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'The Meg' Devours Competition, Debuting with a Monster $146.9M Globally

'The Meg' Devours Competition, Debuting with a Monster $146.9M Globally
It was a monstrous weekend thanks to Warner Bros.'s The Meg, which devoured everything in its path en route to a nearly $150 million global debut. As a result, the weekend box office was up 5.7% compared to last weekend and over 25% compared to last year, with the top twelve grossing over $132 million. It was also a strong weekend for Focus Features's release of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman and Screen Gems's Slender Man even over-performed against expectations, though a disappointing CinemaScore for the latter is likely to lead to short-lived theatrical run. As already said, the #1 film at the weekend box office was WB's 70-foot shark The Meg. The film brought in $45.4 million domestically, nearly double BoxOfficeMojo's weekend forecast. Heading into the weekend, the most optimistic expectations were around $30 million, which puts into perspective what a massive performance this is. The debut gives director Jon Turteltaub the largest opening of his career,
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Wait, Will Dan Stevens Be in the ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie After All?

  • The Wrap
Wait, Will Dan Stevens Be in the ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie After All?
Dan Stevens has ignited speculation that he may return for the upcoming “Downton Abbey” movie despite his character having been killed off midway through the show’s run.

The “Legion” star posted a picture of himself with “Downton” stars Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech on Instagram on Sunday, asking his followers to vote on whether his character should have a mustache in the film.

Plot details for the movie, which was announced last month, are still unknown and Stevens’ involvement remains unclear. Focus Features, which is distributing the movie in the U.S. did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Stevens’ character, Matthew Crawley, was killed off in a car crash at the end of the show’s third season.

Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes penned the film’s script and will executive produce the movie alongside Gareth Neame,
See full article at The Wrap »

Netflix Sets ‘Prodigy’ As Second Comic Book Franchise From Mark Millar

  • Deadline
Netflix Sets ‘Prodigy’ As Second Comic Book Franchise From Mark Millar
Netflix and Millarworld have announced Prodigy, the second comic book franchise from Mark Millar since the comic book creator joined Netflix. Prodigy will be illustrated by Brazilian artist Rafael Albuquerque, with whom Millar previously worked on the popular comic book Huck. Prodigy will be available in comic book stores and online on December 5. Prodigy follows Millar’s The Magic Order, which hit stands on June 13, and became the biggest selling new comic-book franchise in nearly 20 years.

In Prodigy, the world’s smartest man isn’t content with running the world’s most successful business. His brilliant mind needs constant challenge and so he’s become the go-to guy for governments around the world when a problem arises they just can’t handle. A Nobel-Prize winning scientist, a genius composer, an Olympic-level athlete and an expert in the occult, Edison Crane is as addicted to the mysteries of
See full article at Deadline »

Mark Hamill Joins History’s ‘Knightfall’ Season 2

  • The Wrap
Mark Hamill Joins History’s ‘Knightfall’ Season 2
History has renewed the Knights Templar drama “Knightfall” for a second season, the network announced on Monday.

For the drama’s second outing, “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill will join the cast, and “The Flash” executive producer Aaron Helbing will take over showrunning duties.

Led by Tom Cullen, “Knightfall” tells the story of the Knights Templar, the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages who were entrusted with protecting Christianity’s most precious relics.

Also Read: That Time Mark Hamill Told Schwarzenegger to Lose the Accent

Hamill will play the role of Talus, a battle-hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades, who survived captivity for 10 years in the Holy Land and is tasked with training the new initiates to the Order.

Also joining the cast for Season 2 are “The Bastard Executioner” alum Tom Forbes as Prince Louis, the violent and unpredictable son of King Philip and heir to the throne,
See full article at The Wrap »

Benicio Del Toro to Star in Oliver Stone’s Drama ‘White Lies’

Benicio Del Toro to Star in Oliver Stone’s Drama ‘White Lies’
Benicio Del Toro is set to star in Oliver Stone’s drama “White Lies.”

