New York, Mar 6(AP/UNB) — Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema announced Tuesday that it has acquired film rights to Hello Kitty from the Japanese corporation Sanrio. The 45-year-old iconic feline has never been turned into a movie despite its merchandising ubiquity.
New Line said it will quickly begin work on a script to put a film into production. Sanrio also granted film rights to other characters including Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars.
Warner Bros. has had success with toy adaptations before, including "The Lego Movie." That film's sequel, however, has underperformed at the box office since opening last month.
Hello Kitty presents potentially steeper challengers, though. She doesn't talk or, for the most part, change facial expressions.
Los Angeles, Mar 4 (AP/UNB) — "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" topped the North American box office for a second week, but close on its tail was Tyler Perry's final installment of the "Madea" franchise. Driven by a largely female audience, "A Madea Family Funeral" had a better-than-expected debut.
The third installment in the "How To Train Your Dragon" series grossed an estimated $30 million this weekend according to Universal Pictures on Sunday, bringing its domestic total just shy of $100 million. Worldwide, the DreamWorks Animation film has made over $375 million. In China alone it opened in first place with $33.4 million.
"A Madea Family Funeral" took second place at the domestic box office with an estimated $27 million, a third best for the 15-year-old franchise. The "Madea" films have never been all that popular with critics — this one splattered out with a 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — but audiences have never seemed to care. This time around the audience, which was 67 percent female and 78 percent over the age of 25, gave the film a solid A- CinemaScore.
"That character just resonates," said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "These films are absolutely critic proof. The audience has spoken and they love Madea and they're saying goodbye."
Further down the charts, the Neil Jordan stalker-thriller "Greta," starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz, opened in eighth place to a mediocre $4.6 million.
"Greta was just another newcomer released in 2019 that had a rough go in a slow marketplace," Dergarabedian said. "This might have benefited from a platform release given the subject matter and the cast."
The acclaimed documentary "Apollo 11" also opened on 120 IMAX screens to $1.65 million.
Many people, however, used this weekend to catch-up with the big winners at the Oscars, which took place last Sunday.
Best-picture winner "Green Book" got the biggest post-Oscars bump, adding $4.71 million over the weekend from theaters. To date, "Green Book" has earned $75.2 million in North America and $188 million worldwide.
The Universal-distributed film from Participant Media more than doubled its theater count to 2,641 theaters and broke into the top 5 in its 16th weekend, not to mention the fact that it's also available to rent on the small screen too.
For comparison, last year's best picture winner "The Shape of Water" added $2.3 million on the weekend following the Academy Awards, although that was playing in about 1,000 fewer theaters.
"Green Book" wasn't the only award-winner adding profits this weekend. Best Animated Feature winner "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" banked an additional $2.1 million, the encore version of "A Star Is Born" with 12 additional minutes of footage added $1.9 million, "Bohemian Rhapsody" earned $975,000 and "The Favourite" took in $825,000.
"People wonder why studios spend millions on Oscar campaigns: They're getting a nice boost and adding money even while they're available on the small screen," Dergarabedian said.
But overall the box office continues to struggle industry-wide. Both the year and the weekend are down 26 percent, in part due to the fact that there hasn't been any film comparable to "Black Panther," which accounted for the stellar early-year numbers in 2018.
Marvel is coming back to save the day yet again, however: "Captain Marvel" opens nationwide next weekend.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday.
1."How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World," $30 million ($52 million international).
2.Tyler Perry's "A Madea Family Funeral," $27 million ($58,000 international).
3."Alita: Battle Angel," $7 million ($40.4 million international).
4."The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part," $6.6 million ($6.1 million international).
5."Green Book," $4.7 million ($31.9 million international).
6."Fighting With My Family," $4.7 million ($2.3 million international).
7."Isn't It Romantic," $4.6 million.
8."Greta," $4.6 million ($400,000 international).
9."What Men Want," $2.7 million ($1.1 million international).
10."Happy Death Day 2U," $2.5 million ($6.2 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
1. "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World," $52 million.
2. "Alita: Battle Angel," $40.4 million.
3. "Green Book," $31.9 million.
4. "The Wandering Earth," $14.9 million.
5. "Escape Room," $6.3 million.
6. "Happy Death Day 2U," $6.2 million.
7. "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part," $6.1 million.
8. "Cold Pursuit," $5.9 million.
9. "Resistance: The Yoo Kwan-soon Story," $5.2 million.
10. "Svaha: The Sixth Finger," $4.7 million.
Dhaka, Mar 1 (UNB)- A meet cute between Guddu (Kartik Aaryan) and Rashmi (Kriti Sanon) soon escalates into full-blown love. But in a daring attempt, the girl wants to try living-in with the boy before settling down for marriage. This even as their small town in North India is up in the arms against live-in relationships, thanks to protests led by none other than the girl’s own father, who is a local right-wing party leader.
