Movie News

‘Happy Death Day’ Reaps $100M+ At Worldwide Box Office

‘Happy Death Day’ Reaps $100M+ At Worldwide Box Office
The hits keep coming for Universal and Blumhouse with Happy Death Day celebrating a $100M global milestone. Including yesterday’s grosses, the latest collaboration between Uni and Jason Blum’s micro-budget specialist Blumhouse has taken in $55.5M domestically and $44.6M at the international box office. Directed by Christopher Landon, Happy Death Day is the third original film from Blumhouse in 2017. It joins blockbuster pics Split and Get Out which have grossed $278.3M…
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Box Office: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Strums $2.3 Million on Tuesday Night

Box Office: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Strums $2.3 Million on Tuesday Night
Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” has opened with a solid $2.3 million on Tuesday night.

The animated pic is on par with Disney’s “Moana,” which earned $2.6 million from previews during the same frame last year. It went on to gross $82 million over five days.

The family film has been on track to take in $55 million to $60 million at 3,948 venues during the Thanksgiving holiday period from Wednesday to Sunday. Estimates indicate that the costly “Justice League,” which has pulled in a disappointing $111.9 million in its first five days, will come in No. 1 again with about $60 million to $65 million.

Coco” opens in nearly 2,800 3D locations, 106 premium large format screens, and 268 theaters offering the film in Spanish. Unlike “Justice League,” critics have embraced “Coco” (its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 95%).

Just before “Coco” began its Tuesday night previews, news broke that animation guru John Lasseter would be taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. [link
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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ on Track for Cosmic $200 Million-Plus Opening Weekend

  • The Wrap
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ on Track for Cosmic $200 Million-Plus Opening Weekend
Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is on track for a cosmic $200 million-plus opening weekend when it hits theaters on Dec. 15, according to first estimates released by tracking services on Wednesday morning. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the first new film released in the sci-fi franchise after Disney acquired Lucasfilm, earned a record opening of $248 million in December 2015. Last year’s prequel “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opened to $155.1 million. “The Last Jedi” is likely to score the biggest opening box office weekend of the year, a spot currently held by another Disney release, “Beauty and the...
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Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive, Mona Fong Dead at 83

Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive, Mona Fong Dead at 83
Asia lost one of its top women film and TV executives with the death on Wednesday of Mona Fong (aka Mona Shaw). She died at 83.

After a glittering career as a singer, and then as an actress, she became a key figure in the running of first the Shaw Brothers movie studio, then at the top of Tvb, Hong Kong’s leading free-to-air TV station.

Tvb said that she died peacefully at 5.28pm local time at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, in Happy Valley, surrounded by her family. No cause of death was given.

Born in Shanghai in 1934 as Lee Monglan, the daughter of a nightclub singer, she moved to Hong Kong in the 1940s with her mother and quickly turned professional as a singer. She was noted for her singing abilities in Chinese and English, and often sang English covers of Chinese hits.

She met her husband, the legendary Sir Run Run Shaw after a performance
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Cannes Film Festival to Start One Day Earlier in 2018

  • The Wrap
Cannes Film Festival to Start One Day Earlier in 2018
The Cannes Film Festival is shifting things for its 71st edition next year, starting one day earlier. Festival organizers announced Wednesday that the 2018 festival will start on May 8 and run through May 19, 2018 (ending on a Saturday instead of a Sunday). The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 19.

“Following 2017’s anniversary edition, the Festival is beginning a new period in its history,” Festival President Pierre Lescure said in a statement. “We intend to renew the principles of our organization as much as possible, while continuing to question the cinema of our age and to be present through its upheavals.”

The new schedule, the statement read, will allow festival organizers to “rebalance” the two weeks of the event and bring “new energy” to the festival.
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Idfa Forum: ‘Documentary Makers Want To Go Behind The News’

Idfa Forum: ‘Documentary Makers Want To Go Behind The News’
Amsterdam — The world’s geopolitical landscape may be changing on a daily and depressing basis, but a visit to this year’s Forum suggests it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of documentary. “Sunken Eldorado”, from France, offers a tale of modern-day piracy in the hunt for the Spanish Armada’s missing gold; Italian co-production “Maestro Morricone” tells the story of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite composer; and, from Norway, comes “Krogufant”, a film that takes a look at the emotional lives and intelligence of the animals we’re more used to eating than meeting.

