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‘Toni Erdmann’ Wins Five Awards From International Cinephile Society
22 minutes ago
The film’s star, Peter Simonischek, was joined by Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Andre Holland (“Moonlight”), and Lily Gladstone (“Certain Women”) for acting honors, while “Elle” also claimed the adapted screenplay prize.
“Moonlight’s” ensemble cast won a prize, while animation honors went to “The Red Turtle” and “Fire at Sea” won the documentary award.
Related stories2016's Top 10 Films With Box Office, Awards and Critical AcclaimJack Nicholson, Kristen Wiig »
- Variety Staff
‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Stays Hot at International Box Office With $43.7 Million
2 hours ago
Universal’s erotic sequel “Fifty Shades Darker” has scored its second consecutive win at the international box office with $43.7 million in 59 territories.
“Fifty Shades Darker” declined 52 percent from its opening weekend for a foreign total of $187.2 million and a worldwide gross of $276.9 million.
The film is holding in first place in Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad, Uruguay, Venezuela, Hong Kong, and Australia. Germany is the top market with $6.2 million, declining just 27 percent for a $20.9 million total.
The film finished second in the U.K.-Ireland market behind “Lego Batman” as “Darker” declined 52 percent to $4.5 million for a total of $21 million. France saw a 49 percent decline to $4.2 million for a total of $15.1 million.
Brazil has totaled $13.7 million, followed by Italy at $12.9 million, Russia at $10.7 million, Australia at $10.6 million, and Spain at $9.6 million. Japan will »
- Dave McNary
Box Office: ‘Lego Batman’ Flies High Over ‘Great Wall,’ ‘Fist Fight’
3 hours ago
“The Lego Batman Movie” is dominating the North American box office with an estimated $44 million this President’s Day weekend — nearly matching the combined haul of “Fifty Shades Darker” and “The Great Wall.”
Universal’s second weekend of “Fifty Shades” is heading for $24 million at 3,714 sites and its action-fantasy “The Great Wall” was projected to wind up with $21 million at 3,325 locations for the Friday-Monday period. Lionsgate’s second weekend of “John Wick: Chapter 2” is finishing in a solid fourth place with $19.5 million at 3,113 venues as holdovers propped up the holiday weekend business.
New Line’s opening of high school comedy “Fist Fight” showed only a modest punch in fifth with around $14 million at 3,185 locations. And Fox’s horror-thriller “A Cure for Wellness” was scaring up a modest $4.9 million at 2,704 screens as it was projected to finish 11th.
Box Office: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Shaping Up to Be Documentary Hit
“Lego Batman, »
- Dave McNary
Berlin Film Review: ‘Ghost Hunting’
12 hours ago
Having already indulged an exercise of soul-baring filmed psychoanalysis with “Fix Me,” director Raed Andoni extends his outdated idea of therapy to others in “Ghost Hunting,” an ethically problematic documentary in which Palestinian men recreate the circumstances of their incarceration and torture by the Israeli occupiers. Using the largely debunked notion that acting out one’s trauma is a means towards catharsis, Andoni has his various “actors” verbally and physically abuse one another while he watches from the side, exchanging the charge of narcissism that accompanied his previous doc with that of sadism.
Glowing pre-premiere praise from Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, the sensationalized emotional charge of the subject, plus Berlin’s best documentary prize means “Ghost Hunting” will garner far more attention than it deserves. The concept must have sounded hard-hitting and original on paper, considering the number of respected funding bodies — Doha, Sundance, Sanad, Venice’s Final Cut, »
- Jay Weissberg
Berlin Film Review: ‘The Inland Road’
13 hours ago
In “The Inland Road,” the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of New Zealand’s isolated Otago region on the South Island provide a scenic backdrop to — and the most unique aspect of — a slender coming-of-age tale from debuting feature writer-director Jackie van Beek. The loose, performance-focused drama follows troubled Maori teen Tia (camera-friendly non-profressional actress Gloria Popata), who survives a fatal road accident while hitchhiking and is subsequently sheltered by the car’s driver, despite the objections of his wife. As the physically and emotionally-wounded Tia slowly comes to terms with her turbulent past, her sometimes confrontational presence provokes a crisis in the marriage of her hosts. Further fest action seems likely for this small-scale but strikingly-shot film.
