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'Inception,' 'Boardwalk Empire' highlight VES nominations

Inception, which featured an amazing zero-gravity brawl and a Paris that folds in on itself, earned four nominations at the 9th annual Visual Effects Society Awards. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which transforms modern-day Brooklyn into 1929 Atlantic City, led all shows and movies with five nominations.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture
Inception
Iron Man 2
TRON: Legacy
Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
 READ FULL STORY

Art Directors Guild nominees announced

Today begins the flurry of guild award nominations that can give you a good idea of which films are going to do well with the Academy. (As opposed to the Golden Globes or critics groups, many people who vote for guild prizes also vote for the Oscars.) The Art Directors Guild has announced its 15 nominees, including all the expected visual feasts (Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Inception) and overall awards contenders (The Social Network, The King’s Speech, True Grit). Here are their lists: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Tangled' wins slow weekend with $21.5 mil

Tangled-princessImage Credit: DisneyThe week after Thanksgiving is historically known for its precipitous drops, and in that regard, this weekend didn’t disappoint. The overall box office was down 54 percent from last week, as Disney’s Tangled, armed with a frying pan, bludgeoned its way past Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 to claim first place with $21.5 million, according to studio estimates. Tangled declined 56 percent from last weekend — a modest drop for a weekend that’s particularly harsh to family films. The animated spin on the Rapunzel fairy tale has so far grossed $96.5 million. Deathly Hallows, which led the box office two weeks in a row, fell to second place with $16.7 million — a 66 percent drop. The PG-13 fantasy film has tallied $244.2 million domestically, and $713.3 million worldwide.

The Cher-Christina Aguilera musical Burlesque and Denzel Washington action thriller Unstoppable tied for third place with $6.1 million. The victor of this collision between two divas and a speeding train won’t be decided until Monday’s final figures are released. In fifth place, the R-rated romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs held up surprisingly well, dipping only 42 percent for $5.7 million. The weekend’s only new wide release, the R-rated Western-meets-martial-arts cocktail The Warrior’s Way, made an impact that only a seismometer could detect. Playing at 1,622 theaters, the $42 million action film debuted in ninth place with just $3.1 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Tangled' takes the lead with $5.1 mil on Friday

Flynn-tangledImage Credit: DisneyTangled rid itself of any knots as it climbed to the top of the box office on Friday, grossing $5.1 million, according to early estimates. That’s a 74 percent drop from last Friday, which, mind you, was an enormous day for moviegoing. The PG animated musical should receive a decent bump on Saturday, as most family films do, and finish the weekend with about $21 million. In second place, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 descended 77 percent for $4.8 million on Friday. It’s on track for an $18 million weekend, which would bring its cumulative gross to $245 million. The rest of the top five consisted of leftovers. The Cher-Christina Aguilera musical Burlesque fell 56 percent for $2 million, while right on its heels was the R-rated romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs, which slipped only 48 percent for $2 million as well. (Burlesque is estimated to have earned $25,000 more than Love and Other Drugs on Friday). And in fifth place was the Denzel Washington action thriller Unstoppable, which skidded 59 percent for $1.9 million.

The weekend’s only new wide release, the martial-arts Western The Warrior’s Way, might as well start selecting its coffin. The R-rated film debuted in ninth place with $1.1 million. In limited release, however, things were much rosier. Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, opened in 18 theaters and collected $426,000 for a stupendous per-location average of $23,667. The R-rated ballet-horror film could conclude the weekend with about $1.5 million, and the resulting $83,000 per-location average would be the second largest ever for a film playing in at least 10 theaters. (Only last year’s Precious, which debuted in 18 theaters and registered a $104,025 per-location average, ranks higher). And the historical drama The King’s Speech continued its royal run with $85,000 from six locations. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Tangled — $5.1 mil
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 — $4.8 mil
3. Burlesque — $2.0 mil
4. Love and Other Drugs — $2.0 mil
5. Unstoppable — $1.9 mil

Box office preview: Tangled to seize the reins from Deathly Hallows

Box office preview: 'Tangled' to seize the reins from 'Deathly Hallows'

tangledImage Credit: DisneyThe week after Thanksgiving is known for box-office declines comparable to a post-cupcake sugar crash, so it’s going to be pretty dead out there, folks. Only one new movie — the Korean/English-language/filmed in New Zealand/Western/marital-arts epic The Warrior’s Way – is being released wide, while my pick for one of the most brilliantly gutsy movies of the year, Black Swan, is being unveiled in select cities. The box office will likely be dominated by Thanksgiving weekend’s main two courses: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 and Tangled. However, the latter should actually overtake Deathly Hallows this weekend, for reasons I’ll explain right now. My predictions:

1. Tangled: $24.5 million

Disney’s fairy-tale musical surprised the entire industry by coming within $300,000 of beating Deathly Hallows last holiday weekend. While family films have historically tumbled the week after Thanksgiving, Tangled has been blessed with extraordinary word-of-mouth. CinemaScore audiences gave the animated movie an “A+” grade, the first time a film’s earned that grade since last year’s The Blind Side. In fact, The Blind Side is a perfect comparison point for Tangled. Last year, The Blind Side dropped 50 percent during the week after Thanksgiving — the smallest slip of any wide release — and overtook The Twilight Saga: New Moon to wind up as No. 1 for the first time. Expect a nearly identical drop for Tangled, giving it a $24.5 million weekend and a cumulative tally of nearly $100 million by Sunday night. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Harry Potter' remains No. 1 with $50.3 mil, 'Tangled' a close second

deathly-hallows-part-1-002Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkAlthough the “chosen one” was nearly defeated by a long-haired princess, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 managed to keep its grip on first place by grossing $50.3 million over the three-day weekend, according to studio estimates. Add in Wednesday and Thursday, and Deathly Hallows collected $76.3 million during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend — the fourth best Thanksgiving weekend ever. The PG-13 fantasy film has now earned $220.4 million in 10 days, which is the tenth-best 10-day tally on record. However, Deathly Hallows is slipping a bit quicker than some of its predecessors. For instance, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the last Potter film to be released a week before Thanksgiving, earned $81.3 million over this five-day holiday weekend. But if it’s any consolation to Potter fans, Deathly Hallows did garner better Thanksgiving numbers than The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which drained $66.3 million during the same five-day frame last year.

