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Skyscraper collapses in dramatic fashion at box office despite Rock-fuelled hype

Dwayne Johnson overload cited as one of the main reasons for the action blockbuster’s surprise defeat by Hotel Transylvania 3

The Rock may not be box-office platinum after all. Skyscraper, the latest putative blockbuster vehicle for the actor also known as Dwayne Johnson, has unexpectedly flopped on its US release, with an estimated box-office first weekend total of $25.5m, well beaten by kiddie animation Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. Related: Skyscraper review – The Rock towers over an inferno of cliches Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-16 12:19:16


Most expensive Chinese film ever pulled from cinemas after it bombs

Dismal first-weekend takings and suggestions of organised trolling responsible for film’s withdrawal by producers

The massively hyped Chinese fantasy epic Asura has been pulled from cinemas after a disastrous opening weekend. With a production budget reported at 750m yuan (£85m), Asura – with its complex special effects, big-name stars and huge crew – was hailed as China’s most expensive film ever made. However, its opening weekend takings totalled 49m yuan (£5.5m), and it was immediately withdrawn from cinemas. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-16 16:57:15


Who else might be a victim of Sacha Baron Cohen's new show?

Sarah Palin and other US rightwingers have railed at being duped, but Cohen’s Who is America? is shrouded in mystery. Did he get as far as the White House?

It is already one of the most talked-about TV series of 2018, before a single episode has even aired. Yet little has been publicly revealed about Who Is America?, the new comedy from Ali G and Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, which has been filmed undercover for a year and kept under wraps by its stateside broadcaster Showtime. However, judging by the furious responses of those who have fallen foul of the notorious British comic’s latest setups, the show seems certain to generate intense controversy within the febrile world of US politics. Related: Will Sacha Baron Cohen's undercover series be the TV event of the year? I was invited to a pro-Israel dinner that honored defenders of ...

Published 2018-07-14 05:00:30


Mamma Mia 2 makers hope to repeat box office success

My my, how can fans resist Cher singing Fernando and playing Meryl Streep’s mum?

Can they do it again? The makers of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again certainly hope they can persuade audiences to pack their fantasy swimsuits and mosquito repellent next weekend for another fictional cinematic holiday on their ideal Greek island. Cher, along with most of the stars of the first film, which made £466m at the box office a decade ago, gathered together in London on Saturday, ahead of the 20 July release of the follow-up musical. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-14 16:44:43


Lost Stanley Kubrick screenplay, Burning Secret, is found 60 years on

Script co-written by director is so close to completion it could be developed into a feature filmHis first world war classic, Paths of Glory, is one of cinema’s most powerful anti-war movies, widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, as was his Roman epic, Spartacus, both of which starred Kirk Douglas. Now a “lost” screenplay by director Stanley Kubrick has been discovered – and it is so close to completion that it could be developed by film-makers.

Entitled Burning Secret, the script is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. In Kubrick’s adaptation of the story of adultery and passion set in a spa resort, a suave and predatory man befriends a 10-year-old boy, using him to seduce the child’s married mother. Related: Filmworker review – tales from the life of Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-15 04:59:01


Henry Cavill criticised for #MeToo comments

‘I think a woman should be wooed and chased,’ says actor. ‘It’s difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place’

Update: Henry Cavill apologises for comments on #MeToo The Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill has drawn severe criticism for comments about the #MeToo movement and rape in a new interview. Cavill, who is currently promoting the forthcoming action film Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was speaking to GQ Australia when the interviewer asked how #MeToo had affected him.This is absurd. If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is... not rape anyone.The mental gymnastics some men are doing to position themselves as “victims” of #MeToo is insane. pic.twitter.com/nafnZiaXGHToday it’s Henry Cavill with “I believe women should be chased”When did the ...

Published 2018-07-13 08:07:45


Henry Cavill apologises for comments on #MeToo

The Superman actor has expressed regret for his insensitivity, and insists the #MeToo movement is vitally important and has his wholehearted support

Henry Cavill has apologised “for any confusion and misunderstanding” over comments he made about the #MeToo movement. The Man of Steel actor had said, in an interview with GQ Australia, that he feels hesitant to talk to women in a flirtatious manner because he fears being called a “rapist or something”. In a statement to the Press Association, Cavill said: “Having seen the reaction to an article, in particular about my feelings on dating and the #MeToo movement, I just wanted to apologise for any confusion and misunderstanding that this may have created. Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention.” Related: Henry Cavill criticised for #MeToo comments This is absurd. If ...

