New to Blu-ray: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE SERIES, THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL and More

by     Posted 1 year, 348 days ago

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This week on Blu-ray, we’re finally able to delve into the deleted scenes from The Amazing Spider-Man, a few Christmas titles get Blu-ray releases, and the entirety of HBO’s Entourage hits the format.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for all the details.

Weekend Box Office – THINK LIKE A MAN Stays On Top with $18 Million as New Releases Underwhelm

by     Posted 2 years, 174 days ago

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Thought last weekend, when the comedy Think Like A Man took first place from the heavily-favored The Lucky One, was a surprise? Then check out this weekend’s estimates. Not only has Think Like A Man defied all expectations by holding the top spot for a second week; it did so by beating the heavily-favored rom-com The Five-Year Engagement from super-producer Judd Apatow. Could it be that post-racial America has finally arrived? Or is everyone just saving their money to see The Avengers? You be the judge.

Title Weekend Total
1 Think Like A Man $18,400,000 $60.8
2 Pirates! Band of Misfits $11,400,000 $11.4
3 The Lucky One $11,325,000 $39.9
4 The Hunger Games $11,250,000 $372.4
5 The Five-Year Engagement $11,156,800 $11.1
6 Safe $7,720,000 $7.7
7 The Raven $7,250,000 $7.2
8 Chimpanzee $5,460,000 $19.1
9 The Three Stooges $5,400,000 $37.1
10 Cabin in the Woods $4,500,000 $34.6

2012 Annie Award Winners Announced; RANGO Named Best Animated Feature

by     Posted 2 years, 258 days ago

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The 2012 Annie Awards were held last night, and critical favorite Rango ended up deservedly taking home the Best Animated Feature award. Gore Verbinski’s quirky western also took home the award for Best Writing in a Feature Production, Best Editing, and the Members Favorite Award, but lost Best Directing to Kung Fu Panda 2’s Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Bill Nighy won Best Voice Acting for Arthur Christmas, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes took home the Character Animation in a Live Action Feature Production award.

On the television side of things, The Simpsons was awarded the top prize as well as Best Directing and Best Writing. Heading into the Academy Awards, Rango is our clear frontrunner. The Adventures of Tintin was pegged as the film’s biggest competition at the Oscar ceremony, but the Steven Spielberg film was ultimately left out of the nominations. Hit the jump to see the full list of Annie Awards Winners.

97 Original Scores Up for Oscar; DRIVE and ATTACK THE BLOCK Ruled Ineligible

by     Posted 2 years, 302 days ago

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As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.

While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.

Weekend Box Office – BREAKING DAWN PART 1 Wins Holiday Crown with $42 Million Weekend and $221 Million Domestic Total

by     Posted 2 years, 328 days ago

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It may not have topped last year’s holiday in terms of totals, but Thanksgiving 2011 did prove bountiful for a handful of films.  Topping the list is Breaking Dawn Part 1 and its sophomore weekend estimate of $42 million and five-day holiday total of $62.3 million.  Meanwhile, The Muppets proved they still got game with a five-day total of $42 million.

Title Weekend 5-day Total
1 Breaking Dawn Part 1 $42,000,000 $62.3 $221.3
2 The Muppets $29,500,000 $42 $42
3 Happy Feet Two $13,400,000 $18.3 $43.7
4 Arthur Christmas $12,700,000 $16.9 $16.9
5 Hugo $11,400,000 $15.3 $15.3
6 Jack and Jill $10,300,000 $14.1 $57.4
7 Immortals $8,800,000 $12.5 $67.6
8 Puss In Boots $7,450,000 $19.4 $135.3
9 Tower Heist $7,320,000 $10.2 $65.4
10 The Descendants $7,200,000 $9.2 $10.7

Hugh Laurie ARTHUR CHRISTMAS Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 328 days ago

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In Aardman Animation’s animated family film Arthur Christmas, Hugh Laurie voices Steve, Santa Claus’ (Jim Broadbent) eldest son and who pushes the North Pole into using newer technology to help Santa make his deliveries in one night.  However, when one child is accidentally overlooked on Christmas Eve, the entire Claus family has to come together to make things right.  As you might expect from Aardman Animation, it’s loaded with jokes for adults and kids will love it.  Here’s Matt’s review.

