Harvey Weinstein came out swinging for Hillary Clinton on Saturday during a symposium at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Weinstein Company chief slammed Republicans in congress and on the airwaves for suggesting that Clinton behaved irresponsibly by not instituting stricter security at the American diplomatic mission in Libya. The so-called Benghazi attacks resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and another diplomat, and Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, and other members of the Obama administration were faulted for suggesting that the violence was a spontaneous demonstration in response to an offensive YouTube video rather than a carefully planned assault.
Weinstein did not shy away from profanity to make his point.
“There's nothing to what these guys are saying. ‘Hilary Clinton didn't answer her phone and that is how Americans died,'” Weinstein said, according to media reports. “That's complete bulls–t. It sounds good, but I don't believe the guys who are saying it believe it.”
Weinstein appeared on stage with Ken Ziffren, the veteran entertainment lawyer and newly appointed L.A. film czar. He prevailed upon Ziffren to continue pushing to expand California's film and television production incentives, noting that the state is losing ground to places like New York and Louisiana that offer broader benefits.
“There's no reason for us not to shoot here, except when you do the numbers,” Weinstein said.
The state legislature is currently considering a bill that would allow productions with budgets of up to $100 million to qualify for benefits, as well as broadcast television and premium cable shows. Currently, incentives are reserved for films with budgets under $75 million and basic cable programming.
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Nate Silver's new ESPN backed website, FiveThirtyEight.com, will re-launch on March 17, company president John Skipper announced Saturday at South by Southwest.
In a bit of corporate synergy, Silver was on hand at the Austin, Texas festival to speak on a panel about media branding with Grantland founder Bill Simmons. The pop-culture site is also owned by ESPN.
Silver will bring the data-driven style of journalism that made him a big hit with New York Times readers. He will continue covering political polling, but will broaden his focus to include sports and entertainment.
He will not be a slave to search engine optimization.
“We're not in the business of trying to use analytics to do clever headlines for stories that may or may not matter,” he said at the Paley Center's International Council Summit last year.
Silver has also amassed an impressive bench of editorial talent, including Managing Editor Mike Wilson, formerly of the Tampa Bay Times; Senior Writer Carl Bialik, formerly of the Wall Street Journal; and Senior Editor Micah Cohen, who partnered with Silver at the Times.
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Lars von Trier sets out to ruin audiences’ sexual fantasies with his latest provocation, “Nymphomaniac.”
The examination of a young woman's journey through the bedrooms, back rooms and wherever else Europeans make the beast with two back is currently available on demand. It hits theaters on March 21. Not content with limiting his exploration of on-screen coitus to one film, a second part will debut in theaters next month. Clearly, endurance is not an issue with the Danish master.
Part one has scored with critics, who have taken the odd pot shot, but nevertheless found the experience pleasurable, rewarding it with an 86 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Uma Thurman in various states of undress.
For The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, “Nymphomaniac” has a beating heart that elevates it above past von Trier instances of cinematic bomb throwing. He credited the picture with having a certain “pulpy brilliance.”
“For the very first time, I think Von Trier has given us a film without any of the tiresome hoax provocation that has always been a part of even his most admired works,” Bradshaw wrote.
Sex may be its selling point, but “Nymphomaniac – Part I” is concerned with more than just slipping between the sheets, IGN's Joe Utichi argued.
“Von Trier once more upsets his doubters, by delivering a film that's at turns funny and frank, and that prods and pokes at the line without ever needing to cross it,” he wrote.
L.A. Weekly's Amy Nicholson seemed surprised that the penetration was mostly of the emotional variety. Come for the montage of flaccid penises, stay for the psychological insights, she argued. Nicholson said that the first film left her wanting more.
“I'll be sad if this devolves into a film where promiscuity gets punished – and I'm still nervous that there's an ‘Aha!’ moment ahead where she turns out to have been molested by her devoted father, Christian Slater,” Nicholson wrote. “Yet if this surprise screening of the first half of ‘Nymphomaniac' is his way of luring us to watch the rest, consider me seduced.”
The shifts in tone and time dazzled Time Out's Dave Calhoun, who noted the film deftly veers between tragedy and X-rated farce.
