20 items from 2015
Screenwriter Maya Forbes (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “The Rocker”) decided to make her directing debut to ensure that this semi-fictionalized account of her late-‘70s childhood in Cambridge — with a high-strung blue-blood father who can’t hold a job and a driven African-American mother (Zoe Saldana) — would capture the spirit of their unconventional life together. There are many humorous moments to enjoy, given that Ruffalo’s manic-depressive Cam is as likely to make a perfect crepe or sew a fabulous last-minute flamenco dress for a school talent show as he is to forget to pick up the girls from school or refuse to buy a new sponge to replace the one rotting on the sink. But most compelling is how the mood swings caused by his mental state, not helped by the fact that Cam rarely takes his meds and prefers alcohol to calm his demons, are both harrowing and entertaining. »
- Susan Wloszczyna
With its based-on-the-director’s-life pedigree and stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, "Infinitely Polar Bear" — horrible title aside — sounds like many Sundance films past and present: a family struggles with mental illness, trying to keep one person whole while also keeping — or failing to keep — the family together. And after writing such good-to-indifferent Hollywood product like "The Rocker," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," you can hardly fault writer-director Maya Forbes for trying to create something a little more substantive and a little less glib. And yet, even based on her experiences, "Infinitely Polar Bear" is so phony that you can imagine the production budget being made up of three-dollar bills; it treats severe mental illness as a series of quirky, fun-sy tics; the circumstances of its characters are tortuously contrived; and every child character seems not like a real, living child, but »
- James Rocchi
Read More: Hollywood Feminist of the Day: Mark Ruffalo Mark Ruffalo has got to be one of the most agreeable male actors working in film today. The 47-year-old actor and father to three showed up an hour late to his interview with Indiewire, which was pegged to his latest release "Infinitely Polar Bear," but immediately won us over with an apology and hilarious explanation for his tardiness that involved a broken food truck and terrible traffic. When he said "sorry," you could tell that he meant it. A huge part of Ruffalo's appeal has to do with that sincerity. It's apparent in all of his onscreen work and in his day-to-day life. He doesn't use his Twitter and Tumblr page to solely tout his upcoming releases, but rather to discuss topics that are close to his heart -- feminism, environmental activism and Lgbt issues. "Infinitely Polar Bear," from writer-director Maya Forbes »
- Nigel M Smith
Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson and Mandy Patinkin to lend their voices to fully computer-animated feature Film. To mark this year’s June 14th Global Smurfs Day, Sony Pictures Animation announced the all star cast of Get Smurfy, its brand new, fully computer-animated feature film reminiscent of creator Peyo Culliford’s original recognizable style. Get Smurfy finds Smurfette and her brothers trekking through the uncharted Enchanted Forest to try and discover a fabled Smurfs village before their nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel, does. Along the way, some of the mysteries of the little blue creatures’ origins are brought to light: do Smurfs come in any other colors? are their mushroom houses organic? And… why are there 99 boys and only one girl??? Platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato has signed to voice the girl-power-ful Smurfette, with Emmy-nominated comic actor Rainn Wilson (The Office, Monsters vs. Aliens) stepping into the evil shoes of the Smurf nemesis, »
To mark this year’s June 14th Global Smurfs Day, Sony Pictures Animation announced the all star cast of Get Smurfy, its brand new, fully computer-animated feature film reminiscent of creator Peyo Culliford’s original recognizable style.
Get Smurfy finds Smurfette and her brothers trekking through the uncharted Enchanted Forest to try and discover a fabled Smurfs village before their nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel, does. Along the way, some of the mysteries of the little blue creatures’ origins are brought to light: do Smurfs come in any other colors? are their mushroom houses organic? And… why are there 99 boys and only one girl???
- Michelle McCue
Freeman Entertainment, which launched its distribution operation in the Czech Republic at the start of the year, will handle theatrical distribution of Warner Bros. titles in the territory.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” will be the first Warner movie to be released by the company in the Czech Republic. Freeman Entertainment will also release titles there produced by leading independents, including Lionsgate/Summit, DreamWorks, Studiocanal, Nu Image and Relativity Media. Radovan Cech is Freeman’s executive director in the Czech Republic.
As well as the Warner titles, its release slate includes “Self/Less,” which is directed by Tarsem Singh (“Immortals”); “Mune,” which is helmed by Benoit Philippon (“Lullaby of Pi”) and Alexandre Heboyan (“Kung Fu Panda,” “Monsters vs. Aliens”); and “The Light Between Oceans,” which stars Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz.
