Weekend Box Office: THE CROODS and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN Excel while ADMISSION Struggles

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

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For those who overlooked the record-breaking success of The Hunger Games one year ago, it was a great weekend at the US box office. Two of the three new releases exceeded expectations, with Olympus Has Fallen nearly doubling studio projections. Only the Tina Fey comedy Admission stumbled – barely topping what Spring Breakers brought in from half as many locations.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Croods $44,700,000 $44.7
2.  Olympus Has Fallen $30,500,000 $30.5
3.  Oz the Great and Powerful $22,031,700 $177.5
4.  The Call $8,700,000 $30.9
5.  Admission $6,445,000 $6.4
6.  Spring Breakers $5,000,000 $5.4
7.  The Incredible Burt Wonderstone $4,275,000 $17.3
8.  Jack the Giant Slayer $2,965,000 $59
9.  Identity Thief $2,500,000 $127.6
10.  Snitch $1,930,000 $40.3

New to Blu-ray: LIFE OF PI, WILLOW, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 194 days ago

Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray titles:

Hit the jump for extras details on all of the aforementioned releases.

American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards Nominations Include ZERO DARK THIRTY, ARGO, and TED

by     Posted 1 year, 254 days ago

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The 85th Annual Academy Awards announced its slew of nominations yesterday, but today the American Cinema Editors guild has released their nominations for excellence in editing for 2012.  Nominees for the 63rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards in the dramatic category include Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Skyfall, while the comedy or musical category includes Best Picture hopeful Silver Linings Playbook and Seth MacFarlane’s R-rated comedy TedArgo and Zero Dark Thirty seem like the formidable competition in the dramatic category given how expertly both films layer and manage tension throughout their running times, and coincidentally they both share one of the same editors: William Goldenberg.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees in the dramatic, comedy or musical, and animated categories, as well as documentary and television categories.  The 63rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards will be held on February 16th.

2013 Visual Effects Society Awards Nominations Include LIFE OF PI, THE HOBBIT, THE AVENGERS, and BATTLESHIP

by     Posted 1 year, 258 days ago

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The Visual Effects Society has announced the nominees for the upcoming 11th Annual VES Awards.  This year’s major players include Life of Pi, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Prometheus, The Avengers, and Battleship, all of which landed nominations for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture.  The VES Awards also recognize visual effects work in more dramatic fare, singling out the impressive effects of films like Flight and The Impossible.  Duking it out for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature will be the ridiculously impressive Richard Parker in Life of Pi, Hulk in The Avengers, and Gollum and Goblin King in The Hobbit.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees.  The 11th Annual VES Awards will take place on February 5th.

2013 Producers Guild Awards Nominees Include LINCOLN, DJANGO UNCHAINED, LES MISERABLES, and SKYFALL

by     Posted 1 year, 263 days ago

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The nominations for the 2013 Producers Guild Awards have been announced.  The PGA’s are a fairly reliable predictor of the Academy Awards, as last year all but two eventual Best Picture nominees (The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) were PGA nominees.  This year’s contenders include expected fare like Argo, Les Miserables, and Lincoln, indies such as Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom, and critical favorite Zero Dark Thirty.  The PGA’s are also fond of singling out one “popular” choice, and in this year’s case that film looks to be the excellent Skyfall

In addition to the feature films, the PGAs also announced the nominees in television.  Drama series nominees include the usual suspects like Homeland, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones, while the comedy category is filled out by 30 Rock, Louie, Modern Family, and for some reason The Big Bang Theory.  Notably absent is HBO’s Girls and NBC’s brilliant Parks and Recreation.  Hit the jump to check out the full list of film and television nominees.  The 24th Annual PGA Awards will be held on January 26th.

Watch: Animation Roundtable with BRAVE, PARANORMAN, WRECK-IT RALPH, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, and RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Directors

by     Posted 1 year, 291 days ago

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A staple of every awards season is the multitude of roundtable interviews and discussions that pop up featuring said season’s top contenders.  We’ve already shared an hourlong interview with some of the Best Director contenders like Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, and Tom Hooper, but today a roundtable of a different sort popped online.  The LA Times put together their first ever animation roundtable as they gathered the following directors for a 60-minute discussion: Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).

