April 18, 2014

Tag Archives: Planet of the Apes

“Ted” and “Magic Mike” big box office opening

HollywoodNews.com: This weekend represented a shining example of the two best trends in mainstream moviegoing this year. As I wrote (here and here), we’ve seen a real upswing in both mid-to-low-budget mainstream fare that aren’t especially ‘tentpole-ish’ as well as a huge upswing in the number of R-rated films being released by the major studios.
As such, two of the four wide releases this weekend were both R-rated and all four were relatively small-scale and in 2D. That they mostly debuted to blockbuster numbers is an encouraging sign that not every movie need be a $150 million fantasy genre franchise entry. The top film of the weekend is also the best mainstream picture of the summer, as Seth MacFarlane’s Ted (review) debuted to a massive $54 million.
That’s the third-best debut for an R-rated comedy behind the $57 million opening of Sex and the City and the $87 million Fri-Sun debut of The Hangover part II. Among non-sequel/spin-off R-rated comedies, it topped the $44 million record debut of The Hangover and is the is among the top-ten best R-rated debuts of all-time. This is a massive win for all involved, bringing Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane serious film-making clout, further confirming that Mark Wahlberg is an actual ‘put butts in the seats’ movie star and giving Universal something to laugh about.
Speaking of Wahlberg, this is his second biggest opening behind the $68 million debut of Planet of the Apes back in 2001, and it needs only cross $133 million to supplant The Departed as his third-highest grossing film (Planet of the Apes and The Perfect Storm earned $180 million and $182 million respectively)
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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And the Oscars will go to … — AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Do or die time. After month and months of tracking the Oscar race, it’s time to put up (and shut up) by posting my official picks for Sunday night’s Academy Awards.
And while I have been saying (OK, complaining) that too many of tonight’s winners are all but predetermined, there’s still a few mysteries to be solved, primarily in the below-the-line categories, where deserving films could take home Oscar gold.
So, without further ado, here are my selections for tonight’s winners, bolded in each category. I hope they help you win an Oscar pool or two. Enjoy the show!
Best Picture
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“Hugo”
“Midnight In Paris”
“The Help”
“Moneyball”
“War Horse”
“The Tree of Life”
Best Actor
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
Best Actress
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
Best Director
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
JC Chandor, “Margin Call”
Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
John Logan, “Hugo”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, “The Ides of March”
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, “Moneyball”
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Best Animated Feature
“A Cat In Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2″
“Puss in Boots”
“Rango”
Best Foreign Feature
“Bullhead” (Belgium)
“Footnote” (Israel)
“In Darkness” (Poland)
“Monsiuer Lazhar” (Canada)
“A Separation” (Iran)
Best Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”
Best Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
Best Costume Design
“Anonymous”
“The Artist”
“Hugo”
“Jane Eyre”
“W.E.”
Best Documentary Feature
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
“Pina”
“Undefeated”
Best Documentary Short
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
“God Is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
Best Film Editing
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Moneyball”
Best Make-Up
“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“The Iron Lady”
Best Original Score
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”
Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” [...]

Oscars: “Apes,” “Pirates,” “Harry Potter” still in Visual Effects race – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Ten films remain in the running for the Visual Effects category for the 84th Academy Awards. According to a release submitted this afternoon, the films (in alphabetical order) are:
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“Hugo”
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“The Tree of Life”
“X-Men: First Class”
Man alive, that’s a tough category to call. While “The Tree of Life” and “Hugo” had some amazing visuals, could you see anything beating “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the wizardry that is Andy Serkis?
As stated by the release, all members of the Visual Effects Branch “will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Thursday, Jan. 19. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.”
As you know, the 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
- Harvey Weinstein
- The cast of “The Artist.”
- Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
- Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
- Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
- Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
- David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
- Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
- Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
- Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
- Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
- Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
- Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
- Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
- Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
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Fox says it will push “Apes” star Andy Serkis for Oscar – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: There was a debate raging behind the scenes at the Southeastern Film Critics Association (of which I’m a member) as to whether Andy Serkis can and should be considered in the group’s Best Supporting Actor category this year for his work on Rupert Wyatt’s surprising summer blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
Supporters were pointing to a supplemental feature on the recently released Blu-ray that highlights the amount of work that went into Serkis’ performance so as to be able to capture Caesar, the brilliant ape who triggered the money revolution. Detractors weren’t sure whether they’d be able to differentiate between Serkis’ and the contributions of the motion-capture artists working with Serkis’ efforts … but possibly taking his performance one step further.
But even those who weren’t convinced enough to put Serkis on their ballot at least admitted that Serkis absolutely deserved to be considered for a Best Actor nomination, which is excellent news for 20th Century Fox.
The studio’s co-chair and CEO, Tom Rothman, admitted to THR that they planned to push the actor’s performance in the ongoing Oscar race, believing Serkis could finally be recognized after being overlooked for his work on Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
“I think we may be at the place where we will see a first-ever in Hollywood this year, which is to see Andy Serkis get nominated for a best supporting actor for ‘Planet of the Apes,’ even though his face never actually appears,” he said while attending the Gotham Independent Film Awards. “But his performance appears, so we are going to push that hard.”
“The emotionality – what you see and what you feel – he did it,” Rothman continued. “I saw him. I watched him. Then they digitally overlaid – you can think of it as a costume – the skin and the hair of an ape. But I tell you the thing that people felt – and a lot of people where moved when they saw the movie – is because of his performance.”
This could be a year of “firsts,” or at least a return to historical form for the Oscars, which could potentially honor a black-and-white, largely silent film in “The Artist” or nominate CGI, mo-cap features like Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin.” But I’m thrilled to hear Fox plans to put its weight behind Serkis, who continues to amaze in [...]