“There's plenty of flesh (much of it belonging to porn doubles), although the film is rarely, if ever, what most people would call erotic or pornographic,” Calhoun wrote. “It's neither deeply serious nor totally insincere; hovering somewhere between the two, it creates its own mesmerising power by floating above specifics of time and place, undercutting its main focus with bizarre digressions (fly-fishing, maths, religion), a ragbag of acting styles and archive footage.”
New York magazine's David Edelstein admired von Trier's camera work, but felt his screenwriting could have used some polishing.
“The film's frame is anything but extraneous: It's where all the hefty philosophizing happens,” Edelstein wrote. “Von Trier intends to be dazzlingly ironic and perhaps to send up his own pretensions, but the whole thing sounds like badly translated Ibsen (‘I've always demanded more from the sunset').”
Those minor quibbles paled in comparison to David Edwards’ evisceration of the film in the Daily Mirror.
“Will you be shocked, outraged, titillated?” he asked. “No, just bored.”
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Theresa Caputo is back on TLC for a fifth season of “Long Island Medium” starting Sunday at 9/8c.
Season 5 appears to deliver everything viewers love and come to expect from “Long Island Medium.” Caputo's clients run the full gamut of emotions in reaction to her surprisingly accurate, sometimes impromptu readings.
In between all that, Caputo and her husband have to deal with empty nest syndrome as the kids move on to new chapters in their lives.
Caputo (@TheresaCaputo on Twitter) and her family will live tweet during the premiere episode, which kicks off with a road trip special in San Francisco, and there will be a Twitter contest for free readings.
In TheWrap's exclusive sneak peek, Theresa meets a man whose partner died of HIV. He keeps the memory of his late boyfriend alive in several ways, such as participating in the annual AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride. But, he has had a hard time moving on to a new romantic relationship.
Theresa tells him that his partner's spirit encourages him to move on to a new relationship — even sending her thoughts of online dating sites that he can join.
Watch the preview above.
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Inside the Oscars’ Governors Ball: Triumph, Defeat and The Ellen Pizza Situation
After three and a half hours captive in the Dolby theater, the guests inside the Governors Ball spread out, reach for a drink and an Oscar-shaped smoked salmo
Darren Aronofsky Knew Nothing About Paramount's Last-Minute ‘Noah’ Changes (Exclusive)
Paramount has staged a major campaign to win back the religious community's trust.
10 Moments to Remember From a Long, Tough Awards Season
“12 Years a Slave” rallied, Meryl Streep talked trash and the Producers Guild mucked things up
Ellen DeGeneres’ Epic Oscars Selfie Has 2.6 Million Retweets
The “Best photo ever” also has 1.3 million favorites
Insiders: Andrew Garfield Rewrote Batkid Oscars Speech, Thought Segment Was Exploitative
But at least he took San Francisco's most famous aspiring superhero to Disneyland so his trip to SoCal wasn't a complete waste.
John Travolta Butchers Idina Menzel's Name, Inspiring ‘Adele Dazeem’ Madness (Video)
Since beating Menzel's name into an unrecognizable pulp, the “Grease” star says he has been beating himself up over the gaff, too. But we should all “Let It Go.” No, really. He dropped that pun in his official statement.
Chris Hardwick's Epic Journey to Nerdist: ‘I Was Becoming a Drunk Guy Who Used to be on TV’
And how his Comedy Central late-night show “@Midnight” is setting the trends on Twitter.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars Pizza Party Sparks Sales Surge for Big Mama's & Papa's
The local chain did big business, thanks to a regular customer who just happened to host Sunday night's Academy Awards.
Is Oprah Winfrey Exploiting Lindsay Lohan?
Lohan's approach to sobriety flies in the face of AA traditions, but here's hoping it works.
What ‘True Detective’ Creator Learned From Co-Writing That Despised ‘Killing’ Finale
Nic Pizzolatto co-wrote an episode that let a lot of people down — but that doesn't mean the “True Detective” season finale will.
And you don't have to read these three other stories, but you know you want to:
Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar Loss Inspires #PoorLeo Memes (Photos)
Leo played it cool when he lost his fifth Oscar nomination to Matthew McConaughey, so the internet expressed his outrage for him.
‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Trailer: Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Face a Beating in Frank Miller's Deranged Town (Video)
Mickey Rourke's Marv is back, with a few new faces.
