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Dec 4

Fatale Trailer: Hilary Swank & Michael Ealy Star in Lionsgate's New Thriller

Michael Ealy (left) and Hillary Swank in a scene from upcoming thriller "Fatale" (image courtesy Lionsgate)
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by Maggie Dela Paz

Lionsgate has released the official Fatale trailer for their upcoming psychological thriller film, featuring Michael Ealy as his character's perfect life gets completely overturned after having an affair with a mysterious woman. Also starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank, the film is scheduled to make its debut in theaters on Friday, December 18. Check out the video in the player below!

In Fatale, After a wild one-night stand, Derrick, a successful sports agent, watches his perfect life slowly disappear when he discovers that the sexy and mysterious woman he risked everything for, is a determined police detective who entangles him in her latest investigation. As he tries desperately to put the pieces together, he falls deeper into her trap, risking his family, his career, and even his life. The film is a suspenseful and provocative psychological thriller and an unpredictable game of cat and mouse where one mistake can change your life.

Continue Reading at: ComingSoon

Dec 3

Warner Bros. Smashes Box Office Windows, Will Send Entire 2021 Slate to HBO Max and Theaters

by Aaron Couch , Pamela McClintock

Warner Bros. is plotting a sweeping response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered movie theaters around the country. After announcing that Wonder Woman 1984 will go to HBO Max as well as theaters on Dec. 25, the studio has laid out a similar path for its 2021 slate amid uncertainty about when movie-going will get back to normal.

The studio announced Thursday day-and-date releases for its 17-film slate, which will hit HBO Max for a one-month window that starts the same day they will be available in U.S. theaters.

The studio's 2021 slate includes projects such as The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

The unprecedented move is likely to catch theater owners off guard and upsets a model that has been in place for decades. Warner Bros. stresses that these are pandemic-only rules, but once a something is broken, can you really put it back together again? This also raises serious concerns about the landscape of movie-going in 2021.

Sources say these discussions were kept close to the vest and not shared with many exhibitors. Warner Bros. will likely have to agree to far more generous terms with theater owners to avoid them boycotting their films. Insiders say the Wonder Woman 1984 split of ticket sales is far better for exhibitors than normal. Sources also say the studio did not inform partners such as Legendary, which has Godzilla vs. Kong, that their films were included in this plan.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Dec 2

No Zoom for Oscars 2021, as Academy Says 'In-Person Telecast Will Happen'

The Oscars, held at the Dolby Theatre, will still go ahead in-person in 2021 (image courtesy Michael Buckner / Variety)
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by Clayton Davis

There will be no "virtual" Oscars.

"The Oscars in-person telecast will happen," a rep from the Academy and ABC tells Variety exclusively.

This year, the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences moved their annual telecast back two months to April 25, 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sources inside the Oscars say that by pushing the awards ceremony back, the Academy hoped that theaters would be open again in the spring, thus allowing for more movies to compete in the annual celebration of the year's best films.

But even if movie theaters stay closed, by holding the Oscars later in spring, organizers are now focusing to make sure that the event continues as it always has live. That may still create some questions as to exactly how many people are allowed inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where the ceremony traditionally takes place.

"The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options," says an awards publicist familiar with the situation.

It's not clear what safety protocols will be introduced for the ceremony. A representative from the Dolby Theatre declined to comment.

Since the March lockdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the film industry, with movie theaters closed and production halted. In response, the Academy extended the eligibility timeline from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, 2021, in addition to having films that premiere on streaming platforms qualify for submission.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Dec 1

Peter Dinklage Set to Star in 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot

Peter Dinklage signs on to star in reboot of cult classic "Toxic Avenger" (image courtesy Michael Friberg / Variety)
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by Ellise Shafer

Peter Dinklage will star in a reboot of "The Toxic Avenger" for Legendary, Variety has confirmed.

Macon Blair will write and direct what is described as a contemporary reimagining of Troma Entertainment's 1984 hit of the same name. Dinklage will play Toxie, the superhero around which the film centers. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will serve as producers for Troma Entertainment.

Originally known as Melvin, the protagonist becomes disfigured when he is pushed into a vat of toxic waste, and soon assumes the moniker of Toxie. But, in order to save his son, friends and community from corruption and greed, Toxie must rise to the occasion as an underdog hero.

After the debut of the original "Toxic Avenger" film, it became a cult classic and expanded into a musical production, children’s cartoon series and Marvel comic. Toxie has also since become a mascot of sorts for Troma Entertainment.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Nov 29

'Croods 2' Tops Troubled Thanksgiving Box Office With $14M

by Pamela McClintock

Despite the most challenged Thanksgiving box office in modern times, The Croods: A New Age managed to come in ahead of projections with a five-day holiday debut of $14.2 million, including $9.7 million for the weekend.

