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ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder, This post has been corrected, as indicated below
An Old Testament epic will storm theaters this weekend with hopes of attracting a boatload of moviegoers.  Director Darren Aronofsky's $130-million-budgeted "Noah" is expected to generate around $40 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the film, has predicted a softer gross of $30 million to $33 million. An opening in the projected range for the special effects-heavy, big-budget disaster film - starring Russell Crowe as the biblical boat-builder - will almost certainly make it the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before figuring out where the sun went. The Skinny: Finally finished Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead. " We are all in agreement that there's something evil going on at Terminus, right? Wednesday's roundup includes big news from Rupert Murdoch as his two sons get more turf at 21st Century Fox and News Corp. Also, analysis of the 2013 box office and a closer look at Ben Sherwood, the new co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks unit. Daily Dose: The first Senate hearing on Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable has been delayed.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Propelled by a string of hit family movies, global movie ticket sales set a new record last year, climbing to $35.9 billion in box office revenue, according to a new report. International markets accounted for $25 billion in ticket sales last year, up 5% from 2012 and 33% from just five years ago. Hollywood's growing success overseas was one of the principal findings in the annual state-of-industry report released Tuesday at the annual CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas, which drew 900 delegates from 69 countries.
BUSINESS
March 24, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Box Inc. has made public its plans to raise up to $250 million in an initial public offering, setting the stage for one of the most hotly anticipated offerings to come out of Silicon Valley so far this year. Box said it plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BOX. The Los Altos, Calif., online storage company plans to use at least half of the net proceeds for sales and marketing and other initiatives to expand its business as it faces growing competition from technology giants such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Any talk of a curse on young-adult film franchises was put on hold this weekend with the estimated $56-million opening for “Divergent,” the first adaptation from a series of novels by Veronica Roth, while "Muppets Most Wanted" underperformed and "God's Not Dead" surprised some with a strong turnout from faith-based audiences. Directed by Neil Burger and starring Shailene Woodley, "Divergent" tells the story of a young woman fighting for freedom and survival in a dystopian society.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
(This article has been updated since its original posting. See note below.) Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is going strong at the box office as the film's slow expansion - now 304 theaters in its third weekend of release - brought in $7 million for a strong per screen average of around $23,000. "Grand Budapest" rose to No. 7 at the box office and raised its total ticket sales to about $13.2 million. It's a rollout that in its first week brought in $800,000 from four theaters, two each in Los Angeles and New York, for an astonishing per-screen average of $200,000.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2014 | By Susan King
"Divergent," the teenage sci-fi drama starring Shailene Woodley, left the box-office competition in the dust Friday, selling an estimated $22.8 million in ticket sales on 3,936 screens for a healthy per screen average of $5,793. While "Divergent" was expected to have an impressive debut, perhaps the biggest surprise so far is the small religious movie "God's Not Dead," which is on track to be the No. 3 movie this weekend. The film, which Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment hopes will be the studio's next successful young adult franchise a la "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight," also took in $4.9 million at Thursday night showings.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2014 | By Susan King
It's shaping up to be a year in which Hollywood finds religion, and the latest example, "God's Not Dead," a small Christian-themed drama, delivered that message powerfully at the box office. The film, which opened on just 780 screens nationwide, took in more than $2.8 million Friday. It's likely to be the No. 3 movie for the weekend, behind the bigger-budget, wider-released "Divergent" and "Muppets Most Wanted. " Released through Freestyle Releasing, the drama from the Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment and the Red Entertainment Group was heavily marketed in churches, on the film's website and other Christian websites, as well as social media.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Hopes were high on numerous fronts for "Need for Speed," a thrill-ride of a premise about street racing, overseen by Steven Spielberg, distributed by Disney and starring a man, Aaron Paul, coming off one of the most compelling TV shows in recent memory. The reality for the driving film? Less high. The movie got out of the gate with a cringe-y 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, earned a merely decent B-plus on CinemaScore and closed the weekend with a lousy $17.8 million in box office, one of the lowest 3-D openings in recent memory and well off even conservative estimates of $25 million to $30 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Chris Barton
The video-game-inspired action film "Need for Speed" outpaced the competition at the box office Friday night, taking in $6.6 million, according to estimates. Starring "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul in his first role since the hit AMC crime drama concluded, the car chase-heavy movie that shares a title with a long-running racing game franchise was expected to earn between $25 million and $30 million in its first weekend, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
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