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George Clooney’s ‘Suburbicon’ Gets Award Season Release

1 hour ago

Paramount  has given an awards season release date of Nov. 3 to the comedy-drama “Suburbicon,” starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore with Clooney directing.

Joel and Ethan Coen have written the script for “Suburbicon.  Producers are Joel Silver under his Silver Pictures banner alongside Clooney and Grant Heslov under their Smokehouse Pictures label, and Teddy Schwarzman for Black Bear Pictures.

The movie will be set in the quiet family town of “Suburbicon,” where the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people. When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal.

Clooney’s directing credits include “Monuments Men,” “Leatherheads,” “The Ides of March,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Paramount has also set the Emily Blunt-John Krasinski thriller “A Quiet Place” for April 18. Platinum Dunes is producing and Krasinski »


- Dave McNary

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Jake Gyllenhaal’s Boston Marathon Bombing Drama ‘Stronger’ Gets Awards-Season Release

2 hours ago

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have set an awards-season release date of Sept. 22 for Jake Gyllenhaal’s Boston Marathon bombing movie “Stronger.”

Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff Bauman, while Tatiana Maslany plays his girlfriend Erin Hurley, in a story about love triumphing over adversity. Clancy Brown (“Hail, Caesar!”) portrays Bauman’s father and Miranda Richardson plays his mother Patty Bauman.

The film is a production of Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label, Mandeville Films, Bold Films, and Nine Stories. It’s Gyllenhaal’s first production under his Nine Stories banner.

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Inspired by a true story and based on the New York Times bestseller by Bauman and Bret Witter, the film stars Gyllenhaal as the working-class Boston man whose iconic photo from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing gained worldwide notice.

Bauman was waiting for his girlfriend at the finish line of »


- Dave McNary

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‘Justice League’ Dominates Social Media Buzz With New Trailers

3 hours ago

Warner Bros. mega-tentpole “Justice League” dominated social media chatter last week with more than 201,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.

The studio released teaser videos and posters on March 23-24, kicked off by a teaser of Batman tossing Aquaman his trident, followed by a full trailer on March 25.

Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher star in “Justice League.” Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, and Willem Dafoe also appear in the pic. Zack Snyder began shooting “Justice League” in April from a script by Chris Terrio. The film hits theaters on Nov. 17.

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‘Fate of the Furious’ Races to Top Spot in Social Media Buzz

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Affleck as Batman and Cavill as Superman, turned out to be mildly disappointing for Warner Bros., grossing $870 million worldwide. Snyder directed from Terrio’s screenplay, »


- Dave McNary

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Paolo Virzi’s ‘Like Crazy’ Takes Top Honors at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards

4 hours ago

Rome – Paolo Virzi’s “Like Crazy,” a road movie about two women who escape from a mental institution in Tuscany, took top honors Monday night at Italy’s 61st David di Donatello Awards, the country’s equivalent of the Oscars. The film took home five statuettes, including prizes in the key categories of best picture, best director, and best actress, which went to Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.

The evening’s two other big winners were “Indivisible,” a neo-Gothic drama set in Naples and directed by Edoardo De Angelis, about teenage conjoined-twin sisters with beautiful voices, and Matteo Rovere’s “Italian Race,” set in the world of Gt racing. “Indivisible” took five nods, including for best screenplay, producer, and supporting actress, and “Italian Race” won six statuettes, including best actor for Stefano Accorsi, cinematography, and editing.

Virzì’s “Like Crazy” launched last year from Cannes and sold widely internationally, with Strand Releasing »


- Nick Vivarelli

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China Box Office Will Grow 15% to 20%, Wanda Cinemas President Says at CinemaCon

6 hours ago

After years of seismic growth, the Chinese box office flagged in 2016, sparking fears in Hollywood that one of the movie industry’s major sources of ticket sales is slowing down.

On Monday, John Zeng, president and board director at Wanda Cinemas, Asia’s largest exhibitor, told a crowd of theater owners and studio executives that box office revenue in the country will continue to rise, fueled by new theater construction and a vast audience of young, movie-loving consumers. Through a translator, he predicted that the Chinese box office will continue to grow at a rate of between 15% and 20% annually.

“The Chinese market is still strong,” Zeng said during remarks at CinemaCon, the annual exhibition industry trade show taking place this week in Las Vegas. He did offer one caveat: “For a Chinese market to be better you have to have the content.”

