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Box Office: ‘American Sniper’ Sets Super Bowl Weekend Record With $31.8 Million

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

American Sniper” is nearing the $250 million mark after picking up $31.8 million to set a new Super Bowl weekend record.

The previous high-water mark for football’s big weekend was “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour,” which nabbed $31.2 million when it premiered in 2008.

If it continues on this torrid clip, Clint Eastwood’s biopic of Navy Seal Chris Kyle could challenge “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ as the highest-grossing 2014 release and will pass “The Matrix Reloaded” to become the second-biggest R-rated release in history. It has earned $248.9 million — an unbelievable result for an adult drama about such hard-hitting topics as war and its psychological effects.

“These are superhero movie numbers,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “People are hearing about this movie, talking about it and I imagine it’s leading them to see it multiple times to get to these type of numbers. »


- Brent Lang

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2015 Sundance Awards Live-Blog: 'The Witch' Takes Directing Award, 'Me and Earl' Wins Audience

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

Funny woman Tig Notaro has brought her droll comic stylings to Sundance to host the festival's 2015 awards, which are now underway. Stay tuned, and follow me on Twitter @ryanlattanzio, for updates. Us Dramatic juror Cary Fukunaga handed the Us Dramatic Directing Award to Robert Eggers, definitely nervous, for his detail-obsessed, masterful horror pic "The Witch." "The thing about this film was how collaborative it was... all of the producers and investors really supported what this film needed in order to make it as good as it needed to be, and I'm so honored." "Cartel Land"'s Matthew Heineman picked up the Us Documentary Directing Award, dedicating the prize to victims of "the senseless violence that has perpetuated in the drug wars in Mexico." The first-ever U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Editing went to "Dope," the sprawling, drug-addled teen comedy snapped up by Open Road and Sony early in the. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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'Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'Birdman' top 2015 Art Directors Guild Awards

17 hours ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

The Art Directors Guild handed out their 2015 awards and outside of a Marvel Studios win in the Fantasy Film category, there weren't many surprises. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," arguably the Oscar frontrunner, took home the Period Film honor. "Budapest's" studio stablemate "Birdman" won the Contemporary Film award and "Guardians of the Galaxy" beat out "Interstellar" and "Into the Woods" in the Fantasy Film category.   Notable TV winners included "Game of Thrones," "True Detective," "Silicon Valley" and the 86th Academy Awards. The night also featured Anne Hathaway presenting the Guild's Cinematic Imagery Award to Christopher Nolan and George Clooney handing Production Designer Jim Bissell ("E.T.," "300," "Good Night, and Good Luck.") the Lifetime Achievement Award.   Presenters on hand included Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Tony Hale ("Veep"), Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory") and Margo Martindale ("The Americans"). A complete list of all of »


- Gregory Ellwood

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‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′ Wins Annie Award for Animated Feature

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

It’s the Year of the dragon, as DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ took home the top prize at the  at the 42nd annual Annie Awards honoring the best in film and TV/broadcast animation for 2014. “Dragon” helmer Dean DeBlois nabbed directing honors at Saturday’s kudos, presented by Asifa-Hollywood at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus.

How to Train Your Dragon 2″ also picked up awards for feature character design (Fabio Lignini), storyboarding (Truong “Tron” Son Mai) and music (John Power, Jonsi).

While Dwa has bragging rights for the best animated feature, Disney came away with the most awards, nine for Disney Television Animation alone and 11 overall. Disney Television Animation’s “Gravity Falls” picked up the nod for television/broadcast production for a children’s audience. “Disney Mickey Mouse” picked up the most individual Annies including directing in a TV/broadcast production (Aaron Springer), writing »


- Terry Flores

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J.K. Simmons Channels His Oscar-Nominated Whiplash Character for His SNL Monologue

10 hours ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

During his Saturday Night Live monologue last night, Oscar nominee J.K. Simmons sought to prove that he is nothing like his aggressive, domineering band leader character in Whiplash. To prove his conviviality, Simmons prepared a song with the SNL cast - and then proceeded to yell in everyone's faces for being off-tempo. "This isn't one of your weird videos!" he yelled at Kyle Mooney on the drums. "This is the opening of the show!"To newcomer Pete Davidson, Simmons suggested that he practice as much as he "[smokes] pot": "I'm not going to practice 100 hours a week," Davidson scoffed. Even »


- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl

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Geraldine McEwan, BAFTA-Winning Actress, Dies at 82

31 January 2015 4:53 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The family of longtime actress Geraldine McEwan says she has died following treatment for a stroke. She was 82. McEwan was known for many roles including playing the famous Agatha Christie detective Miss Marple in 12 TV episodes. Her two children said in a statement that she died Friday after suffering a severe stroke at the end of October. She had been hospitalized extensively since then. See more Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 McEwan worked for many years in theater, television and films, sharing the stage with Laurence Olivier, Albert Finney and other top British stars. She won numerous awards, including

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- The Associated Press

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Watch the Bellas Battle in ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Super Bowl Trailer

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

The Barden Bellas are ready for battle!

