You are viewing the archive: Ben Affleck
Arrivals || ||

'Killing Them Softly' Scene Stealer Scoot McNairy Discusses Acting With Brad Pitt & Playing Rob Pattinson's Brother

'Killing Them Softly' Scene Stealer Scoot McNairy Discusses Acting With Brad Pitt & Playing Rob Pattinson's Brother

If you'd like one good reason to see Killing Them Softly in spite of its "F" Cinemascore and anemic opening box-office numbers, I'll give you a great one:  Scoot McNairy's portrayal of the tragi-comic hood Frankie in Andrew Dominik's contemporary film noir is the kind of breakthrough performance that will stick with you long after the financials are forgotten. more »

Biz Break || ||

Kristen Stewart Set for 'Focus' with Ben Affleck; Bradley Cooper To Receive Palm Springs Fete: Biz Break

Kristen Stewart Set for 'Focus' with Ben Affleck; Bradley Cooper To Receive Palm Springs Fete: Biz Break

Kristen Stewart will star opposite Ben Affleck in a con-artist comedy. Also in Monday's round-up of news briefs, a Chinese actor will take up a role in Iron Man 3 as the production heads to Beijing; NY Online Film Critics pick their top film for 2012; and Broken wins top British Independent Film prize.

Kristen Stewart Confirms Focus with Ben Affleck
Stewart says she'll join Ben Affleck in the con-artist comedy Focus. She'll play an inexperienced con artist who meets a more seasoned counterpart, played by Affleck. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are directing from their script, Deadline reports.

Bradley Cooper to Receive Palm Springs International Film Festival Fete
Silver Linings Playbook" star Bradley Cooper will receive the Desert Palm achievement award for acting at the Palm Springs Film Festival's awards gala. The ceremony will be held Jan. 5 during the 24th edition of the festival taking place January 3 - 14, Variety reports.

China's Wang Xuequi Joins Iron Man 3
Marvel starts filming Iron Man 3 scenes in Beijing and has cast actor Wang Xuequi as a new character, 'Dr. Wu.' It was rumored Hong Kong actor Andy Lau would join the pic as an ally of billionaire inventor Tony Stark, but he backed out, Deadline reports.

NY Film Critics Online Pick Zero Dark Thirty
The New York Film Critics Online gave their kudos to Zero Dark Thirty on Sunday, voting it the year’s best picture and also naming Kathryn Bigelow best director. The film also won an award for Mark Boal’s screenplay, THR reports.

Broken Wins Top British Independent Film Awards Prize
Broken, the debut feature by theatre director Rufus Norris, also picked up a best supporting actor prize for Rory Kinnear. Psychological thriller Berberian Sound Studio won the most awards including best director for Peter Strickland and best actor for Toby Jones, BBC reports.

Biz Break || ||

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

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

Ben 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.

Newswire || ||

Ben Affleck 'Reluctantly' Fired Some 'Argo' Actors

Ben Affleck 'Reluctantly' Fired Some 'Argo' Actors

Ben Affleck's Argo is in the running for a host of possible Oscar nods this season. And while the film, which he directs and stars in is now just shy of making $100 million in the U.S. (it's closing in on $150 million internationally) critical acclaim and the big bucks mask some of the pitfalls of moviemaking. For the first time, Affleck had to give some actors the boot while shooting the feature based on a true story set during the Iranian hostage crisis.

"I've fired a couple of actors. It's the worst thing in the world because I know, as an actor, what it's like," Affleck said during THR's directors roundtable discussion via Access Hollywood. "I was a child actor, and the director threatened to fire me. That traumatized me. I was 13 years old. And I went around in fear of being fired."

The Good Will Hunting Oscar-winner first went behind the camera as director with Gone Baby Gone in 2007, but was forced to sack a few actors during Argo.

"This movie [Argo] was the only time I really fired people, but I had to do it," he said. "I had all these Persian actors who were supposed to speak Farsi. And often they would audition in English and I would say, 'You can speak Farsi, right?' 'Oh, yes, yes.'"

