Trolls World Tour breaks records with biggest digital release ever

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, …

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.

The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, was due to be released in cinemas on 10 April.

However, while big-budget blockbusters, including No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, and Mulan, were postponed after the Covid-19 outbreak led to cinema chains shuttering across the world, bosses at Universal decided to release Trolls World Tour on video-on-demand services for audiences to enjoy while self-isolating at home.

The movie has become the number one title on on-demand video platforms, such as Amazon, Comcast, Apple, and FandangoNOW, and Universal officials announced on Monday that Trolls World Tour had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title. They have not released official figures.

Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, said that the animated sequel had generated the best weekend sales in the history of the streaming service.

“Following weeks of anticipation for its home premiere, Trolls World Tour is now FandangoNOW’s streaming debut champ, with the best pre-orders, first day and opening weekend sales we’ve ever seen,” he said in a statement. “We’re pleased that families looking for a much-needed entertainment break are enjoying DreamWorks Animation’s latest movie on our service.”

The movie, which was available to rent for $19.99 (£16) for 48 hours, was also available to 21 drive-in locations across the U.S.

Movies are traditionally shown in cinemas for around 90 days before being released on video-on-demand services.

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Taika Waititi toned down Jojo Rabbit ‘so young people could watch’

Taika Waititi was determined to tone down Jojo Rabbit so that children would be able to watch it.The satirical World War II movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, also features a predominantly young cast, due to the titular …

Taika Waititi was determined to tone down Jojo Rabbit so that children would be able to watch it.

The satirical World War II movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, also features a predominantly young cast, due to the titular character, who is played by 12-year-old Roman Griffin Davis, being a member of the Hitler Youth.

And the New Zealand filmmaker was keen to ensure that kids the same age as his cast members would be able to engage with the critically acclaimed movie.

“We made a real effort to make the film PG, so that young people could see it,” he told Variety. “Roman Griffin Davis showed the film to a bunch of his classmates back in London, and one of his friends said, ‘This is a film about a kid learning to think for himself.’

“And I think that’s really the ultimate goal, to try and influence people into thinking for themselves, and also thinking from the perspective of tolerance and love.”

The movie, which follows the story of Jojo as he discovers his mother has been hiding a Jewish girl in their attic, has recently been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

And Waititi was full of praise for Johansson, who received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Jojo’s mother Rosie.

“She was incredible and brought something to it that really elevated the whole thing to a level that I’d never even considered,” he said. “And I think that it’s probably the best version of Scarlett that I’ve ever seen.”

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Rebel Wilson wows in red at Jojo Rabbit premiere

Rebel Wilson pulled out all the stops for the premiere of Jojo Rabbit on Tuesday night.The Australian actress looked very glamorous as she walked the red carpet to promote Taika Waititi’s new movie at Post 43 in Los Angeles, ensuring to pose for photog…

Rebel Wilson pulled out all the stops for the premiere of Jojo Rabbit on Tuesday night.

The Australian actress looked very glamorous as she walked the red carpet to promote Taika Waititi’s new movie at Post 43 in Los Angeles, ensuring to pose for photographers in her custom Badgley Mischka gown.

Featuring silver beading and an off-the-shoulder neckline, Rebel’s crimson ensemble was matched with a Bienen Davis purse, while her blonde locks were styled into Old Hollywood-inspired waves.

“Getting ready for the JOJO RABBIT premiere in Hollywood tonight x Dress is custom @badgleymischka. Styled by the one and only @elizabethstewart1,” she posted on Instagram before the event.

In the satirical black comedy, Rebel portrays Fraulein Rahm, a brutish instructor in the Hitler Youth camp.

The film, which is set during World War II, follows a lonely German boy named Jojo ‘Rabbit’ Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), who has his world turned upside down when he discovers that his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

Scarlett opted for a pink Miu Miu two-piece ensemble for the night, while Thomasin sported a lemongrass yellow gown from Jason Wu Collection and New Zealand-based filmmaker Taika wore a suit from Etro.

Other stars from the film in attendance included Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, and Stephen Merchant, while celebrities who showed their support for the project included Patton Oswalt, Minnie Driver, Blanca Blanco, and Aubrey Plaza.