Much like laconic 16-year-old Tia (whose curvaceous body, smoking habit and way with a rifle make her seem more mature than her age), van Beek’s spare narrative only parsimoniously doles out information, something »
- Alissa Simon
‘La La Land,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Win Cinema Audio Society Awards
14 hours ago
“Finding Nemo” won the theatrical animated prize, while “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble” took the documentary award. Other television winners included “Modern Family” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
“La La Land” is nominated for the sound mixing Oscar this year, along with “Arrival,” Cas nominee “Hacksaw Ridge,” Cas nominee “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”
Full list of Cas Awards winners below.
Motion Picture – Live Action »
- Kristopher Tapley
Bet Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors Celebrates Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, ‘Love Jones’
16 hours ago
Now in its second year, the Bet Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors was a full-blown, star-studded affair that celebrated Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, F. Gary Gray, and others on Friday at the Beverly Hilton.
“I’ve been in here on different days and it never looked like this. This is beautiful,” said Latifah as she accepted the entertainment icon award.
Black actors, musicians, and filmmakers, such as Viola Davis, Lee Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Pharrell Williams, and Washington, who was on hand to receive the Hollywood legacy award, attended the event — Bet’s first film-based awards show. Host Regina Hall supplied the laughs throughout the ceremony, poking fun at both the stars in attendance and even Abff founder Jeff Friday.
“That was such a long speech, Jeff’s last name just went from Friday to Saturday,” Hall quipped after the Abff founder thanked everyone involved »
- Mannie Holmes
Berlinale Chief Dieter Kosslick on Bringing Down Walls
18 February 2017 11:12 AM, PST
As the Berlinale draws to a close, the film festival’s chief Dieter Kosslick observes with satisfaction that the event, once again, served as both a showcase for outstanding movies and a soapbox for political views, including opposition to the policies of President Donald Trump. “It was a classic Berlinale,” he told Variety.
Referring to Trump, Kosslick said: “The guy has caused an international wake-up call, so we are all alert now to what is going on.” Kosslick welcomed the “pop-up demonstration” – a flash-mob – that took place next to a section of the Berlin Wall close to the European Film Market venue, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, in support of Mexican actor-director and Berlinale jury member Diego Luna, who had remarked during a press conference that he wanted to tear down walls.
Kosslick also mentioned other protests during the festival, such as the Romanian film professionals’ expression of their opposition to their government »
- Leo Barraclough
Berlin Film Festival: ‘On Body and Soul’ Wins Golden Bear for Best Film
18 February 2017 10:15 AM, PST
Set in a Budapest slaughterhouse, the tender love story follows the burgeoning romance between a shy young women and her similarly quiet older boss as the two discover that they have the same dreams at night.
The international jury, headed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, handed out prizes far and wide, awarding a broad range of international works.
Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis’ Kinshasa-based drama “Félicité,” about a strongly independent and passionate singer in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa who is forced to raise money for her son’s operation, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.
Berlin Film Review: ‘On Body and Soul’
- Ed Meza
Box Office: ‘Lego Batman’ Blocks Trio of Newcomers to Win Friday
18 February 2017 7:21 AM, PST
Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment’s animated adventure picked up an additional $7.5 million from 4,088 theaters on its way to a four-day estimate in the $38 million range. Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker,” which came out on top last Friday, looks to land solidly in second for the weekend after earning $6.8 million this Friday from 3,714 locations.
Universal’s “Great Wall” starring Matt Damon earned $5.9 million on Friday from 3,325 theaters, landing it in third. The Legendary production’s holiday weekend estimate stands between $19 and $20 million.
