Movies Now Film — past, present and future
Box office: 'Home' exceeds expectations Friday; 'Get Hard' not soft

For DreamWorks Animation, there's no place like "Home."

The studio's latest family film is performing far better at the box office this weekend than industry experts predicted -- and should end up easily claiming No. 1 over the prison comedy "Get Hard."

On Friday, "Home" -- which features a star-studded voice cast including Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Jim Parsons -- grossed $15.6 million, according to an estimate from distributor 20th Century Fox. At this rate, the movie is on pace for a weekend debut of at least $50 million -- about $20 million more than pre-release audience surveys indicated the movie would open with.

The R-rated "Get Hard," which stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, collected $12.9 million on its first day in release. The Warner Bros. comedy will likely end up with around $35 million in ticket sales by the end of the weekend -- a sum in line with early predictions.

"Home" marks a much-needed win for Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation. While "How to Train Your...

Read more
'Spectre' trailer: Daniel Craig's James Bond is haunted by the past

James Bond is forced to confront ghosts of the past in the first trailer for "Spectre," the 24th installment of the super-spy film franchise.

Starring Daniel Craig as the unflappable Agent 007, the minute-and-a-half clip opens with Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) handing over some revealing personal effects. She tells Bond, "You've got a secret. Something you can't tell anyone because you don't trust anyone."

Judging from an old document of temporary guardianship and a photo of what could be Bond as a child, said secret goes back some time.

Soon enough Bond is back in action, off to confront an old foe, Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) — but it doesn't take an MI6 analyst to see he's not the one pulling the strings.

"You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond," White says ominously.

That hurricane would seem to be the international terrorist organization from which the film takes its name: SPECTRE. Bond aficionados will no doubt recall that the group — formally the Special Executive...

Read more
TCM Classic Film Festival: Oscar winners discuss making of 'Gunga Din'

Oscar-winning sound designer, editor and mixer Ben Burtt (“Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) and Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron  (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) literally went on an archaeological dig for their  “Academy Conversations” presentation coming Sunday of the 1939 adventure comedy “Gunga Din” at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

“We actually did go to the location -- the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine -- where the sets were,” said Burtt. “The principal locations are still untouched. You can literally go to the same rock and sit where Douglas Fairbanks Jr. sat or where they built the sets of the village or the temple. There are parts of the temple set you can still dig up, little bits of plaster.”


For the record

March 28, 8:23 a.m.: An earlier version of this post mistranscribed a remark by Ben Burtt, who said that he had returned to the "Gunga Din" shooting location in Lone Pine, not Lonesome Pine.


Read more
Vincent D'Onofrio may lasso 'Magnificent Seven' villain role

Vincent D'Onofrio could be headed toward a showdown at high noon with Denzel Washington and his posse.

The longtime "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" player is in talks to portray the villain in Sony Pictures and MGM's "Magnificent Seven" remake, The Times has confirmed.

D'Onofrio would star opposite Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke in the Antoine Fuqua-directed film. Variety first reported the news.

The story of a ragtag group of gunslingers hired to defend a town from bandits, "Magnificent Seven" is based on John Sturges' 1960 western starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. That film was also based on an earlier film -- Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai."

The most recent draft of the new film was written by John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side"); Nic Pizzolatto ("True Detective") previously worked on the script.

"Law & Order" aside, D'Onofrio is a veteran screen villain whose bad-guy roles include a serial killer in "The Cell," an insectoid alien masquerading as a...

Read more
TCM Classic Film Festival: Night of the hand-cranked 'Dream Machine'

When cinema was in its infancy, films were screened with a hand-cranked projector. And projectionists were an integral part of the movie-going experience.

TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood is turning the clock back a century Saturday with “Return of the Dream Machine: Hand-Cranked Films From 1902-1913,” a two-hour program featuring classic silent short films screened with a 106-year-old projector, live narration and music at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

“The thing that was way cool about the early nickelodeon days is that the projectionist was a showman,” said Randy Haberkamp, managing director for programming, education and preservation for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which is presenting “Return of the Dream Machine.”  

“You were aware of that person in the room. You were aware of the clickety-clack of the machine. You were aware that between each reel, they would stop and show slides.  The human element is really fun.”

Bringing these movies to life will be Joe...

Read more
Gillian Flynn to cowrite Steve McQueen heist thriller

Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen are looking to pull off a heist together.

The "Gone Girl" writer has joined the "12 Years a Slave" director to cowrite a big-screen thriller based on the British miniseries "Widows," New Regency announced Friday.

McQueen, who won an Oscar for producing "12 Years" and also earned a directing nomination for the historical drama, will direct the yet-untitled movie. The story centers on the widows of four armed robbers who were killed during a failed heist, prompting the women to pull off the raid themselves.

Lynda La Plante penned the original series.

McQueen will also produce, alongside Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films.

Flynn, a former entertainment journalist, became a breakout novelist with her third book, "Gone Girl," a tightly plotted murder mystery about a husband who finds himself at the center of a police investigation and media firestorm when his wife vanishes.

Flynn then made her screenwriting debut adapting the bestseller herself...

Read more