PARIS — France’s 2016 total box office is the second-best in the last 50 years, the country’s CNC state film board announced on Friday.

Combined admissions for all movies of any nationality, the total box office came in at 213 million, up 3.6% on 2015 and only bettered in modern times by 2011’s 217 million.

Though the CNC traditionally does not estimate euro grosses until a detailed breakdown of results next May, box office is likely to come in at around $1.4 billion-$1.5 billion.

In a result which looks likely to be repeated in many major markets in Europe, box office was up despite no juggernauts measuring up to 2015’s “Star Wars: Episode 7,” “Minions” or “Jurassic Park.” That was thanks to a mix of strength in depth in Hollywood animation and big action fare and the latest instalments from French comedy franchises.

According to CBO-Boxoffice.com, a French box office website, five of the ten top-grossing movies in France this year through late December have been Hollywood animated features, led by “Zootopia” (entitled “Zootopie” in France) which sold 4.8 million tickets (earning about $35 milllion), making it the No. 1 movie in France this year, and “Moana,” (“Vaiana,” in France) which ranked third. From French studio Pathe, “Les Tuche 2,” about a hillbilly French family, here visiting the U.S., was the second most-seen movie in France, selling 4.6 million tickets this year.

Produced by David Hayman and distributed by Warner Bros., “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” ranked No. 8 in France. Distributed in France by Studiocanal. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” came in at No. 25. French distributor SND nursed two Summit titles – “Now You See Me 2” and “Allegiant” – to top 30 rankings. Produced by Working Title and The Weinstein Company’s “The Hateful Eight” hit 1.7 million admissions. Otherwise all France’s top 30 through late December were either Hollywood studio fare or local comedies. The biggest arthouse breakout came from Thomas Lilti’s “Irreplaceable,” a drama about doctors’ vocation which sold 1.5 million tickets, grossing around $10 million in France.

That said, France’s 213 million cinema visits make it by a large head Europe’s number one cinema-going nation, and the sixth biggest movie market in ticket sales in the world. Though the U.K. is worth much more in terms of box office grosses – $1.9 billion last year – ticket sales are way down on France – at 172 million in 2015.

“This historical record testifies to the vitality of cinema-going in France, and shows once more that it is French people’s preferred cultural sortie,” said Frederique Bredin, CNC president, reacting to the results.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/france-2016-box-office-second-biggest-modern-times-1201950261/

Drew Barrymore, Laura Dern and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are among the presenters for the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.

Details on which awards they will be presenting have not yet been announced.

Barrymore is a three-time Golden Globe nominee, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film in 2009 for her portrayal of “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale in “Grey Gardens.”

 

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Dern is a former Miss Golden Globe and been nominated for both her film and television work. She was a Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama nominee for 1992’s “Rambling Rose.” She is also a four-time television nominee, winning in three different decades: Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film in 1993 for “Afterburn,” Best Supporting Actress – Miniseries or Television Film in 2009 for “Recount,” and most recently Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2012 for “Enlightened.”

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is best known for playing the bat-wielding bad guy Negan in “The Walking Dead.” The actor has yet to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award, but did win the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series in 2016 for his Negan role.

Barrymore, Dern, and Morgan join previously announced presenters Anna Kendrick and Steve Carrell.

Other presenters announced Friday: Priyanka Chopra, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Goldie Hawn, Nicole Kidman, Brie Larson, Diego Luna, Sienna Miller, Mandy Moore, Timothy Olyphant, Chris Pine, Eddie Redmayne, Zoe Saldana, Amy Schumer, Sylvester Stallone, Justin Theroux, Milo Ventimiglia, Sophia Vergara, and Reese Witherspoon.

The 74th annual Golden Globes will air live on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The show will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

A full list of the 2017 nominees can be found here.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/2017-golden-globe-awards-drew-barrymore-laura-dern-jeffrey-dean-morgan-presenters-1201949235/

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is breaking records left and right, hitting $687.7 million worldwide after two weeks.

The eighth “Star Wars” movie grossed $16.6 million domestically at 4,157 locations on Thursday, giving it $375.2 million in its first 14 days to make it the third-highest domestic grosser of the year. The space opera surpassed “The Secret Life of Pets” ($368 million), “The Jungle Book” ($364 million), and “Deadpool” ($363 million) on the same day. It trails only “Finding Dory” at $486 million and “Captain America: Civil War” at $408 million among 2016 releases.

The Disney-Lucasfilm tentpole is already the 29th-highest earner of all time at domestic box office, topping the total cumes of a pair of 2004 titles — “Spider-Man 2” and “The Passion of the Christ.”

“Rogue One” outdistanced Illumination-Universal’s animated comedy “Sing,” which came in with $15 million on its ninth day of release on Thursday at 4,022 domestic sites. “Sing” has grossed $123 million thus far.

“Rogue One” pulled in $17.3 million internationally on Thursday to reach $312.5 million, led by the U.K. with $57 million, Germany with $31.1 million, France with $26.7 million, Australia with $24.5 million, and Japan with $20.2 million. “Rogue One”  will launch in China on Jan. 6.

The worldwide total for “Rogue One” is already the 10th highest of 2016 and the 91st highest of all time, topping the entire run of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.”

“Rogue One” opened a year after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” debuted and took in $652 million domestically in two weeks — on its way to a record $936 million by the end of its run. “Star Wars: Episode VIII” hits theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.

