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Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Lego Movie 2’ to Lead President’s Day Weekend

  • Variety
Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Lego Movie 2’ to Lead President’s Day Weekend
Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations.

“Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack for a relatively sluggish President’s Day weekend, with the top 12 films totaling significantly below last year’s revenues, which were given a massive boost from the $242 million (four-day) premiere of “Black Panther.”

Robert Rodriguez’s cyberpunk action film starring Christoph Waltz and Rosa Salazar scored $7.53 million on Friday. James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis adapted the script from Yukito Kishiro’s manga series “Gunnm,” and the Fox sci-fier holds a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Alita” marks a risk for the studio, with a costly $170 million production budget.

Warner Bros.’ “Lego Movie 2,” starring Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks, has taken
See full article at Variety »

'Downfall' Actor Bruno Ganz Dies at 77

'Downfall' Actor Bruno Ganz Dies at 77
Bruno Ganz, one of Europe's most acclaimed film and theater actors who was best known for his towering performance as Adolf Hitler in the Oscar-nominated Downfall — a performance that earned him accolades and launched a million memes — has died. He was 77.

Ganz's management confirmed that the Swiss actor died Friday evening at his home in Zurich following a long illness.

Ganz was an iconic figure in the German-speaking world and beyond, his gravely, Swiss-accented voice as instantly recognizable as his mercurial style, which could shift from reserved and withdrawn to volcanic in an instant.

Born in ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: ‘We Thank You for Your Show of Respect’

  • Variety
Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: ‘We Thank You for Your Show of Respect’
Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions.

“We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” said American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Osstrom, who spearheaded the opposition.

“The honor offered by the Academy Awards is vital to validating the claim that everyone contributing to the making of a motion picture is an artist,” he added.

Van Oostrum and three other ASC members — Hoyte van Hoytema, Rachel Morrison and Emmanuel Lubezki — met Thursday night with Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy, and Academy president John Bailey to press their case. The controversy had exploded when AMPAS announced Monday that the portions of the awards for four categories — cinematography, film editing,
See full article at Variety »

Jussie Smollett Attack: Arrested Individuals Released Due to "New Evidence"

Jussie Smollett Attack: Arrested Individuals Released Due to
The individuals arrested on Friday by Chicago police in regards to the Jussie Smollett attack have been released without charging due to "new evidence."

"Empire Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the #Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete," Chicago Pd deputy director of news affairs and communications Tom Ahern tweeted on Friday.

Two men were arrested Friday morning in the case of the alleged assault, but were not charged with a crime. The arrests ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Gets November 2020 Release Date

  • Variety
Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Gets November 2020 Release Date
Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax.

Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring in Budapest and Jordan.

Dune” centers on the battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis. Chalamet is playing the leader Paul Atreides, who is forced to escape into the wastelands, where he eventually becomes the ruler of the nomadic tribes.

Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve is helming and co-writing the script with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. The movie will be produced by Villeneuve, Mary Parent, and Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Thomas Tull, and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers.

Dune” is based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel. The
See full article at Variety »

‘Bond 25’ Moves Back Two Months In 2020

  • Deadline
‘Bond 25’ Moves Back Two Months In 2020
MGM’s Bond 25 will open April 8, 2020 now, instead of Feb. 14, 2020. That new date is the Wednesday before Easter, and currently 007 is the only major pic on that new date. Universal just pulled Fast & Furious 9 off of Holy weekend and pushed it to Memorial Day weekend that year.

Essentially, Easter weekend will be a crowded one in China, which is another reason why F&F 9 pulled out of that frame. Middle Kingdom is the bread and butter for the Fast & Furious franchise.

As previously reported, Beasts of Nation helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga stepped in to direct Daniel Craig after Danny Boyle decided not to steer the project.

007 scribe regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are back writing the Eon production.

Cast returning include Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw.

Universal will be handling overseas on Bond 25 while MGM handles distribution.
See full article at Deadline »

‘Star Wars Episode IX’ Has Officially Wrapped

‘Star Wars Episode IX’ Has Officially Wrapped
The end is nigh!

Filming for “Star Wars Episode IX” has officially wrapped, bringing an end to a franchise that has spanned more than 40 years and eight films.

