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Box Office: ‘Hunger Games’ Leads Thanksgiving Pack With $11.1 Million

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

The Hunger Games” continued to give Lionsgate reasons to be thankful this holiday season after “Mockingjay – Part 1,” the latest installment in the blockbuster franchise, dominated the box office.

Katniss Everdeen and her band of rebels hit the bullseye, delivering $11.1 million on Thanksgiving. Though “Mockingjay – Part 1″ will fall short of its predecessor “Catching Fire’s” record-breaking $110 million over last year’s five-day holiday, it is on pace to be the week’s top-grossing film with roughly $80 million. Domestically the film has made $168.6 million and has crossed $200 million internationally, bringing the estimated worldwide total to $370 million to date.

With “Hunger Games” establishing a commanding lead, the week’s other new releases, “Horrible Bosses 2″ and “Penguins of Madagascar,” are struggling to carve out some space at the table. “Penguins of Madagascar,” a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation’s $1.8 billion grossing “Madagascar” franchise, picked up $3.9 million from 3,750 theaters. The film cost $132 million to make »


- Brent Lang

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Watch the First Teaser for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

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

The first teaser for J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has hit the web.

“There has been an awakening – have you felt it?” Asks an ominous voice in the opening moments of the teaser.

The 88-second tease, which debuted at 30 select theaters and on iTunes on Friday, offers the first real glimpse at the highly anticipated Disney movie, the plot details of which have been kept tightly under wraps. While the teaser reveals no major plot points for the film, we catch a glimpse at some new droid and lightsaber tech, stormtroopers preparing for battle and a first look at franchise newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon also makes its triumphant return to the skies.

Abrams is directing the pic that stars Boyega, Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow, along with original cast members Harrison Ford, »


- Variety Staff

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The Peanuts Movie Voice Cast Revealed

27 November 2014 11:41 AM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Fittingly, 20th Century Fox chose today to reveal The Peanuts Movie voice cast.  The CG-animated feature comes from producer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!), and writer Craig Schulz, the son of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.  The footage we’ve seen thus far has been surprisingly promising, with the CG animation being done in a stylistic fashion.  But when it comes to the voice cast, you won’t find any big movie stars here (though it’d be kind of great if someone like Will Ferrell or Tina Fey provided the “wah wa-wah”’s of the adults).  The voice cast for the Peanuts Movie is mostly made up of young actors with experience in voiceover work, commercials, and kid-centric programming on The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.  Noah Schnapp, who just wrapped a role in Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War thriller, takes the lead role of Charlie Brown, »

- Adam Chitwood

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Ryan Knight Dies at 29

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

Real World: New Orleans alum Ryan Knight has died, a source confirms to People. He was 29. TMZ reports Knight was found dead Thursday morning after partying with friends the night prior. In addition to his time in the Real World house, Knight also appeared on MTV's The Challenge: Rivals II, The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II and The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. Photos: Remembering Those We've Lost in 2014 His reality show roommates took to social media over the holiday to mourn the loss of Knight as well as costar Diem Brown, who passed away earlier this month after a long battle with cancer. »

- Sarah Michaud

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Frank Ocean releases rough of gorgeous new song 'memrise'

25 minutes ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

For fans of Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange," the wait's been excruciating. The R&B star has been pretty quiet in the two years following the release of that breakthrough album, with a couple guest appearances like on Beyonce and John Mayer's album, and the drop of "Hero" with members of the Clash and Diplo for the Converse series Three Artists One Song series. In April he said the new, as-yet-untitled album was almost done. Just in time for slow Black Friday perusing, Ocean has released a rough clip of a song called "memrise" on his tumblr. Who knows if it makes the final cut -- and it undoubtedly won't be released with the space-bar-play at the beginning -- but you get the idea. Good lines in this one. Lyrics below.     I memorized the wayward expressions Never look down Never let you see me down I memorized the way »


- Katie Hasty

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‘Real World’ Alum Ryan Knight Dies at 29

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

The “Real World” family has lost another member.

Ryan Knight, who appeared on the 2010 “Real World New Orleans” season as well as “The Challenge,” has died, according to TMZ. He was 29.

MTV was unable to verify the reports independently, but has been posting condolences on its Twitter feed and related accounts.

The Real World family has lost another member. Reactions here. http://t.co/kiZvlWejnl Our thoughts are with Ryan Knight's family and friends

— MTV (@MTV) November 28, 2014

According to TMZ, Knight was partying with friends Wednesday night in good spirits, and ended up at a friend’s house. He was reportedly found dead by a friend the next morning. No cause of death has been announced yet.

