This Holy Week sees an unprecedented four faith-based films bringing in the box office bucks. Next up? God gets a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
When last weekend’s box office numbers were revealed one superstar came out on top. It wasn’t Denzel Washington, Robert Downey, Jr. or any of the other usual names from Hollywood’s A-list. In fact, this A-lister did not even appear in any film credits at all, but may have just become Hollywood’s hottest commodity. The new power player: God, or more specifically God and his many Christian followers. For the first time, two Christian themed films appeared in two of the top box office slots.
Casey Crafford/LightWorkers Media/Hearst
Russell Crowe’s Noah, inspired by the Bible story, was number one raking in a hefty $44 million. Its box office dominance inspired a flood (no pun intended) of pun-ny headlines, among them “Noah Floats, Sabotage Drowns” from Forbes. But what’s more shocking to Hollywood insiders is the appearance of God’s Not Dead on the box office power list. The fifth most popular film in America for the second week in a row tells the story of a Christian college student locked in a battle of wills against a professor who is an atheist. Despite a tiny budget and its lack of marquee stars (TV actors Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain appear) the film has pulled in more than $20 million at the box office so far.
Ted ends his tale, but the kids look a little pissed off. It turns out the love story of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ wasn’t really about their mother. But we knew that.
If it feels like How I Met Your Mother has been airing for decades, that's because it has. Well, more like a year under one decade, but still. The first episode of the beloved sitcom hit the small screen in 2005, back when George W. Bush was still president and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana. A lot has changed since 2005, but How I Met Your Mother is not one of those things.
Ron P. Jaffe/Fox
The show has managed to stay true to its initial premise: one man sitting his children down and telling them the story of how he met their mother. The narrative arc of the story is relayed through flashbacks and narration, but the real draw of the series has always been the ensemble cast. Marshall, Lily, Barney, Robin, and Ted, with their eccentric personalities and never ending supply of elaborate inside jokes, made an entire nation of viewers want to quit their jobs and hang out in a bar all day with their own co-ed clique.
The teenage rapper who once got booted from Instagram for explicitly sexual content is back with a bang and causing ruckus in his quiet Chicago suburb.
When the rising rap star Chief Keef posted a photo of himself having oral sex in 2012, he was immediately booted off Instagram.
Now, the 18-year-old Keef is back on the photo sharing web site positing photos of himself and a friend brandishing semi-automatic weapons in a ritzy marble bathroom.
How did Ted Mosby meet the mother of his children? After nine seasons on air, we’ll finally get some closure.
Someone once called How I Met Your Mother “the Lost of sitcoms.” That’s exactly it. Like the cult drama that drove us all crazy (a polar bear?!) HIMYM revolves around a series-long mystery, constant use of flashback and flashforwards, a comprehensive mythology, polarizing seasons towards the end of its run, and even time travel.
Ron P. Jaffe/Fox
For diehards of the show, staying abreast of everything that happens to Ted and the gang is moderately difficult. For those who tune in for the first time to the series finale, is damn near impossible.
The star of ‘The Walking Dead’ talks to The Daily Beast about Terminus and how much he knows about the cannibals theory. Spoiler alert!
Andrew Lincoln is minutes away from finding out what happens at Terminus.
The British actor, who plays former Atlanta police officer Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, is just about to step into the writer’s room of the AMC zombie drama and get a “general sketch” of what’s going down in Season 5. (“It’s an incredibly exciting day,” he says.) Meanwhile, the rest of us are still reeling from the Season 4 finale that aired last night. “A” debuted the most vicious version of Rick Grimes we’ve ever seen, who’d rip through a man’s jugular with his bare teeth, then repeatedly stab a man to death for attacking his son. Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Carl reunited with Glenn, Maggie, and the others at Terminus, but there was no “sanctuary” awaiting them there. With snipers’ rifles aimed at their heads, the group was herded into a cargo container and locked inside—which actually made Rick smile. “They’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out,” he says. “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
'Frozen' is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. Here’s how it happened.
Statistically speaking, Frozen is the best animated film. Ever.
Buoyed by a strong debut in Japan, the movie is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. (That’s just more than Toy Story 3, which grossed $1.063 billion.) Here’s how it happened:
1) Inflation! In domestic sales it's still technically behind (in ascending order): Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 3, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, Finding Nemo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Shrek 2, The Jungle Book, Fantasia, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
2) That being said, the film received excellent reviews and has an 89 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon was early on the Frozen bandwagon, anointing the flick “the best Disney film since The Lion King.” Melissa Leon agreed, saying that the film debunked outdated tropes like love at first sight and damsels in distress, slyly showing us how not to make a princess movie. The film won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (more on this later) and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.
