Universal Announces Release Dates for DESPICABLE ME 3, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, and New Film from SON OF RAMBOW Director

by     Posted 282 days ago

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Universal Pictures has announced release dates for three new animated features from Illumination Entertainment.  The most exciting of the three projects is an untitled animated feature from Son of Rambow director Garth Jennings, which is set to open on December 21, 2016.  There are no details on the film other than the story will be “about courage, competition and carrying a tune”.  Next and to the surprise of no one, Despicable Me 3 is happening.  I’m surprised it took them this long to officially announce it.  The sequel to 2013’s third-highest grossing feature will open on June 30, 2017.  Finally and most discouragingly, Illumination Entertainment is doing a “A newly imagined version of the enduring holiday classic” How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which will be released on November 17, 2017.  Considering Illumination’s adaptation of The Lorax, I’m not too excited to see them take on another Seuss book.

Universal Moves DESPICABLE ME Spinoff MINIONS to July 10, 2015

by     Posted 1 year, 34 days ago

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Despicable Me 2 might be the sleeper hit of the year.  The first movie made $543 million worldwide, which is nothing to scoff at, but Despicable Me 2 has far out-grossed it with $840 million worldwide, and it’s the second-highest grossing movie of 2013 thus far.  Man of Steel is a distant third with $662 million worldwide.  And as to why Despicable Me 2 is such a success, I would throw a lot of credit to the minions.  They are by far the most memorable part of that movie, and their spin-off Minions could be huge.  In fact, Universal has discovered they could have a heavy hitter in summer 2015, and that summer is already packed.

Minions will now move back from its December 19, 2014 release to July 10, 2015.  It’s surrounded by the Terminator reboot (July 1st), Independence Day 2 (July 3rd), Superman vs. Batman (July 17th), The Smurfs 3 (July 25th), and Ant-Man and Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars on July 31st.  If Minions out-grosses all of these movies, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Considering that The Smurfs 2 grossed less than half of the first film’s domestic take, Minions is poised to be the biggest kid-friendly franchise of that month.  Don’t underestimate the power of adorable gibberish.

Weekend Box Office: DESPICABLE ME 2 Leads July Fourth Frame; THE LONE RANGER Misfires

by     Posted 1 year, 109 days ago

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With both May and June setting new monthly records in 2013, July got off to a great start thanks to Despicable Me 2. The animated sequel earned an estimated $82.5 million from 3,957 locations this weekend – making it one of the highest Independence Day debuts of all time. The holiday was not as kind to The Lone Ranger. The Disney feature earned an estimated $29.4 million from 3,904 venues this weekend and just $48.9 million since opening on Wednesday – a disappointing number from any angle.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Despicable Me 2 $82,500,000 $142.1
2.  The Lone Ranger $29,430,000 $48.9
3.  The Heat $25,000,000 $86.3
4.  Monsters University $19,590,000 $216.1
5.  World War Z $18,200,000 $158.7
6.  White House Down $13,500,000 $50.4
7.  Man of Steel $11,415,000 $271.2
8.  Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain $10,100,000 $17.4
9.  This Is The End $5,800,000 $85.5
10.  Now You See Me $2,770,000 $110.4

Writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio Talk DESPICABLE ME 2, Giving the Minions a Bigger Part, and Adding Romance

by     Posted 1 year, 113 days ago

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Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the talented screenwriting duo behind the highly successful Despicable Me, reteam on Despicable Me 2 to bring to the big screen an all-new animated comedy adventure for audiences to enjoy.  Opening July 3rd, the sequel features the return of former super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable daughters, the lovable Minions, and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.  Paul and Daurio are the writing team responsible for penning the screenplays for The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who!, based on the Dr. Seuss children’s books, and also done in collaboration with producer Chris Meledandri.

At the film’s recent press day, Paul and Daurio talked about expanding on the first film while lightening the tone and introducing new themes and characters for the sequel; giving the Minions, the breakout characters of the first film, a much bigger part; showing Gru’s evolution from super-villain to super-dad as he leaves behind a life of crime to raise Margo, Edith and Agnes; drawing on their own experience as parents, such as dressing up as a Tusken Raider from Star Wars, for inspiration; creating a new Latino super-villain whose journey is similar to Gru’s; and adding some romance to the storyline.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Benjamin Bratt Talks DESPICABLE ME 2, Replacing Al Pacino, and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

by     Posted 1 year, 114 days ago

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Benjamin Bratt turns in a fantastic performance in his first animated feature, Despicable Me 2 directed by Chris Meledandri.  In the eagerly anticipated summer sequel, he voices two sides of the same character:  Eduardo, the charming owner of the popular Salsa & Salsa restaurant whose larger-than-life personality is dwarfed only by the size of his waistline, and El Macho, the most ruthless, dangerous and macho super-villain who ever villained.  Bratt’s character stands out among a host of new and outrageously funny characters in the hilarious comedy adventure opening July 3rd.

