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Elizabeth Banks will direct 'Pitch Perfect' sequel

Aca-awesome!

Elizabeth Banks is set to make her directing debut in the upcoming Pitch Perfect sequel, EW has confirmed.

“Elizabeth originated the idea for Pitch Perfect and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley in a release.  “She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to everything she works on and we’re thrilled that she is making her feature directorial debut on Pitch Perfect 2.”

Banks, who co-starred and produced the original, will continue with those roles as well in the sequel to the hit 2012 musical comedy. Although no casting announcements have been announced, The Hollywood Reporter quotes insiders saying that Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are likely to return. No plot information for Pitch Perfect 2 has been released, but the script will be written by Kay Cannon, the original screenwriter.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed for more Benji.

'Pitch Perfect' sequel coming in 2015

Universal announced at its CinemaCon presentation today that it plans to produce a Pitch Perfect sequel that would hit theaters sometime in 2015. The reveal doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

Pitch Perfect earned $112 million worldwide against a slight $17 million budget, and in the months since its theatrical run, it has kept hitting new high notes. According to Universal, the film has earned over $90 million across all home market platforms, and it currently stands as the studio’s third highest-grossing VOD title ever behind blockbusters Ted and Bridesmaids. On top of that, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack has sold over 636,000 copies and spawned a hit single — complete with its own music video – with Anna Kendrick’s “Cups.”
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MTV Movie Awards: Rebel Wilson talks hosting, and the sketch we didn't see

Changing costumes a half-dozen times, making Zac Efron feel uncomfortable, dancing to “The Climb,” “Lose Yourself,” “Girl on Fire” and “Thrift Shop,” referencing Channing Tatum’s butt every 10 minutes, and just generally keeping the energy high during the 2+ hour broadcast of the 2013 MTV Movie Awards was all in a night’s work for first-time host Rebel Wilson.

The Australian actress soldiered on after the show to take a few minutes to talk to the press backstage about performing with her Pitch Perfect co-stars and how she really feels about Russell Crowe. Check out the five best behind the scenes revelations about her performance, her last-minute improvisation, and whether or not she’d want to host the awards again.

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Rebel Wilson talks hosting the MTV Movie Awards, voting for Channing Tatum, and (probably) losing to Jennifer Lawrence

Lately, it seems like a day doesn’t go by without Jennifer Lawrence winning something. (Just yesterday, the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook actress was voted the celebrity people would most like to see in a sex tape.) Yet every time J-Law wins something, it means Rebel Wilson did not win that thing.

Wilson has a chance to reverse that trend at this weekend’s MTV Movie Awards, where the Pitch Perfect star will not only be the host but also a three-time nominee. And while one of the categories pits her against Lawrence, Wilson tells us she’s still got her fingers crossed: “I would just love to win one award!” Read on for the rest of our recent chat with Wilson, who tells us about getting hosting tips from Aziz Ansari, “accidentally” voting for Channing Tatum multiple times, and this Sunday’s much-anticipated (albeit Anna Kendrick-lessPitch Perfect reunion.

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MTV Movie Awards: 'Pitch Perfect' cast to reunite on stage

Get ready for an aca-mazing opening to the MTV Movie Awards. Host Rebel Wilson will be joined by her fellow Barden Bellas and rival group the Treblemakers for a Pitch Perfect reunion in the opening number of the awards show.

No diggity — Wilson will be joined by Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Esther Dean, Adam Devine, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ben Platt, and Brittany Snow; there was no word yet on whether Anna Kendrick will make a surprise appearance. The film’s director Jason Moore will oversee the mashup performance.
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Rebel Wilson and Channing Tatum get up close and personal in MTV Movie Awards promo -- VIDEO

That’s one way to do a car chase.