3) Hitting theaters on November 27, 2013, the film capitalized on the Thanksgiving box-office rush. It banked a Disney-record $67.4 million over the three-day weekend, and $93.9 million for the five-day holiday. These hauls shattered the previous Disney records, held by Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, respectively. Big weekend, right? Frozen didn’t even open at no.1 at the box office. It was second, behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
4) Of its total gross, $398 million (37.2 percent) is from domestic sales, while $674 million (62.8 percent) is from international audiences.
5) One of these nations was South Korea, where Frozen demolished records and crossed the $75 million mark in early March.
6) When it comes to 2013 worldwide grosses, Frozen sits comfortably at no.2 on the list, behind Iron Man 3 and above Catching Fire.
7) At the all-time box office, that puts Frozen at no.10, within striking distance of The Dark Knight Rises. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is on that list, so that’s something to think about.)
8) The top grossing animated film, in order: Frozen, Toy Story 3, The Lion King (which came out in 1994!), Despicable Me 2, Finding Nemo.
9) The movie’s soundtrack has spent a seventh week at no.1 on the Billboard 200. This is partially because of the release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s only the fourth animated film soundtrack to do this.
10) Director Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Disney animated feature film.
11) “LET IT GO.” John Travolta. Adele Dazeem.
The notorious vixen has been in her share of controversies before—and had even supported the occasional dictator. But nothing like this.
On Twitter, she made what seemed like a simple cry to save the citizens of Kessab, a town in Syria that’s been the scene of intense fighting in recent days. The tweet was even welcomed by one of the country's main rebel groups. But, as with all things Syria, the reality is far more complicated. Kessab was, until recently, part of a stronghold for Damascus dictator Bashar al-Assad. Some are accusing the campaign to “save” the place of using fake images as part of a possible stealth movement to support the Assad regime.
Whose Brooklyn is it, anyway? Spike Lee and The New York Times' A.O. Scott disagree on this.
On Sunday, The New York Times ran a front-page story titled “Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?” The piece, written by Times film critic A.O. Scott, looked at the changing faces and places of the New York City borough through the prism of pop culture—shows like Welcome Back, Kotter and Girls to films like Saturday Night Fever and The Squid and the Whale.
Spike Lee attends Michael Jackson's 51st birthday celebration in Prospect Park on August 29, 2009 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Neilson Barnard/Getty)
The piece was crafted in response to statements made by acclaimed Brooklyn-born filmmaker Spike Lee who, at an event celebrating Black History Month in Brooklyn last month, unleashed an epic rant aimed at white gentrifiers for perpetuating “Christopher Columbus syndrome”—interlopers who claimed the artsy, edgy borough as their own while booting out those that had previously laid claim to it.
Is Chelsea Handler really planning on leaving E!, or is she after a better deal from the network she calls a “sad, sad place to live.”
Apparently Chelsea Handler isn’t kidding this time.
The 39-year-old comic, whose latest book Uganda Be Kidding Me is No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller List, is making noises about leaving her E! channel late-night show, Chelsea Lately, when her contract is up nine months from now.
NBC’s agonizingly schizophrenic drama is almost unwatchable in the absence of the mesmerizing James Spader. How to fix it? Kill Agent Keen, a flimsy version of Clarice Starling.
Rookie FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) tracked a suspect to a building, not realizing she was actually at a “watch post” manned by her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold), who appeared to be a mild-mannered schoolteacher but unbeknownst to Keen, is actually an baddie hired to marry and spy on her. As Keen investigates (without first drawing her gun or calling for backup, but we’ll get to that in a moment), at one point she is just inches away from her cornered husband, whose secret is seemingly about to be revealed.
Will Hart/NBC, via Getty
This moment in last Monday’s episode of The Blacklist should have been one of the most harrowing moments of the year, but instead, the near-showdown was almost completely devoid of tension. It highlights the biggest problem with The Blacklist as the show barrels towards the conclusion of its debut season. The NBC drama is one of this year’s few true breakout hits: it regularly draws 11 million viewers each Monday night, and adds another 7 million when Live + 7 ratings (which include seven days of DVR and video on demand viewings) are factored in. But the agonizingly schizophrenic show has failed to even marginally develop its characters aside from James Spader’s mesmerizing central turn as Raymond “Red” Reddington, who after spending 20 years brokering deals for the world’s most sinister criminals, now helps the FBI catch them.
The ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ star wants you to laugh, as long as you’re ready for jokes about sexually active tweens.
Amy Schumer knows you're expecting her to top herself. She's prepared to deliver, providing you’re prepared for her to make jokes about tweens "finger blasting" each other.
Schumer's baby, the Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, served as the vehicle the 32-year-old raunchy writer-actress-standup-comedian rode to breakout-star status last year, when it became the typically male-driven network's highest-rated new series. Showing off a unique perspective that’s less interested in the usual shock value of a woman saying something dirty, and more in delivering acute observations about the insecurities that go along with being a (strong, sexual, smart, and maybe a little messy) woman, Inside Amy Schumer made waves by proving that there's a place for woman on Comedy Central, too.
When we spoke at the end of her show's stand-out first season run last year, I asked Schumer if she thought she was making a point about women and their place in comedy with her show. She told me, "Do I want women to watch and I am sending a message? My instinct is a little bit to whisper 'yes.' That doesn't seem like something you'd have to whisper, but it really is." Now, speaking in advance of her show's second season premiere this Tuesday, Schumer seemed more than happy to state things with confidence. "This season definitely has a stronger point of view," she tells me. "I'm saying some things, and I'm saying them with more confidence."
That should excite anyone who relished in last year's standout sketches, be it "P.O.V. Porn," which shows a sex tape from the female point of view, and how unsexy and awkward it is. Or a bit in which a girl, after a magical night with who she thinks is "the one," starts sampling wedding cakes and choosing adjoining burial plots, while the guy can't even remember her name. What's in store for this year, then? The aforementioned "finger blasting" sketch, for one, which needs to be seen to be believed, and another in which she tries to pay her way out of her herpes—complete with some hard negotiations with God himself, played by Paul Giamatti.
And if there was any doubt that the success of Season 1 didn't raise Schumer's star quotient, she's also in the casting process for Trainwreck, the R-rated comedy she wrote and will star in…and will be directed by a certain comedy kingmaker by the name of Judd Apatow.
He sits on park benches scoping out rich middle-aged women for his gigolo. In light of allegations, Woody Allen’s turn as a pimp in ‘Fading Gigolo’ is problematic, to say the least.
The premise of Fading Gigolo, a new film by John Turturro, is simple enough: M. Schwartz & Sons Rare & Used Books, a quaint, red-awninged Mom-and-Pop bookstore in Downtown Manhattan, is going out of business—yet another casualty of modernity, judging by the sprawling Staples next door.
Inside, its aging proprietor, Murray, played by Woody Allen, is chatting with his longtime employee, Fioravante (Turturro, who wrote and directed the film), about a strange episode he’d overheard at his dermatologist’s office. It seems his skin technician, Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone, radiant), is interested in hosting a “ménage”—as in ménage à trois—along with her friend and a man. Murray tells her he knows just the guy, but it’ll cost her $1,000. Since they’re both out of work, Murray tries to sell his boy Friday on the idea of being a gigolo.
On the surface, it may raise an eyebrow that controversial comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister is a renowned rabbi. That is, until you get to know them.
At this point, there are few things that Sarah Silverman could say or do that would shock people. But mention that the consistently controversial—and consistently hilarious—comedian’s sister is one of the world’s most renowned and influential rabbis, and watch those who thought they’d seen or heard everything from the professional button-pusher react, once again, with surprise.
But learn more about Sarah’s sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, and it becomes abundantly clear that even though “I’m godless and she’s godfull,” as Sarah puts it, audacity runs in the family.
Spoilers ahead: In the AMC zombie drama’s season finale on Sunday, a new, killer leader was born and old Officer Friendly left behind.
The Walking Dead’s fourth season finale was the most terrifyingly intense hour the show has produced all season—so why do people feel robbed?
No major characters died. Nagging questions remained unanswered. (Where is Beth? How do we still not know what Terminus is?) Serene flashbacks to the group’s earliest days in the prison, just as peace settled in and Rick gave up his role as leader, made up about half the episode. And the other half comprised of situations so tense, it seemed like they must be escalating toward some bursting point—which, except for Rick’s newfound resolve to kill or be killed, never came.
When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.
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