Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Passes $100 Million; Star Wars Producer Exits Lucasfilm: Biz Break

121203_AffleckBen Affleck's political thriller passed the milestone box office mark over the weekend not counting overseas grosses. Rick McCallum will pursue smaller indies after leaving Lucasfilm post-Disney sale. The Kennedy Center Honors welcomes inductees; Silver Linings Playbook solid among Specialty Releases as newcomers fizzle. And at the European Film Awards, Helen Mirren expresses uncertainty over reprising Queen role.

Ben Affleck's Argo Crosses $100 Million Mark in N. America
The Oscar hopeful directed and starring Ben Affleck crossed the $100 million mark, a notable feat for a historical drama. The title took in $2 million over the weekend. Internationally it has grossed $56 million, THR reports.

Rick McCallum Bolts from Lucasfilm
The Star Wars producer said Saturday via Lucasfilm's StarWars.com that he is leaving the company to produce a slate of smaller independent films including a Russian pic about the Babi Yar Massacre that Sergei Loznitsa will direct; a film by Laurence Bowen about the boy soldiers of Sierra Leone; and an action drama with Tomas Masin about two brothers who escaped Czechoslovakia during the Cold War while being pursued by thousands of Soviet soldiers, Variety reports.

Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman and Led Zeppelin Honored at Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center welcomed eight performing artists to its wall of fame Sunday at a festival Kennedy Center Honors event. Actor Dustin Hoffman, TV host David Letterman, blues singer Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova and the rock group Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) were saluted during the affair's 35th annual installment attended by the President and Mrs. Obama, Variety reports.

Holdovers Solid As Newcomers Bow Tepid in Specialty Box Office
Oscar contenders Silver Linings Playbook and Rust and Bone held solid in the specialty realm as they expanded. The overall box office had dreadful debuts from TWC’s Killing Me Softly and LD Entertainment’s The Collection. But Weinstein’s David O. Russell-directed Silver Linings held nicely with a per-theater average of just over $9K as the movie added four cinemas in its third weekend, Deadline reports.

Helen Mirren 'Unsure' Over Reprising Queen Role
Helen Mirren has admitted she felt "very unsure" about reprising her Oscar-winning role as The Queen in an upcoming London play. "I don't like going back to things," the 67-year-old said. "I like to go forward." But she was won over, she went on, by the "extraordinary team of artists who are putting the play together". The actress was speaking at the European Film Awards in Malta, where she received an honorary award, BBC reports.



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