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Box Office: 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' storms to $24.5 million first day

3 hours ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Moviegoers won't be able to see "The Interview" this holiday season, but they will have lots of Middle Earth on their hands.  Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" opened on Wednesday and is expected to dominate the box office for the rest of the year. The last installment of the "Hobbit" trilogy brought in $24.5 million on over 3,800 screens on its first day. That's down from the $31.1 million the previous chapter, "The Desolation of Smaug," earned last year and the $37.1 million "An Unexpected Journey" found in 2012. That being said, both those films opened on a Friday.  Comparatively, the "Hobbit's" total actually makes it the third best December Wednesday debut ever behind "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."  "Battle of the Five Armies" will face competition on Friday when Sony Pictures' "Annie" and 20th »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Sony Has ‘No Further Release Plans’ for ‘The Interview’

22 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sony has decided against releasing “The Interview” in any form — including VOD or DVD.

“Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film,” a spokesman said Wednesday.

The studio issued the statement a few hours after pulling the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview” in response to the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers if the comedy were released.


- Dave McNary

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Sarah Silverman to Star in HBO Comedy Pilot

6 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sarah Silverman is returning to HBO. A year after the premium cable network passed on People in New Jersey, HBO has picked up an untitled comedy starring the comedian-actress, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The untitled comedy is described as a comedic look at a pathologically honest woman (Silverman) having a modern midlife crisis.  Silverman will star and executive produce the comedy. Secret Diary of a Call Girl's Lucy Prebble will pen the script and exec produce alongside Silverman, Ash Atalla (Trollied, Cuckoo) Silverman's manager Amy Zvi and Dan Hine (Cuckoo). See more 40 Years of HBO The

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- Lesley Goldberg

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John McCain Rips Sony ‘Interview’ Cancellation As ‘Troubling Precedent’

7 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Arizona Sen. John McCain ripped Sony Pictures Entertainment on Thursday for creating a “troubling precedent” in cancelling the release of  “The Interview.”

“Recently reported intelligence findings that North Korea directed cyber-attacks at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Pictures’ decision to cancel the release of an upcoming movie in reaction to those cyber-attacks, are profoundly troubling,” said McCain in a statement.

“By effectively yielding to aggressive acts of cyber-terrorism by North Korea, that decision sets a troubling precedent that will only empower and embolden bad actors to use cyber as an offensive weapon even more aggressively in the future.” he added. »

- Ira Teinowitz

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Boston Uber Driver Charged with Raping and Kidnapping a Passenger

30 minutes ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

A Boston man who works as a driver for Uber was arraigned Wednesday on several charges in connection with a sexual assault. Alejandro Done, 46, has been charged with rape, kidnapping and other charges for allegedly strangling and sexually assaulting a woman after picking her up in Boston and presenting himself as an Uber driver, according to a statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. "This alleged predator took advantage of a young woman who trusted that he was who he portrayed himself to be and exploited her vulnerability once he had her in his car," Ryan said in the statement. »

- Caitlin Keating, @caitkeating

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Amy Pascal Apologizes, Vows to Work with Urban League on Diversity

32 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal spent Thursday trying to mend more fences, this time by taking a meeting with top civil rights leaders.

National Urban League CEO Marc Morial came away from a 90-minute sit down with the studio chief convinced that she means what she says and is committed to trying to improve diversity in the movie business.

“When people stumble they can learn from the stumble,” said Morial. “While in many respects it shouldn’t take a stumble. In this case, it presents a great opportunity.”

Pascal ignited a firestorm of controversy last week after racially charged jokes she made in an email exchange with producer Scott Rudin about President Obama’s favorite movies, focusing on movies mainly made by and starring African-Americans, leaked online. Pascal later apologized for her remarks.

“She expressed regret and remorse and indicated the emails do not reflect who she was as a person, »

- Brent Lang

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Kalen Hollomon Makes Collages With 12 Famous Works of Art [Nsfw]

36 minutes ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

We’ve been longtime fans of artist Kalen Hollomon’s work. The art-school student, who lives in Chinatown, stumbled upon Instagram a couple of years ago, and has used the platform to experiment in ways that have lent him a sizable audience, even if he is wary of being categorized as being someone who works strictly within the medium of social media. Seen asked Hollomon to make a series of collages for us exclusively, one that riffed more on art (he’s been known to collaborate with more fashion-friendly magazines, like Vogue), but that used his same playful brushstrokes and sense of imagery. Of late, Instagram’s guidelines have been a topic of conversation in the art scene. Accounts have been deleted. Iconic or noteworthy paintings or photographs by famous artists have been taken down for nudity or other reasons. We asked Hollomon his thoughts on the matter: “I joined »

