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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Tops Weak Labor Day Box Office, Summer Stumbles to Close
Hollywood didn’t have much to celebrate this Labor Day. The holiday is traditionally a slow one at the box office, and this one was no exception, providing one final death rattle on a summer that was largely D.O.A.
In its fifth week of release, “Guardians of the Galaxy” prevailed over two modestly budgeted newcomers, “November Man” and “As Above, So Below,” to hold on to the top spot on domestic box office charts with $22.2 million over the four-day holiday. Its domestic total now stands at $280 million and the film will likely hit $300 million stateside by the time it ends its run.
“‘Guardians’ is just rolling right now,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “It’s unconventional, it shatters expectations and there’s a real story to it.”
For the major studios, back to school time represents a reprieve. The summer box office »
- Brent Lang
Venice: Frances McDormand Receives Visionary Award
The world's oldest film festival paid tribute to actress Frances McDormand on Monday. The Oscar-winning star of Fargo received the Venice Film Festival's Persol Tribute to Visionary honor at a gala ceremony attended by McDormand and her husband, and frequent collaborator, director Joel Coen. Also in attendance were Richard Jenkins, McDormand's co-star in the new four-part HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, and the series' director, Lisa Cholodenko. Venice festival director Alberto Barbera noted it was exactly 30 years ago that McDormand made her feature-film debut in Coen's Blood Simple. Barbera praised the actress for her portrayal of
- Scott Roxborough
Internet grinds to halt as nude pics of Jennifer Lawrence, others surface
While the rest of the nation enjoyed a long, leisurely Labor Day weekend, basking in those fleeting final days of summer, life on the Internet ground to a halt because: Jennifer Lawrence naked. The Oscar-winning actress was the highest profile target of a massive hacking campaign, which the Telegraph reports accessed her Apple iCloud account, where pics from her phone were presumably backed up. (Somewhere, the producers of Sex Tape are shouting, “We tried to warn you! The public ignored us!”)
Various reports say nearly 60 photos of Lawrence in various stages of undress circulated after a hacker posted them to 4chan, »
- Kyle Ryan
‘Force Majeure’ to Rep Sweden in Foreign-Language Oscar Race
The fourth feature from director-writer Ostlund, “Force Majeure” will be playing at the Toronto and Chicago film festivals. Repped by Coproduction Office, pic has also been an international sales hit picked up in 40 countries. Magnolia Pictures will distribute it in the U.S. on Oct. 24.
See Also: ‘Force Majeure’ review.
As part of its Stateside release, Magnolia will orchestrate a retrospective of Ruben Ostlund’s career at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis before embarking on a three-month tour of North America.
The retrospective is produced by Comeback Co. in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute and Plattform Produktion, with additional support from the Embassy of Sweden in the U.S. and the »
- Elsa Keslassy
Hugh Jackman on The River, Zumba, and His Ice Bucket Challenge
To the world, he’s Wolverine; to New Yorkers, he may always be the singing, dancing, blindingly high-wattage musical star of The Boy From Oz and his one-man show Back on Broadway. This fall, though, he’s in a lower-key theater role, playing a character known simply as the Man in The River, a tightly coiled one-act (about fly-fishing, no less) by Jerusalem playwright Jez Butterworth. He spoke with Vulture from the set of Pan.I just watched you doing the Ice Bucket Challenge with the entire cast of Pan. It was in the middle of a barren field and very dramatic.Yes. Really cold field, let me tell you. Rooney Mara was almost blue, I think. We’re shooting in Cardington, which is in Bedford just north of London. I must start off by telling you — we have done Zumba together before.Oh, you’re kidding me. That’s right, »
- Rebecca Milzoff
9 Things Revealed by Lifetime's 'Saved by the Bell' Movie
Lifetime achieved the best and worst possible results with "The Unauthorized 'Saved by the Bell' Story," a TV movie that premiered last night: It wasn't exactly a cringe-inducing retelling of Dustin Diamond's memoir about his time as Screech on "Saved by the Bell," but it wasn't titillating or scandalous either. The movie had the stench of looming legal ramifications, as if the producers were terrified of Tiffani(-Amber) Thiessen and Mario Lopez arriving with defamation suits at any moment. (That makes sense considering the original memoir contains its fair share of serious accusations.) Subsequently, the only cast member with any dirt to spill was Diamond, whose woes were still pretty mundane as depicted. In other words: We weren't so excited or so scared, and we needed a few hundred caffeine pills just to stay awake during this damn movie. But we did pick up a few interesting »
- Louis Virtel
TV Review: ‘The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story’
So it turns out “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” is really just Lifetime for “Sharknado.” The network opted not to screen the movie in advance, presumably assuming the nostalgia/live-tweeting factor would only be undermined by the realization this wasn’t so much a movie as a music montage interrupted by reenactments from a mediocre but improbably long-running ‘90s Saturday-morning show. Told primarily from the perspective of Dustin Diamond (who doubles as a producer), the project explores the age-old insecurities of young actors and challenges of sudden stardom, but in such a tedious, empty way the bell couldn’t come soon enough.
