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Box Office: ‘Latin Lover’ Tops ‘The Circle,’ ‘Fate of the Furious’ Rides to Third Straight No. 1

1 hour ago

It has become a familiar story — “The Fate of the Furious” is, once again, the box office champ.

The massively popular eighth episode in the Fast and Furious franchise earned $19.4 million this weekend from 4,077 locations, placing it securely in first place during a sputtering weekend, anticipating the summer season. After winning the domestic box office for three straight weeks, the Universal movie’s U.S. total stands at $192.7 million. Not only that, “Fate’s” global total officially crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the 21st highest grossing movie of all time behind 2006’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” Its total global sum stands at $1.06 billion.

But while “Fate’s” victory seemed inevitable, the rest of the weekend’s top five reaped intrigue. Pantelion’s “How to be a Latin Lover” slid into second over Tom Hanks and Emma Watson’s not-so-distant future tech-thriller “The Circle.” Led by Mexican star Eugenio Derbez, »


- Seth Kelley

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‘Fate of the Furious’ Crosses $1 Billion at Worldwide Box Office

2 hours ago

The eighth Fast and Furious movie is officially a billionaire.

After taking into account Saturday night’s grosses, Universal’s “Fate of the Furious” has achieved the $1 billion milestone. $867.6 million of the film’s earnings have come from the international box office, while domestically the high-octane actioner has made $192.7 million.

“Fate” shot out the gate to the largest global opening of all time with $542 million ($443.2 million international, and $98.8 million domestic). Directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Chris Morgan, the film’s insane stunts and diverse ensemble cast — including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, ChrisLudacris’ Bridges, Scott Eastwood and Charlize Theron — has proven big box office success for the studio. In fact, of the four other movies from Universal to become billionaires, “Furious 7” sits in second place with $1.52 billion. »


- Seth Kelley

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‘Close-Knit’ Wins Top Prize at Udine Far East Fest

6 hours ago

Rome — Japanese director Ogigami Naoko’s tender drama “Close-Knit” in which a transgender woman becomes a mother figure to a young girl won the Audience Award, the top prize, at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, which is Europe’s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema.

South Korean director Choi Kook-hee’s offbeat bowling thriller “Split” came in second in the audience vote at the nine-day fest which wrapped its 19th edition April 29.

Prior to scooping top Udine honors “Close Knit” had premiered in February in the Panorama section of Berlin fest where Variety critic Guy Lodge praised the pic as a “sweet-souled celebration of alternative family structures,” noting that it “further demonstrates the growing prominence and broader acceptance of transgender narratives in the arthouse.” “Knit” also scooped Udine’s Black Dragon Award decided by special pass holders.

“Split,” in which a washed-up former bowling champ »


- Nick Vivarelli

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‘The Godfather’ Reunion: Francis Ford Coppola, Cast on the Complicated Journey to Make Film History

15 hours ago

The Corleone family and then some got back together Saturday night to recount the making of “The Godfather” during the Tribeca Film Festival’s closing night.

Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire took the stage to discuss the film’s complicated origin story during the panel hosted by Taylor Hackford.

Paramount bought “The Godfather,” Hackford intro-ed the talk, but they didn’t believe that mafia movies could work.

“I was attracted to it because I thought it was a foreign author, and an intellectual book about power,” Coppola recalled seeing the book before he had signed onto the film adaptation. But upon cracking the cover, he had some hesitations. “I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it’s very long,” he said. “Much of »


- Seth Kelley

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Barbra Streisand: Sexism Cost Me Multiple Oscar Nominations

15 hours ago

Barbra Streisand argued that sexism cost her Oscar nominations for “Yentl” and “The Prince of Tides” during a spirited public interview at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday. But it wasn’t just men who balked at the idea of a woman calling the shots on a major motion picture.

“There were a lot of older people,” Streisand told her interlocutor Robert Rodriguez. “They don’t want to see a woman director.”

“I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director,” she added. »


- Brent Lang

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2017 Tribeca Film Festival Announces Audience Award Winners

17 hours ago

The jury prize winners from the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival were already announced earlier in the week, but now the final two audience awards have finally been given out as well.

For the narrative competition, the award went to the women’s rights period piece “The Divine Order” (“Die göttliche Ordnung”), written and directed by Petra Volpe out of Switzerland. Volpe also won this year’s Nora Ephron prize, while lead actress Marie Leuenberger won best actress in a narrative feature film.