“Rogue One” and “Sing” have propelled the overall domestic box office to a new yearly record, with tracking service comScore projecting a final number of $11.36 billion after passing the 2015 record of $11.14 billion on Dec. 28. That’s a year-to-year gain of 2%.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/rogue-one-box-office-2016-third-highest-grossing-1201950311/

Lindsay Lohan is so eager to make a “Mean Girls” sequel she’s already written a treatment for the film, and has a cast in mind.

Lindsay Lohan shared her plans during a Facebook Live chat with CNN Abu Dhabi correspondent Becky Anderson. Lohan is in Dubai for New Year’s festivities.

During the 14-minute interview, she expressed her interest in reprising her role of Cady Heron in a sequel to the 2004 hit.

“I have been trying so hard to do a ‘Mean Girls 2.’ It is not in my hands,” she explained, adding, “I know that [writer] Tina Fey and [producer] Lorne Michaels and all of Paramount are very busy… I will keep forcing it and pushing it on them until we do it.”

 

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Lohan revealed that she’s already written a treatment for the sequel and would love Jimmy Fallon and her “Freaky Friday” costar Jamie Lee Curtis to have roles. “I just need a response,” she joked.

In the interview, Lohan also said she’d love to become a business mogul with her own production and branding company. But for now it sounds like she needs to enlist the help of some former industry friends to help get a “Mean Girls” sequel off the ground.

For the record, a “Mean Girls 2” was already made in 2011 and aired on ABC Family. It was a standalone sequel with only Tim Meadows reprising his role from the first film.

Lohan’s “Mean Girls” co-stars — notably Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lizzy Caplan — have had strong careers since the film.

Watch Lohan’s video below:

 

 

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/mean-girls-2-lindsay-lohan-sequel-1201950315/

Michael Keaton, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone won the acting awards at this year’s Capri Hollywood International Film Festival.

Keaton and Garfield shared the festival’s best actor award. Keaton was honored for his portrayal of Ray Kroc in the biopic “The Founder” while Garfield won for playing World War II pacifist hero Desmond Doss in “Hacksaw Ridge.” Stone was honored for her portrayal of a struggling actress in the musical comedy-drama “La La Land.”

Garfield and Stone have received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for their roles. The Capri award is the first recognition that Keaton has received for his work in “The Founder,” directed by John Lee Hancock from a script by Robert Siegel. The film is about Kroc’s purchase of the McDonald’s fast food chain. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star as McDonald’s founders Richard and Maurice McDonald.

After playing in Capri, the movie will screen in Italian cinemas beginning Jan. 12. The Weinstein Company will release “The Founder” nationwide on Jan. 20.

Keaton received an Academy Award nomination for best actor for 2014’s “Birdman.”

The Capri festival has already honored “Hacksaw Ridge” with Mel Gibson chosen for best director and Bill Mechanic as producer of the year. “La La Land” also received the festival’s award for best ensemble acting and best score for Justin Hurwitz.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/awards/michael-keaton-andrew-garfield-emma-stone-capri-awards-1201950435/

This year’s contenders for the sound editing and sound mixing Oscars run the gamut from war epics to lo-fi musicals to sci-fi escapades. And it’s hard to begin anywhere else other than a galaxy far, far away….

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” feels primed to follow in the footsteps of the five previous films in the “Star Wars” franchise that scored sound notices, including last year’s “The Force Awakens.” It’s the most battle-heavy film of the series in some ways, basically a war film. And war films tend to fare well in the sound categories. The “Rogue One” crew, including mixers David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson, along with effects editors Scarabosio and Matthew Wood, have 15 Oscar nominations between them.

Speaking of war films, Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” features an entire back half that puts the audience smack dab in the middle of a war zone, just as movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down” have done in the past. Kevin O’Connell is the only member of the sound team with previous Academy recognition, but he’s also a record holder: 20 nominations without a win. Maybe Gibson’s big return will be his lucky charm? He’s joined by mixers Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace, along with editors Mackenzkie and Andy Wright.

 

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And not to be forgotten is early-year release “13 Hours” from Michael Bay. Bay’s films often score with the Academy’s sound branch, regardless of how they play to critics, because they’re simply below-the-line specimens. This account of the 2012 Benghazi attack could be another example. Mixing duties were tackled by 16-time Oscar nominee Greg P. Russell (incidentally, Kevin O’Connell’s former partner, with whom he shares many of those winless nominations), along with Gary Summers (another titan) and Jeffrey J. Habboush. Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van Der Ryn handled effects. That quintet, by the way, has 36 nominations and six wins between them.

Musicals are always worth keeping an eye on. Sometimes they miss (“Nine”), but often they land, and many times, they win (“Les Miserables,” “Dreamgirls,” “Chicago”). So if “La La Land” is as poised for glory as it has appeared for months, it might as well be considered a potential frontrunner here. And talk about Oscar credentials: director Damien Chazelle knew what he was doing tapping his own 20-time nominee, Andy Nelson (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Les Miserables”). Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow fill out the team.

And regarding musicals, “Moana” would be worth keeping in mind here. It’s the fullest audio experience of Disney’s recent animated musicals, with much more going on than simply balancing the songs just right. Mixer Tom Johnson (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Titanic”) is an eight-time nominee and two-time winner.