Stone will direct from his own script in a project that’s departure from his previous work, offering an intimate exploration of family, loss, and love. Nighthawk Capital Limited is financing the film, which will be produced by Fernando Sulichin with Ross Katz. Sulichin’s New Element Media, which has worked with Stone on several projects, raised the financing for the film. Production will begin in New York City in the spring.

In a story covering three generations, Del Toro will portray a child of divorce now repeating his parents’ mistakes in his own marriage and with his troubled son. Feeling trapped, he embarks on a lust-filled journey to free himself, but only becomes more lost. When he meets a woman whose life is the opposite of his own, he begins a journey of rediscovery. It
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tencent Buys Chinese Studio New Classics Media for $2.25 Billion

China Literature, an e-book publishing division of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, has paid $2.25 billion for the film and TV studio New Classics Media.

The deal was announced Monday in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

New Classics Media has emerged as one of the top studios in China is regarded as one of the leading production outfits in China, producing homegrown blockbusters like “Hello Mr. Billionaire,” which has grossed at least $344 million.

Also Read: China's Tencent Snaps Up 10 Percent Stake in Snapchat Parent

According to the filing, China Literature — which was spun off last November as a separate publicly traded company — will fund the transaction with $740 million in cash and $1.51 billion in stock.

The leadership team of Classic Media is expected to remain in place, with incentives in place for performance benchmarks.

The deal expands Tencent’s holdings in entertainment companies beyond
See full article at The Wrap »

Cobie Smulders Comedy ‘Alright Now’ Lands at Gravitas Ventures (Exclusive)

Gravitas Ventures has acquired all North American rights to the Cobie Smulders comedy “Alright Now,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Jamie Adams, whose credits include “Black Mountain Poets,” directed from her own script. “Alright Now” is produced by Unstoppable Film & Television and Dignity Film Finance through its Fivelanes label. The film will be released in select theaters across the country and on demand on Sept. 7.

Alright Now” follows Smulders as a rock musician who drunkenly enrolls in college after she breaks up with her boyfriend and her band falls apart. Convinced she will give the youngsters a run for their money, she is shocked to discover that no one knows who she is, and they could not care less about her rock star past.

“Working with Gravitas Ventures on ‘Alright Now’ is incredible, to know that my latest improvisation-led comedy is being released by such a legendary distributor is exciting,” Adams said.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

What’s Next for Jordan Peele and His House of Horrors

What’s Next for Jordan Peele and His House of Horrors
Atop the coffee table inside the house where Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Prods. lives sit some very on-brand periodicals — titles like Heavy Metal, Fangoria and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine. The Twilight Zone issue is a gem. It not only boasts a photo-realistic illustration of a human baby with a cat head but also a David Lynch retrospective covering his career “From ‘Dune’ to ‘Blue Velvet’” and a special report that takes readers “Inside the New Horror.” The magazine is dated 1988. Its owner was 9 years old when it was published.

Thirty years later, it’s a pretty good emblem for what he’s up to.

The Monkeypaw house is an unorthodox place for a production company. First of all, it’s, yes, a house — balanced precariously on a Hollywood hillside, tucked into a residential neighborhood. Peele sits on the balcony of the upper floor, under the Hollywood Sign, a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Chris Cuomo Defends Antifa After Violence: ‘Not to Be Judged the Same as the Bigots’

Chris Cuomo Defends Antifa After Violence: ‘Not to Be Judged the Same as the Bigots’
Chris Cuomo delivered a passionate monologue on Monday evening defending Antifa after several incidents of violence from their members over the weekend while counter-protesting against white supremacists in Washington D.C. and Charlottesville.

The CNN anchor said there could be no “moral equivalency” between violence from the two camps and that outbursts from those protesting hate was more excusable than those promoting hate.

“It’s not about being right in the eyes of the law, but you also have to know what’s right and wrong in a moral and a good and evil sense,” said Cuomo “That’s why people who show up to fight against bigots are not to be judged the same as the bigots, even if they do resort to the same kinds of petty violence. The law will take care of that.”

