•First, to business. UK Box Office. Charles Gant has his usual concise analysis of the UK box office at the Guardian's film site, where he looks at video game adaptation Need for Speed, Wes Anderson's strongest launch yet with Grand Budapest Hotel, and the limited roll out of Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin. Here courtesy of Launching Films is the current top Uk box office hits:
Film/Distributor/ Weeks On Release/ Weekend/ Total
Total UK Box-Office To 16th March 2014
1 Need For Speed (3D) (12A) Entertainment One UK 2 £2,011,249 £2,011,249
2. Grand Budapest Hotel, The (15) 20th Century Fox 3 £1,309,103 £4,115,618
3. 300: Rise Of An Empire (3D) (15) Warner Bros. 3 £1,223,370 £5,351,262
4 Lego Movie, The (3D) (U) Warner Bros. 6 £998,176 £30,063,416
5 Non-Stop (12A) STUDIOCANAL 4 £901,107 £6,905,787
• And here from Launching Films are the upcoming new releases for the week in Uk Cinemas:. From March 28:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Muppets Most Wanted (U)
Director: James Bobin
Past, The (12A)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Fold, The (15)
Director: John Jencks
Legend Of Hercules, The (12A) (3D)
Director: Renny Harlin
My Stuff (15)
Director: Petri Luukkainen
Borderlands, The (15)
Director: Elliot Goldner
Director: Madeleine Sackler
20 Feet From Stardom (12A)
Director: Morgan Neville
Almost Married (15)
Director: Ben Cookson
Leave The World Behind (15)
Director: Christian Larson
Afternoon Delight (18)
Director: Jill Soloway
• Actor James Rebhorn passed away. I last saw him in Carlito's Way at a BFI retrospective of Al Pacino's work, Rebhorn playing the District Attorney trying to nail Al Pacino's titular character. The Washington Post is one of many news agencies with an obituary.
• Harold Ramis is gone, and Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman has backed away also from directing the long delayed (technically 2015) Ghostbusters III. In a Deadline interview Reitman also talked about the impossibility of getting Bill Murray on board either: " It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going. When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film.
• Yahoo will be going up against the likes of Netflix and Hulu as it announces a new push with its own online original shows.
•The BBC license fee is up for debate again, 140 MPs now signed up to the Tory MP Andrew Bridgen's amendment to the deregulation bill on decriminalising licence fee non-payment.
•Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas has found and documented an old abandoned cinema in the middle of Egypt's Sinai desert. The captured images can be seen here, stunning and haunting.
•BSkyB is to launch in the next few weeks a new movie download-to-own on demand service, with a "buy and keep" aspect. It will be part of BSkyB's existing pay-per-view film rental service Sky Store, according to Andrew Griffith, the company's chief financial officer. It will be avaialbe through Sky's existing + boxes.
• We still know virtually nothing about Star Wars Episode VII, with JJ. Abrams keeping an astonishingly tight ship despite the production start date looming. Starwars.com finally released some information nuggets, though not much, admittedly. The film will begin shooting this May (despite the main casting still seemingly being unconfirmed and the release date of December 18, 2015) Rather than a summer film, this will be set up to serve as a winter blockbuster. The site also confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces. No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.
•With its Southern gothic cop series True Detective, HBO has enjoyed critical acclaim and the kind of viewing figures which helped crash its online VOD service during the airing of the finale. With the first seasons now wrapped up, rumours are swirling that another top Hollywood figure will be tapped to star and replace Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, this time Brad Pitt. Given the continuing cannibalising of Hollywood stars by TV, this would be no surprise.
•A lot of Hollywood eyes will be focused on the Veronica Mars movie, which released in the UK last week. The cancelled TV series was revived in movie form thanks to a high profile Kickstarter campaign, and this marks one of the first times that a major studio, in this case Warners, has backed such a movie project with not only a theatrical run but also a simultaneous VOD release. VOD numbers will be hard to get, but Box Office Mojo is currently saying it has a nearly $3m take domestic, half its budget. In London at least, venues were limited, with the Empire Leicester Square showing it on one screen.
•Tribeca Film Festival is coming up, with plenty of big names announced as being part of various workshops, talks and panels. Kevin Spacey, Ron Howard, Michael Douglas and Aaron Sorkin are on board for the Tribeca Talks and Tribeca Innovation Week's Future of Film series.Thelma Schoonmaker, Skip Lievsay, Lee Daniels, Terence Winter; Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, and David Simon are also set to attend. Outside of the film world, Congressman Barney Frank, and legendary boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield will be visiting. Scarily for this writer, it turns out it has been ten years since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was released, as Tribeca plan to have a tenth anniversary screening at this year's festival.
•Marvel clearly feel there is nothing to fear from the behemoth known as Man of Steel 2 (whether that is the actual release title of the film is anyones guess), as following the announcement that the Dc Comics/Warner Superman sequel project would be delayed to 2016, Marvel soon after announced they would be putting Captain America 3 up against Warner's blockbuster in the same May 6 2016 slot. Captain America 3 already has a green light, with directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning alongside writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.