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

Box Office: ‘Coco’ Wins as ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Waits in the Wings
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
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‘God’s Own Country’ Wins Big at British Independent Film Awards

‘God’s Own Country’ Wins Big at British Independent Film Awards
God’s Own Country” was the big winner at the British Indepdendent Film Awards on Sunday, winning best British independent film, best actor for Josh O’Connor, and best debut screenwiter for Francis Lee, who also directed the England-set gay romance.

Lady Macbeth” was another multiple prize-winner, taking home the awards for best screenplay for Alice Birch, best actress for Florence Pugh, and most promising newcomer for Naomie Ackie. Armando Iannucci’s “Death of Stalin” picked up four awards, which were handed out Sunday evening at a starry awards ceremony in London.

The British independent movie industry turned out in force, although the snow that had blanketed parts of Britain overnight kept double award-winner Rungano Nyoni from attending and had Lee telling the crowd he needed digging out of his home in Yorkshire, northern England, to make the bash.

Host Mark Gatiss opened proceedings by announcing “it’s been another dreadful year for planet Earth,” adding that “January
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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Honors Late Carrie Fisher at Elaborate Premiere

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Honors Late Carrie Fisher at Elaborate Premiere
The Force took over the Shrine Auditorium near downtown Los Angeles, as stars and filmmakers of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” came together Saturday night for the first screening of the eighth installment of the massive Lucasfilm franchise.

Giant At-M6 walkers flanked the entrance to the red carpet, as stars like Daisey Ridley, Mark Hamill, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong’o and others arrived and posed for pictures with fans. John Boyega had built suspense about whether he would make the premiere, tweeting earlier Saturday that bad weather had kept him from flying out of Atlanta.

“The Last Jedi” picks up where 2015’s “The Force Awakens” left off, with Rey reaching the planet on which Luke Skywalker had been holed up, away from the war waging between the First Order and The Resistance. Ridley, who plays Rey, teased on the red carpet that her character gets “enough” screen time. “I’m not going to lie, I’m proud
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Saudi Arabia Lifts 35-Year Cinema Ban

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
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Korea Box Office: ‘Swindlers’ Wins Third Weekend

Korea Box Office: ‘Swindlers’ Wins Third Weekend
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
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Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Cinemas

Cinemas are expected to return to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 35 years.

The Kingdom – undergoing seismic changes under new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – made the announcement Monday.

"As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom," Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said in a statement. "We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, many insiders working in Saudi Arabia indicated that this move had been widely expected, with investors already having built cinemas...
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China Box Office: 'Coco' Wins Again With $35M in Third Weekend

China Box Office: 'Coco' Wins Again With $35M in Third Weekend
China's love affair with Disney and Pixar's Coco continues.

The animated tentpole beat out new release Paddington 2 to top the Chinese box office for a third consecutive weekend. The film slipped just 21 percent from its huge second frame to take $34.6 million in the third. After 17 days on Chinese screens, Coco has totaled $127.8 million — just shy of its $135.5 million domestic total in North America. If current trends continue, Coco should finish with China as its largest market worldwide.

Paddington 2 debuted to $15.7 million — just shy of the $16.7 million that the...
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'The Walking Dead' Midseason Finale: The Son Also Rises

'The Walking Dead' Midseason Finale: The Son Also Rises
Back in the fall of 2015, The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple attempted a noble, not-all-that-successful experiment with narrative structure. To wit: The show would be spending an entire half-season – eight full episodes – tracking just a couple of days in the life of Rick Grimes, as he and his associates tried and failed to secure the Alexandria Safe-Zone from a nearby walker horde. This season, Gimple gave this concept another go. The fall premiere began with the good guys leading a multi-front assault on Negan, the Saviors and all their scattered compounds.
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‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Devastated By the Mid-Season Finale’s Big Final Scene

‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Devastated By the Mid-Season Finale’s Big Final Scene
(All the spoilers ahead for the mid-season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) “The Walking Dead” left off with a pretty brutal final scene as it went into the mid-season break for Season 8, and plenty of fans are devastated. The mid-season finale saw the Saviors escape from their base, the Sanctuary, which has been surrounded by walkers for most of the season. With the forces of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) free, the war that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his allies have been winning suddenly went another way. The Kingdom fell to the Saviors and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) was captured,
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‘The Walking Dead’ Surprises: 24 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics (Photos)

‘The Walking Dead’ Surprises: 24 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics (Photos)
The AMC TV adaptation of “The Walking Dead” generally follows the path of the graphic novel series it’s adapted from, but it’s often changed things up quite a bit. Here are 23 examples of times the show took a meaningful diversion from the story that “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman laid out on paper. It’s a formula that’s worked well for the show, which ash become the highest rated cable show in history and regularly posts viewership numbers in the tens of millions. A worthy expense, it turned out, for AMC. “The Walking Dead” has kept viewers guessing by killing characters.
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Ida Documentary Awards: Willie Garson, 'Cries from Syria' Subject Highlight Important Issues

The International Documentary Association hosted the 33rd annual Ida Documentary Awards at Los Angeles' Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. The awards were started as a way to honor films that some felt the Academy Awards were ignoring.

“At that time we were really rebelling against the choices by the Academy which were very conservative," Awards founder and Ida executive director Simon Kilmurry told The Hollywood Reporter. “We tried to make them take a broader view of the filmmaking community because their choices were pretty conservative and stodgy at that time. And they’ve broadened tremendously.”

