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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his gravely, Swiss-accented voice as instantly recognizable as his mercurial style, which could shift from reserved and withdrawn to volcanic in an instant.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 »

Does ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?

  • The Wrap
Does ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?
Happy Death Day” has officially turned its slasher movie crossed with “Groundhog Day” premise into a franchise with “Happy Death Day 2U,” a sequel that revives the original film’s premise with a new science fiction twist.

Lead actress Jessica Rothe returns along with pretty much all of the original cast. Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews and Charles Aitken are all back, along with writer/director Christopher Landon. “Happy Death Day” is now officially a horror franchise.

The question is, then, does “Happy Death Day 2U” follow in the footsteps of so many franchise films, including some horror flicks, in including a bonus scene after or during the credits? Does “Happy Death Day 2U” get into the post-credits scene game to tease a future movie in the series?

Also Read: 'Happy Death Day 2U' Film Review: Frightfully Clever Slasher Sequel is 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten

To answer your question directly: Yes,
See full article at The Wrap »

Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges
Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault.

Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said that it was treating him as a victim, but that appears to have changed in the last 24 hours.

“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” said department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (Exclusive)

Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (Exclusive)
Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned.

Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five nominees for best original song.

The Academy teased this on Jan. 31 by tweeting, “Spoiler Alert: It will be performed by a surprise special guest.”

This was in the aftermath of a Variety report about the original plan, which was to perform only two of the five nominated songs (“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” and “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”). The backlash resulted in the Academy’s decision to perform all five nominated songs, including the one from “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Shaiman is expected to accompany Midler on piano.

“As a child of the ’60s,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Professional Skateboarder Tony Hawk on 'Minding the Gap': "Quiet, Raw And Brutally Honest" (Guest Column)

The visionary director, and one of the film’s subjects, Bing Liu, began videotaping his friends at an early age… and he captured them doing some great skating. The filming is as good as professionally-made retail skate videos. If you’ve never ollied down a flight of concrete steps before… Bing makes you feel like you’re along for the ride. But the scenes outside the skatepark are the most profound. The quiet, raw and brutally honest moments uncover universal truths about young men. And they are not easy to watch.

With Zack Mulligan, Keire Johnson and Bing, we glean ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Police Think Jussie Smollett Paid Men to Attack Him, CNN Reports

  • The Wrap
Police Think Jussie Smollett Paid Men to Attack Him, CNN Reports
Police think “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett paid two bodybuilder brothers to orchestrate the attack in which he said he was beaten, soaked in bleach and had a rope placed around his neck, CNN reports.

“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview,” Chicago Police Department chief communications officer Anthony Guglielmi said.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday that police want to speak with Smollett.

Also Read: Jussie Smollett Denies Hiring Defense Attorney

The two brothers identified by CBS as Obabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo — though police did not release their names — were questioned this week as “potential suspects” then released without charges “due to new evidence” on Friday. CNN cited two law enforcement sources, who
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Hobbs and Shaw': Production Wraps on Dwayne Johnson ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff (Photo)

  • The Wrap
‘Hobbs and Shaw': Production Wraps on Dwayne Johnson ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff (Photo)
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” has wrapped production, prompting Dwayne Johnson to give his co-star Jason Statham a shout out as one “tough bastard” who he’d remember making “laugh so f—ing hard during the [sic] our takes he couldn’t even talk.”

“Hobbs & Shaw is officially wrapped,” Johnson said on his Instagram account posted along with a photo of him, Statham and a helicopter rigged off the ground.

“Easily the most challenging film I’ve ever produced and starred in,” Johnson wrote, adding that it is also shaping up to be his most rewarding film. He then gave kudos to Statham, giving him a “Huge bald and brotherly Mahalo” for trusting him and their chemistry, and who “‘pushed all his chips in’ to make something bad ass and fun for the fans.”

Also Read: 'Hobbs and Shaw': Dwayne Johnson Gets Back in Driver's Seat in First Trailer (Video
See full article at The Wrap »

Bruno Ganz: He Played Hitler and a Hovering Angel, But Was Most Memorable When Caught Between Good and Evil

Bruno Ganz: He Played Hitler and a Hovering Angel, But Was Most Memorable When Caught Between Good and Evil
A lot of people probably don’t know it, but when the superb Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who died Friday at 77, took on the role that brought him his greatest jolt of fame, playing Adolf Hitler in “Downfall,” it was one of the most paradoxical casting choices in modern movies. Ganz, portraying Hitler in the final days of World War II, when the Führer was trapped in his bunker, did an impersonation of Hitler at his most full-throttle fulminating. The performance was raging, antic, operatic, possessed; it was true homicidal acting. (That’s one reason why “Downfall” became the movie that launched a thousand Hitler Internet memes.)

Yet up until then, that kind of smash-mouth volatility had almost nothing to do with the persona of Bruno Ganz. He was sly, pensive, puckish yet woeful, inwardly commanding, almost always intensely becalmed, an actor with a light in his eye that could
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cardi B Takes Over ‘Thotiana’ In Video for Blueface’s New Remix

Cardi B Takes Over ‘Thotiana’ In Video for Blueface’s New Remix
Fresh off dropping “Please Me” with Bruno Mars, Cardi B has hopped on a new remix for Blueface’s “Thotiana.” The Best Rap Album winner and Los Angeles rapper also shared the Cole Bennett-directed video for the track that premiered Saturday.

Cardi B adds a raunchy verse to the hit single, which recently climbed to Number 20 on the Hot 100. “Bitch throw it back like a 10 Year Challenge/Take him to the crib then I push him on the sofa/Have his breath smelling like pussy and mimosa,” the rapper says.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The Surprising Moments of 'Happy Death Day 2U'

The Surprising Moments of 'Happy Death Day 2U'
[This story contains spoilers for Happy Death Day 2U]

Happy Death Day 2U is on the way to becoming an improbable franchise. What felt like it could be a one-off film in 2017 has launched a sequel, which itself points squarely to a third, even wackier installment. Where could Happy Death Day 3 go? First, a recap. 

In Happy Death Day, Tree (Jessica Rothe), a university student, sorority sister, and inveterate mean girl, dies on her birthday due to a case of knife-to-the-face, wielded by a sicko wearing a baby mask (because for some creepy reason, the school mascot is a ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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 »
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