'Luka Chuppi' is a situational comedy from the word go. And the situation in question is live-in relationships. What starts as a news story for a local reporter Guddu, turns into his own love story with hilarious complications. But peddling along are a host of other societal issues like misogyny, gender inequality, caste bias and moral policing that are tackled in a funny and harmless way. However, there is hardly a dull moment in the film that never takes itself too seriously.
As a debutante, director Laxman Utekar does a fine job of throwing in a bunch of quirky characters in unusual situations. Starting with the film’s hero Kartik Aaryan, who looks way too polished for his small-town character, but along the way, you soon start rooting for him. Whether he is covering a story or running for cover himself - Kartik exudes an endearing charm that is relatable. Ditto for Kriti. With all her prettiness and poise, she portrays the character of a girl-next-door without being over-the-top. However, the funny thing is, the two stand out as the only gorgeous couple in the entire town, what with the perfect touch of makeup and hairdo at all times. Their chemistry is not exactly crackling, but quite easy going, which works well for the narrative.
While Aparshakti Khurana plays the supportive friend Abbas adequately well, there is a very noticeable lack of comic punches in his dialogues. Pankaj Tripathi, a regular in this genre, is largely wasted in a role that could have been etched out far more elaborately.The rest of the actors, get ample chance to contribute generously. Be it the eccentric members of Guddu’s joint family or Rashmi’s politician dad, who uses his clout to rally against inconsequential issues.
But what really makes 'Luka Chuppi' an entertaining watch is the nuanced writing by Rohan Ghoge and its execution. The first half is swift and packed with funny moments that end in an unpredictable twist. The second half too, is marked by quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. At some point, the humour becomes repetitive, but it’s the short run-time that comes to the film’s rescue. Film’s two most popular songs (Coca-Cola & Poster) are thrown in at the end, during the credit roll.
Overall, 'Luka Chuppi' is a fun ride that never gets too preachy or uncomfortable for the family audience. It’s a clean entertainer with a message that’s not too loud, but clear, for sure.
Dhaka, Feb 19 (UNB)- Bangla adventure film ‘Hridoyer Rongdhonu’ (Life in Rainbow) is going to be released exclusively at Star Cineplex in the city on Friday.
In a media briefing on Monday night at a Dhaka restaurant, Director Razibul Hasan said the film was cleared for screening after two years from Bangladesh Film Censor Board on October 23 last year. “We are looking forward to the long- awaited release," he said.
Hasan said the film’s protagonist,t Mina Boskan, a Serbian girl, came to Bangladesh for its promotion and would join its premiere show.
"We are looking forward to a better cultural relationship betwen Bangladesh and Serbia. It is the first adventure film where Serbian actress Mina has played the main character," the director added.
The other three main cast – Shams Kadir, Muhtasim Shojon, Khing Shai Mong Marma – were also present at the press conference.
The adventure movie in Bangla was also premiered at 17th Dhaka International Film Festival 2019 while it was selected as “View Corner” at Goa Film Bazaar last year.
Asian Institute of Media and Communication Bangladesh said its first Asian Premier was held on November 24 at QUBE 2 Hall in India tourist city Goa.
'Life in Rainbow' is a story of four aspiring youths (three boys and a girl). They are friends and have everything in life. One day they get a call from a mysterious character who knows everything about them.
He offers them a trip, saying: "If you dare to take any challenge you can join a trip – a trip to an unknown destination!"
Beijing, Feb 13 (AP/UNB) — The latest film from famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou has been dropped from the Berlin film festival for what the festival described as technical reasons.
A notice on the official Weibo microblogging service account for the movie "One Second" apologized but gave no details other than to say it was not possible to show the film at Berlin.
The festival said the film was pulled because of "technical difficulties encountered during post-production." It said the movie would be replaced at its scheduled Friday and Saturday showings with Zhang's action epic "Hero," which premiered in 2002 at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China's legislature in the heart of Beijing.
Possibly China's best-known filmmaker, Zhang has oscillated between big-budget extravaganzas favored by the ruling Communist Party and edgier fare touching on sensitive political and social topics.
"One Second" is set amid the chaos and violence unleashed by Mao Zedong during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, a period rarely discussed in history books or portrayed on film.
The party is hyper-sensitive to all direct or implied criticism and its control over the arts includes deciding what films are released based on largely secret criteria. Regulators routinely order what can and can't be shown, with special scrutiny for content pertaining to sex, criminal activity, social dislocation, and perceived questioning of the authority or reputation of the party.
Another Chinese film had also been pulled for Berlin for similar reasons. "Better Days," which portrays alienated youth was "withdrawn for censorship reasons," the trade magazine Variety reported, citing unidentified sources.