As noted in a previous column, “Sully” may be poised for an interesting footnote: Two-time Oscar winner Alan Robert Murray (“Letters from Iwo Jima,” “American Sniper”) headed up the sound editing with longtime partner Bub Asman, while his son Blu Murray served as film editor. Both could very well land nominations. Mixing duties were handled by Jose Antonio Garcia and John T. Reitz (“The Matrix,” “Argo”) along with Tom Ozanich.

Garcia, Reitz and Ozanich also led Ben Affleck’s mixing team on “Live By Night,” with effects editing by Aadahl and Van Der Ryn. It’s clearly a laureled crew, but even if the film has tanked with critics, it’s worth keeping in mind in a few places, including these categories. There are plenty of gunfight scenarios that play out very cleanly on the soundtrack.

 

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Oscar Predictions: Best Sound Mixing

 

Also worth keeping on the radar is “The Jungle Book,” particularly on the mixing side of the equation, where Christopher Boyes, Lora Hirschberg and Ronald Judkins brought Jon Favreau’s vision to aural life. They have 21 nominations and eight wins between them for work on such films as “Jurassic Park,” “Pearl Harbor,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Inception.” Effects were handled by Boyes and Frank Eulner.

And a potential spoiler on the sound editing side — or who knows, maybe both categories — is “Deepwater Horizon.” The film lived and died by its complex sound environment, and seven-time nominee Wylie Stateman (“Born on the Fourth of July,” “Lone Survivor”) did an impeccable job. Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar and David Wyman turned in mixing duties.

Others in the sci-fi realm that could turn up include “Arrival,” “Passengers” and “Star Trek Beyond,” while complex soundtracks for films like “Jason Bourne” and “Captain America: Civil War” warrant a mention as well. Who can say what sort of coattails a film like “Silence” will have if it ultimately tickles the Academy’s fancy, and something like “Allied” feels like it could be lurking, too.

But let’s close with an underrated job from an otherwise abundantly awarded Steven Spielberg crew: “The BFG.” This is a movie that did not capture the interest of the critics or the public last summer and isn’t much of a priority for Disney (which released four of the 16 films mentioned above). But it featured expert work in the areas of visual effects and sound design. Mixers Gary Rydstrom and Andy Nelson, along with effects editor Richard Hymns, combine for 47 Oscar nominations and 12 wins over the last three decades. That’s branch royalty right there.

The Cinema Audio Society will chime in with a list of mixing nominees on Jan. 10, which ought to help thin the herd here. The Motion Picture Sound Editors group will, as ever, bring up the rear after Oscar nominations are announced with their own list on Jan. 30.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/in-contention/oscars-rogue-one-hacksaw-ridge-13-hours-mix-it-up-in-sound-categories-1201950547/

While Hollywood is still mourning the recent deaths of screen icon Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher, there were many other notable big screen stars who passed away in 2016.

Alan Rickman, one of the most prolific actors of the last two decades, died of pancreatic cancer at age 69 on January 14. Rickman made his big screen debut in 1998’s “Die Hard,” playing the villain Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis. From that film on he took on varied roles, from the noble Colonel Brandon in the period piece “Sense and Sensibility” to the faux-alien Dr. Lazarus in the sci-fi comedy “Galaxy Quest.” But most will know him as the antihero Severus Snape from the “Harry Potter” movies. Emma Thompson, who starred with Rickman in five films, called him “the finest of actors and directors.” (Read his obituary here.)

 

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George Kennedy, who won a Best Supporting Oscar for playing Dragline opposite Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” died on February 28 at the age of 91. He was also known for his roles in four “Airport” films, which inspired the satirical “Airplane!” comedies. (Read his obituary here.)

“Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a freak car accident on June 19, just weeks before the release of “Star Trek Beyond.” He was only 27. The young actor had assembled quite an impressive resume up to that point; in addition to the blockbuster “Star Trek” series, Yelchin had roles in films ranging from “Alpha Dog” to “Terminator Salvation” to “The Smurfs.” (Read his obituary here.)

Another prolific actor — Gene Wilder — died on August 29 from complication from Alzheimer’s. Gifted with impeccable comedic timing, Wilder brought the laughs in many memorable roles, including “Young Frankenstein,” “Blazing Saddles,” and the title character in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” He limited his work after the 1989 death of wife Gilda Radner, whom he met in the 1982 movie “Hanky Panky” (he would later direct her in “The Woman in Red”). He later won an Emmy for a guest appearance on “Will & Grace” in 2003. (Read his obituary here.)

 

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As noted above, the mother-daughter duo of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher died in late December. Carrie, who famously played Princess — and later General — Leia — in four “Star Wars” films, died after a heart attack at age 60. She had completed filming on her fifth “Star Wars” movie before her death. Throughout her life, she spoke openly about battling addiction and mental illness with her trademark candor and wit. (Read her obituary here.)

Sadly, Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds died on December 28, one day after her daughter’s death. She was 84. One of the last surviving stars of the studio system, Reynolds starred in hits like “Singing in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” She also found herself in the middle of one of the biggest celebrity scandals when husband Eddie Fisher left her for her best friend Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds continued to act and sing for decades, even playing a version of herself on “Will & Grace.” She was also a champion for mental health and preserving Hollywood’s heritage. (Read her obituary here.)

