The Hunger Games: Catching Fire breaks box office record

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and 3-D animated musical “Frozen” dished up box office records over the Thanksgiving holiday. Lionsgate’s sequel earned a prodigious $75 million in its second weekend, while Disney’s frosty fete opened with $67 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Both films bested the previous Thanksgiving record holder, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which earned $57.5 million in 2001 over a three-day period.

Snowballing its way to the top, “Frozen” became the biggest Thanksgiving opening ever and the largest opening for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

“For a company whose foundation was built on animation, to have this as the biggest opening ever is a pretty extraordinary thing,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution at Walt Disney Studios, adding that the box office draw of “Frozen” exceeded studio expectations.

“We came into the weekend feeling like anything that would exceed the result from ‘Tangled’ from a couple years back would be great,” Hollis added. “Tangled” opened with $68.7 million in 2010. “We thought something in the $70-$80 million range is what might be possible with ‘Frozen.’ We are hoping it lends itself to a big, long payoff after this great start.”

The films topped records for the highest domestic box office grosses for the three-day and five-day holiday weekend. “Catching Fire” blazed the trail to No. 1 and “Frozen” slid in at No. 2.

“Catching Fire” earned the biggest-ever gross for a film from Wednesday to Sunday over the Thanksgiving holiday. It brought in $110.2 million, raising its domestic total to $297 million. “Frozen” scored $93 million over the five days, topping Disney’s previous five-day champ, “Toy Story 2,” which earned $80.1 million in 1999.

“All of these records being broken, it’s like a true snowball effect,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “Overall, this is the biggest Thanksgiving weekend for the industry ever. Last year was the Thanksgiving record holder, but this one-two punch with ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Frozen’ was just amazing.”

Internationally, “Catching Fire” continued to bring the heat, earning a total of $276 million through Sunday. Opening No. 1 in France, Italy and Belgium, the sequel exceeded the opening weekend of “The Hunger Games” in all three markets. Overall, the sequel has grossed $573 million worldwide.

After dominating the box office during its first two weeks in theaters, Disney’s “Thor: The Dark World” dropped to No. 2 last weekend and was knocked down one more spot to No. 3 this weekend, earning $11.1 million. Globally, it continues to keep Disney on the map with a total of $591.1 million.

Maintaining a healthy position at the box office, Universal’s romantic comedy “The Best Man Holiday” held the fourth slot with $8.5 million, while thriller “Homefront,” starring Jason Statham and James Franco, opened in the No. 5 slot with $7 million.

Also debuting over the holiday, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” landed in the top 10 with $3.9 million, while the Weinstein Co.’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba, saw a solid launch, earning $100,306 despite playing in just four theaters.

Opening with $850,000, Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” failed to make an impressive impact at the box office.

Famke Janssen is unsure of new X-Men sequel

Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen starred in the original X-Men movies. Some of the original cast are returning for X-Men: Days of Future Past. She says that she is not sure if she will be appearing in the film.

So far, it has already been confirmed that a number of actors from the original X-Men trilogy will be appearing in the Bryan Singer movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, one person who is not so sure whether they will appear in the film is Famke Janssen.

Famke says that she would definitely be open to returning to the role but is not sure whether it would even be possible. Famke played the character Jean Grey, who went on to die, before coming back as the Phoenix, who also went on to die.

Janssen told, “I’m sitting by the phone waiting, call me up Bryan! I think their challenge is that I died as Jean Grey and I died as the Phoenix, so what else can they do? If they bring a younger version back, they’ll have to get a younger actress, so what is there left to do.”

X-Men: Days of Future Past will be home for the return of Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman and it is claimed that there will be more original stars in the film. X-Men: Days of Future Past begins shooting this month and is set to be released on July 18, 2014 in both the US and the UK.

Fetish Tempter Photographic Print by Helena M. Damser

Fetish Tempter by Helena M. Damsel

Fetish Tempter by Helena Marroqui
Helena Marroqui
18 in. x 24 in.

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Photography: Italian Style Red Rain Art Print

Photography: Italian Style Red Rain Art Print

Photography: Italian Style Red Rain Art Print
Stefano Corso
24 in. x 38 in.

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Alice Eve Career Milestones

Alice Eve

Alice Eve has shown her talent in all three mediums of film, television and theater. Last year, she starred in romantic comedy She’s Out of My League, which tells the story of an ordinary guy (played by Jay Baruchel) who gets to date his dream girl (Eve) but allows his fears and insecurities to threaten their relationship. Also in 2010, Eve appeared in Sex and the City 2.

