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'Veronica Mars' Blu-ray extra: Go on set with Veronica and Logan -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Not even two months after the Kickstarter-backed Veronica Mars movie hit theaters, it’s already on Blu-ray and DVD. And EW has an exclusive extra from the release, which takes you behind the scenes of the unprecedented film for a chat with Veronica (Kristen Bell) and Logan (Jason Dohring).

Fun fact: Kristen did Jason’s makeup to save money and time. OK, we’re pretty sure Dohring made that one up, but the pair discuss the project’s breakneck speed and lay some much-deserved praise on director Rob Thomas. Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

Kickstarter CEO calls 'Veronica Mars' success 'one of the great fan stories of all time'

On the heels of the theatrical and VOD debut of the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie, no one is more pleased with the success than Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler.

“I’ve been constantly refreshing my Twitter search for Veronica Mars. It’s been especially exciting seeing all of the fans talking about how many people in their screening were wearing their Veronica Mars Kickstarter T-shirts and how this is one of the most amazing days of their lives to be able to see this thing actually happen,” Strickler told EW. “To me, this weekend was a pretty incredible and inspiring celebration of fandom.” READ FULL STORY

'Veronica Mars' opens to $2 million; conversation about future plans and a possible sequel could happen soon

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The Marshmallows turned out in droves this weekend to check out the theatrical debut of Veronica Mars. The Kickstarter-funded, cult TV show adaptation opened to a cool $2 million from 291 theaters (265 in the U.S.), earning the pic a spot on the top 10 according, to initial estimates.

The PG-13 pic was also released simultaneously on VOD — free for Kickstarter backers who’d contributed $35 or more to the record-breaking campaign, but also available for purchase or rental through digital download services such as iTunes or Amazon. The industry has not gotten into a mode where they share VOD earnings, but the multi-platform availability clearly did not dissuade fans from making the trek to the theaters.

But, is it a success?

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'Veronica Mars' and Kickstarter: Is this the future of movie financing?

Now that the big-screen version of Veronica Mars has finally come out, and has turned out to be a breezy, pulpy, enjoyable, disposable entertainment (Veronica attempts to solve the murder of a famous rock star in Amy Winehouse makeup…whom she happened to go to high school with! Look, it’s Dax Shepard dancing!). And now that the film has proved, for the first time, that a movie funded by crowdsourcing (in this case, via Kickstarter) can readily make its money back — and perhaps even do better than that — one could, I suppose, choose to be cynical by viewing the entire phemonenon of the Veronica Mars movie, from the very concept of making it to the let-a-thousand-handouts-bloom financing to the opening weekend, as the triumph of a closed, hermetic fan-based system. You could see it as the ultimate (trivial) example of a movie that exists solely to reflect the adoration of its fans right back at them. READ FULL STORY

'Veronica Mars' backers experience technical difficulties with digital downloads; Warner Bros. and Rob Thomas respond

The same passion that drove Veronica Mars fans to contribute over $5.7 million to help a movie version of the beloved television show come to life fed some vitriol after a number of Kickstarter backers were unable to download the film digitally. Backers who contributed $35 or more to the campaign were promised “a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut.”

But, as of Friday night, some were experiencing difficulties downloading the film via Flixster/Ultraviolet. One backer wrote: “Tried to get the movie streamed/downloaded on several devices and ended up wasting 5 hours and still didn’t get to watch the movie on release day. This has really tainted what had been until now a really positive experience.”

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas responded to his backers immediately, offering a step by step process to get help. “I genuinely want today to be perfect for all of you…I want you to be able to watch it on whatever platform or device works best for your needs,” Thomas wrote. “Please know that Warner Bros. have given Customer Support a lot of freedom to help make things right, so if you’re having issues, please let them know: they’ll do their best to either help get Flixster working to your satisfaction, or, if you prefer, to provide an alternate solution.”

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Box office update: 'Need for Speed' takes the lead on Friday with $6.6 million, 'Veronica Mars' debuts at $1 million

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Need for Speed kicked into high gear on Friday and opened on top with an estimated $6.64 million, but the weekend winner is still undetermined. Last weekend’s top earners, 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, are trailing close behind the Aaron Paul pic, and any are fair game for first place based on Friday estimates.

Adapted from the popular EA video game, Need for Speed may not even pass $20 million this weekend. Initial estimates put the car pic in the mid- to high-$20s range, but based on the soft Friday opening, that’s looking unlikely. With an estimated $65 million price tag, a mid-$20s opening was key. This could signal that it’s not actually a potential franchise for DreamWorks and distributor Disney.

EW’s Keith Staskiewicz noted the trend of failed video game adaptations in his C review, writing: Need for Speed is just another pileup in Hollywood’s long accident report of taking games from the couch to the theater seat.” On the whole, reviews have been somewhat dismal, but audiences might disagree. It may be currently hovering around 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, but Friday theater goers gave it a B+ Cinema Score.

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'Veronica Mars': Read the movie's EW cover story on Bonnie DeVille for clues -- EXCLUSIVE

In the Veronica Mars movie, in theaters now, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is drawn back to Neptune after her former flame Logan (Jason Dohring) is accused of murdering his rock-star girlfriend, former classmate Bonnie DeVille (Andrea Estella). The film shows Veronica reading an ominous Entertainment Weekly cover story titled “The Downward Spiral of Bonnie DeVille.” Now, you can read the actual (fictional) article below.

