Auli’i Cravalho Contines To “Rise” With New NBC Musical


Sixteen-year-old actress Auli’i Cravalho made a grand debut in the film industry with the Disney smash Moana, and now she’s continuing that momentum by pairing up with TV producer Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) with Rise. Based on Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High, the story centers on a theater teacher (How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor) who makes his mark in a small town.

“This show is about real life and real people,” said Cravalho. “And there’s nothing that moves people more than real life. The heartache and the struggle that we all go through. And it’s about high schoolers and high school is hard. (It’s about) realizing that you have struggles doesn’t mean you can’t get through it as well.”

Click on the media bar to hear Cravalho talk about her character and the premise behind Rise.

Rise, co-starring Damon J. Gillespie, is part of NBC’s upcoming fall schedule.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Is A ‘Moana’ Sequel Right Around The Corner?

MOANAMoana co-director Ron Clements and producer Osnat Shurer talked to press members yesterday about the upcoming Blu-ray (March 7) and Digital HD (February 21) release of the film. The evocative and informative special feature “Voice of the Islands,” which detailed how the Polynesian culture served as the heart and soul of the film, was screened at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Another stand-out featurette that was shown to the media was an informative look at the collaboration among Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Since Moana was a monumental box office and critical hit, one would assume a sequel is immediately in the offing. Thankfully, Shurer said there is no rush to put another installment on the proverbial assembly line, as any proposed sequel will definitely originate from a more organic place.

“The way we work here in terms of sequels is our directors will go back into development after a rest,” said Shurer. “We’re all needing a little bit of a break. We’ll contemplate what kind of story they’d like to tell next. Often it’ll be a move to a different world and a different kind of story. Sometimes there’s this compelling ‘I’ve got to tell it continuation of the story within the same world, and then in that case if that gets approved we would develop one. It has to come from within – this kind of ‘We’ve got this great story we have to tell’ rather than ‘Hey that was successful, make another one.’ We’re lucky that way.”

The Moana special features also include deleted scenes, the Alessia Cara video “How Far I’ll Go,” the mini-movie Gone Fishing, and audio commentary from co-directors Clements and John Musker.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Moana’ Continues Box Office Dominance With $18.8 Million Weekend


Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman’s rowdy Office Christmas Party failed to supplant Moana from the #1 box office position, as the Dwayne Johnson animated flick made $18.8 million over the weekend.  The good news is Office Christmas Party did a solid $17.5 million in its debut, coming in second place. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. Moana – $18.8 million

2. Office Christmas Party – $17.5 million and since it’s budgeted at $45 million, this movie should turn a profit for Warner Bros.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling feature makes $10.8 million.

4. Arrival – $5.6 million

5. Doctor StrangeBenedict Cumberbatch has another franchise character on his hands, as Doctor Strange is now one of the more popular characters in the Marvel Universe. This weekend, it made $4.63 million

6. Allied – $4 million this weekend and the movie has made just over $65 million worldwide. It’s a misfire for Paramount.

7. Nocturnal Animals – $3.2 million

8. Manchester by the Sea – $3.15 million

9. Trolls – $3.1 million

10. Hacksaw Ridge – $3.2 million

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Moana’ Is Box Office Champ With $28 Million Weekend


Moana was the #1 film over the weekend once again, as it easily beat the competition with a $28.3 million take. The Dwayne Johnson headlined animated flick has made over $119 million domestically and it’s set to be one of this year’s biggest hits. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, another gem from J.K. Rowling, came in at #2 with $18.5 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. Moana – $28.3 million

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – $18.5 million this weekend, and to date the film has made over $607 million.

3. Arrival – One of this year’s most critically acclaimed films makes $7.3 million.

4. Allied – The Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard WWII drama makes just $7 million. Unfortunately, the film has performed below box office expectations.

5. Doctor Strange – $6.49 million this weekend and it’s already taken in over $634 million worldwide!

6. Trolls – $4.6 million

7. Hacksaw RidgeMel Gibson’s latest directing effort makes $3.4 million. To date, the feature has made over $75 million worldwide.

8. Bad Santa 2 – $3.28 million

9. Incarnate – $2.65 million

10. Almost Christmas – $2.5 million

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

With ‘Hamilton’ & ‘Moana,’ Lucky Lin-Manuel Miranda Strikes Gold Twice

nup_175644_0108Shortly after leaving the Broadway stage from his Tony winning show Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda finds himself with another hit on his hands with Pixar’s Moana where he composed and wrote songs for the film.

As many know, putting together and making a Pixar film can take much longer than making a live feature film. That was the case for Lin-Manuel Miranda who told us getting Moana was a surreal experience because it was while he was in preparations for Hamilton.

For a lot of creative people, it can be very difficult balancing two completely different projects. But for Miranda, it was refreshing working on both projects because once he was overdosing working on Hamilton day and night he had newfound energy working on Moana.

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Posted by: Susan Brown