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Box Office: Zac Efron Trounced by Faith-Based Film ‘War Room’ on Thursday

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

Zac Efron’s “We Are Your Friends” was pummeled by the faith-based film “War Room” on Thursday night.

Sony’s Christian drama launched with $600,000 at 1,017 locations at Thursday preview screenings, while Warner Bros.’ DJ movie generated a mild $175,000.

We Are Your Friends” expands to 2,333 locations on Friday. It’s expected to take in about $9 million this weekend, while “War Room” has been forecast for a launch in the $5 million range. “War Room,” which is going out through Sony’s TriStar label, has been the leader in advance sales in recent days.

However, Universal’s “Straight Outta Compton” is set to top the box office for the third consecutive weekend with roughly $15 million.

The Weinstein Co.’s political thriller “No Escape,” which opened Wednesday with $1.2 million at 3,007 theaters and adds 343 locations Friday, should also gross about $9 million for the Friday-Sunday period.

We Are Your Friends” is firmly pegged at younger women, »

- Dave McNary

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‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Premiere Powers AMC Global to Record Ratings

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

After shattering all-time cable ratings record with its bow in the U.S. on AMC, “Fear the Walking Dead” has set more records with newly launched AMC Global’s worldwide debut of the zombie drama.

AMC Global was a top 10 network on Sunday in key regional markets across Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The program debuted worldwide simultaneously at 9 p.m. Et/Pt with repeats in local time zones during primetime. AMC will launch in the U.K. for the first time later this month.

Fear the Walking Dead” has already received a 15-episode order for a second season, which will air on AMC Global in 2016.

Looking at the international highlights, “Fear” quadrupled the network’s primetime audience in key Latin America markets and made AMC a top 10 entertainment network throughout the region. In Brazil, where the newly launched network has only 30% distribution, AMC was No. »

- Rick Kissell

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‘Borderlands’ Videogame Movie in Works at Lionsgate

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

Lionsgate is developing a tentpole movie based on the videogame “Borderlands,” with producers Avi and Ari Arad.

“Borderlands,” launched in 2009, is a role-playing first-person shooter videogame created and developed by Gearbox Software and published by Take-Two Interactive Software’s 2K label. More than 26 million copies of the game have been shipped worldwide, including 8 million during Take-Two’s 2015 fiscal year, which ended March 31.

The game is set on the frontier of a sci-fi universe — the planet of Pandora — which has been abandoned by a mega-corporation prior to the game events.

Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad have been involved in the creation of the film franchises for Iron Man, Spider Man, The Amazing Spider Man, X-Men, Ghost Rider and Blade.

Lionsgate made a major push last year into videogames when it named Nerdist Industries CEO Peter Levin as president of interactive ventures and games.

“Part of our strategy in entering »

- Dave McNary

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As a New The Girl With … Book Hits Shelves, Stieg Larsson’s Partner Continues to Fight for His Legacy

7 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

The tiny islet of Riddarholmen, home to a 13th-century church full of entombed Swedish royalty, is an oasis of dead calm in cosmopolitan Stockholm, an odd place to witness the relaunch of an international phenomenon. But it happens to host the headquarters of Norstedts, the publisher of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (80 million copies strong) and its new sequel, known Stateside as The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written posthumously by a different writer, David Lagercrantz. “We have had journalists all over the world to come and hear the story about Stieg Larsson and his books,” editor-in-chief Eva Gedin said at the start of Wednesday morning’s press conference. “Tourists have made pilgrimages to some of those places in which his books take place … It has been eleven years since we published the first book in Sweden, and we felt that the time was right for a continuation.” It »

- Boris Kachka

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Matt Damon Divulges New Details on the Next ‘Post-Snowden’ Bourne Film

