Movie News

Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Dominates Valentine’s Day

Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Dominates Valentine’s Day
Alita: Battle Angel” dominated North American moviegoing on Valentine’s Day with a first-day launch of $8.7 million at 3,790 locations, including previews.

Fox’s science-fiction actioner, produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, is expected to wind up in the $37 million range during its first five days of release through Presidents Day on Monday. That’s above recent forecasts, which had pegged “Alita” for a $30 million debut.

Alita: Battle Angel” is a costly bet for Fox, given its $170 million production budget. Rosa Salazar stars as a cyborg with a mysterious past. The film, based on popular Japanese manga, had a solid start overseas last weekend, where it earned $32 million from 11 international territories.

New Line’s “Isn’t It Romantic” pulled in $4.4 million on Valentine’s Day for a two-day total of $6.2 million at 3,444 sites. Rebel Wilson’s satirical comedy, which opened on Wednesday, should wind up with around $20 million
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jason Momoa in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

  • The Wrap
Jason Momoa in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’
Jason Momoa is in talks with Legendary to join the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” individuals with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap.

The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic novel has been loading up on big names in recent months. Timothee Chalamet is set to star alongside Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin.

Set in the distant future, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, played by Chalamet, whose family accepts control of Arrakis, a planet that is the only known producer of a highly coveted resource and is thus contested among several elite families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, he must lead a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.
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Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Assembles $2.4 Million on Wednesday

Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Assembles $2.4 Million on Wednesday
Alita: Battle Angel” is leading a trio of new releases at the domestic box office. Fox’s sci-fi action adventure earned $2.4 million in Wednesday previews and is expected to earn $22 million over the weekend and $30 million during its first five days of release.

Like “Alita,” Universal and Warner Bros. both opted to get a head start on a crowded President’s Day holiday weekend by opening “Happy Death Day 2U” and “Isn’t It Romantic” on Wednesday. Warner Bros.’ “Isn’t It Romantic” picked up $1.8 million on its first day of release. The satirical rom-com is expected to make $14 million over the three-day frame and $22 million during the long weekend. Meanwhile, Universal and Blumhouse’s “Happy Death Day” sequel pocketed $1 million on Wednesday and is now eyeing $17 million during the weekend and $30 million over its first six days of release.

Alita: Battle Angel” has a lot riding on this weekend.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

International Cinema Group Urges Festivals to Ban Non-Theatrically Released Films From Competition

With the Berlin Film Festival about to wrap and Cannes fast approaching, the International Union of Cinemas (Unic) is urging programmers at leading festivals to select for competition only films that will receive a full theatrical release.

Unic, which represents exhibitors and cinema associations in 37 countries, mostly in Europe, said in a statement Friday that it expects leading film festivals to “ensure that all selected films observe established industry norms – including a full and genuine theatrical release.” The organization added: “We can’t imagine that festivals propose programs just for a small number of subscribers of specific streaming platforms, privatizing both the audience and the films themselves.”

Unic did not name particular platforms such as Netflix or Amazon. But the organization’s statement came amid the Berlin Film Festival, which sparked anger among German exhibitors over the inclusion of a Netflix film, “Elisa y Marcela,” in competition. It marks the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Millennium Falcon May Get Another New Look in ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’, See a Mock-Up

  • Slash Film
The Millennium Falcon May Get Another New Look in ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’, See a Mock-Up
Here’s a rumor that will appeal to hardcore Star Wars fans who love to obsess over every minute detail. Word on the galactic street is that the Millennium Falcon is about to get yet another upgrade for Star Wars: Episode IX. If you’re someone who fears change, though, don’t fret: it’s not a huge change. Eagle-eyed fans […]

The post The Millennium Falcon May Get Another New Look in ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’, See a Mock-Up appeared first on /Film.
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‘Ready Player One’ Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg’s Take

‘Ready Player One’ Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg’s Take
In helmer Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” a vast group of familiar characters and those created for the film had to be integrated into one story and some had to travel between two worlds. Visual-effects supervisor Roger Guyett knew he’d be working with multiple styles and sources to pull it off.

