DreamWorks Animation’s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS & THE CROODS 2 Open in 2017, MADAGASCAR 4 and PUSS IN BOOTS 2 in 2018; HITMAN Sequel in 2015

by     Posted 82 days ago

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Here’s a look at the latest new release dates:

  • Hitman: Agent 47Aleksander Bach’s Hitman sequel starring Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto is set to open February 27, 2015.
  • Captain UnderpantsRob Letterman’s adaptation featuring the voices of Ed HelmsKevin HartNick KrollJordan Peele, and Thomas Middleditch will open January 13, 2017.
  • The Croods 2 – The first film featured the voices of Emma StoneNicolas Cage, Ryan ReynoldsCatherine KeenerCloris Leachman, and Clark Duke, who might all return for the sequel opening November 3, 2017.
  • Madagascar 4 - The fourth installment in the animated animal sequel featuring the voices of Chris RockBen StillerJada Pinkett SmithDavid SchwimmerSacha Baron Cohen, and Cedric the Entertainer opens May 18, 2018.
  • Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves - The sequel to Chris Miller’s animated adventure comedy that featured the voices of Antonio BanderasSalma Hayek, and Zach Galifianakis opens November 2, 2018.

Hit the jump for more on each film.

Nicolas Cage Talks JOE, Working with David Gordon Green and Non-Actors, THE CROODS 2, NATIONAL TREASURE 3 and More

by     Posted 145 days ago

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Since George Washington hit the scene in 2000, director David Gordon Green has impressed me again and again.  Whether tackling a big studio comedy like Pineapple Express, an intimate drama like Snow Angels, or outrageous characters like Kenny Powers on HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Green has repeatedly shown he’s a gifted filmmaker that can handle any subject.  In his film, Joe, he tackles the story of an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who becomes a role model to 15-year-old Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), the oldest child of a homeless family led by a drunk father.  Loaded with fantastic performances (including some incredible work by non-professional actors), Joe really impressed me.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review or watch the trailer.

With the film getting released in theaters and VOD tomorrow, a few days ago I landed an exclusive video interview with Nicolas Cage.  He talked about working with non-actors, collaborating with David Gordon Green, why you should see the film, the status of National Treasure 3 (it’s not happening), The Croods 2, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 229 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

75 Songs Eligible for Best Original Song Oscar Including Tracks from FROZEN, THE GREAT GATSBY, and ANCHORMAN 2

by     Posted 260 days ago

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After unveiling the list of scores that will be competing for the Best Original Score Oscar last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has now unveiled the list of 75 songs that are in contention for Best Original Song.  The fantastic “Let It Go” from Frozen is already an early favorite, and five songs are eligible from Baz Luhrmann’s music-heavy The Great Gatsby including “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Rey and “Over the Love” by Florence and the Machine.  As for pleasant surprises, it would be most excellent to see the emotional rap “So You Know What It’s Like” from Short Term 12 land a nomination.  Upcoming films that have eligible original songs include “Doby” from Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and “The Moon Song” from Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of songs eligible for the Best Original Song Oscar.  The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16th, followed by the Oscar ceremony on March 2nd.

FROZEN and MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Lead 2013 Annie Awards with 10 Nominations Each

by     Posted 274 days ago

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The Annie Awards, which awards animation and not ginger orphans, have announced their 2013 nominations.  Leading the pack are Disney’s Frozen and Pixar’s Monsters University with each film picking up ten nominations.  The other nominees for Best Animated Feature are A Letter to Momo, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, The Croods, and The Wind Rises.  Since all qualitative evaluations of art inevitably invite fury at snubs, I will rail against The Croods being nominated over Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on February 1, 2014.

Oscar Beat: 19 Animated Features Submitted for 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 301 days ago

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19 animated feature films have been submitted for consideration for the 86th Annual Academy Awards, and it’s clear that this is a very thin year for the Best Animated Feature race.  Monsters University and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 feel like the biggest standouts, and while MU is certainly a strong effort from Pixar, it’s tough to imagine those two rousing the same kind of passion that previous nominees like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, or even ParaNorman instilled.  DreamWorks Animation has two contenders in the bunch with The Croods and Turbo, while Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, Blue Sky’s Epic, and Disney’s Planes and Frozen are also eligible for nominations.  Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature The Wind Rises is also among the submitted films.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of submitted features and for my early thoughts on the Best Animated Feature Oscar race.  The 86th Oscars will be held on March 2, 2014.  To catch up on all of our Oscar Beat coverage thus far, click here.