Hurricane Irene could drench three new releases

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Three new films entering the marketplace this weekend aren’t just competing against last week’s box office winners “The Help” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” They’re also competing against Mother Nature.
Hurricane Irene continues to bear down on the East Coast, affecting major cities as far south as Miami and as far north as New York City. The New York Times says the entire East Coast was “on alert” as the Category 3 storm prepares to slam into Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York over the weekend.
As residents face potential power outages and storm damage, do you think they’ll be interested in braving the harsh weather conditions to see “Colombiana,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” or “Our Idiot Brother” with Paul Rudd?
“I’d hate to be opening a movie now,” one studio executive told THR.
Even in ideal weather, the trade predicts the three new movies would have a tough time toppling Disney’s “The Help,” which continues to play to solid crowds as it builds buzz and prepares for a lengthy awards-season run.
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The Help Needs No Help at the Box Office

HollywoodNews.com: As expected, the summer reached its climax this weekend with an ugly pileup, as four new releases failed to achieve anything resembling success, with three of those releases being in 3D and two of them chasing the exact same demographics. Why oh why did Lionsgate and Disney open Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night on the same weekend?. With the new releases eating each other alive, The Help snuck into the number one slot during its second weekend. Dropping just 21% compared to the Fri-Sun portion of its opening weekend, The Help earned $20.4 million and now sits with a twelve-day total of $71.8 million. This is the very definition of an old-fashioned leggy hit, but in today’s front-loaded marketplace, it almost qualifies as a sensation. $100 million is guaranteed at this point, the question now merely remains how far over/under $150 million it ends up and/or how much the film will factor in the year-end awards races. Viola Davis is a lock for an Oscar nomination (but will her lead performance get placed in the leading or supporting category) and the film is in a pretty good place for a Best Picture nomination. It would be a lock under the old 10-nominees system, and said two-year experiment was dismantled partially out of the desire to keep such ‘popular entertainments’ (IE – well-reviewed films that mainstream audiences actually enjoyed… horrors!) out of the field.
Coming in at second place was not any of the new releases, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The (again) well-reviewed and well-liked franchise reboot pulled in another $16.3 million in its third weekend. It sits with $133 million after seventeen days. Again, back in the old days, this would have been just a regular old-fashioned hit film. But in today’s insanely front-loaded marketplace, the film qualifies as a leggy winner. It’s respective seventeen-day total puts it just under Thor ($145 million) and Captain America ($143 million), both of which were in 3D and both of which cost about 50% more than the Fox franchise reboot. Its $134 million total after three weekends exceeds X-Men: First Class ($120 million), I, Robot ($115 million), and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($120 million). And it’s quickly catching up to Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, which had earned $148 million by [...]

Weekend Box Office: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

HollywoodNews.com: It’s a little sad when a drop of just under 50% is considered leggy, but here we are. Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped ‘just’ 49% in its second weekend, which was strong enough to once again claim the top spot at the box office. The well-received franchise reboot earned $27.5 million in weekend two, for a ten-day total of $104 million.
The number puts it well-ahead of movies that opened with similar numbers in summers past, such as I, Robot ($95 million after ten days), X-Men ($99 million), X-Men: First Class ($98 million), GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($98 million), and The Incredible Hulk ($97 million). It is comparatively down from Tim Burton’s still-lousy (just watched it again this weekend) Planet of the Apes, which opened with $69 million back in 2001 and ended its tenth day with $123 million. However, this much-better received and much cheaper variation is falling at a smaller rate, so it has a chance of catching up to the $180 million earned by the Burton re-imagining ten years ago. The film is doing the usual Fox magic overseas as well, as it has $179 million worldwide, which makes this a HUGE win for the $93 million production.
Coming in at second place, but hobbled over the weekend by a Wednesday opening, was The Help. The much-anticipated and much-debated Civil Rights-era drama earned a terrific $24 million over the Friday-Sunday portion of the weekend and $35 million since opening on Wednesday. Three things of note – The film would clearly have won the weekend had Disney opened it on a Friday, and it would have easily won the weekend had Disney decided to convert the Emma Stone/Viola Davis drama into 3D (such a move would have netted the film around $29 million for the weekend and $40 million over five days). The film played 74% female and 60% 35 years and older, which makes the opening all the more impressive (as all know, older audiences don’t generally rush out on opening weekend). The picture had stunning legs over the whole weekend, pulling in a terrific 6.4x multiplier over the long weekend and a stunningly good (for this day and age) Fri-Sun multiplier of 3.35x.
Finally, along with a Cinemascore of A+, the film pulled off the rare feat of earning more on [...]