Original characters including the robot from “The Iron Giant” would have to be sourced and then brought into the world that Spielberg wanted to create for the film. Guyett, who also worked with the helmer on “Saving Private Ryan,” went about gathering information about these classic characters from many different places. Sometimes he would be given concept art, a 3D model or other designs. Overall, he had his pick of the best versions of those characters that were still available since their original creators wanted the designs to be as similar to the original creatures as possible
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Introduces a New Map of Middle-earth

  • Slash Film
Amazon’s very expensive Lord of the Rings TV series is still shrouded in mystery, but social media accounts for the show went live yesterday. And today, those accounts gave us our first official…something…from the series. It’s a map! And while J.R.R. Tolkien’s books were big on maps, this map is a bit underwhelming. For one thing, it’s […]

The post Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Introduces a New Map of Middle-earth appeared first on /Film.
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In ‘Stan & Ollie,’ Makeup Magic Transformed John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan Into Iconic Duo

In ‘Stan & Ollie,’ Makeup Magic Transformed John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan Into Iconic Duo
The second Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly appear onscreen in “Stan & Ollie,” there is no question that they are the legendary Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, respectively. The physical transformations masterminded by prosthetic makeup designer Mark Coulier and makeup and hair designer Jeremy Woodhead are that remarkable, enabling the actors to fully inhabit their roles.

Surprisingly, Coulier and Woodhead were not recognized with Oscar nominations for their standout work on the film, which explores the latter years of the comedy duo’s career, though they did nab two nominations from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild’s sixth annual awards —one for period and/or character make-up and another for special make-up effects.

A huge fan of Laurel and Hardy, Coulier, who has been honored with Academy Awards for his work on “The Iron Lady” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” tells Variety that he couldn’t turn
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Toy Story 4’ Clip: Bo Peep Rescues a Lost Toy in a Flashback to Andy’s House

‘Toy Story 4’ Clip: Bo Peep Rescues a Lost Toy in a Flashback to Andy’s House
Though we’ve seen Bo Peep in two Toy Story movies, the character remains an underwritten mystery. But in just one short Toy Story 4 clip previewed by Good Morning America, we learn that this pretty porcelain shepherd is anything but sheepish. Toy Story 4 Clip We're giving you an Exclusive look at the newest @toystory movie! So excited […]

The post ‘Toy Story 4’ Clip: Bo Peep Rescues a Lost Toy in a Flashback to Andy’s House appeared first on /Film.
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‘Cold War’ Returns to Gold Standard on Cinematography

‘Cold War’ Returns to Gold Standard on Cinematography
“Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s tale of star-crossed lovers in the aftermath of World War II, is framed in a distinctive squarish, 1.37:1 frame. With deep focus black-and-white photography by Pawlikowski’s fellow Pole Lukasz Zal, the film has been gaining interest beyond the lensing community — “Cold War” is nominated for three Oscars: foreign-language film, directing and cinematography. Zal has also received noms from the Asc and BAFTA, and took the Silver Frog at the Camerimage Festival in his native Poland.

The 1.37 frame, also known as Academy format, was the standard for many decades in Hollywood and beyond, until CinemaScope and other grander formats pushed the curtains wider. Innovations in lens technology — the anamorphic or “squeeze” lens that is popular again today — led the change. At the time, directors of photography embraced widescreen because it offered more elegant landscapes, expanded options for two-shots, and close-ups that kept the characters more solidly grounded in their environments.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Marvel’s Kevin Feige Gives Credit to Ryan Coogler for ‘Black Panther’s’ ‘Personal Story’

The annals of film history are littered with far more movies that went unrecognized with a best picture nomination than those that are, but few made more of an impression on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences than “The Dark Knight.”

