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China Box Office: ‘Kingsman’ Dominates With $39 Million Opening

3 hours ago

As the only significant new release, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” opened strongly on top of the China box office. It enjoyed a 54% market share.

“Golden Circle” played some 100,000 screenings per day and scooped $39 million according to data from Ent Group. Fox reported that as $40.3 million, and as a score 73% better than the first “Kingsman” film “The Secret Service.” IMAX reported that it scored $3.5 million of the China total on its screens.

In second place, holdover, “Never Say Die” added a further $14.4 million in its fourth week. It has now accumulated $308 million after 23 days.

Thai thriller, “Bad Genius” was third earning $7.61 million in its second week. It has $32.9 million in China after 10 days.

“City of Rock” played on in fourth place. It scored $3.7 million in its fourth week, for a cumulative of $62.1 million after 24 days.

Chasing the Dragon” held on in fifth. It managed $2.35 million for a cumulative of $83.5 after 23 days.

European animation »


- Patrick Frater

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‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Tops International Box Office With China Debut

6 hours ago

Spy spoof “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” has led the international box office with $48.7 million this weekend — most of that coming from an impressive $40.3 million launch in China.

Fox’s sequel to 2015’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is playing in 62 markets abroad and has now topped $250 million worldwide, including $35 million in South Korea and $30 million in the U.K. The original grossed $286 million two years ago in overseas markets.

The action comedy was directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and Taron Egerton. In China, the opening weekend led that market and was 73% ahead of “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

With $95 million in the U.S. after five weeks, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is nearing $350 million worldwide. The original wound up with a worldwide total of $415 million.

Warner Bros.Geostorm,” starring Gerard Butler, is finishing in second place with $36.4 million at 13,000 screens with first-place finishes in 36 territories to lift its international total to $49 million. South Korea was »


- Dave McNary

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Why Bria Vinaite, as a Loving Mother From Hell, Is the ‘The Florida Project’s’ Not-So-Secret Weapon

8 hours ago

It’s this year’s little indie movie that could. In the last two weeks, audiences have gotten the chance to experience “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker’s raw, funny, lyrical, heart-wrenching drama about a little girl and her punk-rebel-slattern mother living in a lavender-walled Orlando motel along a tourist strip on the outskirts of Disney World.

Anyone who sees the film is bound to be struck by the extraordinary qualities of its acting. Brooklynn Prince, who plays 6-year-old Moonee, whiling away the summer by getting into the sort of mischief that seems all too genuine in its destructive innocence (even when it involves the soiling of car windshields or the burning of abandoned real estate), gives one of the most vivid child performances in memory. You never doubt, for a moment, that Moonee is a real kid, with true-blue feelings that didn’t come out of a screenwriter’s manual, yet by the »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Dozens of Women Accuse Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment

10 hours ago

Oscar-nominated writer-director James Toback has been accused of sexually harassing at least 38 women stemming back to at least the 1980s.

A Los Angeles Times report explains that while some of the women were looking for work in the entertainment industry at the time of the alleged incidents, others were simply women Toback approached. 31 of the women agreed to speak on the record, and they all detailed various incidents in which Toback allegedly made lewd suggestions, steered conversations into sexually explicit territory, and in the worst instances, rubbed against them until he ejaculated into his pants or on their bodies.

“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’” actress Adrienne Lavalley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, »


- Erin Nyren and Rebecca Rubin

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Box Office: Tyler Perry’s ‘Boo 2!’ Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

11 hours ago

Tyler Perry has prevented a disaster at the box office with the opening of Lionsgate’s comedy sequel “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” scaring up a solid $21.7 million at 2,388 North American locations.

That was pretty much the limit of good news at the nation’s multiplexes, where moviegoers gave limited support to a quartet of new arrivals — weather-disaster title “Geostorm,” firefighter hero tale “Only the Brave,” murder mystery “The Snowman” and faith-based drama “Same Kind of Different as Me.”

“Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” which received an A- CinemaScore, is finishing in line with expectations and about 25% behind original “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which won its opening weekend last year. The sequel, set at a haunted campground, is directed and written by Perry, who also stars in his ninth iteration as the tough-talking Madea.

