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November 20, 2012
Animal wranglers involved in the making of "The Hobbit" movie trilogy say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, largely because they were kept at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps. " The American Humane Assn., which oversaw animal welfare on the movies, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers' complaints highlight shortcomings in its oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
The third and final movie in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy has an action-oriented new title. The film will henceforth be known as "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," Jackson announced on his Facebook page Thursday. The movie was previously subtitled "There and Back Again," a name carried over from when Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel "The Hobbit" was intended to span two films rather than three. "'There and Back Again' felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling," Jackson wrote on Facebook . "But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced.'" VIDEO: Ian McKellan quotes Tolkien Jackson had been mulling a name change and approached Warner Bros.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2012 | By John Horn
Opinions about “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” are all over the board. Yet even people who aren't  that keen on the first entry in Peter Jackson's film trilogy have been struck by one scene in particular - the meeting between Bilbo Baggins ( Martin Freeman ) and Gollum (Andy Serkis) - which was improved dramatically by huge leaps in technology. When Jackson depicted Gollum in his three “Lord of the Rings” movies, Serkis' performance was recorded months after principal photography on his scenes had wrapped, with Serkis acting the scenes all by himself.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2014 | By Noel Murray
August: Osage County Starz/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99 Available on VOD beginning April 8 Tracy Letts has now had three of his plays adapted into films. Director William Friedkin made the bizarre "Bug" and "Killer Joe" into something as gritty and exciting as a stage show, but John Wells unkinks Letts' Pulitzer-winning twisted black comedy. The Oscar-nominated Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts have a blast chewing the scenery as a cantankerous mother and daughter who spend an impromptu family reunion snapping at each other and their kin; and the rest of the cast (including Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 28, 2012 | By Patrick Kevin Day
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" had its long-expected party in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, on Wednesday. Thousands of fans lined the blocks-long red carpet to greet director Peter Jackson and his cast of dwarfs, hobbits and wizards. Wellington's Embassy Theater was decorated to look like a hobbit house as cast members Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving in addition to Gandalf's band of dwarfs soaked in the fan adoration. Director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis, also attended the event.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Monday: After many delays and a change of directors, "The Hobbit" is finally underway. ( Los Angeles Times ) Bob Geldof says your music stinks, Ben Weasel gets in a fight, and Snoop Dogg pays tribute to Nate Dogg (no relation): All the highlights from the just-ended SXSW 2011. ( Los Angeles Times ) Wyclef Jean was shot in the hand while campaigning for a Haitian presidential candidate. ( Associated Press ) Jodie Foster is planning to direct a sci-fi movie next.
NEWS
November 20, 2012 | By Chris Erskine
LAX says plane spotters and Tolkien enthusiasts will be able to catch a glimpse of the Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that has been turned into a giant billboard for the upcoming movie, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The plane touches down Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. The viewpoint will be the Observation Deck at LAX's Encounter Restaurant. The flight typically lands between 1:20 and 2 p.m., the airport says. The Observation Deck is free, but usual parking rates apply . . . Note that Pacific Surfliner trains (San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara-Los Angeles and San Diego)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2012
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" took in $13 million from screenings at or soon after midnight Thursday in the U.S. and Canada, getting off to a healthy start for what should be a huge weekend at the box office for director Peter Jackson's widely anticipated movie. Though big, the performance of the "Lord of the Rings" prequel did not come close to other movies that premiered in the darkness. The all-time No. 1 is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," which in July 2011 took in $43.5 million before the sun rose.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The holidays are a time when family-friendly films pack in audiences like the Dallas Cowboys pack-in last-minute turnovers. But even in a season when the G and PG films come with a built-in head start, it's hard not to be impressed by what "Frozen" has done. Disney's retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Snow Queen" finished in second place this weekend, its fifth in wide release, with $28.8 million. As the numbers came in throughout the weekend, at times the film even challenged the more recently released, advance-hyped "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" for the top box office slot, and in fact wound up finishing just a few bucks away . “Frozen” now stands at nearly $250 million since it went wide in late November, a very solid number in its own right.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Buoyed by the billion-dollar box-office blockbusters “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey,” MGM Holdings Inc., the parent of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., posted first-quarter net income of $57.4 million. That was more than double than the $23.3-million net income figure the Beverly Hills-based company reported a year earlier. The privately held film and television company said in a filing on its website that it had posted revenue of $481.7 million for the three-month period that ended March 31 - a sizable increase over the $179.5 million taken in during the same quarter in 2012.  PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments The earnings report comes one day after a trade publication said that activist investor Daniel S. Loeb has been acquiring shares of MGM on the private market.  Last year MGM, headed by chief executive Gary Barber, filed a draft registration statement for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before asking Madonna for an invite to her Oscar party. The Skinny: "The Americans" lived up to my expectations and we all know how picky I am. Also good to have "Modern Family" back. I got through ABC's "Mixology," but after the first act I wanted to return my drink. Thursday's roundup includes a report on China's red-hot box office. Also, the Motion Picture Assn. of America is trying to woo more GOPers to its side. Daily Dose: If there is one pay-TV provider in particular that is unlikely to strike a deal to carry the new Dodger channel SportsNet LA it is Dish.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Not even two months into 2014, China's box office has topped $900 million, a blistering pace far ahead of last year, when receipts for the entire first quarter were about $830 million. The strong results are being powered by a number of films, including “The Monkey King,” which in the week that ended Sunday became only the fifth film to cross the 1-billion-renminbi milestone at the mainland box office, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said. That puts “Monkey” in rare company.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Movie ticket prices rose in the last three months of 2013, boosted by pricier 3D and Imax films.  The average ticket price in the fourth quarter was $8.35, representing a 3.7% increase from the same period during the previous year, according to the National Assn. of Theatre Owners.  The box-office success of several 3D movies helped skew the averages upward. Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-nominated stranded-in-space drama "Gravity" was a significant driver, generating the vast majority of its revenue from 3D. The fourth-quarter 3D slate also included top-grossing pictures such as Disney's Hans Christian Andersen-inspired musical "Frozen" and Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The holidays are a time when family-friendly films pack in audiences like the Dallas Cowboys pack-in last-minute turnovers. But even in a season when the G and PG films come with a built-in head start, it's hard not to be impressed by what "Frozen" has done. Disney's retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Snow Queen" finished in second place this weekend, its fifth in wide release, with $28.8 million. As the numbers came in throughout the weekend, at times the film even challenged the more recently released, advance-hyped "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" for the top box office slot, and in fact wound up finishing just a few bucks away . “Frozen” now stands at nearly $250 million since it went wide in late November, a very solid number in its own right.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
Martin Scorsese's Wall-Street-gone-wild epic, "The Wolf of Wall Street," was not the leader of the pack at the box office this weekend. The alpha film was "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which topped the charts for the third time in as many weeks of wide release. The second part of the "Hobbit" trilogy based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien racked up $29.9 million over three days, while Paramount's "Wolf," which cost $100 million to make, made a meager $18.5 million. The latter's performance was particularly disappointing as it was expected to challenge Warner Bros.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
The extended frame provided by Wednesday's Christmas holiday meant a long, topsy-turvy weekend at the box office. A mix of powerhouse holdovers with a handful of new releases made for an unusual mix in the rankings, with “Frozen,” “Hobbit 2,” “Anchorman 2,” “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” all in play. Disney's animated family hit “Frozen,” in its sixth week of release took in an estimated $10.3 million on Friday in more than 3,300 theaters, pushing it toward an estimated cumulative gross of nearly $230 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2013 | By Matthew Fleischer
Back in 2012, before director Peter Jackson's “Hobbit” made its widely panned 48-frame-per-second debut, arguably the most talked-about gadget at that year's National Assn. of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas was the prototype for RED's laser cinema projector. Capable of displaying 4K resolution - the virtual equivalent of film - up to 120 frames per second in both 2-D and 3-D capabilities with a price point under $10,000, the prototype appeared to signal the company's first foray into the home consumer market - another sign of its impending technological dominance.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" didn't steal quite enough box office riches to beat the "Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Wednesday. "Wolf of Wall Street," the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring dark comedy from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures, grossed an estimated $9.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, coming in just behind "Smaug," which looks like it generated around $9.3 million in ticket sales.  "Smaug," the second part of the "Hobbit" trilogy based on the book by J.R.R.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" didn't steal quite enough box office riches to beat the "Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Wednesday. "Wolf of Wall Street," the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring dark comedy from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures, grossed an estimated $9.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, coming in just behind "Smaug," which looks like it generated around $9.3 million in ticket sales.  "Smaug," the second part of the "Hobbit" trilogy based on the book by J.R.R.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
Almost as intriguing as the goings-on in Middle Earth has been the drama surrounding the “Hobbit" franchise itself. There was the fact that star director Guillermo del Toro walked off after a year of work. There's been a long-running lawsuit. And then, of course, that when it was finally almost ready last year, the production grew so expensive - er, epic - that director Peter Jackson and studio New Line saw fit to take what they had and slice it into three movies. That enabled more revenue and a longer life for the franchise, which will now span three holiday seasons through 2014.
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