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“300: Rise of an Empire” stormed the international box office Friday, adding $20.2 million to its plunder.
The film unspooled on over 14,400 screens in 58 markets, including the United Kingdom, Mexico and Russia. Since debuting on Wednesday, the sword and sandals sequel has grossed $32.8 million overseas. Domestically, it has also performed well, taking in $17.7 million from U.S. theaters on Friday.
The sequel's strong numbers are impressive because seven years have passed since “300″ first marched into theaters. The deaths of many of the first film's major characters means that the follow-up focuses on a fresh batch of defenders of the Greek mainland, although the Persians are still the villains. The abs are just as defined as they were the last time.
In the United Kingdom, the film debuted at number one, pulling in $1.6 million from 955 screens. Mexican audiences made the film the third biggest March debut in its country's history, adding $1.4 million on 1,780 screens to its haul. In Korea, “300: Rise of an Empire” scored $1.46 million from 900 screens, while in Russia it took in $1.5 million on 1,441 screens. Other markets included Brazil, where it made off with $1.3 million, and Germany, where it enjoyed a $1.25 million Friday.
The film is a co-production of Warner Bros. and Legendary, one of the last remnants of a production deal between the former partners that ended last year. Legendary has entered a new agreement with Universal Pictures.
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SCHEDULED TO APPEAR:
*Days subject to change
Drew Tarver, Whitmer Thomas and Rosa Salazar “May the Best Man Win”
Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski and Liz Tuccillo “Take Care”
Dan Beer (writer/director) “Premature”
Mark Webber, actor “13 Sins”
Nick Stoller, director, “Neighbors”
Gabriel Cowen, Producer “The Scribbler”
Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston of “Kelly & Cal”
Ted Hope, Chris Kelly Fandor
Tony Hadley, Gary Kemp Spandau Ballet
Leigh Janiak “Honeymoon”
Larry Abrahamson “Frank”
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg “Neighbors”
Kerry Trainor Vimeo
Paul Collins, Jillian Hall “Yakona”
President Barack Obama will be launching Fox's reboot of the science series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” with a video message at the top of the broadcast on Sunday at 9/8c on 10 Fox Networks Group Channels, including Fox and National Geographic Channel.
According to the company's announcement, Obama will be inviting “a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future.”
The announcement follows the Feb. 28 special screening of the series at The White House as part of the first-ever White House Student Film Festival.
This is the first multi-network launch for Fox Networks Group, which includes Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channels International, which means that the President's introduction and the series premiere will be available on 220 channels in 181 countries, which is more than half a billion homes.
After the premiere episode, the series will then air on Sundays on Fox with a repeat airing on Nat Geo Channel on Mondays (with extra bonus footage).
More than three decades after the debut of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” Carl Sagan's scientific exploration of the universe, Seth MacFarlane has teamed with Sagan's original creative collaborators — writer/executive producer Ann Druyan and co-writer, astronomer Steven Soter — to revive the series.
“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which tells the tale of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time, is hosted by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The series is produced by Cosmos Studios, the Ithaca, NY-based company Ann Druyan co-founded in 2000, and Fuzzy Door Productions, MacFarlane's company. Druyan and Steven Soter are the series’ writers. Druyan, MacFarlane, Cosmos Studios President Mitchell Cannold and Brannon Braga (“24″) executive-produce the series. Jason Clark (“Ted”) co-executive produces.
Watch a preview of “Cosmos” below:
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Wes Anderson's “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is shaping up to be an art-house blockbuster.
That's sounds like a contradiction, but the quirky auteur has emerged as one of the most consistent brand names in independent cinema, analysts say. The Fox Searchlight release racked up a stunning $260,477 on Friday in just four theaters and an additional $40,000 in late night showings on Thursday. The film should make more than $600,000 over the weekend, making it the best showing of Anderson's career.
“What's happening with Wes Anderson is he's entered into Woody Allen territory,” Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, said. “He's established a brand and can get A-list actors to take small roles. The audiences show up in droves because they know it's a good break from typical blockbusters.”
It's shaping up to be one of the biggest limited release debuts in history, and certainly the strongest so far this year. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” could average more than $150,000 per theater, surpassing the $147,000 that “The Master” put up on average last year in limited release and the $130,000 “Moonrise Kingdom” averaged in its limited bow.
