Mamma Mia! (2008) - News Poster

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UK box office hits record high in 2017; top distributors revealed

Disney takes distributor crown; Lionsgate top indie.

Source: Disney

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Total cinema box office in the UK & Ireland for 2017 surpassed the record set in 2016 to become the highest-grossing year ever, according to ComScore data.

The total box office across UK & Ireland was £1.378bn, up 3.6% from £1.330bn in 2016. This is an impressive figure given that 2016 was a 53-week year, while 2017 was a 52-week year (the year includes all Friday-to-Thursday playweeks where the Friday falls into that calendar year)*.

Scroll down for top distributors

Comparing a like-for-like period of 52 weeks in each year, 2017 is up 6.1% versus 2016. The record has now been broken in each of the last three years (2015-2017), following a drop of 2.7% in 2014.

Final 2017 admission figures are not available for another couple of weeks but Screen sources estimate that admissions will be up around 1.4%. 2016 admissions were 168.3m. Since 2001 admissions in the territory have remained largely flat.

Overall, 874 films and events
See full article at ScreenDaily »

UK box office hits record high in 2017; top companies revealed

Disney takes distributor crown; Lionsgate top indie.

Source: Disney

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Total cinema box office in the UK & Ireland for 2017 surpassed the record set in 2016 to become the highest-grossing year ever, according to ComScore data.

The total box office across UK & Ireland was £1,378m, up 3.6% from £1,330m in 2016. This is an impressive figure given that 2016 was a 53-week year, while 2017 was a 52-week year (the year includes all Friday-to-Thursday playweeks where the Friday falls into that calendar year)*.

Scroll down for top distributors

Comparing a like-for-like period of 52 weeks in each year, 2017 is up 6.1% versus 2016. The record has now been broken in each of the last three years (2015-2017), following a drop of 2.7% in 2014.

Final 2017 admission figures are not available for another couple of weeks but Screen sources estimate that admissions will be up around 1.4%. 2016 admissions were 168.3. Since 2001 admissions in the territory have remained largely flat.

Overall, 874 films and events
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Darkest Hour,’ ‘Wonder,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Nominations

‘Darkest Hour,’ ‘Wonder,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Nominations
“Darkest Hour” and “Wonder” led all other movie productions with three nominations apiece from the Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Friday. The two films are considered to be in the thick of the makeup and hairstyling Oscar race.

The overall champ across film and TV was “Saturday Night Live” with five mentions.

“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” and “I, Tonya” each landed a pair of nominations, while Netflix’s “Bright” received one. The only other film on the Academy’s bake-off shortlist to pick up a notice was “Ghost in the Shell,” for best contemporary make-up.

Victoria & Abdul,” the final Oscar contender, was passed over by the guild in all categories.

Trailing “Saturday Night Live” on the television side was “American Horror Story: Cult” with four nominations, though the FX miniseries’ promotional campaign added two more to the tally in the commercial/music video categories. FX’s “Fargo” also received four nominations.

Netflix’s “[link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Universal Sets ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequel for 2018 — ‘Here We Go Again!’

Universal Sets ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequel for 2018 — ‘Here We Go Again!’
Ten years after Meryl Streep proved she was a dancing queen, Universal Pictures is returning to the Abba jukebox musical with “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!”

The sequel will open July 20, 2018, the studio announced Friday. Ol Parker (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) serves as writer and director.

It’s unclear who among the original cast might return, but the 2008 film starred Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgard, Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper and Julie Walters.

More to come. Read the full announcement …

Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million around the world,
See full article at The Wrap »

Fuller's XIX to make Spice Girls musical

London -- "Mamma Mia" film and stageshow producer Judy Craymer has signed a deal with Simon Fuller's new XIX venture to create and produce a new musical, "Viva Forever," based on the songs of The Spice Girls.

Xix, Judy Craymer Prods, The Spice Girls and Universal Music aim to recreate the success of "Mamma Mia" for a new generation, based on the music and verve of the nineties girl power phenomenon.

"This is not a tribute show, but it will harness the distinct personality of The Spice Girls to create a musical that celebrates the energy and excitement of the biggest girl-band of all time," said Craymer.

"I want to create a unique celebration of the band and its music, with its own flavor and joyful message. It is important to me that the excitement, style and humor of The Spice Girls is well represented on stage."

Launched by Simon Fuller,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Christmas Booms with 'Avatar,' 'Sherlock,' 'Alvin'

The combination of Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and other solid titles as well as Christmas landing on a Friday led to the highest-grossing weekend ever. Overall business came in at around $270 million, up 34 percent over the same timeframe last year and surpassing the previous high of $260.5 million set on July 18-20, 2008, when The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia! debuted.