Published 2018-07-13 12:09:49


Scarlett Johansson drops out of trans role after backlash

The actor has exited the fact-based drama Rub & Tug after the casting angered trans actors and activists

Scarlett Johansson has dropped out of her role in fact-based drama Rub & Tug after backlash from the trans community. The actor was set to play the role of crime kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man. He used his massage parlors as a front for prostitution. Related: 'Third-class citizens': trans actors see stereotyping and exclusion in Hollywood Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-13 18:52:36


Harvey Weinstein lawyer denies report producer 'offered acting jobs for sex'

Lawyer for Weinstein – whose client faces up to life in prison if convicted of sexual assault – says he did not make quoted remarks in interview with the Spectator

The disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has claimed that his client was misquoted in an interview where he’s cited as admitting to having offered acting jobs in exchange for sex. Related: Harvey Weinstein out on bail after pleading not guilty to sex assault charges Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-13 20:05:55


Australian Cate Shortland to direct Marvel's Black Widow film

Scarlett Johansson, who will reprise character for standalone film, advocated for Shortland after seeing her film Lore

Australian Cate Shortland will direct Black Widow, the first standalone Marvel film to focus on the character played by Scarlett Johansson. The Berlin Syndrome director’s appointment comes after a six-month search that reportedly canvassed over 70 possible directors, with a preference for female film-makers. Related: Terry Crews: Marvel, toxic masculinity and life after #metoo Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-13 01:50:19


Rebel Wilson to take defamation appeal to Australia's high court

Actor says her career was on ‘upwards trajectory’ before she was defamed by Bauer Media

Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson, who wants to take her defamation saga to the high court of Australia, plans to argue her career was on an “upwards trajectory” before she was defamed by Bauer Media. In June, Wilson was ordered to repay almost 90% of her record $4.7 million payout after the Woman’s Day publisher, which was found to have defamed her by painting her as a serial liar, successfully appealed the supreme court of Victoria decision on damages. Related: Rebel Wilson ordered to repay $4.1m to Bauer Media after appeal Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-12 04:07:29


Steve McQueen's Widows bags opening slot at London film festival

International premiere of 12 Years a Slave director’s heist movie, based on 1980s British TV series, is set for October

Steve McQueen’s female-fronted heist movie, Widows, will be the opening film of the BFI London film festival, it has been announced. Related: Steve McQueen and Quincy Jones headline opening lineup of new Manhattan art space Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-12 09:30:52


Second Thai cave rescue film in the works as director rails at 'whitewash'

‘We must tell our own stories’ says Jon Chu in response to Tuesday’s announcement by faith-based Pure Flix films

A rival film about the Thai cave rescue has been announced, a day after a first project was revealed – and just two days after the final child and coach were hauled to safety following more than a fortnight underground. The second movie will be directed by Jon Chu, whose credits include four Step Up movies, Now You See Me 2 and the acclaimed forthcoming comedy Crazy Rich Asians. The announcement came in the form of a tweet by Chu denigrating the proposed film by Pure Flix, the faith-based production outfit that promised an “inspirational” film. Related: The Great Thai Cave Escape? Please, Hollywood, don't do this to us | Catherine Shoard I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout ...

Published 2018-07-12 10:46:44


Mira Sorvino: casting director 'gagged me with a condom' at 16

The Oscar-winning actor claims that during one of her first auditions she was tied to a chair, bruised and gagged

Mira Sorvino has claimed that a casting director gagged her with a condom during an audition at the age of 16. The Oscar-winning star of Mighty Aphrodite revealed in an interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s podcast that she was auditioning for a horror movie when the situation got out of hand. Related: Mira Sorvino: I am terribly sorry for working with Woody Allen Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-12 14:55:03


Thai cave rescue to be made into film

Producers of faith franchise God’s Not Dead to adapt movie version, though CEO says ‘it’s not necessary to make this a Christian film, just an inspirational one’

