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Live From Hollywood...

Mar 2

Will Smith's Focus dominates the box office as it topples 50 Shades of Grey from the top spot

By Ross Mcdonagh

Will Smith's romantic crime caper Focus managed to knock 50 Shades Of Grey of the top of the box office this weekend.

The film debuted at $19.1 - well below what Will Smith film's normally open at, but still enough to finally unseat the S&M phenomenon.

50 Shades has been domineeringly on top of the chart since its release of Valentine's day, and has raked in almost $500 million worldwide so far.

It is the highest February opening film of all time, and the extra $10.4 million it made at the North American box office this weekend saw it slip to fourth after two weeks at number one.

Replacing it is Focus, which stars Will Smith as Nicky Spurgeon, an experienced con-man who agrees to take a novice grifter - played by Margot Robbie - under his wing.

After a relationship they break-up, but run into each other three years later when they both attempt to con the same billionaire.

The Glenn Ficarra and John Requa directed movie has only made another $12 million in the foreign box office, bringing its total so far to just over $31 million - well short of its $50 million budget.

But according to Warner Bros, the flick should not be compared to Will Smith's usual 'blockbusters', and it will be a slower financial success.

'This was a midrange-budgeted movie, and the strong result reflected that,' distribution executive vice-president Jeff Goldstein told the Hollywood Reporter, adding: 'The severely inclement weather in the Midwest and the South played havoc at the box office.'

Will Smith is considered the most bankable man in Hollywood. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, and his movies have collectively earned over $6.6 billion to date.

Continue Reading at: Daiily Mail

Mar 1

Box Office: Will Smith's 'Focus' Wins Friday for $20M U.S. Debut

Margot Robbie (on top), and Will Smith in a still from the movie 'Focus' (image courtesy Frank Masi / Warner Bros.)
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by Pamela McClintock

Will Smith and Margot Robbie's R-rated romantic caper Focus is easily winning the box-office race in North America ahead of ruling champion Fifty Shades of Grey, which has topped the box office since Presidents Day weekend.

The Warner Bros. film grossed $6.5 million Friday from 3,323 theaters for a projected $20 million debut. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested Focus would take in $22 million to $24 million.

Focus, earning a B CinemaScore, is the first test of Smith's star power since Sony's tentpole After Earth, which bombed in summer 2013 after opening to just $27.5 million. Focus is a much smaller film than a usual Smith tentpole, having cost $50 million to make after rebates.

Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, Focus is also opening in a number of markets overseas this weekend, boosting its bottom line.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Feb 28

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's Spock, dead at 83

Leonard Nimoy giving his iconic Vulcan salute - live long and prosper, indeed (image courtesy Reuters)

by AP

Leonard Nimoy, the actor, author and director best known for his portrayal of the ultra-logical character Spock in the TV series Star Trek, has died at the age of 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed to the New York Times that her husband died Friday morning at their Los Angeles home of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy said last year that he had been diagnosed with lung disease and was "doing OK."

Nimoy's poignant last tweet, sent on Feb. 22, reads, "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."

Nimoy played Spock on the original Star Trek series from 1966 to 1969, and resurrected the iconic character in a host of subsequent movies, video games and cameo appearances spanning decades.

"I loved him like a brother," co-star William Shatner said Friday. "We will all miss his humour, his talent, and his capacity to love."

Click the Continue Reading at link to see the comprehensive look at Leonard Nimoy's career.

Continue Reading at: CBC

Feb 27

Harrison Ford, 72, to star in Blade Runner sequel - more than THREE decades after the original was a global box office smash

Harrison Ford in an image from 1982's 'Blade Runner' (image courtesy Everett Collection / Rex)

It is one of Hollywood's classic films.

So fans of Blade Runner will be delighted that Harrison Ford is set to reprise his role of Rick Deckard in a newly-announced sequel to the 1982 smash-hit.

