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Eric Zumbrunnen, Film Editor and Frequent Spike Jonze Collaborator, Dies at 52

11 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Eric Zumbrunnen, an inventive film editor who worked with director Spike Jonze on several films, music videos and commercials, has died. He was 52.

Zumbrunnen died Aug. 1 of stomach cancer at his home in Pacific Palisades, Jason Kasperski of Prodigy Public Relations told The Hollywood Reporter.

Creative kindred spirits, Zumbrunnen and Jonze collaborated for more than two decades, teaming for the features Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013), an Oscar nominee for best picture.

Zumbrunnen won the best edited feature film award (comedy or musical) from the American Cinema Editors for Being »

- Mike Barnes

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Summer Slows to a Crawl as 'Hitman's Bodyguard' and 'Logan Lucky' Debut

13 hours ago | Box Office Mojo | See recent BoxOfficeMojo.com news »

The downward trend continues this weekend. Two new releases arrive in theaters and neither will debut with enough to even marginally turn the summer box office tide. In fact, we may be looking at the worst weekend at the box office this year with a top twelve that could struggle to generate a combined $80 million. As for the new releases, Lionsgate's release of The Hitman's Bodyguard will do what it can to challenge Annabelle: Creation for the weekend's top spot while Bleecker Street's release of Logan Lucky is a fascinating study in and of itself and whether it pushes higher than $10 million will be something to watch. At the top of the weekend box office it's looking like a competitive race between last weekend's strong opening performance for WB and New Line's Annabelle: Creation and Lionsgate and Summit's The Hitman's Bodyguard. Annabelle delivered a $35 million opening, which is just a »

- Brad Brevet <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Film in the Works (Exclusive)

18 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Stephen Daldry is Star Wars’ new hope.

The Oscar-nominated director behind Billy Elliot and The Hours is in early talks to direct a Star Wars standalone movie centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 

Sources say talks are at the earliest of stages and that the project has no script. If a deal makes, Daldry would oversee the development and writing with Lucasfilm brass. It's not known at this stage if Ewan McGregor will reprise his role. 

The Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the »

- Borys Kit

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Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Teaming on ‘The Goldfinch’ (Exclusive)

16 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Warner Bros. is finalizing a deal with Amazon Studios to co-finance its film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” Variety has learned.

As part of the pact, Amazon will invest more than a third of the movie’s budget, which is estimated to be in the $40 million range, according to insiders. In return, it will get streaming rights to the picture and debut it on home entertainment platforms in what is commonly referred to as the pay-tv window, the term for when movies debut on HBO and Showtime.

Warner Bros. will distribute the film in theaters worldwide. There were several other parties interested in boarding the project, but Amazon was the most aggressive. The e-retailer believes the project is a good fit for its customer base, because Tartt’s novel was a big seller on its platform. It also views the partnership on the movie as a good branding opportunity. »

- Brent Lang

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Alan Arkin Joins Tim Burton’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ (Exclusive)

16 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Alan Arkin has joined the cast of Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Dumbo” directed by Tim Burton.

The film’s cast already includes Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito. Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins will also appear in their first film roles.

Ehren Kruger penned the script. Justin Springer, who worked on “Tron: Legacy,” is producing with Kruger. Nigel Gostelow will serve as an executive producer.


Disney’s 10 Biggest Box Office Openings

The original story followed an ostracized baby circus elephant who strives to achieve his full potential. In this version, the film follows Holt Farrier (Farrell), a former circus star who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from the war. Circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) enlists Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when Holt’s children (Parker and Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive »

- Justin Kroll

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Director David F. Sandberg gives an update on Shazam and his comic book inspirations

22 hours ago | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Fresh from the box office success of Annabelle: Creation, director David F. Sandberg is now turning his attention to the DC Extended Universe and his next project, Shazam!. Speaking to Film Riot (via Heroic Hollywood), Sandberg has provided an update on Shazam!, confirming that the script is ready and it will be the next DC movie to go into production after Aquaman.

