A Moment In History

The Producers

Have you ever noticed during the opening credit roll in a movie that for most jobs there is only one or two people listed but often there are four, five or sometimes as many as ten producers and/or executive producers listed! What the heck?! Who are these mysterious producers, and what do they do? We answer those questions in this article called The Producers.

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Live From Hollywood...

Aug 28

Weekend Box Office: 'Don't Breathe' Terrorizes Rivals With Winning $26.1M Debut

A scene from new horror release 'Don't Breathe' (image courtesy Sony Screen Gems)
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by Pamela McClintock

Score another win for the horror genre.

Don't Breathe scared away the dog days of August at the North American box office in opening to $26.1 million from 3,501 theaters, well ahead of expectations and easily placing No. 1. The movie, from Sony's Screen Gems and Stage 6 Films, is sure to be profitable for the studio, considering it cost $10 million to make.

Overseas, however, it was Universal's Jason Bourne that likely ruled the late-summer roost with $56.8 million after opening to a stellar $50 million in China in its first six days, a series best and already more than any previous Bourne film earned in the Middle Kingdom. Reuniting Matt Damon with director Paul Greengrass, Jason Bourne's worldwide total through Sunday is $347.9 million. (Foreign numbers weren't immediately available for Ice Age: Collision Course, which wasn't far behind Bourne internationally this weekend.)

In North America, Don't Breathe is the latest horror film to strike gold during an otherwise difficult summer, a crop that includes The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out, both from New Line/Warner Bros., and Universal and Blumhouse's The Purge: Election Year.

...

After ruling the box office for three consecutive weekends, David Ayers' anti-superhero tentpole Suicide Squad fell to No. 2 with $12.1 million from 3,582 theaters for a domestic total of $282.9 million.

The late-August weekend included three other new nationwide releases: Obama biographical romance Southside With You, action film Mechanic: Resurrection and the Roberto Duran boxing biopic Hands of Stone, although Southside and Hands of Stone, both indie films, opened in far fewer theaters.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 25

Dwayne Johnson rocks 'Forbes' highest-paid actor list

It's the Rock's world, we just live in it (image courtesy Getty)
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by Jayme Deerwester

The Rock has dislodged Iron Man from the top of Forbes' highest-paid actor list.

Dwayne Johnson, the most successful performer to cross over from pro wrestling, pulled in $64.5 million between June 2015-2016, thanks to his roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and San Andreas. His participation in animated Disney feature Moana, due Nov. 23, will likely help his placing on next year's list.

Robert Downey Jr. slid down to eighth with $33 million, which ties him with Indian-Canadian actor Shah Rukh Khan.

The list, released Thursday, served to further illustrate the pay gap between men and women. Top female earner Jennifer Lawrence's $46 million amounts to 72% of Johnson's income and would only place her sixth among the men, between Johnny Depp ($48 million) and Ben Affleck ($43 million).

Additionally, eight actors pulled in more than $20 million, compared to just four on the women's side.

But perhaps the most glaring discrepancy is the between older actors and actresses, with all of the top male earners over 40 compared to half among the women. (The over-40 members of the women's top 10 include Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams.)

Continue Reading at: USA Today

Aug 23

Jennifer Lawrence Tops Forbes' List of Highest-Paid Actresses – Trailed by Melissa McCarthy and Scarlett Johansson

Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars earlier this year (image courtesy Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)
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By Alexis L. Loinaz

There's a silver lining to Jennifer Lawrence's very busy Hollywood playbook: all the green that it generates for the hardworking golden gal.

The actress, who has headlined no fewer than 12 films in the last four years, has topped Forbes' annual ranking of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses for the second year running.

And that's a tidy sum there: The actress banked a cool $46 million in 2016, largely goosed by her windfall from the hugely profitable Hunger Games franchise and its final installment, Mockingjay – Part 2, which raked in $653 worldwide.

Lawrence, 26, also appeared in the true-to-life Joy, which grossed $101 million, and, Forbes reports, scored a hefty advance for her role in the upcoming sci-fi drama Passengers.

Coming in second is Melissa McCarthy: The 45-year-old funnylady, fresh off hits like The Boss and Tammy, reportedly scored an eight-figure paycheck for headlining the recent Ghostbusters reboot. The actress also has a booming clothing line, which she launched in last month.

Behind her, with $25 million in earnings, is Scarlett Johansson, who reportedly locked a lucrative $17.5 deal to star in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell, based on the cult-hit manga comic series.

Continue Reading at: People

Aug 23

Gosling, Hathaway among celebs planning to attend TIFF

by The Canadian Press

Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are among the stars bound for the Toronto International Film Festival.

The festival made its final programming announcements on Tuesday, including its list of stars expected to walk the red carpet.

Other talent expected to attend includes Xavier Dolan, Tom Ford, James Franco, Ewan McGregor, Adam Driver, Aaron Eckhart, Dakota Fanning, Woody Harrelson, Denzel Washington and Scarlett Johansson.

The festival also announced Mark Wahlberg will sit down for an intimate chat in front of an audience.

The Oscar-nominated actor-director, who will be seen at the festival in "Deepwater Horizon," is among the stars in the In Conversation With lineup.

Other guests in that lineup include: Palestinian actor-director Hiam Abbass; Brazilian actor Sonia Braga; French actor Isabelle Huppert; Indian director Karan Johar; Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi; and Nigerian film stars Kunle Afolayan and Genevieve Nnaji.

