In this Moment In History article we will give a list of what we feel to be some of the best historical films, not only for their educational value, but also due to their ability to portray the raw emotional power of the moment.
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Independence Day returning 2016? Shooting Starts in May
Poster from 1996's 'Independence Day' (image courtesy Fox)
The sequel to the hit 1996 film will hit theaters almost twenty years later on June 24, 2016. The studio is also reportedly close to getting original director Roland Emmerich to sign on for the second film, Deadline reports.
The outlet reports production is slated to begin in May.
It's not believed Will [Smith] has been cast to reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller, although studio bosses are reportedly trying to lock in Roland to return as director.
The filmmaker spoke about plans for a series of Independence Day sequels just last year.
"The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back," he said at the time, reports Entertainment Weekly, hinting that a 2016 release could be in the works. "And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years."
The sequel has been talked about for some time by studio heads, reports EW.
'Jurassic World' trailer features Chris Pratt hunting new age dinosaurs
Jurassic World trailer finally debuts 22 years after the highly successful Jurassic Park (1993) franchise. The new film which stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will be released by Universal Pictures in 3D on June 12, 2015.
Produced by Steven Spielberg, the sci-fi film is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park film series. The trailer reveals, the new park, a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur, absolute havoc, chaos and a terrified Chris Pratt. The gentle music in the background creates a suitably eerie atmosphere.
'Hunger Games' Takes On 'Penguins Of Madagascar' And 'Horrible Bosses 2' During Busy Thanksgiving Holiday
Thanksgiving has always been a magical time for the movies as most people are excited to hit the Cineplex following their holiday dinner or after doing some Black Friday shopping. This year they'll have a wide array of options as Lionsgate's (NYSE:LGF) Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 prepares for battle with DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA) /Fox's (NASDAQ: FOXA) The Penguins of Madagascar and Warner Brothers/New Line's (a subsidiary of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX)) Horrible Bosses 2 with the end result being a closer race than probably once expected.
The big question here is how Mockingjay - Part 1 will hold up in week two following its lower than expected opening. Last year's Games' installment Catching Fire slipped 53% in week two, while the original dropped a steeper 61%, but it's hard to compare the two as Fire opened around the same time as Mockingjay: Part 1 and the original Games saw a March debut.
What's impressive was how well Fire did as last Thanksgiving which marked the debut of the phenomenon that has become Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Frozen. Will Mockingjay - Part 1 do as well verses the Penguins?
Here's a secret analysts have known for years... don't underestimate kids movies, especially animated ones. Big Hero 6 smashed Interstellar earlier this month and continued a trend where a live action film battles an animated flick, the animated film usually wins. Now that's more of a battle for Bosses to fight, but expect the birds to put up a fight, especially with its star Benedict Cumberbatch voicing one of the roles.
Cowardly Lion costume goes for $3 million at auction
Cowardly Lion costumer from 'The Wizard of Oz' goes to highest bidder for $3 million plus (image courtesy AP)
By Teresa Jue
Somewhere out there is a wealthy customer who just won himself one of the most expensive Halloween costumes out there: the Cowardly Lion costume from 1939's The Wizard of Oz fetched over $3 million at auction at Bonhams in New York City on Monday.
According to the Associated Press, the costume was authenticated to be the one that Bert Lahr wore in the film; a back-up costume fetched almost $1 million in recent years. The costume’s previous owner, Los Angeles Museum of Television founder James Comisar, said that the costume was made out of real lion skins, and was extensively analyzed to conclude that this costume was indeed the one that was worn on-screen.
According to People, the costume had been found from an old MGM building by a junk dealer cleaning out the deserted lot in the 1970s.
The world premiere of the full-length Jurassic World trailer is just days away!
Over the weekend, Universal Pictures released a 20-second teaser to promote the summer blockbuster. The footage offered a first look at dinosaurs, the park, and co-stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the series, pays homage to the 1993 original. One of the most memorable scenes in Steven Spielberg's classic involved a stampede of Gallimimus dinosaurs, who sent Laura Dern and Sam Neill running for cover. The stampede of dinosaurs is back in Jurassic World, but this time, fear is no longer a factor. In fact, visitors safely ride alongside them in the park's new vehicles. To see more differences and similarities between the two films, watch the trailer in full on Thanksgiving [11/28].
NBC will premiere the sneak peek during an NFL game at 9 p.m. EST.
Pratt plays a scientist who conducts behavioral research on raptors.
'Hunger Games' scores year's biggest opening with $123M
A scene from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" (image courtesy AP / Lionsgate)
by The Associated Press
"Mockingjay, Part 1" didn't catch fire like the previous installments of "The Hunger Games," but it still had the biggest opening of the year with $123 million at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Lionsgate's "Mockingjay" opened well below the $158 million debut of last year's "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and the $153 million opening of the 2012 original. But even with a $30-million-plus slide in the franchise, "Mockingjay" far surpassed the previous top weekend of the year: the $100 million debut of "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
The result made for some unusual ironies. The biggest opening of the year (and by a wide margin) was seen by some as a disappointment. After initial box office receipts of "Mockingjay" rolled in Friday, forecasting a weekend below expectations, Lions Gate Entertainment's stock dipped 5 percent.
