Weekend Box Office: OUIJA Wins with $20 Million; JOHN WICK Second with $14.1 Million

by     Posted 4 days ago

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On a relatively quiet pre-Halloween weekend, teen horror flick Ouija reigned.  Based on the Hasbro toys property and released by Universal, Ouija took in an estimated $20 million from 2,858 locations for first place.  John Wick was second with $14.1 million.  While not quite at the level of recent R-rated fare like The Equalizer and Fury, the male-skewing action pic did manage to top last month’s A Walk Among the Tombstones – and its own pre-release projections.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Ouija $20,000,000 $20
2.  John Wick $14,150,000 $14.1
3.  Fury $13,000,000 $46
4.  Gone Girl $11,100,000 $124
5.  The Book of Life $9,800,000 $29.9
6.  St. Vincent $8,058,000 $9.1
7.  Alexander and Terrible… $7,023,000 $45.5
8.  The Best of Me $4,736,000 $17.6
9.  The Judge $4,345,000 $34.3
10.  Dracula Untold $4,302,000 $48.3

 

Full story after the jump.

TOP 5: First AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer, JOHN WICK, THE LOOK OF SILENCE Trailer, BIRDMAN, Brad Pitt Sits BETWEEN TWO FERNS

by     Posted 5 days ago

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With Halloween under a week away, today marks my final horror recommendation of the season. Whether it’s been a while since your last viewing or you’ve missed it all together, this is the perfect (and perhaps only) time of year to check out writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace‘s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Often regarded as the odd duck of the franchise due to its storyline departure and a severe lack of Michael Myers, Season of the Witch relies less on slasher tropes in favor of sci-fi tinged horror. The gist of the plot is that a popular Halloween mask company (Silver Shamrock Novelties) is planning to kill every kid that wears one of their masks on Halloween night. Not a great business plan, but a serviceable witchcraft/sacrifice plan I suppose. The result is a vintage 80′s horror pic complete with solid practical effects, surprisingly violent deaths, killer androids, an old guy who more or less warns you to get out of town before it’s too late, and Tom Atkins‘ stellar mustache. While I’m not sure Season will hold up well under critical review, if you sit back and embrace the silliness of it all I think you’ll have a new Halloween favorite on your hands.

Recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, interviews for and Matt’s review of John Wick, a trailer for Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing follow-up The Look of Silence, interviews for and Matt’s review of Birdman, and Brad Pitt essentially getting eviscerated by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan Talk BIRDMAN, Working with Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki, Michael Keaton, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

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I love this time of year.  The weather starts to cool off, football games start to matter and Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season.  That brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

Last week at the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan.  They talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, if the script changed during production, working with Michael Keaton, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) Review

by     Posted 6 days ago

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[Birdman expands to more theaters this weekend.  Click here for Perri's review from the 2014 New York Film Festival]

To paraphrase one of the most famous plays of all-time, Alejandro González Iñárritu Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is “but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage…A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,” and it signifies almost nothing.  Macbeth uses this to refer to life, but for Iñárritu—who literally has someone shout this soliloquy off-camera—it applies to the entirety of a picture that rejects subtlety in a misguided attempt to blend the language of film and stage, and address a multitude of topics including acting, celebrity, the New York/L.A. divide, superhero movies, critics, and ego.  The result is a cacophony of opinions and half-cooked ideas where the only one that comes close to fruition is an exploration of a nervous breakdown where identity has become consumed by artistic desperation.

Awards Season Has Begun: BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Award Nominees; FOXCATCHER Stars Receive Special Jury Award

by     Posted One week ago

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And here we go.  The 2014 Awards Season has begun, and it begins with Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood leading with four nominations from the Gotham Awards.  Linklater’s terrific film picked up nominations for Best Feature, Ethan Hawke (Best Actor), Patricia Arquette (Best Actress), and Ellar Coltrane (Breakthrough Performance).  Also of note was Oscar Isaac receiving a Best Actor nomination for A Most Violent Year even though it has yet to be screened for the public (it will debut at AFI Fest next month).  Finally, I’m very amused that rather than choose between nominating Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, they received a Special Jury Award jointly for their performances.  That’s one way to do it.

It’s also worth noting that the Gotham Awards mean next to nothing in the overall awards race.  They have the distinction of being the starting gun, but I’m glad they’re continuing to honor worthwhile movies.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 1st.

Michael Keaton Talks BIRDMAN, Working with Alejandro González Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki, and More

by     Posted 8 days ago

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I love this time of year.  The weather starts to cool off.  Football games start to matter.  And Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season.  Which brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

Last week at the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Michael Keaton.  He talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, crafting his performance alongside the cinematography, how he immediately said yes to the project, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Weekend Box Office: FURY Tops the Weekend with $23.5 Million; GONE GIRL Crosses $100 Million

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Director David Ayer’s World War II film Fury topped the box office this weekend, dethroning David Fincher’s Gone Girl with a solid $23.5 million.  The unrelentingly brutal Brad Pitt-fronted picture had one of the best openings for a WWII film of all time, placing fourth just behind Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds, and the current champion Pearl Harbor.  It also marked Ayer’s biggest opening as a director by $10 million, and audiences were satisfied by the finished result as the film netted an A- CinemaScore.  Another of the weekend’s big new releases, the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life, pulled in $17 million and landed in third place overall, while the Nicholas Sparks romance The Best of Me scored a mere $10.2 million for fifth place, making it the lowest debut for a Sparks drama ever.