Jojo Rabbit hits cinemas from 18 October.

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Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell to be honoured at Gotham Awards

Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell are set to receive honours at the 2019 Gotham Independent Film Awards. The Selma filmmaker and Vice star will receive the director and actor tributes, respectively, during the annual ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in Ne…

Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell are set to receive honours at the 2019 Gotham Independent Film Awards.

The Selma filmmaker and Vice star will receive the director and actor tributes, respectively, during the annual ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on 2 December.

“Ava DuVernay is a groundbreaking and influential filmmaker whose work casts an overdue and much-needed light on the history of our nation’s systemic racism embedded in our institutions of justice today,” said Jeff Sharp, executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), which presents the awards, and the Made in NY Media Center, in a statement. “She is enlightening and impactful to a new wave of filmmakers and her films are profoundly consequential to our nation’s continued endeavour to provide equal justice for all.”

The When They See Us director shared the news on Twitter and thanked the IFP for “this lovely honour.”

“We are equally delighted to present the deeply talented Sam Rockwell with the actor tribute,” the statement continued. “Sam simply brings brilliance to every role he plays – whether an anti-hero in an auteur-driven film, a hero in a studio tentpole or a legendary icon in a limited series. His compelling and genuine performances are a gift to us all. Both Ava and Sam are leaders and champions for independent film.”

The Gotham Awards, which recognise the best in independent film, traditionally marks the official start of Oscars season. Additional tribute recipients are to be announced in coming weeks, while the nominations will be read out on 24 October.

DuVernay is currently nominated for the Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Emmy for When They See Us, while Rockwell is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Fosse/Verdon. The ceremony takes place on 22 September.

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Kathy Bates joins Clint Eastwood’s The Ballad of Richard Jewell

Kathy Bates has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama The Ballad of Richard Jewell. According to editors at Deadline, the Misery actress has been cast in the role of insurance claims adjuster Bobi Jewell, the mother of Richard Jewell, a s…

Kathy Bates has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama The Ballad of Richard Jewell.

According to editors at Deadline, the Misery actress has been cast in the role of insurance claims adjuster Bobi Jewell, the mother of Richard Jewell, a security guard who was wrongly accused of planting the bombs he found in a bag during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her casting comes days after it was revealed Vice actor Sam Rockwell would be playing the lawyer who defended Jewell in court, and Paul Walter Hauser, who recently had roles in I, Tonya and BlacKkKlansman, would be portraying Jewell.

In 1996, Jewell was hailed a hero for being the first to discover the suspicious abandoned backpack containing three pipe bombs and alerting the authorities, saving hundreds of lives. That soon changed when he was accused of planting it in the first place. He maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal and was finally cleared by FBI investigators after 88 days, but his reputation and health were forever damaged. Jewell, who became a police officer, died in 2007 at the age of 44 after suffering from severe heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

The project will be directed and produced by Eastwood, while other producers include The Wolf of Wall Street co-stars Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio, who had both originally been attached to appear in the drama.

Billy Ray, who penned the screenplays for Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games, will write the script based on a Vanity Fair magazine article by Marie Brenner.

In addition to Eastwood’s film, Bates, who was most recently seen in Bonnie and Clyde drama The Highwaymen, has also been cast alongside Lil Rel Howery in Home, a drama about an ex-felon who returns home from prison and has to confront his past.

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Sam Rockwell to star in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama

Sam Rockwell is in final negotiations to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood’s latest movie. The Oscar-winning actor has almost reached a deal to star in The Ballad of Richard Jewell, which will be directed and produced by the American Sniper f…

Sam Rockwell is in final negotiations to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood’s latest movie.

The Oscar-winning actor has almost reached a deal to star in The Ballad of Richard Jewell, which will be directed and produced by the American Sniper filmmaker, according to Variety.

The film is based on the story of real-life security guard Jewell, whose life was turned upside down when he was wrongly accused of planting the pipe bombs he found at Centennial Park during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Rockwell will play the attorney who defended Jewell after he became one of the most hated men in America. The part of Jewell is yet to be cast.

The Wolf of Wall Street co-stars Jonah Hill and DiCaprio had originally been attached to star in the drama, with the Titanic actor initially onboard the project to play the lawyer, but they will no longer appear in the film and will simply serve as producers.

