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Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Mockingjay’ Stunt Unlocks Top Slot, ‘Penguins’ Pop With Sneak Peek

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Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) – Film, a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film (see the TV version here). Provided by ListenFirst Media, DAR – Film measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia… Read more »

Ethan Hawke Plays Chet Baker in ‘Born to Be Blue’

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LONDON — Ethan Hawke has taken the role of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in “Born to Be Blue,” which has just started lensing. Pic also stars Carmen Ejogo, who appeared in “The Purge: Anarchy,” and will be in the upcoming Martin Luther King biopic “Selma,” and Callum Keith Rennie, whose credits include “Fifty Shades of… Read more »

Keira Knightley to Make Broadway Debut in ‘Therese Raquin’

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Keira Knightley will make her Broadway debut in “Therese Raquin,” toplining a fall 2015 production from the Roundabout Theater Company. Knightley will play the title character in Helen Edmundson’s new adaptation of the novel by Emile Zola about an unhappily married woman who embarks on a passionate affair with one of her husband’s friends. Evan… Read more »

Colin Callender’s Playground Expands in the U.K.

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LONDON — Louise Pedersen, the managing director of distributor All3Media Intl., is to join Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment in the newly created role of managing director of its U.K. operations, which are expanding. Pedersen will play a central role in the commercial aspects of the company, and will be responsible for the day-to-day activities in… Read more »

Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christian Bale Will Play Steve Jobs: ‘He’s Gonna Crush It’

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Aaron Sorkin has confirmed that Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in Sony’s upcoming biopic about the Apple co-founder. Sorkin penned the script and Danny Boyle is attached to direct. In an interview with Bloomberg, the Oscar-winning screenwriter revealed that Bale wasn’t required to audition for the role. “There was a meeting. The role is… Read more »

New York Television Festival Launches Production Arm, Pacts with A&E, Fox, History, Orchard

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The New York Television Festival is expanding its reach with the launch of a production unit, fortified by development pacts with several of the fest’s longtime partners. NYTVF Prods. opens its doors with deals in place to help this year’s winners develop projects for A&E Network, Fox and digital network the Orchard. History is on… Read more »

Gotham Award Nominations: ‘Boyhood’ Scores Four (FULL LIST)

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The Gotham Independent Film Awards set a 2014 race for best feature that includes “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” vying for the title with “Love is Strange,” “Under the Skin” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Richard Linklater’s drama “Boyhood,” 12 years in the making, led the nominations list with four, including acting nods for Ethan Hawke, Patricia… Read more »

TV Review: Masterpiece’s ‘Death Comes To Pemberley’

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A “Pride and Prejudice” sequel/murder mystery? That alone should be a sufficient come-on to rouse English-lit majors and awaken “Masterpiece” viewers, but “Death Comes to Pemberley” — a two-part movie adapted from P.D. James’ novel — has the extra advantage of being perfectly cast and extremely entertaining, even for those who might need a Jane… Read more »