Living up to its hype as the event picture of the season, Avatar was monolithic with $75.6 million, down a mere two percent from its opening. Though boosted by the Christmas holiday, it nonetheless broke the record for highest-grossing second weekend ever, edging out The Dark Knight's $75.2 million. The sci-fi adventure's 3D sites accounted for a 3D-record-setting $57.9 million of the weekend, and the picture posted another rousing performance in IMAX, which contributed an estimated $8.8 million of the weekend gross. In ten days, its tally stands at a whopping $212.7 million,
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Meryl Streep: Bankable franchise

Meryl Streep: Bankable franchise
A partial list of this summer's best boxoffice bets: Optimus Prime, Manny the Woolly Mammoth and Meryl Streep.

It's understandable if that prompts the reading equivalent of a double-take, but despite turning 60 in June, the actress most synonymous with Oscar quietly has become one of the most reliable warm-weather draws at the multiplex. Streep drummed up nearly $1 billion in worldwide revenue from her previous two summer outings: Fox's "The Devil Wears Prada" in 2006 and Universal's "Mamma Mia!" in 2008.

She puts that streak on the line next weekend when Columbia's "Julie & Julia" opens opposite Paramount's testosterone fest "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

The female-and-food pic, tracking to open in the $20 million range domestically with older females driving interest, could solidify her status as the industry's only character actress who, in the right vehicle, can carry a midbudget movie to blockbuster status.

With movie-star reliability continuing to buckle and such
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston top Forbes list

Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston top Forbes list
Memo to celebrity tabloids: Forbes just issued its list of Hollywood's biggest female moneymakers in the past year, and the top two spots are occupied by the former wife and current girlfriend of Brad Pitt.

Angelina Jolie tops the list, having earned $27 million from June 2008 through last month, and Jennifer Aniston is next at $25 million.

Much of what Jolie earned came by way of the $341 million worldwide boxoffice generated by the film "Wanted," plus a big upfront payment for her next film, "Salt."

Some of Aniston's fat paycheck comes courtesy of the $244 million that "Marley & Me" earned worldwide, and she makes a ton as pitchwoman for SmartWater. Also, money from "Friends" still pours in, and she got upfront cash for her upcoming comedy film "The Baster."

Forbes based its list on discussions with agents, managers, producers and lawyers.

Coming in third with $24 million was Meryl Streep, star of "Mamma Mia!
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Cooper Feared Failure In Mamma Mia!

Cooper Feared Failure In Mamma Mia!
British actor Dominic Cooper considered turning down an audition for Mamma Mia! - because he didn't think he would be good enough to sing Abba songs in the film.

The movie became the highest grossing picture of all time in the U.K. last year and received two Golden Globe nominations.

But Cooper narrowly missed out on his role as Sky in the Abba-themed hit, because he didn't want to embarrass himself during the audition process.

He says, "I was always very keen on it, it was just I didn't have any belief in my ability to sing Abba hits. And it was great that the director had confidence that I could do that. So I sent off the tapes. (I was) kind of desperate to not go in and make a fool of myself and I thought 'oh, why not? You have to give it a go'. And I got the phone call saying I got it."

Seyfried Gives Up Her Broadway Dreams

Seyfried Gives Up Her Broadway Dreams
Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried has given up hope of ever starring in a Broadway musical - after she failed to make it past the audition stage for two upcoming productions.

The actress has always wanted to test her skills on the New York stage and has been a regular on the audition circuit as she attempts to land a role.

But Seyfried admits she is struggling to convince theatre producers to hire her - and the constant rejection may have ended her Broadway dreams for good.

She says, "I would love to do theatre acting, but I have been turned down from two Broadway productions, so maybe it isn't for me."

Streep & Streisand Snubbed Luhrmann's Oscars Number

  • WENN
Streep & Streisand Snubbed Luhrmann's Oscars Number
Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep snubbed moviemaker Baz Luhrmann and Hugh Jackman when the Australia duo asked the ladies to perform at the Oscars.

Luhrmann approached the divas and asked them to participate in the big musical production number he staged at the 2009 Oscars, according to website GoldDerby.com, but they both turned him down.

Sources tell the website Streep was asked to stand up from her seat in the audience and "belt out a few bars" of Mamma Mia! while Streisand was reportedly asked to appear onstage to sing Somewhere from West Side Story.

Streep declined the offer immediately, but Luhrmann even went to Streisand's home in Malibu, California in a bid to woo the singer/actress.

The source explains, "She dropped out at the last moment."

Luhrmann declined to comment about the report.

