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3D in Film

If you are like everyone here on the CPO team, then you have seen Avatar or some other major release in 3D and now you might be thinking about buying one of the new 3D TVs, but are maybe asking yourself "will 3D TV be the same as 'Avatar' or one of the other recent 3D movies at the theatres?" The short answer is yes... and no! Confused? Read on then...

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July 23

"Avengers," TV and the selfie: What's big at 2014 Comic-Con

By Lauren Moraski

Fan-boys, fan-girls, collectors, movie/TV lovers, comic book fans and cosplayers alike will descend on San Diego this week for the 2014 Comic-Con International.

Now in its 44th year, the convention is bigger than ever with some 130,000 people expected to attend the annual event, which runs from July 24-27. Celebrities will be plentiful, as will previews from upcoming movies and TV series as thousands of people take over the San Diego Convention Center.

Another thing attendees will see a lot of is the year's biggest photo trend: the selfie.

Variety senior editor Marc Graser, who's attended the last 11 conventions in San Diego, told CBS News many of the major players at Comic-Con will have installations featuring selfie opportunities.

"They want everybody to feel like they're part of Comic-Con this year," he said, noting how 2014 is more focused on big events; organizers and participants are increasingly doing away with "velvet rope" and opening up Comic-Con to the masses. They hope to achieve that with major social media pushes (think hashtags and selfies), along with elaborate displays, virtual reality experiences and marketing stunts.

Continue Reading at: CBS

July 22

Robert Downey Jr. tops Forbes list for highest earning actor again

Robert Downey Jr. topped Forbes list for highest paid actor for the second consecutive year (image courtesy Reuters)

Robert Downey Jr, the star of Disney's Marvel superhero film franchises "Iron Man," and "The Avengers," is Hollywood's highest paid actor for the second consecutive year, with estimated earnings of $75 million, according to Forbes.com.

The 49-year-old star made most of his money from June 2013 to June 2014 from "Iron Man 3," which made $1.2 billion at the box office and assured him the top spot again in the annual ranking.

"As Iron Man, he's the driving force behind four of Marvel's biggest hits, including 'The Avengers,'" Forbes.com said.

Former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 42, who starred in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," and the "Fast and Furious," films, jumped into second place this year from fifth in 2013 with earnings of $52 million, followed by "Hangover," star Bradley Cooper, 39, with $46 million.

Continue Reading at: NY Daily News / Reuters

July 21

Box office report: 'Apes' overtakes 'Purge: Anarchy'

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," directed by Matt Reeves, holds onto top spot at the box office (image courtesy 20th Century Fox)

By Anthony Breznican

After a Friday night showdown that heavily tipped the scales in favor of the survival-horror thriller "The Purge: Anarchy," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" came back strong this weekend to take the No. 1 spot at the box office.

The "Apes" sequel, starring motion-capture master Andy Serkis as the hyper-evolved higher primate named Caesar, collected $36 million for the weekend, according to Sunday estimates. Meanwhile, "The Purge: Anarchy," a follow-up to last year's nightmare-inducer about a 12-hour period when no crime is illegal, garnered only $28.3 million.

"The Purge" wasn't entirely beloved by its terror-craving audience, getting only a B from the polling firm Cinemascore - compared to the A-minus received by "Apes." So-so word-of-mouth may have led to the Saturday stumble.

It's still a terrific opening for the Universal horror movie, which cost only $9 million to make (compared to an estimated $170 million budget for the "Apes" film, which has earned back only $138 million domestically so far.) The winner there is obvious.

"Apes" is off to a strong start after only two weeks, however, and if it can maintain that it will stand as one of the stronger films of summer.

Continue Reading at: CNN

July 18

Scarlett Johannson on Becoming Superhuman for a New Thriller

Scarlett Johansson in the titular role for the new Luc Besson movie 'Lucy' (image courtesy Universal)

By Don Steinberg

Luc Besson has worked in action thrillers the way Tiffany & Co. works in engagement rings or Rand McNally in road maps. The Parisian filmmaker has become one of the genre's most trusted brands. As a writer, director and producer in varying combinations, Mr. Besson has given audiences the "Taken" and "Transporter" films, "La Femme Nikita," "Leon: The Professional," "The Fifth Element," "Lockout," "Unleashed" and more - one movie after another in which a reluctant hero is called upon to avenge the misdeeds of bad guys and employs an exciting-to-watch set of special skills to get it done.