We also lost pop icon Prince, who starred in the 1984 cult classic “Purple Rain,” as well as comedian Garry Shandling and “The Godfather” actor Abe Vigoda.

Behind the camera, Hollywood bid farewell to directors Gary Marshall (“Pretty Woman,” “The Princess Diaries), Michael Cimino (“The Deer Hunter”), and Robin Hardy (“The Wicker Man”).

To see more notable deaths from 2016, check out the gallery below.

Hollywood Stars and Icons Lost in 2016
Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/movie-stars-who-died-in-2016-alan-rickman-anton-yelchin-gene-wilder-carrie-fisher-1201950554/

2016 was in many ways a rough year for Hollywood. An unusual number of high-profile deaths — Gene Wilder, Patty Duke, Garry Shandling, Alan Rickman, Prince, Anton Yelchin, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds — left the industry heartbroken. The election of Donald Trump as president has terrified all of Hillary Clinton’s liberal supporters. And on the big screen, despite a record year at the U.S. box office (thanks to Disney), something felt truly stale about many of this year’s massive studio tentpoles.

With a few exceptions, like “Finding Dory,” the theme of this 2016’s blockbusters could best be summed up as: it was better last time. There’s been a long-brewing debate about the consequence of so many sequels on the long-term health of the movie business. But this year suggested that by killing original stories, Hollywood has also destroyed creativity (or at least interesting voices or points of view).

Unlike TV, which continues to dazzle with series like “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Americans,” and “The Crown,” so many of the scripts for the biggest blockbusters read like they weren’t ready for primetime. There’s a trickle-down-effect, too. As the number of medium-sized movies are shrinking, only the blandest ideas are making it through the studios’ vetting gauntlets. Here are this year’s 13 biggest disappointments.

1. “The BFG”
U.S. box office: $55.5 million
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl young-adult novel about a “Big Friendly Giant” turned out to be a big career bomb. Maybe that’s because the movie couldn’t decide its target audience: children, adults, or fans of “Harry Potter.” The book’s most grotesque elements were axed, in favor of a sugar-coated plot that played like the adventures of Hagrid and Hermione.

2. “Zoolander 2”
U.S. box office: $28.8 million
Ben Stiller waited 15 years for a second chance to strut down the catwalk as Derek Zoolander. But his parody wasn’t updated for a culture that eagerly consumes the latest frocks during Fashion Week, the Met Gala, and “Project Runway.” This sequel was so stale that not even a cameo from Anna Wintour could save it.

3. “X-Men: Apocalypse”
U.S. box office: $155.4 million
The critics sharpened their knives for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” but for me the worst comic book movie of 2016 was this never-ending montage of explosions from director Bryan Singer. If the franchise, now nine movies in, is to survive past Hugh Jackman’s retirement next year, it desperately could use some fresh blood, both behind and in front of the camera.

4. and 5. “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad”
U.S. box offices: $330.4 million and $325.1 million
Warner Bros.’ big play to take on Marvel Studios with their DC Comics franchise didn’t go exactly as planned. While both tentpoles ruled the box office, there are questions about how well future chapters can perform, unless quality control rises — fast. Fans griped about Ben Affleck’s stiff interpretation as the Dark Knight and director Zack Snyder’s cheap video game cinematography. Meanwhile, if you blinked, you could miss Jared Leto as the Joker, in the superhero heavy “Suicide Squad.”

6. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”
U.S. box office: $48 million
Only in a male-dominated Hollywood would an executive cook up the idea to make a sequel to Snow White — without our hero (played by Kristen Stewart) from the 2012 hit. Even worse: characters keeps mentioning Snow White’s name throughout the entire movie, and we never got a glimpse of her.

7. “The Legend of Tarzan”
U.S. box office: $126.6 million
The loincloth curse continues. Director David Yates couldn’t replicate his “Harry Potter” success with Tarzan, a joyless action movie starring Alexander Skarsgard.

8. “Independence Day: Resurgence”
U.S. box office: $103.1 million
Do movie stars matter? It’s never been more difficult to answer that question. While Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t save “Passengers,” having 20th Century Fox toss out an “Independence Day” sequel, 20 years later, without Will Smith was never going to work. But at least the movie gave us a woman president, played by Sela Ward.

9. “Alice Through the Looking Glass”
U.S. box office: $77 million
Our Lewis Carroll ingénue returns to Wonderland, but audiences weren’t eager to follow. This superfluous sequel posed a less than wonderful prospect for Disney — Johnny Depp (as the Mad Hatter) has lost his magical franchise touch.

10. “Money Monster”
U.S. box office: $41 million
On the plus side, the thriller directed by Jodie Foster is based on an original idea. But of course, in 2016, even new stories feel like we’ve seen them before — quietly cobbled together from “Inside Man” or “Hostage.” Julia Roberts, as a TV news producer trying to protect her host (George Clooney) from a crazed gunman, deserves better.

11. “Mother’s Day”
U.S. box office: $32.5 million
But at least Roberts wasn’t wearing an insane wig in “Money Monster.” After this year, it’s understandable why the ex-biggest movie star in the world has decided to surrender, like everybody else, and try her hand at TV. Garry Marshall’s final film, a collection of vignettes with characters too thin for a sitcom, makes “Valentine’s Day” look like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

12. “Keanu”
U.S. box office: $20.6 million
The trailer, which centered on a cute cat, looked funny. But after a badly received midnight premiere at SXSW, this buddy action-comedy starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele failed to launch the Comedy Central sketch duo into movie stardom.