Batman Wins Big At Empire Awards

  • WENN
Batman Wins Big At Empire Awards
Batman was the big winner at the 2009 Jameson Empire Awards in London as Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and director Christopher Nolan were honoured for their parts in making The Dark Knight.

The annual ceremony at the city's Grosvenor Hotel on Sunday celebrated the film industry's success stories of the year, with Empire magazine readers voting for the winners in all the major categories.

And Batman movie The Dark Knight continued its award season haul, taking home the Best Movie trophy, as well as gaining a Best Actor prize for its star Christian Bale and the Best Director statuette for filmmaker Christopher Nolan.

The event also paid homage to late actor Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his role as evil villain The Joker in the blockbuster, by honouring him with a special commemoration award for his life works.

Moviemaker Danny Boyle, whose Slumdog Millionaire garnered a massive eight Academy Awards at this year's ceremony, turned out to receive an Outstanding Contribution to Film honour in recognition of his 14 year directorial career.

Brit star Helena Bonham Carter walked away with the Best Actress award for her role in Tim Burton's sinister musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Guy Ritchie's latest gangster thriller RocknRolla won the Best British Movie prize, while Abba musical Mamma Mia took home the trophy for Best Soundtrack.

Bond film Quantum of Solace won two awards; one for Best Thriller and another for Best Newcomer for Brit actress Gemma Arterton.

And Hollywood tough guys were the toast of the night - Russell Crowe and Viggo Mortensen received special tributes in honour of their longrunning dedication to acting.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Film: The Dark Knight

Best Actor: Christian Bale

Best Actress: Helena Bonham Carter

Best British Film: RocknRolla

Best Director: Christopher Nolan

Icon Award: Viggo Mortensen

Best Thriller: Quantum of Solace

Best Comedy: Son of Rambow

Best Horror: Eden Lake

Best Newcomer: Gemma Arterton

Best Soundtrack: Mamma Mia

Outstanding Contribution to British Film: Danny Boyle

Actor of our Lifetime: Russell Crowe

Knowles Dazzles During Oscars Performance

  • WENN
Knowles Dazzles During Oscars Performance
Beyonce Knowles made a surprise appearance at the Oscars, to join host Hugh Jackman for a spectacular medley of showtunes.

The pop superstar dazzled onstage at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre wearing a top hat and red sequined leotard and gloves.

Knowles and Jackman whizzed through renditions of Top Hat, White Tie And Tails; You're The One That I Want, from Grease; Lady Marmalade; All That Jazz; and Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

And they were joined onstage at the end by High School Musical stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens and Mamma Mia!'s Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried for performances of Last Chance and Mamma Mia! from their respective films.

The medley was directed by Moulin Rouge filmmaker Baz Luhrmann.

Jackman, Beyonce And Efron To Team Up At Oscars

  • WENN
Jackman, Beyonce And Efron To Team Up At Oscars
Oscar host Hugh Jackman is determined to make his big night one to remember - he will reportedly team up with Beyonce Knowles, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens to perform a musical extravaganza at the star-studded event.

Jackman will be joined on-stage by the Dreamgirls star, along with the real-life couples Hudgens and Efron and Mamma Mia's Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper for a showstopping song-and-dance routine.

The actor, who started his career as a Broadway star, has roped in his Australia director Baz Luhrmann to work his magic on the as -yet-unknown musical number, according to E! Online.

The 81st Academy Awards takes place at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Streep: 'I'm Like Will Smith'

  • WENN
Streep: 'I'm Like Will Smith'
Meryl Streep has compared herself to Hollywood superstar Will Smith - because the success of hit movie Mamma Mia! is reminiscent of the actor's achievements. The Abba-themed musical was a box office smash around the globe last year, with estimated takings of $573 million (£406 million) worldwide.

And Streep has likened the popularity the film has garnered to that of Smith's blockbusters, such as 1997's Men in Black and I Am Legend in 2007.

She says, "I'm like Will Smith now! Mamma Mia!... It changed everything. Now the studio bosses say, 'Let's put this movie in the Mamma Mia! summer slot, like that's my slot, as if I were Will Smith or something.

"I'm pleased to say my family and my friends and other actors don't see me any differently, but in Hollywood it's just incredible how the perception of me has changed."

Slumdog Is Top Dog At British Critics Awards

  • WENN
Slumdog Is Top Dog At British Critics Awards
Director Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed movie Slumdog Millionaire has won high praise at the the U.K.'s Richard Attenborough Film Awards, scooping four top prizes. The Oscar-nominated drama picked up honours for Film of the Year, Rising Star of the Year (Dev Patel), and Director of the Year at the critics' awards show.

Patel also walked away with the Best Breakthrough Star accolade - one of four categories voted for by the public.

