A Moment In History

A Look at Ledger

Recently it was the tenth anniversary of the death of Heath Ledger. When he died a promising acting career had been cut short. However, even at the young age of 28, Ledger had quite the list of accomplishments that are worth noting.
A 2018 update has been just added, read on...

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Jan 22

'Transformers,' 'Fifty Shades Darker' Lead 2018 Razzie Nominations

'Transformers: The Last Knight' and 'Fifty Shades Darker' [both? movies involving robots] have been nominated for "Razzies" (image courtesy Rolling Stone)
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by Daniel Kreps

Transformers: The Last Knight, Fifty Shades Darker and The Mummy were among the nominees for the 38th annual Golden Raspberry Awards ("The Razzies"), which celebrates the "worst achievements in film."

The latest Transformers installment locked down an industry-leading nine nominations, including Worst Picture, Worst Screen Combo ("Any Combination of Two Humans, Two Robots or Two Explosions"), Worst Director (Michael Bay), Worst Screenplay and worst acting nods for four of the film's stars: Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock and Mark Wahlberg, who was also nominated for Worst Actor for his work in Daddy's Home 2.

The Transformers series previously "won" the Razzie for Worst Picture in 2009 with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Transformers: The Last Knight was also crowned Rolling Stone's Worst Film of 2017.

After Fifty Shades of Grey tied for Worst Picture in 2016, the sequel is now also nominated in that category, along with stars Dakota Johnson (Worst Actress) and Jamie Dornan (Worst Actor) – both winners in that category in 2016 – Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, Worst Screenplay, Worst Director (James Foley), Worst Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger) and Worst Screen Combo ("Any Combination of Two Characters, Two Sex Toys or Two Sexual Positions").

The Mummy was similarly nominated in all the major categories, including Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor and Actress (Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella, respectively) and Worst Actor for Tom Cruise, who is vying for his first Razzie following losses in 1988 for Cocktail and 2005 for War of the Worlds.

Continue Reading at: Rolling Stone

Jan 21

Weekend Box Office: 'Jumanji' Beats '12 Strong,' 'Den of Thieves' With $20M

Gerard Butler in a scene from new film "Den of Thieves" (image courtesy STX Entertainment)
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by Pamela McClintock

Continuing to display impressive staying power, Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle stayed atop the box office in its fifth weekend, earning an estimated $20 million from 3,704 theaters to beat out new offerings 12 Strong and Den of Thieves.

To boot, Jumanji cleared the $300 million mark domestically to become the fifth-biggest Sony title of all time, not accounting for inflation. The tentpole has won the box-office contest for three consecutive weekends after dethroning Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Jumanji was also the repeat winner overseas, where it earned another $32.6 million for a foreign tally of $450.8 million and global cume of $767.8 million.

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.' 12 Strong placed a solid No. 2 with an estimated $16.5 million from 3,002 locations after nabbing an A CinemaScore. The patriotism-infused war drama stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena and Trevante Rhodes.

Based on the best-selling non-fiction book Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong follows a U.S. special forces team sent to Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. The film skewed notably older, with nearly 80 percent of the audience over the age of 25. Black Label Media and Jerry Bruckheimer produced the movie. Overseas, 12 Strong launched to $2.5 million from 23 markets.

Coming in ahead of expectations, STXfilms' Den of Thieves debuted at No. 3 with an estimated $15.3 million from 2,432 theaters. The heist action-thriller stars Gerard Butler, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Pablo Schreiber and O'Shea Jackson Jr., and follows a group of cops who must stop a bank robbery in downtown Los Angeles.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jan 20

Super Trooper 2's Red Band Trailer Is Bonkers And Delightful

by Nick Evans

After 16 years, it's time for some shenanigans as the Vermont Highway Patrol returns to delight and offend in Super Troopers 2. In advance of the film's poetic and appropriate 4/20 release date, a full trailer for the long-awaited sequel has debuted, and it brings all the vulgarity and hilarity that made the original a cult classic. Take a look below to see the latest red band trailer for Super Troopers 2, and remember this is a red band trailer, so it's NSFW and probably quite offensive if you speak the French language. But other than that, please proceed. Meow!