13. “The Neon Demon”
U.S. box office: $1.3 million
And finally, the distinction for the most unpleasant movie of the year goes to director Nicolas Winding Refn, who proves that sometimes a risk can collapse into a terrible misfire. After a pained premiere at Cannes, the cruelest joke in this shallow horror satire starring Elle Fanning is that it had nothing to say.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/worst-movies-2016-batman-v-superman-suicide-squad-x-men-1201950543/

Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106.

Wong’s death was announced on his Facebook page.

“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Tyrus Wong,” the post read. “Tyrus died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving daughters Kim, Kay and Tai-Ling. He was 106 years old.”

Wong was born in China before immigrating to the Bay Area at age 9. From there he went to art school on a scholarship followed by accepting a low-level animation job in 1938. After hearing about Walt Disney’s “Bambi” project he put together some paintings of deer in a forest, which impressed Disney enough to use them as inspiration for the film. The animated classic isn’t all Wong is known for though, he’s also worked on film’s like “Rebel Without a Cause, “The Green Berets,” and “The Wild Bunch.”

In 2001, Wong was named a Disney Legend, and in 2013 he had his artwork featured in the Walt Disney Family Museum. In October of this year Wong received two honors at the Asian World Film Festival. He was awarded with a lifetime achievement award on the opening day with the following day (his 106th birthday) being the screening of the documentary about him titled “Tyrus” directed by Pam Tom.

Wong is survived by his daughters Kim, Kay and Tai-Ling.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/tyrus-wong-dead-bambi-106-1201950604/

George S. Irving, a veteran comic and voice actor who won a Tony for “Irene,” died Monday in New York of natural causes. He was 94.

The gruff-voiced Irving was born in 1922 as George Irving Shelasky in Springfield, Mass. He received the 17th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre in 2008.

He was also known for a variety of voice acting roles such as the Heat Miser in Rankin/Bass’s stop-motion Christmas movies “The Year Without a Santa Claus” and “A Miser Brothers’ Christmas.” He also narrated the 1960s animated series “Underdog.”

Irving’s TV credits included sitcoms such as “Car 54, Where Are You?,” “The Patty Duke Show,” “All In The Family,” and the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope.”

He first appeared on Broadway in 1943 in the first run of “Oklahoma !” He received a Tony nomination for “Me and My Girl” and appeared on numerous plays and musicals including “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Can-Can,” “Bells Are Ringing” and  “The Pirates Of Penzance” opposite Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt.

Irving starred in the 1973 revival of “Irene” and won the Tony Award for best performance by a featured actor in a musical. Reynolds was nominated for best actress in a musical and her daughter Carrie Fisher, who died Tuesday, made her Broadway debut in the production.

Irving was married to the actress Maria Karnilova, from 1948 until her death in 2001. He is survived by two children and three grandchildren.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/obituaries-people-news/obituary-actor-george-s-irving-1201949248/

Debbie Reynolds was reportedly rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, according to TMZ.

The L.A. Fire Department confirmed to Variety that it received a call for a medical emergency in the 1700 block of Coldwater Canyon Drive at 1:02 p.m. An adult female patient was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in fair-to-serious condition, said spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, who declined to confirm the identity of the patient due to federal privacy law. She may have suffered a stroke, reports TMZ.

This news comes after Fisher died Tuesday morning from what was described as a massive heart attack on Friday while on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Reynolds posted a short message regarding her daughter online on Tuesday. “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carrie’s Mother,” she wrote.

Born in 1932, Reynolds is known for, among many other roles, her part in the 1952 film “Singin’ in the Rain.” She was nominated for an Academy Awards for 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Reynolds earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway revival of “Irene,” which also gave Fisher her Broadway debut. George S. Irving, Reynolds’ Tony-winning co-star in the show died on Monday.

A new documentary, “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” is slated to screen at the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festival after showing at the Cannes and New York Film Festivals.

Joely Fisher, half-sister to Carrie, tweeted a photo of herself and Reynolds with the caption “God speed mama.”

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/debbie-reynolds-hospitalized-carrie-fisher-1201949322/

As fans pay tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, many videos from her past are resurfacing. One such video is from 2005’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, which honored “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.

In the four-minute clip, Fisher takes the stage to roast the filmmaker, highlighting her signature dry humor and wit as she pokes fun at Lucas.

“George Lucas ruined my life and I mean that in the nicest possible way,” Fisher began. “George is a sadist — but like any abused child wearing a metal bikini, chained to a giant slug about to die, I keep coming back for more.”

 

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Joke after joke Fisher delighted the audience, which included Steven Spielberg, John Williams, Warren Beatty, and more.

Towards the end of the speech, Fisher lightened up to call Lucas a “once in a generation” talent, before making one last jab at the prolific filmmaker.

“I’m only slightly bitter because you, my formally silent friend, are an extraordinary talent, and let’s face it — an artist,” Fisher continued. “The like of which is seen perhaps once in a generation who helps define that generation, and who deserves every award I now spend the latter half of my Leia-laden life helping to hurl your way.”

Lucas paid his own tribute to the late actress on Tuesday. “In ‘Star Wars,’ she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think,” he said.

Watch the clip below or click here.