Only a handful of people witnessed first-hand the horror of the incarceration for more than a fortnight of 12 schoolboys and their football coach in waterlogged caves beneath a mountain in northern Thailand. But the saga, whose developments were tracked religiously by millions around the world, is soon to be seen on the big screen, with plans already afoot for a movie version. Related: A Thailand cave escape movie will never do justice to this drama | Catherine Shoard Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-11 06:26:26


'Evil, exploitative and sick': Sarah Palin says Sacha Baron Cohen duped her

Former governor of Alaska claims satirist disguised himself as a wounded military veteran for ‘perverse’ TV interview

Sarah Palin has called Sacha Baron Cohen “evil, exploitative and sick” after revealing that the satirist had “duped” her into an interview for an upcoming series by posing as a wounded military veteran. On Monday it was revealed that Baron Cohen had spent a year undercover filming a new project for the Showtime channel. The series, Who Is America?, explores a range of figures “across the political and cultural spectrum” and is reported to feature interviews with Bernie Sanders, Dick Cheney – and Palin. A teaser released for the show features a clip of Cheney being asked to sign a “waterboarding kit”. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-11 09:52:20


Trans actors post video mocking Scarlett Johansson in Rub & Tug casting row

Protests continue against Johansson’s role as massage parlour owner Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, who identified as a man

A group of trans male actors have appeared in a video mocking Scarlett Johansson and her casting in Rub & Tug, a biopic of mob-connected massage parlour owner Dante “Tex” Gill. Gill – born Lois Jean Gill – died in 2003 and was widely reported at the time to have identified as male. An obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested that the underworld figure “may even have undergone the initial stages of a sex change”. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-11 10:59:36


First Purge pays penalty as World Cup destroys cinema box office

Gore-fest franchise’s latest yields seven figures on its opening weekend, while a Yellow Submarine one-off positively sings at cinemas

Another weekend of hot temperatures plus an England World Cup quarter final on a Saturday – typically cinema’s busiest day – combined to lay waste to the UK box office. Not counting those who watched in pubs and on outdoor screens, 19.64 million people at peak saw England beat Sweden on Saturday afternoon. There was plenty of time to watch a film at the cinema after the game, but jubilant football fans were hardly going to choose to do so. Related: Making America Gory Again: how the Purge films troll Trumpism Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-10 12:42:06


Film director Luc Besson faces new allegations of sexual assault

An anonymous woman has claimed she was assaulted by the French film-maker, who has previously denied accusations against him

French film director Luc Besson is facing fresh allegations of sexual violence, after a casting director wrote to the Paris public prosecutor claiming she was sexually assaulted by him, the French investigative website Mediapart has reported. French police are investigating Besson after a 27-year-old woman filed a rape complaint against him in May. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-10 14:48:10


Warner Bros proposes $100m aerial tramway to Hollywood sign

Studio has announced a plan dubbed the Hollywood Skyway that would transport visitors from their Burbank lot to the famed sign

Warner Bros has announced a plan to construct an ambitious aerial tramway to transport visitors to the Hollywood sign. Related: Down and out in Disneyland: study finds most LA workers can't cover basic needs Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-10 16:46:57


Geoffrey Rush pulls out of Melbourne Theatre Company production of Twelfth Night

The actor, who is suing the Daily Telegraph for defamation, cites medical advice for his withdrawal

Actor Geoffrey Rush has pulled out of an upcoming Melbourne Theatre Company production citing “current circumstances and medical advice”. Rush announced on Monday night that he would no longer participate in the company’s production of Twelfth Night, which is due to begin in four months. Related: Daily Telegraph's allegations 'motivated to harm' Geoffrey Rush, lawyers argue Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-9 23:55:40


Johnny Depp sued for allegedly punching crew member on Notorious BIG film

Location manager Greg ‘Rocky’ Brooks claims he was hit after telling Depp shooting had to finish for the night

A film crew member says in a lawsuit that Johnny Depp punched him twice on the Los Angeles set of a movie about the killing of Notorious BIG, and was fired from the production when he refused to promise not to sue over the incident. Location manager Greg “Rocky” Brooks is also suing the film’s director and producers for unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed on 6 July in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Related: Johnny Depp: how Hollywood's biggest star fell from grace Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-10 09:11:21


