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Tag Archives | films

Writers Guild Awards logo

WGA top screenplay awards go to “Her” and “Captain Phillips”

The Writers Guild of America has added to the Oscar drama with its awards for the best of 2013, handed out last night. The 66th Annual Writers Guild Awards were held at ceremonies on both coasts — here in Los Angeles and New York. The top winners were somewhat surprising. Best original feature screenplay went to Spike Jonze for “Her,” the story of a guy who falls for the female voice/personality of a computer operation system. Jonze beat out the writers of  “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,”... Read More →

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Photo of Reba Merrill courtesy Studio 10 Online

Guest Blogger: The secrets behind winning an Oscar

You might be surprised to know that to win an Oscar takes much more than talent. It takes a strategic campaign. Let me translate.  Outrageous budgets go towards lavish lunch and dinner parties to win the favor of Oscar voters.  Big publicity budgets go towards new 30 second TV spots, and self-congratulatory magazine and newspaper ads.  Does this sound familiar? Could it be that the studios are running a political campaign? Why all the hoopla?  Well, every Oscar win is money in the pockets of the releasing studio and let’s... Read More →

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Gravity movie poster

DGA Award for best feature film director goes to “Gravity”

The race for Oscars is turning into a real, ah, horse race. Last night at the DGA Awards, “Gravity” took away the top honor — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. Director, Alfonso Cuarón, picked up the award for what many consider a cinematic masterpiece. “Gravity” is about two astronauts, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, struggling to survive a shuttle disaster out in space. The sci-fi thriller is one of the front-runners for Oscars, along with “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle.” There is chatter... Read More →

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"Ride Along" movie poster

“Ride Along” races to the top the box office

The new buddy/comedy, “Ride Along,” beat expectations and broke records over the long MLK holiday weekend. The four-day take for the “Ride Along” is  an estimated $48.1 million — easily  winning top spot at the box office  — making it the new #1 film in the U.S. This is one of the strongest debuts ever  for the MLK holiday weekend, the entire month of January, and for an African-American comedy.The movie was produced for a modest budget of $25 million. In “Ride Along” Hart... Read More →

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Producers Guild of America logo

“Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” tie for top PGA award

More Awards drama today. “American Hustle” jumped ahead in the Oscar derby with its big win at the SAG Awards last Saturday, but now two other films are gaining steam. The 25th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards were held last night in Beverly Hills, and “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” tied for the top honor, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award. Frequently, the winner of the Darryl F. Zanuck trophy goes on to pick up the Oscar for best picture. Since... Read More →

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“American Hustle” wins big at SAG Awards

  “American Hustle” has more of an Oscar edge today after winning the top honor at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center in L.A. last night. The ensemble film won the Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture award — over “12 Years a Slave,” “August: Osage County,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “Lee Daniel’s ‘The Butler.'” In the Oscar race, both “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave,” have 10 nominations each including Best Picture. Now that the SAG-AFTRA union... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script Sales and Deals: “Endgame,” “Slingshot,” and “Maggie’s Plan”

  “Endgame” — In a heated bidding war, Fox has come out the victor in a $2 million dollar deal for James Fey’s book. This is a  “Hunger Games” type YA novel about young teen warriors battling in a future world. You might remember Fey’s reputation took a beating after it came out that his best-selling memories, “A Million Little Pieces,” (published in 2003) had some alleged exaggerations. Well, that controversy has not hurt Fey’s ability to get a deal in Hollywood. He will reportedly write... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script Sales and Deals: “Darkness” and “Selling Time”

“Darkness” — A spec script and the first sale for a couple of writers, is on the fast track “into production for 2014″… according to DoneDealPro (membership required). The spec by Francis Jay and C.B. Liffer, has a great hook. It’s a horror story about a woman with night blindness trapped in a small dark space with a corpse and four others, one of whom may be a killer.  The woman must use only her touch and hearing to decide who and what to believe.  The production... Read More →

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directors chair clipart

DGA award nominations for 2013 feature films out today

 The nominations were released this morning for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2013. This is a major award — as these nominees are usually the front-runners in the race for the Best Director Oscar. “To be chosen by your peers in a year full of incredibly well-crafted films is the true marker of outstanding directorial achievement,” said Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay in a news release on the organization’s website . “The passion and vision of each of the nominees resulted... Read More →

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clip art of movie clapper board

Script sales and deals

  “City that Sailed” — Screenwriter/director, Audrey Wells, has scored the job of writing an adventure film with Will Smith in the lead. Wells wrote the delightful rom-com, “The truth about cats & dogs” (1996), as well as “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003), which she directed, too. Now Wells has been tapped to write, “City that Sailed,” about a young girl’s big wish to see her father, which prompts Manhattan to break away from New York and drift across the Atlantic. Will Smith, who has been interested in... Read More →

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Warner Bros logo

Warner Bros. and Harry Potter creator teaming up again

Warner Bros is hooking up with bestselling author/Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling. on a new film series. The project steams from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards and inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander, according to a Warner Bros Entertainment news release today. “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’... Read More →

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Paul McCartney’s new song featured in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”

