Movie News

'Downton Abbey' Serves Up Record, $31 Million Opening for Focus Features

'Downton Abbey' Serves Up Record, $31 Million Opening for Focus Features
It was a record weekend for Focus Features that saw Downton Abbey not only top the weekend box office, but it became the studio's largest opener ever, topping $30 million. The weekend's fellow new releases * Ad Astra and Rambo: Last Blood * delivered on expectations and are in a neck-and-neck battle for runner-up position and we'll have to wait for actuals to tell the full story on Monday afternoon. With an estimated $31 million, Focus Features's Downton Abbey topped the weekend box office, giving the studio their largest opening weekend ever. Previously, Insidious Chapter 3 was the studio's record opener with $22.7 million followed by London Has Fallen, also making this their first release to ever top $30 million in nearly 20 years of film distribution. The film played to a crowd that was 74% female and of the total audience, 60% were aged 35 or older. Working in the film's favor was a positive, "A" CinemaScore from opening day
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‘Downton Abbey’ Politely Trounces ‘Ad Astra’ & ‘Rambo’ As ‘Hustlers’ Keeps Dancing [Box Office]

The box office battle between astronaut Brad Pitt, a jacked senior citizen killing machine, and a polite British TV series spinoff film has ended and not only is there a clear winner, but “Downton Abbey” trounced the competition, making Stallone and Pitt kneel before Maggie Smith.

In its first weekend, the “Downton Abbey” film easily won the weekend with an incredible opening of $31 million.

Continue reading ‘Downton Abbey’ Politely Trounces ‘Ad Astra’ & ‘Rambo’ As ‘Hustlers’ Keeps Dancing [Box Office] at The Playlist.
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‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ Review: A Genre Mash-Up of Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, and Action [Fantastic Fest 2019]

  • Slash Film
‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ Review: A Genre Mash-Up of Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, and Action [Fantastic Fest 2019]
Hey, have you ever wanted to watch a movie that features nearly every single genre at once? If so, I’ve got just the film for you! It’s called In the Shadow of the Moon, and it’s a frenetic mash-up of sci-fi, mystery, horror, and action. The only things it’s missing are a musical number or two and […]

The post ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ Review: A Genre Mash-Up of Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, and Action [Fantastic Fest 2019] appeared first on /Film.
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Alan Ruck on ‘Succession’ Season 2, Why He Nearly Missed the Audition, & That Big Dinner Scene

From show creator Jesse Armstrong, the HBO drama series Succession (already picked up for a third season) follows the ultra-wealthy Roy family, headed by patriarch Logan (magnificently played by Brian Cox), as they struggle to maintain control of their empire. While the future looks increasingly uncertain and the past threatens to destroy them, the Roy children – Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) – are endlessly fighting to carve out their own legacy. During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Alan Ruck (who plays the son who doesn’t want to …
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‘Talking About Trees’ Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety Mena Award

Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi.

Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that within five minutes of a film starting he begins to cry, but he did so when watching “Talking About Trees.” “There is this most beautiful scene of these Sudanese directors who have not been able to make films, who have not been able to watch films on a big screen, who are expressing their love for cinema by recreating a scene from ‘Sunset Boulevard,’” he explained.

The documentary has as its backdrop the destruction of cinema in Sudan due to a toxic mix of dictatorial government and religious fundamentalism, but front and center are
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Box Office: ‘Downton Abbey’ Reigns Over ‘Ad Astra,’ ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ With $31 Million Debut

Box Office: ‘Downton Abbey’ Reigns Over ‘Ad Astra,’ ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ With $31 Million Debut
In a box office win fit for a queen, Focus Features’ “Downton Abbey” ruled over the competition in North America.

The big-screen continuation of the popular British TV show beat expectations with $31 million when it debuted in 3,079 theaters, setting a new opening weekend record for the specialty studio. “Downton Abbey” easily surpassed fellow newcomers “Ad Astra” and “Rambo: Last Blood,” which are in a close race for second place.

Overseas, the royal period drama has collected $41 million to date for a worldwide tally of $61.8 million. Series creator Julian Fellowes wrote “Downton Abbey,” while Michael Engler directed. Much of the cast from the TV show — including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith — returned for the film adaptation. “Downton Abbey” now ranks as the biggest opening weekend from a specialty studio in the last decade, as well as the second-best start for specialty fare behind The Weinstein Company’s “Inglourious Basterds” ($38 million).