Diamond’s memoir about the show (which he later disavowed) was said to have provided only partial inspiration for this account, but since Diamond (as played by Sam Kindseth) narrates the movie, periodically breaks the fourth wall to address the camera and generally guides us through this not-so-magical history tour, »
- Brian Lowry
'Bachelor in Paradise' Recap: One Guy vs. Three Women
One guy got the opposite of a heartfelt sendoff on tonight's second-to-last episode of Bachelor in Paradise. Following last week's extra sketchy episode, this week's began far tamer, with Marcus and Lacy's cute cave date. On it, we learned that Lacy doesn't know the difference between stalactites and, uh, "stalag-lights"? Lacy told Marcus that she's falling in love with him, which at least is a step forward, even if her feelings don't appear to be quite as strong as his. Brooks arrived, who was last seen having a tearful chat with Desiree on her Bachelorette season last
- Ryan Gajewski
China Box Office: Monkeys Do The Business as ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Rules Supreme
Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes scored a chest-thumping $47 million in its opening weekend in China, putting it firmly at the top of the box office rankings in the world’s second biggest film market. The sequel notched up 141,124 screenings and 7.36 million admissions during the week that ended Sept.1, data from research group Entgroup showed. The Entgroup box office figure at $45.13 million was slightly lower than the studio figure. The movie has been a massive performer for 20th Century Fox, having made more than $600 million at the global
- Clifford Coonan
Hey, New York Times ‘Vows’ Section: Who Cares If ‘The Bride is Keeping Her Name'?
It was a lazy weekend, so I was reading the New York Times Vows section in more detail than usual. “Tracy Weiler and Kev Davenport were married Saturday at Wahill farm in Batesville, Indiana” went a feature with a cute photo of the couple in a Jeep. “The Rev. David A. Johnson, a minister of the United Church of Christ, officiated at a ceremony led by Ryan Lympus, a friend of the couple.” “Ms. Weiler, 31, is keeping her name.” Huh? I thought. That's a weird thing to note. Then I turned the page and read the next feature. Same deal in the. »
- Sharon Waxman
'Imitation Game' wins the festival and 7 other takeaways from Telluride 2014
Telluride — The 41st Annual Telluride Film Festival is over, and as noted by HitFix's own Kris Tapley, it has provided an important awards season kickoff for films such as "Birdman," "The Imitation Game," "Wild," "Rosewater" and "Foxcatcher." Even with the recent star power of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Telluride has been able to hang on to its singular charms as a non-red carpet, low-key, cinephile event (even if there were two new Canadian journalists on hand to check everything out and report back to the motherland). (Kidding.) (Maybe.) Yes, much to the chagrin of the Telluride organizers, the Tiff vs. Telluride (vs. Venice) story just won't go away. Even festival regulars who have attended for decades gossiped about how they couldn't believe how much press the story had gotten. Happily, it wasn't the only takeaway from another beautiful festival in the Colorado mountains. 'The Imitation Game' is »
- Gregory Ellwood
Busan Festival: Competition Stretches From ‘Sex Appeal’ to ‘Sunrise’
Hong Kong – Busan’s New Currents competition has a strong track record of discovering new Asian directorial talent.
This year’s selection is kept at 12 titles, hailing from 10 countries or territories. Organizers have picked two each from Iran and – inevitably – South Korea. But they also point to the inclusion of films from Lebanon and Bangladesh for the first time.
Unusually, there is only one from South East Asia, Meriquina by Filipino director Milo Soqueco.
Early standouts appear to be “(Sex) Appeal,” from Taiwan and “Sunrise” from India.
Directed by “(Sex) Appeal” Wang Wei-ming (“Love At 7-11”), the film a high tension drama based on real events involving a woman music student who accuses a man of rape, but does not provide physical evidence. With a high profile cast including Vivian Hsu, Amber Kuo and Leon Dai, the film was previously shopped at the 2013 edition of Busan’s project market. »
- Patrick Frater
Haruki Murakami Is Releasing a New Book
Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood,The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84) will come out with a new book in December: a slender, 96-page work called The Strange Library. The book was originally published in Japanese back in 2008, but the English-language version will feature original, specially-designed text and illustrations. The book tells the story of a young boy taken hostage in a library by an old man, who forces him to memorize a number of books with the intention of eating his brain to absorb the information. The boy then plots his escape with the help of a girl and a doughnut-making man dressed as a sheep. In a press release, Knopf chairman and Eic Sonny Mehta called the book "as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written." »
- Anna Silman
11 Times Lifetime's Saved By the Bell Movie Ruined Our Childhood
It's been 25 years in the making, and it's finally here: Lifetime's Unauthorized Saved By the Bell movie aired tonight, and we spent two full hours of our Labor Day subjecting ourselves to it. Was it good? No. Was it bad? That's a harder question to answer, but only because 'yes' has more letters in it than 'no,' and typing is hard after all the cookies we've eaten today. We will say, however, that we enjoyed watching it immensely, and that enjoyment was only mostly due to the excellent music (Oh hey, Bell Biv DeVoe). The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story told the scandalous tale of everything that apparently went on behind the scenes over the course of four seasons, from »
Busan Festival Selection Puts Emphasis on Greater China
Seoul – This year’s Busan International Film Festival has set Taiwanese director Chen-Zer ‘Doze’ Niu’s “Paradise in Service” as its opening film.
