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Box Office: Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’ Edges Out ‘Book of Life,’ ‘Gone Girl’

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

Brad Pitt and a squadron of up-and-coming actors held off “Gone Girl” at the multiplexes this weekend as “Fury” topped box office charts with a $23.5 million debut.

Despite surrendering first place after two weeks wearing the crown, “Gone Girl” showed some impressive stamina. David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling mystery dropped just 32% to $17.8 million. Its total now stands at $107.1 million and is striking distance of surpassing “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” ($127.5 million) as Fincher’s highest-grossing domestic release. Water cooler effect achieved.

“It’s one of those movies that it’s so provocative that if you haven’t seen it yet, you have to in order to be part of the conversation,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief at 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Gone Girl.” “It’s as simple as that.”

In a sign that adults are returning to theaters after sitting out the summer popcorn season, »


- Brent Lang

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Russian Oscar Entry ‘Leviathan’ Takes Top Prize at London Film Fest

18 October 2014 6:54 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

It may have received only a screenplay award at Cannes, but Andrei Zvyagintsev’s stinging satirical drama “Leviathan” came out on top at the 58th BFI London Film Festival.

At a lavish awards dinner in Westminster’s Banqueting Hall, the Russian critical favorite was presented with the festival’s sixth annual Best Film prize by this year’s jury president, Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, who described the vote as a unanimous one. “Its grandeur and themes moved us all in the same way,” he said.

The London award adds fuel to the Sony Picture Classics acquisition’s Oscar campaign. Zvyagintsev’s politically contentious work was unexpectedly selected as Russia’s Best Foreign Language Film submission. Among the films it faces in the foreign Oscar race, incidentally, is last year’s London champ — Polish submission “Ida.”

The Official Competition jury, which also included Variety chief critic Scott Foundas, actor James McAvoy, »


- Guy Lodge

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Nicholas Sparks’ ‘Best of Me’ Can't Find Love at Box Office

19 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Nicholas SparksThe Best of Me” lost at love this weekend at the box office. The $10.2 million opening of the ninth big-screen adaptation from the famed romance author was the lowest ever for an adaptation of his novels, below the $12 million that “A Walk to Remember” debuted with back in 2002. And it wasn't even half the $21 million that his last film, “Safe Haven,” managed in its opening. Relativity Media was standing by its man, however. “We have had great success with Nicholas Sparks over the years and are always glad to be in business with him,” the distributor »


- Todd Cunningham

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Matthew Morrison Gets Married, Zac Efron Turns 27 & More Weekend News

just now | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Stars celebrated good times this weekend, from two weddings and a birthday to one celeb being honored for how far he's come. Here's the news you might have missed: 5. He's a Survivor Derek Hough opened up about overcoming bullying as a child as he received an inspirational award at the Glsen Respect Awards. More good news? This now confident dancer wants a wife and kids, saying he's "pretty eligible." Read his empowering message.4. Hot MamaNewly single Amber Rose isn't ready to mingle, but she is putting family first by focusing on her 19-month son with Wiz Khalifa, Sebastian. "I don't »


- Michele Corriston, @mcorriston

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Matthew Morrison Gets Married, Zac Efron Turns 27 & More Weekend News

just now | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Stars celebrated good times this weekend, from two weddings and birthday to one celeb being honored for how far he's come. Here's the news you might have missed: 5. He's a Survivor Derek Hough opened up about overcoming bullying as a child as he received an inspirational award at the Glsen Respect Awards. More good news? This now confident dancer wants a wife and kids, saying he's "pretty eligible." Read his empowering message.4. Hot MamaNewly single Amber Rose isn't ready to mingle, but she is putting family first by focusing on her 19-month son with Wiz Khalifa, Sebastian. "I don't really have time for a man, »


- Michele Corriston, @mcorriston

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Live, From New York: Sprout’s Morning Show For Kids Wants Celebrities In Mix

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

Some talk shows lure guests with the promise of hyping a new project. Others deliver instant fame.  And then there’s one that hopes to hook visitors with the sounds of an anthropomorphic chicken whose voice is reminiscent of a kazoo.

Chica, that clucking character, has held forth for seven years from the “Sunshine Barn,”  a set placed in converted office space in Comcast Corp.’s Philadelphia headquarters, all part of kiddie-cabler Sprout’s “Sunny Side Up Show.” Now the character and her four handlers have a new roost: a tiny studio on the sixth floor of NBCUniversal’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza complex, not far from the wardrobe racks used by the Roots, the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show.” Chica and crew will continue to celebrate viewer birthdays and do crafts projects live seven days a week. The new twist? Every once in a while, a celebrity guest or musician will join them. »


- Brian Steinberg

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Second Royal Baby Due in April

38 minutes ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The British royal family on Monday said that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their second baby in April. Middleton's second pregnancy was first announced in September, leading various celebrities to react with congratulations and political insinuations. "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015," the royal palace said in a statement. "The Duchess of Cambridge continues to be affected by Hyperemisis Gravidarum, but her condition is steadily improving" it added about her health complications tied to the pregnancy, which include nausea, vomiting and dehydration.

