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Tag: Animation (31-40 of 229)

Kit Harington of 'Game of Thrones' joins 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

A crow is joining the world of dragons.

Kit Harington, who plays the Night’s Watch-man Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, will voice a new character in How To Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks Animation announced at Comic-Con today.

Also joining the sequel’s cast is Cate Blanchett, who played elven guardian Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, and Djimon Hounsou, best known as the enslaved warrior Juba in Gladiator.

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3-D hits an all-time low with 'Despicable Me 2'

Blockbuster sequel Despicable Me 2 earned $143 million over the extended Fourth of July weekend — and although its debut marked a high point at the summer box office, it also marked a low point for 3-D ticket sales.

According to Universal, only 27 percent of Despicable Me 2‘s opening-weekend gross came from 3-D tickets, the lowest 3-D share in modern box office history. Notably, the record low comes just two weeks after Monsters University notched a 31 percent 3-D share on its opening weekend, which at the time was the worst 3-D performance ever. Poor 3-D ticket sales aren’t just plaguing recent animated films, either. Brad Pitt’s live-action zombie thriller World War Z only earned 34 percent of its debut total from 3-D tickets, and The Great Gatsby fared even worse. Despite the fact that Baz Luhrmann’s use of 3-D was a primary selling point for Gatsby, 3-D ticket sales only accounted for 33 percent of its opening weekend.

These percentages mark a decisive downturn in 3-D’s popularity with American moviegoers, who have generally embraced the enhanced format over the last five years.

In 2009 and 2010, during the heyday of 3-D, films like Avatar (71 percent share), Alice in Wonderland (70 percent), and Tron Legacy (82 percent) added tens of millions of dollars to their opening-weekend grosses with 3-D ticket sales. Hollywood quickly doubled down on the format — sending the number of 3-D wide releases skyrocketing from 15 in 2009 to 36 in 2012. By 2012, though, it already appeared that 3-D was losing some of its luster, as the industry observed lower shares for films like Transformers: Dark of the Moon (60 percent), Thor (60 percent), and The Avengers (52 percent). These days, even highly anticipated box office titans like Iron Man 3 (45 percent), Star Trek Into Darkness (45 percent), and World War Z have trouble cracking the 50 percent threshold.

Family films have been hit particularly hard lately. Of course, it should be noted that they’ve never been quite as popular as live-action films in 3-D — presumably because it costs so much to purchase 3-D tickets for an entire family — but animated titles like Shrek Forever After (60 percent), Toy Story 3 (60 percent), and The Lorax (52 percent) did prove that moms and dads were willing to shell out big bucks on the format. Not so much over the past year, though. Recent films like Brave (34 percent), The Croods (38 percent) and, obviously, Despicable Me 2 haven’t connected with 3-D ticket-buyers despite the fact that they succeeded at the box office.

Many think the 3-D gimmick has lost — or is losing — its novelty due to over-saturation and shoddy execution, and Avatar director James Cameron agrees. “I do not think Hollywood is using the 3-D properly,” Cameron remarked at the TagDF conference in Mexico City last week. “Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3-D,” he continued. “If you spend $150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to be spectacular, perfect.”

What do you think? Is the 3-D fad officially ending?

'The Boxtrolls' trailer: 'Families come in all shapes and sizes...even rectangles'

The trailer for The Boxtrolls, based on Alan Snow’s bestselling children’s novel Here Be Monsters!, hit the Internet Tuesday, giving moviegoers a quick preview of what to expect from Focus Features’s third animated feature. (They previously released Coraline and ParaNorman.) In sum: it’s simply adorable — and very well-timed.

The movie — which features the voices of Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, Ben Kingsley and Jared Harris, among others — is about a group of underground trolls who, with help from an orphan they raised named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Write), must go up against an evil townsperson (Kingsley) who wants to eliminate them.

The film’s trailer, which touts family diversity and even briefly features two pairs of same-sex parents, is in tune with political zeitgeist, coming on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.  READ FULL STORY

'Monsters University': Pixar reveals Easter eggs and in-jokes

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When watching a Pixar film, it’s good to keep an eye open for hidden jokes.

Or two eyes, if you have them.

After Monsters University‘s debut last weekend, Pixar is now offering up a guide for fans who may have missed some of the hidden background gags.

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John Goodman on his 'Monsters' hit, working with George Clooney again, and a return to 'SNL'

For a ubiquitous character actor who’s been working pretty much non-stop for 30 years in movies and television — including a heralded nine-season run on Roseanne — John Goodman is in the midst of one of the most successful stretches of his career. His most obvious score is Monsters University, the Pixar prequel to the 2001 smash that opened this weekend with $82 million, making it the fourth biggest animated-film debut in history. Goodman’s blue-furred Sully reunited with Billy Crystal’s one-eyed, walking green-pea Mike for the story of how the odd couple first met in college — when Sully was a lazy BMOC and Mike was an overachieving go-getter intent on becoming the scariest of Scarers.