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CinemaCon: 3 Major Issues Facing the Movie Business

Last year, »


- Brent Lang

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ Star O’Shea Jackson Jr. Eyes ‘Godzilla’ Sequel (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Straight Outta Compton” star O'Shea Jackson Jr. is in negotiations to join Legendary’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

The movie already stars “Stranger Things” stand-out Millie Bobby Brown, along with Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga. “Krampus” helmer Michael Dougherty is directing the project from a script he penned with Zach Shields.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, and Elizabeth Olsen starred in the 2014 “Godzilla” reboot, directed by Gareth Edwards. Sources tell Variety that Watanabe is the only original cast member likely to return for the second installment.

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Alex Garcia will oversee the tentpole for Legendary. “Godzilla: King of Monsters” hits theaters on March 22, 2019, with the monster mash-up “Godzilla vs. Kong” slated to bow the following year on May 29, 2020.

Legendary and Warner Bros. announced in late 2015 that all future “King Kong” and “Godzilla” movies »


- Justin Kroll

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Paul Greengrass to Direct Eliot Ness Film for Paramount

7 hours ago

Paul Greengrass has come on board to direct the Eliot Ness film, aptly titled “Ness,” for Paramount.

Brian Helgeland wrote the original screenplay based on Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko’s graphic novel “Torso.”

U.S. Treasury Department agent Eliot Ness becomes a public safety officer in Cleveland where he assembles a team of retired cops to find a serial murderer who dumps his victims torsos in the river.

Greengrass, Greg Goodman, John Davis, and John Fox are producing from Davis Entertainment alongside David Engel for Circle of Confusion. Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko are exec producing.

No actors are currently attached to the film.

The pic has been in development for sometime but caught steam when Greengrass came across the recent draft from Helgeland and was instantly intrigued in making this his next project.

Greengrass will now work with Hegeland on the draft as well as finding »


- Justin Kroll

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Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Partners With MGM for International Releases

7 hours ago

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has reached a multi-year deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures to distribute all of Annapurna Pictures’ films in select international territories.

The partnership is set to begin this year with Annapurna’s first distribution title, Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Detroit riots project, scheduled for release in the U.S. on Aug. 4, 2017.

Ellison announced in January that her company was launching a new distribution division with Marc Weinstock, overseeing alongside marketing chief David Kaminow and Erik Lomis, the distribution president. Annapurna, which was founded by Ellison in 2010, has specialized in adult dramas such as Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Joy,” “20th Century Women,” “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle,” and “Her.”

Bigelow is producing the film with Annapurna’s Ellison and Matthew Budman. Mark Boal, who wrote the script, and Colin Wilson are also producers with Greg Shapiro executive producing. The release date will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots. »


- Dave McNary

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George Lucas Family Foundation Gives USC Film School New $10 Million Endowment

7 hours ago

The George Lucas Family Foundation has granted the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a second endowment of $10 million to provide financial support to African-American and Hispanic students, raising the foundation’s student diversity support effort to $20 million.

The foundation was established at the school in the fall 2016 semester with an initial $10 million endowment for students from underrepresented communities who qualify for financial support. Minority students in both undergraduate and graduate programs will receive priority consideration for financial support.

“This endowed fund allows us to recruit storytellers whose voices are underrepresented in cinematic media, and whose inclusion benefits all of us,” said Michael Renov, vice dean of academic affairs.

“The George Lucas Scholarship really opened the door for me because I wouldn’t have been able to attend USC without it and my acceptance letter would have just been decoration in my room,” said Jonathan Curtiss, a Sca production student »


- Sarah Ahern

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With Cinemacon On the Horizon, A Look at How Movies Make the Star

7 hours ago

Twenty years ago, Tom Cruise, the hottest star in Hollywood, took a long-defunct TV series and decided to build a franchise. Five films later, with a sixth on the way, the “Mission: Impossible” series has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. Along the way, such actors as Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Renner have dropped by. But for Ethan Hunt’s last outing, “Rogue Nation,” something interesting happened: a mostly unknown actress named Rebecca Ferguson stole the show. She’s since gone on to appear in “The Girl on the Train” and “Life.”

