By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Existential outer-space thriller "Gravity," corruption tale "American Hustle" and independent drama "Fruitvale Station" are among the 10 best films of the year announced by the American Film Institute (AFI) on Monday, kicking off a key week in Hollywood's awards season. The annual AFI list also picked Somali piracy thriller "Captain Phillips," slavery drama "12 Years a Slave," comedy-drama "Nebraska," futuristic romance "Her," Disney-history drama "Saving Mr. Banks," folk music comedy-drama "Inside Llewyn David" and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" as the year's top films. "American Hustle," "Her," and "Gravity" have been chosen as best picture by three top critics' groups in the last week, while "12 Years a Slave" won the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. "Fruitvale Station," the debut feature film from 27-year-old Ryan Coogler that touches on race and the real-life shooting death of a young black man in Oakland, Calif., has won universal critical acclaim as well as awards at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.
American comedian Adam Sandler topped Forbes' list of Hollywood's most-overpaid actors, commanding a high up-front fee while delivering middling returns, the magazine said on Monday. Sandler, 47, the star of recent comedies "Jack & Jill" and "That's My Boy," dethroned Eddie Murphy for the dubious distinction. Forbes estimated that Sandler's last three films returned an average of $3.40 for every dollar he was paid. Katherine Heigl, who starred in the poorly performing films "Killers" and "One for the Money," placed slightly behind Sandler, returning an average of $3.50 per every dollar she earned.
The rebellion of Katniss Everdeen, brought to the screen by Jennifer Lawrence, continues to captivate audiences worldwide. During its third weekend in theaters, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" brought in revenues of $71.3 million, bringing its total income to $673.3 million. The second installment in the "Hunger Games" series managed to outsell Disney's seasonal animated film "Frozen," which came in second place in the global box office with $62.2 million in revenues this weekend, including $31.6 million from the US alone, where it came in first place at the nationwide box office.
Disney animated musical "Frozen" extinguished the box-office flames of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" to take top spot as the highest-earning movie in North American theaters this weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday. The 53rd movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, which began with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937, "Frozen" is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairytale "The Snow Queen." Preliminary figures from box office tracker Exhibitor Relations showed the movie had deposed "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" after raking in a cool $31.6 million. The latest installment of the blockbuster "Hunger Games" franchise continued to hold up well, however, taking second with $27 million, taking its overall earnings to date to a healthy $336.7 million in North America alone.
Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo rounded out the list of honorees at the country's prestigious awards ceremony for stars of the stage, screen and concert hall. "The diverse group of extraordinary individuals we honor today haven't just proven themselves to be the best of the best," President Barack Obama said at a White House ceremony before the show. "Despite all their success, all their fame, they've remained true to themselves - and inspired the rest of us to do the same." The evening started with a tribute to Santana, a 10-time Grammy winner originally from Mexico. Singer Harry Belafonte, himself a Kennedy Center honoree, joked that he was a victim of the Latino musician's greatness, saying he thought Santana got his spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thousands of fans, some driving souped-up cars, converged in Southern California on Sunday at the site of actor Paul Walker's death, paying tribute to the "Fast and Furious" star and a friend who were killed in a fiery crash two weeks ago. The unusual public memorial took the form of a car rally, with drivers filing slowly past the spot in Santa Clarita, where Walker, 40, and Roger Rodas, 38, died on November 30. Rodas, the owner of a local auto dealership and racing services company, was behind the wheel of a Porsche Carrera GT with Walker in the passenger seat when it crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames. Walker had been in Santa Clarita, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles, for a charity event.
(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Film Critics Association named "Gravity" and "Her" as the year's best films on Sunday and chose Bruce Dern, Cate Blanchett and French actress Adele Exarchopoulos for top acting honors in the latest of a series of early awards leading up to Hollywood's biggest prize, the Oscars. The Los Angeles critics also named Alfonso Cuaron best director for "Gravity," the outer space-set box office hit which also won the awards for best cinematography and best editing. Earlier this week the New York Film Critics Circle chose "American Hustle," about 1970s con artists forced to work with the FBI, as the year's best film and gave its best actress award to Blanchett, while the National Board of Review named Spike Jonze's "Her" as 2013's best film. "Her," a quirky love story about a withdrawn Los Angeles writer played by Joaquin Phoenix, and his computer operating system, will be released in selected U.S. theaters later this month.
Aron Ralston, whose harrowing tale of amputating his own forearm after he became trapped in a Utah canyon became a best-selling book and later a Hollywood film, was jailed in Denver on suspicion of domestic violence, court records released on Sunday show. Ralston, 38, was arrested Saturday night and was being held in the Denver County jail where he faces one count of assault and one count of "wrongs to minors," according to jail records. A spokeswoman with the Denver Police Department told Reuters she could not provide details of the incident.