Pitch Perfect‘s breakout star Rebel Wilson has discovered that hosting the MTV Movie Awards comes with a few perks — like filming fake action movie scenes with Magic Mike himself. In this new promo for the upcoming show, Wilson makes the most of being in close quarters with Channing Tatum by, well… just watch and see. Look out, Jennifer Lawrence: By the time this show airs, America may have picked out a new saucy lady BFF.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How the music in 'Pitch Perfect' became aca-awesome

This fall, the music of Pitch Perfect joined a crowded field of soundtracks that cover well-loved songs, but even with shows like Glee, Smash, American Idol and The Voice hitting the scene well before it, the movie that put the spotlight on collegiate a cappella made its mark. EW talked to director Jason Moore and music supervisors Julianne Jordan and Julia Michels about getting together the music for the film about an all-girls a cappella group determined to achieve national music competition glory. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.

Song selection

Jordan and Michels had a major challenge ahead of them when they signed on to Pitch Perfect: working with a script in which the songs were all placeholders and not a sure deal, they had to choose and secure rights to what ended up being about 40 songs for the film. Michels calls the endeavor “a very big, tedious and fun process.” The requirements for each song: “It had to work right in the scene and tell the story, it had to translate to the actors on-camera, and it had to sound good a cappella,” she says. READ FULL STORY

'Pitch Perfect' Blu-ray release date: Aca-insanity is coming to town -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

pitch-perfect

Pitch Perfect, the collegiate a cappella comedy with Anna Kendrick, will become available on Blu-ray on Dec. 18, just in time for Christmas. The Oscar-nominated actress (Up in the Air) stars as a rebellious newbie who begrudgingly joins the university’s prim female acoustic singing group and promptly helps them find their true voice. Unapologetically Glee-ful, the movie was a sleeper hit, to the tune of $61 million so far. With the outrageous Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids), Anna Camp (The Help), and Brittany Snow (Hairspray) providing more than just backup vocals, it’s the kind of film that should enjoy a long shelf life on home video, cable (and the inevitable Bring It On style sequels.)

Simultaneously released on DVD, On Demand, and Digital Download, Pitch Perfect is packed with deleted and extended scenes, music videos, and lots more of Wilson’s scene-stealing Fat Amy. Click below for an exclusive extended scene of the world-champion pirate dancer and a list of all the discs’ bonus features. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Taken 2' scores explosive $50 million debut; 'Frankenweenie' (un)dead on arrival

Liam Neeson has had an indisputably amazing year.

Though the quality of the actor’s movies remains up for debate (We’re looking at you, Battleship. Well, you too, Wrath of the Titans. Oh gosh, The Grey as well. And, as much as I hate to say it, perhaps even The Dark Knight Rises… don’t stone me!), the fact that 60-year-old Neeson is at the peak of his career, recognized as an almost mythic Chuck Norris-esque figure and opening a new action tentpole every couple of months, is nothing short of remarkable.

And now Neeson has another chart-topper to add to his already impressive resume: Taken 2, which debuted to an astounding $50 million from 3,661 theaters this weekend, good for a sizzling $13,657 per theater average. Taken 2‘s debut is the third-best ever in the month of October, behind 2011′s Paranormal Activity 3, which started with $52.6 million, and 2010′s Jackass 3D, which started with $50.4 million.

The revenge sequel also earned more than twice as much as the original Taken did in its opening weekend — that film surprised Hollywood when it bowed with $24.7 million in 2009, and it also served as the catalyst for Neeson’s career jumpstart. Thanks to great word-of-mouth, Taken chugged all the way to $145 million total.

Time will tell whether Taken 2 can match its predecessor’s gross, but that may prove challenging.

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Box office update: 'Taken 2' takes in $18.6 million on Friday; 'Frankenweenie' lacks bite

At age 60, Liam Neeson has become the most impressive action star in Hollywood. The grizzled actor’s revenge sequel Taken 2 topped the box office in a major way on Friday, earning an estimated $18.6 million; that puts the film on pace for a weekend in the $45-50 million range — far above the original Taken‘s $24.7 million bow. Fox execs should be celebrating that audiences flocked to Taken 2 despite its terrible reviews. READ FULL STORY

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