As for the documentary competition, Greg Campbell’s “Hondros” was selected as the fan favorite. Campbell and Jenny Golden wrote the doc, which recounts the story of award-winning photographer Chris Hondros who was killed in Libya back in 2011.

“The Divine Order” and “Hondros” were announced during the 45th anniversary celebration of “The Godfather” at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, marking the official end of the festivities. »


- JD Knapp

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2017 Nashville Film Festival: Complete Winners List

19 hours ago

The 2017 Nashville Film Festival has officially come to an end after selecting its winners and honorees Saturday. The rapidly growing competition received over 5,500 submissions this year, and 303 of those films and shorts were selected.

Some Freaks,” a love story about an overweight girl and a boy with one eye, from director Ian MacAllister McDonald walked away from Tennessee as the grand jury prize winner. Lead actress Lily Mae Harrington was also named best actress, while composer Walter Sickert and music supervisor Dan Wilcox were awarded best music.

German heist mockumentary “The Migrumpies” from Arman T. Riahi was the audience award winner. “Play The Devil” by Maria Govan was given an honorable mention in the same category, and also won best screenplay. Pytor Skvortsov from “The Student” was named best actor. »


- JD Knapp

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Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island Tease Fyre Festival-Type Comedy

23 hours ago

Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island are capitalizing on the failure of the now-infamous Fyre Festival. Following Ja Rule and investor tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland’s ridiculed Bahamian concert series, the comedians announced on Twitter Friday that they are working on a movie with a strikingly similar scenario.

Fyre Festival was touted as a “luxury” music festival with scheduled performances from acts like Blink-182, Migos, Major Lazer, Pusha-t, and Disclosure. However, after headliners Blink-182 canceled last minute Thursday night, concert-goers quickly realized the Exumas event was a disorganized mess.

Disgruntled ticketholders shared images of the disarray on social media, prompting organizers to apologize. Ja Rule admitted to being “heartbroken” by the failed fair, which some disappointed music fans have even been calling a scam.

Rogen and The Lonely IslandAndy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone — jumped on the viral Twitter trend to announce their upcoming comedy.

This seems like »


- JD Knapp

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Saturday Church’

29 April 2017 9:11 AM, PDT

Were you Team “Moonlight” or Team “La La Land”? Now you don’t have to choose. As vibrant as it is vital, Manhattan-made indie “Saturday Church” tells the all-too-common coming-out story of a young black gay man … as a musical, blending elements of those rival best picture nominees into a winning new combination. While hardly as accomplished as either, writer-director Damon Cardasis’ colorful, you-are-not-alone debut should delight Lgbt audiences — especially young ones — thanks to a handful of dynamically choreographed identity-empowerment ballads that would be right at home on either next year’s Oscar ballot or a NYC vogue ball playlist.

In recent years, the challenges facing trans youth have garnered so much public attention, you’ve surely heard a story like Ulysses’ before — although you’ve never heard it quite like this, as Cardasis’ goosebump-inducing songs (composed and co-written by Nathan Larson) elevate this otherwise familiar tale to a higher realm. »


- Peter Debruge

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Box Office: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Dominates Tom Hanks’ ‘The Circle’

29 April 2017 8:01 AM, PDT

Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” is cruising to it third straight box office crown with $18.5 million at 4,077 North American sites this weekend, doubling the opening of Tom Hanks-Emma Watson thriller “The Circle.”

Saturday estimates showed Pantelion’s romantic comedy “How to be a Latin Lover” over-performing in its debut with $12 million at only 1,118 venues. Great India Films’ launch of Bollywood action sequel “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” — a sequel to 2015’s “Baahubali: The Beginning” — is also showing impressive results with $9.1 million at just 450 locations.

The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth film in Universal’s sturdy “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, has dominated the domestic box office for the past two weeks. The ensemble actioner, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron, should wind up the weekend with nearly $192 million in its first 17 days.

The Circle,” jointly handled by Stx and EuropaCorp, is heading for about $9.3 million at 3,163 locations. »


- Dave McNary

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Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks Reflect on ‘Philadelphia,’ Jonathan Demme at Tribeca Film Festival

28 April 2017 9:54 PM, PDT

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks were the main event at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday night (April 28), taking the stage at New York’s Beacon Theater for an hour-long discussion about writing, performing, directing, and even mourning. “The strongest union of our two names is from the motion picture ‘Philadelphia,'” said Hanks, who won an Academy Award for his leading role in the film about being afflicted with AIDS. “God bless [director] Jonathan Demme. We just lost him.” (Demme died earlier in the week at the age of 73, following a long battle with cancer.)