Film Review: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’
- Seth Kelley
Berlinale: Variety Hosts 10 Europeans to Watch Luncheon with Tiffany, Medienboard (Photos)
18 February 2017 2:15 AM, PST
Variety’s 10 Europeans to Watch were feted at a luncheon last week at Soho House in Berlin, in association with Tiffany & Co., and later the same day at a reception hosted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The honorees were welcomed at the luncheon by Tiffany’s communications manager Central Europe, Melanie Kelm, Medienboard chief Kirsten Niehuus and Variety’s vice president, executive editor, Steven Gaydos.
The honorees attending the luncheon were “Deutschland 83” actor Jonas Nay, “Babylon Berlin” actress Liv Lisa Fries, actor Jakub Gierszal, who appears in Agnieszka Holland’s Berlin competition entry “Spoor,” director Gabriele Mainetti (“They Call Me Jeeg”), director Robin Pront (“The Ardennes”), and actress Reka Tenki, who appears in Berlinale competition title “On Body and Soul.”
Csaba Papp, Reka Tenki, Bart van Langendonck (Photo: Ulf Büschleb)
Jakub Gierszal (Photo: Courtesy of Ulf Büschleb)
- Leo Barraclough
Josh Hutcherson Says First Time Directing is ‘Daunting’ and ‘Satisfying’
17 February 2017 5:38 PM, PST
The short is part of “The Big Script,” an incubator series launched by Hutcherson’s company Turkeyfoot Productions, next-gen digital studio Indigenous Media and Condé Nast Entertainment, which took five scripts about adolescent or young adult protagonists and mentored the writers through the process of directing their own short film.
“We’re trying to find new voices. It’s that simple,” Indigenous Media co-ceo Jon Avnet says. “Wouldn’t this be an interesting way to get a script turned into a feature film?” For Hutcherson, whom Avnet calls “very talented,” the risk paid off. “Ape” is now being turned into its own feature. You can watch all the films on Condé Nast Entertainment’s digital video collection “The Scene.”
Josh Hutcherson’s Directorial »
- Dani Levy
Early ‘Logan’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying
17 February 2017 5:17 PM, PST
According to a majority of critics, “Logan” does a solid job at rounding out the standalone trilogy of Wolverine films. Critics widely commended Jackman’s ability in refining the character over the years, embracing the fact that despite his powers dwindling away, Wolverine maintains credible superhero status even as he tussles between embodying both man and mutant.
Some of the most general criticisms noted that the story within “Logan” sometimes felt “stitched together from other films,” as Variety critic Owen Gleiberman phrased it. Nonetheless, the film is being praised for its fulfilling weaving of violence and sentimentality.
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman
“It’s Jackman who holds “Logan” together and gives the film its glimmer of soul. He has been playing this role, more or less nonstop, for 18 years, but »
- Sarah Ahern
Donald Glover to Play Simba in ‘Lion King’ Live-Action Remake
17 February 2017 4:53 PM, PST
Donald Glover is ready to sing “Hakuna Matata.”
The “Atlanta” star is in talk to play Simba in Disney’s live-action “The Lion King” remake directed by Jon Favreau, Variety has confirmed. Favreau also announced that James Earl Jones, who voiced Simba’s father of Mustafa in the original, will return to reprise roll.
Favreau tweeted a photo of Glover with the message “I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba”
I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba pic.twitter.com/wUYKixMBJI
“Lion King” was originally released in 1994 and is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, ultimately hauling $968.5 million at the global box office.
The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows »
- Justin Kroll
Noah Hawley to Produce Reese Witherspoon’s Astronaut Drama ‘Pale Blue Dot’
17 February 2017 4:15 PM, PST
Variety reported in 2015 that Witherspoon was attached to star and produce, based on the original spec script by Brian C. Brown and Elliott Diguiseppi. The story follows a successful female astronaut who, after coming back home from a mission in space, starts to unravel when confronted by her seemingly-perfect American dream life. The story explores the theory that astronauts who spend long periods of time staring at the Earth from space begin to lose their sense of reality when they return home.