“We've been looking for comparisons and drilling down into the numbers, and there isn't really one,” Frank Rodriguez, head of distribution at Fox Searchlight, said. “His fans are like a legion out there and they've been waiting for this film for two years.”
Collectively, Anderson's films have only grossed $175 million –less than the box office take of many films by Spielberg or Scorsese — but his name above the title is still a selling point.
Timing is everything. It's been a slow spring for the indie crowd, with Oscar contenders such as “12 Years a Slave” and “Philomena” hoarding screens as they gobbled up awards attention. That means Anderson's latest, which focuses on an urbane concierge in pre-World War I Europe, is hitting the cinephile set like a burst of fresh air.
“People have been subsisting on the leftover films, the Oscar films, from last year,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, said. “There hasn't been a lot of brand new high-end favorites. For indie film fans, there hasn't been much out there.”
He also credited a marketing campaign that had a look and feel similar to the advertising roll outs for past Anderson films such as “Rushmore.” The trailers and posters emphasize a cast that includes art house favorites such as Ralph Fiennes and Bill Murray and Anderson's signature, dollhouse visual style.
Reviews have also been strong. The picture currently enjoys a sterling 89 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, putting it on similar footing with past Anderson favorites such as “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”
Demand for tickets to “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is far outstripping supply. That could mean that ticket sales may not see a typical surge of 50 percent to 60 percent on Saturday, Rodriguez said.
“It's going to be hard to achieve, because they're running out of seats,” he said.
The plan is to gradually roll out the film over the next four to five weeks, eventually placing it in more than 1,000 screens. As “The Master” found out, what plays well in major cities may be greeted with indifference in the heartland and elsewhere. Yet, Rodriguez is optimistic. Anecdotally he heard that “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was attracting young moviegoers.
“That bodes well for the film,” he said. “There's a broad audience for Wes’ films.”
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Veteran actress Cicely Tyson reprised her role as Carrie Watts from the Broadway play “The Trip to Bountiful” for Lifetime's adaptation airing on Saturday.
Set during the Jim Crow South, “The Trip Bountiful” follows Carrie as she sets out against her son's wishes for her hometown of Bountiful. Along the way, she collects allies to help on her journey home.
“She's a woman who loved life. She loved people,” Tyson told TheWrap of her character. “I think the all-encompassing term was her love of life. She enjoys in spite of the discomfort of the situation in which she finds herself living. She enjoys every moment in which she opens her eyes and sees the skies. And she goes through that day, despite the anguishes of the day, grateful to be alive.”
Tyson is joined in the movie by her Broadway co-star Vanessa Williams, who plays her snooty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae.
“She becomes so much the person, so it's easy to react to her nastiness,” Tyson laughs about working with Williams. “I said it. I said that. Vanessa, I said that!”
But, Tyson regains her composure and explains that what she loves about Williams is her work ethic, remembering that her co-star originally came into the stage play very tentatively.
“Every night, I can see her growth in the character and I loved her for that,” Tyson said. “She never stopped working on Jessie Mae.”
Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer also star on “The Trip to Bountiful,” which airs Saturday at 8/7c on Lifetime.
Watch the interview above.
And below, watch Tyson talk about First Lady Michelle Obama's backstage visit and what she said that left the actress “dumbstruck.”
Lionsgate has acquired North American rights to “Exists,” a new project from Eduardo Sánchez.
In his latest horror thriller, “The Blair Witch Project” director is trying to do for Bigfoot what he did for camping. “Exists” debuted Friday at SXSW in Austin.
The film follows five friends whose weekend in the remote woods of East Texas turns into a struggle to survive against the beast. If it does anywhere close to “Blair Witch”-level business, Lionsgate will turn a tidy profit. The first film was a precursor to the low-budget, found-footage model currently being deployed by horror producers such as Jason Blum. It cost $750,000 to make and brought in $250 million globally.
The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie and J. Andrew Jenkins. The Sasquatch creature was designed by Spectral Motion.
“I'm really excited about working with the talented team at Lionsgate. We've had great history together and they really understand ‘Exists’ and see the tremendous opportunity to reboot Bigfoot for a new generation,” said director Sanchez.