George Clooney reportedly injured after motorbike crash in Sardinia

The actor, whose injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, was taken to hospital

The actor George Clooney has reportedly been hospitalised after he was involved in an accident while riding a motorbike in Sardinia. Local daily La Nuova Sardegna reports Clooney’s injuries are not serious, but that he was taken to the John Paul II hospital emergency room. Police said they have no information, but the hospital apparently told NBC News Clooney has already been discharged. George Clooney all'ospedale: con la sua moto è finito contro un'auto che stava svoltando https://t.co/yG2jA4OomJ pic.twitter.com/MqZDD7oKpU Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-10 09:31:32


Tab Hunter, 1950s Hollywood heart-throb, dies aged 86

Hunter embodied the clean-cut ‘beefcake’ image but was forced to deny his gay sexuality for years

Tab Hunter, the actor who found fame in the 1950s as a Hollywood heartthrob but who was forced to cover up his gay sexuality, has died aged 86. A Facebook account for Tab Hunter Confidential, a recently released documentary about him, posted the news, but did not give a cause of death. Born Arthur Andrew Kelm in 1931, Hunter broke into movies in the 1950 film noir The Lawless after a spell in the coastguard as a teenager: he was given his screen alias by agent Henry Willson, who specialised in the pretty-boy “beefcake” stars of the time, such as Rock Hudson, Chad Everett, and Troy Donahue. Related: Gay people made Hollywood. You wouldn't know from the movies | Hugh Elliott ...

Published 2018-07-9 14:20:55


Harvey Weinstein out on bail after pleading not guilty to sex assault charges

Charges involving third woman added to previous indictmentLawyer Brafman says: ‘Today we won this round’ Harvey Weinstein appeared in court in New York on Monday, to plead not guilty to charges including two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The film producer was released on bail. His lawyer said more charges were expected. Related: Weinstein lawyers fear 'bad PR' could taint jury in sexual assault trial Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-9 14:23:01


The English Patient wins public poll of best Man Booker in 50 years

Golden Booker names Michael Ondaatje’s bestselling novel as public’s favourite winner

Twenty six years ago, the panel of judges were so unsure who should win the Man Booker in 1992 that they ended up with a tie: Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth. But on Sunday evening Ondaatje edged ahead, with his bestselling novel The English Patient being named the best winner of the Booker prize of the last 50 years, in a public vote. Related: Booker club: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje 1969: Something to Answer For by PH Newby1970: The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens and Troubles by JG Farrell1971: In a Free State by VS Naipaul1972: G by John Berger1973: The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell1974: The Conservationist by Nadine ...

Published 2018-07-8 19:47:39


My film’s erotic, not sadistic: Game of Thrones star hits back at critics

Natalie Dormer explains why In Darkness, her new film, does not undermine her feminist credentialsThe actress Natalie Dormer has defended her new thriller following criticism of its female nudity and unsettling erotic content.

Dormer, who stars in and co-wrote the suspenseful In Darkness, released in Britain this weekend, said she had been surprised by critical reaction to a sex scene between the romantic leads and a shower sequence. Related: In Darkness review – Natalie Dormer's blind pianist tunes in to trashy crime caper Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-8 08:59:20


Claude Lanzmann: the man who told the story of Shoah

The Holocaust documentarist, who died in Paris last week aged 92, is remembered by his friend Agnès Poirier‘Come and have dinner, I’ll cook Bresse chicken. You don’t hold any grudge against Bresse poulet, do you?” The man on the phone didn’t need to give his name. never introduced himself; he didn’t need to.

I came to know him in 2013 when I started the research on my latest book, Left Bank: Arts, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris 1940-1950. I wanted to meet the “survivors” of that era before they disappeared. What an extraordinary introduction to my subject. Lanzmann, then 87, was very much still at the centre stage of life and intellectual discourse, and an extremely busy man. Death must have taken him by surprise. He loathed death; it made him very angry Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-8 09:00:20


Daniel Craig visits CIA in run-up to shooting new James Bond film

US intelligence agency entertains 007 star as it attempts to engage with public and increase understanding of how it operates