Director J.J. Abrams confirmed the news Friday tweeting, “It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on ‘Episode IX.’ There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast,” he wrote. “I’m forever indebted to you all.”

Production for the film began in August of last year at Pinewood Studios outside of London where a number of new actors joined the “Star Wars” cast, including “The Americans” star Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.

It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ

— Jj Abrams (@jjabrams) February 15, 2019

Everyone’s favorite storm trooper
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Chris Rock To Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot At NBC From Lorne Michaels

  • Deadline
Chris Rock To Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot At NBC From Lorne Michaels
Chris Rock has been tapped to direct and executive produce Saving Kenan, NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot, starring and executive produced by SNL star Kenan Thompson. Rock, an SNL alum himself, is reuniting with SNL boss Lorne Michaels whose Broadway Video company produces the project alongside Universal TV.

Written by Jackie Clarke, Saving Kenan centers on a newly widowed dad (Thompson) determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.

Thompson, a married father of two, and Clarke executive produce with Michaels and Andrew Singer for Broadway Video. Rock will continue as an executive producer if the pilot is picked up to series.

Thompson likely will leave SNL — at least as a full-time cast member — should Saving Kenan goes to series as the two would be difficult to juggle. He is currently in his 16th year on the venerable late-night sketch program.
See full article at Deadline »

"Barry": Season Two; HBO Reveals Return Date for Bill Hader Comedy Series

Barry Berkman is back with a bang. HBO has announced the second season of its Barry TV show will premiere on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 10:00pm ET/PT. Watch the teaser trailer, below.

An HBO sitcom, Barry stars Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Glenn Fleshler, Anthony Carrigan, and Henry Winkler. The dark comedy centers on Barry (Hader), a Midwestern hitman. When his handler, Fuches (Root), loans him to Goran Pazar (Fleshler), of the Chechen mob, Barry travels to Los Angeles. There, he follows his target to Gene Cousineau’s (Winkler) acting class, and soon falls in love with the community and the idea of a whole new life. Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Ken Jeong Is a Crazy Rich Asian in CBS Pilot From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Writer

Ken Jeong Is a Crazy Rich Asian in CBS Pilot From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Writer
CBS is hosting a Crazy Rich Asians reunion: Ken Jeong has joined the cast of the Eye network’s comedy pilot The Emperor of Malibu, from Asians writer Kevin Kwan, TVLine has learned.

The multi-cam comedy centers on Auggie, the son of a Chinese billionaire who announces he’s marrying an American woman, spurring his family to descend on Los Angeles “to win their son back and test-drive the American Dream,” per the network’s official description. Jeong will play Gerry, the Chinese tech billionaire who hauls his family to L.A. “to see if they can persuade Auggie to re-think his engagement.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Watch Kelly Clarkson Perform Show-Stopping Cover of ‘Shallow’

Watch Kelly Clarkson Perform Show-Stopping Cover of ‘Shallow’
Kelly Clarkson debuted a show-stopping rendition of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated hit “Shallow” during the singer’s concert Friday in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“It’s cool just to know that someone that talented is also really nice,” Clarkson said of Gaga before launching into the A Star Is Born cover.

“Anyway, I’ve been rooting for her for awhile. This song, I just, I love it. It’s from that movie that she’s nominated for a billion awards for, and I hope she wins.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless ‘Roma’ Prompted an ‘Inspired’ Companion Album

Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless ‘Roma’ Prompted an ‘Inspired’ Companion Album
Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity in the idea of a companion album that was created independently from a film’s soundtrack… and to actually have there be some truth in advertising in that “inspired by” tag.

Not one of the 15 songs on the newly released album “Music Inspired by the Film ‘Roma’” appears in or was intended for the Oscar-nominated movie. The closest any of the choices come is a fresh recording by English singer Laura Marling of Mary Hopkins’ 1968 hit “Those Were the Days,” a version of which does pop up in “Roma” — albeit not Hopkins’ version, but an easy-listening cover by Ray Conniff.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

See Gary Clark Jr.’s Vision of Rural America in ‘What About Us’ Video

See Gary Clark Jr.’s Vision of Rural America in ‘What About Us’ Video
Gary Clark Jr. has released a black-and-white music video for his latest single “What About Us,” which features on the guitarist’s forthcoming politically charged album This Land.

