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Box Office: ‘The Hobbit’ Rules Them All With $90.6 Million

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

Moviegoers helped Peter Jackson bid farewell to Middle Earth in style, pushing “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to $90.6 million over its first five days in theaters.

The franchise finale debuted Wednesday on 3,875 locations and easily trumped tracking which had predicted a debut in the $70 million range. For its inaugural three-day weekend, the fantasy adventure earned $56.2 million.

“There have been six visits to Middle Earth and this is the final one and it became so important for people to come out to see this in a big way,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president. “The action was there and Peter made a fabulous movie.”

This “Hobbit” faced stiffer competition than the previous installments in the form of two major family releases, “Annie” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.” Previous Jackson films, such as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Desolation of Smaug, »


- Brent Lang

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Dr. Evil Returns on ‘SNL’ to Talk Sony and North Korea

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

SNL” veteran Mike Myers returned to the show on Saturday as Dr. Evil to mock North Korea’s cyber war with Sony Pictures.

The Austin Powers nemesis, appearing in the show’s opening sketch, ripped everyone from the hackers (“There’s already a Gop and they’re already an evil organization”) to Sony, who, according to Dr. Evil “hasn’t had a hit since the Walkman.”

He also poked fun of “The Interview.”

“Come on, Sony, you think it’s a joke to have James Franco assassinate Kim Jong-un,” he asked. “The man singlehandedly almost killed the Oscars.”

Or he said of his last movie, “If you really want to put a bomb in theaters, do what I did — put in The Love Guru.”

»


- Variety Staff

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President Obama Insists Sony Hack Is ‘Cyber Vandalism,’ Not ‘Act of War’ (Video)

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

President Barack Obama doesn’t think North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment is “an act of war,” but he certainly considers it a brazen crime.

“I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive,” the President said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley. “We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately, as I said,” he added.

Mr. Obama also repeated his criticism of Sony for deciding not to release “The Interview” in theaters.

“I was pretty sympathetic to the fact that »


- Anita Bennett

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Elton John and David Furnish Get Married

6 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Longtime partners Elton John and David Furnish have tied the knot. They got a civil partnership back in 2005, and when England changed the law in March to allow gay couples to wed, they said they would do so. "For this legislation to come through is joyous, and we should celebrate it," John told BBC News. "We shouldn't just say, 'Oh, well we have a civil partnership. We're not going to bother to get married'. We will get married." And get married they did! The couple made it official at their Windsor estate in Berkshire on Sunday with a number of celebrities in attendance including Victoria and David Beckham, Ed Sheeran, and David Walliams. Their sons, Zachary and David were there, and yes, so too was Instagram. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Jessica Simpson Shows Off Her Toned Legs on Instagram (Photos)

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

Jessica Simpson can get back into those Daisy Dukes any day now. The 34-year-old took to Instagram on Saturday to flaunt her ridiculously toned legs during a holiday photo shoot. In two different sexy photos, Simpson posed on her knees, then stood with her arms up in the air showing off a little black dress with fringed sleeves - but, again, all we can look at are those gams! Earlier this year, Simpson opened up about her recent weight loss, which she attributed to a Weight Watchers diet plan and sessions with celebrity fitness trainer Harley Pasternak. And if you're »


- Nicole Sands

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Sony Lawyer Says ‘The Interview’ ‘Will be Distributed’

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

The Interview” will see the light of day, according to Sony lawyer David Boies.

Boies appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday and claimed that Sony’s controversial comedy “The Interview” “will be distributed.” How it will be distributed, however, he admitted is unclear right now.

“Sony only delayed this,” Boies told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet. But it’s going to be distributed.”

On Wednesday, the same day Sony pulled the Christmas Day theatrical release of “The Interview,” the studio said it has “no further release plans” for the comedy, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a duo attempting to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On Friday, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said Sony “immediately »


- Alex Stedman

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The Hobbit Takes Over the Weekend Box Office

32 minutes ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Though The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies didn't surpass the first film's $100.2 million haul, but it still took the top spot at the box office, with $56.2 million for a five-day total of $90 million. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb marked a low for the series, bringing in $17.3 million over the weekend. Meanwhile, Annie did almost just as well while playing in almost 400 fewer theaters with $16.3 million. Otherwise, last week's box office winner Exodus fell a cursed 66.6% to bring in just $8 million. The Hunger Games meanwhile stuck around the top five with $7.7 million bringing its total to $289.2 million. It now sits in second on the 2014 list behind Guardians of the Galaxy, which leads with $332.6 million. Meanwhile, Top Five had a rougher second week as it expanded slightly, bringing in just $3.6 million. Reese Witherspoon's Oscar »


- E. Alex Jung

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Josh Duhamel and Fergie Celebrate Game Day With the Cutest Pictures of Baby Axl—Take a Look!