- Leo Barraclough
Furious 7 took the 14-year-old Fast franchise to the next level this weekend with a stunning $147.2 million debut. That opening ranks ninth all-time behind The Avengers, Iron Man 3, the final Harry Potter, two Dark Knight movies, two Hunger Games and Spider-Man 3.The movie also opened to an incredible $245 million overseas; that's without any help from China, Japan and Russia, where it will open in the next few weeks. So far, Furious 7 has earned $392 million worldwide, and is very likely on track to earn over $1 billion by the end of its run.At the domestic box office, Furious 7's $147.2 million debut is 55 percent higher than Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $95 million, which was the previous April record holder. This is also the biggest debut in the franchise thus far, up a whopping 51 percent over Fast & Furious 6. Furious 7 earned $13.3 million on IMAX screens alone, which »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shares in the company are up more than 8% as markets open, kicking off the day trading at $24.30. That’s the highest level they have reached since last November. It’s a welcome change for DreamWorks Animation, which has seen its stock slide precipitously since spring of 2014, weighed down by a series of film flops, write downs, failed sales to Hasbro and Softbank, and layoffs.
But “Home” briefly swept those troubles aside when it debuted to $54 million, roughly $20 million more than most analysts had predicted it would generate.
“It’s a huge morale boost both for investors and employees at the company,” said Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets. “The film business is what’s been languishing there and these results mean they avoid another impairment and have found a possible other franchise.”
Indeed, “Home »
- Brent Lang
It felt like Spring Break at the movies this weekend as DreamWorks hit something of a Home-run while Get Hard also drew strong numbers at the box office. DreamWorks Animation needed a strong boost with their latest offering, Home. The studio hasn't had a non-sequel break the $50 million opening mark since Monsters vs. Aliens in 2009 and their last two non-sequels, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Turbo, were duds out of the box office gate. Home delivered, banking $54 million for a strong number one debut and possibly giving the studio something new to replace their tired Madagascar franchise and waning How To Train Your Dragon storyline. Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team-up Get Hard also hit a strong note with audiences. The comedy landed second place with a $34 million opening. That's a relief for Warner Brothers who took a bit of risk teaming the two whose comedies tend more toward the PG- »
March came in like a lamb at the box office this year, but it leaves roaring like a lion, thanks to two strong openings. DreamWorks Animation finished a domestic box office slump that dated back to the summer of 2013, as the 3D sci-fi comedy Home launched to the top of the charts with an estimated $54 million. That is the biggest non-sequel opening for an animated film from the company since Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million) six years ago. Due to mixed reviews, a plot noticeably similar to Lilo and Stitch and an ad campaign that didn’t seem to promise much for teens and adults, this was a much better opening than box office prognosticators expected.
With the voice talent of Jim Parsons, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, Home ended up generating a lot of interest among families. The film opened better than the more heavily hyped DreamWorks titles Megamind ($46 million) and »
- Jordan Adler
DreamWorks Animation's Home (2015) was a huge hit with family moviegoers this weekend, taking first place with an excellent $52.1 million.Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard also put up strong numbers in second place, while indie horror movie It Follows did decent business in its nationwide expansion.Among recent family-friendly movies, Home's $52.1 million debut is in the same ballpark as Big Hero 6 ($56.2 million) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($55.4 million). It also ranks as one of the top non-sequel movies ever for DreamWorks, behind Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million) and Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million). In fact, it's the biggest debut for a DreamWorks movie since its distribution deal began with 20th Century Fox in early 2013; that includes How to Train Your Dragon 2, which opened to $49.5 million last June.If Home follows the same pattern as Monsters vs. Aliens and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, it will finish with around $180 million. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Heading into the weekend, “Home” looked like yet another box office disappointment for DreamWorks Animation.
The studio has suffered through a grueling period of film flops like “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” “Penguins of Madagascar” and “Turbo.” “Home,” with a projected opening of $30 million to $35 million, seemed unlikely to break the cold streak.
For one thing, reviews of the story about a cute alien who befriends a young girl after earth is invaded were mediocre at best. Plus, the film is of the most dangerous of gambles — it doesn’t have a numeral affixed to its title.
Instead, “Home” put box office prognosticators to shame when it kicked off to $54 million stateside, the company’s third-biggest non-sequel opening ever, behind only “Kung Fu Panda” ($60.2 million) and “Monsters vs. Aliens” ($59.3 million). Overseas the film pulled in $24 million, pushing its global total to $102 million after two weeks in foreign theaters.