The 72-year-old actor will return to the cult classic in the screenplay written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and directed by 'Prisoners' filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.

The much-anticipated film will also see the return of Ridley Scott, who will produce the sci-fi sequel alongside Kosove and Johnson.

Producers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a joint statement: 'We are honoured that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve, who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on 'Prisoners'.

Continue Reading at: Daily Mail

Feb 26

Sigourney Weaver's Ripley return will pick up after 'Aliens', ignoring other sequels

by Rich Trenholm

We've all suffered through movies we wish we could strike from our memories -- and the new "Alien" movie is set to do that officially, writing off everything after "Aliens".

In a video seen by blogging site /FILM, director Neill Blomkamp and star Signourney Weaver confirmed during an interview with the UK's Sky Movies that they are working together on a new film in the "Alien" series. They also revealed that the film will fit into the series before the unpopular "Alien 3" and "Alien: Resurrection" sequels.

The chest-bursting, acid-dripping sci-fi horror series began with Ridley Scott's haunted-house-in-space chiller "Alien" in 1979, in which Weaver played ass-kicker Ellen Ripley. James Cameron directly continued Ripley's story in "Aliens" in 1986, albeit with a marked shift in tone.

David Fincher's "Alien 3" also took up Ripley's story, but dismayed fans by killing off the previous film's other survivors -- and to add insult to injury it was done offscreen, before Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 1997 "Alien Resurrection" brought Ripley back as a part-alien clone. The latter two films are certainly stylish and audacious exercises in science fiction, but fans have long considered them as being the point where the series lost its way in narrative terms.

So now it looks like Blomkamp is going to just pretend they never happened, a bit like how "Superman Returns" wrote off all the Superman movies after "Superman II".

Continue Reading at: cnet

Feb 25

Jessica Chastain Joins Chris Hemsworth in 'The Huntsman'

Actress Jessica Chastain has signed on to "The Huntsman" (image courtesy The Wrap)

By Linda Ge

"Snow White and the Huntsman" spinoff "The Huntsman" has added Jessica Chastain to star opposite Chris Hemsworth.

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who received an Academy Award nomination in Visual Effects for his work on 2012’s "Snow White and the Huntsman," which starred Kristen Stewart, Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, will be making his directorial debut on the follow-up.

Joe Roth is returning to produce, while Palak Patel will executive produce. Vice president of production Maradith Frenkel and creative executive Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for the studio.

The sequel expands the universe established in the first film to reveal how the fates of two characters, the Huntsman Eric (Hemsworth) and Ravenna (Theron), intersected before they met Snow White (Stewart). Theron will return, though Stewart likely will not. Nick Frost, who played a dwarf in the first film, is also expected to reprise his role.

Emily Blunt was recently cast to play the new villain, while details on Chastain's character reveal she will be Hemsworth's love interest.

Continue Reading at: The Wrap

Feb 25

Sony Pictures names new head of movie group

Sony's new motion picture chairman Tom Rothman (image courtesy Getty)

by AFP

Sony Pictures Entertainment on Tuesday named Tom Rothman as new chairman of its motion picture group, a major move after a massive cyberattack devastated the entertainment giant.

Rothman will succeed Amy Pascal, who said earlier this month she was stepping down in the wake of the hack.

Rothman joined Sony in 2013 and currently heads its TriStar unit. He previously ran Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000-2012.

"Tom's creativity, strong talent relationships and track record of enduring films and commercial success are unparalleled in this industry and exactly what we are looking for to grow our film business," Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement.

Rothman said he was "grateful and humbled" by the appointment.

Continue Reading at: The Citizen

Feb 23

'Birdman' is night's big Academy Award winner

Director Alejandro Iñárritu (left) and actor Michael Keaton embrace after their Oscar win for "Birdman" (image courtesy Reuters)
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There were few surprises at the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted 87th Academy Awards.