Hawley is producing “Pale Blue Dot” through his production company 26 Keys. He’s also set up a second project with Fox Searchlight, a drama tentatively titled “Buried Bodies” that’s based »
- Dave McNary
‘The Batman’: Negotiations Break Down Between Studio and Director Matt Reeves
17 February 2017 3:40 PM, PST
A studio source indicates that negotiations have stopped, but adds that talks could resume down the road. WB is still intent on making the film, the source insisted, whatever means necessary.
The news comes after star Ben Affleck stepped down as director in order to focus on playing the Caped Crusader.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement on Jan. 30. “Performing this role demands focus, passion, and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in »
- Justin Kroll
Box Office: ‘Lego Batman’ to Tear Down ‘The Great Wall,’ Beat ‘Fist Fight’
17 February 2017 3:21 PM, PST
Holy, box office champ! “The Lego Batman Movie” is heading for a dominant $41 million at the North American box office this Presidents Day weekend, taking in more than the combined haul of three new entries, early estimates showed Friday.
Action-fantasy “The Great Wall” was heading for $18 million at 3,325 sites for the Friday-Monday period, while high school comedy “Fist Fight” looks likely to finish around $14 million at 3,185 locations. Meanwhile, horror-thriller “A Cure for Wellness” was scaring up a modest $5 million at 2,704 screens.
The second weekend of “Fifty Shades Darker” appeared likely to challenge “The Great Wall” for runner-up as the erotic sequel saw patronage plunge by about 67% from its opening weekend. The follow-up to “John Wick” may also contend for second with a projection of $16 million.
- Dave McNary
‘Shazam’: Superhero Movie Eyes ‘Lights Out’ Director
17 February 2017 2:20 PM, PST
“Lights Out,” based on Sandberg’s short film, was a breakout success last summer for New Line with the horror film grossing nearly $150 million on a $5 million budget. Several months before the release of “Lights Out,” New Line hired the Swedish filmmaker to direct “Annabelle 2,” which will be out in August.
Shazam first appeared in 1939 as Captain Marvel in comic books published by Fawcett Comics as a creation of artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker. He is the alter ego of teenage Billy Batson, who becomes the superhero when he says the word “Shazam!” — an acronym for the gods of the ancient world with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Aries, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
- Dave McNary
Brad Grey in Talks to Leave as Paramount Pictures Chairman
17 February 2017 1:56 PM, PST
Updated: Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey is in talks with his bosses at Viacom to step aside and take on a new role with the company, a long-rumored shift that would come after five years of dismal results at the film studio, two sources confirmed Friday.
Grey’s possible departure comes after not only a long series of box office flops, far outnumbering hits, but also upheaval in the top executive ranks. Though a replacement has not yet been chosen, several sources said that it is possible the job will go, at least on a temporary basis, to Amy Powell, Paramount’s president of television and digital entertainment.
The talks between Grey and Viacom’s leadership, including CEO Bob Bakish, were continuing into the afternoon Friday and might not be resolved until Monday or Tuesday, according to one of the sources.
Grey, a former talent manager, has had a largely tumultuous run. »
- Brent Lang and James Rainey
Behind the Song: The Journey of ‘La La Land’s’ ‘City of Stars’
17 February 2017 1:31 PM, PST
Even before “La La Land” unspooled at festivals and in theaters, people were humming the tune “City of Stars” thanks to early teasers. The melancholy theme appears twice in the film — Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian sings a shortened version on a pier early on in the film, then later duets with Emma Stone’s Mia when the two have moved in together. The song has become an anthem of sorts for the film, and is one of two tunes nominated from the film for best original song.
Writer-director Damien Chazelle called upon his college roommate Justin Hurwitz to score the film and write the melodies for the six original songs. When it came to the lyrics, they hired the duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are currently enjoying massive success on Broadway as the composers and lyricists of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
The journey to Oscar-nominated song was full »
- Jenelle Riley
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