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Box office preview: 'Tammy' takes on the Transformers

Melissa McCarthy’s over-the-top comedy Tammy (C+ Cinema Score) bursts into theaters this long Fourth of July weekend to challenge Michael Bay’s over-the-top Transformers: Age of Extinction for the No. 1 spot. Will Americans choose an original comedy or the latest summer blockbuster to escape the heat and barbeques? It could be close.

Also opening wide is the E.T.-like Earth to Echo (A- Cinema Score) and the horror pic Deliver Us From Evil (B- Cinema Score). It’s the rare summer weekend without any sequels or franchises, and it won’t hold a candle to the same weekend last year which saw Despicable Me 2 take in $143 million across the Wednesday to Sunday time frame.

Here’s how things might play out.

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Casting Net: Tina Fey developing 'Untitled Witch Project' with Disney, more

Tina Fey is in early development on a “supernatural-themed feature” with Disney known as the Untitled Witch Project, but it is decidedly not a Hocus Pocus sequel (as was the rumor early Wednesday). According to the report, the project will be in the vein of Ghostbusters, and Fey will star and produce. Next up for Fey is the Jonathan Tropper adaptation This is Where I Leave You, out Sept. 19. She’s currently filming the comedy The Nest, alongside Amy Poehler.  [Deadline]

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Director's cut of Clive Barker's 'Nightbreed' to be released this Halloween

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Author, artist, and director Clive Barker seems to have few qualms about inflicting injury on characters, as those familiar with his Books of Blood short stories or the 1987 film Hellraiser know. But Barker himself had a painful experience with his 1990 fantasy-horror film Nightbreed. The tale of a suspected serial killer (Craig Sheffer) who joins a group of freakish-looking outcasts the film was, to Barker’s enduring dissatisfaction, re-cut before its release, and some of the movie’s original elements were subsequently lost forever…

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'Stalingrad' director hired for film adaptation of Homer's 'Odyssey'

High school students, rejoice: Homer’s epic poem Odyssey is becoming a movie. Stalingrad director Fedor Bondarchuk has been hired by Warners Bros. to direct Odysseus, a “large-scale” film adaptation, Deadline reports.

The Odyssey follows the Greek epic hero Odysseus’ arduous journey home following the fall of Troy. The Killing‘s Jeremy Doner will write the script, and Gianni Nunnari (300), Bernie Goldmann, and Shannon Gaulding will produce.

Bondarchuk’s last film, Stalingradabout a group of Russian soldiers who must defend the city against the Nazis during World War II—was the top-grossing Russian film of 2013 and the first Russian film that was filmed in IMAX 3D. Although it featured several action sequences, it was filmed without a green screen.

 

 

Casting Net: Ashley Benson boards 'Pixels'; Plus, Liam Hemsworth, more

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson has joined the cast of Pixels, a Sony comedy starring Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage as a group of ’80s video game champions who President Kevin James calls on to save the day when aliens attack using strategies from those games. Benson will play a character named Lady Lisa, described as “a beautiful warrior from the fictional ’80s video game Dojo Quest.” [The Wrap] READ FULL STORY

Video: Bill Murray babysits for Melissa McCarthy in 'St. Vincent' trailer

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Bill Murray has hit bottom in the first trailer for St. Vincent. A hedonistic war vet, Murray’s Vincent is a cranky drunk who cavorts around with strippers and gets enraged at the slightest things. His bank account is overdrawn, he’s got an unexplained head wound, and a massive tree branch just fell on his car.

But Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher), the young boy who’s just moved in next door with his newly divorced mom (Melissa McCarthy), hardly notices all the vices and edges and starts to take to Vincent, and his mom agrees to let him look after Oliver for $11/hour. Predictably, Vincent’s idea of babysitting is unconventional at best.

Take a look after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Fargo'-inspired 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter' gets U.S. distribution

Amplify has acquired the U.S. rights to Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, a stunning folk tale of a lonely, isolated Japanese woman (Rinko Kikuchi) who unearths a warped VHS tape of Fargo and takes it for truth, putting her on an epic, continent-spanning quest to find the money that Steve Buscemi’s Carl Showalter buries in the Minnesota snow in the Coen brothers’ 1996 masterpiece.

A release date has yet to be announced for the film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is loosely inspired by an urban legend. “We’re incredibly proud of Kumiko, it has been a labor of love for Nathan [Zellner], our producing partner Chris [Ohlson], and myself for many years,” said director David Zellner. “It’s a cinematic quest made for the big screen and we can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.”

Producer Cameron Lamb added: “Kumiko is a captivating journey from start to finish—with a performance by Rinko that is daring and inspirational while devastatingly mesmerizing, set alongside a stunningly visual landscape.”

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Video: Dad becomes demon in 'The Possession of Michael King' trailer

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People with the name “Michael King” may well find themselves asking “Wait, what the Hell is going on now?” when the new horror film The Possession of Michael King is released in August. As it happens, that would be an entirely appropriate question to raise.

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'Boyhood' exclusive: Richard Linklater explains his cinematic experiment -- VIDEO

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Richard Linklater knew he wanted to make a film about childhood. It’s not a revolutionary idea, by any means, but Linklater decided to make it so. Instead of forcing the passage of time with makeup and lighting and different actors, he resolved to film the same cast over the course of a number of years, allowing everyone to actually change and age and grow.

The result is Boyhood, a 12-year glimpse into the lives of a Texas family, starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Ellar Coltrane. As Owen Gleiberman wrote after Boyhood‘s Sundance premiere: “It touches something deep and true, which is that we grow up to be the people we are by letting every moment form us.”

Watch as Linklater, Hawke, and Arquette discuss the film in a moving featurette after the jump. READ FULL STORY

A family feuds before a wedding in 'May in the Summer' trailer -- Exclusive

May is a celebrated author with a lovely New York life and a wedding in the works to the prominent scholar of her dreams (Alexander Siddig). But everything goes haywire as tradition and modernity collide when she reunites with her family weeks before the impending nuptials in Jordan.

Her estranged father (Bill Pullman) decides to show up and start dispensing advice. Her sisters (including Nadine Malouf and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat) have morphed back into party-happy teens. She begins a flirtation with a handsome local. And her mother, a born-again Christian, threatens to boycott the wedding because May’s intended is a Muslim man.

Written and directed by Cherien Dabis (Amreeka), who also stars in the title role, May in the Summer premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and is set for an Aug. 22 theatrical debut. Take a look at the trailer after the jump. READ FULL STORY

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