Previously, Eve was seen in Crossing Over, which followed immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. A member of a gifted cast including Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta, Eve played a young Australian girl who recently moved to the city.

Eve is the daughter of actors Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughn. She went to school in London before going on to study English at Oxford University. There, Eve took part in many theater productions and soon developed a love of acting. Her first film role came while she was still at university as she played mischievous Miss Frain in the art-house hit Stage Beauty, opposite Rupert Everett, Clare Danes and Ben Chaplin.

In 2006, Eve starred in Starter for Ten, opposite James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall. Based on the bestseller by David Nicholls, the film was produced by Tom Hanks and follows a group of students negotiating their way through university life in 1980s Bristol. That same year, Eve was seen in the hard-edged comedy Big Nothing, opposite David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg.

In 2008, Eve turned heads on Broadway and in London’s West End for her work in the critically acclaimed play “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Written by Tom Stoppard and directed by Trevor Nunn, she starred alongside Rufus Sewell, Brian Cox and Sinead Cusack.

On the small screen, Eve’s television credits include the hit U.K. series “The Rotter’s Club,” a starring role in the ITV1 movie “Losing Gemma” and the BBC drama “Hawking.” The actress currently resides in London.

Kristen Stewart to return for Snow White sequel

Kristen Stewart to return for Snow White ünd the Huntsman Sequel

After Kristen Stewart’s summer admission that she’d been romantically involved with her married “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders, there was doubt as to whether the 22-year-old actress would return for a possible sequel.

Now, according to Kristen, not only is she set to reprise her role as the fairest of them all for a second installment of the fairytale story, it’s going to be quite the crowd-pleaser.

“Oh, it’s gonna be f**kin’ amazing,” Kristen told Indiewire, when asked where her “SWATH” character would journey in the sequel. “No, I’m so excited about it, it’s crazy.”

The actress said she’d been instructed to remain tight-lipped about further details. “I’m not allowed [to reveal details]. The other day I said that there was a strong possibility that we’re going to make a sequel, and that’s very true, but everyone was like, ‘Whoa, stop talking about it,’” she said. “So no, I’m totally not allowed to talk about it.”

Kristen did share that plot ideas discussed for the future of her Snow White character would justify her return to make a second film.

“Oh my God. F**k, yeah. Absolutely,” she told the blog, when asked if she was happy with the plan for Snow White.

An official statement confirming a “SWATH” sequel has yet to be made, and it is not yet known if Rupert will be replaced as director.

Ashton Kutcher files for divorce from Demi Moore

Ashton Kutcher and Demi MooreAfter Demi Moore announced their split last year, Ashton Kutcher takes steps to make it final.

It hasn’t been a good month for Demi Moore. Just two weeks after embarrassing photos came out of the 50-year-old making a fool of herself at a party in Miami, Ashton Kutcher has filed for divorce from her – more than a year after they split. People reports that the “Two and a Half Men” star made the bold move in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, with the help of his high-power attorney Laura Wasser, who has also represented Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, and Angelina Jolie in divorce court.

Ashton Kutcher, 34, cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for their separation and also states he is not seeking any spousal support from Demi Moore, 50.

The couple, who first met through mutual pal Sean “Diddy” Combs, announced their split in November 2011, just after their sixth wedding anniversary – and following a report that Kutcher had cheated with 21-year-old Brittney Jones. “As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred,” Moore said at the time, “and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life.”

But the road has not been an easy one for the actress. In January, she was hospitalized following a reported drug overdose, and then checked into rehab. Although Moore, who has three grown daughters with ex-husband Bruce Willis, seemed to be doing better, her recent antics in Miami proved otherwise. It’s also been reported that she is dating 26-year-old art dealer Vito Schnabel, but he has denied the relationship.

Meanwhile, Kutcher has been flaunting his romance with former “That ‘70s Show” co-star Mila Kunis, who he began seeing in April. In October, reports surfaced that the 29-year-old was pregnant with Kutcher’s baby, but her rep denied it. A source close to the actor tells People that he has long-held a torch for the brunette beauty. “He was so in love with her for a while when they worked together. He thought she was a goddess, was always talking about how beautiful she is.”

8 daily habits that will make you happier

8 daily habits that will make you happier

Making this your first thought when you wake up can make a big difference in your day.

Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it’s almost impossible to make others happy if you’re not happy yourself. With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you’re like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:

1. Start each day with expectation. If there’s any big truth about life, it’s that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: “something wonderful is going to happen today.” Guess what? You’re probably right.

