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Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Rules Lackluster Labor Day

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

Guardians of the Galaxy” became the year’s highest grossing U.S. release this weekend, goosing an otherwise drab Labor Day box office.

The Marvel film topped the domestic charts for the third time and benefited from crowds hoping to stretch out the waning days of summer, grossing $16.3 million over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday period and pushing its U.S. total to $274.6 million. It will likely end the four-day holiday with $21.2 million in Stateside ticket sales from 3,462 locations.

That easily tops a pair of new wide releases, “November Man” and “As Above, So Below,” which brought in $7.7 million and $8.3 million respectively — modest numbers for modest to low budgeted films with much to be modest about.

It also bested a trip down memory lane, to a different time, when blockbuster films could be based on — gasp! — an original idea, instead of just comic books, toy lines and the flotsam and jetsam of “brand pre-awareness. »


- Brent Lang

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‘Birdman’ and ‘Foxcatcher’ Leave Telluride Audiences Blissed Out and Bowled Over

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

Alejandro González Iñárritu's “Birdman” had first earned its wings with a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival a few days earlier, but the director has a particular love for the Telluride Film Festival, bringing his much-anticipated film to a fest he attends even when he doesn't have a movie to show. Introducing the American premiere of “Birdman” in Telluride on Saturday night, Iñárritu gushed that the festival “always feels like a Disneyland for adults. It's a weekend in paradise. If heaven has a form for cinephiles, it would be Telluride.” It turns out Iñárritu can give back as good as he. »


- Chris Willman

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‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Rises to No. 1 in China

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

Caesar crossed the Rubicon and headed straight for China this weekend, as “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” topped the foreign box office.

The post-apocalyptic thriller hasn’t snagged first place on the overseas charts since the end of July, but it was able to recapture the crown on the strength of its People’s Republic debut. The film took in $51.2 million from 29 territories, with $47 million of that coming from China.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” now commands a worldwide total of $613.4 million, roughly $130 million more than its predecessor, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” made during its entire global run. It has two more openings on the books; Japan and Venezuela in September.

Sliding in at number two was “Lucy.” The Scarlett Johansson thriller racked up $31.2 million to bring its global haul to $269.4 million. This weekend it surpassed “The Fifth Element” and its $263.9 million total »


- Brent Lang

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Digital Domain Remains on the Sick List

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

Hong Kong — Visual effects group Digital Domain does not look much healthier than it did a year ago, when it was given a back door share listing in Hong Kong.

The VFX businesses were largely responsible for pushing the listed company, previously called Sun Innovation, and now renamed Digital Domain Holdings, into the red.

Ddh announced a loss of Hk$58.2 million (Us$7.51 million) for the six months to June 30, on revenues of Hk$429 million (Us$55.4 million).

A stock market filing revealed that while the group’s scrap metal and property businesses edged ahead, the Digital Domain VFX businesses incurred losses of Hk$41.2 million (Us$5.32 million) on revenues of Hk$253 million (Us$32.6 million).

Finance costs relating to the acquisition of Digital Domain in July 2013 pulled the group down by a further Hk$20 million (Us$2.58 million).

The VFX unit figures included amortization of intangible assets worth Hk$30.5 million (Us$3.94 million) and a »


- Patrick Frater

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Watch the Skies over Madagascar Darken with a Swarm of Locusts (Video)

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

Things seem to have gotten Biblical in Madagascar. As evident from this video, shot by Sylvain Lathuy in the capital city of Antananarivo on Aug. 28, there are swarms of locusts darkening the skies over the capital - driven there, say news reports, by a heat wave that unsettled the bugs out of their usual rural environs. The country has endured three successive years of locust swarms, which have wreaked havoc with the African nation's farmers - the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has stepped in, but to no avail. At risk is the food security of more than 13 million people, »


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North Korea Calls Upcoming U.K. Series a 'Slanderous Farce'

1 hour ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

North Korea has criticized a planned British TV drama show about its nuclear weapons program as a “slanderous farce” and charged the U.K. government with supporting it. Channel 4 last month announced the project, dubbed Opposite Number, for which the U.K. broadcaster said it would look for a foreign co-production partner. The series is set to feature, among other characters, a British nuclear scientist who gets captured in North Korea and is forced to help the country's nuclear program. British and U.S. agents in the country race against the clock amid a global nuclear crisis, according

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- Georg Szalai

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Todd English, Celebrity Chef, Arrested for Dwi in the Hamptons

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

Celebrity chef Todd English, who has opened restaurants around the country and written multiple cookbooks, was arrested Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, authorities said. Police in Southampton, New York, said English, 54, was arrested Sunday morning on a county road on Long Island. He made a court appearance later in the day, and authorities said he posted $1,500 bail. The New York Post reported that cops said that the arrest took place at around 3:30 a.m., with English at the wheel of a 2011 Buick when he was pulled over for drifting out of his lane near the historic Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. »