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

Sunday football just got a whole lot cuter thanks to one young fan! As Fergie and Josh Duhamel cheered on their favorite teams—the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings, respectively—the proud parents couldn't help but show off their bundle of joy! "This is what happens when daddy's team plays mommy's team," the Black Eyed Peas singer tweeted Sunday afternoon with a picture of baby Axl. "GoFins! #sundayfootball @MiamiDolphins @Vikings @joshduhamel" Their growing boy sported a Dolphins T-shirt. Duhamel, however, got the better deal as Axl also rocked Vikings pants and a jacket. "Mom thinks I'm rooting for the Dolphins," Duhamel later tweeted. »


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Santa's Elves Are Delivering Puppies to Children for Christmas This Year (Video)

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

We've teamed up with one of our favorite sites, BarkPost, to bring you and your four-legged friends even more adorable pet videos, photos and must-see stories. Check back every week for new furry fun from BarkPost!Santa Paws won't be the only one making special deliveries this holiday season. The Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia will be delivering adopted dogs to their new homes on Christmas and Christmas Eve. And they'll be doing it dressed as Santa Paws's helper elves. The shelter recently made a video showing the delivery of shelter pup Jackson to the lucky children of this Virginia home. »

- BarkPost

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Sony Lawyer: 'The Interview' Will Be Distributed

48 minutes ago | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Sony has taken a lot of heat for their decision to withdraw The Interview from its December 25th theatrical release, with even President Barack Obama calling the move to appease hackers "a mistake." Following the criticism, Sony Pictures is now insisting The Interview will be distributed in some capacity.

Speaking to Meet the Press Sunday, Sony lawyer David Boies said The Interview is only being "delayed," a major turnaround from their previous statement that they have "no further release plans" for the North Korea-baiting film. "Sony only delayed this," Boies said, »


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Woman Gives Fast Food Employee $10,000 Coat (Video)

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

Cheryl Semien is a cashier at Whataburger in Liberty, Texas. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, she was working at 10 a.m., which is kind of a shame, because it was her birthday. When a customer came into the drive-thru at Semien's Whataburger wearing a mink coat, Semien casually complimented her, telling her she thought her coat was beautiful. "She was a perfect stranger. I didn't know this lady from nowhere," Semien told ABC affiliate Ktrk. "I didn't see her come through my drive-thru window as long as I've been at Whataburger, for nine years." The woman's response to Semien's compliment? She took »

- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

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Kris Jenner Spotted "Dirty Dancing" With Boyfriend Corey Gamble at Lance Bass and Michael Turchin's Wedding

1 hour ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

If there's one thing we can promise you, it's the fact that Lance Bass and Michael Turchin's weekend wedding was nothing short of a party. As E! cameras rolled during the couple's beautiful ceremony, it turns out plenty of famous guests were also having quite the special night. E! News can confirm Kris Jenner and boyfriend Corey Gamble were in attendance and let's just say love was in the air. The twosome was "dirty dancing for a minute," an eyewitness told E! News. Photographs also showed the couple holding hands and all smiles as they supported Bass' marriage. Other famous faces at the wedding included Christina Applegate, Carmen Electra, Real Housewives of Beverly »


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Horror in Brooklyn: Families Mourn Police Officers Killed by Gunman Seeking Revenge

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

Those closest to the police officers fatally shot Saturday in what authorities are calling a revenge killing are expressing their sorrow and loss. Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were killed Saturday afternoon by gunman Ismaiiyl Brinsley, 28, who committed suicide in a subway station soon after the attack, according to authorities. He had stated online that he planned to kill officers because of the recent deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Both died in police custody. Ralph Castillo, a teaching pastor with the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, where Ramos attended for 14 years and served as usher, »


- Alicia C. Dennis, @aliciacdennis

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Horror in Brooklyn: Families Mourn Police Officers Killed by Gunman Seeking Revenge

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

Those closest to the police officers fatally shot Saturday in what authorities are calling a revenge killing are expressing their sorrow and loss. Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were killed Saturday afternoon by gunman Ismaiiyl Brinsley, 28, who committed suicide in a subway station soon after the attack, according to authorities. He had stated online that he planned to kill officers because of the recent deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Both died in police custody. Ralph Castillo, a teaching pastor with the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, where Ramos attended for 14 years and served as usher, »


