New to Blu-ray: MEN IN BLACK 3, PARANORMAN, LAWLESS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 237 days ago

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This week on Blu-ray a number of 2012 titles hit home video in the absence of older films.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for all the details.

Weekend Box Office – THE EXPENDABLES 2 Leads Crowded Field with $28.7 Milion

by     Posted 1 year, 337 days ago

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The Expendables 2 was the easy winner this weekend with an estimated $28.7 million – though that figure fell short of its pre-release expectations. Sparkle and ParaNorman also came in a bit under projections but, overall, the box office managed to stay ahead of 2011’s totals… exactly the kind of exciting end-of-summer we were all imagining, right?

Title Weekend Total
1. The Expendables 2 $28,750,000 $28.7
2. The Bourne Legacy $17,019,000 $69.5
3. ParaNorman $14,008,000 $14
4. The Campaign $13,385,000 $51.6
5. Sparkle $12,000,00 $12
6. The Dark Knight Rises $11,140,000 $409.9
7. The Odd Life of Timothy Green $10,909,000 $15.1
8. Hope Springs $9,100,000 $35
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 $3,850,000 $38.7
10. Total Recall $3,500,000 $51.7

Friday Box Office – THE EXPENDABLES 2 Takes First with $10.5 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 338 days ago

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In a very crowded field of late-summer contenders, one film stood alone on Friday. The Expendables 2, sequel to 2010’s paean to 1980s action, took in $10.5 million on Friday – twice as much as The Bourne Legacy in second place. Playing in 3,316 locations, the sequel is expected to earn about $30 million by Sunday: a bit less than The Expendables saw on this same weekend two years ago. Two other new releases did well enough to make it into Friday’s top five: ParaNorman, the stop-motion animated feature from the creators of Coraline, earned an estimated $4.5 million from 3,429 runs while Sparkle, the musical drama co-starring the late Whitney Houston, realized $4.6 million from a more-modest 2,244 locations. Both films are expected to fall in the $13 million range after their first three days. Outside of the top five, The Odd Life of Timothy Green earned an estimated $3.4 million while The Dark Knight Rises crossed the $400 million mark in domestic ticket sales. We’ll have complete details tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1. The Expendables 2 $10,500,000 $10.5
2. The Bourne Legacy $5,300,000 $69.4
3. Sparkle $4,600,000 $4.6
4. ParaNorman $4,500,000 $4.5
5. The Campaign $4,175,000 $42.4

Director Salim Akil and Screenwriter Mara Brock Akil Talk SPARKLE, Convincing Whitney Houston to Join the Cast, Story Changes and More

by     Posted 1 year, 339 days ago

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Sparkle tells the story of a 19-year-old innocent young woman growing up in late 1960′s Detroit, who dreams of becoming a music star.  Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dee (Tika Sumpter) are sisters who love each other fiercely, but each have their own ambitions.  When they form a girl group and set out to take the music world by storm, the harsh realities of the spotlight take their toll on the girls and threaten to tear apart the tight knit family, which also includes their less than supportive mother (Whitney Houston).  The film also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick and CeeLo Green.

At the film’s press day, director/producer Salim Akil and screenwriter/producer Mara Brock Akil talked about how they came to be a part of the remake, the inspiration for the story changes they made, the pros and cons of working so closely with your spouse, how they got Whitney Houston to do the film, what sold them on Jordin Sparks, and how they approached the music with the songwriters.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

Producer Debra Martin Chase Talks SPARKLE, Initially Casting Aaliyah, Remembering Whitney Houston, the DIRTY DANCING Remake and More

by     Posted 1 year, 341 days ago

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Sparkle tells the story of a 19-year-old innocent young woman growing up in late 1960′s Detroit, who dreams of becoming a music star.  Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dee (Tika Sumpter) are sisters who love each other fiercely, but each have their own ambitions.  When they form a girl group and set out to take the music world by storm, the harsh realities of the spotlight take their toll on the girls and threaten to tear apart the tight knit family, which also includes their less than supportive mother (Whitney Houston).  The film also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick and CeeLo Green.

At the film’s press day, producer Debra Martin Chase talked about the 12-year journey of bringing Sparkle to the big screen, how Aaliyah was originally set to star, how proud Whitney Houston would be of her work in the film, what made Jordin Sparks the right choice for the role of Sparkle, and what moment from the shoot stands out the most for her.  She also talked about her overall producing deal with ABC, and how she’s developing the remake of Dirty Dancing, which has been pushed until Spring 2013, in order to give them time to find the right actors for Baby and Johnny.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Jordin Sparks Talks SPARKLE, the Audition Process, Working with Whitney Houston, the 1960s Wardrobe and More

by     Posted 1 year, 343 days ago

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Sparkle tells the story of a 19-year-old innocent young woman growing up in late 1960′s Detroit, who dreams of becoming a music star. Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dee (Tika Sumpter) are sisters who love each other fiercely, but each have their own ambitions. When they form a girl group and set out to take the music world by storm, the harsh realities of the spotlight take their toll on the girls and threaten to tear apart the tight knit family, which also includes their less than supportive mother (Whitney Houston). The film also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick and CeeLo Green.