Ten years ago Christopher Nolan’s film received eight nominations and won two awards, for supporting actor and sound editing, but outrage over the absence of even a chance to win that top prize prompted the Academy to increase the number of nominees, and more broadly, instigated a cultural conversation about whether or not superhero films deserve to be considered alongside more “serious” works of cinematic art. That debate roiled in the ether until this year, when “Black Panther” finally became the first movie superhero film to compete for best picture.

Producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says he looked at the historic nomination less as
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Roma’ or ‘Cold War’ For Best Foreign Language Oscar? Ranking the Nominees’ Chances

  • Indiewire
‘Roma’ or ‘Cold War’ For Best Foreign Language Oscar? Ranking the Nominees’ Chances
This year’s foreign-language Oscar race has no precedent. For the first time, everybody in Los Angeles who participated in phase one was also invited to winnow down the shortlist of nine nominees to five. That greatly increased the number of voters, as did international members being allowed to stream the shortlist.

Over the last three years, the Academy has made it easier to participate in the phase-one foreign-language Oscar nominating committee, which had a noticeable impact on the overall nominations. Foreign-language films appear in the Best Picture, Director, and acting races as well as Production Design, Cinematography, and Hair and Makeup.

Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

New foreign committee chairs, screenwriter Larry Karaszewski and documentarian Diane Weyermann, pushed for inclusion. “Reaching out to other Academy members worked,” said Karaszewski, “with the profile of many of these films on a level that hasn’t been seen in the foreign language category in a while.
See full article at Indiewire »

BigRep’s 3D Printer Takes ‘First Man’ to the Moon

BigRep’s 3D Printer Takes ‘First Man’ to the Moon
Production designer Nathan Crowley was strolling through the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the shoot for “The Greatest Showman” in fall 2016 when he passed a building with a 3D printer printing a chair.

“The lady inside told me it was a machine from BigRep,” recalls Crowley. “I said, ‘When’s the last time you had a filament jam?’ She said, ‘About a month ago.’ And I was like, ‘Ok, I need that machine.’”

Crowley didn’t get to use it for “The Greatest Showman,” but he rented two BigRep One models for his next film, director Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” rounding out an arsenal of 18 3D printers used make everything from knobs and joysticks for the lunar module that puts Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) on the moon to a 14-foot-tall scale model of a Saturn V rocket.

“The benefit of large-format printer like the BigRep is you don’t have
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Cinematographers Behind ‘Cold War,’ ‘First Man’ and More Share Stories of Their Craft

The Cinematographers Behind ‘Cold War,’ ‘First Man’ and More Share Stories of Their Craft
As we head into the final stretch of awards season, /Film had the opportunity to speak with a number of cinematographers about their craft. These include Linus Sandgren of First Man, Lukasz Zal of Cold War, John Mathieson of Mary Queen of Scots, Michael Grady of On the Basis of Sex, and C. Kim Miles of Welcome […]

The post The Cinematographers Behind ‘Cold War,’ ‘First Man’ and More Share Stories of Their Craft appeared first on /Film.
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Reflecting on ‘The Wild Bunch’s’ Innovations 50 Years Later

Reflecting on ‘The Wild Bunch’s’ Innovations 50 Years Later
W.K. Stratton’s new book, “‘The Wild Bunch’: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film” (Bloomsbury) makes the case for the 1969 Western about American outlaws who died bloody deaths in Mexico. Peckinpah’s masterpiece became a favorite of the Weather Underground and assorted cineastes and a solid hit for Warner Bros. Stratton spoke to Variety about the film’s many innovations and will be screening the film at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Laemmle’s 7 in Pasadena. A talk with critic Stephen Farber, presented by Vroman’s Bookstore, will follow the film.

The Wild Bunch’ pushed the violence envelope. What were its other important innovations?

The Wild Bunch’s’ greatest innovation lies in the production work itself. Specifically, photography. The most familiar images in the film come from the sequence that has come to be known as “the walk”: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Minding the Gap’ Chronicles a Boyhood Through Skateboarding

A broken skateboard forms a heart on the poster for “Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu’s documentary about three young men, including himself, who used skating as an escape from their own broken childhoods in Rockford, Ill. Nominated at the 91st Academy Awards, the film is far more than a tribute to the healing powers of an often-vilified sport; it’s a real-life and decidedly more complex version of Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” filtered through the culture of a community that provided an unexpected home for these, and it turns out, many other kids who felt alienated from, abused or discarded by their real families.

