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'300: Rise of an Empire’ Bloodies Box Office With $45 Million
Over-the-top ancient Greek battle gore and the sultry heroine Eva Green powered “300: Rise of an Empire” to the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office with a $45 million opening weekend. The R-rated sword-and-sandals saga held off the challenge of a very different history trip, “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” the DreamWorks Animation family film about a time-traveling genius dog and his young charge that debuted with a better-than-expected $32.5 million. The two wide openers dropped the Liam Neeson jetliner thriller “Non-Stop” out of the top spot and into third with $15.3 million. “The Lego Movie” was fourth with $11 »
- Todd Cunningham
Wes Anderson ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Books Huge Limited Box-Office Opening
Wes Anderson's “The Grand Budapest Hotel” posted one of the best limited openings ever this weekend. The quirky ensemble comedy brought in a stunning $800,000 from two theaters in New York and two in Los Angeles for Fox Searchlight. That's an eye-popping per-screen average of more than $200,000 per screen. Also read: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ On Record-Breaking Box Office Tear — How Wes Anderson Pulled Off a Hit That's easily the best opening weekend ever for writer-director Anderson, whose last film “Moonrise Kingdom” became a sleeper hit in 2012 after opening in four theaters with $522,000. That one went on to take in »
- Todd Cunningham
SXSW: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen’s Neighbors’ Cracks Up Premiere Crowd
Austin — To premiere at SXSW, Universal’s “Neighbors” decided to forgo the end credits, a final mix, and the aspect ratio correction, but the sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theater didn’t seem to mind. The Seth Rogen-produced raunchy comedy starring Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco and an often-shirtless Rogen debuted to an audience content to heartily laugh.
While the weather outside was both frightful and wet, inside Rogen half joked that the only person out of the near dozen onstage that attended college was producer James Weaver, who also doubled as the sole member of a fraternity.
The film follows the Radnor family (Rogen and Byrne), who, after having their first child experience the unfortunate circumstance of having a fraternity move in next door (its president is played by Efron). In an attempt to both give their daughter a peaceful environment and yet prove to themselves that »
- Alexandra Cheney
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Kiss Over Breakfast, Another Baby on the Way for Christian Bale & More
It was a weekend's worth of surprises, from the on-again, off-again couple who was spotted packing on the P.D.A. to the newlyweds who packed up their bags to elope. Now that we've officially sprung ahead, here's what you missed: 5. Lena Dunham Strips Down for SNLIt's no Brooklyn warehouse party, but we have a feeling Hannah Horvath would approve of Dunham's Saturday night all the same. The Girls star hosted this weekend's edition of Saturday Night Live, which involved no shortage of nudity. Like we said - Hannah would be proud. Here are the highlights.4. Lea Michele: Let's Get Loud! »
- Alison Schwartz
'The Amazing Race' contest: See how you scored predicting Episode Three
Spoilers for episode three of "The Amazing Race" are below! Congratulations to our site user jonny who remains out in front of all other competitors in our "The Amazing Race" Season 24 contest after three episodes. If jonny winds up with the most points at the end of the season, he will win a chance to chat with host Phil Keoghan and a $100 Amazon gift certificate. Can you put an end to his race? To make your own weekly predictions, log into your Gold Derby account and click on the "Amazing Race" button. Cast your vote each week for questions like, "Will Cord and Jet use their Express Pass in this episode?" and "Which team will win Season 24 of 'The Amazing Race'?" In episode three, father-and-son cancer survivors Dave and Connor came in first while YouTube stars Joey and Meghan were eliminated. -Break- Bogie Miller has jumped from fifth to second with 2983 points, »
SXSW Film Review: ‘Wild Canaries’
Classic mystery conventions have provided fertile creative ground for any number of young American filmmakers in recent years, as evidenced by Rian Johnson’s “Brick,” Aaron Katz’s “Cold Weather” and now Lawrence Michael Levine’s “Wild Canaries.” Starring Levine and Sophia Takal (his wife and regular collaborator) as a sort of hipster Nick and Nora Charles investigating the shady goings-on around their Brooklyn apartment building, this craftily structured yet playfully loose-limbed detective yarn provides a canny narrative template for another of the writer-director’s low-budget studies of relational turmoil (following 2011′s “Gabi on the Roof in July”), its occasional descent into shrill bickering largely offset by the filmmakers’ palpable delight in their choice of material. Far too eventful, plot-driven and frankly fun to be classified as mumblecore, “Canaries” can only build on Levine’s audience; it could catch on with savvy indie filmgoers, particularly those with an affection for the genre being saluted. »
- Justin Chang
Nz Film Commission Quits Sales Business
Hong Kong – The New Zealand Film Commission is to end its role as sales agent with effect from the end of the month.
The Nzfc — which is New Zealand’s primary film funding body, not a location attraction outfit as its name might suggest – will no longer represent the shorts or feature films it finances.
Instead films will be guided to find their own sales agents. The transition will be guided by an international sales agent, appointed with effect from April 1.
The shake-up is part of the house cleaning process driven by recently Dave Gibson, a veteran producer installed as chief executive at the beginning of the year.
