Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

 

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — After a nine-month delay, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” deployed to the top spot at the box office.

The action film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum as the gun-toting military toys brought to life marched into the No. 1 position at the weekend box office, earning $41.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Retaliation” opened Wednesday at midnight, which helped bring its domestic total to $51.7 million.

Paramount postponed the sequel to 2009’s “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” last May from its original June opening date to convert the film to 3-D. The last-minute switcheroo came just weeks after “Battleship,” another movie based on a Hasbro toy, sank at the box office. At that time, Paramount already began its advertising campaign for “Retaliation.”

“It certainly vindicates the decision,” said Don Harris, the studio’s head of distribution. “Any time you make those sorts of moves, people always assume the worst. The truth is I’d seen this movie a long time ago in 2-D, and the movie worked in 2-D. It’s not trying to be ‘Schindler’s List.’ This movie is intended to be enjoyed as a big, action spectacle.”

After debuting in the top spot last weekend, the 3-D animated prehistoric comedy “The Croods” from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox slipped to the No. 2 spot with $26.5 million in its second weekend. The film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener as a cave family on the hunt for a new home.

Among the other new films this weekend, “Tyler Perry’s Temptation” starring Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Lance Gross opened above expectations at No. 3 with $22.3 million, while the sci-fi adaptation “The Host” featuring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel as characters from the Stephenie Meyer novel landed at No. 6 in its debut weekend with a modest $11 million.

Overall, the weekend box office was on par with last year when “The Hunger Games” continued to dominate in its second weekend of release with $58.5 million. After a slow start, Hollywood’s year-to-date revenues are still 12 percent behind last year, heading into next month when summer movie season unofficially kicks off with “Iron Man 3” on May 3.

“It’s getting us back on track after many weekends of down trending box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com. “Last weekend was a turning point with the strength of ‘The Croods’ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ doing better than expected. We’re heading toward the summer movie season on solid footing. It’s been a tough year so far.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” $41.2 million.

2. “The Croods,” $26.5 million.

3. “Tyler Perry’s Temptation,” $22.3 million.

4. “Olympus Has Fallen,” $14 million.

5. “Oz the Great and Powerful,” $11.6 million.

6. “The Host,” $11 million.

7. “The Call,” $4.8 million.

8. “Admission,” $3.2 million.

9. “Spring Breakers,” $2.7 million.

10. “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” $1.3 million.

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Online:

http://www.hollywood.com

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

A letter from a “lost” Marilyn Monroe to mentor Lee Strasberg and one from an irritated John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney are among hundreds of historical objects set to be auctioned on May 30.

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It is part of the second in a series of auctions intended to sell about 3,000 artifacts from an anonymous collector.

gty marilyn monroe promo nt 130329 wblog Letters From a Lost Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon to Be Auctioned(Image credit: Baron/Getty Images|AP Photo)

The first auction was a “blockbuster sale,” with a Vincent van Gogh letter selling for $336,000 and a Thomas Jefferson letter that sold for $300,000, according a news release announcing the latest auction. The auctions are being run by Profiles in History.

The upcoming auction includes letters and manuscripts from historical figures including George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ernest Hemingway.

One of the letters already garnering buzz is a despair-filled letter on Hotel Bel-Air stationary from Marilyn Monroe to her mentor and legendary acting coach, Lee Strasberg.

The letter began, “Dear Lee, I’m embarrassed to start this, but thank you for understanding and having changed my life. Even though you changed it I still am lost. I mean I can’t get myself together.”

gty marilyn monroe letter 1 nt 130329 blog Letters From a Lost Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon to Be Auctioned(Image credit: Profiles in History/AP Photo)

“You once said the first time I heard you talk at the actors studio that ‘There is only concentration between the actor and suiside [sic],” she wrote.

“My will is weak but I can’t stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I’m going crazy,” she added. “It’s just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I’m trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I’m not existing in the human race at all.”

gty marilyn monroe letter 2 nt 130329 blog Letters From a Lost Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon to Be Auctioned(Image credit: Profiles in History/AP Photo)

Another letter on the block is an angry and sarcastic letter from John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney.

“I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out,” Lennon wrote. He ventured a few guesses and then wrote, “What the hell – it’s Linda?”

PHOTOS: Remembering John Lennon

The Lennon letterhead has a circular image of Lennon and Yoko Ono almost touching lips.

gty john lennon letter 1 nt 130329 blog Letters From a Lost Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon to Be Auctioned(Image credit: Profiles in History/AP Photo)

The Lennon letter is expected to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000 and the Monroe letter is expected to take in between $30,000 and $50,000.

gty john lennon letter 2 nt 130329 blog Letters From a Lost Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon to Be Auctioned(Image credit: Baron/Getty Images|AP Photo)

Some of the items from the auction will be on display at Douglas Elliman’s Madison Avenue Gallery from April 8-16. The online auction will take place May 30.

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Collected from-http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/03/letters-from-a-lost-marilyn-monroe-angry-john-lennon-to-be-auctioned/

‘Harry Potter’ co-star Daniel Radcliffe said Friday that he was “proud to say I knew him.”

British actor Richard Griffiths, best known for his roles in ‘Withnail and I‘ and the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery, his agent said on Friday.

