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‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ Edges Tom Hanks’ ‘The Circle’ at Thursday Box Office

37 minutes ago

The romantic comedy “How to Be a Latin Lover” topped the Tom Hanks-Emma Watson thriller “The Circle” on Thursday night.

Latin Lover” grossed $450,000 at 925 U.S. locations, while “Circle” took in $430,000.

Both new movies are expected to trail “The Fate of the Furious” this weekend, which should land in the $15 million to $20 million range during Friday-Sunday.

Related

Box Office: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Aims for Threepeat Over ‘The Circle,’ ‘Latin Lover

The Circle” from Stx and EuropaCorp opens at 3,163 venues and is projected to reel in between $10 million and $15 million. The film, which premiered Wednesday at the Tribeca Film Festival, has a relatively thrifty $18 million budget.

The Circle” is set in the near-future and stars Hanks as the founder of a Silicon Valley social media company with Watson portraying an employee who finds herself in a dilemma over privacy and tech ethics. Dave Eggers co-wrote the screenplay, based »


- Dave McNary

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Dionne Warwick Movie in Works With Mister Smith Selling at Cannes

43 minutes ago

A documentary feature film about singer Dionne Warwick, “Don’t Make Me Over,” is in the works, which will provide a “glimpse into the life of one of the most famous, yet notoriously private, superstars of the last 60 years,” according to a statement. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will launch sales on the film and present select footage to international buyers at next month’s Cannes Market.

The film, co-directed and co-produced by Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner, and written by Wooley, “brings to life the real Dionne Warwick, an African-American woman who broke racial and gender barriers, a dedicated humanitarian fighting injustice worldwide, and a singer whose music became the soundtrack for generations.”

Directors of photography are Oscar nominee Tom Bergmann (“Life, Animated”) and Academy Award winner Ronan Killeen (“O.J. Made in America”). The film is being edited by Emmy Award winner Aljernon Tunsil (“Through the Fire: »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘Fast and Furious’ Franchise Honored With 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Generation Honor

1 hour ago

MTV announced Friday that the “Fast & Furious” franchise will be receiving this year’s Generation Award at its 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards. “Fate of the Furious” — the eighth film in the long-running series — continues to be the No. 1 movie in the world.

Vin Diesel will accept the award on behalf of the entire cast. It’s the first year the Generation Award is not going to an individual actor. Diesel has appeared in more “Fast & Furious” films than any of his castmates; his only absence was in 2003’s “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Jordana Brewster will also be by his side.

Related

2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards: Complete Nominations List

MTV also announced that J Balvin, Pitbull, and Camila Cabello will be performing their hit track “Hey Ma” featured in “Fate,” marking the song’s television debut.

To celebrate this year’s award recipient(s), MTV will »


- JD Knapp

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Film Review: Doug Liman’s ‘The Wall’

1 hour ago

In the vast majority of war movies, the act of combat is a show of force in which the stronger side wins, barreling through the enemy’s defenses like a bowling ball. But in “The Wall,” war is like a protracted game of chess, where each side is down to its final pieces on the board, and strategy matters.

A lean, back-to-basics thriller from director Doug Liman (who made the original “The Bourne Identity”) and first-time screenwriter Dwain Worrell (whose tricky script landed on the Black List), this wide-release Amazon Original film pits a pair of American snipers against an unknown foe, who just might be the notorious Iraqi sniper known as Juba, aka “the angel of death” — an adversary with 75 U.S. casualties notched on his belt, and countless others unconfirmed.

As this high-tension standoff escalates, we never learn who the mystery shooter is, though this much is certain: »


- Peter Debruge

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Filming Begins in Southern California on ‘Nuns-With-Guns’ Documentary

2 hours ago

Salon Pictures has begun principal photography in Southern California on its feature documentary “Breaking Habits,” described as a real-life “nuns-with-guns tale.”

The film tells the story of the Sisters of the Valley, a group of women living as nuns who currently run an illegal marijuana farm in Merced, California, producing medicines while facing constant threat from local drug cartels and the California state Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. The women produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves which they sell online through an Etsy store. Although they wear religious habits and refer to each other as sisters they are not affiliated with any traditional religious order.