“There’s a script, it’s the next DC movie to shoot,” said Sandberg, who also confirmed that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam will no longer feature in the film. “There’ve been variations of the script, like before I came along, where… you know, variations where Black Adam was in and out and, you know. But now, this is about Shazam.”

Sandberg also talked about which comic books he’s been reading in preparation for the project: “I’m taking it all in. Some of those really old ones are quite fun, »

- Gary Collinson

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'It' Tracking for Record $50M Debut in U.S.

20 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King's It is tracking for a record September debut.

The Warner Bros. and New Line horror film, rolling out in theaters Sept. 8, could clear $50 million or more in its first weekend, besting Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48 million) to score the biggest start ever for the month of September, not adjusting for inflation. Some even believe it could approach $60 million.

Warners insiders are being more cautious and saying $40 million-$45 million, noting the sluggish marketplace and the fact that September has never been known for huge openings. Also, It is rated R.


- Pamela McClintock

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Six UK VoD companies receive $2.5m EU funding

20 minutes ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Creative Europe announces new batch of audiovisual promotion grants.

Seven UK companies, including six VoD platforms, have received €2,203,119 ($2.5m) in grants from Creative Europe’s promotion of audiovisual works online scheme.

The platforms that secured funding are: Walter Presents, FilmDoo, Curzon Home Cinema, Mubi, BFI Player and Distrify.  

In addition, The Polka Dot Factory received a grant to develop their app Cues, which aims to develop potential audiences for European films.

A total of 14 applications from the UK were submitted, with half selected for funding. The amount allocated to UK companies made up 23% of the scheme’s budget.

In the UK, Mubi received the biggest grant of €668,940. Curzon received €480,000 and the BFI Player received €376,117.

The scheme’s biggest grant went to marketing company Under The Milky Way, which received €900,000.

In July it was announced that four UK companies received combined funding of more than €700,000 from Creative Europe’s Slate Funding scheme. They were Aardman Animations »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Everything that's wrong with 'everything that's wrong with' YouTube film critiques

43 minutes ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is right to take exception to the hyper-critical video that pulled apart his film. Such pedantry is neither clever nor incisive

There is nothing wrong with Kong: Skull Island. It will never be remembered as a masterpiece, but as a slab of summer entertainment it is witty, visually inventive and unwilling to outstay its welcome. It is basically a really expensive Sharknado made by people with functioning adult attention spans, and, as such, probably qualifies as the second-best King Kong film ever made.

However, that didn’t stop YouTube channel CinemaSins from recently devoting 19 and a half minutes to destroying the film in a video called Everything That’s Wrong With Kong: Skull Island. If you’ve never seen one of these videos before, their sole purpose is to pick apart films in excruciating detail. For example, some of the things the video found »

- Stuart Heritage

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Court orders Telstra and other internet service providers to block piracy sites

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Telstra, Optus, Tpg and Vocus given 15 days to take ‘reasonable steps’ to disable access to 42 websites that breach copyright laws, such as Pirate Bay

Film distributor Village Roadshow has won a legal battle to force internet service providers, including Telstra, to block sites used to illegally download movies and other programs.

Village Roadshow – backed by Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros – alleged that, while websites used to illegally download content are located overseas, they are accessible to Australians via local internet service providers.

Continue reading »

- Australian Associated Press

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San Sebastian: Glenn Close-starrer ‘The Wife’ Selected as Closing Night Film

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Madrid — Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce-starrer “The Wife” will close the 65th San Sebastian Festival on Sept. 30, where the film’s European premiere will see the festival end with an upscale tale of a woman’s belated empowerment, a showcase for Close and Pryce’ mano a mano acting talents and, in industrial terms, a blue-chip U.S.-U.K.-Scandinavia production.