Putting the emphasis strongly on Greater China, the South Korean festival (Oct. 3-11, 2014) will close with “Gangster Pay Day,” a Hong Kong comedy actioner directed by Lee Po-Cheung.
“Paradise” is a romantic drama about a group of people trapped on an island in the 1960s preparing for a war that may never happen. While location scouting for the picture, Niu was formally indicted for breaking Taiwan’s military laws by bringing his mainland Chinese cinematographer Cao Yu into a restricted naval area.
Two of the festival’s four gala presentations also hail from the Chinese-speaking world: Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” which had its debut in Cannes in May, and the previously announced “The Golden Era” by Ann Hui.
Other galas go to veteran Korean helmer Im Kwon-taek’s “Revivre, »
- Nemo Kim
The FBI and Apple Are Investigating the Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Hack
Jennifer Lawrence has been in contact with authorities after nude photos of her and a number of other female celebrities, including Ariana Grande, Kate Upton and Victoria Justice, were leaked on 4chan yesterday. The authenticity of all the images could not be verified, although Lawrence's rep has confirmed that it is her featured in the photos. "This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence,” said Lawrence’s spokeswoman Liz Mahoney on Monday. Likewise, Kate Upton's lawyer said in a statement: “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.” Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead spoke out against the hacking on Twitter (and has since announced that she was going on an "Internet break »
- Anna Silman
Newly Single Britney Spears Ready for a "Hot Guy," Supports Jamie Lynn Spears at Los Angeles County Fair
Britney Spears is newly single and ready to mingle! The "Womanizer" singer got another sold-out crowd dancing and singing Sunday night in Las Vegas. But it wasn't before she opened up about her recent breakup with boyfriend David Lucado. "Well, by now everyone knows my boyfriend cheated on me," she reportedly said during her show. "But the best part of breaking up is going on first dates." She added, "Omg, Omg, I need a hot guy. Where are the hot guys here tonight?" That's the spirit, Brit! Just last week, Spears announced that she broke up with Lucado. They were first romantically linked in February 2013. "Ahhhh the single »
Carrie Underwood Is Pregnant
Carrie Underwood announced on Monday that she is expecting her first child along with her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher. The American Idol alum shared the news via Twitter, posting a photo of her two dogs with the caption “In honor of ‘Labor’ Day…Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier!” Congrats Carrie! »
- Anna Silman
China Box Office: ‘Apes’ Demonstrates Natural Selection
Hong Kong – “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” swung straight to the top of the Chinese box office this weekend, taking more than a 50% market share.
With a wide release of over 7,000 screens it amassed $45.1 million over the weekend from Friday to Sunday (Aug. 29-31), according to data from local researcher Entgroup.
“How To Train Your Dragon 2,” last week’s winner, saw earnings plummet 50% to $11.9 million and the picture drop to third place, on an 18 day cumulative score of $63.2 million.
That left Hong Kong-China martial arts epic “The Four 3” unchanged in second place with a strong hold. Weekend takings were $113.3 million, down just 19%. That gives it a 10 day cumulative of $30.1 million.
Hong Kong real estate comedy “Temporary Family” also held up well, also shedding only 19% as it dropped from third to fourth place. Weekend takings were $6.91 million, for an 11 day cumulative of $15.7 million.
Franco-Belgian animation, “Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants »
- Patrick Frater
Cronenberg's Cannes Winner 'Maps to the Stars' Takes Focus World Route, Skips Oscars
Julianne Moore can kiss goodbye to any hopes she was nursing for an Oscar campaign for David Cronenberg's Cannes Best Actress winner "Maps to the Stars," which is set to play Toronto and New York festivals. Canadian distributor eOne was going to distribute the film stateside, but it has now sold U.S. rights not to Universal specialty distributor Focus Features--the arm that would handle an Oscar effort--but Focus World, their digital distribution arm, which plans an early 2015 release. The entertaining satire of Hollywood boasts a strong cast including Cronenberg fave Rob Pattinson, who canoodles on screen with both an anxiety-ridden movie star (Moore) and the troubled daughter (Mia Wasikowska) of psychotherapist/coach to the stars (John Cusack) and his wife (Olivia Williams), who manages his son's career. Ordinarily you would expect this to have a strong theatrical release, but this kind of movie does well on VOD, »
- Anne Thompson
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