“The Help” off to a strong start

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: Second only to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” in the weekend box office, “The Help” is off to a strong start. Earning $25.5 million on opening weekend and an estimated $35.4 million lifetime gross to date, the adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett novel is poised to be a hit.
This was not a given. For all of its critical acclaim, “The Help” has frequently come under fire since its 2009 release. Controversy surrounds the handling of charged racial issues and the authenticity of Stockett’s portrayals. Two of the three narrator voices in the novel are black maids, yet Stockett herself is white, a fact that garnered both praise, and criticism, from myriad groups.
Yet, audience reaction is positive, even if critical reviews are mixed. Critic approval topped out at 73%, with many sentiments echoing those of Dana Stevens’ (Slate): “The Help is a high-functioning tearjerker, but the catharsis it offers feels glib and insufficient, a Barbie Band-Aid on the still-raw wound of race relations in America.” However, Rotten Tomatoes reports 93% audience approval, more than enough to turn it into a big screen hit.
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Is “Planet of the Apes” part of a planned trilogy?

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: Could the recent success of Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” spark more monkey business.
That seems to be the plan. Screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver spoke to Entertainment Weekly about what’s next, and while they were quick to say nothing is certain yet, the married writing duo confirms the film is specifically structured to be the first in a brand new Apes trilogy.
Here’s a snippet from the Entertainment Weekly interview:
Silver: I’m touching wood, because I’m superstitious! We definitely have ideas for where the sequel — plural, where the sequels — would take us. And those were kind of built into –
Jaffa: — the construction of the narrative already. There hasn’t been an official discussion yet about a sequel, because I think everyone still doesn’t want to jinx where we are. But we definitely have ideas.
Silver: When we started this, we knew that this movie would stand on its own, and we designed it that way. But if it didn’t stand on its own, we pictured a trilogy that would start with this movie.
For those of you have seen the film (and if you haven’t, please do), there’s mention of a spacecraft named Icarus on a mission to Mars. Icarus is of course the ship which carried Charlton Heston and his crew through time in the original film — so could we be seeing a similar storyline carried out to fruition in this trilogy?
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a hit with critics and moviegoers alike and has made $120 million worldwide so far. What do you think will happen in the next films? Here’s to hoping there’s no Ape police officers or Ape-raham Lincoln memorial like in Tim Burton’s 2001 remake.
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This Week In Movies By Pete Hammond: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: Defying all expectations, even from the most optimistic projections of its distributor 20th Century Fox, the prequel to the venerable Planet of the Apes franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes scored at least $20 million more at the boxoffice than anticipated with a sterling estimate of $54 million and an A minus Cinemascore rating. Critics loved it too giving it an 81% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes.
Coming towards the end of a long summer of one hoped-for blockbuster opening after another, little hope was held out for this reinvention of the Apes tale starring James Franco and Andy Serkis . But a smart script, good direction and state-of-the-art special effects lifted it not only into the top ranks of any previous Apes movie but also to the top of some critics (like TIMES’s Richard Corliss) lists of the year’s best pictures. Fox Co-Chairman Tom Rothman said that the studio always had faith in this concept but that the technology just wasn’t there yet to make a credible version , that is unless you know some “really talented apes”. In this case the CGI and Performance Capture process had grown so sophisticated that they were able to make this film without employing a single real ape. That fact delighted the animal rights group PETA which showed its approval by going to the premiere last week holding signs that were very grateful Fox did not use the real thing. Franco said there was no way this movie could have been made a decade ago. In that time director Tim Burton attempted to re-invigorate the franchise, which began in 1968 with the Charlton Heston classic, Planet of the Apes, spawning four sequels and a TV Series, by basically updating and remaking the original with Mark Wahlberg in the lead. It wasn’t a flop but was not generally well-received and might have been a franchise killer had Director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, none of whom had much of a resume, somehow came up with a concept and execution that has taken this prequel detailing the rise to power of the Apes into a whole new creative territory for the series. But in the end the real reason any of it works is the remarkable performance of Andy Serkis , best known as Gollum in the Lord [...]

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