- Thessaly La Force

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Meet the Sundance Jury Members

38 minutes ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

And the the closing ceremony --which will be live-streamed on January 31--will be hosted by comedian Tig Notaro, whose documentary "Tig" will world premiere at the fest. The Short Film Awards will be announced on January 27 at Park City’s Jupiter Bowl. U.S. Documentary Jury Eugene Hernandez Eugene Hernandez is the deputy director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he leads strategy and operations for the institution, and is also the co-publisher of the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the official publication of the organization. He previously served as the director of digital strategy, where he oversaw all digital platforms and content. Prior to the Film Society, Hernandez co-founded Indiewire in 1996 and as editor-in-chief built the company over 14 years to become the leading online community and editorial publication for independent and international films and filmmakers. Additionally, he has worked extensively as a »

- Anne Thompson

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Rihanna Debuts (Another) Weird Hairstyle—See the Pics!

38 minutes ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Perhaps there's a reason her creative talents are being used on shoes instead of hair... Never one to stick with a hairstyle for long, Rihanna changed up her tresses yet again with a du jour 'do consisting of blunt, extra straight forehead bangs with sleek face-framing pieces and long wavy black hair (extensions, clearly). She showed off her hair makeover at the Trocadero gardens in Paris. The pop star's tousled mane is a drastic hairstyle-180 from her look earlier this week in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where she sported dramatic side-swept bangs and a classic femme fatale loose updo. Before that, Bad Girl RiRi styled an ultra sleek ponytail at her first annual Diamond Ball in Los Angeles last week. But »

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What's the One Group of Students Not Represented at Hogwarts? Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling offers a surprising answer

40 minutes ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

As she continues giving clues about Hogwarts through her 12 Days of Harry Potter Christmas bonus on Pottermore, J.K. Rowling has also been busy offering fans even more new tidbits about the school of witchcraft and wizardry. After confirming earlier this week that yes, there were Jewish students at Hogwarts - and not just Ravenclaw Anthony Goldstein, she clarified - Rowling followed up with another response to a fan's Tweet: Do Lgbt students attend as well? "It's safe to assume that Hogwarts had a variety of people and I like to think it's a safe place for Lgbt students," she Tweeted on Dec. »

- Michelle Tauber, @michelletauber

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Skip Lievsay to receive Motion Picture Sound Editors career achievement award

41 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Skip Lievsay will receive the Motion Pictures Sound Editors career achievement award at the 2015 Mpse Golden Reel Awards, the org announced today.

Over his 30-year career, Lievsay has worked on nearly 150 films, including frequent collaborations with directors Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, John Sayles and the Coen brothers, with whom he worked on “Inside Lleywn Davis” and has collaborated with since his sound editing debut in “Blood Simple.

In 2014, Lievsay received an Oscar for sound mixing for his work on “Gravity” with Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro. Lievsay has also received five Oscar nominations for his work on “Inside Lleywn Davis,” “True Grit,” and “No Country for Old Men.”

“Skip represents the pinnacle in artistry in motion picture sound,” said Mpse President Frank Morrone. “He has worked tirelessly to invent new and creative ways to use sound to advance directors’ visions, to tell stories and to entertain audiences. »

- Lisa Schulz

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'The View's' Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell Have Heated Debate About Racism

42 minutes ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A discussion about racism on Thursday's The View led to a heated debate, with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell both screaming during parts of the segment. During the show's Hot Topics section, the co-hosts addressed President and Michelle Obama's recent statements that they've been mistaken for the help. Read more Chris Rock Pens Blistering Essay on Hollywood's Race Problem: "It's a White Industry" But the discussion turned into whether instances like that are cases of racism or stupidity, with Goldberg and O'Donnell repeatedly raising their voices. With regard to the Obamas' comments, Rosie Perez and guest co-

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- Hilary Lewis

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Watch: First Look at Neil Patrick Harris in ‘American Horror Story’

43 minutes ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

It wasn’t too long ago when Neil Patrick Harris expressed his desire to be on “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” and now we have the first clip of him in action on the FX anthology.

In October, “Ahs” creator Ryan Murphy announced that the 2015 Oscar host would guest star on the show. The teaser with Harris’ character, who appears when the show returns in January, aired after Wednesday’s mid-season finale, showing Harris getting pretty creepy.

It was previously revealed that Harris will play a salesman in the last two episodes of the season, but he seems to be some sort of magician in the trailer. He’s shown charming Sarah Paulson’s two-headed Bette and Dot, and performs a particularly bloody magic trick on stage.