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- Georg Szalai

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Kate Middleton's Due Date Revealed; Pregnant Duchess' Condition "Steadily Improving"

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

Mark those calendars: We now know when to expect Royal baby No. 2! Kate Middleton and Prince William "are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015," the palace said in a statement Monday. Prince George's mom "continues to be affected by Hyperemisis Gravidarum [acute morning sickness]," the statement continued, "but her condition is steadily improving." That's certainly good news! The Duchess of Cambridge, 32, has been forced to cancel a number of events due to pregnancy complications, but she's scheduled to make a public appearance this Tuesday. Per the palace statement, Kate and Prince William, also 32, will greet The President of the Republic of »


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William and Kate's Baby Is Due in April

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

It will be a very special wedding anniversary for Prince William and Kate next April. "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015," a simple statement from Kensington Palace announced Monday morning - one that dashed recent speculation that the royal couple, both 32, were expecting twins. April 29 will mark the fourth anniversary of William and Kate, and their son, Prince George, born July 22, 2013, will be 21 months old by then. As it is, April is an especially auspicious month for royal births: Queen Elizabeth will turn 89 next April 21. The palace statement also said, »


- Simon Perry, @SPerryPeoplemag

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Palestinian Motor Racing Documentary to Open Doha Youth Film Festival

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

Speed Sisters, a documentary about the West Bank’s only all-female streetcar racing team, will open the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in the Qatari capital of Doha. The debut feature of Lebanese-Canadian director Amber Fares was developed with support from the Sundance Institute and Qatar’s own Doha Film Institute, and began when Fares started documenting the group of racers back in 2010. Read more Doha Film Insitute CEO Steps Down "We are absolutely thrilled to the present the world premiere of Speed Sisters in Doha at the opening night of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival," said festival director

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- Alex Ritman

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'Sasuke/Ninja Warrior' Seen as Blueprint for Japanese TV Format Success

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

As Japanese TV networks and other rights holders step up efforts to push Japanese formats overseas amid a shrinking domestic market, the success of extreme obstacle course show Sasuke/Ninja Warrior is something of a case study in taking local content global. Sasuke/Ninja Warrior content has so far been screened in 157 countries, and local versions are now being made in Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey, with a Vietnamese production announced recently. As Tiffcom, the content market of Tokyo International Film Festival, opens Tuesday, exhibitors will no doubt be dreaming of one of their properties going on to be shown in

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- Gavin J. Blair

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‘The Lunchbox’ Star Irrfan Khan to Head Up Abu Dhabi Film Festival Jury

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

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which kicks off in the United Arab Emirates capital on Friday, has revealed that Irrfan Khan will preside the narrative feature competition. The Mumbai-based star of 2013's crossover hit The Lunchbox will be joined by Algerian novelist and academic Waciny Laredi, U.S director-producer Stephen Shainberg (Secretary), Australian director Cate Shortland and Palestinian actor Ali Suliman, recently seen opposite Mark Wahlberg in Lone Survivor. Read more The 'Star Wars' Effect: Why Hollywood is Hot on Abu Dhabi Elsewhere across the competitions, the jury for the New Horizons section for first- and second-time

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- Alex Ritman

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'Downton Abbey' U.K. Ratings Rise, 'X Factor' Drops From Previous Week

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

ITV hit drama Downton Abbey and BBC ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday drew bigger overnight ratings than a week earlier, but fewer viewers tuned into Simon Cowell's X Factor on ITV. Downton Abbey, from NBCUniversal-owned Carnival Films, attracted an average audience of 7.9 million, for a market share of 32.3 percent of people watching TV in the U.K. at the time. That was up 160,000 viewers from the previous Sunday, according to ratings consultancy Attentional. The show's overnight ratings have been running behind last season's though. Read more 'Downton Abbey' Draws Lowest

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- Georg Szalai

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‘Revenge': Emily Finally Sees David Clarke Is Alive (Video)

3 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven't watched Sunday's episode, “Meteor,” and don't want to be spoiled. ABC's “Revenge” wasted very little time for its biggest scene ever to air on Sunday's episode. Not even halfway through the one-hour program, Emily (Emily VanCamp) set eyes on her father, David Clarke (James Tupper), alive. Having been caught shoplifting, David was arrested. But, as soon as Officer Ben (Brian Hallisay) saw that he resembled the description Emily gave him of the man who broke into Grayson Manor with the intent to kill her, Ben rushed David into a lineup to see. »