Just before Katy Perry’s halftime show at Super Bowl Xlix, a new spot for “Pitch Perfect 2″ debuted, showing Anna Kendrick and the rest of the girls going up against other acapella groups, including the buff “Green Bay Packers.”

Pitch Perfect 2″ is only one of many films to take advantage of the huge Super Bowl audience to tease upcoming films. “Furious 7,” “Jurassic World” and “Tomorrowland” also debuted new footage during TV’s biggest event of the year.

Pitch Perfect 2″ hits theaters May 15.

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- Alex Stedman

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Scandinavian Cinema Energized by Newcomers

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

Goteborg, Sweden– While the Nordics may not boast Europe’s biggest film industries, its five countries – Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway – have experienced no shortage of critically-aclaimed filmmakers, from Lars Von Trier to Roy Anderson, Aki Kaurismäki and Susanne Bier. And in recent years, the Nordic film scene has become even more vibrant with the rise of Baltasar Kormakur (“Everest”), Thomas Vinterberg (“The Commune”), Tobias Lindholm (“A War”), Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) and  and Ruben Ostlund whose “Force Majeure” has become a flagship for contempo Swedish cinema.

Norway is considered the fastest rising Nordic movie market but the film scene has blossomed across all five markets thanks to helmers like Mikkel Nørgaard (“The Absent One”), Michael Noer (“Key House Mirror”) and Mikael Marcimain (“Gentlemen”) and a flurry of female directors, including Anne Sewitsky (“Homesick”), Lisa Aschan (“Voltiges”) and Lisa Langseth (“Hotell”).

And since “Force Majeure” (pictured above) premiered at Cannes, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Super Bowl 2015: Fiat Advertises an ... Amorous New Car

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

Fiat advertised one of their upcoming 2016 vehicles during the Super Bowl in a commercial that is only just barely safe for work. The ad stars an older gentleman about to get down to business with his lady friend. Going into his medicine cabinet to retrieve a little blue pill - his last - he attempts to throw it into his mouth only to miss entirely. (Doesn't really bode well for his lady friend anyway, now does it?) The pill bounces out of his window and all around Italy before landing in the gas tank of a red car which immediately "gets a little excited, »

- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl

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Super Bowl 2015: Fiat Advertises an ... Amorous New Car

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

Fiat advertised one of their upcoming 2016 vehicles during the Super Bowl in a commercial that is only just barely safe for work. The ad stars an older gentleman about to get down to business with his lady friend. Going into his medicine cabinet to retrieve a little blue pill - his last - he attempts to throw it into his mouth only to miss entirely. (Doesn't really bode well for his lady friend anyway, now does it?) The pill bounces out of his window and all around Italy before landing in the gas tank of a red car which immediately "gets a little excited, »

- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl

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Watch the GoDaddy Commercial That Replaced the Original Controversial Puppy Ad

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

We've got to say, considering GoDaddy's new Super Bowl ad features zero puppies being sold over the Internet, it's a huge improvement from the company's original ad. After pulling their commercial following extreme backlash earlier this week, GoDaddy aired a brand new spot during the big game about a man working hard and missing the Super Bowl to run his own business. And no, that business was not selling puppies over the Internet. GoDaddy's original ad sparked outrage because people thought it glorified puppy mills and made light of animal cruelty.  The company pulled the ad and later apologized with a note from the CEO: "At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy »

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All the 2015 Super Bowl trailers: Watch them as they arrive!

44 minutes ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

This Sunday is the big day, but the promotional blitz for Super Bowl ads starts now! That includes upcoming movies that are shelling out the big bucks to be seen during football's biggest night of the year. As the trailers are released online, we'll be collecting them all below for your convenience!   #1: "Terminator Genisys" The trailer is still light on Sarah Connor but it makes for great Gif material. #2: "Insurgent" The sequel to Shailene Woodley's "Divergent" blockbuster looks absolutely bonkers. And is that the "Castlevania" soundtrack? #3: "Minions" Love 'em or hate 'em, these pidgin-speaking henchmen are coming out of the shadow of Gru from "Despicable Me" to star in their own film. #4: "Tomorrowland" Get a better view of George Clooney's world of yesterday's tomorrow. Then join my conspiracy theory about this movie. #5: "Ted 2"  The foul-mouthed teddy bear returns and this time, he »


- Donna Dickens

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Nationwide's Dark, Depressing Super Bowl Ad Causes Outrage on Twitter

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

Usually, there are two types of Super Bowl ads. There are the really funny, silly ones that make us laugh. And then there are the touching, heartwarming ones that make us well up a bit. Nationwide Insurance decided to go with something else by completely scaring everyone and/or bumming them out for the rest of the day. The insurance company ran a commercial that featured a kid talking about how he'll never be able to get married or travel the world with his best friend…because he died in a household accident. "I couldn't grow up," the cherub-faced little boy says to the camera. "Because I died from an accident." Twitter's response: What. The. »

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Power Rangers Star Ricardo Medina Jr. Arrested After Allegedly Murdering Roommate With a Sword

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

Ricardo Medina Jr. was arrested Saturday afternoon after allegedly stabbing his roommate to death with a sword. According to Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, police were called to the actor's home after a fight broke out between himself and his roommate Joshua Sutter. The argument turned into a physical altercation once Medina and his girlfriend retreated to his bedroom. Sutter followed them and forced the door open. Police say Medina then proceeded to stab Sutter once in the abdomen with a sword kept next to the bedroom door. The Power Rangers actor called police, remained at his home and was later interviewed by homicide detectives. Sutter was taken to the hospital where he »


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'Tomorrowland' Super Bowl ad makes me want to go to Disney World...