Affleck recalled one actor who hammed up his part as an Iranian during production, using some stereotypes that prompted Affleck to call him on his tricks.

"A guy came in for a really crucial part, and on the day of shooting, we were blocking the scene, and this guy's got this mini speech," he said. "And the guy did it, and it was just terrible. He was sort of like, you know, twisting the mustache and being the Iranian villain and having the accent and adding all these flourishes. A couple times I said, 'Just do nothing and say your lines. Let's try that."

And another actor ran afoul after trying to grab camera time, also getting the boot after one incident.

"There was this guy who had a little bit in the movie, but it was so nice," Ben said. "And then when this other guy was blowing it -- and not just blowing it, but hamming it up -- it made it easy to say, 'No, you know, you're trying to ruin my movie.'"

[Source: Access Hollywood]

Oscar Index || ||

2013 Oscar Predictions: Oscar Index Evaluates The Best Director Race

2013 Oscar Predictions: Oscar Index Evaluates The Best Director Race

You're done gorging on turkey, which means only one thing: 'Tis the season to be stuffed with Oscar punditry. Movieline's Institute For the Advanced Study of Kudos Forensics has awoken from its L-Tryptophan slumber to provide you with our latest Oscar Index, which evaluates the contenders for Best Director. The latest Index on Best Picture can be found here, and over the course of the next week, we'll be weighing in on the Best Actor, Actress and Support Actor and Actress races. more »

Biz Break || ||

Ben Affleck To Receive Fest Honors For 'Argo'; Ridley Scott Boards Bruce Springsteen Documentary: Biz Break

Ben Affleck To Receive Fest Honors For 'Argo'; Ridley Scott Boards Bruce Springsteen Documentary: Biz Break

Also in Tuesday's early round-up of news briefs: Sean Penn is boarding an action thriller; Merchant Ivory composer dies at 71; The Hamptons International Film Festival's head makes an exit; And Future Weather wins top jury prize at Napa Valley Film Festival.
more »

Weekend Receipts || ||

Argo Tops A Disappointing Box Office; 4 Newcomers Bow Weak

Argo Tops A Disappointing Box Office; 4 Newcomers Bow Weak

All four studio releases debuted with a whimper at best and tanked at worst. Ben Affleck's Argo topped the box office in a disappointing weekend. It is hard to estimate the impact on the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy had on Sunday on the East Coast as residents scurried to get ready for the storm, but the weekend's box office took a hit nevertheless. Strong word-of-mouth made Argo one of the lone stars of the weekend.

1. Argo
Gross: $12,355,000 (Cume: $60,780,288)
Screens: 2,855 (PSA: $4,327)
Week: 3 (Change: - 24.9%)

Argo finally made it to number one three weeks into its release. But it was mostly by default because its competition from newcomers failed to make the box office grade. Still, Argo showed bravado on its own, with only a small dip in its returns, despite losing 392 locations. Word of mouth is clearly propelling the Ben Affleck-directed political thriller that is a strong contender for awards this season. A $100 million gross is certainly not out of the question.

2. Hotel Transylvania
Gross: $9.5 million (Cume: $130,434,000)
Screens: 3,276 (PSA: $2,900)
Week: 5 (Change: - 26.9%)

The animated feature jumped from fourth place last week to second in its fifth round. The $130 million-plus cumulative makes it one of Sony Pictures Animation's top animated-only pic. It will eventually overtake The Smurfs, which grossed $142.6 million.

3. Cloud Atlas
Gross: $9.4 million
Screens: 2,008 (PSA: $4,681)
Week: 1

Six slightly connected stories told over two hours and forty-four minutes was bound to be a marketing challenge. The pic received a C+ CinemaScore, so it's going to be a steep trek for this $100 million movie sees any profit. Its recognizable cast should help it as it heads overseas. While it's the best of the weekend's newcomers, it clearly didn't connect with audiences at the level needed.

