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Quick Takes: Films on Oscar's lawn

May 08, 2012

Grab your blankets and beach chairs, Oscar is going casual.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday the slate of movies for its first outdoor screening series, to be held at its new Oscars Outdoors venue in Hollywood.

The lineup, which kicks off June 15 with a screening of "Casablanca," is a mixture of classics and contemporary films designed to appeal to a broad swath of the moviegoing public.

Screenings will take place Friday and Saturday evenings through Aug. 18, with Saturday evenings devoted to family-friendly fare, such as "The Princess Bride" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

The academy purchased the 3.5-acre lot near the intersection of Vine Street and Fountain Avenue in 2005 for $50 million. Tickets are $5; children under 10 admitted free.

—Nicole Sperling

'Avengers' sales top estimates

Turns out "The Avengers" didn't sell $200.3 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, as Walt Disney Studios announced Sunday. It made even more.

The Marvel superhero movie actually collected $207.4 million, as it grossed more on Sunday than Disney, Marvel's owner and the movie's distributor, estimated that morning. Disney had said the film would collect $50 million, but it ended up with $57 million.

Sunday morning estimates are often off slightly, but it's rare that they underestimate a film's take by more than a few million dollars. In the case of "Avengers," it means the record for the all-time biggest domestic opening weekend is now even higher in the stratosphere.

—Ben Fritz

NBC lines up more new shows

NBC has confirmed three more series for its fall lineup: a drama produced by J.J. Abrams, a comedy from "Glee's" Ryan Murphy and another comedy starring Anne Heche.

"Revolution," produced by Abrams and written by "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke, is described as an action drama about people attempting to survive in a world where all forms of energy have suddenly ceased to exist. The pilot's cast includes Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito.

Murphy's comedy, "The New Normal," involves a gay couple, played by Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha, and the woman who will serve as the surrogate mother for their children, played by Georgia King.

In "Save Me," Heche plays a woman who has ducked out on herself and her marriage — that is, until a spiritual awakening has her acting differently.

—From Times staff writers

Dudamel to visit London festival

Gustavo Dudamel will make a few appearances this summer as part of the London 2012 Festival, the large-scale cultural celebration running parallel to the Olympic Games.

Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will perform with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at a June 21 concert in Stirling, Scotland.

Dudamel and the orchestra also are scheduled to hold a residency at London's Southbank Centre June 23-26, during which they will perform at the Royal Festival Hall.

—David Ng

Schwarzenegger adds to his slate

At 64, Arnold Schwarzenegger has rarely been busier. The former California governor announced Monday that he will star in the drug cartel story "Ten" for director David Ayer, the screenwriter behind the Oscar-winning "Training Day."

It's the fourth movie project in recent months for the "Terminator" veteran. Schwarzenegger is in production on the prison drama "The Tomb," and later this year will star in the action sequel "The Expendables 2." In early 2013, he will appear in another drug cartel tale, "The Last Stand."

—John Horn


Renewed: Lifetime has picked up "The Client List," starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, for a second season.

Revived: "The Artist," the nearly silent film that won best picture at the Oscars this year, will be re-released for Mother's Day weekend by the Weinstein Co., which hopes it will prove effective counter-programming to "The Avengers" and Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows."

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