Weekend Box Office: EXODUS Reigns on Quiet Pre-Holiday Frame

by     Posted 3 days ago

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As expected, Exodus: Gods and Kings easily claimed first place this weekend.  The biblical epic earned an estimated $24.5 million from 3,503 locations – on track with studio expectations for the Ridley Scott feature.  Exodus also sent Mockingjay- Part 1 into second place for the first time in its three-week run.  You shouldn’t feel too bad for Katniss, though.  Not only has the penultimate chapter in The Hunger Games franchise earned over $610 million worldwide in just 24 days, it also now ranks as the second highest-grossing domestic release of 2014 – behind only Guardians of the Galaxy.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Exodus: Gods & Kings $24,500,000 $24.5
2.  Mockingjay – Part 1 $13,200,000 $277.8
3.  Penguins of Madagascar $7,300,000 $58.8
4.  Top Five $7,210,000 $7.2
5.  Big Hero 6 $6,145,000 $185.3
6.  Interstellar $5,500,000 $166.8
7.  Horrible Bosses 2 $4,630,000 $43.6
8.  Dumb and Dumber To $2,757,000 $82.1
9.  The Theory of Everything $2,525,000 $17.1
10.  Wild $1,500,000 $2.43

 

Full story after the jump.

Friday Box Office: EXODUS Unseats MOCKINGJAY PART 1 with $8.6 Million

by     Posted 4 days ago

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After three consecutive frames on top of the domestic box office, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will make room for a new number one feature this weekend.  Exodus: Gods and Kings took in an estimated $8.6 million from 3,053 locations on Friday and will rule the first weekend of the 2014 holiday season with a projected $25 million.  That’s right in line with expectations for director Ridley Scott’s biblical epic, which has already earned more than $32 million from its initial overseas engagements.

Full story after the jump.

TOP FIVE Review

by     Posted 6 days ago

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There’s more than one way for a stand-up comedian to do a bit, and there’s more than one way for an actor to express frustration with his profession.  Chris Rock is one of the most insightful entertainers working today, and in the press he’s been doing for his new movie Top Five, he’s commented on race, politics, current events, comedy, and much more.  However, his new film is mostly concerned with fame, performance, and the trappings of both.  Although the story is built on a flimsy premise and its constraints create an awkward resolution, Rock has filled his picture with his sharp comedy that skewers celebrity and pride.

New TOP FIVE Clips Provide a Bigger Glimpse at Chris Rock’s New Comedy

by     Posted 8 days ago

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I still haven’t had a chance to see the new Chris Rock comedy Top Five, which not only stars the comedian, but was written and directed by him as well.  The first trailer and the red band trailer are both great, and these three new clips provide a further look (even if it’s a brief one) inside the tone of the movie, which seems to be a more grounded, observational type of comedy than something like Grown Ups (which Rock only acted in).  It only makes sense that this more personal material would retain more of Rock’s actual comedic voice.

Check out the new Top Five clips.  The film also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.  Top Five opens in theaters on December 12th.

Exclusive TOP FIVE Images Featuring Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, and Cedric the Entertainer

by     Posted 12 days ago

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I’m still waiting on my chance to see Paramount’s new Chris Rock comedy Top Five, which not only stars the comedian, but was written and directed by him as well.  The first trailer (along with the red band trailer) piqued my interest, and the fact that I don’t believe I know a single person who doesn’t like the film elevates it even further.  So while I wait to see the movie, I’ll take these exclusive images as something of a consolation prize in the meantime.

Check out the new Top Five images after the jump.  The film also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.  Top Five opens in theaters on December 12th.

Chris Rock Goes Heavy on the F-Bombs in New TOP FIVE Red-Band Trailer

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new Top Five red-band trailer for writer/director/star Chris Rock’s upcoming comedy.  The comedian plays a loosely fictionalized version of himself in the film, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind.  This new red-band trailer is essentially just a NSFW version of the film’s previous trailer, with a few bits of new footage scattered throughout.  That doesn’t make it any less funny, though, and after the strong buzz at TIFF I’m looking forward to seeing the full film for myself.

Check out the new Top Five red-band trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by QuestloveTop Five opens in theaters on December 12th.

Watch Gillian Flynn, Jon Favreau, Jonah Nolan, and More Talk the Writing Process, Collaborating with Directors in One-Hour Writers Roundtable Interview

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Awards season is upon us, in case you hadn’t already noticed, and that means one very good thing: we’re in for a bounty of roundtable interviews with the fine folks square in the Oscar race.  THR’s series of roundtable video interviews are a highlight of every awards season, and they kick things off today with one of the most important aspects of any film: the writer.  This roundtable discussion includes Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Jon Favreau (Chef), Jonah Nolan (Interstellar), Chris Rock (Top Five), Graham Moore (The Imitation Game), and Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything).  It’s a fascinating discussion that’s well worth watching, especially to see Nolan discusses his co-writing process with his brother Christopher Nolan, and I have little doubt that at least one of these aforementioned writers (Flynn for sure) is destined for an Oscar nod.

Watch the roundtable interview after the jump, and look for plenty more over the coming weeks.

