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Box office brief: Will Christian audiences turn out for 'Heaven Is for Real'?

It’s no secret that Christian-themed films have the potential to be box office gold, but even though faith-based audiences are starved for more material, it doesn’t always pan out the way studios might hope.

While Paramount’s expensive and provocative Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah continues to climb the steep slope toward domestic profitability and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s Son of God failed to reach Passion of the Christ heights (after seven weeks in theaters it still hasn’t even made Passion‘s opening weekend numbers), the independently released God’s Not Dead came out of nowhere and stunned the major studios with its mighty box office ascent. The $2 million film, now playing in 1,860 locations, has made nearly $41.5 million in just four weekends in theaters.

Now, TriStar Pictures is rolling out its drama Heaven Is for Real on Wednesday in 2,400 locations. Based on the best-selling book by Pastor Todd Burpo about his real-life encounter with the divine, Heaven Is for Real tells the story of his young son, who claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. Greg Kinnear portrays the pastor in the adaptation, and newcomer Connor Corum plays his son Colton. Despite the heavy religious bent, analysts believe that the film will play to both faith-based and mainstream audiences and predict a $20 million five-day opening for the $12 million film. READ FULL STORY

'Obvious Child' trailer: Jenny Slate hits rock bottom in Brooklyn -- VIDEO

Jenny Slate’s Donna Stern is having a rough time. She’s a 27-year-old struggling stand-up comedian. Her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. She’s resorted to stalking him in her desperation. And she’s just found out she’s pregnant from a one night stand, and the only date available for an abortion happens to be Valentine’s Day.

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and co-stars Jake Lacy (as the possibly too nice one night stand), Gaby Hoffman (as Donna’s supportive, manic friend), and David Cross (as a fellow stand-up).

Check out the first trailer after the jump and watch as Donna goes on a drunken rant on stage, pees in public, and generally tries to get through the mess of being a twenty-something with the help of a little wry humor.

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Michael C. Hall and director Jim Mickle talk 'Cold in July' -- EXCLUSIVE IMAGE

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In the opening scenes of the new ’80s-set thriller Cold in July, Michael C. Hall’s character shoots dead a burglar and then checks out his funeral. Did the man who played the serial killer Dexter and a funeral director on Six Feet Under think he was being pranked when he first read the screenplay? Not so much. As Hall says in the currently-on-stands Summer Movie Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly, “I’m often sent scripts that have some murderous or graveyard elements.”

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Casting Net: Brad Pitt may star in Stanley McChrystal pic; Plus, Helen Mirren, more

• Brad Pitt has signed on to produce and possibly star in The Operators, which chronicles the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal during his time as commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover) will direct and write the script based on the late Michael Hastings‘ book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

Ben Affleck fights for his innocence in the first official 'Gone Girl' trailer -- VIDEO

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The beautiful, brilliant, and “amazing” Amy Elliott Dunne is gone and all accusatory eyes are laser-focused on her too-handsome husband, Nick. It’s a cruel but inevitable outcome when your wife happens to go missing on your fifth wedding anniversary.

In Gone Girl, we’re left to put together the intricate pieces of the mysterious disappearance. Is Amy (Rosamund Pike) dead? Is Nick (Ben Affleck) innocent? Is it that simple? Or is it pointless to speculate since we already know that author Gillian Flynn tossed out her own third act for something completely new?

The first official trailer doesn’t tell us much (would we even want it to?). But, no one creates a thick cloud of anxiety quite like David Fincher.

Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Maps to the Stars' trailer: Robert Pattinson gets steamy in a car -- VIDEO

L.A. and all of its industry deviants are the latest subjects to go under director David Cronenberg’s microscope in Maps to the Stars.

The dark satire stars Mia Wasikowska as Agatha Weiss, a sulky girl with a troubled past and a host of personality disorders aiming to make it as actress Havana Segrand’s (Julianne Moore) personal assistant. But, as eOne Films’ first international trailer reveals, Agatha may also have some sinister motives surrounding her estranged family. Her brother, Benjie (Evan Bird), is a drug-addled child star who her mother (Olivia Williams) manages, while her father (John Cusack) writes self-help books. Robert Pattinson plays a limo driver with acting dreams. Naturally.

It’s very funny. It’s very, very dark,” Pattinson told EW of the script nearly two years ago.

Check out the racy, semi-NSFW spot after the jump.

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See Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton, and more in the 'Decoding Annie Parker' poster -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

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The first trailer for Steven Bernstein’s Decoding Annie Parker gave us a lot to think about, from one woman’s journey to discover the genetic components of breast cancer to what Aaron Paul looks like with long hair. And now we have the exclusive reveal of the film’s first poster.

Decoding Annie Parker, which is loosely based on a true story, follows Annie Parker (played by Samantha Morton) as she finds out that she has breast cancer. But after a family history of the same diagnosis, Parker turns to a team of researchers, led by Helen Hunt, to try and find out if the cancer could be genetic. Add in Aaron Paul as a Canadian pool man, along with Alice Eve, Rashida Jones, Corey Stoll, Marley Shelton, and Ben McKenzie, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect from this film.

Decoding Annie Parker hits theaters and VOD on May 2.

Casting Net: Gerard Butler to battle the elements in 'Geostorm'; Plus, Javier Bardem, more

• Gerard Butler is attached to star in the sci-fi adventure Geostorm. Longtime writer-producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day) is writing and directing the movie which posits a world where satellites can control the climate. When they begin to malfunction, Butler’s “charming satellite designer” has to work quickly to save the world from the imminent storm. [THR]

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'The Giver': Black and white footage and a word from Lois Lowry -- VIDEO

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Remember when we all freaked out that the first trailer for The Giver was in color? Well, a new featurette reveals that we may have jumped to conclusions too quickly.

“I began to think about how important memory is – what would happen if we could manipulate human memory,” author Lois Lowry explains in the video which goes a long way in helping to calm the nerves of longtime fans of her 1993 classic.

Then, we get the money shot of Jeff Bridges as The Giver in black and white preparing to give Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) all the memories of humanity. “You can take comfort in knowing you are completely helpless,” he says.

Check it out after the jump.

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'A Most Wanted Man' trailer: Philip Seymour Hoffman hunts a terrorist

In the wake of his untimely death, every yet-unseen Philip Seymour Hoffman performance is going to be a bittersweet gift. Based on early reviews, A Most Wanted Man lives up to everything we’d come to expect from the formidable talent.

Director Anton Corbijn’s slow-burning, atmospheric spy thriller tells the story of Gunter Bachmann (Hoffman), a German intelligence operative tracking terrorist activities in Hamburg. Based on John le Carré’s intricate 2008 novel, the investigation finds him entangled with a human rights attorney (Rachel McAdams), a banker (Willem Dafoe), and a powerful CIA agent (Robin Wright).

The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is set to hit theaters on July 25. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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