Recently, I sat down with Laurie and we talked about how he got involved in the project, what was it like to work for Aardman Animation, how the process compared to his previous experiences on Hop and Monsters vs. Aliens, and who is his favorite actor and director.  Hit the jump to watch.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago

Continuing on with our look at the 2012 Oscar race, today we delve into Best Animated Feature and the technical categories. As Pixar’s Cars 2 was the studio’s worst-received feature to date (it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), we’ve got ourselves an actual competition in the Animated Feature category. Not only that, but if all 18 films that were submitted to the Academy are deemed eligible, we’ll have a total of five nominated films. This leaves us to debate the merits of Rango and The Adventures of Tintin against the likes of Puss in Boots and Arthur Christmas.

Additionally, we’ve taken a stab at Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the technical categories. As these are incredibly tricky to predict this far out (and my picks would be doomed to haunt me come February), I’ve simply listed a couple of frontrunners in each category instead of going in depth. Though it’s still early, we’ve got an overall picture of how things look like they’ll stack up; so hit the jump to check out the state of the race so far. If you missed our previous preview articles, be sure to take a look at our picks for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor and Best Actress.

Friday Box Office – BREAKING DAWN PART 1 Still On Top; THE MUPPETS in Second

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago

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If Black Friday’s estimates are any gauge, this year’s Thanksgiving weekend is going to be a bit of a downer.  Traditionally one of the biggest movie days of the year, 2011’s post-holiday Friday saw drops in both gross and attendance over a year ago.  To give you one example, this year’s 3D-animated Arthur Christmas performed about as well on its first Friday as last year’s 2D musical Burlesque. Up at the top, Breaking Dawn Part 1 continued to shine with an estimated $16.9 million.  That’s a decline of 75% from the film’s opening day, though the drop was expected given the front-heavy nature of The Twilight Saga series.  Last year’s big ‘Part 1’, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, managed to make about 20% more on its second Friday, putting 2011 at a bit of a disadvantage.  At number two with an estimated $12.2 million, The Muppets came in almost 35% behind 2010’s Tangled, though the latter did have 3D-pricing on its side.  The only film to buck the downward trend was HugoMartin Scorsese’s 3D family-film earned $4.5 million on Friday – more than what it was projected to make just a few days ago.  More analysis tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 Breaking Dawn Part 1 $16,900,000
2 The Muppets $12,275,000
3 Happy Feet Two $5,130,000
4 Arthur Christmas $4,550,000
5 Hugo $4,530,000

Thanksgiving Box Office – BREAKING DAWN PART 1 Leads with $12.5 Million; THE MUPPETS Take Second

by     Posted 2 years, 331 days ago

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Wednesday was day one for three new family films but, even on this holiday frame, not one of them came close to challenging Breaking Dawn.  The penultimate entry in The Twilight Saga series led the way on Thanksgiving-eve, pulling in an estimated $12.5 million from 4,066 locations.  Projections for the five-day holiday top $55 million, a figure which would put BD1’s ten day total at an incredible $215 million.  The Muppets is also drawing crowds.  After earning an estimated $6.6 million on Wednesday, Kermit and Piggy are projected to take in $45 million by the close of the holiday weekend.  By comparison, debuts for Thanksgiving’s other family offerings appeared more muted: Sony’s 3D-animated Arthur Christmas earned an estimated $2.4 million from 3,376 dates on Wednesday while the 3D live-action pic Hugo (in a more modest 1,277 venues) claimed seventh place with $1.6 million.  We’ll have updates on the holiday box office as the weekend progresses.

Title Wednesday Total
1 Breaking Dawn Part 1 $12,500,000 $171.4
2 The Muppets $6,600,000 $6.6
3 Happy Feet Two $2,915,000 $28.3
4 Arthur Christmas $2,400,000 $2.4
5 Jack and Jill $1,925,000 $45.2

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS Review

by     Posted 2 years, 333 days ago

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I’ve always been slightly perplexed when people ask “How does Santa deliver all his presents in a single night?”  It’s as if the possibility of a fat and jolly gentleman who lives in a hostile climate and has consumer goods made by an army of elves is completely plausible, but there’s no getting around the physics of the delivery.  And if that’s the hang-up, then why not simply answer back, “Magic,”?  Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas has fun indulging the question of “How?” but knows that it can be funny and heartwarming if you let Christmas night be magical.