Warner Bros.’ “Geostorm,” starring Gerard Butler, is finishing a distant second place with about $13.3 million at 3,246 venues — at the top end of modest forecasts but a major »


- Dave McNary

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Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

19 hours ago

Antalya, Turkey — Aida Begic spent months working with aid groups and displaced Syrian families and orphans in preparing her portrait of the refugee crisis, as seen from the eyes of children in “Never Leave Me.” The subject is well-known to the Bosnian survivor of the Balkan War, whose films often focus on the youngest victims and their remarkable buoyancy. Variety chatted to Begic as “Never Leave Me” opened the 54th Antalya Festival.

How did your own experience lead you to making such incisive portraits of children as survivors?

I was 16 when our war happened. I’m always very sensitive to this problem and I always will be to the suffering of innocents. I know that there are many dimensions and kids they have to stay kids even in the worst circumstances. So to talk about what’s happening with children and their dreams and their emotions, it’s probably something that will give us a different perspective »


- Will Tizard

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Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

20 hours ago

Antalya, Turkey — Turkey’s newly reformatted Antalya fest launched Saturday in the coastal resort town under balmy skies, striking a hopeful note in a region beset by crises.

Opening with a stirring look at children caught up in the Syrian refugee exodus, Aida Begic’s “Never Leave Me,” the gala for the fest’s 54th edition hosted some 3,000 of guests, serenaded by the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra.

As Begic noted to the well-heeled audience at the Antalya Expo Center, lessons from her film, in which real refugees play characters based on themselves, “we don’t all speak the same language, but we can still live together in peace and harmony.”

Several Americans were almost surprised to find themselves in town – many were unsure until the last minute whether the current U.S.-Turkish visa spat would prevent them from entering the country but Turkish airports appeared to be issuing visas upon arrival to U.S. visitors »


- Will Tizard

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‘Summer 1993’s’ Carla Simón Talks About, Summer, Kids, Oscars

20 hours ago

Barcelona  — A coming-of-age told from the perspective of a six-year-old orphan who is forced to live with her aunt and uncle, “Summer 1993” is the first feature of Barcelona-based Carla Simón. Received by critics as a luminous, moving –but never sentimental– debut – Variety called it a “delicate sleeper” – that represents Spain in the foreign-language Oscar race, “Summer 1993” that broke out at the Spanish box office for co-producer/distributor Avalon Films to a highly creditable (€970,000) $1.2 million in Spain this summer, making it one of the most successful Spanish first features in recent years. It is now cumulating plaudits – critical, awards – on the international film circuit. Produced by Valérie Delpierre’s Inicia Films in co-production with Avalon and sold by Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales, “Summer 1993” premiered at Berlin’s Generation Kplus section), winning the first feature jury’s top prize, scooped the Golden Biznaga at Spain’s Málaga Film Festival and has just made the five-pic cut for the »


- Emilio Mayorga

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here’

20 hours ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Kivilcim Akay in 2008 got her degree in fine arts from Akdeniz Univerisity in Antalya and went to work in the advertising field, eventually starting her own advertising and production company in 2011. She produced and directed Turkish fashion doc series “100 Years of Fashion” which in 2013 aired on pubcaster Trt. In 2014 followed “My Wish is Peace” in which children in areas affected by the ongoing 30-year-old Kurdish-Turkish conflict express their desires for resolution. That doc world-premiered at the Istanbul film fest and circulated internationally.

Akay is currently »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Su Baloglu, Producer ‘The Island’

20 hours ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Su Baloglu was born in Famagosta, Cyprus, in 1987. After studying film in Canada and Istanbul she co-founded her production company Su Film and this year co-directed and produced documentary “Her First” about the challenges faced by women filmmakers in Turkey. Baloglu is co-founder of the Istanbul chapter of New York-based women filmmakers collective Film Fatales.