Springsteen also took home an Oscar for the 1993 movie, for Best Original Song. Demme, he shared, first came to asking him to write “more of a rock song.” Said Springsteen: “I tried for a day or so to come up with something, and I didn’t come up with anything. I had some lyrics, and eventually, »


- Michele Amabile Angermiller

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7 Things You Don’t Know About ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ As Told by Quentin Tarantino and the Cast

28 April 2017 9:51 PM, PDT

Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown: They all reunited for the 25th anniversary retrospective screening of “Reservoir Dogs” at the Tribeca Film Festival April 28. Cast members Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and writer-director-actor Quentin Tarantino all got together to reminisce after the 1992 movie screened to a packed house at the Beacon Theater. Here are seven fun facts they revealed.

1. Tom Waits auditioned.

Tarantino let this tidbit slip as he discussed the casting process. “We had the casting director from ‘L.A. Law,'” the director recalled. “A lot of really wild people came in and read the parts. Tom Waits came in and read. I had Tom Waits read the Madonna speech, just so I could hear Tom Waits say those lines. And actually, other than Harvey, he gave me one of the first profound compliments on the script. No one had ever »


- Gordon Cox

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Whitney. “Can I Be Me”‘

28 April 2017 8:42 PM, PDT

“Whitney. ‘Can I Be Me'” is Nick Broomfield’s documentary about the life and death of Whitney Houston, and it’s the rare Nick Broomfield movie in which the filmmaker isn’t center stage. He co-directed it with Rudi Dolezal, and there isn’t a single scene in which Broomfield, with his puckish, dogged delight in stalking interview subjects, invades a room tailed by a crew member holding a boom mike, thrusting himself into the face of Bobby Brown or Clive Davis or Whitney Houston’s relatives or the maid who cleaned her hotel room the night she died. I’m a fan of Broomfield’s conspiracy-theory music docs (“Biggie & Tupac,” “Kurt & Courtney”), but “Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me'” has no conspiracies to uncover. It just has a story to tell, and it does that incredibly compellingly.

“Can I Be Me” gets us to know Whitney Houston, to feel her »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Strike Watch: More WGA Talks on Sunday, SAG-aftra Eyes Mid-May Start for Negotiations

28 April 2017 6:48 PM, PDT

Update, 10:15 p.m. – Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and major studios are expected to return to the bargaining table Sunday for a rare weekend session as the sides try to head off a strike that could begin as early as May 2.

Negotiators for the companies will meet with executives on Saturday before sitting down Sunday for a bargaining seesion with the WGA.

The contract wrangling is expected to go down to the wire on Monday night when the current contract expires. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and WGA have been in talks since Tuesday, but there’s speculation that both sides are watching the clock and holding back on their final moves until Monday.

One source said that as of Friday evening the AMPTP was still awaiting a formal response from the WGA on key points in the talks, including residual rates and script »


- Dave McNary and Cynthia Littleton

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‘The Mummy’ Star Sofia Boutella in Talks to Join Jodie Foster for ‘Hotel Artemis’ (Exclusive)

28 April 2017 5:41 PM, PDT

Sofia Boutella, who wreaks havoc as the titular monster in Universal’s upcoming “The Mummy,” is in talks to join Jodie Foster in Drew Pearce’s “Hotel Artemis.”

Simon and Stephen Cornwell are producing for The Ink Factory, which will also finance. Pearce, whose writing credits include “Iron Man 3” and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” will direct from his own script. The logline is under wraps.

Adam Siegel and Marc Platt are producing for Marc Platt Productions. Pearce will executive produce through his Point of No Return production banner.

Related

The Mummy’ New Trailer Shows More of Sofia Boutella’s Creepy Villain

The project is expected to launch international sales next month at the Cannes Film Festival.