Daniel Craig has visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, as part of the CIA’s attempt to engage with the public and increase understanding of how intelligence work operates in the real world. Craig is currently preparing to shoot the 25th James Bond film, his fifth and apparently final time in the role, and the CIA hosted his visit on 26 June as an adjunct to its recent Reel vs. Real seminar. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-6 13:25:10


Sacha Baron Cohen hints at project satirising Trump University

Borat star posts video showing logo of president’s controversial ‘university’ alongside message ‘Sacha Graduates Soon’

A cryptic video posted on Twitter by Sacha Baron Cohen suggests that the actor and comedian behind Borat and Brüno may be about to release a film taking aim at Trump University. A tweet posted on Baron Cohen’s account on Wednesday read “A message from your President @realDonaldTrump on Independence Day” accompanied by a short video containing archive footage of Trump at his desk calling Baron Cohen a “third-rate character” and saying: “I only wish he had been punched in the face so many times right now he would be in the hospital.” The clip ends with Trump saying: “Go to school, learn about being funny”; and the words: “Sacha Graduates Soon”, before closing with a ...

Published 2018-07-5 10:09:29


Shoah director Claude Lanzmann dies aged 92

Giant of French intellectual life known for his heavyweight journalism and series of documentaries about the Holocaust

Claude Lanzmann, the French film-maker and journalist who was best known for the exhaustive Holocaust documentary Shoah, has died aged 92. Lanzmann’s family confirmed his death to Le Monde, though its cause has not been revealed. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants to France, Lanzmann was born in Paris in 1925, and as a teenager fought in the resistance before studying philosophy at the Sorbonne after the war. After a period teaching in West Germany in the late 40s, he returned to France and, after meeting Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, he was invited to join the board of Les Temps Modernes, the influential journal they had founded in 1945. He embarked on a passionate ...

Published 2018-07-5 10:37:14


Scarlett Johansson responds to criticism over her casting in Rub & Tug

Johansson is expected to star in film based on real-life massage parlour owner Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, who identified as a man

Scarlett Johansson has responded to online criticism after it was announced she would take the role of Dante “Tex” Gill in the forthcoming feature Rub & Tug. Gill – born Lois Jean Gill – was a notorious massage-parlour operator in late-70s and early-80s Pittsburgh who lived as a man, adopting male clothing and hairstyles. An obituary printed in 2003 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested “she may even have undergone the initial stages of a sex change”.Scarlett Johansson is playing a trans man in her next movie because her ultimate career goal is to take an acting job from a member of each and every marginalized group. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-4 13:11:48


Three suspects charged with kidnapping Halloween actor

Daisy McCrackin and fellow actor Joseph Capone were allegedly held for 30 hours and ordered to pay a $10,000 ransom

Three suspects were charged on Tuesday with kidnapping Daisy McCrackin, an actor and musician who appeared in Halloween: Resurrection, and fellow actor Joseph Capone from a Los Angeles home and holding one of them naked in a bathtub for 30 hours, while demanding the other pay a $10,000 ransom, prosecutors said. Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal were charged with kidnapping, assault with a firearm and another offence in connection with the incident. It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys who could comment on the allegations. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-4 13:49:14


Robby Müller, celebrated cinematographer of Down by Law and Paris, Texas, dies age 78

Müller rose to venerated status in the film industry with sublime work for Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier

Celebrated cinematographer Robby Müller, best known for his work on films by Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier, has died at 78. Dutch publication Het Parool reports that he died at his home in Amsterdam, after several years of vascular dementia which left him unable to talk or move independently. In a Twitter post Jarmusch said: “We have lost the remarkable, brilliant & irreplaceable Robby Müller. I love him so very much. He taught me so many things, & without him, I don’t think I would know anything about filmmaking.” Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-4 14:07:19


Terry Gilliam on diversity: 'I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian'

The film-maker weighs in on the controversy surrounding BBC comedy chief Shane Allen’s comment about ‘six Oxbridge white blokes’

Terry Gilliam has responded to the BBC diversity debate which referenced Monty Python by saying: “I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian.” Gilliam was commenting on the row over diversity triggered by the BBC’s unveiling of its new comedy programming, announced in June, at which the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen emphasised the corporation’s commitment to “the stories that haven’t been told and the voices we haven’t yet heard”. In response to a question about Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Allen said: “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who ...