Fleming and Ordesky, who developed and produced the film with Haxan Films through their production company, Court Five, said: “It is especially gratifying to sell the film at SXSW in Austin so close to Bastrop, Texas where we shot ‘Exists’ with an amazing Texas-based cast and crew. We look forward to working with Lionsgate to bring Ed's vision to the masses.”
Jason Constantine, Lionsgate's president of acquisitions and co-productions; Eda Kowan, Lionsgate's senior vice president of acquisitions; and Wendy Jaffe, Lionsgate's executive vice president of business and legal affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio. Graham Taylor and Christine D'Souza at WME and Stuart Rosenthal at Bloom Dekom negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers
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“The Book of Mormon” is headed straight for the lion's den.
The satirical musical sends up all things Church of Latter-day Saints, but that won't stop it from playing less than a mile from the organizations Salt Lake City headquarters next year. A touring production of the Tony-winning hit from “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker will play at the Capitol Theatre from July 28 to Aug. 9, 2015.
Songs such as “I Believe” do a pretty effective job of highlighting the more outlandish aspects of the religion — although it should be noted that other faiths have their own logic-defying elements. A sample lyric from the number reads, “I Believe; that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people!,” a reference to the church's past history of racial discrimination.
A spokesman for the theater did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the church seemed to be taking the incursion in stride.
“The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but The Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ,” a spokeswoman for the church told The Salt Lake Tribune.
This marks the first time the show has played in Utah, where the Associated Press notes, six in 10 residents are Mormon. Tough crowd.
The CW and Warner Bros. Television's “Supernatural” spinoff has filled its final potential series regular role and the backdoor pilot has a new name.
“Arrow's” Melissa Roxburgh has joined the cast of “Supernatural: Bloodlines” (formerly known as “Supernatural: Tribes”), a backdoor pilot that will air as an episode of “Supernatural” on April 29.
“Bloodlines” follows the various mafia-esque monster families that, unknowingly to humans, “run” the underbelly of Chicago. They are being tracked by a newly-minted Hunter, who wants to stop them and rid Chicago of anything or anyone supernatural.
Roxburgh will play Violet, a member of the powerful werewolf pack. She hides her true nature, because of her forbidden love for family rival, David (Nathaniel Bozulic). But when cornered, Violet's inner wolf breaks out.
“Supernatural” fans may recognize Roxburgh from an appearance on the drama's Season 7 episode, “Time After Time.” Her other television credits include a recurring guest role on The CW's “Arrow” and Nickelodeon's “Big Time Movie.” She was also in the Bravo-scripted pilot, “Rita,” which the cable channel ultimately passed on. She also starred in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film franchise.
In addition to Buzolic, Roxburgh joins already announced castmembers Danielle Savre, Stephen Martines and Lucien Laviscount.
“Bloodlines” will be executive-produced and written by Andrew Dabb, and directed by executive producer Robert Singer. “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke, Jeremy Carver and McG will also serve as executive producers.
Gersh and Play Management represent Roxburgh.
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“300: Rise of an Empire” roared to a $17. 7 million on Friday, it's first full day of release — heading for an opening weekend that could hit $45 million.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ R-rated sword-and-sandals saga will knock the Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop” out of the top spot and easily beat the weekend's other wide opener, DreamWorks Animation's “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” The family movie, based on the 1960 cartoon, debuted with $8 million Friday and should hit $30 million for the three days, which is at the high-end of projections.
“Peabody” received an “A” CinemaScore from first-night audiences, while the “300″ sequel got a “B.”
On the specialty front. the Wes Anderson ensemble comedy “Grand Budapest Hotel” got off to a terrific start for Fox Searchlight, bringing in $260,477 from two theaters in New York, and two more in Los Angeles. That's a $65,119 per-screen average which, if it holds up on Saturday and Sunday, will become one of the biggest limited openings ever. Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan and Tilda Swinton star in the film.
The opening of “Rise of an Empire” won't be close to the first weekend of the original “300,” but it's impressive given that it's been seven years since the Zack Snyder-directed film landed with a stunning $70 million in March of 2007. Noam Murro directed “Empire,” which Snyder wrote and produced. Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green star in the tale, which focuses on a huge sea battle between the ancient Greeks and invading Persians.
It was in 3,470 theaters and, with many of them 3D and 343 Imax screens, the ticket up-charges had to be helping the film, which has the same ultra-stylized look of “300.”
