"The Rite" Exorcises Box-Office, Makes No. 1 Debut with $15M 


"The Rite" possessed the title of the No. 1 Movie in America as the supernatural thriller debuted at the top spot with $15 million. Directed by Mikael Håfström and starring Anthony Hopkins as the elder exorcist, Father Lucas, "The Rite" pushed previous weekend's box-office champ, "No Strings Attached," down to No. 2. ("The Rite" movie review)

The Paramount Pictures romantic comedy starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher held better than expected with $13.7 box-office sales, and so far, "No Strings Attached" has made $39.7 million in its first 10 days of release. ("No Strings Attached" movie review)

"The Green Hornet," the super-hero action flick starring Seth Rogen tied for the third spot with another action flick, "The Mechanic," starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Both "Hornet" and "Mechanic" collected $11.5 million in box-office coins. ("The Green Hornet" movie review)

As expected, the Oscar nominations held last Tuesday, helped pushed nominated films such as "The King's Speech (No. 5 with $11.1 million -- box-office total so far? $72.2 million), "True Grit" (No. 6 with $7.6 million, $148.4 M total), "Black Swan" (No. 8 with $5.1 million, $90.7 M total), and "The Fighter" (No. 9 with $4.1 million, $78.4 M total). (Check Out My Best Movies of 2010)

Another Oscar contender, Fox Searchlight's "127 Hours" from "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle and starring James Franco, has been expanded to 916 theaters and grossed $1.1 million for a total of $13.4 million. (Check Out my interviews with Boyle and Franco right here)

Here's the list of the Top 10 Box-Office films for weekend of Jan. 28th: (SOURCE: HOLLYWOOD.COM):

1 The Rite (PG-13) $15.0 M $15.0 M
2 No Strings Attached (R) $13.7 M $39.7 M
3 The Green Hornet (PG-13)$11.5 M $78.8 M
4 The Mechanic (R) $11.5 M $11.5 M
5 The King's Speech (R) $11.1 M $72.2 M
6 True Grit (PG-13) $7.6 M $148.4 M
7 The Dilemma (PG-13) $5.5 M $40.6 M
8 Black Swan (R) $5.1 M $90.7 M
9 The Fighter (R) $4.0 M $78.4 M
10 Yogi Bear (PG) $3.2 M $92.5 M

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Tom Hooper Crowned Best Director at 63rd Annual DGA Awards! Check Out Full List of Winners 


Tom Hooper was crowned the Best Director of the Year by the Directors Guild of America for his work on "The King's Speech." With his DGA win, Hooper is now considered the Oscar frontrunner for the best director category, beating awards circuit darling David Fincher ("The Social Network").

Hooper beat out Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan"), Fincher, Christopher Nolan ("Inception"), and David O. Russell ("The Fighter").

Here's the complete list of winners of the 63rd annual DGA Awards:

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

Tom Hooper, The King's Speech (The Weinstein Co.)

MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES

Mick Jackson, Temple Grandin (HBO)

DRAMA SERIES

Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

COMEDY SERIES

Michael Spiller, Modern Family (ABC)

DOCUMENTARY

Charles Ferguson, Inside job (Representational Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics)

MUSICAL VARIETY

Glenn Weiss, 64th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)

DAYTIME SERIALS

Larry Carpenter, One Life to Live, "Episode #10,687"

REALITY PROGRAMS

Eytan Keller, The Next Iron Chef, "Episode #301" (Food Network)

COMMERCIALS

Stacy Wall (Imperial Woodpecker)
"Rise," Nike; "Really?," Microsoft; "Slim Chin & D Rose," Adidas; "Handshake," Nike

CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS

Eric Bross, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Nickelodeon)

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2011 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners 


2011 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

The Grand Jury Prize:Documentary was presented to How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson. In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. How to Die in Oregon gently enters the lives of terminally ill Oregonians to illuminate the power of death with dignity.

The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus; written by Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones. A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis. Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Afghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the U.S., we witness what modern "unconventional" warfare really means to the men who are fighting it. U.S.A./United Kingdom

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig), directed by Anne Sewitsky; written by Ragnhild Tronvoll. A perfect housewife, who just happens to be sex-starved, struggles to keep her emotions in check when an attractive family moves in next door. Norway

The Audience Awards are presented to both a dramatic and documentary film in four competitions as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards are presented by Acura.

The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl, for her story about the power of non-violence and master horse trainer Buck Brannaman, who uses principles of respect and trust to tame horses and inspire their human counterparts.

The Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Circumstance, directed and written by Maryam Keshavarz,in which a wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession.