Focusing on head nun Sister Kate, Salon describes “Breaking Habits” as the story of a woman caught up in a modern day Wild West, determined to heal her community and put independence back in the hands of women. The documentary is written and directed by Rob Ryan. »


- Robert Mitchell

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Tribeca Review: Puff Daddy’s ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’

2 hours ago

Among the many skills that Sean “Puff Daddy/P. Diddy” Combs has (or has not) displayed over the years, the greatest might be a preternatural ability at self-promotion that borders on self-mythologizing. And with the aid of first-time director Daniel Kaufman, and the extended family and friends around Bad Boy Records, the wildly successful record company Combs founded in 1993, the documentary “Can't Stop, Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story” — which premiered on Thursday at New York’s Beacon Theatre as part of the Tribeca Film Festival — goes a long way toward sealing that myth.

While the story of Combs and the label is compelling — fatherless kid rises up from the streets and founds company that leads him to become one of the greatest black entrepreneurs in history, overcoming adversity and tragedy along the way — the fact that the filmmakers didn’t really have much to work with beyond »


- Jem Aswad

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Lionsgate Teaming With Fandom to Reach Movie Fan Communities

2 hours ago

Lionsgate and Fandom have launched a strategic partnership to reach movie fan communities with Lionsgate’s properties.

The multiyear agreement — announced Friday — expands a strategic relationship that’s already included partnership on “John Wick: Chapter 2,” Starz’s television series “American Gods,” which debuts Sunday, and “Power Rangers.”

“By deepening Lionsgate’s engagement and connection with the fan communities for its properties, the pact will enable the company to continue to refine its marketing strategies, expand the worlds of its franchises and create fresh content for fans,” the announcement said.

Under the partnership, Fandom users will have access to enhanced content, some of it exclusive. The companies did not elaborate.

Lionsgate’s upcoming movie titles include “All Eyez on Me,” “Robin Hood,” “My Little Pony,” “Saw: Legacy,” “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “Wonder.”

Fandom has an audience of 360,000 fan communities and over 175 million monthly unique visits. Lionsgate has a 16,000-title library, »


- Dave McNary

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Udine Focus Asia: Aurora Media Boards Southeast Asian Genre Projects (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Udine, Italy – Singapore-based Aurora Media Holdings, an investment outfit with Hollywood ties, has inked financing and production deals for two upcoming Southeast Asian pics during Focus Asia, the new genre-focused project market and industry platform being held at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.

Aurora Media has boarded Indonesian black comedy “Abracadabra,” which turns on a magician who finds women inside his magic box, to be helmed by Faozan Rizal (“Habibie & Ainun”). They will also invest in supernatural drama “The Long Walk” by Laos’ Mattie Do, about an old man who travels back in time to the moment of his mother’s death. Do is Laos’ first female director. “The Long Walk” is her third feature after chillers “Chanthaly” and “Dearest Sister,” which earned her international recognition.

“Abracadabra” will topline Indonesian megastar Reza Rahadian. “Faozan and I are happy to be co-producing ‘Abracadabra’ with Aurora Media, and we »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Cannes Film Market Adds Haf, Vilnius, New Horizons, Thessaloniki to Pix-in-Post Showcases

5 hours ago

The Cannes Film Market, the world’s biggest – and still growing – film industry meet, is raising the bar once more in industry initiatives, adding four new events to its 5th Goes to Cannes works-in-progress brand: FilMart’s Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf), Lithuania’s Vilnius Intl. Film Festival, New Horizon Polish Days and Greece’s Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival.

The Marché du Film also added four more festival showcases last year to the Goes To series. In all, in the space of four years, from 2013’s inaugural single-event Bal Goes to Cannes, this year 10 festivals will showcase key movies at rough-cut, nearly always screened for the first time outside their own pix-in-post strands.

Haf also marks Goes to Cannes’ first Asian fest partner. As in 2016, the new additions target some of the world’s fastest growing regions, such as, undoubtedly, Asia (Haf), as well as buzzed-up national cinemas (Nhpd, »


- John Hopewell

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Film Review: ‘Sleight’

5 hours ago

Slight is right. Arguably the biggest letdown of the 2016 Sundance film festival, J.D. Dillard’s feature debut squanders its high concept — an amateur street magician uses his craft to free himself from the clutches of a maniacal drug dealer — and serves up a low-rent, Nickelodeon-lite version of that story, blowing his chance with corny acting, paint-by-numbers plotting, and a dippy score.

