A Moment In History

Film Festivals

Like me, every year you may hear about the Film Festivals on the news and say hey, that sounds cool, all those movie stars going to these events. But you wonder what is the idea, what is the role of the festival? How long have they been around and where did they start? This article will take a brief look at film festivals and their role in the movie industry.

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Live From Hollywood...

Oct 2

Box Office: ‘Smile’ Laughs to $22M Opening as ‘Bros’ Frowns With $4.8M

Paramount's new horror flick "Smile" is putting a smile on their face as it is number one at the Box Office (image courtesy Paramount Pictures)

by Pamela McClintock

A new horror film from Paramount put a grin on moviegoers' faces this weekend.

Parker Finn's debut feature Smile scared up a strong $22 million from 3,645 theaters to top the weekend chart. The horror pic started off with $8.2 million on theaters on Friday - including $2 million in previews. To boot, it cost just $17 million to make.

From Paramount Players and Temple Hill, Smile is about a therapist (Sosie Bacon) who meets a graduate student (Caitlin Stasey) who recently witnessed a gruesome suicide. Jessie T. Usher Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert and Kal Penn co-star.

Nearly 70 percent of the audience was between ages 18-34. The movie also played to an ethnically diverse audience (40 percent Caucasian, 32 percent Latino, 16 percent Black and 12 percent Asian/Other), according to PostTrak.

Smile is the latest box office win for Paramount, and particularly for its marketing department, led by Marc Weinstock (when at 20th Century Fox, he oversaw the maverick campaign for Deadpool). Smile's campaign went viral in recent days when Paramount hired several people to maintain the film's signature creepy smile when sitting behind home base at several major league baseball games.

"It was the exclamation point on a great campaign," says Paramount president of production Chris Aronson.

Elsewhere, Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling fell off steeply in its sophomore outing domestically. The New Line film earned $2.4 million on Friday from 4,121 locations for a $7.3 million weekend, a 62 percent drop and putting the movie's 10-day domestic total at $32.8 million.

Overseas, Don't Worry Darling saw less of a drop in grossing $6.4 million from 67 markets for a global total of $54.7 million. And it narrowly stayed No. 2 in the U.K. with $2.1 million.

Tri-Star's The Woman King came in No. 3 with $7 million from 3,504 cinemas - down just 36 percent - in its third weekend for a domestic cume nearing $47 million. The movie's early foreign total is $3.9 million for a worldwide total of $50.6 million. Also this weekend, Sony celebrated Bullet Train crossing $100 million domestically and $235 million worldwide.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Oct 1

2022's Last Hopes: Box Office Projections for 'Avatar 2,' 'Black Adam,' 'Black Panther 2'

Box Office stats with 2022 numbers up to Sept. 26th (courtesy Comscore)

by Kaare Eriksen

The 2022 domestic box office to date has already surpassed the prior year's haul of $4.5 billion with $5.6 billion as of the end of September, but that's just under half of the $11.4 billion gross seen in 2019.

As the fourth quarter of the year begins and a fresh wave of some high-profile new releases is on the horizon, there's little hope the 2022 total will come in striking distance of bringing theatrical back to where it once was before the pandemic era began. But the question remains: How far could the top-performing movies set to unspool in the coming months go towards closing that gap?

Predictive data provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform from content analytics firm Cinelytic assesses four films that should earn big at the box office between now and the end of December. James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" sequel is expected to make the biggest splash, followed by Disney's sequel to "Black Panther," Warner Bros.' DC film "Black Adam" starring Dwayne Johnson and Universal's new "Halloween" sequel.

Cinelytic predicts Disney's follow-up to 20th Century's 2009 theatrical all-timer will rake in around $650 million at the box office before pulling in around the same amount from VOD and physical sales combined with streaming and TV payouts in the years to come.

This is notably below the $772 million cumulative gross the first "Avatar" earned in the U.S. and Canada, but it will have been 13 years since that film's triumphant run when "The Way of Water" releases in December.

The projected haul would also put "The Way of Water" below the film currently sitting at No. 1 for 2022: "Top Gun: Maverick" has since grossed more than $700 million domestically and nearly $1.5 billion worldwide since its release, a true achievement given the more than three decades separating it from its 1986 originator.

Click the Continue Reading at link to go to the story and see more of the predictions.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Sept 29

Star Trek 4 Gets Pulled From Paramount's 2023 Schedule

Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in the current "Star Trek" franchise (image courtesy Paramount Pictures)

by Maggie Dela Paz

According to Variety, Paramount Pictures has officially removed Bad Robot's long-in-development fourth Star Trek film from next year’s theatrical release schedule. Originally set to make its debut on December 22, 2023, this marks the latest production setback to the project following Emmy-nominated director Matt Shakman's exit last month.

Earlier this year during Paramount's Investors Day Presentation, producer J.J. Abrams confirmed that Star Trek 4 is indeed in active development with the original cast all set to make their return including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Simon Pegg. In his announcement, Abrams also revealed that they're planning to shoot the film "by the end of the year." However, it looks like that would be unlikely now, given the recent setbacks.

Before Shakman's exit, he was originally attached to direct the film from a screenplay written by Josh Friedman (Avatar 2) and Cameron Squires (WandaVision) based on an earlier draft by Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and Geneva Roberston-Dworet (Captain Marvel).

It's been quite some time in between Star Trek films, with the last film, Star Trek Beyond, releasing in 2016. Since then, Paramount has been doing market research into potential audience interest for another Star Trek film and determined that fans still cared enough about the cast for another movie to be made with them.