8 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Matt Damon, who will soon appear onscreen as a badass botanist in Ridley Scott's The Martian, has revealed new details regarding his return to the Bourne universe. Damon hasn't played Bourne since 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum, and is coming back to the character after Jeremy Renner and Tony Gilroy's moderately successful Bourne Legacy. Speaking to BuzzFeed, Damon explained that part of the reason he stayed away was he was waiting for a geopolitical paradigm shift. "We always looked at those movies as really about the Bush presidency, and so we kind of had to wait for the world to change." He went on, "Without giving too much of it away, it’s Bourne through an austerity-riddled Europe and in a post-Snowden world. It seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy." The film, »

- Greg Cwik

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Nicole Scherzinger Joins Neil Patrick Harris’ ‘Best Time Ever’

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

Nicole Scherzinger, a singer who is a staple of British TV including a regular gig on “The X Factor UK,” has signed on to NBC’s “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.”

Harris tweeted a picture of the two on Friday and described Scherzinger as “the newest member of the team” and used the hashtag “sidekick.”

The newest member of Team @BestTimeEver: the talented and titillating Nicole Scherzinger! @nicolescherzy #sidekick pic.twitter.com/WZmZzWyvEx

Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) August 28, 2015

Scherzinger previously was a judge on Fox’s rendition of “The X Factor.”

“Best Time Ever” is an hourlong live comedy-variety series based on a British format, “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.” It’s set to premiere Sept. 15.


- Cynthia Littleton

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USA Cancels Freshman Drama ‘Complications’

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

USA has put an end to “Complications,” announcing it is not renewing the Matt Nix-created drama for another season.

The series, which premiered in June, stars Jason O’Mara as a suburban ER doctor who winds up killing a street gang member after he rushes to help the victim of a drive-by shooting. His life changes dramatically in the aftermath. Other cast members include Jessica Szohr, Beth Riesgraf and Lauren Stamile.

“Problematic in its depiction of dark-skinned bad guys,” Variety TV critic Brian Lowry wrote in his review,” The 10-episode season … conjures its share of tension, but feels increasingly strained, until it’s finally clear the patient can’t be saved.”

Complications” fared decently in its first season on USA, where it was paired with returning drama “Graceland.” It averaged a 0.52 rating in adults 18-49, a 0.66 rating in adults 25-54 and 1.9 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. »

- Whitney Friedlander

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Z for Zachariah Takes a Thrilling, Intimate Approach to Dystopia

48 minutes ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Face it, the Earth in its present form is surely doomed because of climate change or terrorists with nukes or unstoppable viruses or some combination of the above. Pick your poison, folks. But the flood of post-apocalyptic films doesn’t seem to be helping us change our ways. As Brad Bird’s messed-up but underestimated Tomorrowland argued, moviegoers have become positively turned on by visions of the planet’s demise. Culturally, we have learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.Even if you’re sick of end-of-the-world films, though, you might make an exception for Z for Zachariah, a delicately calibrated, pointedly unsensational triangle drama anchored by Chiwetel Ejiofor in a frighteningly complex performance. Adapted by Nissar Modi from Robert C. O'Brien’s widely read Ya novel (before we called them Ya novels), director Craig Zobel’s movie is psychologically richer than its source. It’s set a long »

- David Edelstein

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Steve Carell to Replace Bruce Willis in Woody Allen’s Next Film

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

Following the report Bruce Willis was forced to leave the production of Woody Allen’s next pic, Allen has moved quickly to find his replacement as sources tell Variety that Steve Carell will replace Willis in the pic.

Carell joins Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeannie Berlin, Corey Stoll, Ken Stott, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick and Paul Schneider in the cast, with Allen writing and directing.

The film is currently untitled and without distribution. As has been the case with several of Allen’s past films, Sony Classics is the front-runner to land the pic.

As always, plot details are under wraps, and the shoot is currently under way. Though an early report said Willis was forced to leave because of his commitment to “Misery” on Broadway, there remains some confusion surround his exit since the actor did appear on set before leaving the production. »

- Justin Kroll

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Director Alex Gibney Compares Steve Jobs to James Brown

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

Four years after his death, the fascination with Steve Jobs continues, this time through the lens of Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney in his latest documentary for Magnolia Pictures, “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine.”