“For those films for which we are currently the sales agent, we will either look to place the more recent or high-profile titles (either individually or as a package) with other sales agents or, in the case of older titles, these will »
- Patrick Frater
Jonathan Groff revisits 'Looking' season one and the surprise success of 'Frozen'
Jonathan Groff is an amazingly nice guy. No, really. It's not just an act. There are many actors who would blow off an interview after a scheduling mishap, but not Groff. Either he was raised by saints or he really believes in his new HBO series "Looking." Or, maybe it's a combination of both. It's been something of a breakout year for the still 28-year-old actor best known to many for his time on "Glee." Not only has he earned critical kudos for playing the somewhat naive Patrick on "Looking," but he was the voice of Kristoff in Disney's Oscar-winning blockbuster "Frozen." Groff patiently took sometime on Friday to revisit the entire season of "Looking" and talk about who he hopes Patrick ends up with in season two (granted, that was something of a tease). The conversation was so in-depth we didn't even get to chat about his role in another upcoming HBO production, »
- Gregory Ellwood
TV Review: ‘True Detective’ Finale: Now That’s How to Do an Anthology
If “True Detective” is still running years from now, as it probably should be, the filmmakers and HBO can thank the incredibly fortuitous timing of casting Matthew McConaughey (yes, the Oscar-winning actor, not the “Failure to Launch” dude) and Woody Harrelson in the central roles – a pairing that not only elevated interest in the series, but which suggests the sky’s the limit for finding new players for future seasons. Indeed, such speculation has already become its own Twitter meme, although personally, how could you beat Matt Damon and Michael Douglas in “True Detective: Behind the Candelabra?”
All kidding aside, perhaps foremost “True Detective” – which wrapped up its eight-episode run Sunday – lays out the template for an anthology approach that helps reinvent, or at least invigorate, one of the most tried-and-true genres TV has ever produced. Think “Police Story,” the 1970s classic, stretched to miniseries form, with al the latitude pay cable provides. »
- Brian Lowry
'24: Live Another Day's’ Jack Bauer Puts Some English on His Return in New Promo (Video)
Kiefer Sutherland and Jack Bauer are back, or will be on May 5, when Fox rolls out the two-hour premiere “24: Live Another Day.” See video: '24: Live Another Day': Jack Bauer Walks Toward Danger, Gun Drawn, Girl on Arm In a new promo, set four years after the events of the final season of “24,” the President of the United States (William Devane) is on a state mission to London. Jack is on the scene in the U.K. — hard at work preventing assassination, averting global disaster and staying alive, just like old times. Watch the clip: »
- Todd Cunningham
Lena Dunham Reacts to Naked Critics – Makes, Deletes Molestation Joke on Twitter
The often-transgressive Lena Dunham admits she went too far this time and once again it's about that getting-naked stuff. The “Girls” doyenne was under fire from some Twitter users for her “SNL” performance on Sunday night, which included a bit with her getting naked (and Bobby Moynihan flashing her during the monologue). A Twitterer told her, “you don't always have to get naked.” ”Please tell that to my uncle, mister.” Dunham tweeted back. “He's been making me!” Also read: Lena Dunham Gets Naked – Again – for ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Video) Quickly realizing she may have crossed the line, Dunham deleted the tweet but. »
- James Crugnale
Once Upon a Time's Wicked-Awesome Debut, The Good Wife's Hot Hookup and More Omg TV Moments!
Once Upon a Time finally gave us the highly anticipated debut of the Wicked Witch of the West...and it was so worth the wait! Plus, The Good Wife turned up the heat in tonight's jam-packed hour, Revenge added another branch to the Grayson family three. And we've got all the best moments fromThe Walking Dead, Girls and more! But be warned… There are spoilers ahead! The Good Wife: What better way to welcome back The Good Wife than with a steamy Cary and Kalinda sex scene? That's right, after all this time we final got to see the duo in between the sheets and it was pretty much the hottest thing we've ever seen. (And so made up for their off-screen hookup last season.) Especially when »
Exhale: Lessons from the 2013-2014 Oscars season
A week ago the 86th Academy Awards wrapped up what was one of the closest Best Picture races in history. An awards season full of unexpected distractions, pretenders and results came to an end. Many in Hollywood could finally take a deep breath and exhale. No matter how long you've covered the game there is always something to learn over the course of a season. Here are a few lessons that have been percolating in the back of my mind, something to take into account as we (eventually) segue into the next Oscars campaign. And yes, it's really not that far away. Never doubt the Academy's resolve to do the right thing This past weekend I randomly caught up with two Oscar voters who volunteered that they voted for "Gravity" (although they did expect a "12 Years a Slave" outcome). It was a reminder that the vote was likely still as close as we thought, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Resurrection Debuts on ABC: Weigh in on the Series Premiere Now
Did I really die? That questions is at the center of ABC's highly anticipated new drama Resurrection, which finally debuted on Sunday night. Starring Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven and Samaire Armstrong, ABC's latest series centers on the small town of Arcadia, Missouri, and its inhabitants whose lives are completely turned upside down when their loved ones start returning from the dead. The first of the walking dead (Sorry, couldn't resist!) we meet? 8-year-old Jacob (Landon Giminez), who wakes up mysteriously in China. The catch? He, along with his aunt Barbara, died 32 years ago, but he still looks eight. Creepy? Yes. Entertaining? Double yes. The pilot »
TV Review: ‘Lindsay’
Own has sought to surround “Lindsay” – its docu-series devoted to Lindsay Lohan – with a patina of seriousness and quality, from touting the involvement of director Amy Rice (“By The People: The Election of Barack Obama”) to preceding it with a showcase in which the channel’s namesake interviews Russell Brand about addiction. But seriously, who’s fooling whom? In the best Hollywood tradition, the Oprah Winfrey-Discovery network and the tabloid-plagued actress are using each other, the irony being that if Lohan stays on the straight and narrow, she’ll yield a show as boring as Sunday’s not-screened-in-advance premiere.