But the decision to split the final book in Suzanne Collins' dystopian trilogy into two films was clearly lucrative for Lionsgate. "Mockingjay" did even better overseas, where it made $152 million over the weekend, accounting altogether for a $275 million global opening.
"It's the biggest opening of the year, so it really illustrates the strength of the franchise," said David Spitz, head of distribution for Lionsgate, noting the North American opening was the 15th best ever.
Amy Adams (left) to portray Janis Joplin in upcoming biopic (images courtesy Wireimage, Getty)
By Patrick Gomez
After years of false starts, Amy Adams will finally have her rock-'n'-roll moment.
The five-time Academy Award nominee is set to portray legendary singer Janis Joplin in a long-stalled biopic that is finally inching closer to production, Deadline reports.
Adams, 40, signed on to play the "Piece of My Heart" singer way back in 2010, but the project hit numerous roadblocks over the years as it struggled to find a director and writing team.
Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée is in negotiations to helm the biopic, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Vallée directed Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, and is reportedly in talks to re-team with his writers from that film for this latest project.
As for Adams, she has made no secret of her affection for the hard-living-yet-vulnerable singer, who died at the age of 27 in 1970.
In the December issue of Vogue, Adams said that if given the opportunity to get coffee with anyone from the past, it'd be with Janis Joplin, but "it probably wouldn't be coffee."
Mel Gibson And Andrew Garfield Are Going To War, Here Are The Details
By Gregory Wakeman
Mel Gibson is planning his next cinematic assault and he has convinced Andrew Garfield to come along for the ride with him. And if the appeal of Martin Riggs and Spider-Man teaming up together isn’t enough for you, then hopefully the fact that their efforts will take place during World War II can convince you of the film’s merits.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mel Gibson is set to step behind the camera once again for Hacksaw Ridge. The drama will tell the true story of Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, a war hero who picked up the Congressional Medal of Honor despite the fact that he decided not to bear arms on religious grounds throughout the war. Andrew Garfield would play Doss if he’s cast, but at the moment discussions are still at a very early stage. Unfortunately it hasn’t be announced if Mel Gibson himself will appear in the film. In the past he has both starred in and directed The Man Without A Face and Braveheart, but for his two most recent projects, The Passion Of The Christ and Apocalypto, he decided to remain strictly behind the camera. Hacksaw Ridge would be his first film he has directed since the release of the criminally underrated Apocalypto back in 2006. However, since then, Mel Gibson has remained in the public eye, but mostly for all of the wrong reasons.
So what would Hacksaw Ridge actually entail? THR notes that Desmond T. Doss was drafted into the armed forces in April 1942, just a few months after the United States of America had been attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. However, because of his beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist, he refused to kill anyone and he didn’t even carry a weapon into battle. As you can imagine, this left him as an innocent bystander while the horrors of the war in the Pacific raged around him.
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1' poised for biggest 2014 debut
Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" (image courtesy AP / Lionsgate)
By Saba Hamedy
While tracking forecasts vary on exactly how much the latest "Hunger Games" installment will make in its debut, one thing is for sure: "Mockingjay - Part 1" is going to soar.
With no other new wide releases at the box office this weekend, the Lionsgate franchise film is poised to have the biggest opening of the year, surpassing the $100-million debut of "Transformers: Age of Extinction" in June.
The studio expects the film will pull in between $130 million to $150 million -- but some analysts think it could gross a whopping $170 million. Lionsgate also anticipates it will catch fire overseas as it opens in 85 international markets this weekend.
Based on the bestselling young-adult novels by Suzanne Collins, the "Hunger Games" movies have been big hits for the Santa Monica-based studio.
In 2012, "The Hunger Games" debuted with $155 million. It ultimately pulled in about $408 million in the United States and Canada.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second installment of the franchise, opened to $161 million in November 2013. It went on to gross nearly $425 million and took the No. 10 spot on the all-time U.S. box-office list, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Together, the films have grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office.
Mike Nichols, Acclaimed Director of 'The Graduate,' Dies at 83
Director Mike Nichols in recent years (image courtesy The New York Times)
By BRUCE WEBER
Mike Nichols, one of America’s most celebrated directors, whose long, protean résumé of critic- and crowd-pleasing work earned him adulation both on Broadway and in Hollywood, died on Wednesday. He was 83.
His death was announced in a statement by the president of ABC News, James Goldston. A spokeswoman for ABC said the cause was cardiac arrest.
