‘Live By Night’ Review: Ben Affleck Hits Target With Sharp Ode To Gangster Movies Of The Past

With three solid successes behind him as a director, Ben Affleck continues to forge a career — behind the camera at least — that strives for the kind of quality that only dribbles out of major studios once or twice a year. With The Town, his Oscar-winning Best Picture Argo, and his first helming effort Gone Baby Gone, Affleck has established himself in the mode of an Eastwood or Redford — the kind of actor who can easily move into the director’s chair without missing a…

Rihanna, Katy Perry Concerts to Get ‘SportsCenter’-Style Coverage From LiveXLive (Exclusive)

If you’re into watching your favorite musical acts online, there’s a whole new facet of coverage in store for fans: magazine-style news shows that will cut to live concert footage from around the world.

LiveXLive, a subsidiary of Loton Corps., has partnered up with Big Boots Studios to build LXL Studios — which will develop, produce and acquire original music and lifestyle programming to distribute across LiveXLive’s expanding digital platform.

In the past, LiveXLive has featured performances and content from the world’s biggest artists, including Rihanna, Katy Perry, Metallica, Duran Duran, Radiohead, Chance The Rapper, Bruce Springsteen, Avicii and Maroon 5. Fans can expect that same caliber of talent featured on the new platform in 2017.

LXL Studios will host LiveXLive’s music magazine-style news show, which will feature a socially influential cast, and take fans around the world of music in “snack-sized bits” of real-time, curated, behind-the-scenes content segments. Ultimately, it will fuel the daily viewership of the platform similar to how SportsCenter anchors ESPN’s daily broadcasting.

Also Read: Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group Buys Spin, Vibe and Stereogum

The Studio will also develop and curate originals in short form, mobile-centric scripted and unscripted formats geared to millennial viewers. This proprietary content should appeal to fans across the musical spectrum, featuring music festivals and venues, and insider access across the globe.

“The addition of LXL Studios and our partnership with Big Boots allows LiveXLive to expand its vision of aggregating, curating and leveraging thousands of hours of live music and lifestyle content through mutually beneficial relationships with the world’s top festivals, venues, award shows, promoters and talent,” LiveXLive Founder and Chairman Robert Ellin said in a statement. “We will pair all of this with edgy original content to create the first independent music network delivered across all platforms.”

Also Read: How Damien Chazelle Pulled Off the Big, Bold Musical ‘La La Land’

LXL Studios plans to launch in 2017, with Big Boots overseeing the development and production of 10 to 12 pilots, and 3 to 5 documentary series. The slate is expected to expand in 2018. LXL Studios will distribute its content on mobile, internet, theatrical, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms, and other traditional and emerging platforms.

“Big Boots is, at its core, about building platforms for engagement and LiveXLive represents everything we look for in a platform,” said Big Boots Studios President and CCO Roger Mincheff, who launched Fox Digital Studios and, along with GM and Head of Content Programming Anthony Kaan, launched Relativity Media’s digital studio.

“Nothing sparks true and authentic engagement with audiences more than the power of music, especially the live music experience and LXL Studios will be on the cutting edge of that experience. LXL Studios is the next natural extension for the amazing fan experience that the LiveXLive platform has established.”

Also Read: The Gnome Life Launches: Geek Content Brand Built on Diversity (Exclusive)

Since its initial broadcast in 2015, LiveXLive has sought to become the singular global destination for music fans to enjoy premium live performances from leading festivals, nightlife and concert venues, as well as original content and artist exclusive and interviews.

The company has also partnered with Rock In Rio, Outside Lands, Verizon, Screenvision/KAOS Connect, OneLive, and MTV to lay its foundation across the worlds of music and technology.