Published 2018-07-4 16:30:19


Kevin Spacey faces new sex assault allegations

Scotland Yard investigating claims Spacey assaulted men in the UK, in addition to already open inquiries on a string of previous allegations

Police are investigating three more allegations of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey. Scotland Yard now has six open investigations into claims that the Oscar-winning actor attacked men in the UK. It did not identify the American as the suspect but said on Wednesday that Metropolitan Police detectives are investigating a man over three more claims, two in London and one in Gloucester. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-4 08:46:06


Jar Jar Binks actor 'considered suicide' after Star Wars prequel backlash

Ahmed Best has opened up about how difficult he found the abuse that met his first major screen role, as the CGI comic relief in The Phantom Menace

Ahmed Best, the actor who supplied the motion-capture performance and voice of Jar Jar Binks in the little-loved Star Wars prequels, has said the reception to his role led him to consider taking his own life. Best, who was 25 at the time of the release of the first in the trilogy of prequels, The Phantom Menace, in 1999, tweeted that he “faced a media backlash that still affects my career today”.20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. ...

Published 2018-07-4 10:18:48


Guy Pearce suggests he was groped by Kevin Spacey on set of LA Confidential

Actor claims on Australian TV that Spacey was ‘handsy’ during making of 1997 film

Guy Pearce has suggested he was groped by Kevin Spacey when the pair appeared together in the 1997 film LA Confidential. In an interview with Andrew Denton on the Australian talk show Interview, Pearce was asked for his thoughts on working with Spacey. The actor replied: “Yeah … yeah. Tough one to talk about at the moment. Amazing actor; incredible actor. Mmm. Slightly difficult time with Kevin, yeah.” He then added: “He’s a handsy guy.” Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-3 12:12:39


Heatwave and World Cup results in awful weekend at box office

Sicario sequel fails to dislodge Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as UK cinemas record second-worst week this year

A combination of sizzling temperatures and World Cup football saw box office receipts plummet in the UK, as audiences shunned the cinema in favour of TV screens and outdoor pursuits. The market delivered its second worst weekend for cinemagoing so far this year. The only session that performed worse in 2018 was the weekend prior to the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which was notably weak for new releases, and was also hit by sunny weather. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-3 13:27:55


Cats choreographer Gillian Lynne dies aged 92

Tributes paid to the former dancer and choreographer whose West End hits included The Phantom of the Opera

Gillian Lynne, the leading British choreographer who created the slinky moves of Macavity, Grizabella and other feline stars of the West End hit Cats, has died aged 92. Lynne, who worked on more than 60 shows in the West End and Broadway, had a long-running collaboration with the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and choreographed The Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love. The composer paid tribute to her on Twitter, saying: “Farewell dearest Gillie, three generations of the British musical owe so much to you.” Choreographer Matthew Bourne tweeted that Lynne “supported and inspired me from the very beginning … [her] spirit and love of dance and dancers lives on in all of us”. ...

Published 2018-07-2 09:10:21


Incredibles 2 powers North American box office to biggest ever quarter

Blockbuster sequels including Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom have contributed to record-breaking box office figures

The North American box office achieved record figures over the last three months, achieving its biggest ever quarterly results with an estimated $3.33bn for April, May and June, thanks to hits such as Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the total has exceeded the previous record holding period of April to June 2015, when box office receipts totalled $3bn on the backs of films such as Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Inside Out. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-2 09:50:17


Scarlett Johansson to play mob-connected massage parlour owner in Rub & Tug

Film is based on the life of Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a Pittsburgh massage parlour owner who used a male identity

Scarlett Johansson is to play a celebrated real-life massage-parlour owner, a woman who lived as a man, in new film Rub & Tug. Deadline reports that Hollywood production outfit New Regency (previously involved with 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, and The Revenant) has picked up the project, which will see Johansson working again with Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-2 16:56:45


Harvey Weinstein faces three new sexual misconduct charges

New York district attorney announces new charges including predatory sexual assault

The disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was charged with additional crimes on Monday in New York, related to alleged sexual misconduct. Related: Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty on rape and criminal sex act charges Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-2 18:36:09


Film-maker defends use of footage shot by al-Qaida terrorists

Path of Blood uses raw extracts from 500 hours of video seized at jihadist training camp

A Bafta-winning film-maker has defended his decision to make a documentary using video footage taken by jihadist terrorists, saying the work humanises but does not glamorise. Path of Blood, which opens in cinemas next week, has no narrator or interviewees and relies solely on the raw footage filmed by the terrorists themselves as they plot to detonate car bombs in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Continue reading...

