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Vampires are a particularly versatile cinematic creature, easily able to transform and readjust to the scenario or metaphoric requirement. Over the past few years, they have shown up on the big screen in a number of guises — sparkly lovelorn teenagers, brooding old world counts, Colin Farrell — but a vampire comedy is a more difficult nut to crack (or vein to drain). In the summer of 2012, not even the combined might of Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and the "Dark Shadows" television series could make a blood-sucking comedy connect with broad audiences. Thankfully, "What We Do In the Shadows," the new vampire comedy from "Flight of the Conchords" principals Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, is a refreshing, laugh-out-loud funny picture that is perfectly happy with its somewhat niche appeal. It goes in late, it gets out early, and it's a total hoot. A series of title cards set up the general premise »
- Drew Taylor
Eddie Murphy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Evans, Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Lopez, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Margot Robbie will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced on Thursday. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Murphy received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 2006 film “Dreamgirls.” He has starred in such features as “Bowfinger” (1999), “The Nutty Professor” (1996), “Coming to America” (1988), “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984) and “48 Hrs.” (1982), and has lent his voice talents to all four of the “Shrek” animated features to date. He will next be seen in the independent drama “Cook.”
Ejiofor received his first Oscar nomination last year for his lead performance in “12 Years a Slave.” He previously appeared in such features as “Salt” (2010), “American Gangster” (2007), “Children of Men” (2006) and “Dirty Pretty Things” (2003). His upcoming films include “Z for Zachariah” and “Triple Nine. »
- Michelle McCue
“It’s clearly a disappointment,” Feltheimer told analysts Friday during the company’s conference call to discuss earnings for its third quarter ended Dec. 31.
“Mortdecai,” which carries a $60 million price tag, has underperformed significantly since its Jan. 23 launch with $7 million in U.S. box office. It’s grossed another $11 million internationally.
The exec noted that Lionsgate’s financing structure, which uses foreign pre-sales to limit its downside, has minimized the studio’s exposure along with an investment by Gigi Pritzker’s OddLot as part of their financing partnership.
Feltheimer has credited the financing model in the past with limiting Lionsgate’s average exposure per film to $13 million.
The studio had high hopes for “Mortdecai” last year. Feltheimer told analysts last May that »
- Dave McNary
Nicolas Winding Refn’s next venture, The Neon Demon, is set to explore a new cinematic terrain for the esoteric director. Described by the helmer as a “horror film about vicious beauty,” there’s certainly plenty of beautiful faces joining his starry cast. Variety reports that John Wick lead Keanu Reeves, Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, The Hunger Games‘ Jena Malone and Dark Shadows‘ Bella Heathcote will be subjecting themselves to Refn’s will for his upcoming L.A.-based tale.
The trade doesn’t offer any further details on the characters that the four actors look set to play, but the quartet will join Maleficent‘s Elle Fanning, toplining the project as “an aspiring model who is caught in a world of beauty and demise,” and Abbey Lee, as “a cool ringleader that other girls want to follow. Envious, emotionally unstable and a tad delusional, she shows her true maniacal colors in the end. »
- Gem Seddon
Nicolas Winding Refn is set to reunite with Drive star Christina Hendricks in the cast of his upcoming female-led horror The Neon Demon, while Keanu Reeves (John Wick) has also signed on for a role along with Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1) and Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows).
- Gary Collinson
We’ve known about the Fantastic Four reboot for quite some time, but that hasn’t stopped it being a mysterious project which, until this week, we knew next to nothing about.
We knew that the cast, director and groundwork of the original 2005 film, and its 2007 sequel Rise Of The Silver Surfer, had been firmly thrown out in favour of a new visual look, some reimagining of the source material and an altogether more modern take on the Marvel comics property. Beyond that, many facets of the film remained a mystery.
Yet the reveal of the new trailer finally gave us a few more specifics. And here's what we know so far...
