We have all heard the news when one of our favourite actors suddenly and unexpectedly dies, often due to substance abuse, and we are struck by the tragedy and waste of a great light. This article takes a look at some of these events in the movie business.
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Live From Hollywood...
The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman on making a modern-day monster movie
by Darren Franich
As a screenwriter, Alex Kurtzman has worked on some of the biggest franchises of the last decade. And now, as a director, Kurtzman is taking the reins of one of Hollywood's most famous film sagas. The first Mummy film hit theaters 84 years ago, at the dawn of the sound era. On June 9, The Mummy will enter the modern era, with the release of a new film starring Tom Cruise and featuring Star Trek Beyond actress Sofia Boutella as the first female to assume the titular undead role. It's a stark change from the period-piece action-adventure of the Brendan Fraser Mummy trilogy. And the new film also marks Universal's first step toward a Cinematic Universe featuring on their stock of iconic movie monsters.
Before the first trailer for The Mummy arrived this weekend, Kurtzman showed a group of journalists the teaser and some extended clips from the film, which featured a more in-depth look at Russell Crowe's role as Henry Jekyll – who in this incarnation is an enigmatic scientist operating out of a mysterious place called Prodigium. EW sat down with Kurtzman to talk about the tone of his reboot, the crucial importance of the female Mummy, and what it was like to film a fight scene between Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
Watch the trailer here and then click the Continue Reading at link below to read the interview with director Alex Kurtzman.
Box Office: 'Moana' Sails to No. 1 for Second Weekend With $28.4 Million
by Rebecca Ford
Disney's Moana easily topped the domestic box office for its second week in a row, with a catch of $28.4 million.
On a traditionally sleepy weekend between major holidays, the Disney animated film did strong business, dropping just 50 percent from its opening weekend. That's even better than Disney's record-breaking animated hit, Frozen, which dropped 53 percent in its second week after Thanksgiving in 2013.
Moana has earned $119.9 million domestically and $177.4 million globally. Overseas, the film launched in five new markets (France, Spain, the U.K., Russia and Mexico) to join China, where it bowed last weekend. China posted an estimated $5.5 million for the weekend (a drop-off of just 55 percent) for a cume of $21.3 million in the country.
Warner Bros.' Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $18.5 million this week to land at No. 2. The Eddie Redmayne-starring pic, with a domestically tally of $183.5 million, dropped just 59 percent in its third week.
Fantastic Beasts was the No. 1 film internationally for the third week in a row, earning $60.4 million in an estimated 67 foreign markets and bringing its tally abroad to $424.4 million. It has earned north of $600 million worldwide to date.
Another holdover doing strong business is Paramount's sci-fi film Arrival. In its fourth week, it pulled in $7.3 million, to edge out Paramount's other film Allied for the No. 3 spot. Arrival, benefiting from positive reviews and strong word of mouth, has earned $73 million domestically to date.
Baby Groot the star of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' trailer
While Chris Pratt will undeniably be the star of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's Baby Groot that takes centre stage in the new teaser trailer for the film.
Released Saturday, the trailer starts with a visual of a giant space octopus-like creature with a fangy serpentine mouth screaming as we hear Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) say in voiceover, "the fate of the universe lies on your shoulders."
As he continues to speak and other images flash by, such as Drax (Dave Bautista) attacks the space octoserpent, it becomes clear Rocket is explaining to a now Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) how to operate a bomb.
"Now whatever you do," Rocket says. "Don't press this button. Because that will set off the bomb immediately and we will all be dead."
Baby Groot looks a little worried. When asked to repeat back what he was told, he points at the button he was told not to press and says with confidence his familiar "I am Groot."
Despite previous reports that an upcoming, female-led spin-off of 21 Jump Street would be penned by Broad City writers, it appears the film is going down a different path. Instead, the movie will be written, and possibly directed, by Rodney Rothman, the writer behind sequel 22 Jump Street, according to Deadline. Or, as Vulture so aptly points out, another Hollywood franchise is being handed over to a man - even though it's one with a pointedly all-female twist.
Earlier reports indicated that Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs (the latter of whom also co-stars in the Comedy Central series) were on board to pen the spin-off, a variation on the hit Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill cop comedy series. It would have been a fitting match; Broad City is a celebrated, female-centric show that does especially well with young audiences, the same viewers who likely doled out the money that made 21 Jump Street a surprising critical and commercial success. However, Rothman has been involved in the Jump Street universe before, so it also makes sense for him to continue working on the franchise. Sony has not yet responded to Vanity Fair's request for comment.
Of course, this would be much less newsworthy if there were any sort of parity in the industry for female screenwriters, let alone directors. A recent report from the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism analyzed over 100 of the top films released in 2014 - and found that only about 11 percent of them were written by women. The disparity exists even before movies get made: female screenwriters accounted for just 17 percent of the scripts that appeared on the 2015 Black List, an annual rundown of the best unproduced scripts as chosen by Hollywood insiders.
Box Office: 'Fantastic Beasts' Crosses $500 Million Mark Worldwide
'Newt Scamander' (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his friend in a scene from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
by Gregg Kilday
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros.' new foray into the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling, crossed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office on Tuesday, it was announced Wednesday by Sue Kroll, the studio’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution.