Also Read: Chris Cuomo Boosts CNN's Primetime Ratings by Double Digits in First 2 Months

Cuomo continued,
See full article at The Wrap »

Ariana Grande and James Corden Perform ‘Titanic’ Musical Number on ‘Late Late Show’

Ariana Grande and James Corden Perform ‘Titanic’ Musical Number on ‘Late Late Show’
Ariana Grande worked overtime Monday during her appearance on CBS’ “The Late Late Show,” performing an elaborate “Titanic”-themed musical number with host James Corden.

The duo ran through a medley of 13 pop songs across nine different sets in a segment billed as a reenactment of the Jack and Rose love story from the Oscar-winning 1997 blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

The medley started with Styx’s “Come Sail Away” and ended, of course, with Celine Dion’s power ballad from the movie, “My Heart Will Go On.” CBS noted that the segment was shot in one take.

Grande
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cannes Winner ‘Shoplifters’ Breaks China Record for Japanese Film

Cannes Winner ‘Shoplifters’ Breaks China Record for Japanese Film
“Shoplifters,” the intense drama that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year, has carried off the prize for the highest grossing live-action Japanese film at the Chinese box office.

Co-producer, Gaga Corporation confirmed on Tuesday that the film, directed by Hirokazu kore-eda, had scored RMB83.9 million in Chinese theaters, or some $12.2 million. The previous record was held by “Gintama,” released last year and which scored RMB81.3 million in it complete run.

Shoplifters” was released in China on Aug. 3. Distribution is handled by Huayi Bros. Media.

The total in China is still some way short of the film’s score in its home market. It has been on release in Japan since June, through Gaga, and has clocked up $39 million (JPY4.31 billion) from 3.52 million admissions.

The film has been released in Asian territories including South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. It is set for theatrical release in the U.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

BBC Releases First Look at Matthew Rhys, Jamie Dornan in ‘Death and Nightingales’

The BBC has released first-look images of stars Jamie Dornan and Matthew Rhys in its upcoming drama “Death and Nightingales.” The three-part show marks a reunion for Dornan with writer-director Allan Cubitt, with whom he previously worked on crime drama “The Fall” between 2013 and 2016.

Adapted by Cubitt from a 1992 novel by Eugene McCabe, “Death and Nightingales” is set in Northern Ireland in 1885. It tells a story of love, betrayal, deception and revenge that follows a young woman’s struggles to control her own destiny. The action takes place over a 24-hour period during which Beth Winters, played by Ann Skelly,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Why 'Searching' Team Turned It Down Multiple Times

Why 'Searching' Team Turned It Down Multiple Times
Searching opens with the nostalgic familiarity of a PC booting up Windows Xp to the sound of that hard-to-forget startup chime.

The near eight-minute opening sequence immediately draws the viewer into the set up of Aneesh Chaganty's innovative new thriller, one which takes place entirely within the screens that dominate our lives.  

Starring John Cho, Searching tells the story of a man whose daughter goes missing and in his increasingly frantic attempts to find clues of her whereabouts from her myriad and previously hidden online profiles, he discovers he doesn't really know her at all. The Sony Pictures ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

‘Crazy Rich Asians': Dumpling Competitions, Karaoke Nights and More Things Left Out of Hollywood Reporter Cover Story

The story of how Crazy Rich Asians made its way from a hit book series to the first studio movie featuring an all-Westernized Asian cast in 25 years was revealed in The Hollywood Reporter's Aug. 1 cover story. But there are several more anecdotes from the cast and creatives about their adventures on and off set in Singapore and Malaysia that didn't make it to print.

The Warner Bros. romantic comedy follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a Chinese-American woman whose boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), takes her back to Singapore to meet his wealthy family. Directed by Jon ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NFL, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and the Summer Movie as Protest Song

"Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work," observed ex-slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass. To the slave owners, singing slaves would drown out their own cruelty and oppression, clothe them in a coerced choir of decency. But it wasn't enough that the slaves had to sing, they had to sing their oppressor's feel-good songs that are summed up in the Porgy and Bess refrain of "I've got plenty of nothin'," and nothin's plenty for me."