Continue Reading at: CinemaBlend

Jan 19

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Heads Toward Final Global Total Of $1.3+ Billion

Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (image courtesy Disney / Lucasfilm)

by Mark Hughes

With some gas left in its tank but the end of the road in sight, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is already the highest-grossing movie of 2017 both domestically and worldwide. As the theatrical run starts to wind down, it's getting easier to estimate the final box office total to within a few million dollars, and there's both good news and bad news to be found in the numbers.

The Last Jedi should add around $15-20+/- million more to its domestic box office, and around $30-35+/- million more to its foreign total, for roughly $45-55+/- million in additional global receipts by the end of its theatrical run (with $50 million being the obvious midrange figure). Whether it finishes on the higher end or lower end of these estimates -- and obviously, those plus and minus signs mean it could wind up a couple of million bucks on either side of the numbers -- will depend largely on

That would put the final cume somewhere in the range of $1.32 billion. Obviously, The Last Jedi could wind up a couple of million dollars above or below those figures, but I think this is a pretty fair estimate of what the endgame looks like. My precise estimate right now is $1.326 billion, but I don't expect to nail the exact final figure.

Click the Continue Reading at link to read the rest of the article, including Mark Hughes views on why the final box office tally can be considered a slight underperformance.

Continue Reading at: Forbes

Jan 18

Sundance: Robert Redford Calls #MeToo and Time's Up Movements "A Tipping Point"

by Gregg Kilday

As the 2018 Sundance Film Festival got underway Thursday in Park City, Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford hailed the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up initiative that are forcing Hollywood, both in the mainstream and indie film worlds, to confront gender inequality and sexual harassment.

"It's kind of a tipping point," he said. "It's changing the order of things so that women will have a stronger voice. They didn't have it before. Too much control by the male dominance. Now I think it's going to be more even-handed. I think the role for women to be able to step forward and exercise their voices more is a really wonderful thing, and I think the role for men is to listen, let women's voices be heard, and think about it."

Redford was joined by Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam and Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper as they raised the curtain on the festival, which runs through Jan. 28. They were peppered with questions about the current re-examination of how women have been treated, about attacks on the press under the banner of "Fake News" and, most specifically, about Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced co-founder of both Miramax Films and The Weinstein Co., who had been a major presence over the years at the fest, at which some of the most egregious sexual attacks of which he is accused allegedly took place.

Asked whether they felt Sundance had played a role in enabling Weinstein, Putnam responded, "We were sickened to hear, along with everyone else, about Harvey's behavior, and certainly even more so to learn at least a couple of those incidents happened during the Sundance Film Festival." She went on to say, "Sundance as an institution never contributed to that behavior. We have long-standing values of respect and tolerance. We support artists. We stand for diversity and creativity - a lot of things that are in direct opposition to that kind of behavior. I do want to be firm about that. Of course, these things sickened us and happened during our festival, but they were nothing we were aware of at the time."

Moving forward, Sundance has made some changes. While it has always maintained a code of conduct that applied to its staff and volunteers, this year it posted a code of conduct on its website that all festivalgoers are expected to observe to provide an atmosphere "free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior." Working with the Utah attorney general's office, it also has established a hotline that anyone can call to report anyone violating the code.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jan 15

Box Office: 'Jumanji' Reigns Over MLK Weekend With $35.4 Million

Gregg Kilday

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle maintained the top spot at the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row, corralling an estimated $35.4 million as the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend unfolded.

Steven Spielberg's The Post posted solid numbers as it expanded nationwide into 2,819 theaters, while three other new nationwide openings had a tougher time making a mark.