- Associated Press

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Todd English, Celebrity Chef, Arrested for Dwi in the Hamptons

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

Celebrity chef Todd English, who has opened restaurants around the country and written multiple cookbooks, was arrested Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, authorities said. Police in Southampton, New York, said English, 54, was arrested Sunday morning on a county road on Long Island. He made a court appearance later in the day, and authorities said he posted $1,500 bail. The New York Post reported that cops said that the arrest took place at around 3:30 a.m., with English at the wheel of a 2011 Buick when he was pulled over for drifting out of his lane near the historic Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. »


- Associated Press

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'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Book of Mormon' Star Ben Platt on Cabaret, Magic and Meryl Streep

1 hour ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Ben Platt is not your average twentysomething — well, twenty-year-old. He hasn’t even added a "something" yet, and he already has a more robust resume than those many "somethings" his senior. While his contemporaries are off at college, playing beer pong and pledging fraternities (or a cappella groups), Platt is juggling: he's playing lovable Star-Wars-and-magic-obsessed Benji Applebaum in the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2, and once again headlining Book of Mormon on Broadway as Elder Cunningham. And as if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Platt wrote a one-man cabaret show, which he'll

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- Suzy Evans

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James Brown Biopic ‘Get on Up’ To Open Zurich Festival

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

Paris– Zurich Film Festival will open with James Brown biopic “Get on Up,” helmer Tate Taylor’s follow up to Oscar-winning “The Help.”

Taylor, Chadwick Boseman, who plays Brown, and Octavia Spencer, who stars as the singer’s aunt, will be in Zurich to attend the premiere.

The film chronicles Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to his status as a superstar of the music industry and Godfather of Soul.

Taylor is familiar with Zurich, having presented there “The Help” in 2011, ahead of its Oscar win.

The cast of “Get on Up” is completed by Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis and Lennie James. It was produced by Brian Grazer and Rolling Stones’ lead singer Mick Jagger.

Pic will be distributed in French-speaking Switzerland on Sept. 26, and in German-speaking Switzerland on Oct. 9. Universal released it on Aug. 1 in the U.S., where it has so far grossed over $29.5 million.

As previously announced, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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History's 'Houdini': What the Critics Are Saying

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

History Channel's magical miniseries Houdini begins tonight, starring Adrien Brody as the death-defying escape artist in a TV event that traces the arc of Houdini's life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame. The Lionsgate/A&E Studios four-hour event also stars Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) as Bess, Harry Houdini's stage assistant and wife. Oscar nominee Uli Edel directed the project, adapted by Nicholas Meyer from the 1976 book Houdini: A Mind in Chains: A Psychoanalytic Portrait (written by his father, Bernard C. Meyer). Read what top critics are saying about Houdini: The Hollywood Reporter's TV critic Allison Keene, in her review, calls it

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- Ashley Lee

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Lars Von Trier Set To Direct English-Language TV Skein

3 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Twenty years after creating Danish hit mini-series “The Kingdom,” Lars von Trier (“Nymphomaniac”) will head back into TV with “The House That Jack Built,” an English language series.

The TV project was unveiled by Zentropa producer Louise Vesth during the press conference for “Nymphomaniac Volume 2 – Director’s Cut” (pictured above) at Venice.

Von Trier is expected to start writing the script this fall. The plot of the series and cast have yet to be unveiled.

Sold by TrustNordisk, the show will be produced by Vesth. Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Zentropa’s founder and von Trier’s longtime producer, will exec produce . The series will be developed in association with Denmarks Radio and executive producer Piv Bernth.

Aalbæk Jensen is looking to build anticipation for the series, claiming “it will be a TV series without precedent.”

Zentropa will be casting high-profile talent for “The House,” which is due to start lensing in 2016.

“The Kingdom, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Japan Box Office: 'Lucy' Opens in Third as 'Doraemon' Stays Top

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

Tokyo – Stand by Me Doraemon spent its fourth weekend atop the box office, with manga adaptation Lupin III bowing in second with $4.3 million (¥444 million), while Luc Besson's Lucy opened with $1.9 million (¥200 million) from 205 screens. Stand by Me Doraemon, the first film in the long-running series to use 3D CG, has now taken $55.6 million (¥5.8 billion). The series of adventures of a "cat-type robot" from the future, based on a massively popular manga, overtook Godzilla last year to become the most watched in Japanese cinema history, with more

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- Gavin J. Blair

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'Olive Kitteridge': Venice Review

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

Venice – Hollywood studios are no longer in the business of making minor-key contemplations of life, marriage and family like Olive Kitteridge, which turns out to be an excellent thing for Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 novel. While not all the book’s 13 interconnected stories and throng of characters are covered, the tone is captured and the essential elements given ample breathing space in this emotionally satisfying, funny-sad four-part HBO miniseries. Produced by Tom HanksPlaytone banner, it’s directed with an impeccable balance of sensitivity and humor by Lisa Cholodenko and expertly adapted by Jane Anderson.