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LONDON (AP) — Richard Griffiths, the versatile British actor who played the boy wizard’s unsympathetic Uncle Vernon in the Harry Pottermovies, has died. He was 65.

Agent Simon Beresford announced Friday that Griffiths died a day earlier of complications following heart surgery at University Hospital in Coventry, central England.

He paid tribute to Griffiths as “a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors.”

Griffiths appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, but will be most widely remembered as a pair of contrasting uncles — the hero’s grudging Muggle guardian in the Harry Potter series, and flamboyant Uncle Monty in 1980s cult classic Withnail and I.

“I was proud to say I knew him,” said Harry Potterstar Daniel Radcliffe.

A large man and a huge stage presence, Griffiths was one of Britain’s leading theater actors, creating roles including the charismatic teacher Hector at the emotional heart of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys — a part he took to Broadway, winning a Tony Award, and repeated for the film adaptation.

National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner, who directed The History Boys, called Griffiths’ performance in that play “a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously.”

Griffiths also played poet W.H. Auden in Bennett’s The Habit of Art, a hugely persuasive performance despite the lack of physical resemblance between the two men.

Known for his sense of humor, large store of theatrical anecdotes and occasional bursts of temper, Griffiths was renowned for shaming audience members whose cell phones rang during plays by stopping the performance and ordering the offender to leave.

Griffiths’ last major stage role was in a West End production of Neil Simon‘s comedyThe Sunshine Boys last year opposite Danny DeVito.

In 2007 he appeared in a London production of Equus alongside the then 17-year-old Radcliffe.

“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career,” Radcliffe said Friday.

“In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.

”Seven years later, we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humor made it a joy.

“In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence.”

Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson.

Your memories of Richard Griffiths

British actor Richard Griffiths has died at the age of 65 due to complications following heart surgery.

His most prominent roles include Uncle Monty in the film Withnail and I and Vernon Dursley, the grumpy uncle, in the Harry Potter films.

In 2006 he won a Tony award in New York and an Olivier award in London for the role of Hector in Alan Bennett’s’s stage version of The History Boys, a role he later reprised on film.

On television he was best known as the policeman chef Henry Crabbe in Pie in the Sky.

BBC News website readers have been sharing some of their memories of meeting Richard Griffiths.

Lorna May Wadsworth, London

Richard Griffiths as Hector in The History Boys
Richard Griffiths as Hector in The History Boys, painted in oil by Lorna May Wadsworth

Richard Griffiths sat for a portrait for me on the stage of The National Theatre when he was in The History Boys.

He was as delightful as a huge fan of his Uncle Monty could wish for, spontaneously spouting poetry into the air above the stage and regaling me with stories.

He loved the portrait I painted of him so much he bought it.

It’s so nice to know his wife has that now.

I remember he wasn’t wearing his own glasses, but the glasses worn by Hector in The History Boys.

I last saw him last summer when I was Artist in Residence on Richard Curtis‘ forthcoming film About Time, where he worked in a scene alongside Richard E Grant.

It was the first time they had worked together since Withnail, which was an honour to witness.

One of my sketches was ‘The Three Richards at the Old Vic (where the scene was being filmed), which was of him, Richard E and Richard Curtis.

He was indeed a remarkable man, a prodigious talent and a huge personality.

I will miss his presence in the firmament hugely.

Ralph Graham, Witham, Essex

I had the good fortune to be a professional adviser to the Alan Bennett film “A Private Function” in which Richard Griffiths played one of the leading parts.

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“Start Quote

He had all sorts of stories – of working with theatre greats like Olivier and of all the things that go wrong.”

Ralph Graham

I am a podiatrist and the Michael Palin character was a chiropodist so they asked me to advise.

As a complete novice to filming, I was included by Richard and the other leading cast members in the breaks, the chatting, and the exchange of wonderful theatre stories.

There was a lot of sitting around waiting while lights where moved and sets were changed and Richard Girffiths and Denholm Elliot took turns bringing in wine.

The filming was in a house in Ealing so I would be sitting in the garden with them, listening to their fabulous stories.

He had all sorts of stories – of working with theatre greats like Olivier and of all the things that go wrong.

There is a line in the film where Richard Griffiths’ on-screen ‘daughter’ is practicing the piano in another room and making a racket where he says “not now, Veronica” and that line has become a family line for us.

None of our children are called Veronica, but we always say it when we want them to stop doing something.

He was most charming man and a great actor.

Hester Doherty, Shrewsbury

Sketch of Richard Griffiths, Richard E Grant and director Richard CurtisRichard Griffiths, Richard E Grant and Richard Curtis sketched on the set of the film About Time

I was at Billingham Technical College with Richard in 1966 – 67.

He was doing a Drama course there and took part in the college production of Electra.

He was a riveting performer, even at that young age it was clear he’d got it.

He looked very much the same then as he did all his life, he never really changed he just got greyer.

He was always rather eccentric and good fun to be with, a larger than life character.

I noticed he wore his maroon and yellow Billingham Technical College scarf in Pie in the Sky, so he must have kept memories of it.

His career was amazing.

I remember he came from an ordinary working class background and both his parents were profoundly deaf, so I always thought he’d done tremendously well.

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