 

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/carrie-fisher-roasts-george-lucas-2005-afi-tribute-1201949341/

It wouldn’t be an Oscar season without a scandal of sorts from the Academy’s music branch. We got one this year: Johann Johannsson’s “Arrival” score was disqualified after it was decided the use of pre-existing music (namely Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight”) diluted the impact of his original compositions, which are quite progressive in the realm of film music.

Bummer. But…typical.

At present, the presumed frontrunner in the field is Justin Hurwitz, whose lively “La La Land” music only really had one hurdle to clear: the mercurial nature of the branch. It might have easily been decided that the abundance of songs overwhelmed the interstitial scoring, but happily, that didn’t happen. Left to the Academy to decide, Hurwitz may well be primed for a pair of Oscars, both here and in the original song category.

 

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Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score

 

A solid bet in any year is Oscar recognition for John Williams, who picked up his 50th nomination last year, for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s rare that he misses at all, let alone for a Steven Spielberg film. So even though Disney doesn’t appear to have much invested in “The BFG,” which was a box office disappointment, you can safely assume Williams’ colleagues will continue to find a place for him in the line-up — that is, until they don’t.

One of the most emotional scores of the year — “Lion” — comes courtesy of pianists Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann (better known as Hauschka). It’s sort of an undeniable, but you can never be sure how this group will respond to fresh talent. They tend to be a bit insular, though often when they do allow for a first-timer — Steven Price, Ludovic Bource, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek — it can lead to a win.

Similar to “Lion,” Nicholas Britell’s evocative “Moonlight” score does a fine job of putting you in the headspace of the film’s increasingly withdrawn protagonist. A minimalist work of strings and piano, it’s an exceptional work even divorced from the imagery.

Another outsider that could break in is Mica Levi, who already pushed boundaries with her debut film work, “Under the Skin.” In “Jackie,” while Levi may be leaning more toward traditional sounds, it’s what she does with them that counts. None of it is so radical when you think about it, particularly at a moment when the film score status quo is being challenged. But how long before the branch really catches up to that?

With three composers, “Hidden Figures” would have been ineligible here, but Hans Zimmer removed himself from the ticket. Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch remain, and with a female-heavy orchestra and flourishes like using vocals for melody, their score could stand out. But voters have two stabs at recognizing the film, both here and in original song for Williams’ contenders there. Might they want to spread the wealth?

 

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Oscars: Academy Disqualifies ‘Arrival,’ ‘Silence,’ ‘Manchester’ Original Scores (EXCLUSIVE)

 

One contender flying under the radar is Dario Marianelli with Laika’s “Kubo and the Two Strings.” There are a number of strong animated hopefuls in contention, from Michael Giacchino’s “Zootopia” to Mark Mancina’s “Moana,” but Marianelli’s work actually drives much of his film’s narrative. That could count for a lot.

Speaking earlier of the branch’s insular nature, one of their favorites is Thomas Newman. As the son of revered nine-time Oscar-winning composer Alfred Newman, he has been faced with a daunting shadow his whole career. But he’s carved his own definitive track, earning 13 nominations for films like “The Shawshank Redemption,” “American Beauty” and “Skyfall.” However, he’s yet to win. This year Newman has box office megahit “Finding Dory” (the follow-up to “Finding Nemo,” which also netted him a nomination), but don’t sleep on “Passengers.” In Morten Tyldum’s film, he conjured just the kind of unexpected sonic signature this branch delights in recognizing (particularly when it’s from someone in the clubhouse).

Speaking of branch favorites, James Newton Howard (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and Alexandre Desplat (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) seem like contenders to keep an eye on. In addition to “Zootopia,” Michael Giacchino filled some mighty big shoes with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” whipping up his own sweeping addition to a mythos. And “Hacksaw Ridge” might be beloved enough across the board to generate excitement throughout the branches, including for Rupert Gregson-Williams’ unique contribution to a genre that has seen (er, heard) it all.

But it seems like Disney’s “The Jungle Book” could be underestimated overall. An agreed-upon visual effects marvel, it excels in aural arenas, too. Perhaps John Debney’s percussive work can find purchase.

Unlike other categories, there is no true guild-like industry precursor to help point the way with original scores. We’ll just have to see what voters decide on Jan. 24. But like many categories this year, one can’t help but wonder how the Academy’s big influx of new membership — which, remember, included interesting additions like Mary J. Blige, RZA and Will.i.am in this branch — will affect long-held presumptions.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/in-contention/la-la-land-bfg-hidden-figures-and-more-tune-up-original-score-oscar-race-1201949408/

Debbie Reynolds, the Oscar-nominated singer-actress who was the mother of late actress Carrie Fisher, has died at Cedars-Sinai hospital. She was 84.

“She wanted to be with Carrie,” her son Todd Fisher told Variety.

She was taken to the hospital from Carrie Fisher’s Beverly Hills house Wednesday after suffering a stroke, the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died.

The vivacious blonde, who had a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship with her daughter, was one of MGM’s principal stars of the 1950s and ’60s in such films as the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as best actress.

Reynolds received the SAG lifetime achievement award in January 2015; in August of that year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted to present the actress with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Nov. 14 Governors Awards, but she was unable to attend the ceremony due to an “unexpectedly long recovery from a recent surgery.”