TOP FIVE Clip: Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan Reveal Their Top Five Rappers

by     Posted 43 days ago

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Chris Rock hit it big at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September.  Not only was Top Five the biggest acquisition of the event with Paramount putting up $12.5 million for it, but it also won our own Phil Brown over as well.  In fact, Paramount just released a new clip from the film and it’s got a quote from Phil’s review in it.  Rock wrote, directed and also stars in the film as Andre Allen, a stand-up comedian trying to make it as a film star.

Hit the jump to check out the new Top Five clip and click here to read Phil’s full review.  The movie also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm and Michael Che, and is scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th.

Chris Rock and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Turned Down the Offer to Host This Year’s Oscars

by     Posted 56 days ago

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It was announced last week that the excellent Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this coming February’s Oscar ceremony, but it turns out that NPH wasn’t the Academy’s first choice.  THR reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—who have produced the last two ceremonies in a row—first “begged” Ellen Degeneres to return as Oscar for this year’s ceremony.  She firmly declined the offer, and then they next approached Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005.  He turned down the offer as well, and so Zadan and Meron then went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, shocker, said “no”.  They then finally landed on Harris, who graciously agreed to take on the gig.  More after the jump.

TOP FIVE Trailer: Chris Rock Writes, Directs, and Stars in Cameo-Filled New Comedy

by     Posted 62 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Top Five trailer for the upcoming comedy from writer, director, and star Chris Rock.  The comedian plays a loosely fictionalized version of himself in the film, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind.  The picture was the highest profile acquisition of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount paying a whopping $12.5 million in a bidding war to acquire the distribution rights to the film.  The movie looks a little like Chris Rock’s Funny People, as it takes some digs at his own career path, and there are a ton of cameos from a wide range of familiar faces.

Hit the jump to watch the Top Five trailer and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.

TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: TOP FIVE, BEFORE WE GO, STILL ALICE, PAWN SACRIFICE and More

by     Posted 96 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival is starting to wrap up, so we’ve got quite a few sales to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • RADiUS took the US rights to Adult Beginners starring Rose Byrne.
  • RADiUS also snatched up the US rights to Chris EvansBefore We Go.
  • Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Julianne Moore-starrer, Still Alice.
  • Saban Films picked up the US rights to American Heist with Hayden Christensen.
  • Bleecker Street snagged Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire.
  • Paramount put up $12.5 million for Chris Rock’s Top Five.

Hit the jump for more.

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TOP FIVE Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 99 days ago

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On stage, Chris Rock is consistently one of the funniest men on the planet.  In the movies…well, it’s been a rocky road.  With a few exceptions (typically in supporting roles), filmmakers have just never been able to figure out how to take advantage of his comedic voice when playing a fictional character.  Even the two times in the past that Rock has directed his movies, something felt off.  At least that was true until now.  Rock writes, directs, and stars in Top Five as a loosely fictionalized version of himself.  Just like a Woody Allen movie, it comes off as personal without being autobiographical. More importantly, it’s incredibly funny, just like Rock has always been with a mic in his hand. About time.  Hit that jump.

New Images from THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND, and TOP FIVE Starring Chris Rock

by     Posted 147 days ago

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Finishing up with our coverage of new images for films that will be debuting this fall at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve got new photos from a trio of promising features.  Briefly:

  • The Theory of Everything – (Directed by James Marsh) Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.
  • Time Out of Mind – (Directed by Oren Moverman) Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Steve Buscemi.
  • Top Five – (Directed by Chris Rock) Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses, and click here to see all the images released from TIFF films thus far.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

Oscars: Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Hutcherson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, and More Added to Academy Voting Body

by     Posted 174 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its list of actors, filmmakers, and others involved in the moviemaking industry that have been invited to join the Academy’s membership.  271 artists made the cut this year, ranging from recent winners and nominees like Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender to more eclectic choices like Rob Riggle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Josh Hutcherson, and even Jason StathamChris Rock also finally gets a ballot years after hosting the ceremony, and Clark Gregg will bring some Marvel pedigree into the fold.  On the filmmaking side, brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, David Gordon Green, Denis Villeneuve, and Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) join the directors branch, while DP Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave) has been added to the cinematographers group.  Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams (sans hat) are also now Academy members should they accept their invitations.  The full list is still disappointingly short on females, however.

Hit the jump to check out the complete list of 2014 invitees to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The 2015 race will be here before you know it, folks.

New International Trailer for GROWN UPS 2 Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade

by     Posted 1 year, 209 days ago

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A new international trailer for director Dennis Dugan’s comedy sequel Grown Ups 2 has been released online, and it’s got everything: ugly mother jokes, deer piss, David Spade in a tire, a Shaq nut shot, and the classic “fat guy jumps naked into a lake” gag.  The story appears to revolve around a rivalry between Sandler’s “old guys” gang and a group of stereotypical frat boys who live near Sandler’s cabin.  It’s hard to believe there’s an audience out there for a sequel like this, but with the first film making over $270 million worldwide, it would appear that there are plenty of people eager to see more Grown Ups.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Kevin JamesChris RockDavid Spade, Salma HayekMaria BelloMaya RudolphNick Swardson, Taylor Lautner, and Patrick SchwarzeneggerGrown Ups 2 opens on July 12th.

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