The Island,” which has been selected by the Antalya Film Forum’s documentary pitching section, is the Cyprus-set “story of four women who desperately want to literally break the boundaries »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Ender Ozkahraman, Director ‘Ugly Duckling’

20 hours ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Ender Ozkahraman, whose first feature “Ugly Duckling” will world premiere in the Antalya fest’s competition, worked for many years as a graphic novelist and cartoonist for prominent Turkish satirical magazine LeMan before veering into screenwriting and eventually directing a short documentary in 2015 titled “A Comedian Offended,” about a stand-up comic who fights the negativity of violent clashes between Turkish government forces and Kurdish insurgents with jokes.

Ugly Duckling,” which Ozkahraman wrote and directed, is a drama that mixes the desire which a young woman named »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Andac Haznedaroglu, Director ‘The Guest’

20 hours ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Andac Haznedarolglu is an experienced TV director with several hit shows under her belt. She is now at her second feature film with “The Guest,” which is world premiering in the Antalya fest competition. Her first feature was local romcom “Everything for Love.”

“The Guest” is a refugee drama toplining Jordanian star Saba Mubarak as a Syrian named Meryem fleeing from war-torn Aleppo with two children whose parents have perished.

“This is a story that has changed my life,” she says, noting »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Moves Morelia to Tears

22 hours ago

Morelia, Mexico – “Coco” took six longer-than-average years to make, but its directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina and producer Darla Anderson were finally rewarded for their efforts when they stepped out at the Day of the Dead-themed toon’s world premiere at the 15th Morelia International Film Fest Friday night.

“It was lovely,” said Unkrich, who recalled how the trio was mobbed “by so many people who were so emotional, many with tears in their eyes, thanking us for making this movie, for putting a positive vision of Mexico out to the world.”

“That was the biggest thing: people were just so proud, they expressed to us that we had gotten it right, that we had made a respectful, accurate job,” he said. Security was tight for the one-off premiere, with audience members required to seal their phones in special pouches and submit to metal detector inspections.

The story of a young boy of 12 who aspires »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Al Gore Addresses Trump’s Climate Stance at Morelia: ‘I Thought There Was a Chance He Would Come to His Senses’

23 hours ago

There is never a shortage of celebrity in Morelia. The festival attracts the best and brightest from Mexico, Latin America and indeed the rest of the world. But it’s something special when the festival gets to play host to a guest as unique and influential as a former Vice President of the United States like it did Saturday night with Al Gore.

In town to promote his climate crisis documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” the former VP addressed a crowded Teatro Ruben Romero. A wall of cameras and microphones pointed at the stage as the stately environmental activist sat for a half hour talk that stretched long. Once he started, it was clear he wasn’t going to stop until he addressed each issue fully.

Gore’s answers came slowly and deliberately as he picked his words carefully, making sure to keep them informative and relevant to the local crowd.

“Mexico is a fast »


- Jamie Lang

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Hollywood Teamsters, Iatse Condemn Sexual Harassment in Entertainment Industry

21 October 2017 3:48 PM, PDT

The top below-the-line unions have issued strong statements condemning sexual harassment, joining the creative guilds in the latest response to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.

The Hollywood Teamsters union and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees published the statements on their web sites two weeks after the Oct. 5 disclosure in a New York Times article detailing the settlements of eight lawsuits against Weinstein, including those filed by Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. The expose has prompted dozens of women to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

“Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not to be tolerated or taken lightly,” said Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters. “In light of the recent reports regarding the alleged harassment of many A-List actresses by Harvey Weintstein, we must not forget that sexual harassment will not be tolerated towards Any hardworking women or men on set. “

“Sadly, many Below-the-Line »


- Dave McNary

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Directors Guild Begins Expulsion Process Against Harvey Weinstein

21 October 2017 1:24 PM, PDT

The Directors Guild of America has launched disciplinary proceedings against disgraced ex-mogul Harvey Weinstein, which could lead to his expulsion.

The move was announced Saturday afternoon by DGA President Thomas Schlamme following a national board meeting in New York City. The guild said it filed the disciplinary proceedings on Oct. 13.

“The DGA has a long-standing practice of not commenting on internal union matters, but has decided to make an exception in this case to acknowledge the filing of charges,” the guild said. “However, because of due process concerns that are a part of federal requirements for labor unions, the DGA cannot comment further.”

Weinstein is listed as a DGA member on the dga.org site. Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein are credited as the co-directors on the 1986 movie “Playing for Keeps.”