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- David Rooney

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James Brown Biopic ‘Get On Up’ to Open Zurich

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

London — Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic “Get On Up” will open the Zurich Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Taylor and Chadwick Boseman, who plays the singer, will be in Zurich to attend the premiere.

The film, which follows the soul musician’s rise from poverty to stardom, also stars Octavia Spencer. The cast also includes Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis and Lennie James.

Taylor previously attended the fest with “The Help,” which was the closing film in 2011.

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- Leo Barraclough

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'X Factor' U.K. Loses Steam Ahead of BBC Clash

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

After a stronger season launch on Saturday night, Simon Cowell's The X Factor U.K. on ITV on Sunday lost ratings steam ahead of a key showdown with BBC ballroom dance hit Strictly Come Dancing. Sunday night's second episode of the 11th season of X Factor averaged 8.2 million viewers, down by 1.7 million from the year-ago episode, according to overnight data. It was also down from the audience of 9.5 million viewers on Saturday, which ranked as the show's best season debut since 2011 amid Cowell's return as a judge. Some say the boost may

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- Georg Szalai

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Soccer Kicks Hong Kong Box Office Into Summer Slump

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

Hong Kong — Theatrical box in Hong Kong took a summer snooze.

Revenues fell 19% to Hk$312 million (Us$40.2 million) in the 1 July to 31 Aug. period according to data suppliers, Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association and the Hong Kong Theatres Association.

While that slump matches — and slightly exceeds — the summer blues encountered at the North American box office, the soccer World Cup was the biggest single factor in Hong Kong according to the Mpia and Hkta. Many spectators instead tuned in to the football available on TV and in bars and clubs.

For the year to date, Hong Kong’s box office remains slightly ahead of last year. The data shows gross theatrical revenue in the territory at Hk$1.168 billion (Us$150 million), 2% up on the Hk$1.150 billion (Us$148 million) in the first eight months of last year.

Seven of the top ten places in the summer period went to English-language movies, »


- Patrick Frater

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Venice Film Festival Diary: 'Black Souls,' "Heaven Knows What,' "Goodnight Mommy'

4 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The dark days of Venice continue. It’s not easy starting your morning with a film called “Black Souls” but someone has to do it. Italian director Francisco Munzi’s tale of a Calabrian family embroiled in the mafia gave me a stomach ache, partly because of the sense of dread it successfully exported from the opening shot, and partly because it never quite achieves what it seems to be going for. Luigi and Rocco Carbone are two middle-aged brothers running a mob business in Milan. Luigi (Marco Leonardi) is your typically good-looking, fun-loving tough guy, a sort of Calabrian Sonny Corleone. The lean, bespectacled Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) runs the business side and aspires to normality and respectability, with a pretty northern wife (Barbora Bobulova) and young daughter. The odd man out is their elder brother Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), who has remained on the Calabrian hilltop farm, raising goats, and »


- Tom Christie

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Yellow Bird Execs Launch Scandi Shingle Good Company Films

4 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Paris– As Scandinavia’s film and TV industry gets more competitive and continues to consolidate, four topnotch Scandi producers have joined forces to launch Copenhagen-based shingle, Good Company Films.

Led by Vibeke Windelov, Stinna Lassen, Anni Fernandez and Ole Sondberg, “Good Company Films” will deliver fiction TV and films for the Danish and international markets, developing talent and content for new distribution platforms.

The company’s first slate includes an adaptation of Lene Kaaberbol’s popular fantasy novels, a psychological thriller directed by up-and-comer Milad Alami and a political mini series based on real events.

“Scandinavian film has during the past years enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, and it is our mission to continue strengthening this position. For us this means working closely with creatives, investing in new talent and focusing on developing first class content for future distribution platforms,” said the producers in a joint statement.

Sondberg and »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Stars Respond to Leaked Photo Hacking Scandal

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

In response to what has been described as the biggest celebrity hacking scandal in history, Hollywood stars who have seen private photos of themselves leaked online have turned to social media to express their outrage. Over 100 mostly female celebrities featured on a list posted Sunday by a user of the website 4chan alongside claims that they had found personal photographs or videos. Since then, images purporting to be of the stars – including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton - have been circulating online, believed to be obtained following an iCloud security leak enabling the hacker to

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- Alex Ritman

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