‘It: Chapter Two’ Outmuscles ‘Hustlers’ For $40 Million Box Office Weekend

It: Chapter Two retained its top spot at the box office with a $40.7 million weekend, besting newcomer Hustlers (#2, $332 million) in the process. It was a great showing for both films, while the rest of the pack were far behind the competition. Here’s the top 10:

  1. It: Chapter Two – Feature makes $40.7 million and to date it’s grossed over $153.8 million domestically.
  2. HustlersJennifer Lopez led feature is a hit with $33.2 million.
  3. Angel Has Fallen Gerard Butler’s latest collects $4.4 million and domestically it’s taken over $60 million.
  4. Good Boys – Comedy makes $4.3 million.
  5. The Lion King – Live action remake is still raking in the business with $3.5 million.
  6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Action flick collects $2.7 million and it has amassed over $740 million.
  7. Overcomer – Drama collects $2.7 million.
  8. The Goldfinch – Film, which stars Ansel Elgort and NIcole Kidman, collects $2.6 million.
  9. The Peanut Butter Falcon – Feel good movie, starring Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson, checks in with $1.9 million.
  10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – Family film makes $1.85 million.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Director Elise Dean Brings A Dose Of Laughter And Improvisation With ‘Can You Keep A Secret?’

Can You Keep A Secret? marks the feature directing debut of Elise Dean, a filmmaker who has also carved out a career as a producer (Real Estate Wars, Below Deck) and as a documentarian (Being Chaz).

The film, based on Sophie Kinsella’s novel, centers on the relationship between Emma (Alexandra Daddario) and her boss Jack (Tyler Hoechlin), a union which started off during a fateful meeting on a plane (Emma had no idea about Jack’s identity). Kimiko Glenn and Sunita Mani co-star as Emma’s supportive roommates, with Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox playing Jack’s second in command.

For Dean, bringing a healthy share of improvisation was an important element of crafting the narrative.

“The most important thing about the movie is it all comes from improv,” said Dean. “I love to laugh. I’m a huge fan of comedy. When I cast the movie, I wanted to bring their own sense of humor to the role. I wanted their true personalities to come out.”

Click on the media bar to hear Dean talk about collaborating with Alexandra Daddario and Tyler Hoechlin on the project:

Can You Keep A Secret? is now out in theaters and is available On Demand.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

At 21, ‘SVU’ Has Dealt Mariska Hargitay A Winning Hand

In the TV world, it’s a very, very rare thing for a spin-off of a successful show to last longer than the original show. And it’s even rarer when that spin-off goes on to become the longest-running drama series in the history of the medium. But that’s exactly what’s happened: By getting to its 21st season, Law & Order: SVU has surpassed both the original Law & Order and Gunsmoke to become television’s longest-lived drama. Mariska Hargitay is the only cast member who’s been aboard since the pilot — which, yes, was shot all the way back in the 20th Century — and she considers herself extremely fortunate to be on a show that has not only lasted so long, but has also given her a strong voice for her social advocacy campaigns. (Click on the media bar below to hear Mariska Hargitay)

 

The new season of Law & Order: SVU premieres Thursday, September 26 on NBC.

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Posted by AC

Sylvester Stallone: Yes, ‘Rambo’s’ Violent, But Always For A Reason

Even in a world that’s become increasingly desensitized to violence over the last few decades, the Rambo series has always stood out as being particularly violent. After all, the character of John Rambo is a trained warrior with a hair-trigger temper and some serious emotional issues. But, as the series gets set to come to an end with Rambo: Last Blood, Sylvester Stallone — who has starred in and co-written all five of the films — pointed out to us that while the violence may be extreme, it is never gratuitous. Whenever John Rambo draws blood, Stallone says, you can bet there’s a reason behind it, and that’s certainly the case in Last Blood. (Click on the media bar below to hear Sylvester Stallone)

 

Rambo: Last Blood opens in theaters next Friday.

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Posted by AC

Award Season ‘Power’ Outage? Curtis Jackson Gives His Two Cents

Over the course of six seasons, the gritty urban drama Power has garnered a lot of fans and quite a bit of critical acclaim. The one thing it’s never gotten? Awards season consideration. When it comes to the Emmys and the Golden Globes, it’s been completely overlooked. Curtis “50 Cent” Johnson, who stars as a drug dealer on the show, certainly pulls no punches when he talks about why he thinks the show’s been snubbed. (Click on the media bar below to hear Curtis “50 Cent” Johnson)

Power, in its farewell season, airs Sunday nights on Starz.

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Posted by AC

Jennifer Lopez & Constance Wu: ‘Hustlers’ Takes Strippers Beyond The Stereotype

Based on a true story, Hustlers takes us into the world of a strip club where the dancers, frustrated by their declining incomes, decide to turn the tables on their wealthy clientele. It stars Constance Wu as the stripper who comes up with the scheme and Jennifer Lopez as her mentor and co-conspirator. They told us the film doesn’t exactly paint these women as ideal role models, but it does advance the idea of female empowerment by taking a profession that’s often stereotyped and — no pun intended — fleshing them out into real, human characters. (Click on the media bar below to hear Constance Wu & Jennifer Lopez)

Hustlers is playing now in theaters.

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Posted by AC

 

Tom Hanks Honestly Loved Becoming Mr. Rogers

Is there a single living soul in this world who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers? Apparently not. Tom Hanks is getting amazing reviews for his portrayal of the children’s TV star in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and there’s a lot of buzz around Hollywood about Oscar wanting to be his neighbor (and no, we’re not talking about fellow PBS personality Oscar the Grouch). When Hanks was looking for his inspiration in playing Mr. Rogers, he says a single word came to mind: honesty. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks)

 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens in theaters on November 22.

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Posted by AC

Natalie Portman’s ‘Lucy’ Is In The Sky, But Also Grounded

Natalie Portman’s next film, Lucy in the Sky, is about an astronaut who has trouble adjusting to life on Earth after a long mission in space. Of course, Portman is no stranger to sci-fi movies, having appeared in three Star Wars films, but she told us this one is a little different — it’s a more intimate character study that relies much more on her interaction with her co-stars than on technological wizardry. After doing several movies that required a lot of green screen work (including a couple of Thor films), she said Lucy in the Sky was a breath of fresh air. (Click on the media bar below to hear Natalie Portman)

 

Lucy in the Sky opens in theaters on October 14.

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Posted by AC

 

Jessica Chastain’s In Another Blockbuster. How’d She Get ‘It’?

It: Chapter 2 was the clear winner in last weekend’s box office battle and looks primed to repeat again this weekend. It’s another feather in Jessica Chastain’s cap — it’s the two-time Oscar nominee’s fifth film to crack the $100 million mark, and “It” did it in less than a week. How did Chastain land the role of the grown-up Beverly Marsh? She told us it grew out of her friendship and working relationship with director Andy Muschietti. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jessica Chastain)

It: Chapter 2 is playing now in theaters.

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Posted by AC

 

Kristen Bell Knew ‘The Good Place’ Would Go To Strange Places

One thing you can say about The Good Place: It’s never been predictable. It’s had plenty of twists and turns in its first three seasons, and you can expect a few more surprises during its upcoming final season. When we spoke to Kristen Bell, she told us the show’s creator, Michael Schur, warned her and co-star Ted Danson that they weren’t going to be on a conventional comedy, but also made sure they were always in the loop on plot developments. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kristen Bell)

 

The final season of The Good Place begins Thursday, September 26 on NBC.

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Posted by AC