendy Federman, Carl Moellenberg and Elliott Webb.

Wakefield” is directed by Robin Swicord from her adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s short story, in which a successful suburbanite commuter vanishes without a trace and hides in the attic of his carriage house garage, surviving by scavenging at night. He secretly observes the lives of his wife (portrayed by Garner), children, and neighbors and slowly realizes that he has not in fact left his family — he has left himself.

Variety’s Peter Debruge said of Cranston in his Telluride review: “Like the snapping-point office drone Michael Douglas played in ‘Falling Down, »


- Dave McNary

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Jay Z, Weinstein Company to Make Trayvon Martin Film and Documentary Series (Exclusive)

18 hours ago

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and the Weinstein Company are partnering on an ambitious series of film and television projects about Trayvon Martin, Variety has learned.

The indie label and the rap icon won a heated bidding war for the rights to two books — “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.” The 2012 shooting of the 17-year-old Martin sparked a national debate about racial profiling and inequities of the criminal justice system that brought about the Black Lives Matter movement. The African-American high school student was killed by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed race Hispanic man, who was a member of the neighborhood watch in his Florida community. He claimed he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self defense after the two became involved in a physical altercation. Zimmerman’s acquittal »


- Justin Kroll and Brent Lang

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Steve Carell, Amy Schumer, Nicole Kidman to Star in Dramedy ‘She Came to Me’

18 hours ago

Steve Carell, Amy Schumer, and Nicole Kidman will star in the independent dramedy “She Came to Me.”

Schumer just exited the “Barbie” movie to make room in her schedule for this film.

Rebecca Miller is directing from her own script. “She Came to Me” will be produced under Miller and Damon Cardasis’ banner Round Films, alongside Odd Lot Entertainment’s Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane, with Melissa Rucker overseeing for Odd Lot.

The script covers two intertwining love stories, set in the world of contemporary opera and tug boats.

Related

Amy Schumer Drops Out of ‘Barbie’ Movie (Exclusive)

Miller’s credits as a director-writer include “Maggie’s Plan,” “Angela,” “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.” She is the daughter of photographer Inge Morath and playwright Arthur Miller.

Carell will be seen next opposite Emma Stone in “Battle of the Sexes.” Schumer is starring »


- Dave McNary

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Kristen Wiig in Talks to Star With Cate Blanchett in Richard Linklater’s ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette?’

19 hours ago

Kristen Wiig is in talks to star alongside Cate Blanchett in Richard Linklater’s adaptation of “Where'd You Go Bernadette?

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna and Nina Jacobson’s Color Force acquired the movie rights in 2013 to Maria Semple’s 2012 novel.

The story follows an architect-turned-recluse named Bernadette Fox (played by Blanchett), who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica. Her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, narrates the story and goes on a quest with Bernadette’s husband to find her. Wiig would portray a family neighbor, Audrey, an uptight mother who annoys Bernadette.

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Jack Nicholson, Kristen Wiig to Star in ‘Toni Erdmann’ Remake (Exclusive)

The latest draft is penned by Holly Gent Palmo and Vincent Palmo Jr. with Linklater. The previous writers were Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Producers are Ellison, Jacobson, and Brad Simpson of Color Force.

Linklater has directed 20 films, including last year’s “Everybody Wants Some! »


- Dave McNary

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Amy Schumer Drops Out of ‘Barbie’ Movie (Exclusive)

19 hours ago

Amy Schumer has parted ways with Sony’s live-action “Barbie” over a scheduling conflict, Variety has learned.

“Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” the actress said in a statement to Variety. “The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I’m bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen.”

The big screen adaptation of Mattel’s iconic toy line was expected to start production this summer on June 23, but Schumer’s busy schedule includes a lengthy promotional tour for her new Fox comedy “Snatched,” which opens in May.

Sony, however, needed to stick to its June 29, 2018 release date as Mattel already has merchandise and product cycles in motion–shifting the production to accommodate Schumer would have put on a strain on other partners on the film, according to insiders.

“We respect and support Amy’s decision, »


- Justin Kroll

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Miles Teller’s War Drama ‘Thank You for Your Service’ Gets Awards Season Release

20 hours ago

Universal has given an awards season release date of Oct. 27 for Miles Teller‘s drama “Thank You for Your Service.”

Based on David Finkel’s 2013 book, “Thank You for Your Service” follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield. The cast includes Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, Joe Cole, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer, Omar Dorsey, and Jayson Warner Smith.

Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay for “American Sniper,” makes his directorial debut. Jon Kilik (“The Hunger Games” series) produces the film, while Ann Ruark executive produces. »


- Dave McNary

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Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Life’ Director Daniel Espinosa to Reteam on ‘The Anarchists vs ISIS’

20 hours ago

Jake Gyllenhaal and “Life” director Daniel Espinosa are teaming up on another movie: “The Anarchists vs Isis[/link].”

Gyllenhaal is attached to star with Espinosa on board to helm the film adaptation.

Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, in association with Bold Films, optioned Seth Harp’s Rolling Stone piece, which the film is based on, with both on board to produce along with Espinosa.

Related

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds Reminisce About On-Set Jokes at ‘Life’ SXSW World Premiere

Bold Films Chairman Michel Litvak will also produce, while CEO Gary Michael Walters executive produces.

The article tells the true story of a ragtag team of American volunteers, socialists, and outcasts, who are fighting alongside the Kurdish militia, known as the Ypg, to beat Isis in Syria and establish an anarchist collective amid the rubble of war.

“Jake and I are thrilled to partner with Daniel Espinosa on Seth Harp’s daring story. Thematically, »


- Justin Kroll

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NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer to Deliver USC School of Cinematic Arts Commencement Address

21 hours ago

Ron Meyer, vice chairman at NBCUniversal and the former president and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency, is slated to deliver the keynote address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ 2017 commencement ceremony.

In delivering the commencement address, Meyer will join the ranks of an impressive register of distinguished industry forces — including Paul Feig, Sumner Redstone, and Jeffrey Katzenberg — who have delivered speeches at the internationally renowned media arts school in years past.

Additionally, producers Jennifer Todd (“Live by Night”) and Suzanne Todd (“Bad Moms”), both alums of the School of Cinematic Arts, will each receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award during this year’s ceremony. Past recipients of the awards include Kevin Feige, William Fraker, Brian Grazer, Shonda Rhimes, Stacey Sher, and most recently, Susan Downey.

Jennifer and Suzanne Todd, as sisters and partners, have earned several prestigious accolades, including Women In Film’s celebrated Lucy Award, the Spirit Award for Best Picture, »

- Emily Mae Czachor

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Bob Iger Reveals ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff Details, Talks Plans After ‘Episode IX’

22 hours ago

Disney CEO Bob Iger dropped some details about the upcoming “Star Wars” movies at a USC tech conference on Thursday.

At the conference, where he also confirmed that he’s “definitely” leaving in 2019, he said he has seen Episode 8, “The Last Jedi,” and addressed how the company is handling the death of Carrie Fisher, who appears extensively in the film.

“We are not changing ‘8’ to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it was in ‘8,’” he said. “In ‘Rogue One’, we created digitally a few characters… We’re not doing that with Carrie.”

Related

Bob Iger Extends Contract as Disney CEO Through Mid-2019

Iger also revealed that the next film, a standalone project on Han Solo, will follow his life from the age of 18 through 24. The film will including “acquiring a certain vehicle and meeting a certain Wookie,” he said. “You’ll also discover how he got his name. »


- Gene Maddaus

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