Harris’ husband, David Burtka, will also guest star in the season finale. The clip also revealed the return of Jamie Brewer, an “Ahs” alum. »

- Alex Stedman

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George R. R. Martin Is Pissed He Can’t Show The Interview at His Movie Theater

44 minutes ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is pretty upset about the whole Sony thing. So upset that he wrote about the cancellation of The Interview on his LiveJournal ("Current Mood: pissed off"): The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me.  It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made The Great Dictator.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes. And to protest Sony's decision, he was hoping to show Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America World Police at his movie theater in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau Cinema — an idea that a few independent theaters, including the Alamo Drafthouse, had suggested. So you can only imagine what happened after he discovered that the movie studio that owns Team America, Paramount, has no interest in having its film be screened: "The cowardice is contagious, it would appear, »

- Lindsey Weber

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' preview: The heart is a lonely bounty hunter

52 minutes ago | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Maybe we really are alone in the galaxy. The heroes and villains of Star Wars: The Force Awakens sure seem to be. The movie is unquestionably 2015's most anticipated film, and although we’ve only seen flashes of actual footage from next December’s journey into that other galaxy, it’s notable that director J.J. Abrams chose to introduce the story's new characters in moments of isolation and desperation. Consider John Boyega as Finn, the scared, sweaty Stormtrooper trying to make an escape in the desert. Or Daisy Ridley’s Rey, riding solo (no pun intended) in her Taser-shaped »

- Anthony Breznican

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide: New Moms

52 minutes ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

New moms deserve many things (a little more sleep, a moment to themselves and a really, really good foot massage, among others). This holiday season, you should give a mommy that you know something meaningful—whether it's for her or her little one. Don't know where to start? We've rounded up a sweet list of all things "aww" and "ohh" for new mothers and their babies. From chic wall art to rejuvenating bath sets and the most adorable in pint-sized clothing, we've essentially guaranteed that you'll make a new mom you know smile when she opens her gift. Bath and Body Set Heirloom Charm Bracelet Cashmere Booties The Complete Collection of Peter »

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Sundance: Edgar Wright, Cary Fukunaga, Winona Ryder to Serve as Jurors

54 minutes ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Directors Edgar Wright and Cary Fukunaga and actress Winona Ryder are among the jurors selected for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The trio will serve on the U.S. Dramatic jury, while screenwriter Jonathan Nolan and actress Brit Marling are part of the group that will award the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film prize for achievement of science in film. Read more Sundance: Premieres Lineup Courts Controversy The festival, which runs Jan. 22-Feb. 1, named the members of its six juries, which will award prizes at the annual indie film mecca held in Park City, Utah. Comedian Tig Notaro

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- Tatiana Siegel

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Did Beyoncé Pay for Solange's Honeymoon as an Apology for Jay Z Elevator Drama? Find Out!

59 minutes ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Well, here's one rumor we can safely put to rest.  A report recently surfaced claiming Beyoncé paid for her sister Solange's honeymoon in Brazil following the 28-year-old singer's nuptials last month to longtime love Alan Ferguson. The report went on to claim that Bey shelled out over $130,000 and alleged that the 33-year-old singer footed the bill for her younger sibling as a way to apologize for the drama that went down in May between Solange and Jay Z (you know, the infamous elevator fight).  However, a source tells E! News there's no truth to the rumors and insists that Solange and her hubby, who are both »

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How Five World Leaders Reacted to Hollywood’s Unflattering Depictions

1 hour ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

The great irony of the whole Sony-hacking fiasco is that Kim Jong-un is a noted fan of dumb action comedies. He would have loved watching The Interview at a palace sleepover with Dennis Rodman, if only it had been about killing someone else. Now that Sony has pulled the plug on the movie though, the world will never know his thoughts. Fortunately, that’s not true of the other times Hollywood produced unflattering depictions of living world leaders. We unearthed stories of five narcissistic heads of state who not only allowed Hollywood to release movies about them without issuing death threats but actually sat down and watched the films.Adolf Hitler and The Great DictatorThere are a lot of stories about Hitler and Charlie Chaplin’s film that make him look like a hapless idiot. Most agree that the German dictator, after banning the movie in occupied territories, had a »

- Adam K. Raymond

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Teresa and Joe Giudice Are Not Getting Divorced: Source

1 hour ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Despite rumors that Joe Giudice plans to file for divorce when his Real Housewives of New Jersey star wife Teresa begins her prison sentence in January, a source close to the couple tells People the talk is completely unfounded. "There's no truth to the rumors. It's not happening. They're not getting divorced," the source says. Another insider adds, "She and Joe are O.K. They have a really loving marriage and have been together a long time. She's known him for her entire life, and he's been a part of her family circle since she was a young child." Still, »

- K.C. Baker, @kcbaker77777

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