In all, 58 projects came from 23 countries, each exploring different themes and formats. “It’s so wonderful to travel with all these filmmakers and see the world through their eyes,” says Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen, the festival’s head of industry. “The variety is huge this year, and it’s not only political topics dealing with society. Last year, what
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‘The Other Side of Everything’ Leads Winners From a Politically Charged Idfa Lineup

‘The Other Side of Everything’ Leads Winners From a Politically Charged Idfa Lineup
In a world presently riven with political conflict and polarized discord, you wouldn’t expect the world’s leading documentary festival to skimp on the tough issues, and so it proved at Idfa this year. The Amsterdam showcase’s 2017 lineup was a strong one, peppered with challenging perspectives and confrontations of past and living history, but “fun” was low on the agenda — rueful irony amid tragedy was, for the most part, as close as audiences could hope to get.

That was the tone maintained by the festival’s well-received selection of prizewinners, presented on Wednesday night, many of which tackled conflict and political turmoil with an empathetic but battle-wearied worldview. The top award in the festival’s feature-length competition, Serbian director Mila Turajlic’s “The Other Side of Everything,” had already premiered in low-key fashion at Toronto in September, but this thoughtful reflection on the still-unresolved legacy of civil war in Serbia found a more vocally receptive
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‘The Death Of Stalin’ Wins Three British Independent Film Awards

‘The Death Of Stalin’ Wins Three British Independent Film Awards
Armando Iannucci's political satire The Death of Stalin has taken an early lead at The British Independent Film Awards – picking up three awards as part of the event's newly introduced craft section. The Death of Stalin, which stars Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine, Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor and centers on the last days of the Soviet dictator, won Best Casting for Sarah Crowe, Best Production Design for Cristina Casali and Best Make Up & Hair…
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Is all forgiven? The strange, troubling resurgence of Mel Gibson

The actor-director seemed unemployable after a string of antisemitic and racist outbursts. But steady work since and a new comedy vehicle suggest his time in the wilderness is up

The long, complicated saga known as the Never-Ending Rehabilitation of Mel Gibson unspools another chapter. Gibson is playing his most prominent on-screen role, in Daddy’s Home 2, since his obscenity-filled antisemitic meltdown on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway on a hot July night in Malibu more than a decade ago.

Given the serendipity of long-range movie-release schedules, how was Gibson to know that his latest bid for a soft landing back in the box-office charts, and back in the warm bosom of filmgoers worldwide, would take place during a tsunami of revelations of sexual chicanery and all-round vileness among top Hollywood figures and Washington politicians?

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Ventana Sur: A Breakdown of This Year’s Blood Window Work in Progress Section

Ventana Sur’s Blood Window has become one of Latin America’s most important launchpads for fantasy genre films. For the four days of the market, producers, distributors, sales agents and directors will come together for panels, debates, co-production meetings and pitching sessions.

This year’s works in progress selections have been divided into two groups. The first group is the Screenings and Work in Progress section, which was specially curated by José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film Festival. The remaining works in progress are in the Video Room section.

Starting with the local fare, “Luciferina,” is the only Argentine work in progress at this year’s Blood Window. From director Gonzalo Calzada, the film is the story of Natalia, a teenage girl with a supernatural gift. After a family trauma, the origins of her ability must be faced, and a ritual executed to protect the girl from something which has been with her
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Idfa’s Shifting Perspectives Program – ‘It’s About Ownership Of Images’

Idfa’s Shifting Perspectives Program – ‘It’s About Ownership Of Images’
Amsterdam – “Every day, we are bombarded by images of the Arab world: bombings, shooting, hunger and hatred…” It is this “one-sided representation” that Idfa programmers Laura Van Halsema and Isabel Arrate Fernandez, together with Syrian producer and filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, sought to challenge when assembling Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World, a three-day symposium of sorts, in which 16 films of varying length and vintage were shown to a festival audience, usually with a lively discussion to follow.

