‘Downton Abbey’ Finale: Exec Producer Gareth Neame On Allen Leech & Lily James’ Future, Season 7 & That Proposal
It is Christmas 1919 all over again. Like the Season 2 finale of British drama Downton Abbey, which culminated with Matthew’s proposal to Lady Mary, last night’s Season 5 closer ended with another long-awaited proposal, between downstairs favorites Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes.
Romance dominated the episode, which aired as a standalone Christmas special in the U.K., with love chapters closing for Lady Violet and Isobel and potential new ones opening for Lady Mary and Lady… Read
In Catchup Mode, Samsung Announces Mobile Payment System, Smartphones
Samsung announced new models of its flagship Galaxy S series of smartphones and a mobile payment system designed to compete with the one that Apple debuted a few months ago.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will come with Samsung Pay, which the company said will debut in the second half of the year, protected in part by new security systems it calls Samsung KNOX. Samsung Pay is designed to be device-, merchant- and card-issuer agnostic, Samsung said. Apple Pay has been adopted… Read
Bart & Fleming: Tom Rothman Rises; Adam Goodman Exits; Raunchy Comediennes
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.
FLEMING: We barely had a moment to bash the Oscarcast – a musical variety show that too infrequently gave an obligatory nod to movies – when Read
‘Birdman,’ Other Oscar Winners Cash In Mildly At Specialty Box Office
Oscar victories typically translate into a box-office windfall for winners, none more so this year than Birdman. After grabbing Best Picture and three other Oscars, Birdman took flight in its 20th weekend in theatrical release with a big expansion. Other winners – including Still Alice, The Theory Of Everything and Whiplash – also added runs and revenue well into their theatrical releases.
And with awards season now blessedly in the past, the weekend also had a number of… Read
Mr Grey Dominates, Mr Smith’s ‘Focus’ Pulls & Ms Smith’s ‘Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Upgrades: More International Box Office
HIGHLIGHTS: Fifty Shades Of Grey (UNI) leads international with $36M; Focus (WB) pulls $12.2M in soft rollout; The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (FOX) widely outperforms original in debuts; Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX) jumps to No. 1 in Korea; Big Hero 6 (DIS) China release sets animated record for studio; American Sniper (WB) continues to make Eastwood’s day; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (PAR) swims close to $100M; Birdman (FOX) gets Oscar… Read
Oscar’s Halo At The Box Office: ‘Birdman’, ‘Still Alice’ & More Shine
Oscar winners Birdman, Whiplash and Theory of Everything are available on VOD and DVD, but you wouldn’t think that looking at their fantastic box office results this weekend. And that wasn’t all. Still Alice, The Imitation Game, American Sniper and even foreign language film nominees Leviathan and Wild Tales were basking in the afterglow of last Sunday’s Academy Awards.
Fox Searchlight’s Birdman led with one of the highest weekend-to-weekend percent jumps of 125% (behind R… Read
William Shatner’s Twitter Storm Of A Leonard Nimoy Funeral Tribute
Unable to attend the funeral for long-time friend and fellow Star Trek luminary Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner has taken to with a stream of posts, many answering questions posed by fans about the two. Many of the posts and reposts are quite touching, and it’s set off quite the Twitter frenzy as fans respond, tweet and retweet.
Shatner also reposted a wonderful photo of a billboard, put up by a fan who said that it had made him choke up.
Shatner was on the East… Read
Will Smith’s ‘Focus’ Bows To $19.1M; ‘Lazarus Effect’ At $10.6M – Final Sunday Update
Final Update Sunday, 9:47AM: Warner Bros.’ Will Smith feature Focus was No. 1 as expected at the weekend box office, but the R-rated film came in slightly blurry. The studio reported the film brought in $19.1M for the weekend, just below its low $20Ms forecast.
Bad weather in the Midwest and the South were partly blamed for the underperformance. Further underscoring this possible issue was the down number Rentrak reported for total weekend box office , $106M. That’s off… Read
Why Cable And Phone Companies Should Concede Defeat On Net Neutrality
Here’s some free advice for the cable and phone companies licking their wounds after they failed to derail the FCC’s net neutrality rules on Thursday: Forget about it. Move on. It will pay off in the long run.
Giving up isn’t in their nature. Comcast, Verizon and fellow Internet service providers (ISPs) hired some of the best legal, lobbying and PR talent that money could buy to pummel opponents in the typically closed-door battles over laws and regulations. But net… Read
’50 Shades’ Now Uni’s Biggest R-Rated Film Overseas; Nears $500M Global B.O.
Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s grasp on international audiences remains tight with the erotic love story coming in No. 1 for the 3rd consecutive weekend, per Universal and industry estimates. Adding $36M in 59 territorires, the bondage bonanza dropped about 43% and now has a total of $338.4M in offshore play. That takes it past the overseas lifetime of Universal’s highest-grossing original R-rated comedy, Ted, which topped out at $332.4M. It also makes it the studio’s biggest… Read
‘SNL’ Slaps Arounds Net Neutrality: It’s About Wet Flicks, Not Netflix
OK, you had to wait a couple of minutes for the slap-happy payoff, but it eventually hit hard. Saturday Night Live‘s team had a solid team effort in this riff on a Bloomberg News TV panel trying to explain the extremely important but extremely eye-glazing topic of net neutrality. Except, according to SNL, the real reason for all the heat on net neutrality isn’t about getting to watch House of Cards at a reasonable quality level. It’s about that other stuff the Internet… Read
Dakota Johnson Plays Innocent In Spiky ISIS-Chic Ad Parody On ‘SNL’
Saturday Night Live host Dakota Johnson was nearly perfect as a naïve American teen who leaves her understanding father at the airport to hitch her wagon to a future in terrorism in this twisted version of a standard-issue, off-to-college TV ad.
In the best tradition of SNL, it was as squirm-inducing as it was funny, given the few dozen Americans the government estimates have indeed headed off to the Middle East to join ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and… Read