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Weekend Preview: 'Deadpool' Targets #1 Opening Over 'How to Be Single' & 'Zoolander 2'
It's President's Day weekend, and last year it was the R-rated Fifty Shades of Grey dominating all things box office with a record-smashing $85.1 million opening that bumped up to $93 million for the four-day. This weekend brings a different kind of R-rated heat to the box office in the form of the superhero feature Deadpool, which won't likely top Fifty Shades' record, but that doesn't mean it isn't looking to perform in a big way. Additional new releases include the romantic comedy How to be Single and the fifteen-years later sequel, Zoolander 2, both of which will battle for a distant second. Arriving in a big way this weekend, Fox's Deadpool will hit 3,558 theaters with its sights set on settling among the top ranks of R-rated comic book adaptation opening weekends. The list is currently topped by 2007's 300 with $70.8 million, followed by 2009's Watchmen with $55.2 million. The film is looking at »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
Paramount Pictures Set To Release Diesel's 'xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage'
It was jointly announced today that the new Revolution Studios, Roth Kirschenbaum Films and Vin Diesel’s One Race Films will produce, and Paramount Pictures will distribute worldwide, the next film in the blockbuster “xXx” franchise. Producer and star Vin Diesel will reprise his iconic role as an extreme athlete-turned-superspy in the sequel, “xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage.”
The film is shooting in Toronto, with additional filming in the Dominican Republic.
The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to »
- Kellvin Chavez
Michael Pena Adds Voice to Oscar Diversity Controversy
Asked if it would change anything, Pena said: “I think it’s going to make a difference because there’s a dialogue now and we are all talking about it. I think it’ll change.”
After Pena’s “War on Everyone” co-star Alexander Skarsgard said “those are like champagne problems,” Pena added: “There are 20 actors nominated and they are all white, so… I can’t point to one performance and say: that guy or that girl should have been nominated, but systemically, yeah, I think it is a problem that there is not more diversity, and that there are not more great characters in movies and television for people who aren’t white.”
- Leo Barraclough
‘The Big Bang Theory’ Valentine’s Day Episode Drops a Big Bombshell (Spoilers)
Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched Thursday’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” titled “The Valentino Submergence.”
It’s Valentine’s Day, and the gang is ready to ring in the holiday in style — but their celebrations don’t go exactly according to plan.
Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) have a romantic dinner planned at a restaurant, but the maitre d informs them they have to wait an hour for their table. He resists their attempts at bribery and flirtation, even calling her — gasp — “ma’am.” They’re desperate to prove they’re still young and fun.
Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Howard (Simon Helberg) hope to break in their new hot tub, but discover what they think is a rat flopping around. It turns out to be a rabbit, which they start trying to care for.
Raj (Kunal Nayyar) decides to break up with »
- Debra Birnbaum
Will 'Thor 3' Kill Off a Another Major Marvel Character?
As we get closer and closer to a summer production start on Thor: Ragnarok, rumors have been flying about what may happen in this highly-anticipated sequel. Last month, an unconfirmed report revealed that Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett has signed on to play the main villain, Hela, who will shake things up for the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Asgard. Today we have yet another unconfirmed report from Latino Review, which claims that a beloved character may be killed off in this sequel. There will be potential Spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
Last month's report claimed that Hela, who, in the Marvel Comics, is the ruler of Hel and the realm of Niflheim, will be portrayed very closely to the comics, with Hela donning a cloak and wielding power over the undead in all Nine Realms. The report also claimed that Hela will join forces with Loki, »
Candice Bergen Says Her Date with Donald Trump Was 'Short' - but She Does Remember His Burgundy Limo
Candice Bergen could have been a Trump. "We had a blind date in college," the actress told People at the American Songbook Gala Thursday evening in New York City about her brief encounter with Donald Trump. For Bergen, 70, the sparks just didn't fly. "It was a very short evening," Bergen said. Trump revealed last August that he had asked Bergen out when they were both attending the prestigious Wharton School of Business. And she still doesn't feel much of a connection to the Republican presidential hopeful. Bergen told reporters that she is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. "I have no memory of it, »
- Maggie Parker
‘Outlander’ Sets April Premiere On Starz, Unveils Teaser Art
We knew that Outlander was set to return in April, and now we have a date. Starz has annnounced that the 13-episode sophomore season of its hit original series will premiere at 9 Pm Saturday, April 9. In addition, the premium cabler released a first look at its teaser art (see above) featuring Outlander couple Claire Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) on the steps of Versailles. Instead of swords and guns, they're armed with political savvy… »
Taylor Swift Warned Kanye West of ‘Strong Misogynistic Message’ in Song Calling Her a ‘Bitch’
Just one day after Kanye West gave 18,000 fans the first listen to his new album at a fashion event in New York, he’s already defending his work — specifically, one song mentioning “that bitch” Taylor Swift. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? Because I made that bitch famous,” the rapper says on “Life of Pablo” track “Famous.” West said Friday that the slur was actually meant as an “endearing term,” and Swift “gave her blessings,” but the pop star’s spokesperson has said otherwise. Also Read: Pharma Exec Martin Shkreli Offers $10 Million to Keep Kanye. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
George Clooney’s ‘Suburbicon’ Nears Deals with Paramount
George Clooney is one of the hottest properties at the Berlin Film Festival. After starring in opening night film “Hail, Caesar!,” Clooney is seeing his next directorial effort “Suburbicon” fast gathering traction.
