"The Desolation of Smaug," the second installment in Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy, remains in first place at the worldwide box office for the fourth consecutive weekend. The heroic fantasy film took in $74.25 million in revenues across 63 territories during the weekend ending January 5, according to Rentrak.
By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's animated fairy tale "Frozen" took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" down to the No.3 spot. Second place went to new horror movie "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones", a spinoff from the hit low-budget "Paranormal Activity" franchise. "Frozen," which opened on the eve of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend in November, collected $20.7 million in ticket sales to claim the weekend box office crown, ahead of "The Marked Ones" which earned $18.2 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak. Kristen Bell provides the voice for the lead character in "Frozen," the story of a Scandinavian princess on a search for her missing sister, the queen.
By Chris Michaud NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Inside Llewyn Davis," the Coen brothers' tale of a struggling folk singer in early 1960s Greenwich Village, was named the year's best film by the National Society of Film Critics on Saturday, with star Oscar Isaac winning best actor and the filmmaking brothers sharing the award for best director. The group, made up of 56 prominent movie critics from newspapers, magazines and other media outlets nationwide, chose Cate Blanchett as best actress for Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," in which she plays the troubled wife of a financial fraudster. Best supporting actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for the 1970s-set "American Hustle," and James Franco won best supporting actor for his portrayal of a gangster drug dealer in the comic drama "Spring Breakers." In choosing "Inside Llewyn Davis," the critics broke away from choices by other groups such as the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle, which respectively chose the quirky "Her" and "American Hustle" as best film.
Film producer Saul Zaentz, winner of best picture Oscars for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Amadeus" and "The English Patient," has died at age 92, US media reported Saturday. Zaentz died due to complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home in San Francisco on Friday, his nephew Paul Zaentz told the Los Angeles Times. "He was an extraordinary man," Paul Zaentz, who worked with his uncle for 37 years, told the Hollywood Reporter. Zaentz, who began in the music business before moving into films, was known for producing highbrow movies, and even ran his independent film production company from Berkeley -- near San Francisco -- to keep a distance from Hollywood.
By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Saul Zaentz, the music industry executive who became a film producer for three movies that won Academy Awards for "Best Picture", has died at the age of 92, his nephew Paul Zaentz said on Saturday. Zaentz died on Friday at his San Francisco area home from complications related to Alzheimer's disease, Paul Zaentz said. Zaentz is best known for being a producer for acclaimed films including the 1975 movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Amadeus" in 1984 and "The English Patient" in 1996. "He was an amazing man," said nephew Paul Zaentz, who is also a movie producer.