At the film’s press day, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks talked about the pressures she put on herself with this lead acting role, her audition process for the film, what Whitney Houston did to alleviate her nerves over working with her, whether Whitney Houston or Simon Cowell was scarier to work with, how she found her own voice in this crazy business, getting to dress up in all of the film’s wardrobe, what she thought of the original 1976 movie, how her biggest challenge in the film was the kissing scene she had with Derek Luke, and what she learned about herself, during shooting. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Omari Hardwick SPARKLE On-Set Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 59 days ago

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In visiting the set of Sparkle, the music-centered film set in 1960s Detroit, one of the more interesting conversations took place with Omari Hardwick. The actor plays Levi, a member of the church’s choir and friend to the sisters who start a girl group similar to The Supremes. Hardwick, who’s previously been seen in Kick-Ass, The A-Team, and For Colored Girls, has a fascinating backstory, having almost played for the San Diego Chargers and being an active poet. In my conversation along with other journalists on set in November, Hardwick generously discusses how he prepares as an actor, the challenges in doing press for films, and how he bonded with his fellow cast mates. Speaking before her death, he comments on working with Whitney Houston, giving light to a less-readily seen side of her, while speaking about her with great reverie. Our time spent with Hardwick was quite absorbing; his candor and sense of understanding of the balance between his craft and the industry around him is reflective and unguarded.  Hit the jump for the full interview and here’s my set visit.

Jordin Sparks SPARKLE On-Set Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 74 days ago

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Set in the motown-era of Detroit, Sparkle tells the story of a singing family of girls trying to make it big whilst facing the hurdles that success can bring.  Jordin Sparks plays the title character and is no stranger to sudden fame herself, having won season six of American Idol in 2007.  Back in November, I, along with a number of other journalists, visited the set of the film and we spoke to the cast and crew as well as watched a scene being filmed.  As evidenced by the movie poster, the film’s tone is definitely grittier, and more on par with Dreamgirls than Hairspray.

On set, we chatted with Jordin about how she got involved in the project, how she prepared for the role, and her excitement about the songs they’re bringing back from the original as well as the new ones R. Kelly has penned.  She gushes over working with her idol Whitney Houston and remarks how truly funny she was on set. Hit the jump for the full interview and here’s my set visit.

Collider Goes to the Set of SPARKLE Starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks

by     Posted 2 years, 75 days ago

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It was just in November when I traveled out to Detroit for a day on the set of Sparkle, Whitney Houston’s posthumous film about music, growing up in church, and finding your way.  A remake of the 70’s movie, it is set at the height of the civil rights movement and Motown boom in Detroit, and chronicles a family whose daughters form a singing group—modeled after The Supremes—and their journey to find success in uncertain times.   It is apparent that those in charge are dedicated to making the film authentic and successful. American Idol winner Jordin Sparks plays the title character Sparkle, the dark horse in the singing group.  Houston, in her anticipated return to the screen, stars as the girls’ mother.  Though the plot may feel familiar, after having talked extensively with the cast and crew, it is clear that there is a personality to this story.  The film is rooted in family values, and has an elevated, sophisticated tone.  More after the jump.

Over 40 Posters and Displays from CinemaCon 2012 Including SKYFALL, THE HOST, LOOPER, DARK SHADOWS, SINISTER, More

by     Posted 2 years, 91 days ago

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While walking around at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, I’ve been taking tons of pictures of all the posters/banners/theater standees that have been on display.  For those unaware, CinemaCon is a convention put on for theater owners in order to get a look at what the studios have to offer for the rest of the year, and where vendors can show new products for theaters to buy.  It’s basically Comic-Con for theater owners.  Besides showing off never before seen footage, the studios often bring the cast and the filmmakers.  Over the course of a few days, Hollywood comes to Las Vegas.

While a lot of the banners are just logos, I think they’re still worth checking out.  Also, it’s important to note that the posters/displays change during the week so you never know when something cool will premiere.  Hit the jump for posters/banners for a ton of movies including James Bond Skyfall, Dark Shadows, Moonrise Kingdom, Sparkle, That’s My Boy, Sinister, The Amazing Spider-Man, House at the End of the Street, The Host, Battleship, Looper, Step Up Revolution, Ted, Sinister, Here Comes the Boom, and so many more.

