After a decidedly downbeat 2005, international box office has recovered nicely this year, tallying $14.6 billion in grosses to mark an 11% gain.
A tiny movie about port-a-potties led the charge in Oz, a hick film set on a French farm wowed the Gauls, and a family film about a Bavarian boy's obsession with religion galvanized the German B.O.
Chicago's film critics have selected "The Departed" as the top feature of 2006, while the pic's Martin Scorsese took the director nod and William Monahan won for adapted screenplay.
The American Film Institute has singled out Clint Eastwood as "a national treasure" for re-counting the Battle of Iwo Jima through opposite sides in "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima."
The 15th annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival has tapped Andrew Young to receive its lifetime achievement award on Feb. 9.
Sandra Oh and Elijah Wood will join SAG president Alan Rosenberg on Jan. 4 to announce the nominees for the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"Blazing Saddles," "Fargo," "Groundhog Day," "Halloween," "Notorious," "Rocky" and "sex, lies and videotape" are the highest profile features selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry.
The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has reached a deal with Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic covering about 60 freelance broadcast technicians in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
"Eragon" remained the highest flyer overseas in a moderate Christmas weekend frame, topping international B.O. with $21.9 million at 6,300 playdates.
Corey Large's Wingman Prods. and Tunnel Post have set up a pair of projects: "Penthouse" and "3 a.m." "Penthouse," to be directed by Kyle Kramer, is set to go before cameras in Los Angeles in April.
"Casino Royale" has shot past the worldwide record for a James Bond movie, thanks mostly to strong international performance over the Christmas holiday weekend.