Continue Reading at: ComingSoon

Sept 28

'Halloween Ends' Featurette Teases a "Crazy Intense" Final Battle Between Laurie and Michael

by Ryan O'Rourke

Laurie Strode and Michael Myers' final confrontation is just over two weeks away and a new Halloween Ends featurette is hyping up their brutal battle ahead. Titled "The Final Battle," it sees Jamie Lee Curtis teasing how both Laurie and Michael have changed since the bloody conclusion of Halloween Kills and how it all sets up for a showdown of epic proportions in her final outing as horror's original final girl.

After proclaiming that fans are going to "lose their f—ing minds," Curtis sets the stage for the final battle at the center of the film. She says that Laurie is very different this time around compared to her depiction in the first two films of David Gordon Green's trilogy. Rather than perpetually waiting for the day when she can confront Michael again, she's finally trying to find closure and put the terror of her boogeyman behind her in favor of having a life of her own. She's even shown in the footage taking care of her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) after Laurie's daughter Karen (Judy Greer) met a shocking end in the previous film. Before she can live that life free from Michael's shadow though, she has to have a "final reckoning," Curtis says. Michael is at his most dangerous and, without her constant preparations and a fortified house ready for his arrival, Laurie's final scrap with The Shape will be her most visceral and desperate yet.

Set four years after the events of Kills that saw many of Haddonfield's residents fall to Michael, Halloween Ends will mostly center on Laurie and her bloody final bout with her boogeyman as she tries to move on and have a life with Allyson, though it also involves a new character named Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). Following accusations that he murdered the boy he was babysitting, a string of violence and chaos is set into motion that brings Michael back to Laurie's doorstep.

Check out the featurette here, and below that is the final trailer:

Continue Reading at: Collider

Sept 27

In the final trailer for Paramount Pictures' Smile, the widest grins cut the deepest

by Hattie Lindert

Finally, a horror movie New Yorkers can really stand behind. Smile, Paramount Pictures’ latest stab at horror, exists on the premise that someone just randomly smiling at you is one of the most offensive, frightening things there is—and the studio is certainly rearing to prove its point. Fresh off a creepy Jumbotron-based marketing stunt at three different Major League Baseball games last weekend, Smile has one last trailer for viewing pleasure before the film’s premiere on September 30.

Mare Of Easttown alum Sosie Bacon stars in Smile as Dr. Rose Cotter, a medical professional with some questions about her own mental health. As we soon learn, Rose has some questions the DSM-5 can't exactly answer; she's been seeing an evil entity that manifests itself as a too-wide, Joker-esque smile.

At the onset of the trailer, Rose visits a male prison inmate who she believes might have the key to her unique problem, as he's the only person who has seen this entity and lived. Unfortunately, once the inmate realizes Rose has seen what he's seen, his only answers for her involve screaming violently at Rose to get away from him.

Whatever malady Rose picked up is heavy on jump scares and light on boundaries; she begins to see the smile possess everyone from patients at her workplace to an entire group of children at a party. One particular trailer jump scare (which we'll refrain from spoiling) takes the stress of someone knocking on your car window to a new level.

Much like The Ring, One Missed Call, Truth Or Dare and so many before it, the meat of Smile's plot exists in Rose’s race to end the curse before it catches up to her. If she's not careful, her perpetually aghast expression (expertly rendered by Bacon) could transform into the world's least cheer-inducing grin.

See the final trailer here:

Continue Reading at: AV Club

Sept 26

Jennifer Lopez Goes Full John Wick in The Mother Teaser

by Charu Sinha

Jennifer Lopez is entering her action-star era in the new teaser for her upcoming Netflix movie, The Mother.

The teaser, which was unveiled at Netflix’s Tudum event on Saturday, features a gritty look at the Niki Caro–directed film. Lopez plays a stone-cold assassin who comes out of hiding in her remote snowy cabin to protect her daughter, whom she gave up years before. "She needs protection right now," Lopez says over a series of high-speed motorcycle chases. "You saw what was out there. It's going to keep coming. If there's trouble, come find me." In addition to Lopez, the movie will feature Paul Raci as an ally to Lopez's titular character, with Joseph Fiennes and Gael García Bernal as the villainous men after her daughter.

The Mother is slated for a May 2023 release on Netflix.

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Vulture

Sept 25

Box Office: Olivia Wilde's 'Don't Worry Darling' Opens to Solid $19.2M Domestically

Florence Pugh (left) and Harry Styles in "Don't Worry Darling" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)

by Pamela McClintock

Warner Bros.' high-profile drama Don't Worry Darling opened to an okay $19.2 million domestically from 4,114 theaters to win the weekend. However, the pic fell more than expected on Saturday in a worrisome turn for its longterm playability.

Overseas, Don't Worry Darling took in a $10.8 million from more than 60 markets for a global start of $30 million. (The movie was always going to be a tough sell in many markets internationally.)

Directed by Olivia Wilde, Don't Worry Darling was the most-talked-about entry at the Venice Film Festival as it faced a number of controversies, including rumors of acrimony between Wilde and lead actress Florence Pugh. On Friday, Pugh shared a heartfelt message on Instagram praising the cast and crew with photos, including one with Wilde.

Don't Worry Darling received a mediocre B- CinemaScore from audiences (Wilde's last film, Booksmart, earned a B+). The B- could ding word-of-mouth. Ditto for tepid reviews. Wilde's sophomore directing effort presently has a 35 percent critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, dimming its awards chances and making it more difficult to attract older adults who are known for relying on reviews when deciding whether to make a trip to the cinema. (Hollywood insiders aren't convinced that the general moviegoing public cares about the offscreen drama.)

...

Don't Worry Darling went up against the second weekend of The Woman King and the rerelease of Avatar, the top-earning film of all time.

From Sony and eOne, the female Black-led Woman King placed second with a pleasing $11.1 million from 3,765 theaters, a decline of just 42 percent. The period epic adventure's 10-day domestic total is $36.3 million after earning an A+ from audiences and glowing reviews.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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