Close, a six-time Oscar nominee, will present the film at San Sebastián, along with Pryce, its Swedish director Björn Runge (“Happy End”) and co-star Annie Stark (“Albert Nobbs”).

Produced by Anonymous Content, Meta Film,Tempo Productions, Spark Film and Television, and Silver Reel, “The Wife” turns on Joan Castleman (Close) who is married to a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist (Pryce), the kind of man who thinks he owns the world and his wife.

On the eve of the Nobel Prize award ceremony, Close, who has “spent 40 years ignoring her own literary talents to fan the »

- John Hopewell

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Bending the Arc review – a moving doc about Partners in Health in Haiti

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The founders of an Ngo helping some of the poorest people in the world survive to treatable diseases are brought face to face with those whose lives they saved

Doctors Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim, two Us-born Ivy Leaguers, went to Haiti in the early 1980s and built a hospital stocked with equipment and drugs they begged, borrowed and stole from facilities in the Us where they were training. Out of this sincere commitment to help some of the poorest people in the world survive treatable diseases such as tuberculosis and Aids, they founded a Ngo called Partners in Health. Among many other activities, the organisation, also run by Ophelia Dahl (daughter of Roald), helps train local carers so they can help those who desperately need support in the most remote communities, and to bridge cultural divides that might impede treatment. Although the treacly soundtrack overpunches on the sentiment at times, »

- Leslie Felperin

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Final Portrait and The Odyssey: this week’s best films in the UK

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Stanley Tucci directs a witty sketch about the great Swiss artist Giacometti, while Lambert Wilson stars in the definitive biopic of Jacques Cousteau

With Tate Modern’s Giacometti retrospective soon to close, here’s a more intimate encounter with the great Swiss artist, courtesy of Geoffrey Rush. Meanwhile, Armie Hammer is elegantly witty as the American writer who came for a brief portrait sitting, but stayed for a very odd sort of friendship.

Continue reading »

- Ellen E Jones

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Film Review: ‘Shot Caller’

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

While American audiences wait for the Hollywood remake of Jacques Audiard’s gritty 2010 French thriller “A Prophet,” Ric Roman Waugh swoops in with a comparably gritty prison epic of his own: Debuting on DirecTV two weeks before hitting theaters, “Shot Caller” dramatizes how a hardcore stint behind bars transforms an otherwise docile citizen — in this case, a white-collar wheeler-dealer (Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) convicted of a DUI manslaughter charge and tossed in with the violent offenders — into a ruthless crime boss.

The character’s arc proves considerably more complex than that description suggests, as Waugh forgoes cheap action-movie gimmicks, offering up instead a haunting psychological portrait of an intelligent man forced to completely reinvent himself before he can even dream of seeking redemption for his previous sins. “Shot Caller” marks the third time that writer-director Waugh (who previously helmed “Felon” and “Snitch”) has taken audiences into this intimidating underworld, and the tough, no-punches-pulled »

- Peter Debruge

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China's Puji Capital backs Peter Guber's Mandalay Endurance

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Shanghai-based investment firm launches film company, invests in Us production and distribution venture.

Shanghai-based investment firm Puji Capital has launched a film company, Puji Films, which is backing Mandalay Endurance Media Ventures (Memv), a joint venture headed by Peter Guber (pictured) and Steve Richards.

Memv is described as a film production, financing and international distribution platform with a focus on producing and distributing star-driven action, thriller and comedy films for a global audience.

The company’s shareholders also include Jeff Vinik, owner of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning; Paul Schaeffer, vice chairman and COO of Mandalay Entertainment Group; and Peter Strauss, former chairman of Lionsgate Entertainment.

Guber was formerly chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures Entertainment; chairman of Dick Clark Productions; and owner or co-owner of sports teams including the 2017 NBA Champions and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We are at an interesting inflection with China’s film industry – we have China becoming the most important market globally coupled »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Why Tina Fey’s ‘Weekend Update’ Cake-Eating Stunt Sends a Mixed Message of Inaction and Privilege

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Three “Saturday Night Live” alums returned to the “Weekend Update” desk for NBC’s special summer edition of the show on Thursday night, but it was Tina Fey who stole the show with her rant/performance art.