The section is the second in a series that began in 2016. “Last year,” says Van Halsema, “we had a program, also called Shifting Perspectives, from which we basically wanted to look at what was left over from the history of colonialism – the slave trade, slavery between Africa as a continent and Europe and the U.S..

The programmers picked films from each of these regions, and then, as they were watching them, we realized right away that there was a blind
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Idfa Film Review: ‘Of Fathers and Sons’

The family that prays together stays together, with entirely chilling consequences, in “Of Fathers and Sons,” an intrepid, cold sweat-inducing study of Jihadi radicalization in the home from celebrated Syrian docmaker Talal Derki. Delivering on the auspicious promise of his 2013 debut, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “The Return to Homs,” Derki’s follow-up finds him again visiting his ravaged homeland to examine the making of an anti-government force: this time not spiky rebel insurgents, but unformed young boys under the absolute influence of their Al-Nusra fighter father. The result is as despairing as any portrait of close-knit family and dedicated parenthood can be, adeptly blending sensationalism with domestic intimacy, and sincerely eye-opening in its portrayal of inherited Islamist fervor.

Sure to travel the festival circuit as widely as Derki’s debut did, starting discussions along the way about complicity and trust in documentary filmmaking, “Of Fathers and Sons” has a combination of artistic muscle and frank
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‘Hogar,’ ‘Tiburones,’ ‘Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes’ at Montevideo’s Puentes

Maura Delpero’s “Hogar,” Lucía Garibaldi’s “Tiburones” and José Luis Torres Leiva’s “Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes” will be honed at the second 2017 Puentes meet, the most prominent of Europe-Latin American co-production workshops.

Co-organized by Uruguay’s Mutante Cine production outfit, the event unspools in Montevideo over Nov. 23-27, prior to the 9th Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest movie market. Thanks to a special collaboration agreement, Puentes participant-producers can attend Ventana Sur (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1), in Buenos Aires. This is the fifth year that Montevideo hosts the Puentes event.

Founded in 2009 by Eave (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), Puentes is a training workshop for Europe and LatAm producers, which took place for the first time in Uruguay in 2012.

An Arte Award winner at San Sebastian’s 5th Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum last year, Maura Delpero’s “Hogar” is produced by Italian Alessandro Amato’s Dispàrte in co-production with Argentinean Campo Cine. The first fiction
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Argentina on the Rise – Manuel Abramovich

Cinematographer turned director Manuel Abramovich is a week away from his thirtieth birthday, but has a C.V. that would be the envy of many filmmakers.

His 2013 short took him to festival nominations and wins around the world from Los Angeles to Karlovy Vary. The next year he was nominated for best documentary short at Tribeca, along with co-director Juan Manuel Renau, for their film “Las Luces,” (The Lights). And, his third feature “Años luz,” which followed esteemed Argentine director Lucrecia Martel as she filmed this year’s Argentine submission for the foreign-language Oscar “Zama,” premiered at Venice this year.

2017 looks to be something of a banner year from the director. His latest feature documentary “Soldado,” got it’s first lofty bit of recognition at February’s Berlinale Festival where the film was in the running for both the Glasshütte Original Documentary Award, and a Crystal Bear. It then competed at San Sebastian’s Zabaltegi Section. This week
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Ventana Sur: Meikincine Acquires World Sales on ‘Al Desierto’ (Exclusive)

Ventana Sur: Meikincine Acquires World Sales on ‘Al Desierto’ (Exclusive)
Mar Del Plata, Argentina — Lucia and Julia’s Meik’s Buenos Aires-based Meikincine, a boutique sales company, has acquired world sales rights to “Al Desierto” (To the Desert), one of the only three Argentine movies in International Competition at this year’s Mar del Plata Festival, which opened Nov. 17.

Cinetren will release “To the Desert” on Nov. 30 in Argentina.