At the film’s recent press day, Bratt talked about replacing Al Pacino in the dual role, how he developed the voice for the character, what appealed to him about the first film and drew him to the sequel, how he found the role exciting, challenging and emancipating in a way he’d never experienced as a performer, why he’s now cool in the eyes of his kids, what it’s been like to go from drama to comedy to voicing characters in an animated film, how Modern Family helped expand the comedic possibilities of his career, his thoughts on the meaning of being manly, and his new film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, that’s coming out this fall.  Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview:

Miranda Cosgrove Talks DESPICABLE ME 2, Returning to Animation, Why She Loves the Minions, and the End of ICARLY

by     Posted 1 year, 115 days ago

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In the comedy adventure sequel Despicable Me 2 opening July 3rd, Miranda Cosgrove reprises the role of Margo, the eldest of the three orphans adopted by Gru (Steve Carell), the world’s greatest super-villain, who has given up his despicable ways and is on a quest to become the perfect dad.  Cosgrove brings a sense of personality and edge to her delightful character that’s now a little older.  She remains the backbone of the family, looking out for her sisters and keeping the family together, but she’s also growing up, is preoccupied with texting, and is starting to notice boys her age, which drives Gru crazy.

At the film’s recent press day, Cosgrove talked about what it was like returning to work in the world of animation and voicing her character again, how she feels now that her iCarly series has ended, why she enjoys hanging out with Carell who’s one of her favorite actors and fellow comic performers, how she met Moises Arias who plays her boyfriend in the movie, what she loves about the Minions, how she’s handling her enormous success and all the choices that have come with it, and the status of her new TV series, Girlfriend in a Coma.  Hit the jump to read the interview:

Kristen Wiig Talks DESPICABLE ME 2, Her Love for the Minions, ANCHORMAN 2, and Upcoming Projects Schedule

by     Posted 1 year, 118 days ago

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Comedienne Kristen Wiig, who’s known for her genius work on Saturday Night Live and in Bridesmaids, plays Special Agent Lucy Wilde, Gru’s (Steve Carell) new partner in the comedy adventure sequel, Despicable Me 2.  A cunning secret agent, she teams up with Gru to hunt down a dangerous super-villain and loves one-upping Gru with her quirky gadgets and mixed martial arts.  Unlike Gru, she has trouble containing hera natural exuberance, which works against her when going undercover, but attracts Gru’s attention and sparks a romance between them.  Opening July 3rd, the film also features Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand and Ken Jeong.

At the film’s recent press day, Wiig talked about why she loved doing the movie and had fun playing her character, how her comedic background helped her in the animation booth, why voicing an animated character is the next best thing to doing SNL, why she doesn’t think she’d make a good secret agent in real life, why the Minions are her favorite characters, how Pharrell’s music set a great tone for the film, which comedians influenced her growing up, and her upcoming movies:  Anchorman 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Girl Most Likely, Hateship, Loveship, and The Skeleton Twins.  Hit the jump to read the interview:

Steve Carell Talks DESPICABLE ME 2, the Evolution of the Character, Being Gru on ELLEN, Lying About His Appearance on THE OFFICE Finale, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 123 days ago

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Steve Carell is back in the game as Gru, the curmudgeonly super-villain with a crazy accent whose life has been completely transformed by his daughters.  In the comedy adventure sequel, Despicable Me 2, he’s left behind his life of crime to raise Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) and become the perfect dad.  But just as he starts to adjust to his new role, he’s recruited by an ultra-secret organization and finds himself unexpectedly working for the good guys.  Opening July 3rd, the sequel also features Benjamin Bratt, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand and Ken Jeong.

At the film’s recent press day, Carell talked about reprising the role, how he first found the voice for Gru, and why he’s happy with the evolution of the story and characters and the way the film celebrates a family’s love and commitment.  He also revealed what he’d have Minions do for him in real life, why edible guacamole sombreros are bound to be a big hit this summer, the interview he did in character on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the backstory behind The Office finale, and his upcoming role in The Way Way Back.  Hit the jump to read the full interview.

First Clip from DESPICABLE ME 2

by     Posted 1 year, 160 days ago

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The first clip has been released from Despicable Me 2.  In the new film, Gru (Steve Carell) is kidnapped by the “Anti-Villain League”, and recruited in order to defeat a new super villain.  As we saw in the latest trailer, Gru seems to have settled comfortably into domestic life, and this clip continues the charming relationship he has with his adopted children.  It’s a cute scene that will probably feel slightly familiar to parents who don’t want to deal with annoying neighbors.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  The film also features the voices of Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Dana Gaier, Elsie Kate Fisher, Miranda Cosgrove, and Russell BrandDespicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd.

