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Fox's 'Alita' Leads Worst President's Day Weekend in 15 Years

Fox's 'Alita' Leads Worst President's Day Weekend in 15 Years
The three-day President's Day weekend last year saw the top twelve gross over $270 million, the bulk of which was due to the over $202 million three-day opening for Black Panther, accounting for nearly 74% of the combined top twelve gross. This year didn't have such a monster release, and while expectations were muted, the top twelve's combined $109.1 million makes for the worst three-day President's Day weekend since 2004. Leading the charge was Fox's Alita: Battle Angel, delivering $27.8 million for the three-day. Elsewhere, while Universal's release of Blumhouse's Happy Death Day 2U fell short of expectations, it has already grossed more than its production budget and WB's release of New Line's Isn't It Romantic took advantage of Valentine's Day leading into the weekend and delivered a third place finish. Fox's Alita: Battle Angel topped the weekend box office with ease, outperforming expectations and delivering an estimated $27.8 million over the three-day weekend
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

WGA Awards 2019: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Wins Comedy Series Award

  • Variety
WGA Awards 2019: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Wins Comedy Series Award
The 71st annual Writers Guild Awards are underway at dual ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. and at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the comedy series award for Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Jen Kirkman, Sheila Lawrence, Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman Palladino. The series won the Emmy for best comedy series last year.

Bill Hader and Alec Berg won the episodic comedy award for the opening segment of HBO’s “Barry,” “Chapter One: Make Your Mark” (“Barry”).

Stephanie Gillis won the animated award for the “Bart’s Not Dead” episode and Alex Gansa took the episodic drama award for the “Paean To The People” segment of “Homeland.”

Chelsea Peretti hosted the West Coast ceremonies while Roy Wood Jr. was the emcee in New York

Original screenplay nominees are Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”; Adam McKay’s “Vice”; Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade”; Bryan Woods,
See full article at Variety »

Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars

  • Variety
Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars
Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned.

Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five nominees for best original song.

The Academy teased this on Jan. 31 by tweeting, “Spoiler Alert: It will be performed by a surprise special guest.”

This was in the aftermath of a Variety report about the original plan, which was to perform only two of the five nominated songs (“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” and “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”). The backlash resulted in the Academy’s decision to perform all five nominated songs, including the one from “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Shaiman is expected to accompany Midler on piano.

“As a child of the ’60s,
See full article at Variety »

Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Say ‘Empire’ Star Didn’t Play “Role In His Own Attack”

  • Deadline
Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Say ‘Empire’ Star Didn’t Play “Role In His Own Attack”
As Chicago police declare a significant shift in “the trajectory of the investigation” of the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett nearly three weeks ago, the attorneys for the Empire star has come out swinging tonight in his defense.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” said defense lawyers Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson in a statement obtained by Deadline.

He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the Chicago-based attorneys add of the supposed assault in the early hours of January 29. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.” (Read The Full Statement Below)

Earlier Saturday, a law enforcement official close to the Chicago
See full article at Deadline »

Dwayne Johnson Wraps ‘Most Challenging Film’ Ever

  • Deadline
Dwayne Johnson Wraps ‘Most Challenging Film’ Ever
It’s a wrap on Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

Dwayne Johnson shared the news Friday on Instagram, saying production just ended on the “most challenging film” he’s ever done.

“Hobbs & Shaw is officially wrapped,” Johnson wrote. “Easily the most challenging film I’ve ever produced and starred in, however based on the fans’ insanely hyped ‘break the internet’ reactions to our first trailer — this film is also shaping up to be my most rewarding.”

The wrestler-turned-box office heavyweight went on to praise co-star Jason Statham for joining him on the adventure.

“A Huge bald and brotherly Mahalo to the man who trusted me and our chemistry and ‘pushed all his chips in’ to make something bad ass and fun for the fans. My uso @jasonstatham,” he added.

The spinoff, directed by David Leitch is set two years after the events of The Fate of the Furious,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Empire’ Showrunner Still Stands by Jussie Smollett Despite New Evidence: ‘Keep Your Head Up’

  • The Wrap
‘Empire’ Showrunner Still Stands by Jussie Smollett Despite New Evidence: ‘Keep Your Head Up’
Empire” showrunner Brett Mahoney is unwavering in his support for show star Jussie Smollett, regardless of what twists and turns an ongoing Chicago Pd investigation unearths.

“I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett,” Mahoney tweeted on Sunday. “Keep your head up. @EmpireWriters @EmpireFOX“

I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett . Keep your head up. @EmpireWriters @EmpireFOX

— Brett Mahoney (@TheBrettMahoney) February 18, 2019

It appears that most of the comments on Mahoney’s tweet are not as optimistic regarding Smollett’s account of what occurred on the night he says he was jumped by two men in Chicago.