The news comes barely two weeks after fellow MTV reality star Diem Brown died at the age of 32 after losing a battle against ovarian cancer. Brown and Knight appeared on “The Challenge »


- Alex Stedman

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Jonathan Glazer Lands Cool British Science Research Grant

30 minutes ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Glazer’s £30,000 Fellowship (which will run for one year from January to December 2015) will provide the filmmaker access to the Wellcome Trust’s global network of research centers, as well as the Wellcome Library, the research centre The Hub and exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection.  Read: "Why 'Under the Skin' Took So Long to Make Glazer accepted his award from the Wellcome Trust's Clare Matterson at an evening celebrating the Arts & Sciences; guests from both worlds enjoyed Freudian cocktails, scientific illusionists and "Sex and the City"-inspired therapy sessions.  “Being awarded the Screenwriting fellowship is a unique opportunity: I’m looking forward to being exposed to new influences and ideas and where they might lead me,” Glazer said. “My method of working has always been fluid and receptive, so to be gifted such incredible access will be invaluable.” This unusual screenwriting initiative is "designed to »


- Anne Thompson

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Princess Kate Spotted Shopping for Antiques

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

Princess Kate delighted locals in Holt, England, when she went shopping for antique dining accessories on Thursday. After browsing the Mews Antique Emporium - a 30-minute drive from her and Prince William's country home, Anmer Hall - the expectant royal walked away with two big bags full of purchases. "She bought wine glasses, a lace tablecloth, a glass vase, some bowls and a pair of nutcrackers," a store employee confirms to People. Wearing a casual plaid cape over a black knitted top and jeans, Kate attracted some attention as she walked up the small town's street. "I ran out of the shop and said, »


- Monique Jessen, @moniquejessen

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Bob Baker, Puppeteer Whose Theater Was L.A. Institution, Dies at 90

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

Puppeteer Bob Baker, whose marionette theater near downtown Los Angeles was an institution serving generations of kids, died Friday of natural causes. He was 90.

Baker, who launched the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in 1963, offered puppet shows in what was billed as one of the world’s oldest and longest-running children’s theater companies. In 2009, the theater’s location on First Street was named a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument.

An L.A. native, Baker traveled the world with his famous marionette troupe. His work was featured in prominent films, ranging from Disney’s “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” to Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” to the 1954 version of “A Star Is Born.” He was said to have an archive of more than 3,000 puppets.

Baker’s interest in puppetry was sparked at the age of 5 when he saw a puppet show at a downtown Los Angeles department store. Within »


- Variety Staff

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Ray Rice's Indefinite NFL Suspension Overturned

1 hour ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Ray Rice has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL, which has been "vacated immediately," the players' union said Friday. The appeal was heard earlier this month by former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones. She was deciding whether the NFL overstepped its authority in modifying Rice's two-game suspension, making it indefinite after video of the Baltimore Ravens running back punching his fiancee— now his wife — became public. Rice was released by the Ravens and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the suspension indefinite shortly after the video was made public. Read more NFL's Roger

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- The Associated Press

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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens': A Timeline of Events So Far

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

It’s been two years since the world learned that a new “Star Wars” movie was in the works. Since then, fans and industry figures have taken to a massive amount of speculation and rumors — but, in the way of the plot and the way the seventh film in the “Star Wars” world looks, Disney and LucasFilm have kept a tight lid on info.

The world’s first substantial look at “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came on Friday, when the an 88-second teaser trailer was released online and in 30 select theaters. For “Star Wars” fans, it’s been a long road to the first glimpse of the film, so here’s a look back at the major events that hit the franchise in the past two years.

Oct. 30, 2012: Disney buys LucasFilm, new “Star Wars” film announced”

Disney shocked the industry by acquiring George LucasLucasFilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. »


- Alex Stedman

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Mickey Rourke Defeats Opponent Half His Age in First Fight in 20 Years

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

Mickey Rourke has gone from The Wrestler back to boxing. The actor, 62, returned to the ring Friday, defeating a fighter less than half his age in a Moscow exhibition bout. Rourke sent Elliot Seymour, a 29-year-old former California Golden Gloves champion with a 1-9 professional record, to the canvas twice in the second round before the referee stopped the fight. Many know Rourke as the '80s actor from 9½ Weeks or his more recent roles in Sin City and Iron Man 2, but the star got his first taste of fame as a boxer in the '60s and '70s. »


- Kelli Bender, @kbendernyc

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Mickey Rourke Defeats Opponent Half His Age in First Fight in 20 Years

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

Mickey Rourke has gone from The Wrestler back to boxing. The actor, 62, returned to the ring Friday, defeating a fighter less than half his age in a Moscow exhibition bout. Rourke sent Elliot Seymour, a 29-year-old former California Golden Gloves champion with a 1-9 professional record, to the canvas twice in the second round before the referee stopped the fight. Many know Rourke as the '80s actor from 9½ Weeks or his more recent roles in Sin City and Iron Man 2, but the star got his first taste of fame as a boxer in the '60s and '70s. »


- Kelli Bender, @kbendernyc

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The 25 best Oscar-winning film scores of all time