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Best of: The best and worst swag of 2016

The A.V. Club receives a ludicrous quantity of promotional junk from studio marketing people who are eager to remind us that their movies and TV shows exist. We stockpile these items in our high-security swag vault (read: a rickety bookcase behind Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s desk). Then every December, Josh Modell and John Teti empty out the vault so they can show off the fanciest—and chintziest—freebies that came our way. This year’s haul includes a box of post-apocalyptic necessities, the obligatory weird mask, and a long-sleeved Lethal Weapon T-shirt. That’s right: long sleeves! Get a load of that sweet custom-branded crap, and much more, in the video.

‘Lost City of Z’ Teaser Trailer: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland Rumble in the Jungle (Video)

Amazon Studios has released a new teaser trailer of “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam and Tom Holland.

The movie, based on a book that tells a true story, follows British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while search for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s. The trailer shows confrontations with indigenous people, as well as the cast members running for their life.

“We must turn back!” says one voice in the trailer.

Also Read: ‘The Lost City of Z’ NYFF Review: Charlie Hunnam Explores the Amazon in Stirring Saga

“There is no turning back,” responds another.

The movie also stars a heavily bearded Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Angus Macfadyen and Edward Ashley.

Hunnam replaced Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role just before production began early last year.

Also Read: ‘The Lost City of Z’ First Trailer Shows Charlie Hunnam Under Attack in Amazon Jungle

Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing via Plan B Entertainment along with Anthony Katagas and Dale Johnson. MICA Entertainment is financing the film, which is based on David Grann‘s best-selling nonfiction book. James Gray is directing.

The film premiered at the New York Film Festival and wowed critics — it has a score of 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The Lost City of Z” will be released in New York and Los Angeles theaters on April 14, with a wider release the following week.

Watch the trailer above.

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‘Star Wars’ Fan Makes ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl (Video)

If you are one of the people bummed that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was missing the franchise’s signature opening crawl, one fan has got your back.

“Rogue One” was the first “Star Wars” film to not feature the opening crawl, a trademark that has made the films instantly recognizable since 1977. But a fan went ahead and made their own.

“The Jedi are all but extinct, the Republic has fallen and in their wake, the Galactic Empire has engulfed the far reaches of the galaxy in fear,” the text reads in the video. “Persecuted members of the Old Republic have been thrust into hiding. Only members of the REBEL ALLIANCE dare take a stand against the ruthless Imperial forces. Deep in the Outer Rim territories, the dastardly Director Krennic has discovered the location of a long lost friend; one capable of completing the Empire’s most powerful weapon yet…”

Also Read: Disney Becomes First Ever Studio to Hit $7 Billion at Global Box Office

The blockbuster stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed and Donnie Yen. It opened on Dec. 16 and grossed $155 million its opening weekend. It has since earned $357 million worldwide and is expected to take first place at the Christmas box office this weekend, ahead of newcomers “Sing,” “Assassin’s Creed” and “Passengers.”

Watch the new opening crawl below.

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The 11 Biggest Box Office Surprises of 2016 (Photos)

After six weeks in theaters, the lady-led “Bad Moms” became the first R-rated comedy of the year to cross $100 million, marking young studio STX’s biggest hit. The film went on to earn nearly $180 million worldwide — not bad for a movie that was made for a modest $20 million.

Also Read: STX Finds Fast Footing: ‘Bad Moms’ Spinoffs, ‘Edge of Seventeen’ Raves and Martin Scorsese

Of course, “Deadpool” is a comedy wrapped inside of a comic book action movie — and it crossed $100 million months before “Bad Moms.” In fact, it’s the highest-grossing R-rated movie of the year with $363.1 million in North America and the fifth highest grossing of 2016 overall, just behind “The Jungle Book.” Needless to say, the film that took Ryan Reynolds years to bring to the big screen shocked prognosticators with its eventual $782.6 million in global box office returns.

Also Read: ‘Deadpool’ Blows Away World Record as Top-Grossing R-Rated Movie Ever

“Boo! A Madea Halloween” topped the box office two weekends in a row when it came out. Its success even seemed to shock its creator, Tyler Perry, who told TheWrap, “It’s been 18 years and to see people still coming, it’s very moving to me still because I certainly didn’t think I would do it this long.”