As it turns out, Smollett knew the men, who are Nigerian brothers, and one was his personal trainer. The men, who were originally persons of interest and then suspects, were released from police custody after telling cops that Smollett paid them to stage the attack, per CNN.

Smollett’s attorneys deny the attack was a hoax.

Also
See full article at The Wrap »

John Oliver Slams Trump: ‘There is Zero Actual Emergency at the Border’

John Oliver Slams Trump: ‘There is Zero Actual Emergency at the Border’
John Oliver slammed President Trump’s national emergency declaration that Trump made to secure funding in order to build a wall along America’s southern border during Last Week Tonight on Sunday.

“According to Trump, the border suddenly constitutes a national emergency. Or, as he might spell it in a tweet, ‘the Berder Cornstidutes a Nertional Ederdency!!'” Oliver said, mocking Trump’s misspellings in tweets.

“And to be clear, there is zero actual emergency at the border right now,” the host continued. “Illegal crossings have been declining 20 years and,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Don Winslow Digs Into Modern Drug War With New Novel ‘The Border’

Novelist Don Winslow has spent the last 20 years of his life absorbing more news about Mexico’s narco wars than most of us could stomach. This month he delivers the Border, the fiery conclusion of his sweeping drug-war trilogy. Clocking in at over 700 pages, it is his most overtly political installment yet. He takes on the Trump administration directly, creating a fictional candidate, then president, who stokes racist fears of Mexicans, campaigns on “building the wall” and, along with his venal son-in-law, gets caught up in a shady real estate deal involving Cartel money.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Song You Need to Know: Sigrid, ‘Sucker Punch’

Song You Need to Know: Sigrid, ‘Sucker Punch’
This singer from a tiny town in Norway first broke out in early 2017 with her rapturously cheesed off European hit, “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” the promising work of a then-20-year-old taking advantage of the wide open emotional spaces Robyn and Lorde had opened up in the club. Later that year Sigrid turned in an ace piano-goth take on Leonard Cohen’s synth-doom masterstroke “Everybody Knows,” and she brings a similar moody fearlessness to “Sucker Punch,” the title track from her debut album, out in early March.

Written with
See full article at Rolling Stone »

14 Stars Who’ve Played Abraham Lincoln, From Henry Fonda to Daniel Day-Lewis (Photos)

  • The Wrap
14 Stars Who’ve Played Abraham Lincoln, From Henry Fonda to Daniel Day-Lewis (Photos)
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” That Abraham Lincoln quote sums up the quiet, thoughtful dignity that actors have tried to portray on film for several generations now. And on screen, the 16th president has done everything from meeting Shirley Temple to fighting vampires. In honor of President’s Day, here are some of the actors who have played Honest Abe over the years.

Joseph Henabery – “The Birth of a Nation” (1915)

The racism in “The Birth of a Nation” aside, D.W. Griffith stages the assassination of Abraham Lincoln as a true national tragedy, and he does so in ravishing display, staging a scene everyone already knows but hadn’t yet visualized on film, using never before seen intercutting and sweeping wide shots as John Wilkes Booth dives from the balcony to provide ravishing tension and action.

Walter Huston – “Abraham Lincoln” (1930)

D.
See full article at The Wrap »

10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now: Reba McEntire, Steve Earle

10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now: Reba McEntire, Steve Earle
A classic Reba McEntire ballad, a Guy Clark cover from his acolyte Steve Earle and a Spanglish love song from the Last Bandoleros make up our list of the best country songs to hear this week.

The Last Bandoleros, “Enamorado”

A bilingual love song, “Enamorado” mixes the ramped-up romance of Latin pop ballads with the hooks and harmonies of Southwestern roots music. YouTube singing star Alexander Stewart co-wrote the track and released his own version last summer, but “Enamorado” sounds like a Last Bandoleros original, with all four bandmates contributing
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Banks on Foreign Audiences to Save It From Box Office Disaster

‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Banks on Foreign Audiences to Save It From Box Office Disaster
Alita: Battle Angel” beat expectations with its $27 million debut at the domestic box office, but Fox’s cyberpunk fantasy adventure has a long road to travel before it can claim victory. When it comes to achieving profitability, the CGI-spectacular may never arrive at that particular destination.

With a production budget hovering at $170 million (Fox says tax incentives lowered costs that were once north of $200 million) and tens of millions more in marketing and distribution costs, executives at rival studios estimate “Alita: Battle Angel” will need to gross roughly $500 million globally to get out of the red. Insiders at Fox say the break-even number is closer to $350 million. It’s too early to completely write off the film. But even though the movie has made $130 million worldwide so far, it’s unlikely that “Alita” will reach those box office heights.