“It shows there »
- Brent Lang
I don't mind admitting I'm a bit shocked at the $54 million for Dreamworks Animation's Home. Dreamworks Animation hasn't had a non-sequel perform this well since 2009's Monsters vs. Aliens and this is even better than the $49.4 million opening for last year's How to Train Your Dragon 2, which went on to make $618.9 million worldwide. Seems families were primed and ready for a new movie to take the kids to and this fit the bill and with an "A" CinemaScore it would seem they walked away impressed. The pic does carry a hefty $135 budget, but if these numbers are any indication that won't be too hard to overcome. Good news for Dreamworks. Then we come to Get Hard and it seems audiences can't get enough Kevin Hart and you cast him alongside Will Ferrell and you have box office magic to the tune of $34.6 million, which is still second to »
- Brad Brevet
Get Hard might win this weekend, but get out your three-sided coin. An R-Rated March comedy isn't a death sentence by any means, and Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart have their own fandoms that will turn out. $25.2 million is my call, but it could go as high as 30, or as low as 20. I don't think it will do a Gunman style faceplant, but it's been a weird year. Insurgent will certainly drop like a stone, and after not even equaling the first film it would seem as though audiences are bailing, if only slightly, on this franchise. The first one wasn't as front-loaded as other Ya films or franchises, but this one will end up a little more-so with a 54 percent dip. $24 million is the number, a mere couple hundred thousand tickets behind first place. Theoretically. Could Home be the surprise winnerc Animated films have made hay out of this slot before, »
- Laremy Legel
Infinitely Polar Bear opens in NY and La on June 19th and expands nationally in the following weeks.
While most fathers spend their days at work, Cam Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) is more likely to be found mushroom-hunting, cooking elaborate meals, or working on one of his many half completed projects. His family’s wealth keeps his family just barely afloat, while Cam struggles to live with manic depression. When Cam has a manic breakdown that lands him in a mental hospital, his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and their two young daughters, Amelia and Faith, are forced to leave their house in the country and move into a cramped apartment in Cambridge, where Maggie tries to find a decent job, with no luck.
Broke, stressed, and overwhelmed, Maggie applies to business »
- Michelle McCue
Two of Marvel's biggest stars, Avengers: Age of Ultron's Mark Ruffalo and Guardians of the Galaxy's Zoe Saldana, come together for an indie that doesn't require extensive makeup or motion capture work, in the first trailer for Infinitely Polar Bear. The plot is set in the late 1970s, following a manic-depressive mess of a father (Mark Ruffalo), who tries to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier.
Infinitely Polar Bear debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it was met with critical acclaim and eventually picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. Maya Forbes wrote the screenplay and makes her directorial debut, after writing movies such as Seeing Other People, The Rocker, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and the upcoming Trolls. Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams »
If there’s one film you need to see this weekend, it’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced and it’s one insane, entertaining experience. Catch this one in the theater and with a crowd!
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Composers Henry Jackman (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Matthew Margeson score the spy action adventure comedy. This is the second collaboration between Jackman and Margeson, who had worked previously on Kick Ass 2. The duo supplied the soundtrack for the star-studded Kingsman with Oscar winners Colin Firth and Michael Caine, Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, and newcomer Taron Egerton. »
- Michelle McCue
Kinology has sold the toonpic to Switzerland (Praesens), Freeman (Eastern Europe/except Poland), Greece (Odeon) and Portugal (Cine Mundo). “Mune” previously sold to Notorious Pictures (Italy), Smile Entertainment (South Korea), Gulf Films (Middle East), Domo Media (China), Zoom Entertainment (India), Volga Films (Cis) and Blitz (Former Yugoslavia).
A U.S. studio is reportedly circling “Mune” to take on various territories, including North America.
“Mune” will have its North American premiere at the Gkids’ New York Intl. Film Festival in March.
Set in an imaginary universe where the sun and the moon must be protected by guardians, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
This is the second collaboration between Jackman and Margeson, who had worked previously on Jeff Wadlow’s Kick Ass 2.
The duo have taken on the star-studded Kingsman with Oscar winners Colin Firth and Michael Caine, Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, and newcomer Taron Egerton. Based on a comic book by Mark Millar, the story follows a veteran secret agent (Firth) who takes a young protégé (Egerton) under his wing.
The score album will be released on La La Land Records, February 17, 2015.
Jackman and Margeson’s score for Kingsman delivers nail biting action sequences while emphasizing the heart of the film which lie in the relationship between Firth and Egerton. The deep brass notes exemplify the grandeur of the secret society and the »
- Michelle McCue
20 items from 2015
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