The behind the scenes team
Even these basic facts are a little complicated. While the question »
The 51-year-old actor adds another flop to his already long streak, but other actors aren’t betting their careers on only box-office bankability
The actor plays the Wolf in Disney’s ensemble musical “Into the Woods,” but his last leading man hit was 2011’s installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Last year’s “Transcendence” fizzled, as did 2013’s “The Lone Ranger” and »
- Linda Ge
American Sniper hit the mark with moviegoers again.
The military drama starring Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal marksman Chris Kyle topped the box office for a second weekend in a row with $64.4 million in first place, according to studio estimates Sunday. American Sniper is up for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Cooper. The total haul for the Warner Bros. film now stands at $200.1 million.
"We've never quite seen anything like this at this time of year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box-office tracker Rentrak. "American Sniper is helping to propel the box office, which is already 9.3 percent ahead of the same time last year."
The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, already broke box-office records when it expanded to wide release last weekend, easily surpassing Avatar to become the biggest January opening for a movie and immediately becoming the top grosser among best-picture Oscar nominees. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Final Update, Sunday Am: Warner Bros. is reporting that American Sniper will raise its domestic cume to $200.1M through Sunday after a massive $64.4M weekened at 3,705 theaters, the third-highest weekend ever in January, behind Sniper’s opening last weekend, and Avatar’s third Fss of $68.5M.
That figure, should it hold into tomorrow, marks a mere 28-percent slip – the best second-week hold for a wide release ever for a film that debuted with more than $85M. Previous to this, the best big debuts to hold an audience were 2004’s Shrek 2 (down 33 percent in its second frame) and 2002’s Spider-Man (down 38 percent). American Sniper is marching toward $300M, a mark only six Warner Bros. films have passed.
“Many exhibitors are hearing from their theater managers that the infrequent moviegoers who go only two to three times a year, are coming out to see this movie,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
The Iraq War saga “American Sniper” soared like a superhero movie at the box office, with a $64.3 million second weekend in wide release that would make any caped crusader proud.
The Clint Eastwood-directed telling of the tough return home by Navy Seal Chris Kyle, played in the movie by Bradley Cooper, continued its electrifying run with the best second weekend ever by an R-rated movie. In the process, “American Sniper” hit the $200 million mark in domestic grosses just 10 days after earning nominations for Best Picture, »
- Todd Cunningham
The caper comedy will be the fifth-straight flop for the actor whose career has taken strange twist
The wacky whiskers he wore as a shady art dealer in “Mortdecai” — the subject of a a national pre-release promo campaign — couldn’t prevent Lionsgate Entertainment’s caper comedy from landing with a major thud and taking in a puny $1.4 million in its nationwide opening Friday.
That means that “Mortdecai” will finish the weekend with less than $5 million, or »
- Todd Cunningham
“American Sniper” intensified its stunning and record-breaking box-office barrage with another $18.3 million on Friday. The tale of a top U.S. marksman coming home a changed man again blew past analysts’ projections and is heading for a three-day haul of more than $60 million, which would be easily the best second weekend in January ever.
- Todd Cunningham
The comedy came in seventh when it opened to $1.5 million on Friday and looks to finish the weekend in ninth place with a dismal $4.3 million.
The pic is far behind this weekend’s other new wide releasdise, Jennifer Lopez’s “The Boy Next Door,” which is runner-up to Bradley Cooper’s “American Sniper” as it continues to defy expectations with an estimated weekend haul of $62 million.
Lionsgate’s “Mortdecai,” which reportedly carries a $60 million pricetag, grossed about a third of what had been expected.
The movie marks the third Stateside dud in a row and one of the worst openings for Depp, following “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger.” Aside from Disney’s mega-successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, the chameleonic actor’s most recent films have bombed domestically (this is excluding his non-starring role in “Into the Woods »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Betting on Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai” has turned out to be a nightmare for Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment, which financed the $60 million comedy that few want to see. It’s also another big black eye for Depp as the farce is the latest in a series of high-profile flops for the actor following “Transcendence,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Dark Shadows.”
