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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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
"The Bible" was a hit for History this year, so it only makes sense that more would be coming. On Tuesday, NBC announced the sequel -- "A.D. " -- is making the leap from cable to broadcast. It will air on NBC sometime in the spring of 2015. The 12-hour miniseries, executive produced by "The Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Richard Bedser, is expected to take up the story of the New Testament after the crucifixion of Jesus. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said in a statement, "Everyone's lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ's death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time. In the first episode alone you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times, and then the miracle of the Resurrection.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
In the latest sign of California's declining movie market share, director James Cameron announced he will shoot the three sequels to his Oscar-winning blockbuster "Avatar" in New Zealand. Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment will do the performance-capture work on the movie in Los Angeles at MBS Media Campus (formerly known as Manhattan Beach Studios).  However, the live-action portion of the production will film in New Zealand, following a similar pattern to the original 2009 film, Cameron and his partner, Jon Landau, announced Monday.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
"Avatar" fans hungry for information about the long-gestating sequels to the 2009 science fiction blockbuster got another morsel this week, when director James Cameron said he will film the live-action portions of the three movies in New Zealand, with production scheduled to start there in early 2015. Cameron said the intention is to shoot the three movies concurrently, releasing the first sequel in time for Christmas 2016 and the following sequels in late 2017 and late 2018. The announcement, which Cameron made at a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday, came with a promise from "Avatar's" studio, 20th Century Fox, to spend at least $413 million in the island nation, in exchange for a 25% tax rebate there.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 2013 | By Chris Barton
To no one's surprise, Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" laid waste to the competition at the box office on Friday, earning an estimated $31 million. Starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, the 3-D "Hobbit" sequel is expected to take in around $80 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday according to pre-release audience surveys. The second of a three-part prequel to Jackson's wildly successful "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the film has earned some positive notice from critics with a 74% score on the film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
It looks like the air was thick with "Smaug" on Thursday night as the second part of director Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy rolled into theaters.  "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," a production of  New Line Cinema,  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  and  Warner Bros. , made $8.8 million in ticket sales from midnight showings, according to studio estimates, indicating a strong start for the big-budget movie that continues the fantasy adventure of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey and the dwarves and elves of Middle Earth.  That's the second biggest December midnight haul ever, coming up shy of last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
A J.R.R. Tolkien dragon will torch the competition as "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" slithers into theaters this weekend. The 3-D "Hobbit" sequel, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, is expected to take in around $80 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.  The movie, a New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Martin Tsai, This post has been corrected. See note below for details
One of the all-time top-grossing films at the South Korean box office, "Friend" played at the AFI Fest in 2001 but never saw a stateside theatrical release. Writer-director Kwak Kyung-taek's semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story - set against the Busan underworld - resonated with an entire generation of South Koreans, but much of its appeal eluded audiences abroad who weren't privy to that collective memory. Nevertheless, its sequel, "Friend 2: The Legacy," arrives in a dozen American theaters 12 years later, perhaps as a testament to the thriving ethnic enclaves across the nation.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
The saga of Katniss Everdeen will bring the masses into its arena this weekend as "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" arrives in theaters, easily unseating "Thor: The Dark World" for the top box-office spot. Lionsgate's "Hunger Games" sequel, which will open in 4,100 theaters starting with Thursday night showings, is expected to take in as much as $180 million through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Lower estimates for the Jennifer Lawrence-starring movie put it at between $150 million and $170 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman
When the receipts are tallied for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," heroine Katniss Everdeen and her famed arrows will likely hit a box-office bull's-eye. The film starring Jennifer Lawrence is forecast by some to sell as much as $180 million in tickets for its U.S. debut this weekend, which would be the biggest opening of the year. If it delivers as expected, "Catching Fire" will buck the recent trend in which films based on young adult books have fizzled. In the last 18 months, Hollywood adaptations of "Ender's Game," "Beautiful Creatures," "Mortal Instruments," "The Host" and others have failed to ignite with audiences, scuttling hopes of moneymaking new franchises.
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