Billy Ray, who penned the screenplays for Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games, will write the script based on a Vanity Fair magazine article by Marie Brenner.

In 1996, Jewell was hailed a hero for being the first to discover the suspicious abandoned backpack containing three pipe bombs and alerting the authorities, saving hundreds of lives. That soon changed when he was accused of planting it in the first place. He maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal and was finally cleared by FBI investigators after 88 days, but his reputation and health were forever damaged. He died in 2007 after suffering from severe heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Rockwell won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2018 and followed it up with a second consecutive nomination for his portrayal of former U.S. President George W. Bush in Vice.

He recently earned strong reviews for playing dancer Bob Fosse in TV mini-series Fosse/Verdon, and can next be seen in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit.

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Sam Rockwell chased Taraji P. Henson for film get together

Sam Rockwell chased down Taraji P. Henson for a film collaboration after watching her in Hustle & Flow. The Oscar winner became a big fan after seeing her performance as Shug in the 2005 film and started courting her for film roles. The odd couple wa…

Sam Rockwell chased down Taraji P. Henson for a film collaboration after watching her in Hustle & Flow.

The Oscar winner became a big fan after seeing her performance as Shug in the 2005 film and started courting her for film roles.

The odd couple was finally introduced by Sam’s girlfriend Leslie Bibb.

“We went to a bar in Brooklyn and hung out and decided we wanted to work together,” the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star tells Good Morning America, “so I was kinda chasing after Taraji for a while, and then this thing came up and we just did it.”

Henson admits she “totally fanned out” when she discovered who her friend Bibb was dating.

“I was like… ‘You have to introduce us; I’m such a fan of his’,” she adds.

He tells WENN, “I first saw her in Hustle & Flow and was blown away. She has a unique quality – beautiful and charismatic enough to be a movie star, but she still seems like a real person.”

The two old friends eventually found the perfect project in new film The Best of Enemies, in which Sam plays a real-life Ku Klux Klan member and Henson revered activist Ann Atwater.

“Taraji and I don’t necessarily look like the real people who inspired the film, but I think we have the essence of C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater, and with the help of wardrobe and makeup, we fuse our spirits into these roles,” he tells the news outlet. “These parts are heavy lifting for sure, but we’re theatre actors, a lot of us here are, so we know how to fill in moments.”

The hard-hitting new film, based on real-life events, hits cinemas on Friday (05Apr19).

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Taraji P. Henson hits back at The Best of Enemies language critics

Actress Taraji P. Henson has defended the style of speech she adopts to play civil rights activist Ann Atwater in her new movie The Best of Enemies, insisting it’s all accurate. The Hidden Figures star features opposite Sam Rockwell in the historical …

Actress Taraji P. Henson has defended the style of speech she adopts to play civil rights activist Ann Atwater in her new movie The Best of Enemies, insisting it’s all accurate.

The Hidden Figures star features opposite Sam Rockwell in the historical drama, about the unlikely real-life relationship between Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis back in 1971, when they teamed up to work on the desegregation of schools in Durham, North Carolina.

Trailers for the film have shown Henson speaking in a casual Southern dialect as Atwater, but some people have taken to social media to complain about the portrayal, accusing the actress of dumbing down her character.

“My grand mother (sic) and a lot of my family is from the south and was in this era. None of them talk in that broken lingo that Taraji is doing,” one moaned on Twitter. “It’s so offensive to depict blks (blacks) speaking like this when it’s not true. A lot of blks in that era was educated and spoke normally (sic).”

However, Henson, who has been responding to some of her detractors online, has advised them to do their own research into Atwater’s life before passing comment.

“It’s unfortunate because they’re judging something they have not seen yet, just because this is of the era of civil rights and she talks a certain kind of way,” the actress tells USA Today. “I’ve actually confronted some of those tweets by telling them just to Google her. We didn’t make this up.”

Henson also bristles at the suggestion that the storyline of The Best of Enemies is too similar to that of Oscar-winning biopic Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-life tour of the Deep South in 1960s segregated America with his prejudiced Italian-American driver and bodyguard, Tony Lip.