“He was a little bit like James Brown in the sense that he was a great performer, but also a pretty good band leader,” Gibney said Thursday at an intimate screening of the film at Crosby Street Hotel. “He understood that he had to have a lot of talented people around him who really designed and engineered the products. That wasn’t Steve’s thing. Steve’s thing was to sell the products and also tell great stories about them. I think over time we imagine that he was the grand inventor. He wasn’t that at all.”

“There’s a darker side to Steve Jobs that we can’t forget about. The »

- Alexa Harrison

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Countdown to TheGrill: 5 Iconic MTV Vma Moments Thanks To Van Toffler

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The MTV Video Music Awards have been a cornerstone in pop culture since its debut in 1984 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Edgy, spirited and packing serious celebrity punch, the program is a magnet for buzzworthy moments that have people talking years later. The mastermind behind many of these memorable moments is former President of Viacom’s Music & Logo Group and upcoming speaker at TheGrill 2015, Van Toffler. Also Read: Countdown to TheGrill: 3 Questions with Van Toffler His nearly three decades at the helm of Viacom led him to oversee some of the most vibrant entertainment brands »

- Bryce Christian

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TV academy President Maury McIntyre dishes Emmy Awards, repeat winners [Exclusive Video]

1 hour ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

At Thursday's diversity-themed cocktail reception for Emmy nominees hosted by the TV academy, we chatted with TV Academy President Maury McIntyre about the new Emmy rule changes and the voters' penchant for repeat winners in various categories. Watch our revealing interview below. -Break- Click here to see the updated list of all 2015 Emmy episode submissions "One of the reasons behind the rule changes was we want more participation among the members," McIntyre tells Gold Derby editor Chris Beachum. "We saw a lot of small changes behind the scenes that kind of helped with that. And I think you saw the outcome of that with the new nominees we saw this year, with the very broad range of nominees you saw this year, and I think you may see that again with the winners." McIntyre even addresses the controversy that the Emmys simply reward the same performers year after year. "We've heard in the past it'. »

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Judge Joe Brown Begins Jail Sentence for Contempt of Court After 2014 Courtroom Outburst

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

The star of the Emmy-winning courtroom show Judge Joe Brown recently turned himself in to police to begin a five-day jail sentence for contempt of court. Joe Brown, whose series was canceled two years ago, was arrested and sentenced in 2014 for ranting at and getting into an argument with a magistrate during proceedings at a juvenile court in Memphis, Tennessee after learning the child support case he was litigating was not on the docket. After his sentencing, he filed an appeal over his contempt of court charges and lost this past March. Before the 68-year-old turned himself in, he stopped to thank supporters. The group held signs that read slogans such as »

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Discovery’s ‘How to Make Love to My Wife’ Schools Inadequate Husbands on Sex Toys (Exclusive Video)

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Married men who tune in to watch Discovery Life Channel’s latest special, “How to Make Love to My Wife,” will learn a few tips about shopping for sex toys — and how terrible Kathy Lawrence’s husband, Greg, is in bed. The cable channel’s one-hour special airing on Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. Et will document Greg’s struggle to give his wife an orgasm after discovering he has failed to do so during their last 20 years of marriage. “The hour follows the intrepid husband as he seeks out ways to expand his sexual arsenal and spice up his love life, »

- Tony Maglio

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Karrueche Tran's Booty Pic Drama: Chris Brown's Friend Posts Death Threat to Marques Houston for Commenting on Photo

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

This thirst trap was a hook, line and sinker. Karrueche Tran took to her Instagram yesterday to flaunt her enviable bod while soaking up the sun and ended up getting a lot more than some double taps and comments. The young model shared a snapshot of herself lying on her stomach while wearing a black thong bikini—yeah, basically a booty pic—and it definitely caught some attention. In fact, it even resulted in a death threat! Yeah, that's how much power the booty holds. Anyway, we digress... Tran's pal and Dinner With the Stankerchets co-star Marques Houston apparently commented on the photo, "dizayum look at all that booty, can't even see your face cuz that booty in the »