Continue Reading at: CTV

Aug 21

Weekend Box Office: 'Ben-Hur' Crashes Chariot With $11.4M Opening

Jack Huston plays the title role in this new imagining of 'Ben-Hur' (image courtesy Parmount Pictures)
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by Pamela McClintock

Timur Bekmambetov's Ben-Hur was shut out of the box-office chariot race this weekend, debuting to a mere $11.4 million from 3,804 theaters despite a hefty production of nearly $100 million and getting beat by a pair of smaller new films, War Dogs and Kubo and the Two Strings.

Overall, Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad stayed No. 1 in its third weekend, grossing $20.7 million 3,924 theaters for a domestic total $262.3 million. The R-rated Sausage Party, from Sony and Annapurna, took second place with $15.3 million from 3,103 locations for a strong 10-day domestic total of $65.9 million. Sausage Party dipped 55 percent.

Ben-Hur - slammed by critics but earning an A- CinemaScore - is the latest sword-and-sandal movie to underperform. It also hoped to wow faith-based moviegoers, but even that effort lagged. (The film counts Hollywood Christians Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the producing team behind the 2014 hit movie Son of God and the 2013 miniseries The Bible, among its executive producers.)

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 20

The new Ben-Hur remake strips an iconic story of its style, message, and purpose

Tony Kebbell (left) and Jack Huston star in Timur Bekmambetov's screamingly unnecessary Ben-Hur remake. (image courtesy Paramount)
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by Peter Suderman

There aren't many surprises in the new Ben-Hur. It’s a noisy, dull, thoroughly soulless affair built on banal dialogue, flat acting, and slapdash computer-generated imagery that barely looks better than your average Playstation game.

It does nothing that its source material - namely the 1959 MGM epic Ben-Hur and the 1880 Lew Wallace novel it was based on - didn't do better, and does lots of things worse. In other words, it’s almost exactly the movie you'd expect from the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

The most baffling thing about the new Ben-Hur is why it was made at all. Why remake one of Hollywood’s most enduring and iconic productions? And why remake it with director Timur Bekmambetov at the helm? The result is a remake with no guiding principle beyond mere existence.

Remakes, as a category, don’t always have the best reputation, and are frequently derided as signs of Hollywood's creative bankruptcy. That's not totally unfair - especially given how many turn out like this year's Ben-Hur. But the best remakes show us how cinematic do-overs can work, and in some cases even improve on their originals, by expanding on the ideas of their source material. The key to a successful remake is making it relevant and accessible to new and different audiences.

Take a movie like The Thing, John Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi/horror classic. It's based on science fiction writer John W. Campbell's 1938 novella Who Goes There?, as well as on the 1951 Howard Hawks film version The Thing From Another World.

All three versions share the same core premise: While isolated in icy Antarctica, a group of men encounter an alien creature that can take the form of any creature it kills. But Carpenter's outrageously gory film emphasizes the physical horror of the creature's violence, as well as the psychological terror and trauma of not knowing who might be an enemy in disguise. It wasn't just a modernized treatment of the Howard Hawks version; it was very, very much a John Carpenter film.

Click the Continue Reading at link to read the rest of the interesting article on remakes.

Continue Reading at: Vox.com

Aug 19

Hey Hollywood, you got away with remaking 'Ben-Hur,' but hands off these 12 movies

A new version of "Ben-Hur" (left, starring Jack Huston) is hitting theaters Friday, but it's racing over sacred ground because of the 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston (images courtesy Paramount / Getty)
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by Ethan Sacks

It's time to knock off the knockoffs.

This Friday, Hollywood is off to the races with the latest remake of a treasured film - this time a new "Ben-Hur." The new, faith-based take might be more faithful to the 1880 best-seller, but those damn dirty execs should've kept their stinking paws off material associated with the Charlton Heston version (itself a remake).

This is nothing new: Studios are always trying to recycle old classics. What sociopath greenlit a shot-for-shot remake of "Psycho"? Heck, not just classics. Last year's "Point Break" remake? Completely pointless.

So the Daily News is making a stand, officially demanding these 12 films remain off limits for repeat offenders:

Click the Continue Reading at link to see the classic movie picks.

Continue Reading at: NY Daily News

Aug 17

'Ben-Hur' remake likely won't be able to topple 'Suicide Squad' at the box office

by Ryan Faughnder

Lew Wallace's 19th-century novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" has been adapted into two popular movies - the 1959 Charlton Heston classic, plus a 1925 silent film. But Hollywood has little hope for the latest lap in the chariot race.

Paramount Pictures and MGM's big-budget reimagining of "Ben-Hur," opening this weekend, is aiming for an opening of $20 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday. However, several people who have seen pre-release audience surveys expect it to gross $10 million to $15 million. That would be a poor result for a movie that cost about $100 million to make (after rebates), and would make it one of the biggest flops of the summer.

The studios had bet that they could draw modern audiences to their new "Ben-Hur" with its updated action sequences, including the climactic chariot race, and an uplifting faith-based message. However, moviegoers have shown little interest in the movie so far.

Though reviews were not yet out for the new "Ben-Hur" as of Tuesday, it's clear that the filmmakers faced a daunting task in bringing the tale back to the big screen and living up to the legacy of the source material. The Heston version, directed by William Wyler, won 11 Oscars, was a huge financial success and is considered a landmark Hollywood epic.

Check out the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Los Angeles Times

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