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The 2009 Academy Awards: Live Commentary

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Awards

The Oscars

After a year away from live Oscars coverage, I’m thrilled to be back for the 2009 Academy Awards.

Even though Dark Knight‘s snub will probably keep a number of viewers away (how many can honestly say they’ve seen The Reader?), I’m eagerly anticipating several moments from this evening’s broadcast.

Will Heath Ledger’s family bring the house to tears? Is Mickey Rourke going to make the producers wince? Will the cameras pan to Brangelina after Jennifer Aniston’s presentation? Are Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron really (really?) going to do a song and dance number?

To find out if this will be the year of the Slumdog or the underdog, stay tuned here for the live results!

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: February 3, 2009

Here are some of the options available this Tuesday:

The Secret Lives of Bees DVD

  • Bottle Shock: DVD
  • Clerks II: Blu-ray
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: DVD, Blu-ray (avail. on Feb. 6)
  • Napoleon Dynamite: Blu-ray
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Office Space: Blu-ray
  • Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous: DVD
  • The Secret Life of Bees: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Sideways: Blu-ray
  • Space Buddies: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno: DVD, Blu-ray

Click here to see the TV-on-DVD options for this week.

Read More | Amazon

Box Office Breakdown: A Bloody Good Weekend for Twilight

Twilight

Although Disney features typically find a place at the top of the pack, the studio’s cute puppy was outmatched by a hot vampire this weekend. After pulling in $35.9 million on Friday ($7 million of which was earned at midnight), went on to suck up nearly $70 million in total. The film’s first day take alone was enough for Summit Entertainment to immediately greenlight a sequel. (A script for New Moon had already been in the works.)

The Stephenie Meyers adaptation - which was originally slated to premiere on December 12 - undoubtedly owes Warner Bros. partial credit for its success. Had the studio not chosen to move until next year, Twilight would most likely have debuted in fewer theaters. The Catherine Hardwicke film also wouldn’t have become the highest opener ever for a female director. (Deep Impact, helmed by Mimi Leder, took home $41.2 million in 1998.)

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Box Office Breakdown: Record Showing for 007

Quantum of Solace

In the battle of Bond vs. Bourne, Jason won out this time…though not by much.

Although it was initially believed would break the $70 million mark, the final numbers for the Sony/MGM film came up slightly short. The 22nd Bond installment hauled in $67.5 million this weekend, just under $2 million shy of the debut for The Bourne Ultimatum. (The 2007 premiered to $69.3 million.)

But don’t feeling sorry for . The actor has helped to revitalize the franchise in a big way. Quantum officially just became the best opener of all the 007 films. (Die Another Day grossed $47.1 million back in 2002.) The movie is also on pace to to beat the theatrical run record set by Casino Royale. (The 2006 film eventually pocketed $167.4 million domestically.)

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Ticket Buyers Escape to Madagascar 2

Madagascar 2

Move over High School Musical 3. Another family-friendly movie is taking over.

This past weekend, stormed into theaters in a big way. The animated sequel took in a whopping $63.1 million, making it second biggest debuter this year. (The Dark Knight pulled in $75.2 million in July.) The film - which topped its 2005 predecessor by $2.1 million - also had the 7th best opening for a cartoon ever.

In other noteworthy news, last week’s #2 was pushed aside for another R-rated comedy. , starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, surpassed expectations to rake in an impressive $19.2 million. That amount nearly doubled what Zack and Miri - this week’s #5 - earned during its first three days. Meanwhile, a movie that was critically-panned did fairly well in its limited release. - the wannabe cult musical featuring Paris Hilton - averaged $6,711 over 8 theaters. That’s a number most of the movies in the Top Ten couldn’t match.

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Box Office Breakdown: High School Musical Makes it Two for Two

High School Musical 3

This past weekend, moviegoers showed very little interest in Halloween-themed fare. Despite several horror options, ticket buyers put a G-rated film on top once again.

Although Friday night was slow for cineplexes everywhere, theater attendance thankfully picked up by Saturday. And while there was tight battle for 2nd place, had an easy fight for #1. One week after its $42 million debut, the Disney feature added another $15.3 million to the bundle.

Coming in second was a movie on the opposite end of the wholesome spectrum. - a movie that narrowly escaped an NC-17 rating - pulled in just over $10 million during the past three days. That turnout placed the raunchy comedy amongst Kevin Smith’s highest debuters. (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back earned $11.1 million in 2001 while 2006’s Clerks II raked in $10.1 million.)

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: High School Musical at the Top of the Class

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

This past week, the multiplexes had a little bit of something for everyone: politics, animals, music, dancing, thrillers, Oscar contenders and even horror. Not surprisingly, this meant a lot of dollars were shelled out in return.

As expected, the big screen debut of had tweeners (and their loving parents) all atwitter. Thanks to a $42 million debut, the G-rated film officially became the best musical opener of all time. (Mamma Mia! - with its $27.8 million - was the previous leader.)

Meanwhile, a film on the other end of the ratings spectrum was scaring up some decent dollars of its own. , which probably could have waited to premiere on Halloween, took in approximately $30 million over the last three days. Although it was pitted against the highly-anticipated Disney sequel, the movie carved out its own audience and raised first place-worthy numbers. Although the series is currently on its fifth life, the 2008 installment came within $4 million dollars of Saw III, the franchise’s best performer to date.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Max Payne Outvotes W for #1

Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis in Max Payne

Even though was the host of last Saturday’s SNL, it was Mark Wahlberg - a minor player on that same show - who ended up on top.

This past weekend, finally managed to do what no other movie has done yet: take Beverly Hills Chihuahua down. The video game adaptation earned $17.6 million putting nearly $6 million between itself and the family flick.

Surprisingly, a whole Oprah show dedicated to couldn’t provide that star-studded cast enough buzz. Despite a $10.5 million take, the drama still placed behind the four-legged film. (Bee did, though, earn more per theater than any Top Ten entry.) Meanwhile, Oliver Stone’s latest project did a respectable job for a politically-themed movie. W. also raked in $10.5 million this weekend, narrowly missing third place.

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Read More | Variety

Listen to Jack White and Alicia Keys’ New Bond Song

As we mentioned back in July, musicians Jack White and Alicia Keys have teamed up for the latest Bond song. “Another Way to Die” - written by the White Stripes singer - is the first 007 track performed as a duet.

Although it was once believed Amy Winehouse would be the next Bond performer, her personal troubles prevented that project from ever coming together.


The soundtrack will hit the shelves on October 28. The movie will then arrive in theaters on November 14.


Jack White and Alicia Keys Team Up for 007

Jack WhiteAlicia Keys

What film accomplishment do Jack White, , Madonna and Carly Simon all have in common? Their names have all been etched in 007 history.

For , the White Stripes musician will be pair with Keys to deliver their version of a Bond theme song. Jack

Black

White will produce and play drums on ‘Another Way to Die,’ a song he also wrote. Meanwhile, the Smokin’ Aces star will lend her vocals to the track.

This will be the first time two artists have worked jointly on a tune for one of the installments.

The soundtrack for Quantum of Solace will be available on Oct. 28, just over a week before the film’s release on November 7.

Read More | E! Online

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