4. Paranormal Activity 4
Gross: $8,675,000 (Cume: $42,632,365)
Screens: 3,412 (PSA: $2,542)
Week: 2 (Change: - 70.1%)

The pic fell a heavy 70% from its opening weekend when it opened at number one with a $30.2 million open and an $8,851 screen average. The drop was steeper than Paranormal Activity 3's 66 percent drop. The third installment had grossed about $10 million more than the current pic by this point in its release.

5. Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D)
Gross: $8 million
Screens: 2,933 ($2,728)
Week: 1

A weak opening for the pic, which is off 60 percent from the first movie's $20.15 million debut. Competition from Paranormal Activity 4 and Sinister likely weighed in in suppressing box office activity for the title.

6. Taken 2
Gross: $8 million (Cume $117,389,000)
Screens: 2,995 (PSA: $2,671)
Week: 4 (Change: - 39.7%)

The title lost 494 theaters compared to its third weekend and essentially tied with newcomer Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D) in the overall box office chart. Taken 2 is holding solid, beating out the first installment by $22 million.

7. Here Comes the Boom
Gross: $5.5 million (Cume: $30,610,472)
Screens: 2,491 (PSA: $2,208)
Week: 3 (Change: - 34.6%)

The film remained in seventh place in the b.o. chart, dropping over 34% and losing 523 theaters. Last weekend it averaged $2,820 compared to $3,981 in its debut.

8. Sinister
Gross: $5.07 million (Cume: $39,514,955)
Screens: 2,347 (2,160)
Week: 3 (Change: - 42.5%)

The title dropped 195 theaters in its third round and dropped a fairly strong 42 percent plus. But with a production budget of only $3 million, the title is a clear success and its roll-out will continue. Last weekend it averaged $3,552.

9. Alex Cross
Gross: $5.05 million (Cume: $19,368,691)
Screens: 2,541 (PSA: $1,987)
Week: 2 (Change: - 55.7%)

The pic dropped nearly 56%, a steep one for the titles second round. It added two locations and its $1,987 average compares to $4,489 in its debut. The crime thriller's $35 million production budget means it has a tough road given its slow momentum.

10. Fun Size
Gross: $4.06 million
Screens: 3,014 (PSA: $1,347)
Week: 1

Ouch, one of the worst of the weekend's new offerings, the film clearly tanked with audiences.

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13. Chasing Mavericks
Gross: $2.2 million
Screens: 2,002 (PSA: $1,099)
Week: 1

The worst of the newcomers, the film failed to make the top ten even though it opened wide. The debut is the ninth worst ever for a film opening in over 2,000 theaters.

Newswire || ||

Argo Subject Breaks Down Real Iran Escape vs. Hollywood Version

Argo Subject Breaks Down Real Iran Escape vs. Hollywood Version

Calling Ben Affleck's Argo a "terrific thriller," one of the six Americans who managed to escape the U.S. embassy just as student radicals took over the compound by fleeing into Tehran's streets has set a bit of the record straight.

Mark Lijek, who's portrayed by Christopher Denham in Affleck's awards contender, spoke out after attending the film's L.A. premiere, giving his detailed version of events. And while there are strong parallels with the film, which began its release last week and has garnered Oscar buzz, the timeline of real-life events had some significant departures from the film, which Affleck starred in and directed. Still, Lijek did learn one thing from the film, which surprised him all these years later. (Caution, spoilers if you have not seen the movie).
more »

Close Reads || ||

South Park's Butters Tells Mr. & Mrs. Ben Affleck 'Argo F-Yourself!'

South Park's Butters Tells Mr. & Mrs. Ben Affleck 'Argo F-Yourself!'

