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The Big Screen Bulletin 12.23.13: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Holds off Anchorman 2 For #1
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 12.23.2013

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Welcome to the Big Screen Bulletin! My name is Steve Gustafson and this is where we hit the big movie news from the weekend and anything else going on in the world of Hollywood!

I interviewed Playboy's Miss November, Gemma Lee Farrell!

Follow me on Twitter for random bits, news RT's, and updates! Only at http://www.twitter.com/stevethegoose!


1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - $31.5 million ($127.5 million total)
2. Anchorman: The Legend Continues - $26.8 million ($40 million total)
3. Frozen - $19.2 million ($191.6 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
4. American Hustle - $19.1 million ($20.2 million total)
5. Saving Mr. Banks - $9.3 million ($9.9 million total)
6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $8.8 million ($371.7 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
7. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas - $8.5 million ($28.3 million total)
8. Walking With Dinosaurs - $7.3 million ($7.3 million total)
9. Dhoom 3 - $3.3 million ($3.3 million total)
10. Thor: The Dark World - $1.3 million ($200.8 million total) READ THE REVIEW!

Box Office Survey!
Instead of me just repeating what you can see, how about we ask some questions about the weekend box office? Answer in the comments!

* Are you surprised Hobbit held off Anchorman?

* How well will American Hustle perform?

EW reported that Anna Paquin's Rogue has been removed entirely from the theatrical cut of May 23rd's X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Paquin was only on set for a week early in the prolonged production and appeared only in a "rescue" sequence with Ian McKellen's Magneto, Patrick Stewart's Professor X and Iceman, Shawn Ashmore. Judging from the cast, that likely places Rogue's scenes in the Future days. "Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous," Singer told Entertainment Weekly. "It's a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she's in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won't appear in it."

My question:

Casting of the Week!
Marvel posted the following announcement, confirming Vin Diesel as Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie:

Vin Diesel is Groot!

The star of the Fast and the Furious and Riddick franchises will lend his voice to Groot in Marvel's live-action "Guardians of the Galaxy," rounding out the team that includes Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista).

Following the official announcement by Marvel, director James Gunn posted the following message on his official Facebook page on Diesel and Groot:

"Yep it is completely official. AND he's amazing. I never knew someone could say I AM GROOT so many different ways and with such feeling (and that sounds like I'm kidding but I'm not!)"

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In an interview on Watch What Happens Live, Will Ferrell revealed that he will not be starring in a sequel to Elf. Here are highlights:

On Elf 2: "Absolutely not. I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights. Buddy the middle-aged elf."

On his favorite and least favorite SNL characters: "My favorite character to play, there's so many to choose from. A canon. Maybe my favorite sketch ... is the Cowbell Sketch, the 'Don't Fear the Reaper.' And the one character I was happy to not play anymore -- this is going to seem odd, but I was forced to play Ted Turner and I never really had a good Ted Turner impersonation. ... It's not a good story. It's the truth, though."

On his least favorite guest host of SNL: "Ugh, Joan Allen. She was a real turd... I mean, you know about Joan Allen."

On meeting George W. Bush: "[Bush] had come to 'Saturday Night Live' to a do a pre-election special ... they asked if I would come and meet the governor because he was huge fan. I could tell he had no idea I was the guy who played him."

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According to a report from Variety, Joaquin Phoenix is currently being rumored for a role in Batman vs. Superman. Phoenix is believed to be in line for the role of the main antagonist, which is likely to be Lex Luthor. Here is what Variety has to say about the potential casting:

"Warner Bros. wants the Oscar-winning actor for a role in the upcoming untitled Batman-Superman pic. However, it's very early in the process and even if Warners offers Phoenix a role, it's not clear he would accept as the actor has steered clear of big-budget pics in the past few years, leaning towards movies with a more prestige feel."

Batman vs. Superman is currently scheduled for a July 17th, 2015 release date and at this time stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Amy Adams.

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We all know that Ultron will be the main villain in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it appears that a second villain may appear as well. Latino Review claims that they have sources telling them that a second main villain will appear in the film, namely that of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.

Baron von Strucker is one of the leaders of Hydra, the terrorist organization first seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: The First Avenger under the direction of the Red Skull. Von Strucker is a former Nazi officer who first appeared in 1964's Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #5. He joined the Nazis early on and was wing commander of the infamous Death's Head Squadron in the comics. Von Strucker avoided war crimes prosecution and was given an age-retarding serum in order to oversee HYDRA's progress in the aftermath of World War II.

The site claims that Martin Csokas (Lord of the Rings) and Dougray Scott (Mission: Imposssible II) are the top choices, though others may be targeted as well. It finally adds that Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) will at least start off the film as Hydra agents.

The film hits theaters on May 1st, 2015.

As previously reported, Paul Rudd has been cast in the title role for Marvel's Ant-Man. Now the studio has publicly confirmed the news, announcing that Rudd will play Henry Pym in the Edgar Wright-directed film.

Kevin Feige said, "When Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star. We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul. When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we'd ever met with about doing the work, we knew we'd found the right guy. We couldn't be more excited for our audiences to see what he's going to do to bring Ant-Man to life."

The film will be released on July 31st, 2015. For those doubting Rudd can handle the badass nature of a superhero, prepare to be sold:

What the hell? Shia LaBeouf has apologized after failing to credit artist Daniel Clowes for inspiring the actor's directorial debut, a short film called "HowardCantour.com," but LaBeouf's expression of regret may need some clarification of its own.

LaBeouf's short, about an online film critic, included striking similarities to, and often whole sections of dialogue lifted from,Clowes' 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano. Despite the fact that "HowardCantour.com" premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, however, no one noticed the connection until LaBeouf's film was released online.

"The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I've never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf," Clowes told BuzzFeed's Jordan Zakarin in an interview. "I've never even seen one of his films that I can recall -- and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can't imagine what was going through his mind."

LaBeouf's failings may even extend to his own apology for the incident. As BuzzFeed pointed out, the first tweet he sent out as part of that lengthy mea culpa ...bears a striking resemblance to a Yahoo! Answers post from four years ago:

Merely copying isn't particularly creative work, though it's useful as training and practice. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work, and it may even revolutionalize [sic] the "stolen" concept.

"I know something about the gulf between critical acclaim and blockbuster business. I have been crushed by critics (especially during my 'Transformers' run), and in trying to come to terms with my feelings about critics, I needed to understand them,"LaBeouf said to Short of the Week when asked about the impetus behind his film. "As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I've worked with, a small script developed."

After BuzzFeed reported that Clowes was considering legal action against LaBeouf, The Wrap has revealed that a monetary settlement between both parties could be in the offing.

LaBeouf's overture may include a monetary settlement of some kind, though how much wasn't immediately clear, as the film wasn't meant to be a profitable enterprise. But a deal would almost surely include proper credit in the film's credits, which previously made no mention of Clowes' source material.

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Trailer Talk
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is coming! Check out this latest trailer.

What do you think?

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That's all the time I have. See you next week!


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