- Jethro Nededog

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BBC to Launch 'Doctor Who' Online Game for Kids

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

The BBC said Monday it would launch The Doctor and the Dalek, an online game, using Doctor Who characters and voiced by the sci-fi show's star Peter Capaldi, that will teach children basic computer programming skills. The puzzles featured in the game are linked to the computing curriculum in the U.K. and are designed to allow children to learn core programming principles as they play, the U.K. public broadcaster said. The game is designed to be part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with digital technology. It will

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- Georg Szalai

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Film Review: ‘Sacrifice’

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

When high-school bros go deep into the woods armed with hunting rifles and expanding torsos, there will be blood, along with plentiful inclement weather. There are gobs of both in “Sacrifice,” but also a quieter moral reckoning that offers the more compelling reason to see this conventional, intermittently absorbing indie from writer-director Michael Cohn (“When the Bough Breaks”). For all its thriller accessorizing, the film grows on you — a little — as a biblical family melodrama that digs into the domestic origins of a compound crime while piling on the wages of sin. Solidly fortified with seasoned actors Dermot Mulroney and Melora Walters, and Austin Abrams as a struggling adolescent, the movie was made under the aegis of the film collaborative JuntoBox, and its combination of horror frissons and contemplative character study should give it modest crossover appeal in young and older markets.

Part hunk, part otherworldly good boy, Texan football »


- Ella Taylor

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Will 'Fury,' Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman join the battle for Oscars?

4 hours ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"Fury" came out blasting this weekend, ambushing the box office ($23.5 million), conquering film critics (81 score at Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences, too (A- CinemaScore). But how will it fare at the Oscars? That's a tough call. The film lacks one key Oscar element – snob appeal – but it's packed with many others. It may generate broad academy support with noms in various crafts categories (sound, editing, etc.) Most important, it's such a slick, passionate action flick that it has a high Rooting Factor. That's vital since a film must be the number-one choice of at least 5% of voters in order to earn a nomination for Best Picture. (Here is more detailed explanation of the voting process.) -Break- Is that possible? Perhaps, yes. Historically, voters have adored war films (Best Pic winners "The Hurt Locker," "Platton" and "Patton"; nominees like "Zero Dark Thirty," "I..." »


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Will "Fury," Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman join the battle for Oscars?

4 hours ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"Fury" came out blasting this weekend, ambushing the box office ($23.5 million), conquering film critics (81 score at Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences, too (A- CinemaScore). But how will it fare at the Oscars? That's a tough call. The film lacks one key Oscar element – snob appeal – but it's packed with many others. It may generate broad academy support with noms in various crafts categories (sound, editing, etc.) Most important, it's such a slick, passionate action flick that it has a high Rooting Factor. That's vital since a film must be the number-one choice of at least 5% of voters in order to earn a nomination for Best Picture. (Here is more detailed explanation of the voting process.) -Break- Is that possible? Perhaps, yes. Historically, voters have adored war films (Best Pic winners "The Hurt Locker," "Platton" and "Patton"; nominees like "Zero Dark Thirty," "I..." »


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Tokyo Film Festival, Market to Open With Animation Focus

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

The Tiffcom market of the Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) opens Tuesday and runs until Thursday, the day the 27th edition of the main festival kicks off with the world premiere of Disney's Big Hero 6. The market is expecting 320 exhibitors and 1,100 buyers, up slightly from last year, plus seminars and talks on fund raising, co-productions, location incentives and how to predict a hit movie using big data. Tiffcom will be in its third year of its guise as the so-called Japan Content Showcase, incorporating the Tokyo International Music Market and Tokyo International Anime Festival

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- Gavin J. Blair

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Parents Desensitized to Sex and Violence in Movies, Study Finds

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

When it comes to sex and violence, the more parents see, the less they care.

That’s the takeaway form a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center on the attitudes that parents of children aged 6 to 18 have towards film content that may be objectionable or disturbing.

Researchers showed bloody or erotic scenes from PG-13 and R-rated movies such as “8 Mile,” “Collateral,” “Die Hard” and “Casino Royale” to 1,000 parents and found that they grew desensitized as the body count mounted and sexual activity heated up. The research was conducted online last January.

The findings will be published in Pediatrics and the report serves as a companion to a 2013 study by Annenberg that found that gun violence in PG-13 movies has tripled since 1985 and movies with that rating contain more gun violence than R-rated movies.

“The rise of violence and gun violence in PG-13 movies means that lots of kids »


- Brent Lang

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