Yay, nothin'.

Currently, the song being demanded is the national anthem during football games. But during ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Locarno: Yolande Zauberman’s Special Jury Prize Winner ‘M’ Acquired by Indie Sales (Exclusive)

Paris-based Indie Sales has swooped on Yolande Zauberman’s “M,” which on Saturday night won Locarno’s Special Jury Prize, essentially its runners-up plaudit, making it the top prize winning movie from a woman at this year’s Swiss festival, the biggest film event in Europe between Cannes and Venice.

“M” also took Locarno’s Premio l’Ambiente à Qualité di Vita, awarded by its youth jury. The international sales rights deal was struck Saturday in Locarno. New Story will release “M” in cinema theaters in France first semester of 2019.

Produced by Charles Gillibert and Julie Viez for CG Cinema and Fabrice Biglio and Zauberman for Phobics Films, “M” marks a winning first entry into international documentary feature production by CG Cinema, a company best known for producing high-profile French fiction auteurs Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Love and Deniz Gamze.

Director Zauberman has had a highly impressive career in both documentary and fiction features,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

San Sebastian Festival Adds Bradley Cooper, Spike Lee, Damien Chazelle Films

San Sebastian Festival Adds Bradley Cooper, Spike Lee, Damien Chazelle Films
The San Sebastian Film Festival has added Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman and Damien Chazelle's First Man along with seven other movies to its lineup.

The 10 additions, which also include new films from Alfonso Cuaron, Jacques Audiard and Jia Zhangke, will screen in the Spanish festival's so-called Perlak section competition for the City of Donostia/San Sebastian Audience Award.

Spain’s only A-list festival, and the leading Spanish-speaking festival in the world, San Sebastian will run Sept. 21-Sept. 29 in the beachside town in northern Spain’s Basque region.

This is the first ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Studio 8’s ‘Alpha’ Heads for China Release (Exclusive)

“Alpha,” an action-adventure film from Jeff Robinov’s Chinese-backed Studio 8, has secured a theatrical release in mainland China. It will arrive in Middle Kingdom cinemas Sept. 7.

The film is licensed through Leomus Pictures. Distribution is to be handled by state-owned China Film Group.

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, in which a man domesticates a wolf, “Alpha” is directed by Albert Hughes. The story is by Hughes and Sebastian Wiedenhaupt. It stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Natassia Malthe.

It is only the second feature film to be completed by Studio 8, after 2016’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” directed by Ang Lee. Its third, “White Boy Rick,” is set for release later this year.

Set up in 2014 by Robinov, former film head at Warner Bros., Studio 8 is majority-owned by China’s Fosun International group. It also counts Sony Pictures Entertainment as a minority investor and releasing partner.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

China Escalates Crackdown on Celebrity Pay

Beijing may soon get its wish of steeply reducing the pay earned by China's biggest movie stars, booming market forces be damned.

China's largest video sites iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video signed a joint pledge over the weekend promising to limit the pay of television actors to a maximum of 1 million yuan ($145,000) per episode and 50 million yuan ($7.25 million) for an entire season, regardless of its length.

The document also stated that signees would follow a recent government directive designed to sharply curtail the remuneration of movie stars. The new guidelines, issued by ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Dead & Company Plot 2019 Playing in the Sand Concert Vacation in Mexico

Dead & Company Plot 2019 Playing in the Sand Concert Vacation in Mexico
Dead & Company will reconvene this winter for their second annual Playing in the Sand concert vacation, which invades Riviera Maya, Mexico in January.

The supergroup – featuring John Mayer, Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti – will perform three concerts between January 17th to the 20th, with the stage just feet away from the Caribbean Sea.

Like last year’s maiden fest, Playing in the Sand in an all-inclusive festival with premium resort accommodations, 24-hour concierge service and “on-site activities including yoga, tequila tasting,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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