The Sony Pictures’ animation, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” has scored big time, even though, it doesn’t hit theaters until September 27 . Sony announced yesterday, the film will feature the title track from Paul McCartney’s forthcoming album, set to drop in UK and U.S. in mid-October, according to a PR Newswire release. McCartney’s song in the animation is called “New.” In the news release, Lia Vollack, president of Worldwide Music for Sony Pictures, said, “We’re thrilled and honored to have Paul’s infectious and inspiring song in the film.”... Read More →

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movie poster for "Lee Daniel's 'The Butler'"

“The Butler” wins the weekend box office derby

  “Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler'” kicked some serious butt at the box office this weekend, to snatch the top crown from the sci-fix actioner, “Elysium.” “The Butler,” an emotional drama based on the real life story of a black White House butler who served eight presidents, scored an estimated $25 million during its opening weekend. The other three  high-profile releases were left in the dust. A lot of chatter today about why and how “The Butler” connected with moviegoers. Also, this strong debut at the box office will... Read More →

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“Elysium” in for major fight at box office

  The sci-fi actioner, “Elysium,” won the battle for number one at the domestic box office last weekend, but another tussle is underway for that top spot. There are four new contenders hitting theaters this weekend:  the corporate thriller, “Paranoia,” the Steve Jobs biopic, “Jobs,” the sequel to the superhero comedy, “Kick-Ass 2,” and the historical drama about a black butler who served eight presidents, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ .” The real threat to “Elysium” holding onto number one for a second week, comes from “Kick-Ass 2” with... Read More →

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box of popcorn and movie reel in graphic

Box office battle: Who’ll be number one this weekend?

Several new films are gunning to bump the action flick, “2 Guns,” from the number spot at the domestic box office this weekend. The sci-fi thriller, “Elysium” appears to be the front runner  to take down the Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg buddy pix. However, the other new flicks like the raunchy comedy, “We’re the Millers,” the Disney animation “Planes,” and the fantasy adventure sequel “Percy  Jackson: Sea of Monsters” are out there fighting for the box office dollars as well. “This is going to be one... Read More →

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Warner Bros. announces Superman/Batman film is on fast track

  Get ready for an unprecedented double dose of superhero power on the big screen. Warner Bros. announced yesterday the sequel for their super-successful “Man of Steel” will involve both Superman and Batman! “Man of Steel” director, Zack Snyder, is at the helm of the sequel, which is apparently in pre-production and has a scheduled release date of summer 2015. More on this surprise announcement and plenty of comments about it on Deadline.

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red and white box of popcorn and movie tickets

Why “Pacific Rim” was defeated by “Despicable Me 2” at the box office

As the final numbers for the weekend show, “Despicable Me 2” is still king of the domestic box office. The new big budget sci-fic actioner, “Pacific Rim” had a fan base and good reviews, but still lost steam before the weekend was over. ‘Pacific Rim”had to settle for third, behind the poorly reviewed “Grown Ups 2.” What happened? Perhaps moviegoers are getting tired of the big screen battle to save Earth. Or maybe ticket buyers just wanted a break from all those flashy and loud special effects. Producers... Read More →

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"Despicable Me 2" movie poster

“Despicable Me 2” beating “Grown Ups 2” and “Pacific Rim”

  The animated juggernaut, “Despicable Me 2,” is refusing to give up its title as the number one film in the U.S.  Two new contenders, “Grown Ups 2” and “Pacific Rim” put up a fight — but “Despicable Me” appears to be headed for the winner’s circle for the second week in a row. “Despicable Me 2” brought in an estimated $44.7 million this weekend and has a haul of $200 million at the domestic box office since opening on July 3. More on the weekend numbers and... Read More →

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“Grown Ups 2” opens with poor reviews and better than expected performance

“Grown Ups 2” is apparently not for the mature nor anyone looking for anything but a weak story filled with bad jokes. The film is getting slammed by many reviewers including Claudia Puig over on USA Today. The first “Grown Ups” earned $162 million at the box office back in 2010. Despite the bad reviews, apparently a lot of moviegoers still want to see the sequel. The numbers are in for the late Thursday/early Friday morning screenings and “Grown Ups 2” and “Pacific Rim” did better than expected.... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Disney Studios in Burbank

Another big budget box office flop for Disney?

It looks like the executives at Disney have another supersized dud at the box office to explain. Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” owned the 4th of July weekend and scooped up an amazing $83.5 million in its debut, while Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” opened far behind with only $29.2 million. There’s chatter around town that Disney may have another big budget flop the size of its last summer bomb, “John Carter.” More on that here and here.

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"Despicable Me 2" movie poster

“Despicable Me 2” shines at theaters, “The Lone Ranger” struggles

The long Fourth of July holiday weekend is shaping up to be a biggie at the box office. Two new films are in the spotlight. Moviegoers appear to be storming the theaters to see Universal Pictures’ animated sequel “Despicable Me 2” while Disney’s stylized western “The Lone Ranger” is struggling to find an audience. Both flicks have great promotion and movie trailers. Both have received mixed reviews. The final decision will come from the ticket buying movie fans. More here.  

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