Al Pacino Departs DESPICABLE ME 2 [Update: Benjamin Bratt Steps in to Replace Him]

by     Posted 1 year, 174 days ago

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We haven’t seen too much from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s animated family-friendly sequel Despicable Me 2, but we can expect to hear even less from Al Pacino as the veteran actor has left the picture.  Pacino had come onto the film to replace Javier Bardem as the new antagonist, but apparently creative differences have led to a parting of ways.  Although Pacino has done a fair amount of work on the film, the studio is already looking for an actor to replace him in order to make their early July release date.

Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud are directing the sequel with Steve Carell reprising his role as Gru.  Other voice cast members include Kristen Wiig, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand and Steve Coogan.  Despicable Me 2 opens July 3rd.  Hit the jump for more.

Matt Takes a Ride on DESPICABLE ME 2′s “Despicablimp”

by     Posted 1 year, 190 days ago

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If anyone ever offers you a free ride on a blimp, you say, “Yes.”  If you’re afraid of heights, you get over it.  If you have a fear of blimps, you have a very strange phobia, but still need to get over it.  When Universal offered me a chance for a blimp ride, I leaped at the opportunity.  The studio has commissioned a blimp to promote Despicable Me 2, and converted it into the “Despicablimp” by painting on a gigantic minion.  I have no idea if blimps are part of the plot for Despicable Me 2, but after today, I’m convinced all movies should incorporate blimps into their marketing campaigns.  Lincoln was a hit at the box office, but it could have been even more successful if the studio painted Daniel Day-Lewis on a blimp.  People would look in the sky, see a giant Day-Lewis looking down on them, and know that all was right with the world.  That’s how they’re going to feel when they see an adorable minion flying high above.

Hit the jump for more about my ride on Despicablimp.  Despicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd.

CapeTown Los Angeles Film Festival Lineup Includes RETURN OF THE JEDI, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

by     Posted 1 year, 202 days ago

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Entertainment Weekly has announced the complete lineup for the upcoming EW CapeTown Film Festival, and it’s chock-full of great films and exciting guests.  Screenings include Shaun of the Dead, The Thing, Escape from New York, The Goonies, Twelve Monkeys, and Star Trek (2009), with a special “May the 4th Be With You” all-day marathon of Return of the Jedi.  More excitingly, though, is the fact that Edgar Wright, John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Richard Donner, Neil Gaiman, Terry Gilliam, Leonard Nemoy, and more will be onhand to introduce and discuss the various films.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup, which also includes a special announcement that’s coming soon.  EW CapeTown Film Festival will run in Los Angeles from April 30th – May 6th.

New Trailer, Poster, and Images for DESPICABLE ME 2

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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A new trailer, poster, and images are now online for Despicable Me 2.  The new trailer shows Gru (Steve Carell) being kidnapped by the “Anti-Villain League”, and being recruited in order to defeat a new super villain.  Gru seems to have softened considerably since becoming the father of Margo, Agnes, and Edith.  Unsurprisingly, the best jokes belong to the minions, and although Despicable Me 2 looks okay, I’m still more excited to see the minions’ spinoff.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster, and images. The film also features the voices of Kristen Wiig, Al Pacino, Miranda Cosgrove and Russell Brand.  Despicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd. 

Sandra Bullock to Voice Villain in DESPICABLE ME Spinoff, MINIONS

by     Posted 1 year, 255 days ago

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Last year, we reported that Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment were developing a Despicable Me spinoff for the lovable minions.  The spinoff, appropriately titled “Minions“, now has a voice for its lead villain.  According to Deadline, Sandra Bullock will provide the voice of “Scarlet Overkill, a stylish bad-ass super-villain who is (what else?), bent on world domination.”  The story shows the minions have been around forever, and unintentionally thwarted and destroyed their masters’ plans through adorable incompetence.  Set in the 1960s, Minions has three of the creatures going to a villain convention to find a new master, and compete to get the job from Overkill, who aspires to be the world’s first female supervillain.  It sounds like a fun role for Bullock, and I’m eager to see what she does with it.

Minions is due out in 3D on December 19, 2014.  The minions will next be seen in  Despicable Me 2, which arrives in 3D on July 3rd.  Bullock will next be seen in Paul Feig‘s R-rated action-comedy The Heat, which opens June 28th.

New Trailer and Images for DESPICABLE ME 2

by     Posted 1 year, 357 days ago

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A new trailer and three new images for the animated sequel Despicable Me 2 have been released.  Unlike the teaser, this trailer looks to have footage from the actual film.  The marketing is unsurprisingly centered on those adorable little minions, but this trailer has a pretty cute Halloween bent in keeping with today’s festivities.  It also may or may not hint at some sort of alien presence in the follow-up, but we really get very, very little by way of plot.  Universal knows that the key to getting kids excited for the sequel is showing the minions getting into all sorts of goofy shenanigans—that’s why the they have their own spinoff film in the works.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and images.  The film features the voices of Steve Carell, Al Pacino, and Steve CooganDespicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd, 2013.

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