Friday afternoon estimates showed the R-rated “Mortdecai” pulling in a mere $2 million on its opening day at 2,648 locations, with a weekend take estimated at less than $6 million — about half of recent forecasts. Despite Depp’s apparent efforts to channel the nuttiness of Peter Sellers, critics mostly hammered the film, which scored a dismal 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Depp’s career and stature as one of the biggest stars in the world is currently on shaky ground given his struggle to attract huge audiences outside of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Alice in Wonderland” franchises. »
- Dave McNary
The ensemble action comedy is pacing to come in under $6 million for weekend
“Mortdecai” will come in at less than $6 million for the weekend and be Depp’s fifth consecutive flop as a leading man, if it stays on the pace it was setting early Friday. That’s below the projections of analysts for the film, which were low to begin with at $10 million.
- Todd Cunningham
<< Continued from "'Sniper' to Easily Fight Off Weak Competition This Weekend"Opening at 2,648 locations, Mortdecai will likely be Johnny Depp's latest misfire at the domestic box office. He stars as the title character, a "debonair art dealer and part time rogue" who goes on a mission to recover a stolen painting.Marketing has positioned the movie as a broad slapstick comedy, and there's been a heavy emphasis placed on Mortdecai's silly-looking mustache. That includes a series of posters that feature each of the main stars, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Munn, wearing a similar mustache. While this quirky choice has helped differentiate the movie, it seems too slight to really translate in to ticket sales.In general, this is a pretty odd project. It's adapted from a series of novels by British author Kyril Bonfiglioli, which were originally published in the 1970s; while they surely have some fans, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
American Sniper is a phenom. Even the best predictions were $25+ million off last weekend. Astounding for a January release. Could we have predicted from the title alone that it was better than double Lone Survivorc Might January become patriotic military cinema monthc $53.5 million is my call for the weekend, gaining Academy momentum in a big way. Give The Boy Next Door this - they know who the audience is. The trailers are steamy and forbidden - catnip for the 50 Shades crowd. And really, who hasn't been therec My teenage neighbors hit on me constantly. This film, like the fella in it, will perform well, to the tune of $19.5 million. Strange Magic is in that weird place of being not quite a normal looking animation. I have seen trailers, so they are marketing, but it's not a sequel or a Pixar - though there's a chance Disney Animation has made another "more Pixar than Pixar" film. »
- Laremy Legel
The ad campaign for "Mortdecai," the new Johnny Depp comic caper film, is so befuddling, both opaque and overbearing, that a recent Vulture article spent several hundred words trying to decode what, exactly, the movie was and why the powers that be behind said movie were content with selling the project based on large photos of the very handsome cast (also included: Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor) sporting cartoonish mustaches. This is a shame, because the movie is an undeniably charming, frothy affair, a zippy, inventive, frequently funny international romp that recalls both the "Pink Panther" and "Austin Powers" franchises, while somehow being considerably stranger than either.
Depp plays the title character, a kind of bone-headed aristocratic art dealer who trades in stolen antiquities. At the beginning of the movie, he's trying to screw over some Chinese gangsters, since he's in deep debt with the British government and his »
- Drew Taylor
Since going mainstream in Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp has trawled for laughs with mixed results in big-budget fare like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger. The costume and make-up department has become ever more important in the process of transformation, and his ostentatious 'tache is even a running joke in knockabout caper Mortdecai. This is the last straw.
Depp is a gifted comic actor and the character of Charles Mortdecai, an eccentric art dealer (created by novelist Kyril Bonfiglioli), benefits from his particular brand of effete charm, but this is a performance formed entirely of mannerisms.
The comedy is broad and rather brash, except for Mortdecai's elaborate turn of phrase, peppered with twee English exclamations of "I say," "old boy" and »
Desperately seeking a “pretty movie stars chase art treasures in world capitals” vibe, this goofy soufflé ultimately falls flat
I admit to being a big fan of watching glamorous movie stars gadding around world capitols in the comedic pursuit of art treasures; I spent countless hours glued to the TV as a kid soaking in comic soufflés like “Charade” and “How to Steal a Million,” and I’ll even defend the much-maligned “Hudson Hawk” for its efforts to keep the genre alive in our modern, cynical era.
If only I could feel as charitable toward “Mortdecai,” a glamorous, jet-set fantasy »
- Alonso Duralde
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