Reynolds had a wholesome girl-next-door look which was coupled with a no-nonsense attitude in her roles. They ranged from sweet vehicles like “Tammy” to more serious fare such as “The Rat Race” and “How the West Was Won.” But amid all the success, her private life was at the center of one of the decade’s biggest scandals when then-husband, singer Eddie Fisher, left her for Elizabeth Taylor in 1958.

 

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In Memorial: Celebrity Deaths of 2016

 

Reynolds handled it well personally, but got more tabloid coverage when she divorced her second husband, shoe manufacturer Harry Karl, claiming that he had wiped away all of her money with his gambling. The 1987 novel “Postcards From the Edge,” written by Carrie Fisher, and the film adaptation three years later, were regarded as an embellishment on Reynolds’ up-and-down relationship with her actress daughter. In 1997, Reynolds declared personal bankruptcy after the Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino closed after years of financial troubles.

She continued to work well into her 80s, via film and TV work, guesting on “The Golden Girls” and “Roseanne” and drawing an Emmy nomination in 2000 for her recurring role on “Will and Grace” as the latter’s entertainer mother. She also did a number of TV movies, including an almost-unrecognizable turn as Liberace’s mother in Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra” for HBO in 2013. Younger audiences treasured her in the role of Aggie Cromwell in Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown” and its three sequels. She also frequently did voice work for “Kim Possible” and “Family Guy.”

For movie fans, she was always the pert star of movies, TV, nightclubs and Broadway. But to industry people, she was known for her philanthropy, including more than 60 years of working with the organization the Thalians on mental-health care. She was also known for her energetic battles to preserve Hollywood heritage. She bought thousands of pieces when MGM auctioned off its costumes and props, including Marilyn Monroe’s “subway dress” from “The Seven Year Itch,” a Charlie Chaplin bowler hat and a copy of the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” Reynolds spent decades trying to get these items showcased in a museum.

Marie Frances Reynolds was born in El Paso, Texas; when she was 8, her carpenter father moved the family to Burbank. At age 16, “Frannie” entered the Miss Burbank Contest, winning in 1948 for her imitation of Betty Hutton singing “My Rockin’ Horse Ran Away.” She was spotted by Warner Bros. talent scout Solly Baiano, who signed her to a $65-a-week contract. Studio head Jack Warner renamed her Debbie — against her wishes, she said.

 

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Debbie Reynolds: Life and Career in Photos

 

Reynolds languished at the studio, often having to perform errands such as escorting visitors on tours or addressing envelopes; she appeared in front of the cameras only for a bit part in “June Bride” and then a flashier role as June Haver’s sister in “The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady.”

When the contract lapsed, MGM picked her up at $300 a week. The studio, where she would reside for the next 20 years, first assigned her a role lip-synching Helen Kane’s voice as the original Betty Boop in the musical “Three Little Words.” In romantic musical “Two Weeks With Love,” she used her own voice to put across “Aba Daba Honeymoon,” and she was also given a supporting role in “Mr. Imperium,” starring Lana Turner.

After the studio insisted on her as the romantic lead in “Singin’ in the Rain,” Gene Kelly put her through rigorous dance training, which she admitted she needed. “They took this virgin talent, this little thing, and expected her to hold her own with Gene and with Donald O’Connor, two of the best dancers in the business,” she once told an interviewer. Many years later, “Singin’ in the Rain” was No. 1 on AFI’s 100 Years of Musicals list, and ranked No. 5 in its 2007 list of the greatest American films.

She was 20 when the film opened and her career kicked into high gear. She was next given the female lead in “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis,” co-starring Bobby Van, and segued into another musical comedy, “Give a Girl a Break,” with Marge and Gower Champion.

On loan to RKO, she impressed in the comedy “Susan Slept Here,” with Dick Powell as a screenwriter who must deal with a juvenile delinquent, played by Reynolds, on Christmas Eve. After the film became a hit, Reynolds’ contract was renegotiated. While she was assigned to lackluster musicals such as “Athena” and “Hit the Deck,” the comedies were better, such as “The Tender Trap,” with Frank Sinatra.

And she made a big impression in her dramatic turn as Bette Davis’s daughter in Gore Vidal’s adaptation of Paddy Chayevsky’s “The Catered Affair” (1956).

In 1956, she also starred in RKO’s “Bundle of Joy” (a musical remake of “Bachelor Mother”) opposite crooner Eddie Fisher, whom she had recently married.

 

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Stars Pay Tribute to Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood Icon and Carrie Fisher’s Mom

 

“Tammy and the Bachelor,” which featured her million-selling single of the ballad “Tammy,” defined Reynolds and may have limited her to roles as the wholesome all-American type. She went on to play essentially the same part in such films as “The Mating Game” and “The Pleasure of His Company,” with only the occasional tart turn in movies such as “The Rat Race.”

Reynolds had one of the principal roles in 1962’s all-star Cinerama epic “How the West Was Won.” And in the 1960s she remained a star, despite the ho-hum box office performances of  “Mary, Mary,” “Goodbye Charlie” and “The Singing Nun.”

When Shirley MacLaine dropped out of 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Reynolds got her best chance to shine centerstage in a musical comedy about the real-life woman who went from rags to riches and survived the Titanic sinking. (One of the show’s signature songs, “I Ain’t Down Yet,” became an unofficial anthem for the actress as she survived all the turmoil in her life.)