- Alicia C. Dennis, @aliciacdennis

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Top Ten Takeaways: 'Hobbit' Finale Leads a Limp Christmas Roster

1 hour ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The individual results -- all leading toward a big Christmas Day bump on Thursday -- are just adequate. The cumulative take once again shows a shortfall from a year ago. This weekend of Hollywood's Christmas offerings continues the dispiriting 2014 trend of box office shortfalls, with a drop of 9% in the Top Ten (less as you go deeper into the list due to specialized film performances). It's going to be a weak end to the year. We'll preview the year-end box office below, figuring in the consequences of Sony pulling "The Interview" and a lackluster Christmas Day line-up. This order may change by Monday. Also supporting the overall box office is out-of-left field Bollywood release "P.K.," which grossed $3.5 million in only 272 theaters. The Top Ten 1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner Bros.) New - Cinemascore: A-; Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 59; est. budget: $250 million (1/3 of total project cost) $56,200,000 in 3,875 theaters; PSA (per screen. »


- Tom Brueggemann

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‘The Hobbit’ Passes $350 Million at Global Box Office

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” bested all comers at the foreign box office this weekend, charging to the top of the charts with $105.5 million.

The Middle Earth finale has racked up $355.6 million worldwide since it began its foreign rollout last week. Of note, the film opened in first place in South Korea with $10.4 million, it became Spain’s biggest opening of the year with $6.3 million and was the top grossing film in Italy with $5.6 million.

“The Hobbit” also showed impressive endurance in territories where it opened last week such as the United Kingdom and Germany where it pulled in $8 million and $12.4 million, respectively.

“The Hobbit” enjoyed most of the plunder, but a few other films managed to snag some riches of their own. Chinese satire “Gone With Bullets” scored second place honors. The send-up of a 1920s beauty pageant scored $36 million.

Bollywood comedy “P.K.” was the third highest-grossing foreign title, »


- Brent Lang

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Lauren Scruggs and Jason Kennedy: Inside Their Wedding

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

Lauren Scruggs never dreamed she could be this happy. In 2011, the former model and blogger, 26, made headlines when, in a freak accident, she walked into an airplane propeller during a trip to see Christmas lights in her home city of Dallas. The incident left her without a hand and an eye, but Scruggs, a devout Christian, became an inspiration to others who face adversity. On Dec. 13 that story took a happy turn: Scruggs wed E! News co-host Jason Kennedy, 33, in a glittering affair planned by Todd Fiscus at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas in her hometown. »


- Jennifer Garcia, @JenGarciaAllen

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'Hobbit' Emerges Victorious in Final Box Office 'Battle'

2 hours ago | Box Office Mojo | See recent BoxOfficeMojo.com news »

Moviegoers stormed theaters this weekend to spend "one last time" in Middle Earth.Including Wednesday and Thursday ticket sales, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has already earned over $90 million, which puts it on track to ultimately surpass its predecessor (The Desolation of Smaug).Meanwhile, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie (2014) opened at essentially the same level; that's quite good for the moderately-budgeted musical, but not-so-great for the big-budget fantasy sequel.Over the three-day weekend, the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy dominated with an estimated $56.2 million. That's the lowest opening weekend in the franchise so far, though it's also the first and only movie to open on a Wednesday.A better comparison can be drawn to the Lord of the Rings movies, all of which opened on a Wednesday. The movie's $90.6 million five-day total is 11 percent lower than The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers »


- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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North Korea Says Us Behind ‘The Interview,’ Threatens to ‘Blow Up’ White House

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

North Korea on Sunday threatened to blow up “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole mainland” if President Obama retaliates for the Sony Pictures cyber attack.

The U.S. government “conceived and produced” the movie “The Interview” along with Sony, the government charged in a statement carried on the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction,” the statement said.” Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.

Also Read: Sony »


- Todd Cunningham

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10 Things We Learned From ‘Walking Dead’ Star Norman Reedus’ Reddit Ama

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

Norman Reedus, “The Walking Dead’s” wildly popular Daryl Dixon, participated in a Reddit Ama Sunday from New York City where the actor currently resides.

Answering a wide range of questions, the 45-year-old fan favorite, revealed that he will soon be directing a video for Los Angeles-based blues garage rockers The Bots, that he will be flying to Japan on Christmas Day and that the saddest episode of “The Walking Dead” to film was this season’s mid-finale.

Oh, and also the trees in his Georgia backyard are covered in arrows due to his playing with a compound bow.

Also »


- Pamela Chelin

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