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<< Continued from "Weekend Report: 'Hobbit' Emerges Victorious in Final Box Office 'Battle'"Playing at 3,785 locations, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened to an estimated $17.3 million this weekend. That's a fraction of the last movie's $54.2 million debut, though that did open over Memorial Day weekend (when the opening frame is much more significant). A better comparison is the first Night at the Museum, which earned $30.4 million on the same weekend back in 2006.More recent comparisons are Fox three-quels The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which opened to $24 million and $23.2 million, respectively. If the final Night at the Museum follows the same pattern as those movies, it will wind up with less than $100 million total.The second Night at the Museum movie earned 29 percent less than the first, which suggested that the novelty of the original movie had quickly worn off. »
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Natalie Portman's career survived Star Wars, but the actress wasn't quite sure it was going to turn out that way. Portman has gone on to become one of the most acclaimed performers of her generation and has won numerous awards, including Best Actress for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Still, it came very close in her estimation to not being a happy ending and she can point fingers at George Lucas. In a recent New York Magazine article, a section dedicated to the late Mike Nichols includes »
- Alex Maidy
As Disney and J.J. Abrams looks to restore some pride in the Star Wars saga following George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy, Natalie Portman has told New York Mag that “everyone thought I was a horrible actress” after her role as Padme Amidala in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and that “no director wanted to work with me”. Fortunately, the late Mike Nichols – who directed Portman in Closer – managed to help her get her career back on track…
“Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike Nichols wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. »
- Gary Collinson
Cinematographers live in interesting times, with technological developments offering more options, but also opening the door for others to meddle with the image.
“It’s a changing time and that’s not a bad thing because we have new tools. The bad part is that our influence is diminishing,” Steven Poster, who is a former president of the American Society of Cinematographers, said recently at a session organized by Technicolor at Camerimage, a festival dedicated to cinematography.
Poster, whose credits include “Donnie Darko,” said that this decline in influence started when crews stopped watching film dailies and switched to lower-quality video dailies. With film dailies, everyone could appreciate the look the cinematographer was trying to achieve.
“It gave a sense of the scope, the look, the feel and the emotional output of the movie,” he said. “It created a kind of gestalt that made everybody work in a particular direction. »
- Leo Barraclough
Portman first worked with Nichols in an all-star production of Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001, while she was in between Star Wars movies.
"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," she told NY Magazine.
"I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.
Portman also credited Nichols »
Apparently, if you watch a family animated movie, it's five times more likely that the parent of a main character will die.
A new piece of research that's been published in the British Medical Journal has compared the fate of characters in children's cartoons, compared to live action movies aimed at an adult audience. By children's cartoons - its words - the report is talking about animated movies. And it argues that animated family films are "rife with death and destruction", comparing the content to that of "rampant horrors".
As part of its analysis, the new study looked at the time it took characters to tie in the top 45 grossing children-targeting animated movies, from, er, 1937 to the present day. This took in Snow White through to Frozen.
The study also looked at whether the first screen death in such features was either a murder, or of a main character's parent. »
Being a part of a major franchise is not always a good thing, in fact it can almost become a career killer for some.
In a new feature piece for New York Magazine, actress Natalie Portman spoke about the late film director Mike Nichols whom she worked with on "Closer" and received rave reviews for her performance. However, she claims that at the time no-one wanted to hire her because of a certain franchise she was involved with:
"Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."
After the prequel trilogy ended, Portman ended up »
- Garth Franklin
A new study has described animated children's movies as "hotbeds of murder and mayhem".
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, suggested that kids' films contain just as much destruction and death as an adult horror film.
Researchers looked at the 45 top-grossing PG and suitable-for-all children's animations released between 1937 and 2013, and found that two thirds of the films showed the death of an important character, compared to half of the adult films.
Main cartoon characters were two and a half times more likely to die, and almost three times more likely to be murdered than in an adult film.
Parents of main characters were more than five times as likely to die in children's cartoons - as in Frozen - compared to adult-aimed movies.