South Park is either getting seriously meta, or bizarrely free-associative in its advanced age.  The beginning of Wednesday night's new episode of the Comedy Central series saw the relentlessly cheerful and naively optimistic character Butters Stotch become a pint-sized rageaholic that is initially attributed to his Hawaiian roots, but later turns out to be about the charmed life of Ben Affleck. more »

Biz Break || ||

Ben Affleck Eyes Next Directing/Acting Gig; R.I.P. Cinematographer Harris Savides: Biz Break

Ben Affleck Eyes Next Directing/Acting Gig; R.I.P. Cinematographer Harris Savides: Biz Break

Also in Thursday afternoon's round-up of news briefs: Val Kilmer will receive kudos from the Dallas Film Society; Jodie Foster takes on Money for her next directorial project. Also, Tribeca Film Festival names a new Deputy Executive Director and the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) launches a major new initiative;
more »

Review || ||

REVIEW: More Fine Filmmaking (But Not Acting) From Ben Affleck In Argo

REVIEW: More Fine Filmmaking (But Not Acting) From Ben Affleck In Argo

Argo is the story of a film that never existed, a Star Wars rip-off set in a sci-fi world with a conveniently Middle Eastern feel. If the movie ever actually made it into production, it looks like the kind of thing you'd stumble upon while doing some insomnia-fueled TV-channel flipping in the small hours of the morning: a forgotten space opera featuring sparkly costumes and melodramatic dialogue. more »

On the Scene || ||

Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston Chat Argo At Glittering NYC Premiere

-New York, NY - 10/09/2012 - New York Premiere of Warner Bros. New Film "Argo"

-PICTURED: John Goodman,Alan Arkin,Ben Affleck,Bryan Cranston
-PHOTO by: Marion Curtis/Startraksphoto.com
-Filename: MC602374.JPG
-Location: Time Warner Screening Room and Porterhouse Restaurant

Startraks Photo New York, NY For licensing please call 212-414-9464 or email sales@startraksphoto.com

Tuesday night was a celebrity bonanza at the Time Warner Center in New York's Columbus Circle for the New York premiere of director/star Ben Affleck's acclaimed Argo. Stars Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman as well as producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov were just part of the cortege of A-listers and New York glitterati who dined at the Porter House Steakhouse where Affleck held the spotlight in the bar talking to folks. Guests were divided into two screenings of the Toronto and Telluride film festivals world premiere based on the true story about a CIA agent (Affleck) who rescues six Americans hiding in the Canadian embassy at the dawn of the Iranian hostage crisis that began in November 1979. ML caught up with actor Bryan Cranston as well as Affleck at the event.
more »

Watch This || ||

Former President Jimmy Carter Tells Real Life Tale In Behind-The-Scenes Argo Clip

Former President Jimmy Carter Tells Real Life Tale In Behind-The-Scenes Argo Clip

Former President Jimmy Carter gives Ben Affleck's talked-about new movie Argo a shot of credibility in this behind-the-scenes clip from the movie.  The former Commander in Chief, whose presidency was hobbled by the Iranian hostage crisis — during which 52 Americans were held for 444 days from Nov. 4, 1979 to Jan. 20, 1981 — acknowledges that, as told in Argo, there were six diplomats who managed to evade capture and were spirited out of the country as the crew of a fake Canadian science-fiction movie. more »

Biz Break || ||

Ben Affleck Eyes Focus; Marion Cotillard To Receive Gothams Tribute

Ben Affleck Eyes Focus; Marion Cotillard To Receive Gothams Tribute

Also in Tuesday afternoon's round-up of news briefs: Oscar-nominated filmmaker Frank Darabont will receive an upcoming festival tribute. South Korea's Oscar entry Pietà heads to U.S. theaters. And a sci-fi thriller will also make its way to U.S. audiences.
more »

Newswire || ||

Ben Affleck Says Republicans 'Had A Chance' But Gives Low-Key Obama Support

Ben Affleck Says Republicans 'Had A Chance' But Gives Low-Key Obama Support

Not afraid to show off his political side, Ben Affleck is giving his take on the current U.S. Presidential campaign. Hitting the road promoting his political thriller Argo, the director and star of the film compared Republican nominee to past hopefuls who did not make it to the White House. A past ardent supporter of liberal causes and a full-fledged Obama fan four years ago, Affleck only offered tepid support for the incumbent.
more »