With a few exceptions, stars such as Cruise are no longer starting the franchises —the franchises are making stars of their actors. Best known for his work as lovable doofus Andy Dwyer on “Parks and Recreation,” Chris Pratt became a megastar by landing the lead in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and then taking over a massive franchise with “Jurassic World. »


- Jenelle Riley

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Sue Kroll Honored as Humanitarian of the Year by Venice Family Clinic

7 hours ago

Sue Kroll, the president of worldwide marketing and distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, was honored with the Humanitarian Award by the Venice Family Clinic at the Silver Circle Gala Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton.

“At Warner Bros., as you know, I deal with a lot of different superheroes,” Kroll said upon accepting her award. “But I’ve been introduced to a whole new kind that help our world, and many of them are in this room tonight,” addressing the many doctors, volunteers, and supporters of the health care organization that serves 24,000 low-income or uninsured men, women and children each year.

After a pre-recorded tribute that included well wishes from Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and many more, Jared Leto presented the award to Kroll. “Apart from being a fearless pioneer in film, Sue is also an amazing advocate for the arts, a mentor for women, »


- Lawrence Yee

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‘Tomb Raider’: First Look at Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft

8 hours ago

Attention all “Tomb Raider” enthusiasts — Warner Bros. and MGM have revealed the first look at Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft.

In newly-released photos, first published in Vanity Fair, Vikander is shown taking on the role first commandeered by Angelina Jolie in the 2001 big-screen adaptation of the hit Eidos action-adventure video game franchise, which has sold more than 35 million units worldwide.

The photos show Vikander — clad in the iconic tank top and cargo pants — on an island off the coast of Japan. Armed with a piece of wood (or archaeological discovery), she looks ready to fight in one of the images.

Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”) is directing the film, which also stars Dominic West (“The Affair”) and Walton Goggins (“Sons of Anarchy”).

The pic will take a different direction than the original “Tomb Raider,” focusing instead on the video game series’ 2013 reboot, which chronicled Croft’s origins and her first mission as an archaeologist. »


- Sarah Ahern

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Jim Gianopulos to Be Named Paramount Chairman/CEO (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Jim Gianopulos will be named chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, succeeding Brad Grey, who was pushed out in February after running the studio for 12 years. The deal is done and is expected to be announced imminently, according to insiders.

In Gianopulos, the former head of 20th Century Fox’s movie studio, Paramount gets a veteran executive, with a deep knowledge of both the global marketplace and the way that emerging technologies are upending old business models.  The 64-year old Gianopulos also boasts close relationships with agents, business executives, and such filmmakers as James Cameron, who made “Avatar” at Fox.

But the task he faces is daunting. Paramount has lagged behind the competition in box office returns and in creating the kind of global franchises that are prized by studios.  He will be charged with cranking up Paramount’s lagging film production operation, which is in last place among the major studios. »


- Lawrence Yee

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Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre Complex Launching Esports Facility

9 hours ago

Owners of the Tcl Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is planning to launch an immersive esports theater in its adjacent Chinese 6 Theatre complex.

No timetable was disclosed in the announcement, made Monday on the opening day of CinemaCon. Plans are for the facility to function both as an MX4D Motion Efx movie theatre, as well as serve as what’s touted as the first immersive spectator theater hosting competitive esports tournaments along with providing a launch pad for a network of tournament theaters beyond Hollywood.

“What we are launching is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Robert K. Laity, CEO of the Tcl Chinese Theatre. “We see cinema operators working together as a global network of immersive MX4D esports theaters and becoming part of the fabric of competitive gaming. We are in discussions with sponsors, esports organizations and other cinema operators to join forces with the Tcl Chinese »

- Dave McNary

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Pharrell Williams-Inspired Movie Musical ‘Atlantis’ in the Works at Fox

9 hours ago

Fox is developing a movie musical inspired by Pharrell Williams’ childhood.

Broadway director Michael Mayer is attached to helm “Atlantis[/link]” with Gil Netter, Williams, and Mimi Valdes producing.

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Pharrell Williams Makes His Mark in Film Producing With ‘Hidden Figures

The film is inspired by Williams’ childhood in Virginia Beach. Williams and Valdes will produce through their I Am Other production company while Netter produces for Netter films. Martin Hynes, whose credits include “Toy Story 4” and “Curious George,” is writing the screenplay.

Williams has won 10 Grammy Awards. He was one of the producers on Fox’s hit “Hidden Figures,” and also wrote several songs for the film in addition to supervising the soundtrack.

