April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Groundlings

21 Jump Street topped the box office this weekend with a whopping estimated $35 million

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: There isn’t anything too surprising about a well-marketed and well-reviewed mainstream comedy opening well on its debut weekend, especially when there are no new releases to compete against. Still, 21 Jump Street topped the box office this weekend with a whopping estimated $35 million. If that number holds up, it will be the seventh-biggest debut for an R-rated comedy ever, as well as the fifth-biggest R-rated comedy debut for a non-sequel and the largest such debut outside of summer. Sony knew they had a winner on their hands, as the $42 million-budgeted film was as much a commentary on the current trend of recycling brand names as an example of such. They’ve been screening it out the wazoo, building solid buzz and strong word-of-mouth, for months on end. Oddly enough, the film earned just a ‘B’ from Cinemascore, and I’m frankly puzzled by that. Yes, audiences under 25 gave it an A, but it’s such a winning film that I’m shocked it’s not playing well across the board (my 61-year old father-in-law laughed his butt off at the press screening). It’s a terrifically funny and uncommonly warm and sweet (for an R-rated action comedy) picture, so one would presume that it will have legs in the coming weeks. Hopefully Sony will focus its second round of advertising on getting females into the theater (although it played 47% female and 50% over/under 25 years old) by emphasizing how *not* sexist and/or homophobic the picture is. It faces no direct competition (aside from the all-consuming hurricane that is The Hunger Games next weekend) until April 6th, when Universal debuts American Reunion. This is another big win for Channing Tatum. This is his third-biggest debut behind The Vow ($40 million) and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($54 million). He also has a second GI Joe movie as well as a Steven Soderbergh reunion in Magic Mike both opening on June 29th. This is Jonah Hill’s second biggest live-action debut behind the $54 million opening of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
Following last week’s semi-wide release of Friends With Kids (which expanded to 640 screens this weekend and grossed another $1.5 million, dropping 25%), we have three more theoretically mainstream films that have been relegated to the arthouse circuit. Will Ferrell’s telanoleva satire Casa [...]

Oscars®: “Bridesmaids” cast will present at the 84th Academy Awards®

HollywoodNews.com: Six actresses – Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig – from the hit comedy “Bridesmaids” will be presenters at the 84th Academy Awards, telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer announced today. McCarthy received her first Oscar® nomination this year for her supporting role in the film, and Wiig also became a first-time nominee for the film’s original screenplay. All six will be making their first Oscar show appearances.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
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“Bridesmaid” sequel could happen without Kristen Wiig?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Sequels aren’t always a good idea. Here’s why.
Universal reportedly is contemplating a sequel to the massively successful “Bridesmaids,” a summer smash that somehow finds itself in the Oscar race (where comedies usually don’t compete, though to be fair, most comedies aren’t as funny as “Bridesmaids”). And why not, right? If “The Hangover” can earn a sequel, “Maids” deserves one, as well.
Except here’s the problem: Kristen Wiig isn’t involved. And the studio might move forward without her.
THR reports that Wiig and her co-writer Annie Mumolo aren’t interested in pursuing a sequel. “We are writing something else,” she tells the trade. But Uni remains optimistic about a sequel if they can get it right. “We are over the moon with the success of ‘Bridesmaids,’ and if we do a sequel we want to get it right,” a Universal rep tells THR. “We are talking to filmmakers now about concepts, and if the right one emerges, we’ll move forward.” The rumor would have a sequel focusing on Melissa McCarthy’s character, though I honestly couldn’t see the actress moving ahead on a sequel if Wiig wasn’t on board.
Judd Apatow weighed in via a statement, saying, “The key is we have to come up with an idea that is as good or better than the first one. We don’t want to do it unless it can be great. I don’t think anyone has had the brain space to think about it yet. Hopefully that can begin this year.”
Would you see a “Bridesmaid” sequel that didn’t have Wiig? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Kristen Wiig rumored to be in last season on SNL

HollywoodNews.com: Kristen Wiig–who’s become a hot commodity with “Bridesmaids” this year–has wrapped her latest film in time for the new season “Saturday Night Live.” It may also be her last season, I’m told by a source.
Wiig, along with Jason Sudeikis, has enough of a film career to graduate at the end of this season. “Imogene,” a movie I announced her exclusively last spring, costars Annette Bening. Matt Dillon and Darren Criss. “Imogene” is produced by Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray‘s Maven Pictures with some new partners 10th Hole Entertainment joining Anonymous Content’s Alix Madigan, Gambit Productions, and Ambush Entertainment. Kristen, by the way, also has a co-starring role in Jennifer Westfeldt’s excellent comedy “Friends with Kids,” to be released by Lions Gate.
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Anderson Cooper holding hands with Kathy Griffin photo

HollywoodNews.com: I have NO IDEA what the heck is going on here between Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin!
But CNN’s Silver Fox has a new daytime talk show debuting next week so he’s wise to be associating with a shameless publicity whore like our favorite D-Lister!