New to Blu-ray: THIS IS THE END, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE WIZARD OF OZ 75th Anniversary Edition, and More

by     Posted 335 days ago

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Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Weekend Box Office: THE CONJURING Leads Crowded Field with $41.5 Million; R.I.P.D. Gets Buried

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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For years now, studios have used this weekend to launch some of summer’s biggest titles: The Dark Knight, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises. Left without a major marquee release for 2013, however, the box office instead hosted a handful of more marginal titles, including Turbo, Red 2 and R.I.P.D.  No surprise, then, that overall receipts were way down from 2012 or that only one film – The Conjuring – made a major impression.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Conjuring $41,530,000 $41.5
2.  Despicable Me 2 $25,100,000 $276.2
3.  Turbo $21,500,000 $31.2
4.  Grown Ups 2 $20,000,000 $79.5
5.  Red 2 $18,500,000 $18.5
6.  Pacific Rim $15,955,000 $68.2
7.  R.I.P.D. $12,760,000 $12.7
8.  The Heat $9,325,000 $129.2
9.  World War Z $5,200,000 $186.9
10.  Monsters University $5,005,000 $248.9

Weekend Box Office: OBLIVION Takes First Place with $38.1 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 134 days ago

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It was the only game in town, so Oblivion’s first place finish this weekend didn’t come as a shock. Universal’s sci-fi release had a solid debut – earning an estimated $38.1 million from 3,783 locations, or just under what G.I. Joe: Retaliation managed three weeks back. Oblivion also topped its initial domestic projection of $35 million, though the real strength of the Tom Cruise vehicle is overseas.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Oblivion $38,152,000 $38.1
2.  42 $18,025,000 $54
3.  The Croods $9,500,000 $154.8
4.  Scary Movie 5 $6,296,000 $22.9
5.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation $5,775,000 $111.2
6.  The Place Beyond the Pines $4,745,888 $11.4
7.  Olympus Has Fallen $4,500,000 $88.8
8.  Evil Dead $4,100,000 $48.4
9.  Jurassic Park 3D $4,000,000 $38.4
10.  Oz the Great & Powerful $3,048,000 $223.7

DreamWorks Animation Moving Forward with THE CROODS Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 138 days ago

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At this point, it’s surprising when DreamWorks Animation doesn’t make a sequel out of one of its properties.  While the studio was decidedly more nervous than usual for the release of last month’s prehistoric pic The Croods following the commercial disappointment of Rise of the Guardians, audiences flocked to the cavepeople-centric animated film.  The Croods’ worldwide box office total now stands at over $385 million, and THR reports that DreamWorks Animation has officially greenlit a sequel.

Writers/directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders will return for The Croods 2, and the studio is currently in negotiations with certain key voice actors to return as well.  The first pic boasts a voice cast that includes Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, and Ryan Reynolds, and we can reasonably expect a fair amount of the actors to come back.  Next on the DWA release docket is the snail racing pic Turbo this July, which also features the voice of Reynolds.

Weekend Box Office: EVIL DEAD Rises to $26 Million; JURASSIC PARK 3D Falls to Fourth

by     Posted 1 year, 148 days ago

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Evil Dead was the clear box office champ this weekend. The horror remake earned an estimated $26 million from 3,025 locations, or about $5 million more than originally projected. The weekend’s only other ‘new’ release was Jurassic Park 3D. With $18.2 million from 2,771 runs, the converted-classic fell to fourth behind the more-current 3D hit, The Croods.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Evil Dead $26,000,000 $26
2.  G.I. Joe Retaliation $21,100,000 $86.6
3.  The Croods $21,100,000 $125.8
4.  Jurassic Park 3D $18,247,000 $18.2
5.  Olympus Has Fallen $10,042,000 $71.1
6.  Tyler Perry’s Temptation $10,000,000 $38.3
7.  Oz the Great & Powerful $8,171,000 $212.7
8.  The Host $5,239,000 $19.6
9.  The Call $3,500,000 $45.5
10.  Admission $2,054,000 $15.3