Overseas, the family film launched in seven markets to $20.8 million - led by $19.2 million in China - for a global bow of $35 million.

While that's the lowest Thanksgiving chart-topper in decades, Universal and DreamWorks Animation still had reason to celebrate.

Croods 2 is the first major studio film to brave opening on the big screen since Tenet and narrowly came in ahead of Tenet ($9.3 million) for the three-day weekend to mark the top debut since the pandemic began. Also, it's better-than-expected performance shows that a family film can work during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. (According to PostTrak, 41 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 17.)

The animated film, playing in 2,211 theaters, opened after hundreds of theaters reclosed in recent days because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. And those cinemas that remain in operation are dealing with dramatically reduced capacity and stay-at-home orders.

"This shows that even with a difficult theatrical landscape, people want to come out and get together. The film is incredibly charming," says Jim Orr, Universal's distribution chief.

Thanksgiving is normally one of the most lucrative corridors of the year. Last year, Disney and Pixar's Frozen 2 collected more than $100 million over the long four-day weekend (Thursday through Sunday). It finished the weekend with a domestic total of $288 million after opening a week earlier on Friday, Nov. 22.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Nov 26

Mads Mikkelsen Will Replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts

Mads Mikkelsen is taking over from Johnny Depp as "Fantastic Beasts" character Gellert Grindelwald (image courtesy Getty)
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by Chris Murphy

It's official, Fantastic Beasts fans, your new Grindelwald is here and his name is Mads Mikkelsen. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. released a press release confirming that the Danish actor would step into the role in the upcoming third film in Harry Potter prequel franchise vacated by Johnny Depp.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign from the franchise after he lost a libel case against British Tabloid The Sun, which Depp unsuccessfully sued for referring to him as a "wife beater" in an April 2018 article describing his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard.

Mikkelsen has been circling the role for the last few weeks and was reportedly director David Yate's first choice to replace Depp in the role of the dark wizard Gilbert Grindelwald.

The third Fantastic Beasts film was initially supposed to come out in November of 2021, but has been pushed to July, 15 2022, so Mikkelsen has plenty of time to get into character, which given his track record of playing evil characters, shouldn't be too hard.

Continue Reading at: Vulture

Nov 25

'Godzilla vs. Kong' Likely the Latest Tentpole to Go to a Streamer

by Kim Masters, Borys Kit

Godzilla vs. Kong, the forthcoming monster movie from Legendary Pictures, looks likely to be the latest big franchise movie to head to a streamer.

Knowledgeable sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Netflix has made an offer of more than $200 million for the film while WarnerMedia has blocked the deal while preparing an offer of its own for its streamer, HBO Max. Legendary declined to comment while a Warner Bros. spokesperson said: "We plan to release Godzilla vs. Kong theatrically next year as scheduled."

The Netflix offer undoubtedly had allure for Legendary, which financed 75 percent of the budget. As Netflix does not have a presence in China, the film could have played theatrically there.

The monsterverse movies, which are the cornerstone of Legendary's slate, are big international players, especially in China: Just over a third of King of the Monsters' $386 million global box office came from the movie's China release. Skull Island grossed $168 million in China, about 30 percent of the movie’s $567 million gross.

Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth entry in the series, is slated for a May 21, 2021 opening but it is far from clear that U.S. theaters will be fully back in business by then and even if they are, the studios face a pile-up of major releases that were pushed due to the pandemic. Meanwhile Legendary is stuck with the cost of carrying an unreleased big-budget film. Though Warner Bros. has only a 25 percent stake in the movie, it controls the release.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Nov 24

'Wonder Woman 1984' Sets Global Release Dates

Gal Gadot as the titular character in "Wonder Woman 1984" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
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by Rebecca Rubin

Warner Bros. has unveiled global release dates for "Wonder Woman 1984." As the studio announced last week, the superhero sequel - spotlighting Gal Gadot's female heroine - will debut simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

In the U.S., "Wonder Woman 1984" is hitting the big screen on Dec. 25 as planned. But overseas, where HBO Max is not available, the movie will begin a staggered rollout starting on Dec. 16. Warners opted to release the "Wonder Woman" sequel earlier in international markets in an effort to avoid piracy concerns.

It's unclear how many cinemas in North America will be open by the time "Wonder Woman 1984" premieres on Christmas Day. About half of the theaters in the country are currently closed, according to Comscore. Theaters in France were recently given permission to reopen on Dec. 15, the day before "Wonder Woman 1984" is slated to debut. But in other parts of Europe, including the United Kingdom and Italy, theaters are still shuttered to control spikes in coronavirus cases, and don't have set plans to reopen.

Patty Jenkins returned to direct "Wonder Woman 1984," having previously directed 2017's "Wonder Woman." The first movie was a commercial triumph, generating more than $800 million at the global box office. Along with Gadot, the sequel stars Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen.

Continue Reading at: Variety

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