Next up is "Lucy" (opening July 25), in which Scarlett Johansson is kidnapped and beaten, has drugs sewn into her abdomen for smuggling and, through accidental overexposure to the drug, gains more brainpower than ever has been humanly possible. She spends much of the movie wreaking revenge on the smugglers who abducted her. She also wonders what else to do with the power that allows her to access any information instantly, move objects telekinetically and essentially act as a god.

In that sense, "Lucy" is a departure from the pure-action recipe that Mr. Besson has cooked up so reliably over the years. He says it isn't even an action film in his traditional sense, nor pure science fiction like "The Fifth Element."

"It's the first time I've tried to do a philosophical thriller," said Mr. Besson, whose ongoing escape from directing action films included his dark comedy "The Family" in 2013. (The "Taken" and "Transporter" franchises carry on, using his characters and stories, but he doesn't direct them.)

"Lucy" is the latest in a recent run of unconventional roles for Ms. Johansson too. In the past year or so she has played an emotionless space alien (in "Under the Skin"), a sexy, voice-only computer interface ("Her") and a fantasy superhero (Black Widow in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier.")

Continue Reading at: The Wall Street Journal

July 17

Russell's final 'Fast' scenes with Walker brothers

Kurt Russell confirms he has completed his final two scenes in the latest "Fast & Furious" scenes without the late Paul Walker.

Russell had a day left of shooting when Walker died in a car crash in November outside of Los Angeles.

In an interview this week, the 63-year-old actor said he returned to work on the two scenes left to do with Walker about two months ago. He said he filmed the scenes with Walker's two brothers Caleb and Cody.

The "Fast" team was "trying to work the best magic they can to make 'Fast & Furious 7' complete," Russell said, but did not say whether his scenes had been rewritten.

Russell signed on to the seventh film in the franchise to play the father of Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto. Acknowledging that Walker's death left the filmmakers in a "tough spot," Russell said the brothers had a great relationship with the "Fast & Furious people" and Diesel had been "really working it hard." The film is to premiere in April 2015.

Continue Reading at: Globe Gazette

July 16

Ron Howard to direct authorized Beatles documentary

The Beatles performing in their early years (image courtesy Getty)

by Jeff Labrecque

Ron Howard, who named the production company he co-founded with Brian Grazer after the John Lennon song "Imagine," will direct an authorized documentary of the Beatles. It will focus on the band's years of hectic touring around the world, which began in the Cavern Club in Liverpool, exploded after they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and culminated at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

"I am excited and honored to be working with Apple and the White Horse Pictures team on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964," Howard said in a statement. "Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated."

The documentary, which will be produced by Apple Corps, Imagine, and White Horse Pictures, has the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison. This will be Howard's second music documentary after Made in America, his 2013 film about Jay-Z's all-star concert.

Continue Reading at: Entertainment Weekly

July 15

'Transformers' hauls in more at box office in China than in U.S.

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" keeps extending its lead over "Avatar" as the top-grossing movie ever in China, dominating the mainland box office for a third consecutive week and taking in $52 million in the seven days ending Sunday.

In its first 17 days in theaters in China, the Michael Bay film grossed $260 million, $36 million above the record set by "Avatar" in 2010, according to figures from Shanghai-based consulting firm Artisan Gateway. With two weeks left for the Paramount Pictures film in Chinese cinemas, it looks like it could reach the $300-million mark before it completes its run in the country.

The fourth film in the "Transformers" series was adored by its fans in China, despite negative reviews from critics and controversies surrounding its product-placement deals with Chinese companies. It took in $115 million in its second week in China while only generating $36 million the same week in the U.S. This past week, it sold $35 million more in tickets in China than in the U.S., where its total haul now stands at $209 million.

Continue Reading at: Los Angeles Times

July 13

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' tops, 'Boyhood' shines

by Gerrick D. Kennedy

It took a set of evolved primates to end the dominance of colossal transforming robots at the box office. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" became king of the multiplex after taking in $73 million over the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the 3-D sequel to the 2011 blockbuster "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," took in an additional $31.1 from 26 international markets including Australia and South Korea, according to estimates.