Bill Nighy Talks ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, JACK THE GIANT KILLER, WRATH OF THE TITANS, TOTAL RECALL, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, More

by     Posted 2 years, 334 days ago

In the animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, actor Bill Nighy voices the rather naughty Grandsanta. Upon his retirement, his lovely old sleigh and all of the reindeer who guided it were put out to pasture, in favor of an ultra-high-tech operation that allows for 18.14 seconds to get into each house, deliver the presents, and move on to the next, for the hundreds of millions of children in the world. So, when Santa’s (Jim Broadbent) youngest son, Arthur (James McAvoy), discovers that one child has been missed, he sets out on a mission, with the help of Grandsanta and a giftwrapping-obsessed elf (Ashley Jensen), to get that last present delivered before Christmas morning dawns.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, the fantastically lovely Bill Nighy talked about at first thinking he was being asked to play Santa and then realizing what a great character Grandsanta was, navigating voice roles by what he doesn’t want the character to sound like to make sure it’s unique, and how he’s so low-tech that he doesn’t own a computer and only recently was talked into getting an iPhone. He also talked about playing a 22-foot tall giant who eats people in Jack the Giant Killer, playing Hephaestus (the armorer to the Gods) in Wrath of the Titans, his trust in Len Wiseman as a storyteller for the remake of Total Recall (he plays Kuato in the film), his fear of harming Dame Judy Dench while driving her around on a motorcycle for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, making two more films with the Johnny Worricker character from David Hare’s Page Eight, finally getting the call to be a part of the Harry Potter franchise, and getting stopped all the time by fans who love his work in both Shaun of the Dead and Love, Actually. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

James McAvoy Taks ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, Danny Boyle’s TRANCE, the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Sequel, Showtime’s SHAMELESS, FILTH and More

by     Posted 2 years, 336 days ago

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In the animated family film Arthur Christmas, hitting theaters on November 23rd, actor James McAvoy voices Arthur, the awkward but enthusiastic youngest son to Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent). When the ultra-high-tech Christmas gift delivery system fails, missing one child out of hundreds of millions, Arthur embarks on a rogue mission, with the help of his rather naughty Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and a giftwrapping-obsessed elf (Ashley Jensen), to deliver the last present before Christmas morning.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, James McAvoy talked about his desire to want to do more films for kids because they’re the best audience around, that he responded to the integrity and humor in the story, the challenge of voicing a character that is always so enthusiastic and nice, and that, if given the choice, he would likely go with the simple and classic ways of doing things versus the high-tech ones. He also talked about how freaky it was to watch even 10 minutes of the Showtime remake of Shameless (he starred in the original), his hopes for the X-Men: First Class sequel, which has not been greenlit yet, the amazing experience he’s had working with director Danny Boyle on Trance, for which he has one day left of shooting, how good the action-thriller Welcome to the Punch turned out, and shooting the fantastic but twisted script for Irvine Welsh’s Filth, starting in January 2012. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

5 Clips for ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

by     Posted 2 years, 348 days ago

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Aardman Animation—the studio behind Chicken Run and the charming adventures of Wallace and Gromit—has sent over 5 clips from their latest effort, Arthur Christmas.  The film reveals the answer to the age-old question: “So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?”

For more on Arthur Christmas, check out Steve’s thoughts on the first 30 minutes and interview with director Sarah Smith.  James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and Ashley Jensen comprise the voice cast in the November 23 release. Watch the clips after the jump.

18 Animated Feature Films Submit for 84th Annual Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 351 days ago

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Under consideration for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature will be 18 contenders, some of which have yet to have their qualifying runs on screen. Major features include The Adventures of Tintin, Rango and Cars 2. Disney/Pixar has won 6 out of 10 years, while winning the last four in a row, but with DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots in the running, it could very well be their turn. Though there are some dark horses in the mix.

Submitted films must satisfy the category’s qualifying rules, including their theatrical release, in order to continue the submission process. In order to activate the award category at all, no fewer than 8 animated features must be released in theaters in Los Angeles County within the calendar year. If these films meet requirements for other categories, including Best Picture, they may be eligible for those awards as well. Hit the jump to see the full list.

New Posters for ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, THE GREY, CONTRABAND, and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D

by     Posted 3 years, 2 days ago

New posters have been released for the family holiday flick Arthur Christmas (click here for Steve’s recent footage recap/interview), the men-vs-wolves survival thriller The Grey, the crime drama Contraband, and the horror sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.  Today’s a busy day so let me just break down the respective posters: bad puns, Neeson’s mug sells tickets, Wahlberg is fake scratching an itch so he can show off his sweet new moneybelt, and slightly better pun.

Hit the jump to check out the posters.  Arthur Christmas opens November 23rd, The Grey opens January 27th, Contraband opens January 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D opens October 5, 2012.

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