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Watch Zach Galifianakis Neg Paul Rudd in a ‘Between Two Ferns’ Uncut Interview

I expected Netflix's Between Two Ferns: The Movie to deliver the goods when it came to star Zach Galifianakis (playing a fictional version of himself, as he did in the popular Funny or Die series of the same name), shot some real zingers at his celebrity guests. What I never expected was Netflix to actually release an uncut, and thereby extended, version of Galifianakis' interview with Paul Rudd. The interview we get in the movie only lasts a few minutes but this newer, uncut version runs a little longer and goes big with its negging and its punchlines. Some …
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‘UNpregnant’ Will Be an HBO Max Original Movie Starring Haley Lu Richardson

HBO Max hasn’t yet announced their official launch date, but they’ve been burning through money by purchasing the streaming rights to shows like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. However, they’re also already hard at work on their first original films, and one more has just been announced. UNpregnant will adapt the young adult novel […]

The post ‘UNpregnant’ Will Be an HBO Max Original Movie Starring Haley Lu Richardson appeared first on /Film.
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The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Right Now

Last Updated: September 22, 2019 While everyone loves a good blockbuster from time to time, there’s something about a great independent film that strikes a particular chord. Indie movies can feel like hidden gems when you discover them, as they rarely get the kind of distribution or marketing that turns major studio movies into box office hits. And you can often feel the blood, sweat, and tears that went into making an indie movie, as the filmmakers involved put everything on the line for the sake of their art. So since Netflix contains a multitude of viewing options, we …
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Josefina Molina: Still Battling After All These Years

San Sebastian — She isn’t done yet. The battling character of Josefina Molina, winner of Spain’s 2019 National Cinematography Prize, was glimpsed in her acceptance speech at the San Sebastian Festival on Saturday.

She used part to thank those who had given crucial help, such as, among women, editors Nieves Martin and Carmen Frías (1993’s “La Lola se va a los puertos), and dedicated the prize to Spain’s Association of Women Cineasts and a very early version of herself: “a young girl from Cordoba born during the Civil War who did everything possible through thick and thin to break with the inertia which destined women to become housewives.”

But, having remembered Carmen Alborch and her “intellectual lucidity” and thanked Spanish Vice-president Carmen Calvo for her support of female filmmakers, the brunt of her speech – applauded by Spain’s cultural establishment which packed out the Tabakalera’s main hall – was
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‘Friends’ Cast, 25 Years Later: Who’s Had the Best Career — and What Should They Do Next?

‘Friends’ Cast, 25 Years Later: Who’s Had the Best Career — and What Should They Do Next?
When you think of “Friends,” you think of the cast first. Sure, the writing was great — from the dialogue to the slow-burn romances — and the staging, blocking, and presentation were all key to making it a comedy for the ages, it’s the six friends that made NBC’s sitcom iconic.

More from IndieWire'Friends' Anniversary: Behind-the-Scenes of TV's Most Caffeinated 'Comfort Food'After 25 Years, These Are the 'Friends' Characters Critics Love the Most'Friends' Almost Lost Jennifer Aniston Halfway Through Its First Season
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Keira Knightley: ‘Iraq was the first time I’d been politically engaged’

In an exclusive interview, the actor talks about her new film Official Secrets, in which she plays Katharine Gun, the whistleblower who tried to stop the Iraq war

• Read an interview with the real Katharine Gun

The role of Katharine Gun in Official Secrets is played by Keira Knightley. Earlier this summer, a few weeks before her second child was born, Knightley, 34, sat down and talked exclusively to the Observer about why she took the part, and why she felt she believed that the film was coming out at a timely moment.

Did you spend much time with Katharine to prepare for the part?

Not a huge amount. I had lunch with her, and she came to the set once. I really liked her. Gavin Hood, the director, had said he didn’t want a characterisation of her. I mean, I don’t look anything like her. She has an
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Iraq war whistleblower Katharine Gun: ‘Truth always matters’

Ahead of a new film, Official Secrets, the Gchq worker who tried to prevent the 2003 invasion of Iraq recalls those feverish days – and their consequences

Keira Knightley on playing whistleblower Katharine Gun: ‘Iraq was the first time I’d been politically engaged’

It is not often that a person’s character is revealed in two sentences. But it is tempting to believe that is the case with Katharine Gun.

In 2003, Gun was working as a translator of Mandarin at the government intelligence agency, Gchq, in Cheltenham. She was 27. The country, at the time, was being drummed into war by the Blair government, desperate to achieve the United Nations’ sanction for the imminent American-led invasion of Iraq. In February that year, Katharine Gun was copied into a classified memo sent to Gchq by a senior figure in the Nsa, its Us equivalent. The memo was a top-secret request to monitor the
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Ad Astra review: Brad Pitt sulks in outer space

Pitt’s tormented astronaut goes in search of his long-lost father in James Gray’s ambitious but slightly hokey sci-fi saga

“2001 meets Apocalypse Now” may be the preferred pitch for this self-consciously philosophical science-fiction adventure from James Gray, writer-director of such varied fare as The Yards, Two Lovers and The Lost City of Z, but “Event Horizon with interstellar overdrive” is perhaps a more accurate description.