Published 2018-07-1 09:17:53


Susan Sarandon arrested at anti-Trump protest

The actor was among hundreds of women charged in Washington at a rally against the US president’s immigration policy

Susan Sarandon was among 575 women arrested in Washington on Thursday after they staged a sit-in protest against Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy inside a Senate office at the Department of Justice. The actor tweeted extensively from the rally, at which she and fellow protesters held aloft placards demanding an end to immigration camps and declaring, “We care” – a reference to the controversial jacket worn by first lady Melania Trump when visiting a detainment centre last week. Related: Susan Sarandon: ‘I thought Hillary was very dangerous. If she'd won, we'd be at war’ Continue reading...

Published 2018-06-29 10:27:32


Plus-size superhero Faith to get own movie

Sony and Valiant Comics are teaming up to make the ‘sci-fi-loving geek with telekinetic superpowers’ Hollywood’s first plus-sized superhero

Hollywood is breaking new ground with its first plus-sized superhero, as a film featuring Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr, from Valiant Comics’ Harbinger stories gets underway. According to Deadline, Sony have hired writer Maria Melnik (American Gods) to work on the project. The film is part of a 2015 deal the studio made with Valiant to develop movies from the publisher’s stable of characters. (Sony currently has the Vin Diesel starrer Bloodshot in development.) Continue reading...

Published 2018-06-29 10:49:30


Film about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell gets US cinema release

The crowdfunded true-crime film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is free to be released, following legal action by a judge portrayed in it

A controversial film based on the real-life case of abortion clinic doctor and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell will now be released in US cinemas, after the conclusion of legal action against it by the judge involved in Gosnell’s 2013 trial. Variety magazine reports that the makers of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, are free to release their film after they settled with Judge Jeffrey P Minehart, who objected to his portrayal in the film. Continue reading...

Published 2018-06-29 11:36:08


Jarman award 2018 shortlist announced

Nominees for the £10,000 moving-image prize have produced works on race, colonialism, architecture and artificial intelligence

The shortlist for the Jarman award has been revealed. Now in its 11th year, and named after the late film-maker Derek Jarman, it awards £10,000 to an artist working with moving images. Last year, the award was won by the London-based multidisciplinary artist Oreet Ashery. While the past two years have seen women dominate the shortlist, this year’s roster hails from a notably broad cultural and ethnic spectrum. Continue reading...

Published 2018-06-27 14:48:49


China caps film star pay, citing 'money worship' and fake contracts

Lead actors’ pay packets restricted to 70% of total wages for the cast of a show

Chinese authorities are capping the salaries of celebrities, blaming the entertainment industry for encouraging “money worship” and “distorting social values”. The salaries of on-screen performers should be capped at 40% of the total production costs, according to a joint notice from five government agencies including China’s tax authority, the television and film regulator, and the propaganda department. Leading actors should receive no more than 70% of total wages for the cast, according to the announcement, published in Xinhua. Related: China finds its own Top Gun and Rambo in wave of patriotic movies Continue reading...

Published 2018-06-28 05:00:50


Rebel Wilson ordered to repay $4.1m to Bauer Media after appeal

Wilson to repay millions, including $60,000 interest, after landmark defamation payout set aside on appeal

Actor Rebel Wilson will be left with less than 12% of the record $4.7m defamation payout she was originally awarded, after being ordered to hand back the majority of funds.And the Hollywood star still needs to deduct some legal fees from what’s left.Wilson was awarded a landmark payout in September 2017 after a defamation trial over a series of articles that made her out to be a liar.But an appeal in early June found she was not entitled to $3.9m in economic damages relating to a loss of income, which made up a portion of the damages.The Court of Appeal on Wednesday ordered Wilson repay Bauer Media $4,183,071.45 – including $60,316.45 in interest – after the original judgment was ...

Published 2018-06-27 03:35:27


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