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ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
It had already been a strong year for films with predominantly black casts - the kind of year that makes bloggers pull out their laptops and write posts about a “new moment.” "Fruitvale Station" was the sensation of the Sundance Film Festival. "The Butler" was a major commercial crossover. "12 Years A Slave” is the art-house breakout of the fall and an early Oscar favorite. A big holiday hit was hardly needed to make people realize that long-held tropes about movies with black casts - or, for that matter, aimed at black audiences - were bunk.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Times Staff Writers
The following is a full list of nominees for the 45th NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in film, TV, music and literature. MOTION PICTURE Outstanding motion picture "12 Years a Slave" (River Road/Plan B/New Regency/Fox Searchlight Pictures) "Fruitvale Station" (Weinstein Co./Forest Whitaker's Significant Productions, OG Project) "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (Weinstein Co./Lee Daniels Entertainment, Laura Ziskin Productions, Windy Hill Pictures, Follow Through Productions, Salamander Pictures, Pam Williams Productions)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey
In "The Butler," director Lee Daniels sets the table with a great deal of care, especially because it unfolds during the volatile years of desegregation. It stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a White House butler privy by sheer proximity to a series of presidents during the contentious Civil Rights era. Wife Gloria (Oprah Winfrey) keeps the home fires burning, while the irony in her observations is stinging. The film tackles the big picture of changing race relations, a time awash in protests and flames.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2013 | By Susan King
Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland") is the recipient of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. Whitaker, who is also a producer and director, will receive the honor at a black-tie gala Dec. 15 at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. "Forest Whitaker is an exceptional man and actor," Kirk Douglas said in a statement. "His commitment to human causes, his passion for what is right, and his dedication to his craft are inspirational and at my age, inspiration is rare.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Fox has tapped Grammy award-winning producer and rapper Timbaland to produce and write music for the new pilot "Empire," the network announced Tuesday. “Empire” is a family drama anchored in the hip-hop world and will feature both original and current music. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will star. Howard will play Lucious Lyon, the charismatic, savvy head of a record label. Henson will portray Cookie, Lucious' ex-wife, who spent 17 years behind bars for dealing drugs and upon her release for good behavior returns to reclaim what she feels is hers after she funneled all that drug money into her husband's fledgling music business.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2013 | By John Horn
Sony Pictures decided to abandon "Lee Daniels' The Butler," placing its 2013 summer bets on "White House Down" and "After Earth. " Think the studio wishes it now had made a different decision? "The Butler," whose financing was cobbled together by numerous investors and is distributed by the Weinstein Co., is continuing to dominate the box office and is certain to finish in first place in its second week of release, according to early numbers released Saturday. PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments The fact-based account of a black White House butler who served in eight presidential administrations is projected to gross as much as $16 million this weekend, easily surpassing the holdover "We're the Millers" and the new releases "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "The World's End" and "You're Next," none of which are performing strongly.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
For the second time this year, the brothers Weinstein are in a legal dispute with the brothers Warner.  Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax, the studio they founded and later sold, have sued Warner Bros., saying they are entitled to a share of the revenue from the second and third films in the "Hobbit" series, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.  This comes after the two companies came to blows this year over the title of the historical drama that was eventually dubbed "Lee Daniels' The Butler.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before remembering to smile. Well, it's worth a shot! The Skinny: Are the Dodgers ever going to lose? Serves me right for turning the game off when the Mets were up 4-0 and watching "Scarface" on AMC. Thursday's headlines include a preview of Al Jazeera America, which launches next week, and a look at why "Lee Daniels' The Butler" has more producers than I have plates. Also, Daniel Loeb buys some Disney stock. Daily Dose: Fox Sports 1 will be available on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network when it launches Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
One of the intriguing aspects of “Lee Daniels' The Butler” is that it straddles the line between father-son tale and race-relations epic. On the one hand, of course, it's about a man (Forest Whitaker's Cecil Gaines) who witnessed some of the great moments in civil rights history from his perch as a server in the White House. On the other hand, it's about what was happening in that man's own family, and the rift between his own ruffle-no-feathers approach and his activist son Louis, who dabbled in the world of the Black Panthers as well as less radical ideologies.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" will be the No. 1 movie at the box office this weekend after taking in about $9 million in ticket sales last night. That puts the historical drama on track for a $27-million weekend, significantly more than The Weinstein Company's initial lowball estimate of $15 million. It also means "The Butler" will open to roughly the same weekend take as DreamWorks' 2011 civil rights drama "The Help," which also debuted in August and brought in $26 million on its way to a $169.7-million domestic gross.
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