Perhaps Dillard is too young or green to escape the recycled clichés that constitute the bulk of his script (co-written with Alex Theurer), and yet, charitably speaking, “Sleight” shows potential. Not box office potential, mind you, as the Jason Blum-backed, WWE Studios release is bound to disappoint on its too-wide theatrical release, but it heralds the arrival of a new African-American director with dreams of tackling big-budget genre fare (last month, he was in talks to remake “The Fly” for Fox), a talented Dp in AFI grad Ed Wu, »


- Peter Debruge

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Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Deluxe Edition: Full Tracklist, Details Announced

5 hours ago

Npg and Warner Bros. Records have announced the final tracklist for the long-promised deluxe editions of Prince’s Grammy- and Oscar-winning and biggest-selling album, 1984’s “Purple Rain.” The set will be available in Deluxe and Deluxe – Expanded Edition formats on June 23, two weeks later than originally scheduled, and almost 33 years to the day after the original album’s release. The editions feature multiple previously unreleased songs from the era and the expanded edition includes the long-unavailable concert film “Prince and the Revolution Live!,” which was recorded in Syracuse, N.Y. in March 1985, near the end of the “Purple Rain” tour.

One previously unreleased song — the sultry “Electric Intercourse,” which was replaced on the original album by (and is stylistically similar to) “The Beautiful Ones” — is available today (April 28) as an “instant-grat download” as part of the pre-order. The song was previously available in live versions on bootlegs, but this studio »


- Jem Aswad

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Cannes: First Image from André Téchiné’s ‘Golden Years’ (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Variety has been given the exclusive first image from André Téchiné’s “Golden Years” (Nos années folles), which world premieres as a Screening Gala at the Cannes Film Festival’s tribute to the veteran French director. Celluloid Dreams is handling world sales, and the film will be released in France by Arp Selection.

Téchiné, whose credits include “Rendez-Vous,” “My Favorite Season,” “Wild Reeds” and 2016 Berlinale Competition title “Being Seventeen,” describes the film as both “an odyssey of sexual identity” and “an extraordinary love story.” He co-wrote the script with Cédric Anger, based on the book “La Garçonne et l’assassin” by Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman.

The story centers on Paul and Louise, who get married on the eve of World War I. After two years on the front, Paul injures himself and decides to desert, risking execution. Louise dresses him up as a woman to hide him and he becomes “Suzanne, »


- Leo Barraclough

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Film Review: ‘Casting JonBenét’

6 hours ago

What is it that so fascinates people about the case of JonBenét Ramsey, the six-year-old beauty pageant princess who was found murdered in her own basement? Thousands of hours have already been dedicated to covering the story via TV news and true-crime movies, but Australian director Kitty Green’s high-concept documentary “Casting JonBenét” breaks fresh ground, probing the public, rather than family members or suspects (often the same thing).

This enticingly original project — which premiered at Sundance and is now available on Netflix — presents itself as a series of casting-session interviews with actors being considered for the principal roles in yet another film on the subject, and by alternating between their best guesses as to what happened and revelations about details from their personal lives (history of abuse, loss, and sexual perversion), it begins to penetrate why this particular tabloid phenomenon resonated so profoundly with Americans.

More than two decades after JonBenét’s death, »


- Peter Debruge

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Film Review: ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’

8 hours ago

The combo of wink-wink naughtiness and family-friendly sentimentality makes for a wildly uneven farce in “How to Be a Latin Lover,” as a middle-aged male gold-digger attempts a reconciliation with his estranged sister and nephew — when he isn’t busy looking for his next sugar mama, that is. It’s another hand-tooled star vehicle for Mexican TV actor/personality Eugenio Derbez, whose phenomenally popular 2013 comedy “Instructions Not Included” holds the record for being the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States. This follow-up effort, a largely English-language feature, isn’t likely to make lightning strike twice in terms of generating consumer demand. To give it fair due, however, there are some very funny bits and pieces scattered amid the proceedings, along with a few darkly comical gags that appear to belong in a different movie, but are more than welcome here.

Much like Jack Benny, Maximo (Derbez) continues »


- Joe Leydon

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘My Friend Dahmer’

10 hours ago

The premise of “My Friend Dahmer” — a year in the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, the gay cannibalistic serial killer, back when he was a misunderstood high school kid — makes it sound like the indie-hipster version of “Bates Motel”: a “sensitive” prequel to the madness to come. To be sure, the dementia the movie shows us is totally in its embryonic form. Jeffrey, at 17, likes to take roadkill and dissolve it in jars of acid he gets from his chemist father, and his surly blank stare gives new meaning to the term “teenage outcast.” Yet “My Friend Dahmer,” adapted from a true-life graphic novel by John Backderf (who based it on his own high-school experiences with Dahmer), is more than a twisted Afterschool Special. It’s a serious and audacious attempt to dramatize the inner life of a sick puppy when he wasn’t quite so sick.