It also found that parents, enemies and children were often the first to die in cartoons, but the main protagonist was most likely to be killed off in other films. »
Those of us who care about movie posters often complain about “big head” posters from Hollywood studios, but the design for Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is the ne plus ultra of big head posters: a poster for a film about a big head. The head in question is the papier-mâché noggin worn by Michael Fassbender’s title character, which was inspired by the nearly identical prop worn by Chris Sievey, a.k.a. Frank Sidebottom, the nasal-voiced troubadour from Timperley, Manchester, who famously covered the Sex Pistols (“Anarchy in Timperley”) and had his moment of cult fame in the 80s. The poster for Frank, designed by an as-yet uncredited designer at P+A studio (the anonymity seems apt) subverts the chief function of the big head poster by not showing us the film’s star. To me it’s a thing of beauty (my affection for Frank Sidebottom and »
- Adrian Curry
Darren Aronofsky has established himself as a director who is great at making huge big budget movies like Noah and smaller art house type film like Black Swan. His last movie was Noah, which was his big dream project, and I liked it! I’ve been curious to see what he would do next. After all, what does a director do after they make their dream project?
He’s been developing a couple of things, such as an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam for HBO. The Tracking Board is saying that he's looking to direct a film adaptation of The Good Nurse, which based on the novel by Charles Graeber. It’s based on the true story of a nurse who was also an insane serial killer who was implicated in the deaths of hundreds of people.
The film is set up at Lionsgate, and it’s being written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns. »
- Joey Paur
From the Executive Producer of "Black Swan" and "Machete" comes the supernatural thriller "The Culling". Here's the trailer for Rustam Branaman's evil child flick, which stars Elizabeth Di Prinzio ("The Devil Within"), Jeremy Sumpter ("Friday Night Lights"), Brett Davern ("Awkward"), Chris Coy ("Hostel: Part III") and Linsey Godfrey. Signature Entertainment is releasing in the UK on March 23, 2015.Five friends head out of town for road trip to a summer concert. A change of plans arise as they find a seven-year-old girl left alone in a parking, leaving them no choice but to find her parents. The little girl's house is well out of the way and secluded. When they arrive at her house it's quickly apparent they will have to stay for the night. What is not is foreseen is the evil »
Believe it or not, Aronofsky's Noah got an award nomination this morning. It didn't land a nod in any of the major categories, but it did receive a nomination for Best Song for Patti Smith's "Mercy Is." That's probably the biggest honor the film will receive (perhaps it could get an Oscar nomination in the same category), but that film is in the past for director Darren Aronofsky now, and the filmmaker behind The Fountain and Black Swan is lining up new projects. He's already working on an adaptation of the MaddAddam trilogy at HBO, but Tracking Board reports his company Protozoa is adapting the book The Good Nurse. Read on! Update! We've been informed by publicity that Aronofsky is attached to produce with first refusal to direct, so the project is still early in development and there is no assurance that Aronofsky is actually going to direct, but he might. »
- Ethan Anderton
Boardwalk Empire alum Michael Stuhlbarg has signed on to a highly promising follow-up project today, with word that he’s set to portray a journalist in Universal’s Danny Boyle-directed, Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs movie.
The project has been making headlines a lot lately. First, Michael Fassbender was locked into place to portray the late Apple founder. Then, the project lost its funding when Sony unexpectedly put it into turnaround (though Universal was quick to swoop in). More recently, Jeff Daniels landed the supporting role of former Apple CEO John Sculley, and leaked emails from Sony called the script, which adapts William Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, “brilliant” and “masterful.”
The film will take part in three distinct acts, following Jobs during three stressful, high-profile product launches including the first Macintosh in 1984 and Apple’s 2001 debut of the iPod. It has been described as more like a play than a typical Hollywood biopic, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Darren Aronofsky is one of the most unique filmmakers working today. None of his films are alike and whether the material be melodrama (Black Swan), Biblical epic (Noah), or fantastical drama (The Fountain), he always finds a way to innovate the medium of film. With multiple projects in development, including the HBO series Maddaddam, the question still remains as to what his seventh directorial effort will be. The Tracking Board has posted their full 2014 Hit List which mentions the film »
- Alex Maidy
From the Executive Producer of Black Swan and Machete comes supernatural thriller The Culling directed by Rustam Branaman. It is about a group of friends who find a lost girl by the roadside and decide to take her back to her house which might just be haunted.