The original brought in more than $456 million worldwide, with $245 million coming from overseas. “Rise of an Empire” could do even better abroad, and is off to a fast start. After two days in release it had taken in $12.1 million and ranked No. 1 in 29 of 31 markets, including France, Germany, Russia, Australia and Korea.
On its current pace, “Mr. Peabody” will do better than the first weekends of “Turbo” ($21 million last August) and “Rise of the Guardians” ($23 million), but finish down from other DreamWorks films that have launched in March including 2013's “The Croods” ($43.6 million) and 2010's “How to Train Your Dragon ($43.7 million).
Directed by Rob Minkoff (“The Lion King”), “Mr. Peabody” is voiced by Ty Burrell from TV's “Modern Family.” Ariel Winter, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Colbert and Allison Janney also chime in.
Universal's airplane thriller “Non-Stop” took in $4.6 million Friday, off 54 percent from its opening, and is looking at a $15 million second week and third place.
The solid showing by “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (which distributor Fox had in a market-high 3,934 theaters) came despite the presence of “The Lego Movie,” Warner Bros.’ animated hit that is still in 3,290 theaters. “Lego” brought in $2.3 million on Friday, upping its domestic total to $216 million — with more than $345 million worldwide.
“The Lego Movie” beat out Mark Burnett's Biblical saga “Son of God,” which took in $3.2 million Friday, a whopping 70 percent drop from its opening last week. The pared-down version of the History Channel miniseries “The Bible” will wind up with a $9 million second weekend, and should cross $35 million domestically for Fox.
Fox Searchlight added 654 theaters for its Oscar Best-Picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” and the film brought in $580,000 from 1,065 locations. That projects to a $2.3 million haul for “12 Years,” which has taken in more than $51 million domestically and another $90 million overseas.
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Stephen Colbert can be a strict parent when it comes to monitoring what his children watch on television.
His criteria has less to do with the level of objectionable content on a show, “The Colbert Report” told Jimmy Fallon on Friday's episode of “The Tonight Show.” It's all about the humor.
“As a comedian the one thing that's agonizing is when they come in and watch something that's not funny and has got a laugh track and I'm not going to say the Disney Channel, but the Disney Channel,” Colbert said. “It's like please you're killing me. It's like a chef watching their child eat dirt.”
That's why Colbert said he was so excited about his latest gig providing one of the voices for DreamWorks Animation's “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” The time-traveling cartoon dog appeared in segments on the 1960s animated television series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” and the Comedy Central star is a big fan.
“As soon as they were available on DVD, the original cartoons, I showed them to my kids, I said, ‘you can watch as much of this as you want,'” Colbert said.
Watch the video:
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It was a “Saturday Night Live” reunion on Friday's “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” as Kenan Thompson stopped by to check in on his old cast mates.
Seth Meyers and band leader Fred Armisen welcomed their old cohort back with open arms, with Armisen lavishing Thompson with praise.
“I'm a roof,” Armisen said. “I'm above you and I'll keep you warm and safe always.”
It also prompted a trip down memory lane, as Thompson and Meyers remembered past travel nightmares. In one instance, Amtrak canceled their train, forcing the two men to rent a car together in order to get to a comedy show in Rhode Island. Yet, Thompson lacked a credit card and Meyers didn't have a license. They were saved because the woman at the rental car company was a fan of Thompson's Nickelodeon show, “All That.”
“They wanted to know where Kel is,” Thompson said, referencing his “All That” co-star.
The drive didn't go as smoothly.
“I had like night terrors for a week after,” Meyers said. “Where I'd be like ‘Kenan no!’ You drove so fast.”
Watch the video:
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Personal responsibility seldom seems to be the focus (or lesson) of romantic comedies, much less relationship dramas, which may be why “Kelly & Cal” feels so fresh and different.
Directed by Jen McGowan from a script by Amy Lowe Starbin, the film takes a familiar scenario — two uncomfortable people find comfort from each other — and renders it in sensitive, human dimensions. And with the help of terrific performances by Juliette Lewis and Jonny Weston (“Chasing Mavericks”), “Kelly & Cal” never fails to recognize that the solutions to life's problems are usually as unglamorous as the circumstances that make them necessary.