And the 18 year old couldn't be happier with the recognition: "I have been absolutely amazed by the sheer scale and scope of the reaction to this film and I want to thank everyone for their support."

Meanwhile, Mickey Rourke and Kate Winslet claimed the night's acting awards, and Martin McDonagh picked up the Screenwriter of The Year award for Colin Farrell's movie In Bruges.

The remaining three People's Choice prizes went to Mamma Mia!, which was named Best British Film of The Year, and The Dark Knight, which claimed the public's Best Film of The Year and Best Film Score honours at Thursday's ceremony in London.

Seyfried Is A Woman Of No Importance

  • WENN
Seyfried Is A Woman Of No Importance
Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried has beaten Lindsay Lohan to the lead role in a big-screen adaptation of Oscar Wilde play A Woman Of No Importance. Mean Girls star Lohan was first linked to the part in 2006, but she appears to have lost out to Seyfried, who will step back in time for the upper-class dark comedy, set in Britain's Victorian era.

She will star opposite Sean Bean, who will portray womaniser Lord Illingworth, and Annette Bening will play his mother, according to Variety.

Skarsgard Weds In Sweden

  • WENN
Skarsgard Weds In Sweden
Mamma Mia! star Stellan Skarsgard has reportedly tied the knot with his girlfriend in his native Sweden.

The actor married Megan Everett on 12 January at the city hall in Nacka, a suburb of Stockholm, according to Swedish publication Aftonbladet.

Skarsgard is said to have flown to Los Angeles shortly after the nuptials to complete filming on The Da Vinci Code sequel Angels + Demons with co-stars Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor.

The star has six children from a previous marriage that ended in 2007.

Cooper's Ex: 'He Promised To Marry Me'

  • WENN
Mamma Mia! star Dominic Cooper pledged to marry and have children with his childhood sweetheart in a bid to win her back - whilst allegedly enjoying a fling with his co-star Amanda Seyfried.

The British actor and Seyfried, who play lovers in the Abba-inspired movie musical, began their on-set affair at a time when Cooper had temporarily split from Joanna Carolan, his girlfriend of 12 years.

She tells U.K. magazine Grazia, "He didn't want to (be on a break) but I insisted. He went off to Greece and I knew about Amanda straight away. Dom didn't tell me - I heard it from friends. I honestly thought it was a five-minute fling.

"During this time I even went to the Mamma Mia! premiere with Dominic. Of course Amanda was there and it was desperately awkward. They weren't supposed to be seeing each other then but in my heart I knew that they were, and those were the hardest days."

After an emotional heart-to-heart, the pair decided to start afresh and vowed to settle down with each other: "After the initial confusion, I suddenly realised I did want to be with Dominic for the rest of my life...

"I said I wanted to marry and have kids and he said that's what he wanted, too. I completely believed him."

But Carolan was left devastated to discover Cooper was still seeing the Mean Girls star behind her back.

She adds, "I took it for granted he'd end his relationship with Amanda. He'd say he had and then I'd hear through friends that he hadn't.

"He was still always flying off to L.A. where she lives and I know Dom - he's someone who needs a bosom as a pillow. By then it did feel like betrayal. I realised I was becoming a victim and I refused to be that woman."

And although Carolan has kept in touch with Cooper, she struggled to cope with her heartache following their split: "I've cried a lot of tears and have woken up to the reality that the future I wanted is never going to happen.

"It was reported that we are back together after he had promised to end his affair. That's not true. We still love each other, but we're not together. I also care about Amanda: she's young and vulnerable and has been upset by what's been said."

Beckinsale's Daughter Thrills In Mamma Mia! Role

  • WENN
Beckinsale's Daughter Thrills In Mamma Mia! Role
Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen's daughter Lily has inherited acting skills from her thespian parents - she dazzled an audience of her local drama group by taking on a starring role in musical Mamma Mia!.

The former couple's daughter, who turns 10 later this month, attends an after school club for budding stars and impressed an assembled crowd when she performed the lead part of Sophie in the Abba-inspired adaptation.

But the youngster also had to take on a male role during the show - which she ended up enjoying a little too much.

Sheen tells WENN, "Lily did a production of Mamma Mia! with her local drama group before Christmas where she surprised us all by being able to sing brilliantly.

"She played Sophie . the starring role! In one performance she was Sophie and in the other one she played the guy Sophie gets married to, but because it was all girls they just cut all the boy parts.

"She had to draw a moustache on herself for the second performance and get married to Sophie . that was her favourite bit!"

But Sheen is convinced Lily won't make the transition to Hollywood when she is older - because she prefers to be behind the camera.

He adds, "She.s a writer, she wants to write. It.s what she loves doing, so she will probably do a bit of that."
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