“When you swing for the fences in the sci-fi genre,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ian Hunter on Glam Rock’s Heyday and Mott the Hoople’s Return

On May 7th, 1974, the English glam-rock avengers Mott the Hoople opened a six-night engagement in New York City — at the Uris Theater on Broadway, “the first hard-rock group ever to appear there” as the New York Times pop critic John Rockwell noted in his May 9th review. The audience left “cigarette burns in the rugs” and “spilled-drink stains on the floor.” But, Rockwell went on, “In a way, the pretensions of the theater’s decor and design paralleled Mott the Hoople’s own aspirations. This is essentially a rough, scruffy
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: Hayes Carll’s Wiseass, Lovestruck ‘What It Is’

“There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told,” sings Hayes Carll on his latest record, over a locomotive drum-and-upright bass shuffle that’s part Tennessee Three, part Blonde On Blonde. “And I’ll heed the call and tell ‘em all/ If I may be so bold.” It’s a call you wish more songwriters would heed — Carll included. At his best, his narrative skills tilt towards the idiosyncratic and specific – see the title track of his 2014 LP Kmag Yoyo, a first-person military narrative about
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Monkey Business: The Wild Ride of ‘Challenge’ Bad Boy Johnny Bananas

The first time Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio appeared on MTV’s The Challenge he suffered the worst humiliation of his life. It was October of 2006 and the brash 25-year-old was still riding high from his recent run on The Real World: Key West. Little was required of him on that show other than flirting with his housemates during the day and getting into drunken fights with them in the evening. But now he was in an enormous oceanfront mansion in Búzios, Brazil, packed with veteran cast members of The Real World
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Watch Meek Mill, J. Cole Perform During the 2019 NBA All-Star Game

Watch Meek Mill, J. Cole Perform During the 2019 NBA All-Star Game
Meek Mill, J. Cole, Anthony Hamilton and Carly Rae Jepsen performed during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, which was held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Meek Mill, who was backed by six dancers and a DJ, delivered a medley of pyro-punctuated songs from his most recent album, Championships, including “Intro,” “Going Bad” and “Uptown Vibes” as well as his 2012 track “Dreams and Nightmares.”

J. Cole repped his home state for his halftime show appearance. Backed by a band and backup singers and moving between platforms that provided close proximity to fans,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Oscars 2019: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

There’s a crisis at the Oscars this year — and it’s not about #OscarsSoWhite or #TimesUp, though those inclusion issues still deserve attention. Let’s call this catastrophe #OscarsSoMoney.

It’s a year in which the Academy seems less interested in the quality of films than in the numbers they can attract to watch their Oscar telecast on Feb. 24th. According to Variety, a 30-second ad on the awards show can cost as much as $2.6 million if the show brings in high ratings. That’s the problem. The ratings
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Flashback: The ‘Reality Bites’ Gang Lose It to ‘My Sharona’ in a Gas Station

Flashback: The ‘Reality Bites’ Gang Lose It to ‘My Sharona’ in a Gas Station
Happy 25th anniversary to Reality Bites, the movie that not only defined Generation X but made it cool to make out to “Baby, I Love Your Way” while slurping a Big Gulp. Ben Stiller’s directorial debut encapsulated what it was like to be a twenty-something in 1994, from Gap promotions and toilet-paper coffee filters to AIDS scares and coming out to your family.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when the gang gets stoned and Lelaina (Winona Ryder) suggests they purchase food with her father’s gas card.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

How Do You Impeach a President? Like This

  • Rolling Stone
The possibility that President Trump will face impeachment no longer seems far-fetched. Congressional investigations — on the Trump organization, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team and the Trump administration — are ramping up, while Special Counsel Robert Mueller seems ever closer to releasing his report on the depth of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Initial court filings and news reports suggest that the president may eventually be implicated in clear criminal activities, such as suborning perjury or obstructing justice. If so, the House will have to consider moving forward with impeachment
See full article at Rolling Stone »

See Songwriter Ian Fisher’s Gothic Romp in Vienna for ‘Long Line’ Video

See Songwriter Ian Fisher’s Gothic Romp in Vienna for ‘Long Line’ Video
Songwriter Ian Fisher may work within the Americana and country world, but the Missouri native and high-school pal of modern-country star Chris Janson couldn’t be more of an outlier.

Fisher has spent the last third of his life honing his craft in Europe, and that experience manifests itself in the striking new video for his song “Long Line.” Filmed in an abandoned and supposedly haunted villa in Vienna, Austria, that once belonged to opera singer Maria Jeritza, the clip finds the normally unassuming solo artist embracing his theatrical side,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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