Lewis plays Kelly, a new mom struggling with the challenges of taking care of a baby, a task made all the more difficult due to the grinding work schedule of her husband Josh (Josh Hopkins of TV's “Cougar Town”). After trying and failing to make friends with some of the other moms in her neighborhood, Kelly crosses paths with wheelchair-bound teenage neighbor Cal (Weston), who's feeling his own sense of constraint.
The two oddballs strike up an unusual camaraderie; Cal provides her with a reminder of her younger, wilder days, and Kellay offers him with much-needed, unsentimental companionship. As they grow closer, however, Kelly begins to realize that her flirtation with youthful irresponsibility actually has consequences, and she soon finds herself juggling the responsibilities of a fragile marriage she wants to preserve and a tenuous romance she wants to revert to a friendship.
The idea of new parenthood is hardly a novel subject for a movie, nor is the disillusionment of adulthood, although typically these challenges are foisted on poor young husbands rather than their mostly-capable, put-together wives. First-timers McGowan and Starbin literally flip the script, making Kelly a female manchild, nostalgic for her reckless, “fun” adolescence, emotionally unprepared for parenthood and completely lost amidst the mundane duties of child rearing.
Lewis is ideally cast in the role, bringing her own eclectic history as an actress along with the substantive loneliness she gives the character, an island of rock & roll cool in an ocean of suburban affluence. The evolution of her attraction to Cal — mostly platonic but, starved for attention from her husband, occasionally flirtatious — never overshadows the truth that she is married and wants to stay that way.
As Cal, meanwhile, Weston skillfully avoids sentimentality, even amidst the laundry list of his achievements prior to the accident that cost him the use of his legs. A kid just smart enough to get himself into trouble and just desperate enough to interpret Kelly's friendship as something more, Weston makes Cal a fully dimensional counterpart, especially once he starts choosing inappropriate ways to express his interest in his lonely neighbor.
See photos: The Faces of Pilot Season 2014
At precisely the moment when the audience might be asking why Kelly can't just talk to Josh, she thankfully starts wondering that too. McGowan and Starbin never let either of them skate past their problems with an easy turn of phrase or superficial solution, which is ultimately why “Kelly & Cal” ranks among the more honest films about adulthood, much less parenthood, made in recent years.
It's a film that takes its characters and their crises seriously, allowing them to fully explore their situation before providing them (and the audience) a genuine roadmap for finding their way through.
The post ‘Kelly & Cal’ Review: New Mom Juliette Lewis Finds an Unlikely Suburban Soulmate appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
Talent agents Adam Kanter and Martin Spencer have left Resolution, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.
Kanter did not respond to TheWrap's request for comment and denied he was leaving the agency earlier this week.
Former ICM chairman Jeff Berg launched Resolution in January 2013, and Kanter and Spencer were two of his highest-profile hires after the duo left CAA. At the time, Berg said that the duo would play ”a key role in the development of our new agency.”
It is not immediately clear what led to Kanter and Spencer's exits or what their future plans are, but one studio executive described the agents as two of Resolution's top dealmakers. It also remains unclear whether any of the duo's clients will leave Resolution with them.
Kanter is a well-respected agent whose exit had been heavily rumored over the past week. He represents filmmakers such as Malcolm D. Lee, Stephen Sommers and Joe Johnston.
Spencer represents J. Michael Straczynski, Stuart Beattie and Mark Steven Johnson. He also represents Simon West along with Kanter.
Resolution recently received a sizable investment from Beijing-based financial company Bison Capital Holdings.
The post Talent Agents Adam Kanter, Martin Spencer Exit Resolution (Exclusive) appeared first on TheWrap.
Jason Bateman is tired of being the straight man. After playing the yuppie family guy in “The Change-Up,” “Identity Thief” and TV's “Arrested Development,” Bateman thrusts both middle fingers into the air — one at his nice-guy image and the other at good taste — in “Bad Words,” his abrasive directorial debut.
As a dark comedy that leans more on shock than actual humor to produce laughs, this tale of a miserable sonovabitch (Bateman) hell-bent on destroying a kids’ spelling bee shares with the tonally similar “Horrible Bosses” a misanthropic verve that exhilarates in the first act and grates by the third.