2. Take time to plan and prioritize. The most common source of stress is the perception that you’ve got too much work to do. Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet. I’m not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

4. Deflect partisan conversations. Arguments about politics and religion never have a “right” answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can’t control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: “Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt.”

5. Assume people have good intentions. Since you can’t read minds, you don’t really know the “why” behind the “what” that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people’s weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

6. Eat high quality food slowly. Sometimes we can’t avoid scarfing something quick to keep us up and running. Even so, at least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.

7. Let go of your results. The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once you’ve taken action, there’s usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

8. End each day with gratitude. Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.

The CIA is not too happy with ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty.

The CIA’s director takes an unusual step to distance the agency from the bin Laden manhunt film.

Acting CIA director Michael Morell is not happy — not one bit happy — with how the CIA was ultimately portrayed in Zero Dark Thirty, that new movie getting all the buzz about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

“I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film,” Morell starts, “but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context.” Morell published a company-wide memo to the CIA’s website late Friday evening, which is pretty unusual in and of itself. But Morell felt he needed to weigh in on the many controversies surrounding the movie, including the weird reports over the gender of the movie’s main character and that whole icky bit about torture. “But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.”

He goes on to clarify the movie is “a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” and that the CIA, despite helping a little with the production, does “not control the final product.”

His three main complaints about Zero Dark are:

First, the hunt for Usama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers. The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals. This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.

Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.

Third, the film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.

The most important complaint, obviously, is the bit about “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a.k.a. torture. Just a few days ago, the curious combination of Diane Feinstein, John McCain and Carl Levin sent a letter to Sony Pictures requesting a disclaimer be played before the film. The Washington Post also astutely points out a Senate committee recently approved a report that said “water-boarding and other brutal CIA interrogation methods did not produce meaningful results,” in the hunt for Bin Laden. All in all, things don’t look good for the Zero Dark writers and producers.

To hear them tell it, they’re just trying to condense years of interrogations and intelligence gathering into a watchable movie. Mark Boal, Zero Dark’s screenwriter, defended the movie to The New York Times:

“I’m trying to compress a program that lasted for years into a few short scenes,” he said. The film, he said, attempts “to reflect a very complex debate about torture that is still going on” and shows brutal treatment producing both true and false information.

Like the debate about torture, we suspect the debate over Zero Dark’s depiction of torture will never, ever come to an end.

Jessica Biel Career Milestones

Jessica Biel Career Milestones

Jessica Biel has become one of Hollywood’s most coveted leading women. Biel was most noted for her critically acclaimed performance in film “The Illusionist” alongside Oscar nominated actors Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. Biel will be seen next in the Fox Searchlight drama “Hitchcock” alongside Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Toni Collette and Scarlett Johansson.

This past summer she was seen starring in “Total Recall” alongside Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston. Last year Biel was seen in Garry Marshall’s star-studded “New Year’s Eve” starring alongside Halle Berry, Lea Michelle, Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara and Zac Efron, among others.

In 2010 Biel was seen in “The A-Team” alongside Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson. Biel was also seen in the Garry Marshall romantic comedy VALENTINE’S DAY along with Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba and Bradley Cooper, which grossed $212,949,019 worldwide.

Biel starred in the romantic dramedy, “Easy Virtue” opposite Colin Firth, Ben Barnes and Kristin Scott Thomas. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews and received an overwhelming positive response at the prestigious Rome, London and Tribeca Film Festivals. In 2007 Biel was seen in the comedy, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”, opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James, which opened #1 at the box office and grossed well over $100 million domestically.

For her work in “The Illusionist”, Biel received numerous awards including Hollywood Life’s Annual “Breakthrough Award,” the “Shining Star Award” at both the Giffoni Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival, as well as the “Breakthrough Performance Award” at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Starting at age nine, Biel starred in productions such as “Annie”. “The Sound of Music” and “Beauty and the Beast”. A natural beauty, she soon turned to modeling and commercial work by competing in The International Modeling and Talent Association’s Annual Conference in 1994.

In her feature film debut at age fourteen, Biel garnered acclaim for her portrayal as the rebellious daughter in Victor Nunez’s acclaimed “Ulee’s Gold”, starring Oscar nominee Peter Fonda. She then went on to appear in such films as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Summer Catch”, “The Rules of Attraction” for director Roger Avary, the hit remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Blade: Trinity”, Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon, and “Stealth” starring alongside Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx.

Biel is involved in such charities as Serving Those Who Serve, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and PETA. She was honored with the “National Impact Award” at the 2008 Heart of Los Angeles Gala and with the “Young Philanthropist of the Year” Award at the 2006 Golden Karma Awards.