Twentieth Century Fox's latest entry in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, which cost $170 million to make, benefited from stellar reviews, positive word of mouth and the strong performance of its 2011 predecessor. The "Dawn" launch was 33% higher than "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which opened to $54.8 million and didn't benefit from pricier 3-D tickets. "Dawn" also far surpassed studio expectations, which projected an opening of $55 million to $60 million.

Click the Continue Reading at link to go to the full article and read the rest if the box office report.

Continue Reading at: Los Angeles Times

July 12

Steven Spielberg Meme Fools Internet. Internet, You Are An Idiot

Steven Spielberg at the recent premiere of 'Transformers' and NOT hunting animals! (image courtesy Contactmusic)

by Michael West

An internet meme that showed director Steven Spielberg lying next to an apparently dead triceratops, a dinosaur that became extinct 70 million years ago, has gone viral, fooling thousands of indignant internet users. The post made its way online earlier this week, with meme maker Jay Branscomb the man behind the image.

The image shows Spielberg on the set of his classic movie Jurassic Park, grinning next to the movie's sick triceratops.

Beneath, the caption reads: "Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."

Thousands of users left comments, lambasting Mr Spielberg for his pre-historic murder.

Continue Reading at: Contactmusic

July 11

Winners and losers at this summer's box office

By Bruce Kirkland

Hollywood is now desperate for another blockbuster ... or two ... or three. Overall box office is plummeting this summer and the blame game is beginning to take its toll.

The year started well, from a strong January featuring Lone Survivor to the February breakout of The LEGO Movie on to the March debut of 300: Rise of An Empire through a decent month of April with the singular success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But things have been sliding ever since. Jobs are on the line. Audiences are getting restless about the quality (or lack of it) of the summer fare. The June box office in the United States and Canada was down 16% from last year, despite the magic spell that Maleficent spun, with Angelina Jolie looking good and being bad

Hollywood's moguls do have one blockbuster to boast about that is currently in theatres and certain to make early July look healthy, at least for the moment. It is Michael Bay's excessive and silly Transformers: Age of Extinction, which blew past its negative reviews to generate $381 million in worldwide box office in its first five days and $592 million going into this weekend.

But that may not be enough to save the day overall. It is not clear that Bay's bloated sequel, with Optimus Prime riding into battle astride a fire-breathing T. Rex from 65 million years ago, can push on to the $1 billion mark. Not as the more likeable Iron Man 3 did when leading the box office parade in the summer of 2013, finally reaching $1.2 billion. Age of Extinction is also trailing the record of the 2011 Transformers movie, Dark of the Moon, which did make it past $1 billion.

Even more critically, if the fourth Transformers proves to be an outlier and not an indicator of other hits to come, the summer could sag even more. Cynics might easily say: Hollywood needs to make better movies, more movies that people can love, less movies that suck.

Continue Reading at: The Toronto Sun

July 9

J.K. Rowling Reassures Daniel Radcliffe That There'll Be No More Potter Films, Probably

J.K. Rowling at the world premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1' in 2010 (image courtesy Contactmusic)

by Lauren James

J.K Rowling's Pottermore addition last week, introducing fans to thirty-something Harry Potter and chums, may have been met with clamorous excitement by fans but gave one actor a sinking feeling. Daniel Radcliffe, who made his name as the titular boy wizard, saw Rowling's new chapter as forewarning that he'd need to reprise his fantasy role for another movie.

Apparently Radcliffe's fears were assuaged by the British author, who sent the actor a text reassuring him that she won't be writing any more film featuring Harry, ergo there'll be no more Potter films, probably.

Rowling sent her fans dizzy with excitement when she posted a new chapter set 16 years after Voldemort's defeat. Written in the style of a tabloid article penned by busy-body Rita Skeeter, the 1500-word story featured Harry, Ron and Hermione aged 34 Quidditch World Cup Final in the Patagonian Desert.

"I haven't read it yet, though I will," the 24-year-old actor said of the new chapter, via the NY Daily News. "But my understanding is that it's very short, not worthy of adaptation to film."

Continue Reading at: Contactmusic

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