“I did see Green Book and I don’t see the similarities,” she declares.

Instead, Henson is just excited to have Atwater’s story play out on the big screen: “She didn’t bite her tongue,” the star says. “She knew what was right and what was wrong, and she fought for justice for people who were being oppressed. It upset her and every breath of her body was to fight against that.”

The Best of Enemies, based on Osha Gray Davidson’s 1996 book of the same name, is written and directed by Robin Bissell, and opens in U.S. theatres this week (05Apr19).

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Jamie Dornan and Chance the Rapper join Trolls 2 voice cast

Jamie Dornan, Chance the Rapper and Sam Rockwell have signed on for voice roles in animated film Trolls 2. The newcomers will join returning castmembers Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, who played trolls Poppy and Branch, respectively, in the mus…

Jamie Dornan, Chance the Rapper and Sam Rockwell have signed on for voice roles in animated film Trolls 2.

The newcomers will join returning castmembers Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, who played trolls Poppy and Branch, respectively, in the musical children’s movie, a sequel to the 2016 film, which grossed $346 million (£255 million) worldwide.

According to Deadline, the DreamWorks Animation film will follow Poppy and Branch when they discover there are other Troll worlds beyond their own and their differences cause tension between the tribes. However, when a mysterious threat puts all of the Trolls across the land in danger, Poppy, Branch, and their band of friends “must embark on an epic quest” to create harmony among the feuding Trolls.

James Corden, The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar and Ron Funches will reprise their roles from the first film, while new additions also include Karan Soni, best known for playing taxi driver Dopinder in the Deadpool franchise, Pitch Perfect 2’s Flula Borg, and Hamilton star Anthony Ramos. It is not known what characters the newcomers will play.

“We are thrilled to have these talented artists join the cast of Trolls 2,” Christopher DeFaria, president of DreamWorks Animation Film Group, told Variety in a statement. “This film, like the first, gives our cast an opportunity to show their performance range – integrating comedy, adventure, and emotion with centerpiece musical numbers that resonate with fans across the globe.”

Sam, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor earlier this year (18) for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and hip-hop star Chance will be recording songs for the movie’s soundtrack.

Justin produced the first soundtrack, as well as writing and performing some of the tunes. His track Can’t Stop the Feeling! received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

Trolls is being directed by Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger and produced by Gina Shay, with a scheduled release date of April 2020.

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Helen Mirren and Danny DeVito join voice cast of The One and Only Ivan

Helen Mirren and Danny DeVito have been added to the voice cast of Disney’s The One and Only Ivan. The British actress and Matilda star have signed on to voice animated characters in the film, which centres on a silverback gorilla named Ivan and other…

Helen Mirren and Danny DeVito have been added to the voice cast of Disney’s The One and Only Ivan.

The British actress and Matilda star have signed on to voice animated characters in the film, which centres on a silverback gorilla named Ivan and other animals who live in a cage in a shopping mall. Further details about their roles have not been revealed at this stage.

They join the likes of Sam Rockwell, who will voice the titular Ivan, Angelina Jolie, who will portray Stella the elephant, and The Florida Project’s breakout child star Brooklynn Prince, who will voice a baby elephant named Ruby, a newcomer to the mall who inspires Ivan to plot their escape from captivity.

The movie will be a blend of live-action and CGI animation, and Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston leads the acting cast, which also includes Ariana Greenblatt, who plays the young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War, Ramon Rodriguez, Indira Varma, and Eleanor Matsuura.

The Disney adaptation went into production at Pinewood Studios outside of London this week (begs30Apr18) and is being directed by Thea Sharrock, who helmed the 2016 tearjerker Me Before You.

Ariana shared a behind-the-scenes look at the production on social media by sharing a picture of her getting her hair touched up as she reads a document while in a chair labelled “Julia”, her character.

“Set life #TheOneAndOnlyIvan,” she wrote in the caption alongside clapperboard and U.K. flag emojis.

Screenwriter and actor Mike White, whose previous work includes Pitch Perfect 3, School of Rock and The Emoji Movie, has written the script based on Katherine Applegate’s Newbery Medal-winning book. Jolie is producing the project alongside Brigham Taylor and the late Allison Shearmur, who passed away in January.

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