This year's awards were hosted by...
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Here’s the Shocking Thing That Happened on the ‘Walking Dead’ Mid-Season Finale

  • The Wrap
Here’s the Shocking Thing That Happened on the ‘Walking Dead’ Mid-Season Finale
(Spoiler warning, again, for the mid-season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) So that happened. “The Walking Dead” Season 8 went into its mid-season finale by leaving the outcome of Rick’s war against Negan in doubt, and another major fan-favorite going down for good. After they managed to escape the Sanctuary, which started the season surrounded by walkers, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors returned to the war path, attacking the Kingdom and Alexandria, with some pretty devastating results. The Saviors burned most of Alexandria to the ground as they hunted for its survivors, and though the subjects of the Kingdom.
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Dubai: Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic Boards Abu Bakr Shawky’s ‘Yomeddine’ (Exclusive)

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
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‘Stranger Things’ Gets a Hilarious Bad Lip Reading Makeover (Video)

  • The Wrap
‘Stranger Things’ Gets a Hilarious Bad Lip Reading Makeover (Video)
A little creative voice overdubbing and Bad Lip Reading made an episode of “Stranger Things” even stranger. The YouTube channel known for their creative overlay of fresh dialogue that matches the lip movement of the characters set their site on “Stranger Things” and, as a result, turned the Netflix sci-fi series into a ’80s family dramedy more likely to be seen on Freeform. The 18-minute video kicks off with peppy theme music and a kindly narration setting the scene. The characters are tweaked, thanks to their new wacky dialogue, with Mike’s new catchphrase (“super freak”), Karen bragging about her “new tattoo,
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Angry Grandpa, Cranky YouTube Sensation, Dies at 67

  • The Wrap
Charlie Green Jr, better known as YouTube personality Angry Grandpa (Agp), died Sunday after a short battle with skin cancer. He was 67. His son Michael announced the news on Twitter, saying, “Heaven just got a whole lot angrier. Dad, I’m going to miss you more than I even understand as I write this. I already miss you more than you’ll ever know. I’m so sorry that you couldn’t enjoy your fame longer but I’m so happy that the last 10 years of your life had a purpose.” Heaven just got a whole lot angrier. Dad, I’m going to miss you.
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China Box Office: ‘Coco’ Stays Tops Ahead of ‘Paddington 2’

China Box Office: ‘Coco’ Stays Tops Ahead of ‘Paddington 2’
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
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Chris Evans, Sean Hannity Reach Out to Bullied Kid Keaton Jones

  • The Wrap
Chris Evans, Sean Hannity Reach Out to Bullied Kid Keaton Jones
Politically, Chris Evans and Sean Hannity probably don’t agree on anything, but Captain America and the Fox News host are both reaching out to show their support for Keaton Jones, a boy whose tearful speech against bullying went viral this weekend. In the video, which was posted by Jones’ mother, Kimberly, the boy tearfully asks why kids pick on him by making fun of his nose and telling him he has no friends. “What’s the point of it?” he wondered aloud. “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them?
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'The Florida Project' Named Best Film by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle

'The Florida Project' Named Best Film by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has named The Florida Project as its best picture of 2017.

The Sean Baker-directed film about a mother and daughter living in a motel on the outskirts of Disney World was also recognized in the category of best supporting actor, with Willem Dafoe winning that award.

The Shape of Water earned two honors: best director (Guillermo del Toro) and best production design (Paul D. Austerberry).

Other noteworthy winners include: War for the Planet of the Apes' Andy Serkis for best actor; I, Tonya's Margot Robbie for best actress; Lady Bird's Laurie Metcalf for best...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'The Florida Project,' 'Mudbound' Voted Best Picture by New York Film Critics Online

'The Florida Project,' 'Mudbound' Voted Best Picture by New York Film Critics Online
The Florida Project and Mudbound tied for best picture of 2017 in a vote Sunday by the New York Film Critics Online.

Dee Rees also was voted best director for Mudbound, while Willem Dafoe was named best supporting actor for The Florida Project.

In other awards, Darkest Hour's Gary Oldman and I, Tonya's Margot Robbie won for best actor and actress, respectively. Robbie's co-star Allison Janney was named best supporting actress.

Meanwhile, Jordan Peele won for best screenplay and best debut director for Get Out, and Timothée Chalamet was named breakthrough performer for Call Me by Your Name.

A...
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Iffam: Pang Ho-cheung Readies Martial Arts Three-Parter

Iffam: Pang Ho-cheung Readies Martial Arts Three-Parter
Pang Ho-cheung, one of the most creative talents in the Hong Kong film industry, is poised to make his biggest project to date. He is just weeks away from shooting a trilogy of martial arts films whose Chinese title translates simply as “Kung Fu Story.”

Pang, who is a whirl of energy, spinning out novels, screenplays and executive production activities, has a track record of edgy films – revisionist romance “Love in a Puff,” sex comedy “Vulgaria,” and property-themed horror “Dream Home” – so he is unlikely to leave the martial arts genre completely untouched.

Plot and casting details are currently scarce, but Pang teases: “Ever since childhood, I’ve always taken different paths. My most recent film, ‘Love off the Cuff,” was not a single-issue movie. (“Kung Fu Story”) will continue in that vein.”

“We’re going to shoot all three together, so we’ve spent a year a year and a half on preparation, and have now
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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