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No wayback machine needed, Peabody & Sherman No. 1

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” sped to the top of the weekend box office with an estimated $21.2 million, putting its gross so far at $63 million. 
 
It vaulted ahead of the second “300” and newcomer “Need for Speed” starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and lots of cars you and I will never be able to afford. Or drive at 230 mph. 
 
Here are the early numbers, courtesy of Rentrak which tracks the box office:
 
NeedforSpeed31. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” — $21,200,000, bringing its total so far to $63,179,916.
 
2. “300: Rise of an Empire” — $19,105,000, for $78,310,553 to date. 
 
3. “Need for Speed” — $17,808,000.
 
4. “Non-Stop” — $10,615,305, for $68,805,115 since release.
 
5. “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club” — $8,300,000.
 
6. “The Lego Movie” — $7,705,000, for an impressive $236,931,928 since it hit theaters in early February.
 
7. “Son of God” — $5,400,000, for $50,874,708 since release.
 
8. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” —$3,640,000 from just 66 locations, for $4,778,940 in limited release.
 
9. “Frozen” — $2,117,000, for $396,356,000 since Thanksgiving. It arrives on DVD Tuesday, so it may or may not hit $400 million in North America. 
 
10. “Veronica Mars” — $2,021,000. 
 
In case you’re wondering when the “Grand Budapest Hotel” will open in Pittsburgh, the answer is Friday, March 21, although so far it’s listed only at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront and the Manor in Squirrel Hill. The image below, of Adrien Brody, is from the Wes Anderson movie.
GrandBudapestHotel3
 
 

 

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The F Word romcom with Daniel Radcliffe gets new name, date

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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“The F Word,” starring Daniel Radcliffe and executive produced by Pittsburgh native Jesse Shapira, has a new title and release date.

Variety reports and CBS Films confirms, on its website, the romcom has been renamed “What If” and will open in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 1 and expand during the next two weeks. That means Pittsburgh likely will get the movie Aug. 15.

Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play friends who try to resist their obvious attraction. She’s an animator and has a longtime boyfriend, and he is a medical school dropout who hates the idea of infidelity, due to his parents’ divorce and ex-girlfriend’s affair.

I saw it in Toronto, where it had its world premiere and where it was enthusiastically received and deservedly so. It’s warm and funny and allows the “Harry Potter” star to flash a winning, comic, romantic and adult side – thanks to a brief skinny dipping scene in Lake Ontario (the movie mainly is set in Toronto).

The film is from Michael Dowse (“Goon,” “Fubar,” “It’s All Gone Pete Tong,” “Take Me Home Tonight”) and also stars Rafe Spall, Megan Park, Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis

 

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"300" rises to top of box office

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

xerxes
It may be a shadow of its predecessor with a new cast of actors — no Gerard Butler — but “300: Rise of an Empire” was No. 1 for the weekend with an estimated $45,050,000. 
 
Some of that was fed, no doubt, by extra fees for 3-D and IMAX although Rentrak, which tracks the box office, said it was particularly popular with the under-25 set (down to those old enough to see R-rated movies). 
 
MrPeabody2“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” was a family favorite with $32.5 million. Another big story was the per-screen succcess of Wes Anderson’s new ensemble film. It made an estimated $800,000 in just four theaters. 
 
If you’re wondering, when will “The Grand Budapest Hotel” open in Pittsburgh, the answer is March 21 and it’s targeted for AMC-Loews at the Waterfront and the Manor in Squirrel Hill. No word on whether it will go wider since those theaters are a few miles apart and huge swaths of the region would be interested in the title, too. 
 
Here are the early estimates from Rentrak:
 
1. “300: Rise Of An Empire” — $45,050,000.
2. “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” — $32,500,000.
3.  “Non-Stop” — $15,378,220, bringing its total to $52,117,145.
4. “The Lego Movie” — $11,005,000, or  $224,971,612 so far. 
5. “Son of God” — $10,000,000, for $41,494,895 since release. 
6. “The Monuments Men” — $3,100,000, for $70,601,643 to date. 
7. “3 Days to Kill” — $3,062,000, or $25,556,217 since release. 
8. “Frozen” — $3,010,000, for an astonishing $393,051,000 since Thanksgiving. 
9. “12 Years a Slave” — $2,175,000, nudging the Oscar top winner to $53,107,035.
10. “Ride Along” — $2,004,345, for $129,968,425.
 
 
 

 

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First look at Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan in "Life"

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

FIRSTLOOK LIFECAR CRONENBERG-FINAL
 
Above, one of the first images from Anton Corbijn’s “Life” starring Robert Pattinson as Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock and Dane DeHaan as actor James Dean. 
 
When I interviewed DeHaan at the Toronto International Film Festival for “Kill Your Darlings,” news of this project was just breaking and I asked him about the decision to play such a legendary figure. 
 
“It was a really hard one. He’s my favorite actor and I have a lot of respect for him and it’s a really terrifying, daunting task but that’s what I always say I’m looking for in my work, is something that’s going to terrify me and challenge me and make me grow.
 
“So, I will certainly work as hard as I can to honor him, as much as I feel he should be honored, which is a lot.”
 
The movie, “Life,” is the true story of the friendship between Dean and photographer Stock
 
(Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg/See-Saw Films)
 

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Four-star Oscar speeches from top acting winners

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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I haven’t had a normal Oscar watching experience since 1989. That would have been the last time I was home, eating popcorn or whatever snack food was then in fashion, and watching the show on TV like a civilian.

I’ve worked every Academy Awards from 1990 to now, usually in the office, sometimes in Los Angeles or Hollywood. So I watch the show with one eye on the clock and my deadline-driven editors and one on the TV. I’m usually typing most of the time, too, and sometimes trying to transcribe what was just said on stage.

But I thought Ellen DeGeneres did a good job as host. Not the best ever but not the worst and a warm, welcoming presence who wasn’t going to insult the A-listers in front of her or the Z-listers at home soaking up every detail about Cate Blanchett’s embellished gown or Jared Leto’s hair or Matthew McConaughey’s wife and mom.

DeGeneres was a soothing tonic after Seth MacFarlane and his famous song about women’s breasts. The show did something that rarely happens by awarding the first Oscar of the night within 10 minutes and making it count by giving it to Jared Leto.

Producers can caution winners about speeches but they cannot control them. Heck, even winners may not know how they’re going to react when they float to the stage and take the 8-pound Oscar in their hands.

Whether you liked the selfies or the pizzas, the 86th Academy Awards were notable for the quality of the thank yous, with special praise for Leto, Lupita Nyong’o, Blanchett and McConaughey. I especially loved McConaughey’s image of his dad in heaven, dancing in his underwear with his favorites in hand or nearby – a cold Miller Lite, a big pot of gumbo and some lemon meringue pie. Anyone whose own father has died had to smile in appreciation.

Leto was inspirational, Nyong’o was poetic and Blanchett funny and forceful in reminding the world that moviegoers will see a movie about a woman. None pulled out a folded piece of paper from a pocket or purse or décolletage.

The speeches should be what people remember about the show. If the host is the most memorable, something’s wrong. And in an endless season when the same foursome seemed to win virtually everything, that was a challenge.

They rose to it. Well done. 

Ellen-DeGeneres-selfie

Top photo by Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S

 

 

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