The video for the track was directed by Savanah Leaf and showcases a group of people living and spending time in a trailer park: a black father teaching his son to play the electric guitar, a senior mixed-race couple smoking and two gender-fluid millennials spending time in an inflatable pool.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Clark said he considers “This
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid’s ‘Synonyms’ Wins Golden Bear

Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid’s ‘Synonyms’ Wins Golden Bear
Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday.

The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal behind the ongoing trial of Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon.

Accepting the award, Lapid said “Synonyms,” which stars Tom Mercier, would likely be considered “scandalous” in Israel and France – the pic skewers stereotypes from both nations – but added that it was ultimately a celebration.

In his review in Variety, Jay Weissberg wrote that the film takes “a Kalashnikov to the nation’s military culture and its carefully nurtured persecution complex.”

Thanking the Berlinale for selecting his film, Ozon said he did not know whether addressing child sexual abuse
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Movie Taps Writer Ned Benson

  • The Wrap
Marvel’s “Black Widow” movie has enlisted Ned Benson to rewrite the first solo film featuring the female superhero played since 2010 by Scarlett Johansson, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Australian director Cate Shortland, best known for the Nazi drama “Lore,” is on board to direct. Blacklist Screenwriter Jac Schaeffer wrote the previous draft of the script.

Black Widow debuted in “Iron Man 2” and since then has appeared in both “Avengers” films, as well as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Captain America: Civil War.” Interest in a standalone outing for the character has been consistently high, with a 2016 Fandago poll finding “Black Widow” as Avengers fans’ top pick for a solo film.

Black Widow” boosters also note Johansson’s high box office draw outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with her 2014 action hit “Lucy” earning almost $500 million worldwide.

Also Read: Cate Shortland to Direct 'Black Widow
See full article at The Wrap »

Watch Shawn Mendes, Carrie Underwood Perform All-Star Elvis Presley Tribute

Watch Shawn Mendes, Carrie Underwood Perform All-Star Elvis Presley Tribute
Shawn Mendes, Carrie Underwood and Post Malone appear in a star-studded music video for Elvis Presley’s hit “If I Can Dream.”

The video is the closing performance from NBC’s upcoming Elvis All-Star Tribute and also features Hootie & The Blowfish’s Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton.

In the video’s opening, Presley is featured delivering his impassioned performance of “If I Can Dream” from the 1968 Comeback Special against a backdrop of his name in red lights. Shortly thereafter, the visual transitions to performances from contemporary musicians putting a spin
See full article at Rolling Stone »

'Hale County' Director Hopes Doc Is "Teaching People About Black Visuality" and Sparking Conversations

'Hale County' Director Hopes Doc Is
Director RaMell Ross premiered Hale County This Morning, This Evening — an intimate look at the everyday lives of the black residents of Hale County, Alabama — at 2018's Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision. Since then, the film has been making small but impactful waves on the awards circuit, winning the doc prize at the Gotham Awards ahead of its Oscar nom. THR spoke with the director, 36, at Sundance 2019 (where he premiered his documentary short Easter Snap) about telling new stories of the South and ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Adam McKay, Quentin Tarantino Champion Film During Kodak Awards

Adam McKay, Quentin Tarantino Champion Film During Kodak Awards
Adam McKay and Quentin Tarantino championed the use of film during the Kodak Film Awards, a now annual celebration that the celluloid maker holds a week before the Academy Awards.

“For the studios, it goes back to profits, and it’s clear that film is connected with audiences,” said McKay, who shot his Oscar-nominated Vice as well as HBO’s recent Sucession on celluloid. “When I talk about film, there’s a love. It’s just so beautiful and there’s a life and a depth to it, and I thank Kodak for continuing the tradition. David O’...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

‘Hamilton’ Performance Ends in Chaos as Medical Emergency Mistaken for Active Shooter

Three people were injured as a San Francisco staging of Hamilton ended in chaos Friday after a medical emergency in the audience was mistaken for an active shooter inside the venue.

The Orpheum Theatre was evacuated and the evening’s Hamilton performance was cut short after the series of incidents, which began when a woman in the audience suffered a heart attack during the musical’s duel scene where Alexander Hamilton is shot.

Because of the timing between the medical emergency and the gunfire within the musical, some in the
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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