Friday Box Office: EVIL DEAD Delivers $10.1 Million Debut; JURASSIC PARK 3D Takes Second

by     Posted 1 year, 149 days ago

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The April box office is off to a promising start with the launch of Evil Dead. From 3,025 locations, the horror remake earned an estimated $10.1 million on Friday – including $1.8 million from its Thursday 10 pm and midnight screenings. Evil Dead will fall short of recent genre remakes like Friday the 13th ($40.9 million); but the reboot of the 1983 cult-classic is already running ahead of projections and could realize as much as $28 million through Sunday. Jurassic Park 3D, the latest blockbuster to receive a digital makeover, took in a more modest $7 million from 2,771 locations. Though good enough for Friday’s second spot, the re-release is expected to fall behind G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods on the weekend chart. We’ll have full details tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Evil Dead $10,100,000 $10.1
2.  Jurassic Park 3D $7,000,000 $7
3.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation $6,400,000 $69.9
4.  The Croods $5,800,000 $110.5
5.  Tyler Perry’s Temptation $3,400,000 $31.7

Weekend Box Office: THE CROODS and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN Excel while ADMISSION Struggles

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

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For those who overlooked the record-breaking success of The Hunger Games one year ago, it was a great weekend at the US box office. Two of the three new releases exceeded expectations, with Olympus Has Fallen nearly doubling studio projections. Only the Tina Fey comedy Admission stumbled – barely topping what Spring Breakers brought in from half as many locations.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Croods $44,700,000 $44.7
2.  Olympus Has Fallen $30,500,000 $30.5
3.  Oz the Great and Powerful $22,031,700 $177.5
4.  The Call $8,700,000 $30.9
5.  Admission $6,445,000 $6.4
6.  Spring Breakers $5,000,000 $5.4
7.  The Incredible Burt Wonderstone $4,275,000 $17.3
8.  Jack the Giant Slayer $2,965,000 $59
9.  Identity Thief $2,500,000 $127.6
10.  Snitch $1,930,000 $40.3

TOP 5: SPRING BREAKERS, TRANSFORMERS 4 Plot Details, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Trailer and Poster, THE CROODS

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

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The nationwide expansion of Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers meant that I had the opportunity to catch the film last night at my local theater. We’ll talk a more specifically about our coverage of the film after the jump. For now, I’d like to make a futile attempt at encapsulating my feelings on the pic in the next few sentences. There’s a lot to like about Breakers whether it be the performances (James Franco‘s especially), the music, the slick editing and use of foreshadowing, etc. Nevertheless, for me this isn’t a movie that I “liked” as much as it’s one I respect. It’s beautiful, surreal, challenging, abhorrent, and vapid all at the same time. In other words, it’s art.

I could go on for days about the pic but that’s not why we’re here. In this week’s Top 5 we’ll take a look at our Breakers coverage, some Transformers 4 plot details, Olympus Has Fallen interviews with Gerard Butler and Antoine Fuqua just to name a few, a new trailer and poster for Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Croods interviews with Nicolas Cage and more. As is standard, a brief recap and link to each awaits after the jump.

Friday Box Office: Strong Starts for THE CROODS and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN; SPRING BREAKERS Expands

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

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Although the top ten films combined won’t match the debut of last year’s The Hunger Games, overall it looks like a good weekend at the domestic box office. Things look especially promising for DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods, which is on track for the second-highest debut of 2013 with over $40 million. In its first day in 4,046 locations, The Croods earned an estimated $11.6 million: just under the opening of DWA’s How to Train Your Dragon in March of 2010. In second place, FilmDistrict’s Olympus Has Fallen also looks strong. The R-rated thriller exceeded expectations on Friday with an estimated take of $10 million from 3,098 locations, and is now on track to top $25 million through Sunday. After setting records in just three theatres last weekend, Spring Breakers expanded into 1,104 venues yesterday and earned an estimated $2.1 million for fifth place. The only new release headed for trouble, in fact, is Admission. The comedy opened in sixth place and will fall short of $7 million from its 2,160 dates this weekend. We’ll have full details tomorrow.

 Title  Friday Total
1.  The Croods  $11,600,000 $11.6
2.  Olympus Has Fallen  $10,040,000 $10
3.  Oz the Great and Powerful  $5,645,000 $161.1
4.  The Call  $2,675,000 $24.8
5.  Spring Breakers  $2,100,000 $2.5
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