Williams also produced “Roxanne Roxanne,” which premiered at the  Sundance Film Festival. He’s also known for his musical contributions to the “Despicable Me” films, as well as his judging stint on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Mayer »


- Dave McNary

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Shailene Woodley Gets Probation for Dakota Pipeline Protest

9 hours ago

Shailene Woodley has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for her part in a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in October.

Under the terms of the plea deal, entered Friday in Morton County District Court in North Dakota, Woodley will get one year of unsupervised probation. Two other misdemeanor charges, of engaging in a riot and criminal trespass, were dropped. Woodley also forfeited a $500 bond.

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The 25-year-old “Divergent” star was among 27 demonstrators who were arrested on Oct. 10 at the pipeline construction site. Woodley was there to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has protested the routing of the pipeline underneath the Missouri River adjacent to tribal lands.

Woodley streamed the arrest on Facebook Live. On the video, Woodley said she was returning to her Rv from the protest when she was stopped by police in riot gear.

“They grabbed me by »


- Gene Maddaus

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How Adam Aron Is Transforming AMC and Shaking Up the Movie Theater Business

10 hours ago

Adam Aron likes to hit the ground running. Within two months of taking the top job at AMC Entertainment in January 2016, he had negotiated a $1.1 billion deal to buy Carmike Cinemas, transforming the movie-theater company into the country’s biggest exhibitor. A few weeks later, AMC struck again, buying up Odeon & Uci Cinemas to become the top theater chain in both Europe and the world. Aron started 2017 with yet another splashy acquisition, snapping up Nordic Cinema Group and securing a foothold as the top source of box office in Scandinavia. It’s all part of a $3 billion acquisition splurge that’s transformed the theater chain from sleepy Leawood, Kan., into a global exhibition powerhouse with few equals.

Before he took the post, Aron, whose background is in the travel, leisure, and tourism industry, polled analysts and experts in the entertainment field. They told him that it was important to use »


- Brent Lang

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The Reckoning: Why the Movie Business Is in Big Trouble

11 hours ago

Anyone in the movie business who tells you they’re not scared stiff about the future is probably lying.

There’s ample reason to be fearful. It’s been 128 years since Thomas Edison first helped usher in theatrical exhibition with the creation of the Kinetoscope, an early motion picture viewing device. In the ensuing century, cinema has given audiences Garbo and Rin Tin Tin, introduced “May the force be with you” into the cultural lexicon, and dazzled crowds with man-eating sharks and dinosaurs so massive and menacing they could barely be contained on even the most cavernous of screens. Despite that history, there is mounting anxiety among theater owners, studio executives, filmmakers, and cinephiles that the lights may be starting to flicker.

As consumer tastes and demands change, Hollywood is scrambling to adapt. Instead of surrendering to existential dread, studio chiefs and exhibitors are showing a greater willingness to experiment, »


- Brent Lang

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Most Consumers Wouldn’t Pay $25 or $50 for Day-and-Date Movies at Home, Survey Shows

11 hours ago

Movie patrons are a price-sensitive group, and many can be turned off if they think a show is too expensive or too difficult to attend — tendencies that keep many fans away from theaters, a new survey commissioned by Variety suggests.

Still, only a small percentage say they’d pay $25 or $50 to see a film at home on the same day it opens in theaters, the survey by CivicScience found. And yet that subset — when spread across the entire population — could create a substantial enough audience to encourage entertainment companies to move ahead with plans to shorten the traditional 90-day window between a movie’s release in theaters and in the home.

Those are the most significant takeaways from questions asked of more than 1,800 Americans in late February and early March by CivicScience, a Pittsburgh-based market-research firm that surveys a representative sample of consumers via questions embedded on hundreds of websites. »


- James Rainey

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Fathom Events Launching Bollywood Film Series (Exclusive)

12 hours ago

Fathom Events is bringing the “Best of Bollywood” to U.S. movie theaters beginning in July.

Fathom announced Monday — the opening day of CinemaCon — that it plans to screen at least two Bollywood films this year and as many as six next year as part of what it’s touting as the first-ever Bollywood classic film series presented in North American cinemas. The event will kick off with the 2002 romantic drama “Devdas,” and include titles from prominent Indian film studios Eros International and Yash Raj Films.

Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, is co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group. “Batman: The Killing Joke,” “TCM Big Screen Classics,” and “Met Live” are among its more prominent titles. It’s also booked more than 700 locations for the April 25 screenings of “Enough” from Christian comedian Chonda Pierce.

The Bollywood series will be shown at several »


- Dave McNary

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