But then there’s also Goodman’s recent on-camera work, which has included supporting roles in the last two Academy Award Best Pictures winners — The Artist and Argo — as well as a scene-stealing appearance opposite Denzel Washington in last year’s Flight. Throw in upcoming roles in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and George Clooney’s World War II drama, Monuments Men, and Goodman just might be on course for an elusive but long-overdue Oscar nomination. (See also: Barton Fink.) “Right now, I’m at the high point of the roller coaster, but it’s always going to dip,” says Goodman. “So I’m just out there trying to enjoy it while it lasts.”

Click below for more from Goodman. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Monsters University' eyes a monstrous debut; 'World War Z' hopes to go viral

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Superman came, saw, and conquered the box office last weekend — soaring to the best June opening of all time. But this time around, Man of Steel has some super-size competition. Monsters University and World War Z are hitting theaters, and both are on track to have very healthy debuts. The box office has never seen three movies earn more than $50 million in one weekend before — but there’s a chance that could happen for the fist time this year.

Here’s how I think the weekend might play out:
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Casting Net: Carey Mulligan is front-runner to play Hillary Rodham Clinton; Plus James Franco, Javier Bardem, Emmy Rossum, and more

A handful of American actresses have been rumored to be in consideration for the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in upcoming biopic RodhamScarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Amanda Seyfried, and Emma Stone, most prominently. But now a front-runner has emerged: British actress Carey Mulligan, who most recently starred as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Mulligan hasn’t officially announced her candidacy for the role of the former first lady, New York senator, and secretary of state, but THR reports that the 28-year-old actress will soon meet with director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) about the project. Rodham will focus on the early years of Clinton’s career, including meeting future president Bill Clinton and her position as a lawyer on the committee involved in Richard Nixon’s impeachment. [THR]

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Box office preview: How fast will 'Fast & Furious 6' make $100 million?

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This weekend is the summer’s biggest box office head-to-head, with both The Hangover Part III and Fast & Furious 6 opening. Well, technically Hangover is opening on Thursday. (And we can’t forget about Epic!) Both films come out of multi-multi-million dollar franchises; both cost multi-multi millions to make. And both have a really good chance of making more than $200 million at the box office. But now that the actual weekend has arrived, it’s safe to say that one will emerge the clear winner…and it’s going to be Fast 6.

Here’s how the box office may play this weekend:

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'Coraline': Neil Gaiman and Travis Knight talk adaptation, scaring kids, and more at EW's CapeTown Film Festival

The penultimate day of EW’s inaugural CapeTown Film Festival featured a Q&A with rock star of fantastical literature Neil Gaiman following a screening of Coraline, the animated adaptation of his 2002 book of the same name.

Gaiman, along with the film’s lead animator, Travis Knight, told the audience at the Egyptian Theatre about the difficulties of finding a studio to back Coraline, the film’s animation methods, and why scaring kids is a good thing. Read on for five things we learned from the discussion led by EW’s Geoff Boucher. READ FULL STORY

25 great one-liners from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' -- VIDEO

When Who Framed Roger Rabbit sprang into theaters in the summer of 1988, animation was as beleaguered as ol’ Wily E. Coyote. These were the dark days of Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective and Universal’s An American Tale, which only seemed to prove that the glory years of cartoon mice and other fuzzy critters had finally run its course. But Robert Zemeckis’s Roger Rabbit changed everything, practically overnight. Much was made of the novelty of combining live-action with animated characters, but Mary Poppins had mixed both a quarter century earlier — and Bert and his dancing penguins were hardly the first themselves. No, what really made Roger Rabbit a hit with audiences of all ages was the come-together moment from all the iconic ‘toons that had thrilled generations of children. It was like “We Are the World,” but instead of Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, there was Daffy and Donald Duck squaring off against each other on dueling pianos and there was Mickey and Bugs free-falling with Eddie (Bob Hoskins) from the top of a skyscraper.

Throw in a new wascally-wabbit named Roger and his ahh-OOOOOOOO-gaa femme fatale of a wife (voiced by Kathleen Turner), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit became the first animated movie to make the year’s top-10 box-office list in more than a decade. The next year, Disney would present The Little Mermaid, which would confirm the resurgence of animation and set the course towards the new golden age that has lasted until the present day.

Tomorrow, Roger Rabbit arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, and even though the new 25th Anniversary Edition doesn’t include any new special features, it’s a delight to revisit Toontown and get hit on the head a few times with some classic Acme-brand laughs. Below, check out 25 great one-liners from the crazy, loony, genius movie that can’t help but make you feel like you’re nine years old again. READ FULL STORY

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