Dryly urbane, Mr. Nichols had a gift for communicating with actors and a keen comic timing, which he honed early in his career as half of the popular sketch-comedy team Nichols and May. In works such as "The Graduate," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Carnal Knowledge" on screen and in a wide variety of comedies and dramas on stage, he accomplished what Orson Welles and Elia Kazan, but few if any other directors have: He achieved popular and artistic success in both film and theater. He was among the most decorated people in the history of show business, one of only a handful to have won an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy.
His career encompassed an entire era of screen and stage entertainment. On Broadway, where he won an astonishing nine Tonys (including two as a producer), he once had four shows running simultaneously. He directed Neil Simon's early comedies "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Odd Couple" in the 1960s, the zany Monty Python musical, "Spamalot," four decades later, and nearly another decade after that, an acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's bruising masterpiece, "Death of a Salesman."
Coming soon to a theatre in China: Delays, disappointments and sabotage
by Nathan VanderKlippe
Mid-way through the theatrical trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the machine guns and exploding arrows give way to two words: This November.
But in China, the third instalment in the series of blockbusters won't be shown this month – or even this year, after authorities quietly stymied plans for a simultaneous world-wide release Nov. 21. In China, the film is now likely to open in early 2015, but authorities gave no reason for the cancellation of its scheduled date, as Mockingjay became the latest Hollywood entrant to face the Middle Kingdom's often-capricious film bureaucracy and come up empty.
The first two films in the Hunger Games series have been blockbusters for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., bringing in a combined box office total of $1.5-billion (U.S.), and the company had big hopes for the latest.
The entertainment company had planned a massive global launch of the movie, saying actor Jennifer Lawrence and director Francis Lawrence, among others, would begin a global press tour in Beijing. Chinese audiences had brought in $54-million for the previous two films. But the Beijing stop never happened, and Mockingjay was yanked from the theatrical schedule after some had already bought tickets.
Chinese media suggest Lions Gate failed to secure one of the coveted 34 annual spots for broad distribution of foreign movies in China. The Brad Pitt Second World War tank epic Fury, instead, "took the last of 2014's imported movies quota and will be played on Nov. 21," one report said, citing China's state broadcaster, CCTV.
"The Hunger Games' loss will be some other movie's gain," said Zhou Liming, a well-known film critic in Beijing, who said the jostling for year-end position commonly produces winners and losers.
Charlie Brown's lovable dog Snoopy flies again in trailer for 'Peanuts'
By Josh Lasser
Just as you were preparing for this year's slate of Christmas films, FOX has taken a moment to remind you that the holiday will be back next year, and they are getting ready for it. Yes, this morning FOX and Blue Sky Animation have released a trailer for "Peanuts."
No worry of nut-based allergies here (depending on your view of the beagle), the film is based on the classic characters created by Charles M. Schulz. The trailer offers just about everything you would hope for from such a film (again, depending on your view of the beagle).
Yes, Snoopy himself is at the center of the new trailer, flying over Europe in his Sopwith Camel as he tries to shoot down the Red Baron. Woodstock is present as well, trying to deck Snoopy's doghouse halls for the holiday. You will even see the humans at the tail end of the trailer as Charlie Brown once again proves he's the Charlie Browniest.
Ken Takakura, Japanese star and Black Rain actor, dead at 83
Japan's "Clint Eastwood" Ken Takakura has died at the age of 83 (image courtesy Getty)
by The Associated Press
Ken Takakura, a craggy-faced, quiet star known for playing outlaws and stoic heroes in scores of Japanese films, has died of lymphoma. He was 83.
Perhaps best known abroad for his police inspector role in Ridley Scott's Black Rain in 1989, Takakura died Nov. 10 at a Tokyo hospital where he was treated for the illness, according to his office and media reports Tuesday.
He surged to stardom after his 1956 debut, becoming an icon in yakuza films such as Abashiri Prison in the 1960s. Much of his appeal to the Japanese public stemmed from his image as a hero fighting authority figures on behalf of the poor and weak.
But in a career spanning more than 200 films he sometimes played comic roles, such as his 1992 portrayal of a coach in Mr. Baseball.
Likened to Clint Eastwood, Takakura starred in detective stories and dramas including the 1977 film The Yellow Handkerchief and 1999's Railroad Man, which won him a best actor award at the Montreal World Film Festival.
The news of his death topped Japanese news programs almost nonstop, and major newspapers distributed extras in downtown Tokyo.
'Dumb And Dumber To' Wins Weekend Box Office With $38 Million
A scene from 'Dumb and Dumber To' (image courtesy Universal Pictures)
by Noelle Talmon
Comedy "Dumb and Dumber To" dominated the weekend box office, taking home $38.1 million in ticket sales.
The film takes place 20 years after the last film. Harry (Jeff Daniels) finds out he needs a kidney and discovers he has a daughter. He enlists Lloyd's (Jim Carrey) help, who has been "comatose" since Mary's rejection, to find his long-lost offspring.
Animated film "Big Hero 6" fell to the number two slot during its second week of release, making $36 million. Rounding out the top three was space drama "Interstellar," starring Matthew McConaughey, which made $29.1 million.