1 hour ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Musical theorist Michel Chion coined the term "synchresis" to define the forging of picture and sound, the way artistry on both sides of the line blurs into our favorite movie moments. Sound design can manifest and warp reality, but film scoring has its own synchresistic effect, albeit one that's rather bizarre. There's no reason music should ever be playing against a film aiming for truth. Yet over 100-plus years of filmmaking, a composer's touch — or restraint — has become an essential part of the medium's power. A musical cue stamps an iconic scene, a director's vision and a film's legacy. There are sense memories connected to the opening notes of an iconic theme. Nevertheless, it took the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a few years to recognize film music's weight-pulling at the Oscars. Film's transition into a synced sound medium kept the business resisting the honor until the 7th »


- Matt Patches and Kristopher Tapley

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What ‘Exodus’ Could Learn From Noah, Lincoln and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Guest Column)

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

In what was supposed to be the year of the “faith-based film,” after a few moderate successes like “Son of God” and “Heaven Is For Real,” we have now seen a dozen box-office duds. On Dec. 12 there’ll be another attempt, a film about Moses called “Exodus: Gods & Kings.”

Efforts to reach the allegedly unpredictable traditionalist filmgoer began in earnest a decade ago when the Variety and the Los Angeles Times predicted a $15 million-30 million opening for “The Passion of The Christ” and it ended up raking in $125 million over its five-day debut. That opening was the movie biz equivalent of a 13-year-old boy arriving barefoot at Yankee Stadium with his homemade bat and hitting 400 home-runs leaving only two possible conclusions: a) He was an anomaly or b) there was a different way to bat baseballs.

Having been a part of that film and other similarly-situated movies, and having written »


- Mark Joseph

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Jennifer Lawrence, Pop Star? Her Hunger Games Song Is a Top 40 Hit

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

Is there anything Jennifer Lawrence can't do? The actress, who at 24 already has an Oscar under her belt, is moving more toward Grammy territory with her latest achievement: The song she sang for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 has reached the Top 40 chart in the U.K. "The Hanging Tree," a haunting tune featuring Lawrence's vocals, popped up on the chart at No. 29, the BBC reports. Not that it was easy for her. The film's director, Francis Lawrence, recently told Vulture that the actress was extremely anxious about singing the song on set for a pivotal scene in the movie. »


- Tim Nudd, @nudd

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Jennifer Lawrence, Pop Star? Her Hunger Games Song Is a Top 40 Hit

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

Is there anything Jennifer Lawrence can't do? The actress, who at 24 already has an Oscar under her belt, is moving more toward Grammy territory with her latest achievement: The song she sang for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 has reached the Top 40 chart in the U.K. "The Hanging Tree," a haunting tune featuring Lawrence's vocals, popped up on the chart at No. 29, the BBC reports. Not that it was easy for her. The film's director, Francis Lawrence, recently told Vulture that the actress was extremely anxious about singing the song on set for a pivotal scene in the movie. »


- Tim Nudd, @nudd

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Madonna's New 'Rebel Heart' Song Leaks

2 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A snippet of a new Madonna song, rumored to be titled "Rebel Heart," leaked to the Internet on Thursday. Madonna's publicist had no comment about the leak, but the diva's manager, Guy Oseary, tweeted, "I would be grateful to any Madonna fans that can assist us in finding those responsible for the leak. We appreciate your help." About 40 seconds of the dance-meets-acoustic track materialized with Madonna singing, "I've spent some time as a narcissist, hearing the others say 'look at you, look at you.' Trying to be so provocative, I said, 'Oh yeah, that

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- Keith Caulfield, Billboard

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How to Make a Gorgeous Western: Lenser Prieto and Composer Beltrami on 'The Homesman'

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

Shooting "The Homesman" was a uniquely atmospheric experiment for cinematographer Prieto ("Argo," Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Silence"). Using Czech and Japanese photographers Josef Koudelka and Ichiro Kojima as inspiration for conveying textured interiors and harsh weather conditions, the first thing that Prieto did was test with both digital and film cameras. Although Jones conceived and budgeted for digital, they agreed that daytime should be shot on film and nighttime digitally, playing to the strengths of both formats. This isn't surprising since Prieto is a frequent hybrid lenser. Read: Why Hilary Swank Breaks Your Heart in 'The Homesman' "The result with the Sony S55 for low light levels was convenient and beautiful to shoot with candles and oil lamps," Prieto recalls. "But, on the other hand, we preferred the texture of a film negative for the rest of the movie. And a big part of it was the feeling that film. »


- Bill Desowitz

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TV Ratings: Football and Fanfare Drive NBC's Thanksgiving

3 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Most of Thanksgiving's marquee TV events were in line with last year's in the Thursday ratings race, and NBC reaped some of the biggest benefits. After a morning that saw a particularly strong Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — down just a shade from 2013's records, it averaged a 6.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 22.6 million viewers — NBC led primetime with the NFL. The last of three Thursday games, the Seahawks-49ers match-up averaged a preliminary 5.8 rating in the key demo. That's steady with the comparable numbers from last year's Thanksgiving game. Counter-

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- Michael O'Connell

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