“To the Desert” is also just the third live-action feature from Ulises Rosell, one of the founding fathers of the New Argentine Cinema who, along with Daniel Burman, Israel Adrián Caetano and Lucrecia Martel, was one of the directors of 1996’s “Historias Breves,” a omnibus feature calling card for a new generation of Argentine directorial talent.

Though Rosell won a brace of awards for 2006’s “Sofabed,” his career has been lower-profile to date than these illustrious contemporaries, “To the Desert” marking by far his largest canvas for a theme which has marked some of his finest films, a
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Jane review – wondrous footage lights up Goodall's Tarzan dream

Jane Goodall’s research into chimp behaviour was a great leap forward in scientific research and this documentary does her work full justice

Here is a portrait of the primatologist as a young woman. Using footage only recently rediscovered in the National Geographic archive, octogenarian Jane Goodall recollects her first field study of chimpanzees in the wild in Tanzania. This was the 1960s, and Goodall was a 26-year-old typist with no academic training. Yet on that trip she made a great leap in scientific research by observing chimps making and using tools. Goodall says that it was her mother who built her self-esteem when she was growing up – encouraging her to see beyond the expectations that a nice, middle-class girl from Bournemouth should get married and start a family. Instead, she dreamed of living with animals in the jungle like Tarzan. There are more than 40 documentaries about Goodall. What makes
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Suburbicon review – George Clooney spies murder and malice in picket-fence America

Matt Damon plays a beleaguered salaryman whose life goes horribly wrong in Clooney’s account of crime and racial prejudice in the postwar Us

For his latest directorial outing, George Clooney has given us a macabre comedy noir: watchable, lively, intricately designed, but with exotic plot contrivances and parallel storylines that don’t fully gel. Clooney and longtime producing partner Grant Heslov have rewritten an unproduced script by the Coen brothers, set in a satirically picture-perfect 1950s American suburb. Like the manicured locations of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet or Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven, this is a place where ugly realities hunch behind the picket fence and the Colgate smiles: racism, deceit, murder.

There is something surreal about the way these two dramas unfold side-by-side without impinging on each other

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Film Review: ‘A Murder in Mansfield’

Film Review: ‘A Murder in Mansfield’
The words “true crime” have never lost their dime-store tabloid allure. Yet most of us realize that when a story of extreme and shocking violence taps our voyeuristic curiosity, that doesn’t necessarily make it “low.” Ambitious documentary filmmakers have long understood that true-crime material, when treated as the dimension of the human experience it is, can emerge as something spookily resonant and artful.

Errol Morris’s “The Thin Blue Line” looked at murder in the heartland with a spirit that evoked Norman Mailer’s “The Executioner’s Song.” Werner Herzog’s “Into the Abyss” entered the minds of two vicious killers (it didn’t get as deep into the abyss as it implied, but it was a game attempt). “O.J.: Made in America” turned the Simpson saga into a charged excavation of the roots of violence. Now Barbara Kopple, the veteran director of documentaries about embattled workers (“Harlan County U.S.A.,” “American Dream”), pop-music
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Idfa Film Review: ‘Over the Limit’

Idfa Film Review: ‘Over the Limit’
Nina Sayers, the tortured heroine of Darren Aronofsky’s prima ballerina psychodrama “Black Swan,” might just thank her lucky stars if she saw “Over the Limit,” another relentless portrait of young female performers mentally and physically savaged in the name of perfection. This is no heightened horror film, however. The intense abuse captured in Marta Prus’s brilliant, diamond-hard documentary portrait of a Russian rhythmic gymnast’s punishing road to the 2016 Olympics is all too vividly real — just watching it induces veritable stomach cramps, though it’s impossible to turn away from the film’s whipcrack construction and expert manipulation of perspective.

A former rhythmic gymnast herself, Prus seems to equally adore the exquisite physicality of the discipline and abhor the psychological torment that goes into it. That said, no interest at all in the subject is required to find “Over the Limit” coolly riveting: If anything, the less you know about its beleaguered heroine, Margarita Mamun, and
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