We know there’s no romance here but these two do share an undeniable chemistry!
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Why the successes of “The Debt” and “Our Idiot Brother” matter

HollywoodNews.com: Normally I would not spend a column championing a small $5 million comedy that is on track to gross over $30 million as anything other than a ‘gee, I like when that happens’. And while there are many reasons to praise the $14 million six-day opening of The Debt, the most surprising thing about it is that Focus Features debuted the film wide enough to achieve that kind of opening in the first place.
In a movie-going world where any number of seemingly mainstream pictures die in the art-house, peaking at 500 screens and unable to capitalize on mainstream buzz or word of mouth, kudos to the Weinstein Company and Focus Features for just opening these movies the old fashioned way. They may have sensibilities that differ from the most popular versions of their respective genre. Our Idiot Brother is (allegedly) a bit more painful and quirky than a Judd Apatow film, while The Debt is closer to John le Carré than Jason Bourne. But they are both damn-well mainstream entertainments, and both films will be quite profitable because their respective studios treated them as such.
If you’ve read this site for the last year or so, you’ve probably heard me complain a number of times about what one might call the ‘mainstream art-house film’. In the last several years, we’ve noticed a disturbing trend of seemingly mainstream pictures, with big movie stars, mainstream production values, and more-or-less mainstream stories, being dumped into art-houses hoping for a successful expansion that never really comes. We all crowed last year about the limited-release successes of Solitary Man, Cyrus, and/or Winter’s Bone.
But none of those films topped $8 million at the domestic box office. More importantly, all three of those films (along with several others in any given year) were the kind of seemingly mainstream vehicles (a Michael Douglas mid-life crisis dramedy, a dark comedy with John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, and Marisa Tomei, and an intense rural thriller about family loyalty in the face of crippling poverty) that likely would have received a mainstream release just a few years ago. The same goes this year, where the well-liked (by myself and others) Cedar Rapids failed to reach $7 million despite weeks of successful art-house expansion last Spring. And Everything Must Go (out today on DVD – go [...]

Cameron Diaz’s “Bad Teacher” crosses $200M worldwide

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Summer 2011 officially is drawing to a close, and the producers of R-rated comedies will be sad to see it go.
Audiences have flocked to most raunchy comedies released into the marketplace over the summer, with three R-rated films crossing the $200 million mark worldwide. The latest, “Bad Teacher,” managed the feat just this past weekend, posting an additional $2.2M at international box offices to push its overall cume past the high-water mark. The Cameron Diaz comedy now joins Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover Part II” and Kristen Wiig’s vehicle “Bridesmaids” as the latest R-rated comedy to hit the spot (as noted by THR).
Yet the rating isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. For every “Bad Teacher,” there is a raunchy “Change-Up” which fails to connect with audiences ($34.8M worldwide since opening on Aug. 5).
Don’t feel too bad for Jason Bateman, though, His “Horrible Bosses,” also rated R, has earned $170.3M globally so far, meaning it could be the fourth film to pass $200M before the year is through.
As for “Bad Teacher,” I wonder if this means a sequel is possible. Diaz isn’t opposed to sequels, and the star power of she and Justin Timberlake together could power a second film. Though the film has only made $98M in the States, foreign audiences showed up in support would they do it again? We may find out.
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Lisa Kudrow is loving the webisode life

HollywoodNews.com: Lisa Kudrow isn’t worried that the growth of her “Web Therapy” show — from an internet comedy bit to a Showtime series — will lead to a more intense work life than she bargained for. Not at all.
“That’s what I love about doing this show — because to do 15 webisodes? It takes only a weekend to do that. I’m not kidding. It takes a few more weeks to prepare outlines and all of that,” she tells us. Lisa — who has been doing her
three-minute “Web Therapy” blasts on LStudio since 2008 – says she’s still
hands-on with all aspects of the show on which she plays the narcissistic,
frequently bored, self-styled therapist Fiona Wallace. Wallace’s guest
clients have included a string of A-listers, from Jane Lynch and
Courteney Cox to Meryl Streep. More big names are coming up (Rosie
O’Donnell, Conan O’Brien) and Lisa told press last week that she hopes
to get more of her former “Friends” cast mates to come in and join the
improvisational fun. She’s awaiting word on a Season 2 pickup.
At first, Lisa was making all the calls to get friends to come in andplay on the show. “We definitely had to start off with people we knew — but we didn’t know Lily,” she adds, speaking of Lily Tomlin, who plays Fiona’s awful mother. Lily, in fact, was one of the actors who inspired Lisa most, coming up. She perfected her own version of Lily’s Edith Ann character at an early age.
“That was sort of a cold call. And she was like, ‘Sure!’ and she came in and talked to us. That was so much fun — talking about the character and where to go with it. That was really perfect.”
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Anderson Cooper gets a case of the giggles during The Ridiculist

HollywoodNews.com: We’ve see Anderson Cooper giggle a bit when he’s guest hosting on Regis & Kelly or alongside Kathy Griffin on the New Year’s Eve broadcasts. But never anything like this!
The Silver Fox just lost it last night while trying to get through a pun-laden segment in which he put French actor Gerard Depardieu on The Ridiculist. The star of Green Card urinated on an Air France plane in front of other passengers after flight attendants told him he could not use the restroom.
I woulda lost it too!

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Adam Lambert and Kathy Griffin at 2011 Los Angeles Equality Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Such a shy and demure pair are Adam Lambert and Kathy Griffin.
Ha!
The flashy singing star and the D-List comedienne were the big draws at this weekend’s Los Angeles Equality Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday night. [check out photos on Socialite's Life]
The awards recognize the achievements of the organization, its sponsors, members, staff and volunteers as well as members of the LGBT community. Other honorees included Daniel O’Donnell (Equality Leadership award) and Facebook (Equality Advocate Award).
I love how in his acceptance speech, Adam talked about missteps when he first became famous post-American Idol but now he recognizes the responsibility and the opportunity that comes along with being a high-profile openly gay star.
Adam later wrote via Twitter: “Thank you Equality California for such a lovely evening!! And @sam_sparro for a great intro. ”
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