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Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Debuts at No. 1 in Japan

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TOKYO: Fresh from its seven Academy Award nominations, “The Martian” bowed atop the Japanese box office for the Jan. 6-7 weekend. Released on 814 screens by Fox Japan, the Ridley Scott-Matt Damon space adventure earned $4.3 million on 330,223 admissions in its opening frame. “The Martian” is expected to finish near the $30 million mark… Read more »

David Oyelowo’s ‘Five Nights in Maine’ Bought by FilmRise (EXCLUSIVE)

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FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the drama “Five Nights in Maine,” starring David Oyelowo, Rose Perez and Dianne Weist, Variety has learned exclusively. The distributor will release the film theatrically in New York, Los Angeles and other cities in the late summer along with going day-and-date on digital and VOD platforms. Maris Curran… Read more »

Daniel Gerson, ‘Monsters Inc’ and ‘Big Hero 6’ Screenwriter, Dies at 49

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Daniel Gerson, who co-wrote Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters Inc” movies and “Big Hero 6,” died at his home on Saturday. He was 49. According to a family statement, Gerson had been battling brain cancer. The screenwriter frequently collaborated with Robert L. Baird. Together the duo co-wrote “Monsters Inc” and its prequel, “Monsters University,” as well as “Big Her 6,”… Read more »

TV Review: Frontline’s ‘The Fantasy Sports Gamble,’ American Experience’s ‘The Perfect Crime’

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Two PBS stalwarts offer excellent back-to-back documentaries Feb. 9 – one extremely timely, the other a still-relevant dip into the way-back machine. Produced with the New York Times, Frontline’s “The Fantasy Sports Gamble” delves into betting sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, which have coyly operated at the fringes of gambling, enlisting entertainment companies and professional… Read more »

Super Bowl 50 Ratings: CBS Delivers Second Highest Overnights Ever

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Sunday’s telecast of the Denver Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on CBS has delivered the second highest overnight rating on record for the Super Bowl — behind only last year. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl 50 averaged a 49.0 household rating/73 share in the 56 metered markets across the country, peaking with a… Read more »

Google Working On Its Own Gear VR-Like Virtual Reality Headset: Report

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Google is getting ready to move beyond cardboard: The Internet giant is working on a more advanced mobile virtual reality (VR) headset that would compete directly with Samsung’s Gear VR, according to a report from the Financial Times. The new headset reportedly includes better lenses and actual sensors to deliver a better viewing experience than… Read more »

Netflix Confirms Acquisition of Hitler Satire ‘Look Who’s Back’

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LONDON — Netflix has confirmed that it has taken worldwide rights, excluding several territories, to David Wnendt’s Adolf Hitler satire “Look Who’s Back,” as first reported in Variety on Jan. 29. The global deal, negotiated by sales company Beta Cinema, excludes Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan and Taiwan. The film will make… Read more »

Berlin: Spanou Repping Generation’s ‘Plants,’ Producer-Turned-Director Doveris’ Debut (EXCLUSIVE, WATCH)

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PARIS – Germany-based Patra Spanou is serving as sales-festival agent on “Plants,” the first feature of Chile’s Roberto Doveris that scored the Epicentre Film Award at 2015’s Bafici Fest BAL and a proved a highlight at BAL Goes to Cannes, both Latin American pix-in-post showcases. Associate-produced by Alicia Scherson (“The Future”), Chile’s best-known distaff director,… Read more »