As you watch the movie, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Dabka’

13 hours ago

In the 1980s, what the average North American knew of Somalia he learned from Sally Struthers-hosted feed-the-children commercials. Then came Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down,” which portrayed white actors beset by ululating black guerrillas, and a series of news reports in which Western ships were hijacked by small bands of Somali “pirates.” Each and every one of these depictions simplifies a civilization that, according to writer-director Bryan Buckley’s “Dabka,” needs to be recognized “as the incredibly complex people that they are” — a budding democracy struggling to assert itself among rivals with the power to steal their resources right out from under them.

So, that’s what’s progressive and good about “Dabka.” Unfortunately, best intentions aside, the film itself is a rowdy, often abrasive account of how a lone Canadian journalist had the chutzpah to actually travel to Somalia and investigate a situation that others were to skittish to cover. »


- Peter Debruge

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Directors Guild President Paris Barclay Hopes Writers Strike Can Be Averted

14 hours ago

Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay has declared that the DGA is hoping that a writers strike can be averted.

In a five-paragraph missive to DGA members, he used measured language and did not provide an endorsement of the WGA and its negotiating positions. The letter was sent to the 17,000 DGA members late Thursday afternoon. Barclay provided a general update on the talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The current contract expires at 12:01 am Pt on Tuesday. The letter was sent out on the same day that the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and the NFL Players Assn. issued strong endorsements of the WGA and its negotiating positions.

Related

Writers Strike Fears Put Hollywood on High Alert as Studios Prep Plans

Barclay did not address the specifics of the WGA’s proposal as he took an apparently neutral stance. »


- Dave McNary

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Writers Strike Fears Put Hollywood on High Alert as Studios Prep Plans

15 hours ago

Hollywood is dealing with strike fever again, 10 years after the Writers Guild of America staged an acrimonious 100-day work stoppage.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and the NFL Players Assn. both issued strong statements of support Thursday. AFl-cio President Richard Trumka cited WGA estimates that the major entertainment conglomerates made $51 billion in profits last year.

“The members of the Writers Guilds deserve a fair return on their work at an incredibly profitable time for their industry,” he said.

With five days left before the contract expires, sources indicate that the talks are likely to go on all weekend and into Monday. There have been no public comments from either side during the three days of negotiations this week at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as both camps are observing a media blackout.

Related

Writers Guild Talks Going Down to »

- Dave McNary

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Robyn Hitchcock Remembers Jonathan Demme: ‘He Was the Anti-Video-Generation Director’

16 hours ago

Director Jonathan Demme, who died on Wednesday at age 73, may go down as the most rock-friendly major director of all time. His most famous association was with Talking Heads, thanks to the boon to both their careers that was “Stop Making Sense.” But he also enjoyed long friendships and/or working relationships with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to cult bands like The Feelies. And arguably the most peculiar documentary in a filmography full of peculiar documentaries is “Storefront Hitchcock,” a concert film that had the amiably surreal British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock playing an acoustic gig with his back to a shop window, competing for the viewer’s attention with mostly unaware passersby.

Demme never stopped dragging his favorite people into his movies, so Hitchcock subsequently showed up in “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Rachel Getting Married,” on top of being asked to contribute songs for other films. »


- Chris Willman

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Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Keep the Change,’ ‘Bobbi Jene’ Win Top Awards

16 hours ago

Rachel Israel’s romantic comedy “Keep the Change” and Elvira Lind’s documentary “Bobbi Jene” were among the top award winners in the juried competitions at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, with “Keep the Change” taking the prize for U.S. narrative feature and “Bobbi Jene” snagging the documentary honor. Elina Psykous’ fairy-tale-infused family drama “Son of Sofia” scored the trophy for international narrative feature.

Related

Tribeca Film Festival 2017 Screenings and Parties (Photos)

Bobbi Jene,” about an American dancer’s move back to the U.S. after spending a decade as a star in an Israeli dance company, received awards for both cinematography (Lind) and editing (Adam Nielson) as well as the top doc title. “Keep the Change,” about a budding romance between a high-functioning autistic man and the woman he meets in a support group, took the award for new narrative director (Israel). Alessandro Nivola (“One Percent More Humid”) and »


- Gordon Cox

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