In Paul Ws Anderson’s British-made 1997 potboiler Event Horizon, a spaceship powered by a black hole disappeared on its maiden voyage to the stars, popping up years later near Neptune, having apparently gone to hell and back. In Ad Astra, it’s the ghost of the “Lima project” that haunts Neptune’s rings, after vanishing with its cataclysmic antimatter drive decades ago.
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Lastor, ‘The Endless Trench’s’ Irusoin, Malmo Team for Mikel Gurrea’s ‘Suro’ (Exclusive)

San Sebastian – Barcelona-based Lastor Media and Malmo Pictures have teamed with San Sebastian’s Irusoin to produce “Suro” (The Cork), the feature debut of Mikel Gurrea and a product of San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak program.

The film stars Laia Costa, who broke through with Sebastian Schipper’s “Victoria” and also serves as executive producer, and Pol López (Josep M. Fontana’s “Boi”). “Suro” is scheduled to start shooting next year.

Set in the Empordà region of Catalonia, close to the French border, “Suro” is a Catalan-language dramatic thriller with an auteurist voice but aimed at wider audiences, according to its producers.

The news comes as Irusoin, producers of “Loreak,” Spain’s international Oscar entry in 2015, world premieres in main competition section “The Endless Trench,” directed by Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga. Another Irusoin production, Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal’s “Agur Etxebeste,” a sequel of “Aupa Etxebeste!
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Madrid’s Ecam Incubator Develops Terrorism Drama ‘Ane’

San Sebastian — For the second year in a row, the Ecam Madrid Film School has paired a number of up-and-coming filmmakers with various industry veterans for an Incubator program part of the school broader development arm called The Screen.

For its initial edition in 2018, this Incubator selected five feature projects, putting the selected producers in contact with creative tutors, international fund managers, festival directors, broadcasters and distributors, as well as offering each project €10,000 in development assistance.

One of those projects is David Pérez Sañudo’s terrorism drama “Ane.” Produced by Katixa de Silva at Vitoria-based Amania Films, the drama follows a young mother (played actress Patricia López Arnaiz) who fears that her teenage has fallen in with political extremists.

Variety spoke with the award-winning director, who will make his feature debut with this project.

What themes will you seek to explore with “Ane”?

How someone’s closest relation can become a complete stranger.
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‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ and ‘Roma’ Win Lmgi Awards for Motion Pictures

‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ and ‘Roma’ Win Lmgi Awards for Motion Pictures
Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

The 6th Annual Lmgi Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” in the television category.

The Lmgi Awards spotlight “productions in which the creative use of filming locations sets the tone, enriches the character and enhances the narrative,” per the organization.

Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” filmed at locations in France, the U.K., Abu Dhabi, Norway and New Zealand. Netflix’s “Roma” was shot in and around Mexico City. HBO’s “Chernobyl” derived its authentic look from locations in Lithuania, not far from Ukraine, where the nuclear disaster itself took place. And Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” traveled to Montreal, Morocco, France and Washington D.C.

Also at the Lmgi event,
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Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date.

Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private club at 1000 S. Santa Fe Avenue is the brand’s first West Coast location to boast amenities such as a rooftop pool, gym and bedrooms.

The seven-story property, which also features three dining options and a series of club spaces designed for members to work and gather, will be unveiled with a number of invitation-only events kicking off this weekend. On Sept. 30, the club opens to its Founder members, followed by Every House members on Oct. 14.

In a nod to the surrounding arts community, an in-house art team tapped a number of local artists to create pieces for Soho Warehouse.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why Batman’s Greatest Villain Is Batman

Why do we like Batman? Is it because he’s a crimefighter? Is it because he’s smart and resourceful? Is it because he has gadgets? Is it because he doesn’t have superhuman powers? Is it his malleability so that over the last 75 years writers have been able to take him to the darkest depths of a broken psyche while others have made him lovably cartoonish? Why has the Caped Crusader captured our hearts and minds while countless other superheroes have fallen by the wayside? I’ve been a Batman fan since I was five. I would watch …
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Born to Be Live: ‘Easy Rider’ Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

Born to Be Live: ‘Easy Rider’ Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City
In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969?

That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out to New York impresario Peter Shapiro and Live Nation earlier this year about staging an event where the movie would be screened with the soundtrack performed live by some of the legendary musicians who appeared on it.

When Friday night’s “Easy Rider Live” show at Radio City Hall Music in New York was announced in late July, Fonda had not yet passed away from lung cancer. Before his death at age 79 on August 16, Fonda encouraged fans to come, saying, “Enjoy the new print. Sing along with the songs. Laugh with the humor! Remember the spirit! Find the love.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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