And although Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which ranked fifth for the four-day weekend, is starting to wind down - it posted $15.3 million domestically for the holiday as it took another $19 million from 53 territories - with a cumulative worldwide haul of $1.269 billion, it has now surpassed both Disney's own Beauty and the Beast ($1.264 billion) and Universal's Fate of the Furious ($1.236 billion) to become the top global release of 2017 and the 10th top global release of all time.

Sony's Jumanji, the comedy-adventure directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan as the adult avatars of a magical game, took in $28.2 million for the three days before climbing to $35.4 million for the four-day holiday frame, which would bring its domestic cume to $291.6 million as it closes in on the $300 million mark.
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The Post, which recounts how Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) joined forces to defy the government and publish the Pentagon Papers, grossed $19.3 million for the three days as it headed to a four-day gross of an estimated $23.4 million. Since Fox opened the film on Dec. 22 in just a handful of theaters, the $50 million pic, from Amblin Entertainment and Participant Media, had collected $4.2 million in its limited release.
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Of the weekend's three new wide releases, Lionsgate's The Commuter showed the most traction, with a third-place showing for the frame as it took in $13.7 million for the three days and a four-day total of $16.4 million. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows), the PG-13-rated action movie stars Liam Neeson as a businessman who gets caught up in a frenzied criminal conspiracy when he meets a stranger (Vera Farmiga) on a train. It received a B CinemaScore from an audience that was 54 percent male and 70 percent age 30 or older.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Jan 14

Mark Wahlberg Donates His All the Money in the World Reshoot Money to Time's Up

Mark Wahlberg attends the premiere of "All The Money In The World" (image courtesy Getty)
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by Matthew Dessem

After drawing fire for reportedly negotiating a $1.5 million payday for participating in reshoots for All the Money in the World while his costar Michelle Williams worked for a per diem totaling less than $1,000, Mark Wahlberg has announced he’s donating the money to the Time's Up legal defense fund in Williams' name, Variety reports. The reshoots were necessary to replace disgraced actor Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer, and while Williams agreed to work for nothing in order to save the film, Wahlberg got paid. People should be compensated for the work they do, whether they’re movie stars or lowly crew members, but Williams wasn't told Wahlberg was getting paid, and the same agency, WME, negotiated both Wahlberg’s deal and Williams' non-deal.

Now, in an attempt to set things right after becoming a go-to example of the gender pay gap in Hollywood, Wahlberg is donating his paycheck to Time's Up, Hollywood's institutional response to the post-Weinstein era. The organization's legal defense fund is explicitly designed to provide support to the kind of blue collar workers who don’t make headlines when they get harassed or paid less than their male coworkers, so this seems like a surprisingly just outcome. Wahlberg explained his thinking in a statement:

Over the last few days my reshoot fee for All the Money in the World has become an important topic of conversation. I 100% support the fight for fair pay and I'm donating the $1.5M to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams' name.

Continue Reading at: Slate.com

Jan 12

Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in Quentin Tarantino's Manson Movie

by Mia Galuppo

Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino could soon reunite for the director's upcoming Charles Manson movie. The actor is in talks to star in Tarantino's ninth feature, having previously worked with him on 2012's Django Unchained.

While exact plot details are being kept under wraps, the movie has been described as a 1969-set ensemble piece that in some way involves Manson and the murder of Sharon Tate. Tarantino will produce, along with David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh.

Several big-name stars are still circling the secretive project, with Margot Robbie and Tom Cruise being eyed for big roles.

After a heated bidding war, Sony picked up the rights to the feature back in November. The studio has set an Aug. 9, 2019, release date. That day also marks the 50th anniversary of the murders of Tate and her friends by the followers of Manson.

Sony declined to comment on the most recent casting news.

DiCaprio hasn't been seen on the big screen since his Oscar-winning turn in The Revenant, but has lined up numerous high-profile projects, including a reunion with longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese for a Teddy Roosevelt biopic at Paramount.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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