Actor Charles Durning, who starred in the 1982 film Tootsie died on Christmas Eve in New York. His long time agent Judith Moss confirmed his death at 89, BBC reports.
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.
Also in Thursday morning's round-up of news briefs, the U.K. readies for a tour of James Bond. A museum says it has found the earliest-made color film. And, Summit sets date for Divergent.
Movieline joins music and film fans in mourning the death of Adam Yauch - a.k.a. MCA, one-third of rap legends the Beastie Boys, influential filmmaker and music-video director, and founder of independent-film distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories. In other film news, Friday afternoon's Biz Break includes rundowns on Jonah Hill's collaboration with Martin Scorsese, Cannes' new addition to its official selection, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, and UTA's failed bid for a Beverly Hills street name.
"There was one particular time I knew I wasn’t going to win, and when they’d train the camera on me as one of the losers, I wanted to be able to rip open my tuxedo shirt and just have stenciled on my chest, 'Oh, shit.' But my wife wouldn’t let me do it." While he's at it, here's more vivid imagery from Hoffman recalling his days rooming with fellow Oscar winner Robert Duvall: "One time he came home when a girl and I were taking a shower, and the next thing you know he had taken off all his clothes, got in with us, put his hand out, and said, 'Hey, I’m Dusty’s roommate, Bob Duvall. Can I have the soap?'" [Maxim via Moviefone]
Anyone who's seen Contagion (or, let's be honest, even just the trailer for Contagion) knows that Steven Soderbergh is not precious about keeping his biggest stars breathing for the duration of his films. And when you think about it, that is kind of an awesome against-the-tide trend that few directors -- okay, few studios -- have the wherewithal to attempt. Chatting with the UK's Independent about Contagion and Haywire, Soderbergh dropped some science on the art of manipulating the very essence of stardom in movies to great effect.
More news out of the bustling Cannes marketplace: Naomi Foner, producer, screenwriter and mother to Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, will direct Very Good Girls from her own script. What's more, she's got acclaimed up-and-comers Dakota Fanning and Sundance It girl Elizabeth Olsen attached as her leads, playing two friends trying to lose their V-cards during a summer in New York City. But who will play the "charismatic street artist" both gals fall for?
It's a good week to be an animation fan, what with Rango garnering rave reviews and a new trailer for the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots hitting the web. (Unless, like me, you caught the Puss in Boots teaser in theaters at midnight in front of the aptly-named Beastly. Not a smart life choice, in retrospect.) But what mystical, family-friendly, Eastern-influenced laughs await us in the new trailer for Kung Fu Panda 2?