The DGA’s move underlines how rapidly Weinstein’s career has descended since the Oct. 5 publication of a New York Times article detailing the settlements »


- Dave McNary

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Josh Brolin Mourns ‘Deadpool 2’ Stuntwoman’s Death: It Was an ‘Absolute Freak Accident’

21 October 2017 11:53 AM, PDT

Josh Brolin spoke about the death of stuntwoman Joi “S.J.” Harris while working on “Deadpool 2” in an interview Saturday after the film wrapped shooting.

“We had somebody pass away on ‘Deadpool 2’ and it was an absolute freak accident,” Brolin told The Associated Press in an interview about his new film “Only the Brave.” Harris died in August after she lost control of her motorcycle and crashed into a Vancouver building.

“The woman was such a wonderful woman … it wasn’t even a stunt, it was a freak accident,” the actor, who plays Cable, said. “It was a terrible thing that happened. Was it a nano-decision that she made in order to save the bike and this, you know what I mean? You could look into it all [these ways], but sometimes things just happen that are tragic.”

According to reports, Harris, the first female African-American road racer, was brought on at the last minute to fill »


- Erin Nyren

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Film Review: ‘Surviving Peace’

21 October 2017 9:51 AM, PDT

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a morass, but that doesn’t mean a documentary about it can afford to be. It shouldn’t oversimplify, but it should shine a light through the darkness, which is what several key documentaries out of Israel have recently done. “The Gatekeepers” offered the startling vision of six former leaders of the Shin Bet — Israel’s internal security service — testifying to the self-destructive nature of current Israeli policy; it was the hawks from the trenches calling out the armchair warriors. And earlier this year, “The Settlers” was a masterly piece of history: In letting us glimpse the invisible organic design of the Israeli settlement movement, almost as if by time-lapse photography, it revealed the insidious life-of-its-own dynamic that has rendered that movement more powerful, even, than Israel’s supreme leaders.

Surviving Peace” isn’t as good a film (it’s more of a personalized ramble), yet it dares to frame the issues in a way »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Box Office: Tyler Perry’s ‘Boo 2!’ Set to Top Sluggish Weekend Ahead of ‘Geostorm’

21 October 2017 7:57 AM, PDT

Tyler Perry’s most recent installment in the “Madea” franchise, “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” is likely to dominate one of the most torpid October weekends yet with $21 million at 2,388 North American locations — nearly double the next highest projected intake from “Geostorm.”

“Boo 2,” from Lionsgate, received an A- CinemaScore and should bring in about 30% less than the original “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which won its opening weekend easily over “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” with $28.5 million and finished with $73 million domestically. The sequel, set at a haunted campground, is directed and written by Perry, who also stars in his ninth iteration as the tough-talking Madea.

“Boo 2” is a fairly low-risk project for Lionsgate, with a combined production and marketing budget in the $20 million range. Lionsgate is likely to dominate the box office next weekend during the pre-Halloween period with the opening of “Jigsaw,” its eighth movie in the “Saw” franchise, and the second weekend of “Boo 2.”

Geostorm,” a weather »


- Erin Nyren

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Tony Zierra to Follow up ‘Filmworker’ with New Stanley Kubrick Doc about ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

21 October 2017 4:19 AM, PDT

Lyon  — Tony Zierra, the director of this year’s critically acclaimed Cannes screener “Filmworker” – about Leon Vitali, who served for decades as Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man – is working on a followup Kubrick documentary about the making of the 1999 drama “Eyes Wide Shut,” starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Zierra was in Lyon this week for a screening of “Filmworker” at the Lumière Film Festival, where the documentary has generated massive buzz.

Speaking to Variety about his next project, “SK13,” (“Eyes Wide Shut” being Kubrick’s 13th film), Zierra explained that he was originally working on that documentary when he met Vitali and decided to put it aside and do “Filmworker” first.

Zierra is now returning to his initial project, which promises an inside look at what is arguably  Kubrick’s most controversial work, due in part to the director’s death during post-production.

“The one movie that I feel is the wrinkle in Kubrick’s filmography »


- Ed Meza

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