Shorn of his white-collar good looks with an unflattering buzzcut, Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, an eighth-grade dropout who exploits a loophole in the spelling-bee rules to enter a national competition. Guy's an arrogant competitor and a sore winner, advising the parents in the audience at a regional contest to pick up some rubber pillowcases for the night: “[The] little pricks are going to be counting tears, not sheep.”
Despite his juvenile antics, Guy is obviously whip-smart (he's later revealed to have a genius IQ and a photographic memory), so there's clearly something else making him act like an a-hole.
The mystery of his motivation isn't revealed until much, much later, when it reaches the “too little, too late” mark, though it's telegraphed steadily beforehand. Until then, quirky characters are what happens to movie protagonists while they're busy making other plans, so Guy soon has his plate full between frumpy blogger Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), who orders him not to look at her while they do the naked grunt, and fellow competitor Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), a preteen with a gapped-smile, too-short pants, and no parental supervision who pathetically trails Guy like a three-legged puppy.
Allison Janney's death glares and Philip Baker Hall's walrus-eyed gravitas are also put to good use in those character actors’ side roles as incensed spelling-bee officiators.
The formula-hewing friendship between Guy and Chaitanya largely sidesteps sentimentality because the older man is too shameless to ever feel regret. One night, the two pals go on a giddy meanness spree: they prank a random driver into thinking he's run Chaitanya over, leave a live lobster in a men's room toilet (yes, the worst does happen), and buy the ten-year-old a private peep show with a prostitute. Expertly cut and timed, the sequence is the film's absolute highlight.
Clearly, and admirably, “Bad Words” strives to keep the hugging and learning to a minimum. Too many a film comedian has been chewed up and spit out by the redemptive-arc machine, which produces soft and indistinguishable lumps of meat in polo shirts whose personalities are subsumed by apologies. Bateman knows this, which is why he smartly employs a light touch in making his character more sufferable.
And yet it's that same unrepentance that makes “Bad Words” an occasionally hostile experience. Guy punches often and always low, and because Bateman never gets enough distance from his character, he asks his audience to go along with his character's deeply sexist and racist jokes. He has a cover: Guy's insults are probably more competitive trash talk, albeit on the extreme end, than reflective of personal biases.
Either way, it still means sitting through the character elaborately comparing a woman's vagina to an old sweat sock for a solid minute and listening to him call Chaitanya “Slumdog,” a Thai prostitute, a terrorist, and sundry other brown-skin-specific slurs throughout the film, none of which are remotely funny. Sure, the boy eventually stands up for himself, but watching Guy offend women, non-white and fat kids (the vast majority of his targets) is simply dispiriting in its lack of imagination about what “edgy comedy” can mean.
The post ‘Bad Words’ Review: Jason Bateman's Directorial Debut Exhilarates Until It Grates appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
Leah McGrath Goodman, author of the controversial Newsweek Bitcoin cover story, hit back at former Daily Beast and Newsweek editor Tina Brown for questioning the magazine's reporting.
“I find her comments not to be very friendly to Newsweek,” Goodman contended. “I have a problem with the way she spoke about it.”
Newsweek unmasked the person it claimed created the digital currency, Bitcoin, when it resumed printing this week after a 14 month hiatus. The problem is the man in question, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, told the press that the story was incorrect and media critics have criticized Goodman's evidence is weak. There's also the nasty issue of whether or not it was ethical for Goodman to expose someone who wished to remain anonymous.
Earlier on Friday, Brown laughed about Newsweek's predicament with the story and said it would be “rough” if her old publication's cover story about Bitcoin turned out to be wrong.
“All I can think of is I'm so glad I'm not the editor!” Brown cackled.
“There's a a back story to that and she knows there is one,” Goodman responded.
Bloomberg TV's Tom Keene questioned why Goodman was certain she had found the right man, given his denials.
“His whole background according to those closest to him was that which would inform the sort of coding that would be required for Bitcoin,” Goodman explained.
“There are 10,000 people that are described by what you said,” Keene pressed. “What are the attributes he displayed that lead you to connect the dots that he invented Bitcoin?”
“His career history,” Goodman argued. “If 10,000 people fit all the attributes we looked at, I'd like to talk to those people because I did not find there were 10,000.”
Watch the video:
The post Newsweek Bitcoin Writer Slams Tina Brown: ‘I Have A Problem’ With Her Comments appeared first on TheWrap.