Paramount Pictures is nearing a deal with CAA for the film’s U.S. distribution rights, Variety has confirmed.
Meanwhile, at Berlin, sales agency Bloom is expected to be closing deals in major international territories over the next few days.
At the beginning of the month, Black Bear Pictures confirmed that it will finance the comedic drama, which was written by “Hail, Caesar!” directing pair Joel and Ethan Coen early in their careers but never made it to the screen. As Clooney told Variety recently, he’d sifted through dozens of scripts, looking for his next project, when he was reminded of the old screenplay and asked the Coen brothers for permission to finally adapt the story. When a home invasion turns deadly, »
- Patrick Frater
‘House of Cards’ Trailer Campaigns for Viewers in South Carolina
Netflix is hoping to capitalize on the public’s interest in the tightening race for the White House by opening a faux campaign office for Frank Underwood, the commander-in-chief on “House of Cards.”
Netflix has set the Underwood ’16 campaign headquarters in Greenville, S.C., which happens to be the home state of the scheming politician played by Kevin Spacey.
In the real-life presidential campaign, the focus has shifted to the Feb. 20 Republican primary vote in South Carolina as a test for Donald Trump and the rest of the Gop pack among voters with very different demographics than those in Iowa and New Hampshire — the two states that have already logged caucus and primary votes, respectively. Democrats in South Carolina go to the polls on Feb. 27.
Netflix’s Underwood campaign headquarters will be open Friday and Saturday, offering food, swag and photo ops. Netflix also released a new trailer for the »
- Variety Staff
Berlin Film Review: ‘Hedi’
A week before his marriage, a young man with no gumption meets a free-spirited woman who makes him feel alive in tyro helmer Mohamed Ben Attia’s adept and absorbing drama “Hedi.” Different audiences will have different takeaways: Those unacquainted with Tunisian current events will appreciate an intimate relationship film with characters they can cotton to, while others will spot not just the nation’s economic plight, but also pre- and post-Revolution parallels in terms of people numbly doing as they’ve always been told vs. those breaking free from expectation. Tunisian cinema is on a roll this season, and “Hedi” has the maturity (together with the Berlinale placement and the Dardenne brothers attached as co-producers) to successfully work the arthouse niche internationally.
Hedi (Majd Mastoura) is the very picture of a man listlessly treading the path laid out for him. He works for Peugeot selling cars to companies, but »
- Jay Weissberg
Watch: ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Cast, Creator on What’s Ahead (Spoilers)
Spoiler warning: This story contains spoilers for the Feb. 11 episode of ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.”
It was all Viola’s idea.
Thursday’s episode of “How to Get Away with Murder,” titled “What Happened to You, Annalise?” was another raw, revealing episode that saw Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) at her most vulnerable — glamour-free as she recovered from her gunshot wound.
Showrunner and creator Pete Nowalk revealed that the episode was Davis’ concept, from start to finish, in a panel discussion held at the recent aTVfest, hosted by Scad (Savannah College of Art & Design).
Praising his collaborative working relationship with his star, who has won multiple awards for the role, including a recent SAG Award, Nowalk said, “She actually came up with this episode idea, beat by beat, and I wanted to kiss her every step of the way. Because as a creator, you’re exhausted all »
- Debra Birnbaum
Three more 'Transformers' movies are coming in 2017, 2018, and 2019
Good news for fans of Michael Bay and the Transformers franchise: you're getting at least three more films, and Paramount just announced the release dates! Transformers 5, which will probably get a wordier title at some point, will come out on June 23, 2017. If that date sounds familiar to you, it might be because Wonder Woman is supposed to open on the same day, until and unless Warner Bros. blinks and reschedules it. Transformers 5 will again be directed by Michael Bay and star Mark Wahlberg. Transformers 6 will come out about a year later, on June 8, 2018. That date had already been set aside for another Warner Bros. film, Godzilla 2. And Transformers 7 is set for release on June 28, 2019. No word yet on who will star or direct those films, but maybe by 2018, Shia Labeouf will be willing to star in big action movies again and big action movies will be willing to cast him. »
- Sara Morrison
Box Office: ‘Deadpool’ Scores Killer Record on Thursday Night
The film grossed $12.7 million at 2,975 locations during screenings that started at 7 p.m., setting a record for Thursday night preview openings for an R-rated film. It topped the $10.4 million set by “The Hangover Part II” in 2011.