First Trailer for SPARKLE Starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston

by     Posted 2 years, 111 days ago

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The first trailer for the remake of Sparkle has gone online. The story was inspired by the legendary female singing group The Supremes and stars Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, and Carmen Ejogo as three sisters who start out singing at their local church, and go on to find great success—and troubles—as a Motown girl group. The film also sadly marks the final onscreen performance of Whitney Houston, as she plays the single mother of Sparks’ lead character. The period and Motown setting is ripe with possibilities, but the songs in this trailer seem a bit too modern to fit. This probably has something to do with the fact that R. Kelly wrote original songs for the film, but the story does show promise so I’ll hold off judgment until we’ve seen more.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo Green, and Omari Hardwick. Sparkle opens on August 17th.

New Images from SPARKLE Starring Jordin Sparks

by     Posted 2 years, 129 days ago

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A few new images from the remake of Sparkle have gone online. The story was inspired by the legendary female singing group The Supremes and stars Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, and Carmen Ejogo as three sisters who start out singing at their local church, and go on to find great success—and troubles—as a Motown girl group. The film sadly marks the first and last film role for Whitney Houston since 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife. Collider was able to spend some time on the film’s set, and you can read or listen to our interview with Houston and producer Debra Martin Chase here.

Hit the jump to see the new images. Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo Green, and Omari Hardwick also star. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is directing and R. Kelly wrote new original songs to add to the Curtis Mayfield score from the original. Sparkle will be released in theaters on August 10.

Whitney Houston and Producer Debra Martin Chase SPARKLE Set Visit Interview [Updated With Audio]

by     Posted 2 years, 160 days ago

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It was just in November when a group of journalists and I spent a day at a church in the outskirts of Detroit, where the film Sparkle was shooting.  We spent half a day in interviews with the cast until finally it was announced that “Ms. Houston” was here.  There are rumors of what charisma is like: Being in Whitney Houston‘s company, the air took on a sharper more pronounced feel, everyone was seemingly in a trance in her presence because it was that absorbing.  With warm glowing skin and exquisite features, visually she was arresting, but it was her candor that was so affecting.  Equally ready to hand out praise or tough love, she seemed compelled to speak the truth.  Her exuberance for the project sprung from her great respect for the civil rights movement (the era in which Sparkle is set), as well as the potential for this film to showcase a beautiful image of African Americans.  This is a film, she conveyed, that will make families want to go to the movies.  Her charm is one that now in the current landscape of calculated personas, feels antiquated and unmatchable.  After a day of interviews, I recall noting what a self-possessed sense of ease Houston had; from both the brief time with her and the conversations with her castmates, she seemed a natural leader who had visibly, and yet quietly, charmed and encouraged the rest of the cast.

Hit the jump for the full interview between Houston (also an executive producer on the film) and Debra Martin Chase, her producing partner on Cindarella and The Preacher’s Wife .  They talked about why they wanted to do the project, what it was like for Houston to be in front of the camera again, the soundtrack, and so much more.

Sony Moves GREAT HOPE SPRINGS from December to August 10; SPARKLE Pushed Back a Week to August 17

by     Posted 2 years, 172 days ago

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Sony has decided to move Great Hope Springs more than four months away from its initial December 14 release date.  The typical pattern is to push the release later on the calendar, but the dramedy led by Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, and Jean Smart will instead premiere much sooner on August 10.  The last collaboration between Streep and director David Frankel, The Devil Wears Prada, hit theaters in the summer of 2006 and ended up with over $124 million domestic.  Perhaps Sony is chasing that success, though the story is very different in tone: Great Hopes Springs follows a married couple (Streep and Jones) who undergo a weekend of intense marriage counseling.

To make room on August 10, Variety reports the studio pushed Sparkle back a week to August 17.  Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ejogo, and Whitney Houston star in the remake of the 1976 musical about a Motown girl group inspired by The Supremes. Hit the jump for synopses for both movies.

First Image of Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks in SPARKLE

by     Posted 2 years, 176 days ago

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We noticed that the first image from Sparkle popped up recently—since this is the first film still of Whitney Houston since 1996′s The Preacher’s Wife, we wanted to get it up on the site this weekend.  Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name inspired by The Supremes.  Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, and Carmen Ejogo star as three sisters start out singing at their local church, and go on to find great success (and the troubles that come with it) as a Motown girl group.

Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo Green, and Omari Hardwick also star; Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is directing.  R. Kelly wrote new original songs to add to the Curtis Mayfield score from the original.  Sparkle is set for release on August 10.  See the image after the jump.

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