Also Read: 6 Reasons Why ‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’ Slayed at the Box Office

Sci-fi drama “Arrival” proved it’s more than an awards season play when it crossed $100 million worldwide in its third week in theaters.

Also Read: ‘Arrival’ Director Denis Villeneuve on How It Feels Relevant Post-Election

R-rated animated movies always had a hard time surpassing the $55-million range — until “Sausage Party” shattered that barrier, making nearly $100 million domestically over the summer and topping $140 million worldwide.

Also Read: 6 Reasons Why ‘Sausage Party’ Sizzled at the Box Office

Modestly-budgeted home invasion thriller “Don’t Breathe” seemed to come out of left field, opening to a whopping estimated $26.1 million — more than double predictions and nearly triple its $10-million production budget. Now, that’s scary good.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why ‘Don’t Breathe’ Had a Shockingly Massive Debut

Catch the rest of this report on TheWrap.com.

 

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DreamWorks Animation Co-President Mireille Soria Steps Down

DreamWorks Animation co-president Mireille Soria is stepping down to focus on producing, TheWrap has learned.

Bonnie Arnold will become the sole president of the studio. She and Soria were named co-presidents of feature animation last January, and were elevated to co-presidents of the entire studio when Ann Daly departed after Comcast’s NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks for $3.8 billion in August.

Soria and Arnold were the lead producers behind the studio’s “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Madagascar” franchises. The three DreamWorks “Madagascar” films have each made more than $500 million worldwide, while the two “How to Train Your Dragon” movies have combined for a global box office haul of $1.1 billion.

Also Read: Universal Announces DreamWorks Animation Executive Lineup

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley announced Soria’s departure in a Dec. 12 memo:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that Mireille has decided to return to focusing solely on producing and will be transitioning out of her executive role as Co-President as we wrap up both Boss Baby and Captain Underpants in the new year. Bonnie will remain President, with full oversight of development and production for the feature animation group.

As we are all fortunate to know firsthand, Mireille is an incredibly passionate and talented filmmaker who has contributed to the DreamWorks Animation legacy.  She has shepherded a successful slate of films during her tenure at the studio, including the Madagascar franchise, of which she will continue to be involved as a producer.

I want to personally thank both Mireille and Bonnie for their guidance and stewardship during this time of transition.  As we close out 2016, we are energized for the New Year and looking forward to accomplishing great things together in 2017.

Donna

Meriah Doty contributed reporting to this article.

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Mireille Soria Steps Down as DreamWorks Animation Co-President (EXCLUSIVE)

Mireille Soria has stepped down as co-president of DreamWorks Animation in order to focus on producing, leaving Bonnie Arnold as sole president of the studio. Soria’s move comes four months after Comcast Corp. closed its $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. Arnold and Soria had been the lead producers behind the studio’s “How to Train… Read more »

Oscars Gender Gap: Docs, Foreign Films Twice as Likely to Have Female Directors

The statistics for female directors in Hollywood haven’t improved, judging by the list of Oscar eligible films released on Wednesday.

Out of the 271 non-documentary, non-foreign language feature films that made the Academy’s list of 336 eligible films this year, only 30 of them had a female director. That’s just more than 11 percent.

Surprisingly, English-language films lagged behind those from overseas this year — and way behind documentaries — in gender representation. Women directed 19 percent of the submissions in the Academy’s foreign-language film category — 16 out of 85. And fully 31 percent of the eligible documentary films — 45 of 145 — had a female director or co-director.

Also Read: 336 Films Qualify for Oscars in 2016

The English-language features directed by women on this year’s list include Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe,” starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo; Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts and Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women,” with Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Laura Dern.

Even after the documentary field was whittled down to a shortlist of 15 titles, female-directed films still represented 27 percent of the total. Those titles included Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” Kirsten Johnson’s “Cameraperson,” Nanfu Wang’s “Hooligan Sparrow” and “Weiner,” co-directed by Elyse Sternberg and Josh Kriegman.