“One of the things we didn’t have time to do in the movie is create this whole back story persona for Bonnie DeVille, who’s a key player in the movie but dead the moment you hear about her,” creator/director Rob Thomas says. “The Entertainment Weekly story will fill in a lot of those blanks: how this character who might have felt more party-girl Katy Perry in her original incarnation in the series has sort of drifted off towards more of a Lana Del Rey or Amy Winehouse sort of character as she’s spun out of control and seems to be heading for disaster even before she’s killed.”

Penned by Bob Dearden, Thomas’ assistant, the piece includes more than a couple of fun callbacks for people who watched the TV show. “If any Veronica Mars fans want the play-at-home game, there are a couple clues as to why she was murdered buried in that story that I wanted in there,” Thomas says. “It tells you a little bit more about her state of mind. Why she was going over a cliff in that story is a key clue in the movie…” READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Need for Speed' revs up for No. 1

It’s another testosterone-driven weekend at the multiplexes as the video game-turned-movie Need for Speed faces off against last week’s reigning box office conqueror 300: Rise of an Empire.

The question is whether or not Aaron Paul, beloved as the tragic Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, can carry a movie. The idea of a star-driven film is a bit of an outdated mentality, but choosing Paul to lead a fairly expensive action pic was at turns unconventional and bold. It’s also a lot of pressure, especially if DreamWorks and EA are eyeing a potential franchise in the vein of the insanely successful Fast & Furious films.

Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club also opens in under 2,000 locations for Lionsgate and the female-driven pic hopes to reach a very different audience, but it’s unlikely to beat the 3-D cars to the finish line.

Here’s how things might play out.

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'Veronica Mars' premiere, On the Scene: Who's your favorite character? -- POLL

On March 13, 2013, Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas asked Veronica Mars fans if they’d like to see the gone-too-soon TV series hit the big screen. Just one day shy of a year later, that film became a reality at Wednesday night’s Hollywood premiere of Veronica Mars at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

While the path from cult TV show to Kickstarter-backed film might have seemed far-fetched, Bell never had any doubt that the movie, in theaters Friday, would be made. “I felt in my bones that there would be some incarnation of her,” Bell said on the red carpet of her teenage private eye. “I certainly didn’t know that it would be like this, [that it] would go as smoothly as it has, that was certainly a surprise. But I’ve learned: Don’t ever underestimate a Veronica Mars fan. It’s not in your best interest.”

One of the things Marshmallows (the über-generous and gooey-sweet fans of Veronica Mars) have always loved about the franchise is the blurred line between where Kristen ends and Veronica begins. “This is the most effortless character I’ve ever played,” Bell said. “I’m 100 percent present when I play Veronica, and sometimes [in other roles] I’m 5 percent actor, understandably. But Veronica is very similar to who I am. I’m not as outwardly snarky, but I’m often thinking it.”

But Veronica is just one of the series’ beloved characters, so we asked the cast (and creator Rob Thomas) to name their favorite character outside of their own. (Spoiler: Dick is a cast favorite.) READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Marshmallows unite at 'Veronica Mars'

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Seven years and a famous Kickstarter campaign in the making, Veronica Mars finally made its grand jump from small to big screen on Saturday afternoon at the SXSW festival. Rob Thomas’ movie, brisk and fun and full of throwback love to the cult series, opens with Kristen Bell’s Veronica leaving a thriving life in New York City when her forever flame Logan (Jason Dohring, fine as ever) is suspected of murder. Her trip home to Neptune, Calif., coincides with her high school’s 10-year reunion, an event she’d penciled in years ago to studiously avoid. For fans of the series—and if you’ve never indulged, you’ve got a delightful binge ahead of you—it was a joy to see the old gang back together. The great folks behind Wallace, Dick, Weevil, Mac, Piz, Madison, Deputy Leo, and Best Dad Ever Keith Mars were all in Austin to celebrate, and treated the enthusiastic audience to a loose Q&A after the screening.

“This is such an extra special experience because it’s so humbling to know that the reason we’re here is because of you guys and because of all of our Kickstarter friends,” said Bell. In a humble nod to Kickstarter fans’ generous support, Chris Lowell (Piz) said, “I’m just shocked that I’m either on this stage or in the film. I thought I was going to have to be the $10,000 backer to have a speaking line.” When one fan asked Thomas, the man behind both the TV show and movie, when we might expect a stage version of  Veronica Mars, the director joked, “I’m working on the book for the musical right now.”

Of all the afternoon’s adorable moments, none topped Enrico Colantoni’s (Keith) response to being asked how it felt to reunite with on-screen daughter Veronica after all this time. “She was this big, and then she was this big,” Colantoni said of Bell, gesturing to chest height and then chin height. “But like any parent will tell, it doesn’t matter how old they get, you still can’t not look at them like they were”—he paused, to lower his hand back down—”this big.” And then Veronica and her Dad—yeah, yeah, yeah, you may know them as Bell and Colantoni—had this very dear, slightly teary hug. Marshmallow melt.

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