The weekend’s real box-office story, however, was Disney’s Tangled, which surpassed the studio’s wildest fairy-tale expectations by grossing $49.1 million during the three-day weekend, and $69 million for the five-day period. Those numbers gave Tangled the second largest Thanksgiving weekend opening ever, behind only Disney’s Toy Story 2. In fact, Disney essentially has a monopoly on the harvest festival — the studio is responsible for nine out of the top 11 Thanksgiving weekend debuts. Tangled earned 56 percent of its gross from 3-D showings, even though the PG movie had to share its 3-D screens with Megamind. And word-of-mouth couldn’t be more favorable, as CinemaScore audiences handed the animated retelling of Rapunzel the first “A+” grade of the year. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter' ekes out Friday victory with $20.8 mil

deathly-hallows-part-1-004Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkIn a surprisingly close race, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 held on to its box-office crown Friday by grossing $20.8 million, according to early estimates. That’s a 66 percent drop from the fantasy film’s opening last Friday, which was inflated due to an enormous turnout at Thursday midnight screenings. If Deathly Hallows follows the Thanksgiving trajectory of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — the last Potter film to open in November — the PG-13 movie should finish the weekend with about $50 million. That would bring Deathly Hallows‘ 10-day tally to $220 million, making it the 10th greatest 10-day gross in box-office history and the best ever for a Potter flick.

But Friday wasn’t only a celebration for wizards, as Disney’s animated musical Tangled came in close behind with $19.7 million. The PG movie, which debuted Wednesday, has grossed $39.7 million so far, and has a shot at overtaking Deathly Hallows for the three-day weekend. If that happens, it’d be due to one reason: incredible word-of-mouth. CinemaScore audiences rated the fairy-tale film an “A+” — the first movie this year to garner the rare grade. Even more impressive is the fact that while moviegoers under the age of 25 rated Tangled an “A,” those over the age of 25 gave it an “A+.” Clearly this retelling of Rapunzel is delivering for all age groups, and when that happens, watch out. Tangled is on pace to finish second this weekend with about $47 million, but again, it could very well upset Potter for first place. Seems the lesson here is: Never underestimate a woman with ridiculously long hair. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Harry Potter' and 'Tangled' top Thanksgiving Day with $11.5 mil and $8.1 mil

deathly-hallows-part-1-003Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkIt was a Thanksgiving feast for the teenage wizard, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 led the box office on Thursday by engulfing $11.5 million, according to early estimates. That result brings the PG-13 fantasy film’s seven-day gross to $170 million. Not far behind on Thanksgiving, and performing stronger than expected, was Disney’s animated musical Tangled, which earned $8.1 million. The PG-rated retelling of Rapunzel should continue to thrive during the weekend thanks to excellent word-of-mouth — CinemaScore audiences rated it a rare “A+”. The two family-friendly movies also dominated the box office on Wednesday, with Deathly Hallows grossing an estimated $14.5 million and Tangled snaring $11.6 million. Thanksgiving Day results are below. Check back tomorrow for a full recap of Friday’s numbers, which should provide a clearer picture of how the weekend will unfold.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 — $11.5 mil
2. Tangled — $8.1 mil
3. Unstoppable — $2.53 mil
4. Burlesque — $2.5 mil
5. Megamind — $2.0 mil
6. Love and Other Drugs — $1.93 mil
7. Faster — $1.91 mil

Box office preview: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to lead Thanksgiving weekend

Box office preview: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' to lead Thanksgiving weekend

deathly-hallows-part-1-001Image Credit: Jaap BuitendijkA cornucopia of new releases will attempt to steal Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows‘ thunder. Fat chance. This holiday weekend, Potter is the ultimate box-office weapon — prepared to handle any adversary. His biggest challenger arrives in the animated form of Disney’s Tangled, but by the end of this weekend, Rapunzel could very well be sporting Emma Watson’s hairdo. As for the extremely revealing romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs, Dwayne Johnson’s R-rated action movie Faster, and the Cher and Christina Aguilera musical Burlesque — well, they should all be happy just to be sitting at the dining table. Harry Potter is mighty hungry, and this Thanksgiving weekend, he’s coming back for seconds. Here are my predictions for the three-day weekend:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1: $53 million

After consuming $125 million its opening weekend, Deathly Hallows grossed $8.8 million and $10.3 million on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, bringing its five-day domestic total to a staggering $144.1 million. So clearly Muggles are still very interested in the fantasy flick, and that should continue to be the case this weekend. A second-week decline of about 58 percent seems in order. While that may appear to be a steep drop, keep in mind that Deathly Hallows‘ debut weekend was particularly front-loaded. (It made $24 million from Thursday midnight screenings alone). By Sunday night, the movie should be sitting with a belt-bursting cumulative total of at least $220 million. READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' sets global IMAX record

As if you needed any further proof that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 is a box-office powerhouse, IMAX revealed today that the fantasy film set a global opening-weekend record of $16.1 million from 340 IMAX theaters. Of that figure, $11.8 million came from domestic IMAX screens. The previous record holder, Alice in Wonderland, debuted in March to $15.3 million globally from IMAX locations.

Box Office Report:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows debuts to franchise-best $125.1 mil

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