She had two of her best roles in “Divorce, American Style,” directed by Bud Yorkin and co-written by Norman Lear; and the 1971 black-comedy suspenser “What’s the Matter With Helen?” with Shelley Winters. But her movie roles were slowing down and the actress tried series television; “The Debbie Reynolds Show” lasted only one season on NBC from 1969-70.

In 1973, the actress divorced Karl and discovered she was almost $3 million in debt as a result of his gambling losses. She worked it off by appearing 42 weeks a year in nightclubs and Las Vegas and Reno.

She also established the Debbie Reynolds Professional Studios in Burbank. She went to Broadway in a revival of “Irene,” drawing a 1973 Tony nomination for best actress in a musical, which gave daughter Carrie Fisher one of her first roles. After doing “Annie Get Your Gun” on tour, Reynolds returned to Broadway in a short-lived turn in “Woman of the Year.” She toured with Meredith Willson’s stage musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” in 1989, 25 years after the film debuted.

Reynolds appeared in a number of successful exercise tapes for older women, “Do It Debbie’s Way,” and co-authored the autobiography “Debbie, My Life” in 1987.

That same year, Reynolds’ private life was again in the spotlight when Carrie Fisher’s novel “Postcards From the Edge” debuted. The work centered on the stormy relationship between an actress and her showbiz-star mother. Though many were convinced this was a roman a clef, Reynolds laughingly pooh-poohed comparisons with the self-centered mom. (MacLaine, the original choice for MGM’s “Molly Brown,” played the mother in the 1990 film adaptation.)

In 1993, the Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino opened in Vegas, where she appeared for most weekends in the showroom with Rip Taylor. The next year she opened her Hollywood Movie Museum in Vegas. Reynolds said she got the idea for the hotel as an afterthought, as she was looking for a permanent home for her collection of movie memorabilia.

Reynolds appeared in a number of films in the 1990s, including the title character in the Albert Brooks comedy “Mother.” She also cameo’d as herself in “The Bodyguard”; appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”; and played a mother determined to marry off her son whether he’s gay or not in the 1997 “In and Out.” She also appeared in a broadly comic role as the grandmother in Katherine Heigl vehicle “One for the Money” in 2012.

Reynolds also did voice work for many animated film and TV works, starting with the title character in 1973’s “Charlotte’s Web.” and providing voices for the English version of anime “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie,” “Rugrats in Paris” and “Light of Olympia.”

In 2005 she won the President’s Award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards “for her collection and conservation of classic Hollywood costumes.” However, a deal for placement of the collection fell through, and Reynolds was forced to auction off most of the collection, which was valued at almost $11 million.

In 1955 Reynolds was among the young actors who founded the Thalians, a charitable organization aimed at raising awareness and providing treatment and support for those suffering from mental health issues; Reynolds was elected president of the organization in 1957 and served in that role for more than five decades, and she and actress Ruta Lee alternated as chair of the board. Through Reynolds’ efforts, the Thalians donated millions of dollars to the Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai (closed in 2012) and to UCLA’s Operation Mend, which provides medical and psychological services to wounded veterans and their families.

Reynolds was married to third husband Richard Hamlett, a real estate developer, from 1984-96.

Daughter Carrie Fisher died Dec. 27, 2016; Reynolds is survived by her son Todd, a TV commercial director from her marriage to Eddie Fisher; and granddaughter, actress Billie Lourd.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/debbie-reynolds-dead-dies-carrie-fisher-mother-1201949432/

There’s been an outpouring of grief on the web as celebrities pay tribute to Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood icon and mother of Carrie Fisher. Reynolds died Wednesday afternoon, one day after her daughter passed away at the age of 60. She was 84.

A talented singer and actress, Reynolds appeared in many movies and stage productions spanning decades. She is survived by a son Todd and her granddaughter Billie.

Younger audiences will remember Reynolds as Grace Adler’s showbiz mom from “Will & Grace.”

Close friend Carol Channing wrote: “She was beautiful and generous. It seems like only yesterday she was having lunch here at the house and we were discussing
the possibility of working together in a new show.  I have such fond memories of appearing with her here at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs. So many laughs. My prayers go out to the family. She will be missed.”

Added Reynolds’ costar Rip Taylor: “I was blessed to work with this remarkable woman for 45 almost 50 years. That makes for a very rare bond and unique relationship. She was generous to a fault, never caring who got the laugh from the audience. I Will always love her. I am absolutely devastated tonight!”

Read some of the online tributes below:

Albert Brooks wrote: “Debbie Reynolds, a legend and my movie mom. I can’t believe this happened one day after Carrie. My heart goes out to Billie.”

Larry King wrote: “Debbie Reynolds was pure class. She was loving, talented, beautiful, unsinkable. I feel sorry for anyone who never got a chance to meet her.”

Debra Messing wrote: “So heartsick. Debbie went to be with Carrie. It’s such a devastating 1,2 punch. She was my “mom” for years & I loved her dearly. A legend.”

Sean Hayes wrote: “It is beyond astonishing that both

@DebbieReynolds1 passing …an American icon and Hollywood legend.”

Mira Sorvino wrote: “What a tragedy! First Carrie, now her legendary mother Debbie Reynolds- my deepest and condolences to their family!!”

More to come.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/debbie-reynolds-dead-carrie-fisher-mom-tribute-1201949461/
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