Watch: Sarah Silverman Plays Joan Rivers on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Originally posted on Variety:

Sarah Silverman was one of the many comedians to mourn the loss of Joan Rivers early last month, so it’s only fitting that she would play the pioneering personality during her first hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” this week.

In the skit, Silverman donned a blond wig and attire that would make the “Fashion Police” host proud as Rivers joined heaven.

“Heaven, are you serious? Me in heaven? I guess I should be here, I’m practically a virgin. The last time I had someone inside me, it was Melissa!” Silverman joked, referencing Rivers’ 46-year-old daughter in her best raspy voice.

Rivers was joined on the “Celestial Stage” by Ben Franklin (Bobby Moynihan), Lucille Ball (Kate McKinnon), Eartha Kitt (Sasheer Zamata), Freddie Mercury (musical guest Adam Levine), Richard Pryor (Jay Pharoah), Steve Jobs (Kyle Mooney) and Ava Gardner (Cecily Strong). In true Rivers fashion, she roasted all of them.


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‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Annabelle’ Show Strength of Female Audiences

Originally posted on Variety:

Female audiences powered “Gone Girl” and “Annabelle” to the top of the box office charts this weekend, showing the ticket-buying heft of a demographic that Hollywood ignores at its own peril.

Women made up 60% of “Gone Girl’s” opening crowd and 51% of “Annabelle’s” premiere audience. The films bowed to $38 million and $37.2 million, respectively, among the best October debuts in history.

This follows on the heels of premieres for such recent hits as “The Maze Runner” (51% female), “The Equalizer” (48% female) and “No Good Deed” (60% female), which demonstrate that women will turn out for films in a wide variety of genres with as much if not more consistency than their male counterparts.

“Once again, female audience are driving the box office and not just with young adult movies or films aimed just at women, such as romantic comedies,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at…

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‘Interstellar’ Offers Early Look With Oculus Rift

Originally posted on Variety:

In a unique marketing move, those anxiously awaiting Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” can get an immersive preview starting Monday.

Paramount and IMAX are partnering to offer a sneak peek at the upcoming sci-fi pic in a new traveling exhibit with Oculus Rift. Starting Oct. 6, the exhibit will travel to New York City, Houston, Los Angeles and Chantilly, VA, to give fans an early look.

Participants will be able to use the Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets to experience zero gravity in the film’s Endurance spacecraft, according to Paramount and IMAX. The exhibits are free in all four cities.

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain star in the film that follows a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel.

“Interstellar” will open with advance screenings Nov. 5 for theaters still using 70 mm and 35 mm film formats…

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AT&T Launches Broadband Bundle with HBO, Amazon Prime for $39 per Month

Patrick Millsaps:

This is kind of big news. The media landscape continues to reshape itself.

Originally posted on Variety:

Want HBO without all those other pricey cable channels? AT&T has a new offer for you.

The telco, looking to win over customers disinclined to pay for a full lineup of cable channels, is pitching a stripped-down package that includes HBO, Amazon Prime Instant Video, broadband and broadcast networks for just $39 per month — well below what pay-TV subs typically shell out for service bundles.

The telco’s the new $39 bundle includes U-basic TV, HBO and U-verse Internet Max Plus (which provides up to 18 megabits per second downstream). Customers must sign up for a 12-month contract, after which standard rates will apply.

Other providers, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, have been testing out packages aimed at so-called “cord nevers” that include broadband, HBO and basic TV. But AT&T’s bundle appears to be the first to include one year of Amazon’s Prime, normally $99 per year in the U.S., as part of…

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Toronto: Bill Murray Day Ends With a Bang at ‘St. Vincent’ Premiere

Originally posted on Variety:

Because it was “Bill Murray Day” at the Toronto Film Festival, the man of the hour paraded into the Friday premiere of his film “St. Vincent” in a crown and sash, and ended the night at the Weinstein Co. party bopping to hits from Sam Smith and Sia. Murray received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the packed crowd, who laughed, cried and broke out into applause throughout the screening. In the midst of festival excitement, at least, it was a sign that “St. Vincent,” which plays like a cross between “Silver Linings Playbook” and “As Good As It Gets,” is a Oscar contender and could land Murray his first best-actor nomination since 2003’s “Lost in Translation.”

At the end of the film, Murray joined his cast — including Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy — as well as first-time director Ted Melfi for a Q&A and the laughs continued to roll…

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Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Wins Again, ‘The Identical’ Flops

Originally posted on Variety:

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the Atlas of the movie world, holding the box office up on its sturdy shoulders during this post-Labor Day slump.

The Disney-Marvel tentpole came in first place for the third consecutive weekend while faith-based offering “The Identical” tanked. With the only new wide release misfiring, the weekend after Labor Day looks to be uglier than usual.

“Guardians,” which is in its sixth frame, made $2.7 million on Friday at the domestic box office and looks to earn an estimated $9.8 million by the end of the traditionally sluggish weekend. If estimates hold and “Guardians” doesn’t gross at least $10 million, it would mark the first time in two years that the box office leader has failed to reel in eight figures.

Other holdovers “If I Stay” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” came in second and third, respectively, while “The Identical” tied with “Lucy” at tenth…

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California used to be where movies deals were struck and production took place, but the last decade has seen an erosion of incentives here, and an increase of incentives in other states, culminating in runaway production. Governor Jerry Brown convened with lawmakers to change that, and on August 27 they agreed to increase California’s incentive to $330 million annually for film and television production. This replaces the prior program which was capped at $100 million…

You can read the entire article here.

But I did want to point out that Georgia was listed second on this list:

No Program Cap or Expiration Listed
Incentive: Twenty percent for films and TV series, plus 10 percent if production includes a Georgia promotional logo in credits, with a $500,000 minimum spend.
Special Notes: Eligible projects include features, television, animation, visual effects, post, and digital media.
SSN Insight: Georgia is solid hub of production with 158 films and television series for the fiscal year—a number thanks in part to a lack of cap, varied landscape choices from mountains to swamps, and ease of travel from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. “When you’re bringing 20 actors in and out, it’s a big advantage to be coming straight into Atlanta with 26 direct flights a day [from L.A.],” says Lee Thomas, director of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division. But with only two major soundstage facilities available for rent—EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Atlanta, and Raleigh Studios in Senoia—there’s a lack of studio space. That’s changing though, as Jim Jacoby plans a $1 billion investment into what will be the fourth-largest studio in the country.

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