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First Look: Drew Barrymore Rolls Along in Whip It

Could 2009 be the year Drew Barrymore is finally taken seriously?

Although the actress has starred in a number of successful projects, the 34-year-old made people take notice earlier this year with her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens. (She just received a Lead Actress nomination for that performance today.) Now she’s months away from directorial debut.

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Box Office Breakdown: The Hangover Rises Above Up

The Hangover

Unlike most Mike Tyson fights, ‘s win was no knockout.

After a back-and-forth battle with Up, Todd Phillips’ film about an eventful bachelor party edged out the animated pic by less than $1 million. Hangover - which features no major stars (unless you count the boxer) - grossed nearly $45 million on its opening weekend. That’s the third best debut for an R-rated comedy ever. (Only Sex and the City and American Pie 2 have done better.)

Meanwhile, a project actually featuring an A-lister became the summer’s first stinker. , starring Will Ferrell, Anna Friel and Danny McBride, earned a sad $18.8 million over the past three days. Although that amount was good enough for third place, the film cost an estimated $100 million to make.

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Read More | Yahoo! Movies

Getting Into Character: Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart

Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart

‘s next film will have the Oscar-winner soaring out of the ring and into the air.

In Fox Searchlight’s Amelia, Swank plays famed aviator Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. The pilot - along with a navigator - mysteriously vanished in 1937 after attempting a flight around the world.

The biopic, based on screenplay by Ronald Bass (Rain Man), also stars as publisher George Putnam (Amelia’s husband) and Ewan McGregor as Gene Vidal (Earhart’s lover).

Amelia, directed by Mira Nair (Vanity Fair), is scheduled for an October 23 release.

Read More | People

Box Office Breakdown: Marley & Me Ends 2008 on Top

Marley & Me

Aside from a few changes at the bottom of this week’s Top Ten, every single movie remained planted in their positions from last Monday. Since Friday’s new entries (Good, Defiance) were only offered in limited release, there really wasn’t much of a battle.

Over the last three days, tacked on another $24 million and officially crossed the $100 million mark. The Fox adaptation became the 25th film from 2008 to accomplish that. Meanwhile, the only new charter was #10’s . Although it was only shown in 612 theaters (that’s down two from last week), the Fox Searchlight feature helped push The Spirit down to #13. The probable Oscar contender also earned a better per screen average than all the films ahead of it.

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Read More | Variety

2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations (Film)


Although last January’s were spared from the writers’ dispute, SAG is facing its own strike this year. Regardless, the awards season must go on. Next month’s event - scheduled to air on Sunday, January 25th on both TNT and TBS - will come just three days after the Oscar nominations are announced.

Here are some of the noteworthy mentions from this year’s list of film nominees:

  • led this year’s crop with three nominations. Milk and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came in second with two nods each.
  • Richard Jenkin was honored for The Visitor while Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) was left off.
  • added another nom to his belt. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for his turn in Tropic Thunder.
  • Kate Winslet was named for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road. Leonardo DiCaprio was left empty-handed.
  • The Dark Knight, Revolutionary Road and The Reader were all left out of the Best Ensemble categories.

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See Mickey Rourke as The Wrestler

I never thought I would find myself saying this: I’m really looking forward to watching this movie about a wrestler. (Granted - I’ve already seen Vision Quest. But that was an entirely different type of wrestling.)

Despite a list memorable performances (good and bad) through the 80’s, Mickey Rourke’s career - and face - eventually took quite a beating. Now, after some recent roles in Domino and Sin City, his name is once again being buzzed about. He’s even got people whispering about a possible Oscar.

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Read More | Fox Searchlight

Oscar-Winning Once to Become a Musical

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in Once

Those of you who felt all warm inside when Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard won their Oscars might just feel giddy about this news. Once - the small film Marketa and Glen received their Academy Award for - is now being turned into a Broadway musical.

John N. Hart Jr., Jeffrey Sine and Frederick Zollo,, the producers who smartly optioned the film before this year’s awards ceremony, are aiming to bring the to the stage by 2010. It’s their hope that Hansard and Irglova - along with the movie’s director (John Carney) - will have also background roles in the production.

The stage version, which will most likely play in theaters with about 1,000 seats, is expected to feature songs from the movie including Oscar-winner “Falling Slowly.” Other songs that didn’t make the theatrical cut may be included as well.

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Box Office Breakdown: Forbidden Kingdom Kicks Past Forgetting Sarah

The Forbidden Kingdom, Jackie Chan

Favorable reviews and Judd Apatow’s association helped nab a second place finish this past weekend.  While some may have expected the adult comedy to debut at #1, the movie was unfortunately inaccessible to large segment of ticket buyers.

Meanwhile, Marshall‘s R-rated raunch allowed fellow new entry to edge right past it.  The action film, which brought martial artists Jackie Chan and Jet Li together for the first time, earned $21.4 million—just enough for the win.

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Juno Movie Available Via iTunes

Juno, Ellen PageWhile iTunes users have become used to seeing selections from , DVD offerings from other studios have not come as quickly as some might have liked.  But it looks like things may soon change.

Just today, Fox made available for download via the popular site.  This is the same day the Oscar-nominated film was placed on store and rental shelves.  It’s likely the studio will allow more current titles to be sold in the future, but no immediate plans have been announced.

Meanwhile, Paramount has also started to dabble in ‘s waters as well.  The company recently offered up for purchase shortly after it debuted on DVD in February.

At last check, Juno (on sale for $14.99) was iTunes’ top seller.

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Box Office Breakdown: Fans Make a Date with Prom Night

Prom Night, Brittany Snow

1. Prom Night, Sony, $20,804,941 (avg. $7,706)
2. Street Kings, Fox Searchlight, $12,469,631 (avg. $5,055)
3. 21, Sony, $10,470,173 (avg. $3827)
4. Nim’s Island, 20th Century Fox, $9,111,667 (avg. $2,590 )
5. Leatherheads, Universal, $6,276,665 (avg. $2265)
6. Horton Hears a Who, 20th Century Fox,  $5,920,566 (avg. $1845)
7. Smart People, Miramax, $4,092,465 (avg. $3700)
8. The Ruins, Dreamworks/Paramount, $3,385,395 (avg. $1203)
9. Superhero Movie, MGM, $3,216,247 (avg. $1273)
10. Drillbit Taylor, Paramount, $2,044,988 (avg. $927)

(You can review last week’s numbers here.)

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