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Tag: Oprah Winfrey (1-6 of 6)

Golden Globes: Sure-things, shocks, and shutdowns -- ANALYSIS

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It was a good day to be lesser-known. If Barkhad Abdi, June Squibb, and Lupita Nyong’o can win nominations from the celebrity-obsessed Golden Globes, then their path to the Academy Awards ceremony is a near certainty. On the other hand, today’s list of contenders was not so kind to one of the most famous women on the planet.

Sorry, Oprah. You’ve been snubbed. The Globes also had two opportunities to get George Clooney at the ceremony — and declined both chances.

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Box office report: 'The Butler' cleans up with $25 million, wipes the floor with 'Kick-Ass 2'

This weekend at the box office, a superhero comedy, a Steve Jobs biopic, and a Harrison Ford thriller all got served by a butler. Lee Daniels’ The Butler, to be exact. The Weinstein Company’s awards-bait drama, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, topped the chart with an excellent $25 million from 2,933 theaters in its first frame. Audiences issued the well-reviewed picture an enthusiastic “A” CinemaScore grade, which sets it up for a lucrative box office run as summer draws to a close.

The Butler opened in the same range as The Help, which found $26 million in its first weekend in August 2011. Like that film, The Butler tells a racially charged story that is playing particularly well with older women. According to Weinstein, crowds were 60 percent female and 76 percent above the age of 35. Winfrey’s presence no doubt helped lure in many of those ticket-buyers, as did The Butler‘s “inspired by a true story” cachet.
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Box office preview: 'Kick-Ass 2' may get served by 'The Butler' this weekend

Welcome to the dog days of the August box office, when studios flood theaters with their final summer releases before the prestigious fall season begins.  Last weekend, four new releases entered theaters, this weekend four new releases are hitting the big screen, and heck — next week, four more new releases are opening.

This week’s new movies — Kick-Ass 2, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Jobs, and Paranoia — fall into two camps: the number one contenders and the likely underperformers. Here’s how the weekend may play out:

1. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $25 million
The Danny Strong-penned historical drama, which stars Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, and, notably, Oprah Winfrey, may be able to swipe the top spot away from Kick-Ass 2. Sure, Weinstein, which is releasing the $30 million film about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, says it’s expecting a debut in the high-teens, but stories about race in American culture are reliably appealing at the box office (42 opened to $27.5 million earlier this year; The Help opened to $25 million in August 2011).

The Butler is also a patriotic tale and its real-life inspiration makes it even more appealing for audiences. Oscar fans will flock to the first awards-bait of 2013, history buffs that loved Lincoln will turn out to see presidents come to life on screen, and audiences that love Oprah (according to a Fandango poll, 72 percent of ticket-buyers said she increased their likelihood to see the film) won’t miss the chance to catch her in a rare scripted role. Out in 2,933 theaters, The Butler may take in about $25 million. READ FULL STORY

Oprah Winfrey talks about 'The Butler,' and acting for the first time in 15 years -- VIDEO

Once Oprah Winfrey decided to act in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, playing the wife of Forest Whitaker’s White House servant, she had one primary concern: she didn’t want to embarrass herself. Though she’d been nominated for an Oscar for her role in 1985′s The Color Purple and voiced characters in animated films, Winfrey hadn’t starred in a movie since Beloved in 1998.

But the story of Cecil Gaines, a man who was born the son of a poor sharecropper but grew up to work in the White House during a time of great social change in this country, was an opportunity that Winfrey couldn’t pass up, even as she was juggling the massive responsibilities of her media empire. Not only is Gaines — who’s based on the real-life White House butler Eugene Allen — an eyewitness to history, but he represents multiple generations of African-Americans who were maids and butlers and ultimately allowed their children to thrive in other professions — children like Winfrey, who comes from a long line of domestics.

In this exclusive video, Winfrey explains her initial reluctance in playing Gloria Gaines and how Lee Daniels ultimately got her to say yes. Whatever Winfrey’s initial reservations were, Whitaker was won over, saying, “People are going to be blown away by her performance.” READ FULL STORY

TWC loses appeal over 'The Butler' title

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An MPAA appeals board confirmed an arbitration ruling prohibiting The Weinstein Company from using the precise title The Butler for its upcoming White House civil-rights drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. However, the board did leave wiggle room by allowing the word “butler” in potential alternative titles.

Three weeks ago, Warner Bros. had exercised its rights to protect the title, The Butler, which is also a 1916 silent short film that resides in the studio’s archive, via the MPAA’s Title Registration Bureau. The initial July 2 ruling sided with Warner Bros., and penalized TWC $25,000 for every day it continued to promote the film, due Aug. 16, as The Butler. At the time, Harvey Weinstein and TWC’s attorney David Boies protested the ruling, publicly and legally, claiming that there could be no audience confusion between their movie and the 1916 silent movie, and accused Warner Bros. of using the issue as part of a grander negotiation tactic. READ FULL STORY

'The Butler' feud: Warner Bros. wins and Weinstein needs a new title [Updated]

Editor’s note: Variety reports that Warner Bros. won in arbitration and the Weinstein Company will need to choose a new title for “The Butler.”

It seems once you have a good Butler, you just don’t want to let him go.

The Weinstein Company’s upcoming movie The Butler, which stars Forest Whitaker as the African-American servant who worked in the White House for more than 40 years, has tripped over an industry obstacle on the way to its Aug. 16 release in theaters. As Deadline reported Monday, Warner Bros. is claiming protective rights to the film’s title due to a 1916 silent short film with the same name that resides in its archives, and both sides are heading to arbitration to reach a resolution.

Technically, this isn’t a legal issue, since you can’t typically copyright or trademark a movie title. But the MPAA has a voluntary Title Registration Bureau that the industry uses to self-regulate and avoid title conflicts that might confuse audiences. In this case, it’s unlikely that moviegoers are even aware of the 1916 silent film that Warner Bros. is citing, but TWC apparently never cleared the title.

More than likely, The Butler will be released as The Butler, but there’s a a good chance Warner Bros. will gain something in return via arbitration.

Here’s the trailer for director Lee Daniels’ star-studded movie:
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