Boutella’s star has been on the rise since breaking out as Samuel Jackson’s henchman in Fox’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The Algerian actress followed that up with a major role »


- Justin Kroll

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Universal Moves ‘Doctor Dolittle’ Up to April 2019 to Avoid ‘Star Wars IX’

28 April 2017 5:08 PM, PDT

Universal Pictures has moved up its untitled “Doctor Dolittle” pic from May 24, 2019 to Apr. 12, 2019. The move is likely being made to avoid “Star Wars: Episode IX”, which Disney recently announced would also be opening that weekend.

Universal recently won a bidding war for the new “Doctor Dolittle” that has Robert Downey Jr. attached to star and Stephen Gaghan on board to write and direct.

The film will be produced by Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum under their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent”), along with Susan Downey (“Sherlock Holmes” films, “The Judge”) for Team Downey. Gaghan wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay from an earlier draft by Tom Shepherd.

The project is based on the 1920s tales by Hugh Lofting, following a peculiar doctor who can speak with animals, shunning human patients in favor of the critters. »


- Justin Kroll

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Liev Schreiber on ‘Chuck,’ Fame, and How He Almost Appeared in ‘Logan’

28 April 2017 3:30 PM, PDT

Chuck Wepner tried to do a lot with his fifteen minutes of fame.

The journeyman boxer stunned everyone by going fifteen rounds in a 1975 title fight against Muhammad Ali, even knocking him down at one point. His million-to-one shot helped inspire “Rocky,” which sanded off some of Wepner’s rougher edges as it punched its way to the top. Wepner struggled with his fictionalized alter-ego, embracing its Oscar success and befriending Sylvester Stallone before engaging in long-running litigation against the actor and writer.

In “Chuck,” an upcoming indie biopic, Wepner is casting off his Rocky Balboa alter-ego. The boxer is brought vividly to life by Liev Schreiber, who capturers the Jersey bruiser’s tender side and his dangerous attraction to the limelight. Schreiber got involved in the project because he felt that Wepner represented an important cautionary tale about celebrity, and that his life story was a way for him »


- Brent Lang

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‘Logan’ Gets B&W Release in Theaters

28 April 2017 2:59 PM, PDT

Following its box office success earlier this year, Fox has decided to release a black and white version of “Logan” in theaters on May 16 for a limited run.

Director James Mangold tweeted the news telling fans who wanted to see that version to “not make any plans on the evening of May 16.”

Suggestion. Hard core B&W loving Logan fans should not make any plans on the evening of May 16th.

— Mangold (@mang0ld) April 28, 2017

The director answered questions on Twitter telling fans it would only be in domestic theaters and explaining “To make a great B&W version of a film, the whole thing’s gotta be regraded & timed shot by shot.”

Mangold said earlier he was inspired to make a black and white version after he posted some monochrome photos from the set on Instagram and got a strong positive reaction from fans.

“It caused such an extreme reaction, »


- Justin Kroll

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MPAA Shakeup: Chief Chris Dodd to Be Replaced by Charles Rivkin

28 April 2017 2:50 PM, PDT

Chris Dodd is stepping down as head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Variety has confirmed. He will be replaced by Charles Rivkin, the former assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs under President Barack Obama.

Though not as well known as Dodd, Rivkin boasts film business and Beltway ties. He was president of The Jim Henson Company and ambassador to France and Monaco, and is considered to be well connected in Washington D.C. He will join the organization on Sept. 5. Dodd will remain onboard for a short time, with a goal of completing the transition by the beginning of next year.

In an interview, Dodd said that when he joined the MPAA in 2011, he planned to serve for five years. He said he later agreed to a two-year extension through 2018 to give the trade association time to search for a successor. He noted that he will turn 73 next month, »


- Brent Lang and Ted Johnson

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Universal Dates Robert Zemeckis-Helmed Steve Carell Pic for November 2018

28 April 2017 2:49 PM, PDT

Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have dated Robert Zemeckis next pic starring Steve Carell for Nov. 21, 2018.

The project had been going by the running title “Marwencol,” and is based on the true story of a man who — after being brutally attacked — finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

Zemeckis will direct, with Caroline Thompson working with him to pen the script.

Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner will produce alongside the director. It will be executive produced by Jeff Malmberg, who directed the 2010 documentary upon which this film is based, and Jackie Levine.

Zemeckis most recently directed “The Walk” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Carell can be seen next in Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes.”

The actor has also lent his voice to Universal Picture/Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me” franchise, playing Gru.

Related storiesSteve Carell's Drama ' »


- Justin Kroll

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