The Culling was recently picked up by Signature Entertainment for distribution in the United Kingdom. That release takes place on DVD March 23rd, 2015. Release dates for the Us and Canada are expected soon.
Five friends head out of town for road trip to a summer concert. A change of plans arise as they find a seven-year-old girl left alone in a parking, leaving them no choice but to find her parents. The little girl’s house is well out of the way and secluded. When they arrive at her house it [Continued ...] »
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 easily retained the top spot over a very slow post-Thanksgiving weekend.Without a single new nationwide release, the domestic box office took a dive: the Top 12 earned $70.2 million, which makes this the second-worst weekend of the year.In its third weekend, Mockingjay fell 61 percent to $22 million. While that drop looks steep, it's actually an improvement over Catching Fire's 65 percent drop at the same point last year. To date, Mockingjay has earned $258.2 million, which ranks fourth for the year (it will be in second place by Tuesday). If it follows Catching Fire's pattern from here, it will wrap up with around $330 million.Penguins of Madagascar took second place with $10.9 million, which is off 57 percent from its opening. In comparison, Rise of the Guardians only fell 44 percent on this same weekend in 2012. Penguins is now less than $1 million ahead of Guardians*$49.4 million vs. $48.8 million »
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (again), and as usual it’s getting to those last few weeks before the big day when creative ideas and planning make way for frantic grabs at whatever is left on the shelves after the Black Friday zombie hordes have cleared everything out.
But fear not: because the best of Christmas is watching movies, re-watching old TV specials and trying hard to forget that George Lucas ever decided that anyone wanted a Star Wars Christmas show, there’ll always be a helping hand round these parts for those who want it.
So if you’re buying for a difficult brother, a picky sister or just for the film, gaming or TV fan in your life, what follows is a compendium of the finest gift ideas for this year’s festivities, as usual there are massive opportunities to win most of what has been included… »
- Simon Gallagher
On what's sure to be one of the slowest weekends of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 should easily hold on to first place at the box office.The closest thing there is to a nationwide release this week is 20th Century Fox horror movie The Pyramid, which is going out in 589 theaters*just shy of the 600 theater nationwide threshold. With a light marketing effort and moderate release, The Pyramid will almost certainly open below $5 million.The weekend after Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the worst of the year. Instead of heading out to theaters, most moviegoers are instead focused on the beginning of the Christmas season. In the past four years, only three movies have opened nationwide on this weekend: Out of the Furnace, Killing Them Softly and The Warrior's Way all opened below $7 million and closed below $20 million.This is a bit of a self-fulfilling »
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Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are effusive talkers on any number of subjects, but good luck getting them to shut up about the best movie they’ve seen recently — a marvel of beautifully observed realism, carefully grounded in the quotidian details of working-class life, and featuring an outstanding big-screen debut by a young actor with no formal training.
“It’s the first film I’ve seen in a very, very long time where the characters are human beings, and they disappear into the fabric of the film. They’re just people,” says Jean-Pierre, 63.
“It’s about ordinary existence, ordinary life,” continues Luc, 60, generally the more loquacious of the two. “(The filmmaker) trusts mundane existence and allows it to exist.”
If the Dardennes were less inclined toward modesty, they might just as »
- Justin Chang
The highly-anticipated Pretty Little Liars Christmas special is just one week away -- and we’re finally getting close to figuring out who ‘A’ is.
In the mid-season finale, fans were left shocked and even heartbroken when Mona was surprisingly murdered in her own bedroom, leading fans to believe it was Ali who put the knife through her chest. But, could Aria actually be the show’s biggest mystery villain?!
When ETonline caught up with Lucy Hale, she addressed the speculation that her character could be ‘A,’ revealing she thinks the theory is more than plausible.
"It would make sense,” Lucy agreed. “I mean, she’s always kind of, like, missing. It's usually like the three girls and Aria's never there.”
The 25-year-old starlet also revealed that she would relish the opportunity to play the villain. “I would love that!” she says."I think that as an actor everyone wants to play the bad guy... it would be »
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