Despite his lifelong passion for skateboarding, Liu says he initially tried to avoid making a film that focused on it. “Skateboarding has such a bad rep,” he says. “For years, it’s been a punching bag for mainstream society, so I didn’t want to do a skateboarding film.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bo Burnham, Nadine Labaki on How They Broke New Career Ground

Bo Burnham, Nadine Labaki on How They Broke New Career Ground
There were a lot of film innovators in 2018, in front of and behind the camera. That long list includes first-time actors such as Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”), and the ensemble in the Chloe Zhao-directed “The Rider.” There were also many first-time filmmakers, including Boots Riley (“Sorry to Bother You”), Aneesh Chaganty (“Searching”) and Lukas Dhont (“Girl”).

The list of groundbreakers also includes Bo Burnham (A24’s “Eighth Grade”) and Nadine Labaki (Sony Classics’ Oscar-nominated “Capernaum”). He’s an innovator because he transferred from standup performer to filmmaker; she took her directing talent a new direction, shaping the script with her first-time actors, shooting chronologically.

Burnham started as a YouTube sensation at age 16. A dozen years later, he won the DGA award for best first film, and “Eighth Grade” is nominated for four Indie Spirit Awards.

“I wasn’t one of those kids who ran around with the family camera,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Machine Learning Saves ‘Avengers’ VFX Artists Time

Machine Learning Saves ‘Avengers’ VFX Artists Time
For visual-effects artists, time is always a struggle. When the call comes in to create something spectacular, artists and supervisors have to calculate how much run-

way they have to get from the point of the idea for the vfx to the deadline. On “Avengers: Infinity War,” the vfx crew found that a new innovation — machine learning — made it possible to create the character Thanos in a way that would have simply been impossible without it.

The filmmakers envisioned a version of Thanos — played by Josh Brolin — that would be CG, but also incorporate all the subtle facial expressions and delicate hallmarks of a physical performance that could only been done by an actor. They knew that the facial tracking tech was there but asking vfx artists to manually adjust every inch of the CG version of the face of Thanos once they had all the tracking and scanning information would have been a disaster.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Black Mother’ Trailer: Khalik Allah’s Vivid Meditation on History and Identity

For his third feature film, filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah turned his attention to a place very close to his heart: Jamaica, the birthplace of his mother. While Allah’s lauded “Field Niggas” served as a visual exploration of the various people who move in around the Harlem street corner of 125th Street and Lexington Ave., “Black Mother” takes his talents to a very different location, finding many connections between the two in the process.

In an official statement, the filmmaker billed the film as “an audio-visual love letter to Jamaica.” Allah added, “I shot my last film in the streets. I shot this one on a river. Everything in the film is connected through water; from the fruit to the land to the people, with a specific emphasis on the woman who carries life for nine months. There’s no container for this film, it overflows with intimate portraiture
See full article at Indiewire »

How the Digital Era Is Changing How Directors Interact With Actors

How the Digital Era Is Changing How Directors Interact With Actors
Josh Brolin hardly looked tough shooting his role as super-villain Thanos in Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” dressed as he was in a skintight motion capture bodysuit with multicolored tracking markings, two HD cameras attached to headgear pointing at his dotted face, and a pole sticking up from the back of his vest holding a cardboard cutout of his character’s countenance above his head. But the sibling directing team of Anthony and Joe Russo still acted as if he were a badass.

“Brolin would love it that we would treat Thanos like he was a gangster character,” says younger brother Joe Russo. “We’d use terminology that would be reflective of that and say he’s a psychopath and he wants control, not he’s a giant purple creature who relates to the universe this way, so he could correlate it to a genre and character motivation that he could access.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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