Fox’s “Deadpool,” a comic book adaptation about a wise-cracking mercenary, is on track to haul as much as $70 million over the four-day President’s Weekend at 3,558 locations. Fox has been pegging a debut between $60 million to $65 million.
“Deadpool” could enjoy the second-biggest President’s Weekend launch in history, behind only “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” $93 million debut a year ago. The movie began winning over fans last summer at Comic-Con with footage of the prolifically profane superhero and the breaking of the fourth wall.
Fox has promoted “Deadpool” extensively, stressing its comic elements with taglines such as “Wait Til You Get a Load of Me. »
- Dave McNary
‘Deadpool’ Launches With Record $12.7 Million at Thursday Box Office
“Deadpool” started off the weekend with a whopping $12.7 million haul from Thursday night screenings, breaking two records of the largest February preview ever, as well as the largest R-rated Thursday preview ever. That puts Fox’s R-rated superhero flick starring Ryan Reynolds on track to open to over $70 million. The movie co-starring Morena Baccarin and Ed Skrein was initially tracking for $35 million, but Fox’s stellar marketing campaign and positive word of mouth after a surprise screening boosted its estimates, some experts saying it could reach $80 million this weekend. Also Read: Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool' Destroys Records in Overseas Box Office Debut “Deadpool, »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Emily Blunt Saddles Up for ‘My Little Pony’ Movie
Emily Blunt will lend her voice to the upcoming “My Little Pony” movie, Hasbro and Lionsgate announced Friday. It is not known at this time what Blunt’s character will be exactly, but she will be a new character. She joins previously announced voice stars Kristin Chenoweth, Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck, Andrea Libman, Tabitha St. Germain and Ashleigh Ball. The film is currently set for global theatrical release on November 3, 2017 with Jayson Theissen directing and Hasbro executives Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis as producers. It is being produced by Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures with Lionsgate distributing and marketing the film globally, »
- Joe Otterson
TV Review: ‘The New Yorker Presents’
Although the term “news magazine” has been used on television for decades, those primetime hours don’t really approximate magazines, and tend to contain less and less news. Enter “The New Yorker Presents,” an Amazon series that replicates elements of the magazine. Yet, despite the involvement of documentary ace Alex Gibney, the effort comes across as a trifle dull — like “CBS Sunday Morning” on sleeping pills, or an NPR morning show without any coffee. For Conde Nast, the promotional platform makes tons of sense. But based on a sampling, this show seems unlikely to be the talk of the town.
Clearly, a lot of attention has been put into translating the flavor of the magazine to television, down to specific signature elements. That includes using cartoons (animated, to the extent that we see them being drawn) as interstitial pieces; incorporating short scripted films featuring the likes of Paul Giamatti; and having writers read their essays, »
- Brian Lowry
Russell Simmons Responds to #OscarsSoWhite by Creating His Own Awards Show
"In 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made, and what stars get chosen," Simmons said. "This needs to be addressed institutionally. The All Def Movie Awards are not the Black Oscars but they could be. This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated." In addition to the usual Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director awards, the cheeky program — to be emceed by Tony Rock, younger brother of Oscar host Chris — includes categories like Best Bad Muh Fucka, Best Helpful White Person, and Best Black Survivor, all following a glamorous Black Carpet. Fans can vote online for Most Quoted Movie and Best Picture, the nominees for which are "Beasts of No Nation," "Chi-Raq," "Concussion," "Creed," "Dope" and "Straight »
- Matt Brennan
Susan Sarandon Says Piers Morgan Is ‘Milking’ #CleavageGate (Video)
Susan Sarandon thinks Piers Morgan is “milking” the #CleavageGate controversy he found himself embroiled in after criticizing the actress’ outfit at the SAG Awards The Oscar winner appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Thursday and was wondering why the former CNN host was still talking about it on Twitter. “Does have a job? A real job?” Sarandon asked. “Why does he have so much time? I don’t think his mother nursed him. I hate to say he’s milking this situation.” Also Read: Susan Sarandon Responds to Piers Morgan's Criticism of Her Cleavage With More Cleavage »
- Joe Otterson
Daisy Ridley’s ‘Eagle Huntress’ Picked up by Celluloid Dreams
Celluloid Dreams has picked up international sales rights to “The Eagle Huntress,” the hit Sundance documentary executive produced by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” star Daisy Ridley and Morgan Spurlock.
Paris-based Celluloid will represent global rights outside North America, , Latin America, Germany, Australia/New Zealand, Scandinavia and Asia.
The film is directed by Otto Bell. It had its premiere last month at the Sundance Film Festival.
It portrays the true story of a 13 year old Mongolian girl who is seeking to become the first eagle huntress in more than 2,000 years of male dominated history.
“‘The Eagle Huntress’ was our big Sundance discovery,” said Celluloid president Hengameh Panahi. ” The film represents everything a modern family adventure needs: an unforgettable female role model hero, an engaging story and captivating visuals.”
- Patrick Frater
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