The resulting video is an absolutely fascinating and candid discussion between the filmmakers about the evolution of animated films, a possible renaissance of 2D animation and who’s to blame for 3D animation dominating the marketplace, breaking down social barriers and the stigma of animated movies being exclusively for kids, and more.  It’s a wonderful discussion and is well worth your time.  Hit the jump to watch.

BRAVE, PARANORMAN, WRECK-IT-RALPH and More Nominated for Annie Award

by     Posted 1 year, 292 days ago

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The Annie Awards, which honor achievement in animation, have announced their best picture nominees for 2012.  According to THR, most wide-release animated films made the cut including Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, Rise of the Guardians, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wreck-It-Ralph.  The only independent animated movie to pick up a nomination was The Rabbi’s Cat.  With this many nominees, to lose out on a nomination is a basically slap in the face, so tough luck to The Lorax (which deserves a face-slap), Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Keep in mind that for the best picture category, a film has to be feature length.  Otherwise, Paperman would smoke all these flicks.

Weekend Box Office: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2, SKYFALL and LINCOLN Claim Top Three for Third Week in a Row

by     Posted 1 year, 293 days ago

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Box office rankings were frozen in time this weekend as the top three films remained unchanged for a third straight frame. Once again, top honors went to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, closely followed by Skyfall.  Spielberg’s Lincoln claimed third. There were also two new releases, though neither hailed from a major studio. The Weinstein Co.’s Killing Them Softly had the most promise, but not even Brad Pitt’s presence could push the drama to $10 million on this notoriously low-grossing weekend.

Title Weekend Total
1.  Breaking Dawn Part 2 $17,400,000 $254.5
2.  Skyfall $17,000,000 $246
3.  Lincoln $13,509,000 $83.6
4.  Rise of the Guardians $13,500,000 $48.9
5.  Life of Pi $12,000,000 $48.3
6.  Wreck-It Ralph $7,020,000 $158.2
7.  Killing Them Softly $7,000,000 $7
8.  Red Dawn $6,550,000 $31.3
9.  Flight $4,140,000 $81.5
10.  The Collection
$3,400,000 $3.4

Friday Box Office: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN Part 2 Stays on Top; KILLING THEM SOFTLY Falls Flat

by     Posted 1 year, 294 days ago

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After a record-setting Thanksgiving frame, the domestic box office is headed towards its traditional, post-holiday slump. Though weekend receipts should top 2011 levels, there is little to get excited about at the multiplex: no new, major-studio releases and no change in the domestic top three. That means that, for the third straight week, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be on top, followed closely by Skyfall, which now ranks as the highest-grossing spy movie in US history. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln will remain in third place while Rise of the Guardians continues to struggle entering its sophomore frame. Even with its very modest expectations, The Weinstein Co.’s Killing Them Softly is being called a disappointment. On its first day in 2,424 locations, the R-rated film starring Brad Pitt is expected to earn just $7 million over its first three days. We’ll have full details tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1. Breaking Dawn Part 2 $5,610,000 $242.7
2. Skyfall $4,880,000 $233.9
3. Lincoln $4,040,000 $74.2
4. Life of Pi $3,300,000 $39.6
5. Rise of the Guardians $2,970,000 $38.4

Weekend Box Office: Record-Breaking Thanksgiving Holiday Led by Holdovers BREAKING DAWN PART 2 and SKYFALL; Slow Start for RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

by     Posted 1 year, 300 days ago

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After a slow start on Wednesday and Thursday, the domestic box office roared to life on Black Friday and ended with the highest five-day Thanksgiving frame of all time. Holdovers were the main course, with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall and Lincoln claiming the top three spots. But audiences also made room for new arrivals, including Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, the long-delayed Red Dawn remake and the CGI-animated Rise of the Guardians.