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Sassy Siri Is Back! This Is What Happens When You Ask Her About the New iPhone

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

Sassy Siri is back! And this time, she has more quips and even less time for your nonsense. Mashable noticed that when you try and ask Siri about the new iPhone with a simple "give me a hint," she goes on the defensive and kind of mocks the hell out of you. We get it; she doesn't want to be replaced with a newer, sexier, younger iPhone and she's just acting out. The digital servant that lives in your phone has feelings, too! Our favorite part about this particular Siri quirk is that she gives you more than one saucy response. She basically found about 10 different ways to say: "eff off and just wait until the Apple announcement on Sept. 9." Here are the five best ones she used to clap »

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The Weeknd Overreaches for Pop Grandeur on Beauty Behind the Madness

1 hour ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

In his new video for “Tell Your Friends,” Abel Tesfaye — better known as the Weeknd — buries a man alive against a desert horizon at dusk. As he finishes the job and strides through the desolate landscape in step with the song’s slurry, slow-motion pace (“Tell Your Friends” sounds, somehow, like if “Benny and the Jets” were a Drake song), the camera looks up at him from his feet, like he’s a larger-than-life antihero in a John Ford movie. At some point, another person approaches; Tesfaye draws his gun without effort and shoots them down. The video offers no narrative explanation as to why he does this — I guess we’re supposed to assume that he’s the kind of guy who’d shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die. “This ain’t the right time for you to fall in love with me,” Tesfaye will »

- Lindsay Zoladz

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MTV Vma predictions: Taylor Swift will tie record with eight wins, Bruno Mars will take two

1 hour ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Taylor Swift enters Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards with nine nominations, and according to the combined predictions of our Editors, Users and Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year's VMAs), she'll win a whopping eight of them. No artist has won that many since Lady Gaga swept with "Bad Romance" in 2010; in fact, that was the most VMAs ever won by a female artist in a single night (Peter Gabriel won 10 back in 1987 while a-ha earned eight in 1986). Are we overestimating Swift, or could she even make a clean sweep of all nine races? (Click here to view our complete predictions by category.) -Break- New Macklemore & Ryan Lewis video 'Downtown': Will it be a Vma & Grammy winner? The lion's share of her bids are for "Bad Blood," featuring Kendrick Lamar. That video is expected to prevail in all seven of its races: Video of the Year, »

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Going Clear Director Alex Gibney Thinks Journalists Should Ask Tom Cruise the Tough Questions About Scientology

1 hour ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

While Tom Cruise is pretty open when it comes to his lip-syncing skills and impressive stunts, when it comes to his involvement with the Church of Scientology his lips are sealed. During the press tour for Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation Cruise didn’t answer a single question about his involvement with the church, even though the documentary Going Clear, released just a few months earlier, made it evident Cruise was the religion's poster boy, regularly trotted out for big events. Crash director Paul Haggis, who defected from the church and appears in Going Clear, recently blasted reporters for not asking Cruise the tough questions. The film’s director, Alex Gibney, agrees:i think it’s an outrage that nobody’s asking questions, particularly because I know that Cruise’s publicists are going out and saying, if you want Tom on your show, you can’t ask him this. As journalists, where »

- Claire Landsbaum

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Kelly Clarkson's Daughter River Rose Gets "VIP All Access" to Mom's Show—See the Cute Pics!

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

Kelly Clarkson's No. 1 fan is also her cutest! Of course, we're talking about River Rose Blackstock! Kelly's 16-month-old daughter is having a blast on her pregnant mom's Piece by Piece tour. River Rose isn't just along for the ride, either—as Kelly puts it, "She's VIP all access y'all!" The 33-year-old mother of one (with another on the way) Instagrammed a sweet photo of her little superstar in some blinged-out headphones after her Phoenix show. River Rose is helping mom out behind-the-scenes, too. Earlier this week, Kelly Instagrammed a photo from her "Pre-show warm up with River"—and you know that pre-show moral support made the whole night better »

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