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Box Office: ‘Coco’ Wins as ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Waits in the Wings

19 hours ago

With anticipation building for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Disney-Pixar’s animated comedy “Coco” handily won its third straight crown at a moderate North American box office with $18.3 million at 3,748 sites.

“Coco” joined “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “Fate of the Furious” and “Split” as 2017 titles to top the domestic box office for three weekends in a row. The major studios have held off on any new openings since the Thanksgiving holiday but that changes on the evening of Dec. 14 when previews start for Disney-Lucasfilm’s “The Last Jedi” amid expectations of an opening weekend in the $200 million range.

“Coco,” a colorful celebration of Mexico’s Day of the Dead, showed impressive holding power with a 33% decline from its second weekend to lift its 19-day total to $135.5 million. It’s performed similarly to Disney’s animated “Moana,” which opened at the same time last year and had totaled $144.7 million after three weekends.

There was a single »

- Dave McNary

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Palme d’Or Winner ‘The Square’ Sweeps European Film Awards

9 December 2017 1:16 PM, PST

Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Square,” directed by Ruben Ostlund, scooped the best European film, comedy, script, director, and actor prizes at the 30th European Film Awards ceremony, which took place Saturday night in Berlin.

“We wanted to say something important, but we also wanted it to be entertaining and exciting – I think it’s part of a European approach,” said Ostlund upon receiving the prize for best European comedy. The provocative Swedish helmer cited “Toni Erdmann,” last year’s big winner at the European Film Awards, as another film that uses comedy to say something meaningful about humankind and society.

Robin Campillo’s critically acclaimed “Bpm (Beats Per Minute),” the winner of Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize, took home best editing out of several nominations.

Alexandra Borbely (“On Body and Soul”) won best actress, beating out French stars Isabelle Huppert (“Happy End”) and Juliette Binoche (“Bright Sunshine In”), as well as Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) and »

- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Moviegoers Will Get Poked, Shaken, Soaked at Immersive Theater

8 December 2017 5:18 PM, PST

A week before the opening of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the Tcl Chinese Theatre unveiled a revamped auditorium that will help immerse audience members in a galaxy far, far away.

The Chinese has remodeled one of its auditoriums in the Chinese 6 complex as a 104-seat MX4D Motion Efx theater with seats moving in sync with the movie action and special effects including motion, jolts, pokes, wind, water and scents. Tickets have gone on sale at $29 each — a $10 upcharge from regular showings for “The Last Jedi.” It’s the first theater of its kind in Hollywood.

The Chinese Theatre and special effects designer-marketer MediaMation offered a sneak peak of the auditorium to the media on Friday. Robert Laity, CEO of the Tcl Chinese Theatres, said the revamp of the auditorium cost about $2 million,

“Customers put a premium on this kind of experience so the $29 price is going to be less of an issue than you might »

- Dave McNary

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Saudi Arabia Lifts 35-Year Cinema Ban

39 minutes ago

A 35-year ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia has been overturned as the Kingdom’s efforts to liberalize gain pace, and commercial movie theaters are expected to open as soon as next March. A resolution allowing the Culture Ministry to license commercial cinemas has been passed, and the licensing process started for new theaters.

Cinemas were banned in the 1980s as they were considered a threat to religious and cultural identity. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been driving a program of social and economic reforms under the Vision 2030 banner, and rescinding the cinema ban is part of that drive. Saudi authorities were bullish on the long-term prospects for the cinema business in in the Kingdom and said they anticipated 300 movie theaters opening, and there being 2,000 screens by 2030.

Culture minister Awwad Alawwad said the process of licensing cinemas was already underway and this was a “watershed moment” in terms of Saudi Arabia’s cultural sector. “Opening cinemas »

- Stewart Clarke

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Korea Box Office: ‘Swindlers’ Wins Third Weekend

1 hour ago

Two Korean titles, “The Swindlers” and “Forgotten” remained on top of the South Korean box office. “Swindlers” earned $3.18 million from 418,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $26.7 million after three weekends. The Showbox release accounted for 24% of the total weekend box office. Megabox’s “Forgotten” earned $2.34 million for a two-weekend total of $7.82 million.

Animated features, “Pororo, Dinosaur Island Adventure” and “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” debuted on Thursday (Dec. 7) and took third and fourth, respectively. Distributed by Next Entertainment World (New), local animation “Pororo” earned $2.28 million over four days. Japanese animation “Mary,” distributed by Cgv Arthouse, earned $2.22 million between Thursday and Sunday. Another Thursday opener, “American Assassin” landed in sixth. The action drama earned $1.12 million over first four days.

With a week-on-week drop of 57%, “Murder on the Orient Express” slipped to fifth place from the previous week’s third. It earned $1.1 million between Friday and Sunday to extend its total to $5.47 million after two weekends »

- Sonia Kil

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Dubai: Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic Boards Abu Bakr Shawky’s ‘Yomeddine’ (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Prominent Egyptian independent producer Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic has come on board as a co-producer of Egyptian-Austrian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky’s upcoming feature film “Yomeddine,” a road movie about a middle-aged man raised in a leper colony who embarks with a sidekick and a donkey on a journey across Egypt to try and reconnect with his family.

A long-gestating passion project which is now in post, “Yomeddine” is Shawky’s feature film debut and stems from his short “The Colony” that chronicles tales of the residents of the Abu Zaabal leper colony in Egypt.

Shawky, who studied political science and filmmaking in Cairo, is an alumn of Nyu’s graduate film program.

The pic’s protagonist, named Beshay, is played by Rady Gamal a non-professional actor who suffers from leprosy and is a resident of the leper colony. According to “Yomeddine” promotional materials Beshay leaves the confines of the leper colony »

- Nick Vivarelli

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China Box Office: ‘Coco’ Stays Tops Ahead of ‘Paddington 2’

10 hours ago

Pixar animation, “Coco” stayed on top of a fragmented Chinese box office with a stirring $32.7 million in its third week on release. New release, “Paddington 2” enjoyed second place with $14.5 million.

Benefiting from good word of mouth and only modest competition, “Coco” saw its numbers hold up strongly. The third weekend total represented only a 25% decline compared with the second weekend score of $43.8 million. It scored $6.53 million on Friday, $15.8 million on Saturday and $10.4 million on Sunday, according to data from China’s Ent Group. After three weeks on release, the film has a cumulative $126 million after 17 days on release, by far the best score for a Pixar title in China. (After a three weekends in North America, the film has $136 million.)

Leading out the final major imported film releases of the year, “Paddington 2” had nearly 70,000 screenings per day and took second place on each outing. The first “Paddington” film earned $16.8 million in its 2015 outing.

Chinese crime actioner »

- Patrick Frater

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