The film, which bowed Nov. 18 in the U.S., opened atop the domestic box office with a $74.4 million first weekend, and it held onto second place in its second weekend, with its three-day haul dropping by just 39.4 percent to $45.1 million. To date, Fantastic Beasts has taken in $161 million domestically.
Internationally, the fantasy film, starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by David Yates, has collected $344 million. It debuted this past weekend in China, where it grossed $41.1 million, beating out Disney's Moana for the top spot in that territory. In the markets where it was playing in its second weekend, it logged a 46 percent drop.
As of Tuesday, after its first two weekends of release, Fantastic Beasts' global box-office tally stood at $505 million.
Netflix lets users download videos for offline viewing
by Samuel Gibbs
Netflix has begun rolling out the ability to download videos from its streaming service to smartphones and tablets for offline viewing.
Offline viewing is arguably the most demanded feature by users, and one of the things that differentiated other services including Amazon's Instant Video streaming video service and pay TV services such as Sky and Virgin.
Eddy Wu, Netflix director of product innovation, said: "While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited."
The feature is available from today on Android and iOS devices, and includes "many" TV series and movies, including Netflix’s original content such as Orange is The New Black, Narcos and the recently released The Crown. The company says that more will be made available soon.
'Unlike anything I've ever seen': Filmmakers create documentary of a documentary
by Jon Hernandez
A new film explores the trials, hardships and endless problem solving required in documentary filmmaking - by putting the entire process itself under the lens.
Academy Award-winning Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker John Zaritsky is in front of the camera for the first time in John Zaritsky on TV, a film that follows him as he takes on his latest project, chronicling survivors of the controversial pharmaceutical thalidomide.
The film, co-directed and co-produced by Michael Savoie and Jennifer diCresce, candidly follows Vancouver's Zaritsky as he embarks on what he believes is his tour de force. It is an official selection for the 2016 Whistler Film Festival.
"I was uncertain about it," Savoie told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC's North by Northwest. "But the film is unlike anything I've ever seen about the filmmaking process. It's not the kind of film that gets tacked onto the end of a DVD ... this is really getting into the head of a fellow on the top of his game."
This still from 'Moana' shows Moana (left) voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho and Maui voiced by Dwayne Johnson (image courtesy Disney)
by Pamela McClintock
The 2016 Thanksgiving holiday box office was a tale of feast or famine.
In another huge win for animated films - and Disney - Moana scored one of the best five-day Thanksgiving showings of all time with $81.1 million from 3,875 theaters, enough to conquer holdover Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which placed No. 2 in its second outing with $65.8 million from 4,144 theaters for a domestic total of $156.2 million.
At the other end of the spectrum, Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply bombed with a five-day gross of $2.2 million from 2,382 theaters, one of the worst starts ever for a title going out in more than 2,000 theaters. New Regency backed the $27 million film, which is distributed by Fox. (Another major Hollywood studio release failing miserably is Sony/TriStar and Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which fell 79 percent in its second weekend to $192,000 for a domestic total of $1.6 million.)
Robert Zemeckis' World War II spy thriller Allied fared the best after Moana, but even it disappointed after failing to win over many critics and earning a B CinemaScore. The Paramount film, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, opened to a $18 million from 3,160 theaters for the five days. Allied, costing $85 million to make, placed No. 4.
Watch Death Star Take Orbit in Exhilarating Final 'Rogue One' Trailer
by Daniel Kreps
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the space saga's first anthology film that focuses on the events leading up to the 1977 classic, has unveiled its final trailer ahead of its December 16th release.
While many of the film's key details and surprises were unveiled in prior teasers – the return of Darth Vader and the film's eclectic group of Rebellion fighters – the final preview unveils the massive Death Star, the planet-destroying weapon that the Rogue One team are tasked with finding a means to destroy.
In contrast to the grim tone of Rogue One's previous trailers that painted the film as a suicide mission, the latest preview adds some levity to the sci-fi epic, with K-2SO, an android voiced by Alan Tudyk, providing some unexpected humor. Even a confrontation with a seemingly unstoppable AT-ACT Walker coaxes some laughs from the Rogue One crew.
The trailer also opens with a mother telling her daughter to "Trust the force," which harkens back to the climatic scene in the original Star Wars where Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star.
'Goon: Last of the Enforcers' Trailer Puts Seann William Scott Back on the Ice
Poster promoting the March 2017 film release in Canada, no date yet for the United States (image courtesy Entertainment One)
by Matt Goldberg
The first Goon: Last of the Enforcers trailer has gone online. The sequel to the 2011 cult comedy sees Seann William Scott return as Doug "The Thug" Glatt, and while this trailer is short on plot details, it does seem to be channeling the raucous comedy of the first film.
For those who didn't see the first movie, Doug is a sweet-natured, slightly dopey guy whose main talent is beating the snot out of people. When his skill at brawling comes to the attention of a local hockey team, Doug is recruited to be their new enforcer. Eventually, he runs up against the league's most notorious hockey goon, Ross "The Boss" Rhea (Liev Schreiber) while trying to protect the team’s superstar, Xavier LaFlamme (Marc-André Grondin).
Schreiber and Grondin are set to return for the sequel alongside Jay Baruchel (who also directed the film) as Doug's best friend, Kim Coates as Highlanders Coach Ronnie Hortense; and Alison Pill as Doug's love interest, Eva. They'll be joined by Wyatt Russell and Elisha Cuthbert.