Read the full weekend box office report and get a look at the complete Top 10 after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

by     Posted 15 days ago

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

New BIRDMAN Clips and Posters Shine a Light On Michael Keaton’s Battle Against Edward Norton

by     Posted 20 days ago

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I’m so exceed to see Birdman, a dark comedy starring Michael Keaton that director Alejandro González Iñárritu staged to appear as one long, continuous shot.  The film stars Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Two new clips from the film hit today, and both of them feature Keaton going toe-to-toe with Edward Norton as a smarmy New York theater actor.  And they’re great.  We’ve also got a look at a few city specific posters for the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman clips and posters.  The film also stars Naomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.  Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens in select theaters on October 17th. Just a heads up that the language in these scenes is NSFW.

Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: October to December

by     Posted 28 days ago

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The summer movie season is behind us, and there is a lot to look forward to in the closing months of 2014.  As always there’s plenty of adult dramas to dig through, but the year’s final releases are an eclectic bunch ranging from massive-scale sci-fi films to psychedelic period romps, and there are more than a couple of new releases from some of the best filmmakers working today.  It’s an embarrassment of riches, but Matt, Adam, Perri, and Evan have each pored over the release calendar and picked out their five most anticipated films of this final quarter.  It certainly wasn’t easy.

Hit the jump to find out what they can’t wait to see and why.

9 New BIRDMAN Images Fly Online Featuring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Now that the year is winding down, there are only a handful of movies I can’t wait to see, and Birdman is near the top of the list.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ambitious black comedy, which was made to look like one long shot, stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Nine new Birdman images have been released, and looking at the diversity of the images, I have no idea how they can be connected by one shot, but I can’t wait to find out.  The movie has picked up rave reviews at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, and we’ll be hearing word out of the New York Film Festival soon.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman images.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens in select theaters on October 17th.

Benedict Cumberbatch Is an Enigma in First THE IMITATION GAME Posters; Plus New Posters for BIRDMAN, NIGHTCRAWLER, and JOHN WICK

by     Posted 35 days ago

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New posters for some of this fall’s most highly anticipated titles have landed online.  Briefly:

  • The Imitation Game – The very first The Imitation Game posters feature some wordplay involving the Nazi Enigma Code and the man who cracked it, a genius mathematician named Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film.  Both Cumberbatch and the movie itself will no doubt find themselves in the heat of the Oscar race.  The film opens on November 21st.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • Birdman – Another potential awards contender is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s black comedy, which gets a new theatrical poster ahead of its NYFF screening and release.  The film opens on October 17th.
  • Nightcrawler – Also a highlight from TIFF was Dan Gilroy’s dark, twisted psychological thriller featuring a truly unhinged performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.  This new poster isn’t near as pretty as the previous one, but the film remains one of my favorites of the year thus far.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • John Wick – We also have a new poster for this upcoming Keanu Reeves actioner that seemingly came out of nowhere and has been building buzz over the past few weeks, culminating in a pretty fantastic trailer.  The film opens on October 24th.

Hit the jump to check out the aforementioned posters.

NYFF Trailer Offers First Look at INHERENT VICE Footage

by     Posted 50 days ago

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The New York Film Festival has a fantastic slate this year.  From the premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance as the closing night selection, it makes me supremely jealous of those on the east coast for that week.  Of course, the largest question mark here is writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s long awaited Inherent Vice, which will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th as the fest’s centerpiece gala.

We’ve only seen a few stills from the film (and we wake up every day hoping for a trailer), so we’re actually getting our first-ever snippet of footage via this NYFF trailer that highlights the fest’s selections.  Anderson’s Thomas Pynchon adaptation stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson and is described by NYFF director Kent Jones as being “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.  Hit the jump for the NYFF trailer.

2014 Telluride Film Festival Lineup Announced; ’71, 99 HOMES, FOXCATCHER, WILD, MADAME BOVARY, THE IMITATION GAME and More

by     Posted 63 days ago

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As Adam pointed out in Oscar Beat yesterday, four out of the last five Best Picture winners screened at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival.  If that trend continues, we can really narrow down the Best Picture contenders now because the Telluride main program lineup was just announced.

This year’s Toronto and Telluride crossovers (not including the documentaries and foreign language selections) are the Jack O’Connell-starrer ’71, Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Madame Bovary with Mia Wasikowska, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Rosewater starring Gael García Bernal and Wild with Reese Witherspoon.  Hit the jump for more on what’s to come at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival.

Oscar Beat: Which Awards Contenders Will Emerge from the Fall Film Festival Season?

by     Posted 64 days ago

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Ready or not, the awards season is about to begin.  Every year, Oscar season kicks off with the series of film festivals in late August and early September.  It’s at these festivals—Telluride, Toronto, and Venice—that a hefty number of the year’s Oscar hopefuls debut and begin what they hope will be long and prosperous campaigns.  Four out of the last five Best Picture winners screened at both Telluride and Toronto, and as the festivals are about to start later this week, now felt like a good time to preview the block of awards hopefuls that will be screening since the odds are pretty good that this year’s Best Picture winner will have debuted by mid-September.

Hit the jump for the Fall Film Festival Preview 2014 edition of Oscar Beat.

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