Frankly, one appreciates Lohan’s efforts to stay clean and sober. But it shouldn’t come as a newsflash to anyone – starting with Oprah – that the dramatic needs of reality TV and straightening out her life are mutually exclusive.
The show picks up last August, right after Lohan has finished her sixth stint in rehab. »
- Brian Lowry
Watch the Trailer for HBO's The Normal Heart
Maybe it's wrong to immediately compare the new teaser trailer for HBO's The Normal Heart, based on Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play, with Dallas Buyers Club based on the subject matter alone, but what if we just compare the "compassionate female doctor" roles? From the looks of things, they should have gone ahead and cast Julia Roberts in both productions. Hindsight is always 20/20. Meanwhile Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer look like they're going to jerk the tears right out of our ducts. »
- Halle Kiefer
SXSW Film Review: ‘Two Step’
A slow-burn thriller with rich Texas flavor, “Two Step” reps a promising feature debut for writer-director Alex R. Johnson. This character-driven picture takes its time marinating in quiet conversations and Austin atmosphere, making the sudden jolts of violence all the more shocking when they land. The combination of low budget, unconventional approach and solid but largely unknown cast will likely limit the pic’s theatrical engagements to niche play, but a cult following could be in the offing, and crime-movie aficionados will want to seek it out on any available platform.
There’s already something haunted about reserved college student James (Skyy Moore) when we meet him on the way to visit his elderly grandmother. He’s barely set foot in her house before she passes away, leaving him everything she has, including the modest home. With nowhere else to go and no friends in the area — he hails from El Paso, »
- Geoff Berkshire
Dorothy Wang, Morgan Stewart and the Other #RichKids of Beverly Hills Get a Rude Awakening in NYC—See the Full Recap!
Wouldn't it be the life to have all of these clothing options to choose from? In Sunday's brand-new #RichKids of Beverly Hills, Morgan Stewart and Dorothy Wang hire a personal stylist to come in and help them choose a bangin' look for Morgan's big event coming up. Morgan owns a website called boobsandloubs.com and it's really taking off. She's inviting a bunch of people to the release party and she needs to look good. Which pair would you choose? Morgan and Dorothy can't decide, so they do the only thing that's logical. Morgan finally finds an outfit she likes and she looks great! She compares the outfit to looking like a Kennedy but no one else »
SXSW Review: 'Obvious Child' Succeeds Admirably as an Abortion Rom-Com
Last year, Lake Bell’s wonderful “In a World” stuck to the conventional tenets of a romantic comedy while featuring the feminist theme of a woman trying to make it in the sexist industry of trailer voiceovers. This year, Gillian Robespierre’s equally winning “Obvious Child,” screening as part of SXSW's Festival Favorites program, similarly sticks to the rom-com arc while throwing in a gutsy curveball: The film’s main woman and man fall in love while getting an abortion.That main woman would be Donna (Jenny Slate, charismatic and funny as hell), a twentysomething stand-up comedian, who cracks jokes about her Jewish looks, flatulence and daily panty stains at a small Brooklyn dive bar. She’s been dumped by her boyfriend, and is pickling in break-up booze when she meets Max (Jake Lacy), a straight-arrow business student wearing the decidedly non-Brooklyn attire of a crisp button-up and boat shoes. »
- Beth Hanna
SXSW Episodic: Previewing Supernatural Chiller 'Penny Dreadful'
One of the more inspired aspects of this year’s SXSW is the newly added Episodic program, a showcase previewing yet-to-debut TV series. Episodic original content has clearly been undergoing a revolution. Indeed, the conversations surrounding small-screen content often eclipse what’s being said about big-screen fare. While, say, Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” and Sean Durkin’s “Southcliffe” debuted as one-offs in the festival world, expect this new sort of collective programming to catch on -- and fast -- at other major fests.I took a break from scouring the admittedly underwhelming narrative competition film program to check out the first hour-long installment of Showtime’s supernatural period chiller “Penny Dreadful,” starring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and former 007 Timothy Dalton.Executive produced by Sam Mendes, all eight episodes are written by “Skyfall” scribe John Logan. (This finds similarity with the “True Detective” model of auteur-oriented series creation; that. »
- Beth Hanna
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