1 hour ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Have you been to Disney World lately? I can’t speak for Disneyland, but in Florida? Tomorrowland is a mess. What was once an ode to the future has become a mishmash of rides dedicated vaguely to “space” — Stitch and Buzz Lightyear feature heavily — and the leftovers of the future-past of the 1970s. So call me cynical, but this whole film seems like the world’s biggest ad campaign to kickstart a makeover of Tomorrowland. As far as marketing ploys disguised as franchises go, though, “Tomorrowland” seems intriguing. We’ve got George Clooney as a former child-prodigy and Britt Robertson as the girl with a love of science. Together, they apparently travel through space to a sparkling world that feels like organic evolution of the future of the 1970s. Rocket packs, spindly buildings made of chrome and glass, maybe even monorails!! (no singing please) “Tomorrowland” jets into theaters on May »


- Donna Dickens

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Idina Menzel Sings National Anthem at Super Bowl (Video)

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

Two of the last examples of monoculture, Frozen and the Super Bowl, collided Sunday night when Elsa herself, Idina Menzel, sang the National Anthem before the game. Menzel sang the song intercut with the traditional shots of soldiers as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew overhead - she previously sung the National Anthem for the 2014 Mlb All-Star Game. John Legend sang "America the Beautiful" before Menzel took the stage, accompanying himself on the piano for a soulful rendition of the song. Thankfully, no one burst into a clever parody version of "Let It Go," and Marshawn Lynch was not »


- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

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Sundance: Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott Play 70ish Leads in Bleecker Street Pickup 'I'll See You in My Dreams'

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

The indie drama stars Blythe Danner, a veteran Tony-winning stage actress who many recognize as the movie mom in the "Meet the Fockers" series --and the real mother of Gwyneth and Jake Paltrow; their father and her husband, producer Bruce Paltrow, died 13 years ago.  In that sense she's familiar with the widow Carol Peterson in "I'll See You in My Dreams," who lives a comfortable but lonely life in Los Angeles with her shaggy old dog, having not kissed another man since the death of her husband 20 years before. When she has to put down her beloved canine companion, she's shaken and starts to open up, to her depressed young pool man (Martin Starr of "Silicon Valley"), who takes her out to sing karaoke (the former singer is sensational), to her young professional daughter (Marin Akerman) and her bridge group of fun retirees (Mary Kay Place, Rhea Perlman and June Squibb »


- Anne Thompson

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Bobby Brown 'Inconsolable' Over Bobbi Kristina's Hospitalization

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

As conditions have yet to improve for daughter Bobbi Kristina, who was hospitalized yesterday after being found unconscious by her husband Nick Gordon and a friend in her Georgia home, Bobby Brown is "inconsolable," a family source tells People exclusively. "This is his worst nightmare," the family member says. His ex-wife and Bobbi Kristina's mom, Whitney Houston, died under similar circumstances almost three years ago, so Brown, 45, is particularly distraught. "Losing Whitney was hard, but this is a million times worse," source says. "And to lose her in the same way would devastate him." While relations between members of the »


- Dana Rose Falcone, @DanaRoseFalcone

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Q&A: Ronnie Sandahl, ‘Underdog’ Director, on Shifting Sweden/Norway Relationship

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

A novelist, journalist and filmmaker who turned 30 only last year, Swedish director Ronnie Sandahl makes the jump from short films with his feature directorial debut, “Underdog.” The film follows 23-year-old Dino (Bianca Kronlof) in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis, as she’s forced to leave her native Sweden to try and find work of any kind in Norway. It’s a story that’s becoming increasingly common in Sandahl’s home country, and he talked to Variety about how the shifting relationship between the two neighboring nations inspired his first full-length film.

Variety: What was the inspiration for the film’s narrative?

Sweden has always been the self-righteous big brother of Scandinavia, and Norway the poor little brother. But during the last 20 years, after Norway finding oil and Sweden suffering one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Europe, the power balance has completely shifted. Now the Norwegians »


- Kevin Noonan

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Watch Idina Menzel’s Super Bowl National Anthem Performance

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

Elsa herself kicked the Super Bowl off on a high note — literally.

Idina Menzel started off the biggest TV event of the year with the high-pressure national anthem performance and sang the famous tune without a hitch, drawing a huge applause from the audience and widespread approval on social media.

This comes after he performance at the recent ABC “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” belting out the signature “Frozen” song “Let It Go,” drew some ire on the Internet.

Menzel sang after John Legend, who is nominated for an Oscar for “Glory,” performed “America the Beautiful.”

»


- Alex Stedman

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