"Birdman" won for Best Picture, beating out main rival "Boyhood." The film's director and screenwriter Alejandro Iñárritu also won in the directing and screenwriting categories, making "Birdman" the night's big winner.

"Two Mexicans in a row, that's suspicious I guess," Iñárritu joked, after the award’s presenter and friend Sean Penn cracked: "Who gave this son of a bi**h his green card?"

Fellow Mexican director Alfson Cuaron won for "Gravity" in 2014.

Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything," beating out co-favorite, "Birdman" star Michael Keaton.

"This Oscar – wooow!" Redmayne exclaimed before continuing more soberly. "This belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family, Stephen J. Hawking and children."

Julianne Moore received a standing ovation for winning the Academy Award for her leading role as a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in "Still Alice."

Continue Reading at: Fox

Feb 22

2015 Oscars: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Tonight's Big Show

by Mike Vulpo

Tonight's the night Hollywood has been waiting for!

The 87th Annual Academy Awards is officially here and the biggest actors and actresses are ready to celebrate the best films of the year at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

While many critics are pointing to Boyhood and Birdman as the likely big winners of the night, we're still hoping for a few surprises. Plus, there are so many other elements to look forward to.

From A-list musical guests to Neil Patrick Harris' hosting gigs, take a look at seven moments that are sure to get you pumped for the big show. Happy Oscars Sunday!

Click the Continue Reading at link to read info on your 7 don't miss moments for tonight's Oscars.

Continue Reading at: E! Online

Feb 22

Kirk Cameron, Cameron Diaz rake in 'worst achievement' Razzies

Actress Cameron Diaz (left) and Kirk Cameron cleaned up at the Razzies (images courtersy WENN / Reuters)

by Mary Milliken, Reuters

Former child star Kirk Cameron tried "Saving Christmas," but he more likely killed a career comeback with the movie that ruled at this year's Razzies, the awards for the worst achievement in film.

Cameron, 44, was declared the big winner at Saturday night's 35th Golden Raspberry Awards ceremony, taking four of the six categories in which he and his Christian family comedy "Saving Christmas" were nominated: worst picture, worst actor, worst screenplay and worst screen combo - for him and his ego.

The tongue-in-cheek answer to Sunday's Academy Awards poked fun at another Cameron, as in Diaz, who won the $4.97 gold spray-painted berry trophy for worst actress for two comedies, "The Other Woman" and "Sex Tape."

But in a sign that there can be redemption after a Razzie, actor/director Ben Affleck won the inaugural Redeemer award, going from his Razzie-earning role in 2003's "Gigli" to 2013 Oscar best picture winner "Argo" and box office hit "Gone Girl."

Affleck was deemed more redeemable in a popular online vote than fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston, Mike Myers, Keanu Reeves and Kristen Stewart.

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun / Reuters

Feb 21

Canadian special effects guru chasing Oscar glory for 'X-Men'

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ian McKellen in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' (image courtesy AP / Fox)
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by Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

If only Oscar-nominated special effects whiz Cameron Waldbauer could be in three places at once, like the super-powered characters in his eye-popping films.

The B.C.-based effects guru says he's currently juggling three big film projects, making it hard to find time to attend all the Oscar events he's been invited to as a nominee in the best visual effects category.

Waldbauer had to skip out on the annual Oscar luncheon -- traditionally attended by nearly every nominee, from A-list celebs to the unknown technical wizards -- because of work.

But reached in Los Angeles, he says he's all set to attend the big gala on Sunday.

"Oh yeah," Waldbauer says enthusiastically when asked if he'll be at the glitzy bash. "Hopefully I'm walking up on stage. We'll see."

Waldbauer, who was born in New Westminster, B.C. and lives in nearly Pitt Meadows, was in charge of the practical effects on "X-Men: Days of Future Past" -- basically anything that blows up, flips over, or flies through the air, he says.

He and his colleagues Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora and Tim Crosbie are up against teams from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Interstellar."

Continue Reading at: CTV

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