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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...
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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.
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 20, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Second movies in a series can be such a comfort: We already know the key characters, we have a sense of where the plot is going, we just have to hang on and enjoy the thrills. Which is what happens with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. " An effective piece of melodramatic popular entertainment that savvily builds on the foundation established by the first "Hunger Games" movie, "Catching Fire" layers in increased visual brio while remaining faithful to the essence of a trilogy popular enough to have more than 50 million copies in print.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Nothing unites the people of the Internet quite like hatin' on something together. So the press release Monday afternoon announcing a sequel to the beloved holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" was met with the sort of overwhelming derision that really brings people together. Titled "It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story," the sequel was written by Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton. Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions are collaborating on the project and, though no director is currently attached, Monday's announcement declared that the film, with a proposed budget between $25 million and $32 million, was looking to shoot in Louisiana to be ready for the 2015 holiday season.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2013 | By Robert Abele
A serious undertaking overwhelmed by amateurishness, "The Falls: Testament of Love" is writer-director Jon Garcia's sequel to last year's "The Falls," a no-budget (as in a reported $7,000) staple of gay film festivals that introduced two closeted Mormons who fall in love during a mission. Garcia's follow-up takes place five years later, when out writer RJ (Nick Ferrucci) has left the church and moved to Seattle, while Chris (Benjamin Farmer) doubles down on his LDS life by undergoing reparative therapy, marrying a woman, having a child and cutting off contact with RJ. The death of a common friend brings the two into each other's orbits again, though, with predictably fraught - and sudsy - consequences.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2013 | By Michael Phillips
If anyone ever asks you what "Thor: The Dark World" has in common with "Blondie Goes Latin" and "Bomba and the Jungle Girl," here's the answer: It's the eighth movie in its franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, as "Thor's" particular franchise is known, encompasses the new adventures of Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and so on, worth billions around the world. (Rumor has it the next all-star "Avengers" movie will be two hours of actors in costume, counting their money.) So how's this "Thor" sequel?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The sci-fi spectacle about children space warriors, "Ender's Game," came in No. 1 at the box office with an estimated $28 million . Pitched as a blockbuster for teens, the film actually attracted an older audience -- more than 54% were over 25 -- indicating that ticket sales were driven by adult fans who had read when they were kids. "Ender's Game" was first published in 1985 to commercial and critical success; author Orson Scott Card followed it with a number of sequels and prequels, and young fans read the series avidly.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2013 | By Chris Lee
Adam McKay and Will Ferrell thought they'd gotten over the hard part. By 2008, the writer-director and star had overcome their initial reluctance to film a sequel to "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," the fan-cherished comedy that established both men on Hollywood's star map. And they'd come up with a script that McKay describes as appropriately "bells and whistles-y" to follow up one of the most widely quoted movies of the last quarter-century, a...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
If you say the name three times, will it appear? "Beetlejuice 2" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily as plain old "Beetlejuice," but momentum appears to be gaining for the movie just the same. Tim Burton and Michael Keaton both are reportedly likely to return for the sequel to the beloved supernatural comedy, which became a box office hit and a cultural touchstone 25 years ago. The original paved the way for Keaton and Burton's pairing on "Batman" and "Batman Returns.
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