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Box Office: ‘Focus’ Tops Weak Crop of Competitors With $19.1 Million

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

Focus” topped the weekend box office charts with $19.1 million, but the heist film didn’t make off with as much loot as many analysts expected.

The film had been projected to earn between $21 million and $23 million, so cue breathless stories about whether or not Will Smith’s fastball has lost some heat. The debate may be excessive. “Focus” shows the limits of star power generally, not Smith’s particularly.

Charisma lacks the punch it did 10 years ago, particularly given that advances in digital technology and the growth of fanboy culture mean films can’t just be films anymore to succeed at a high level. They must be events. Would “Focus” have performed better had George Clooney starred in it or Brad Pitt?

“With all big stars, it depends on the movie they’re framed in,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “If you put Will Smith in a »


- Brent Lang

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‘Fifty Shades’ Becomes Universal’s Highest-Grossing R-Rated International Release

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

Sex, even of the kinky variety, apparently knows no boundaries and crosses all borders.

Fifty Shades of Grey” has become Universal Pictures’ highest-grossing R-rated international release with $338.4 million, topping the $330 million made by “Ted.” The erotic drama topped foreign charts for the third consecutive week, adding $36 million from 59 territories to its haul.

Globally, the film should hit $500 million next week — an impressive return on the $40 million Universal spent to make Christian Grey’s red room come to life on screen.

Domestically, the film has slowed down, dropping more than 50% in its third week to $10.9 million. Due to its steamy subject matter, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been banned in much of the Middle East. There are two territories left in its international rollout — India and Egypt.

Focus,” the weekend’s top Stateside grosser, pulled in $12.2 million across 31 international markets. The heist film with Will Smith and Margot Robbie has opened »


- Brent Lang

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Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger Enjoy Disney Date Night at the "Best Place on Earth"—See the Pics!

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

It's a party in the happiest place on Earth! Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger braved stormy weather Saturday afternoon when they traveled down to the Disneyland Resort for a thrilling date night in Anaheim, Calif. Joined by Noah Cyrus, the pair was spotted getting the full Mickey experience by riding Buzz Lighyear Astro-Blasters, Radiator Springs Racers and California Screamin'. Oh, and did we mention Miley got a giant hug from Pluto?! "Reuniting with Pluto. Long time no see," the former Hannah Montana star captioned on Instagram. "Home" As one can expect, some park visitors couldn't hide their excitement when they spotted the pair strolling through Main »


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Bill Cosby Brushes Off Rape Allegations, Performs for Adoring Georgia Fans

18 minutes ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Bill Cosby brushed off the lurid allegations that have been dogging him for months and performed before hundreds of fans Saturday night in Augusta, Georgia. More than 30 women have accused the TV legend of rape or sexual assault, often after drugging their drinks. And his shows have been cancelled in many parts of the country. But that was apparently of little concern to fans who came out to see the comedian’s standup routine at Augusta’s William B. Bell Memorial Auditorium. “The show was great. He was well received,” an attendee who did not want to be identified told TheWrap Sunday, »


- Anita Bennett

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Criminal Minds Star A.J. Cook Pregnant and Expecting a Baby Boy: "Miracles Do Happen"

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

Congratulations are in order for A.J. Cook! The Criminal Minds star surprised fans Sunday afternoon when she announced she was expecting a baby. "Miracles do happen and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise," she captioned on Instagram while showing off her growing belly. "#Blessed #Bump" Her husband Nathan Andersen also confirmed the news and revealed even more exciting information. "Since @ajcook announced we are expecting a new addition to the clan, I guess it's my responsibility to inform everyone it's a boy!" he captioned with an assortment of baby clothes. The couple is already proud parents to a son.  Well known for her role as »


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Rebekah Brooks To Run News Corp.’s Social Media News Agency Storyful

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

Rebekah Brooks, the former editor and top aide to Rupert Murdoch who was at the center of the U.K. phone hacking scandal, is apparently signing back on with News Corp. Brooks, who stood trial and was cleared of all charges, will run the company’s Storyful social media news agency, according to London’s Financial Times. She’ll be based in New York, and is also expected to advise Murdoch on potential digital acquisitions. Brooks (photo above, with Rupert and James Murdoch) resigned as chief executive of News Corp.’s News International, now known as News UK, in 2011. Her exit came in the wake. »


- Todd Cunningham

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