Title Weekend Total
1. Breaking Dawn Part 2 $43,070,000 $226.9
2. Skyfall $36,000,000 $221.7
3. Lincoln $25,020,000 $62.1
4. Rise of the Guardians $24,025,000 $32.6
5. Life of Pi $22,000,000 $30.1
6. Wreck-It Ralph $16.760,000 $149.5
7. Red Dawn $14,600,000 $22
8. Flight $8,600,000 $74.8
9. Silver Linings Playbook $4,623,000 $6.4
10. Argo $3,875,000 $98.1

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 1 year, 302 days ago

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We’re continuing on with our weeklong preview of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, and after running down both acting categories it’s time to take look at some of the other races.  Today we’ll be looking at the Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay categories in depth, and I’ll also make some way-too-early quick picks in the technical categories.  The fun begins after the jump.

Composer Alexandre Desplat Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, Collaborating with Directors, ZERO DARK THIRTY, ARGO, THE MONUMENTS MEN, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 302 days ago

With Rise of the Guardians opening this week, I recently got to see the finished film and it’s really well done.  Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes.  In addition, unlike most superhero films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is that we join almost everyone in the middle of the story.  If you’re not familiar with the story, it  revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law).  Here’s my video blog review and all our previous coverage.

To help promote the film, last week I got on the phone with composer Alexandre Desplat.  We talked about how he got involved in Rise of the Guardians, his extremely busy year, his collaboration with the director on animated movies versus live-action features, and more.  In addition, we also talked about some of his other projects like Ben Affleck‘s Argo, Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, other possible future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, POLTERGEIST Remake, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE FAMILY FANG, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 304 days ago

david-lindsay-abaire-rise-of-the-guardians-slice

With Rise of the Guardians opening this week, I recently got to see the finished film at DreamWorks Animation and it’s really well done.  Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes.  In addition, unlike most superhero films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is we join almost everyone in the middle of the story.  If you’re not familiar with the story, it  revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law).  Here’s my video blog review and all our previous coverage.

To help promote the film, last week I got on the phone with Rise of the Guardians screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire.  We talked about how the film didn’t tell a typical origin story, the tone, whether there were any dramatic changes along the way, and more.  In addition, with Lindsay-Abaire writing the Poltergeist remake, he talked about the status of the script, whether he wrote it for a PG-13 or an R rating, and when it might shoot.  Finally, since he’s also working on Sam Raimi‘s Oz The Great and Powerful and adapting The Family Fang with Nicole Kidman and Good People, he gave me updates on both projects.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Director Peter Ramsey Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, Roger Deakins, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Working with David Fincher on FIGHT CLUB, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 305 days ago

peter-ramsey-rise-of-the-guardians-slice

With Rise of the Guardians opening this week, I recently got to see the finished film at DreamWorks Animation and it’s really well done.  Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes.  In addition, unlike most superhero films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is we join almost everyone in the middle of the story.  If you’re not familiar with the story, it  revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law).  Here’s my video blog review and all our previous coverage.

To help promote the film, last week I got on the phone with Rise of the Guardians director Peter Ramsey.  We talked about how they didn’t tell a typical origin story, the tone, how many times he re-storyboard the film and whether there were any dramatic changes along the way, the test screening process, collaborating with Roger Deakins, other DreamWorks Animation projects like How to Train Your Dragon 2Kung Fu Panda 3, Trolls (which he said is “kind of partially based on a Terry Pratchett novel”) and more.  In addition, Ramsey got his start as a storyboard artist working for David Fincher on Fight Club and Steven Spielberg on A.I., so we talked about those projects and a few others.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 305 days ago

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The quirky spin on its famous characters isn’t the most interesting aspect of Rise of the Guardians.  The most interesting part of the film is how it upholds fame as the biggest power in the world.  It’s an odd subtext for almost any movie, and especially a family film.  On the surface, there’s not much going on other than some fast-moving visuals and a smattering of jokes that wear too quickly on the premise.  Director Peter Ramsay and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire may not have crafted a particularly thrilling adventure, but they’ve perhaps unintentionally created a fascinating value judgment.

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