The proud University of Virginia grad wore a Uva sweatshirt to reveal just how shaken she was about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that ended in the murder of a counter-protestor. “It broke my heart to see these evil forces descend upon Charlottesville,” she said. “Donny John comes out and he says that he condemns violence ‘on many sides.”… I’m feeling sick because I’ve seen ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and I wasn’t confused by it…Nazis are always bad.”

Read More:Charlottesville: Ava DuVernay, J.K. Rowling, Seth Rogen, and More React to Violent White-Supremacist Rally

Riffing on how blame is almost always shifted away from what’s being critiqued »

- Hanh Nguyen

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Dealing With the Past: Sarajevo Film Festival Addresses Balkan Wars

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Two decades after the bloody Balkan wars, reconciliation in the region can still be hard to come by. The Sarajevo Film Festival is trying to do its part with Dealing with the Past, a program launched last year that comprises a festival sidebar of films dealing with the wars and their aftermath and an industry section called the True Stories Market.

The market seeks to connect filmmakers with organizations that are documenting and researching the conflict with the aim of bringing dramatic fact-based stories to light and to wider audiences through documentaries, feature films, and television productions.

This year’s True Stories Market presented nine stories, including “Profile of a Mercenary – Making Money Off the War or Crimes,” by the Sarajevo-based Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (Birn). The story focuses on a former convict who had served time for robbery and attempted murder before going on to serve as a mercenary, first »

- Ed Meza

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Bosnia picks 'Men Don't Cry' for foreign language Oscar race

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Post Yugoslav War drama is Alen Drljevic’s debut feature.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has submitted Alen Drljevic’s Men Don’t Cry into contention for this year’s best foreign language film Academy Award.

The film premiered at Karlovy Vary - where Picture Tree International boarded international rights - and played at Sarajevo Film Festival this week where it won the Youth Audience Award.

It also won the Special Jury Award and Europa Cinema Award in Karlovy Vary.

Director Drljevic’s debut feature counts an all-star Balkan cast including Leon Lucev, Boris Isakovic and Emir Hadzihafizbegovic.

The film, set two decades after the war ended in Yugoslavia, follows a diverse group of veterans who gather at a remote mountain hotel to undergo group therapy.

Watch the Men Don’t Cry trailer below or on mobile Here. »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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'Scary Mother' triumphs at Sarajevo Film Festival

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Meda Or The Not So Bright Side Of Things takes best director and best actor.Scroll down to see the full list of winners.

Ana Urushadze’s Gerogia-Estonia drama Scary Mother has won the top prize at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival, which concludes today (Aug 18).

The film took the Heart of Sarajevo for best feature film, which comes with a financial award of €16,000. It stars Nata Murvanidze as a 50-year-old housewife who experiences family struggles as she tries to complete her first novel.

The main competition saw Romanian director Emanuel Pârvu take the Heart of Sarajevo for best director for his film Meda Or The Not So Bright Side Of Things, which comes with €10,000.

Best actress went to Ornela Kapetani for Daybreak and best actor went to Şerban Pavlu for Meda Or The Not So Bright Side Of Things.

The jury, led by Michel Franco and featuring Mark Adams, Gordan Bogdan »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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The Odyssey review – Jacques Cousteau biopic looks good underwater but doesn't go deep

3 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This handsome, very conventional film tells the story of one of the last great adventurer-superstars – but it’s hard not to pine for The Life Aquatic

Ignore the title. This conventional, unadventurous biopic ploddingly tells the story of the French ocean explorer and film-maker Jacques Cousteau – though the underwater sequences are stunning.

Related: Jacques Cousteau sails again in new film

Continue reading »

- Cath Clarke

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