Midway Estimates Of A (Very) Long Holiday Weekend Show ‘Hobbit’ In The Lead

box-office-reportWith another few days and several major releases to go, the Christmas Holiday Weekend is far from over and bound to change by Wednesday’s return to the office. But, early estimates are in and (for now) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY sits high on the box office chart with a take of $36.7 m. In the #2 position, the pulpy TOM CRUISE crime drama, JACK REACHER, is a distant second with $15.6 m. Number 3 on the premature tally is JUDD APATOW’S domestic comedy THIS IS FORTY, with a take of $12 m. Rounding out the top five: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS ($5.9 M) and LINCOLN ($5.6 m).  We re-watched THE HOBBIT over the weekend and have to admit that its lengthy running time was a bit of a problem (for us, anyway). It seems hard to imagine that there are two more films slated to tell this short story. At the recent press conference to promote the film, HOBBIT and LORD OF THE RINGS star IAN McKELLEN spoke with entertainment reporters about filmmaker PETER JACKSON’S controversial decision  to turn a single volume children’s book into an epic multi-feature franchise (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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‘This Is Forty’ Star Leslie Mann Doesn’t Confuse ‘Reel’ Life With ‘Real’ Life

this_is_forty_ver2Opening in theaters today, JUDD APATOW’s latest comedy, THIS IS 40, revisits the characters of Pete and Debbie from his hit KNOCKED UP and paints a genuine (and genuinely entertaining) portrait of a married couple with a family facing middle aged crazy. Written and directed by APATOW, the cast includes his real-life wife, LESLIE MANN, as well as daughters IRIS and MAUDE. Joining in are PAUL RUDD, MELISSA McCARTHY, MEGAN FOX, JASON SEGEL, JOHN LITHGOW, CHRIS O’DOWD, LENA DUNHAM and ALBERT BROOKS.  Facing entertainment reporters recently in Manhattan, MANN talked about being married to a comic genius who draws much of his material from their actual life together. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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THIS IS FORTY is in theaters now

‘Monsters, Inc. 3D’ Star John Goodman Minces No Words In Praising Pixar

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Currently in theaters to take advantage of the holiday family film market, MONSTERS, INC 3D is the latest Disney/Pixar offering to get dusted off and digitally remastered in order to join the current 3D revival. A complete fan fave when originally released almost 12 years ago, the film was co-written and co-directed by PETE DOCTER and featured the voice talents of BILLY CRYSTAL, JOHN GOODMAN, JOHN RATZENBERGER, STEVE BUSCEMI, JAMES COBURN, BONNIE HUNT and JENNIFER TILLY.
We sat down with JOHN GOODMAN back in 2001 to talk about his participation in the movie and he didn’t pull any punches when expressing admiration for Disney/Pixar. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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MONSTERS, INC. 3D is in theaters now

Jessica Chastain Goes For The Gold In ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

zero_dark_thirty_ver2Currently in limited release and definitely Oscar bound, DARK ZERO THIRTY is the Academy Award-winning team of director KATHRYN BIGELOW and writer MARK BOAL’s highly anticipated follow-up to their critically acclaimed thriller THE HURT LOCKER. And, despite concerns that scenes depicting torture might turn Academy voters away, there is no denying the powerhouse performances caught in the film. Centered on the arduous hunt for and eventual assassination of OSAMA BIN LADEN, the film stars CHRIS PRATT, SCOTT ADKINS, JOEL EDGERTON, MARK STRONG, KYLE CHANDLER, HAROLD PERRINEAU and JESSICA CHASTAIN.
At last weekend’s press conference to promote the movie, CHASTAIN talked about delving into her role. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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ZERO DARK THIRTY is in limited release now

‘Impossible’ Star Naomi Watts Jumped At The Chance To Be Part Of Stranger Than Fiction True Story

the_impossibleOpening in theaters today, the harrowing drama THE IMPOSSIBLE is, ultimately, a story of hope and triumph of the human spirit. Based on the real-life events surrounding a vacationing family torn apart by the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, the film manages to terrify and uplift at the same time. Directed by J.A. BAYONA from a script by SERGIO G. SANCHEZ, the cast includes NAOMI WATTS, EWAN McGREGOR and TOM HOLLAND.
Sitting down with NAOMI WATTS a couple of weeks ago, she talked about taking the role and how unbelievable the story is even though she knows it’s completely true.

THE IMPOSSIBLE opens in theaters today