The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia; written by Manish Pandey, about legendary racing driver and Brazilian hero Ayrton Senna, taking us on the ultimate journey of what it means to become the greatest when faced with the constant possibility of death. United Kingdom

The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Kinyarwanda, directed and written by Alrick Brown, which tells the story of Rwandans who crossed the lines of hatred during the 1994 genocide, turning mosques into places of refuge for Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis. U.S.A./Rwanda

The Best of NEXT!: Audience Award was presented to to.get.her, directed and written by Erica Dunton about five girls who come together for one fateful night where anything goes. They all had secrets, but their friendship was the only thing they knew to be true.

Directing Awards recognize excellence in directing for dramatic and documentary features.

The Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, directed by Jon Foy. An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.

The Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed and written by Sean Durkin. Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

The World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Project Nim, directed by James Marsh, who explores the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who was taught to communicate with language as he was raised and nurtured like a human child. United Kingdom

The World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Tyrannosaur, directed and written by Paddy Considine. For a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own. United Kingdom

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award was presented to Another Happy Day, directed and written by Sam Levinson, about a pair of reckless siblings who are dragged into a chaotic family wedding by their overwrought mother.

The World Cinema Screenwriting Award was presented to Restoration, directed by Yossi Madmony; written by Erez Kav-El, about an antique furniture restorer, who, aided by a young and mysterious apprentice, struggles to keep his workshop alive, while his relationship with his own estranged son, who is trying to close down the shop, begins to disintegrate. Israel

The Documentary Editing Award was presented to If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, edited by Matthew Hamachek and Marshall Curry and directed by Marshall Curry. The Earth Liberation Front is a radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's "number one domestic terrorist threat." Daniel McGowan, an ELF member, faces life in prison for two multi-million dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies.

The World Cinema Documentary Editing Award was presented to The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, edited by Göran Hugo Olsson and Hanna Lejonqvist and directed by Göran Hugo Olsson. From 1967 to 1975, Swedish journalists chronicled the Black Power movement in America. Combining that 16mm footage, undiscovered until now, with contemporary audio interviews, this film illuminates the people and culture that fueled change and brings the movement to life anew. Sweden/U.S.A.

The Excellence in Cinematography Awards honor exceptional cinematography in both dramatic and documentary categories:

The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to The Redemption of General Butt Naked, directed by Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion; cinematographers: Eric Strauss, Ryan Hill and Peter Hutchens. A brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Liberia's horrific 14-year civil war renounces his violent past and reinvents himself as an Evangelist, facing those he once terrorized.

The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to Pariah, directed and written by Dee Rees; cinematographer: Bradford Young. When forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family, a Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression.

The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis; cinematographer: Danfung Dennis. Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Afghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the U.S., we witness what modern "unconventional" warfare really means to the men who are fighting it. U.S.A./United Kingdom

The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to All Your Dead Ones, directed by Carlos Moreno; written by Alonso Torres and Carlos Moreno; cinematographer: Diego F. Jimenez. One morning, a peasant wakes to find a pile of bodies in the middle of his crops. When he goes to the authorities, he quickly realizes that the dead ones are a problem nobody wants to deal with. Colombia

Two World Cinema Special Jury Prizes: Dramatic for Breakout Performances were presented to Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan for their roles in Tyrannosaur, directed and written by Paddy Considine.For a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own. United Kingdom

A World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Position Among the Stars (Stand van de Sterren) directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich, for his expose of the effects of globalization on Indonesia's rapidly changing society as it ripples into the life of a poor Christian woman living in the slums of Jakarta with her Muslim sons and teenage granddaughter. The Netherlands

A Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey, directed by Constance Marks, an inspirational film that crosses cultures and generations

A Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill; written by Mike Cahill and Brit Marling. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair.

A Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Felicity Jones for her role in Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus; written by Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones. A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.

As announced on Tuesday, the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking was awarded to Brick Novax pt 1 and 2 (Director and screenwriter: Matt Piedmont). The International Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking was given to Deeper Than Yesterday / Australia (Director and screenwriter: Ariel Kleiman). In addition, the jury awarded Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking to: Choke / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Latimer); Diarchy / Italy (Director and screenwriter: Ferdinando Cito Filomarino); The External World / Germany, Ireland (Director and screenwriter: David O'Reilly); The Legend of Beaver Dam / Canada (Director: Jerome Sable, screenwriters: Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion); Out of Reach / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Jakub Stozek); and Protoparticles / Spain (Director and screenwriter: Chema García Ibarra).

On Tuesday Sundance Institute and Mahindra announced the winners of the inaugural Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The winning directors and projects are: Bogdan Mustata, Wolf from Romania; Ernesto Contreras, I Dream in Another Language from Mexico; Seng Tat Liew, In What City Does It Live? from Malaysia; and Talya Lavie, Zero Motivation from Israel.

Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) on Thursday announced Cherien Dabis, director of May in the Summer, as the winner of the Sundance Institute/NHK Award honoring and supporting emerging filmmakers.

Another Earth, written and directed by Mike Cahill, is the recipient of this year's Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. The Prize, which carries a $20,000 cash award by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is presented to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character.

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Watch "The Rite" Movie Review! I'm Exorcising My Demons! 


For my written review of "The Rite," click here.

Here's more info on "The Rite" from Yahoo:

An American seminary student who attends exorcism school at the Vatican finds faith through encounters with demonic forces.

Genres: Drama and Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hr. 7 min.
Release Date: January 28th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast and Credits
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Jones
Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom
Produced by: Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson

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"Jackass 3.5" to Premiere April Fool's Day! Check Out Trailer! 


Paramount Digital Entertainment and MTV jointly announced that "Jackass 3.5" will premiere on April 1, yes, April Fools Day!

The super-successful franchise will have its worldwide debut through Joost which will also extend its player on the Jackass Facebook community of over 8 million fans!

"Jackass 3.5," directed by Jeff Tremaine, will feature over 85 minutes of all-new content, including never-before-seen stunts, outrageous pranks and other side-splitting antics from the legendary pranksters Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dynn, Wee Man, Preston Lacy, Dave England and “Danger Ehren” McGhehey. New episodes will be released on the Joost.com site weekly following its online premiere.

I love these "Jackass" folks, they're funny and sweet in person. (Check out my interviews with the entire "Jackass 3D" cast and director Tremaine right here)

Here's the fun "Jackass 3.5" trailer:

<a href="http://appstatic.joost.com/3ck1x7yu">Jackass 3.5 (Exclusive Trailer Premiere)</a>


And here's the rest of the press release:

Available online exclusively at Joost.com in twelve countries - U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Turkey - the digital episodes will bring the outrageous stunts and antics of the JACKASS crew to over 300 million people around the globe. The JACKASS 3.5 first-look trailer is now available on Joost.com in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.

“With a worldwide fan base, it’s clear that JACKASS has created its own category of entertainment that needs no translation,” stated Thomas Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment. “With Joost on board to distribute JACKASS 3.5 through its global online network, millions of JACKASS fans around the world are sure to enjoy the latest installment of this popular franchise.”

“I love these guys,” said Nick Higgins, Executive Vice-President of Joost. “Joost.com, along with Johnny and the boys are a perfect team. JACKASS is an incredibly successful franchise as well as an established global brand. It appeals to a broad audience and has a fanatical fan base that are heavy online users. And JACKASS 3.5 is the kind of original, premium content Joost will be delivering more of this year, and we’re thrilled to experience this ride with them.”

Paramount Pictures is distributing JACKASS 3.5 through an innovative strategy to feed global fan fervor and generate excitement for its feature length digital movie. JACKASS 3.5 will be available globally online through Joost in weekly episodic installments. And Joost will extend its video player on the JACKASS Facebook page —home to more than 8 million Jackass fans. JACKASS 3.5 will culminate with the full-length uncensored feature being released through a variety of platforms including download-to-own, VOD, DVD and Television.

JACKASS has become a global phenomenon whose content is tailor made for digital platforms,” said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group. “This deal with Joost will provide fans with another entry point for engaging in the notoriously exuberant and boisterous JACKASS experience.”

The JACKASS franchise first debuted as an original television series on MTV from 2000 to 2002, launching the careers of Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera and other now-popular personalities shown performing outrageous stunts and hysterical pranks. Since 2002, three successful JACKASS theatrical films have been produced and released by Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. JACKASS: THE MOVIE grossed more than $64 million in the United States alone, and finished in the Number 1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend. JACKASS NUMBER TWO was released in September 2006 and like its predecessor, topped the box office in its debut weekend, and ultimately earned more than $72 million in cumulative box office revenues. JACKASS 3D, released this October 2010 dominated the weekend box office opening to $50 million in ticket sales, setting several records such as becoming the biggest opening ever for a non-scripted/documentary-esque film, the 10th highest opening comedy of all-time, notching the record for an October midnight gross with $2.5 million, making it a special event for throngs of moviegoers. JACKASS 3D has earned more than $117 million at the box office in the U.S.

In 2007, Paramount Digital Entertainment & MTV released JACKASS 2.5, the first digital movie released by a studio, which quickly became the most successful non-theatrical release in the studio’s history. In the first few weeks of launch, the digital property garnered over 20 million views and was the #1 title on iTunes the week it launched.


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