Also Read: ‘Star Wars’ Exec Kathleen Kennedy Has ‘Every Intention’ to Hire Female Director

What’s more surprising is that female directors overseas are better represented, with 16 of the 85 official submissions for Oscar’s best foreign language film having female directors. Indeed, German director Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” is widely considered one of this year’s front-runners — though it’s the only female-directed film among the nine to make this year’s shortlist.

Of course, the issue doesn’t lie with the Academy itself but rather the list mirrors an ongoing gaping disparity between men and women who get hired to helm feature films.

The steep gender gap between male and female directors was spotlighted in the media last year when studies exposed the issue, prompting several women directors to speak out in the press.

Also Read: Canadian Movie Financier Commits to Female Directors for Half its Projects by 2020

Only 9 percent of the top 250-grossing movies were directed by women in 2015 — exactly the same percentage breakdown as 1998, according to the most recent study by Martha Lauzen, the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

“There has been no progress in the 18 years that I have conducted [my] study,” Lauzen told TheWrap this week. “We have heard more public and industry dialogue regarding the underemployment of women as directors in the last couple of years, but the numbers have yet to change.”

A recent tally by the USC’s Institute for Diversity and Empowerment shows that only 3.4 percent of all film directors are female — the lowest percentage when compared with other forms of media: broadcast, cable and streaming (see chart below).

Also Read: ‘Money Monster’s’ Jodie Foster: Studios View Female Directors ‘as a Risk’

“Since the studios have demonstrated little desire to change their hiring practices, it seems likely that significant and lasting change will need to be prompted by an external source,” said Lauzen, citing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s current investigation into the gender gap among film directors.

She added: “Women have fared better in the documentary world than in the world of features, perhaps because there are fewer barriers to entry.”

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Tribeca’s Female Directors Take a Hard Look at Women’s Struggles in a Man’s World

Sundance 2016: Four Female Directors Win Horizon Awards

New Study Finds Female Directors of Top Movies Rise To Where They Were in 1998

‘Sully’ Producers On A Film That Almost Didn’t Take Flight: “The Project Became An Albatross To Get Made”

Sometimes, when it comes to greenlighting a big movie in this town, it boils down to an assistant. In the case of Sully, the big-screen retelling of US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson” emergency landing, you can credit Clint Eastwood‘s right hand Kristina Rivera. Sully producers Frank Marshall, Allyn Stewart and her partner Kipp Nelson had been shopping Todd Komarnicki’s script around, with many studios refusing to read it because they thought…

Relativity Taps Brett Dahl As Production President After Dana Brunetti Exit

Relativity said today that it has appointed Brett Dahl as president of production, less than 24 hours after news broke that Dana Brunetti would be exiting his post as Relativity president. The studio confirmed today via a spokesman what Deadline broke late last night: that Brunetti was segueing to a production deal at Relativity. The spokesman also made clear there is no bad blood between Brunetti and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh:
“Dana has transitioned to a production…

Newswire: Alan Tudyk auditions for Eliza Dushku in this exclusive clip from Con Man

We like to imagine the bonds formed by actors who have been involved in Joss Whedon projects are lifelong and unbreakable. That’s perhaps why it tickles us to see Alan Tudyk and Eliza Dushku on screen together in this exclusive clip from Tudyk’s Con Man. The webseries follows Wray Nerely (Tudyk), a sardonic actor who was once on a beloved sci-fi series, Spectrum. (Lest you forgot, Tudyk was once on the beloved sci-fi series Firefly.) In the second season’s upcoming sixth episode, Wray auditions for a role on something called Dr. Cop Lawyer because The Mysteries Of Laura was obviously already taken. Dushku plays the no-nonsense casting director, who informs him the director will be watching on an unceremonious live stream.

Though Tudyk and Dushku have a variety of Whedon credits among them, they overlapped on his Dollhouse. Tudyk—who is currently winning praise for his performance …