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Relativity Media
Relativity Media
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Frozen’ Heats Up, ‘Catching Fire’ Cools Down and ‘Out of the Furnace’ Freezes

The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.

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The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Review
Warner Bros.
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‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Review

There comes a time when we must stop kidding ourselves. These 'Hobbit' films – with 'The Desolation of Smaug' representing the shank of the trilogy – are not real movies. These are exploitation films for Tolkien nuts, for enthusiasts of the original 'Lord of the Rings' movies and for audiences so hungry for high fantasy they'll gobble up whatever is served to them and ask for seconds.

As someone who has sympathy, but not empathy, for those who have such proclivities, I can get why someone might come away liking this picture. But that is more of an involuntary reaction to exposure to certain elements, not the summation of a film. Listen, there's a grey-bearded wizard who warns in low tones about a place that sounds like “Doggledoor.” And there's someone referred to as “Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror.” I love that geekorama stuff more than most. It's hilarious, and I'll probably refer to my cat as “Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror” for the next week. But this movie doesn't cohere – there's no forward momentum, no character development, no story happening. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fibber.

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Best Sci-Fi Movies 2013
Best Sci-Fi Movies 2013
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10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2013

These are the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2013.

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(Images via MGM, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox)
(Images via MGM, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox)
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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Some Of Your Favorite Christmas Movies

Christmas films like A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation go right along with mistletoe, carols, and cookies as staples of the holiday season.  And in celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, here are 12 bits of trivia you may not know about some of your favorite Christmas movies.

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annoying characters
Warner Bros. / Disney / Summit Entertainment
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The 10 Most Annoying Movie Characters

No matter how well-intentioned a screenwriter or author is, sometimes the fans just can't stand a certain character. The creators may love him or her but their beloved character comes off as whiny, useless and just plain boring. Read on

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Keith Richards Returning for Another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Movie

Keith Richards will return for his third appearance in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie series as Captain Jack Sparrow's father. And this time the Rolling Stones guitarist plays a pivotal role in the film's plot.

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The Hobbit 2 Smaug Plane
Air New Zealand
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Smaug Graces Air New Zealand’s ‘Hobbit’-Themed Plane

The Air New Zealand team has always taken pride in the fact that Peter Jackson filmed his 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' trilogies in their homeland, but they've taken it one step further for 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' While some of the trailers have refrained from showcasing the evil dragon in his full form, the airline has plastered him all over their new 'Hobbit'-themed plane.

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Disney
Disney
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and ‘Frozen’ Heat Up the Box Office

In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.

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Star Wars Episode 7 Millennium Falcon
20th Century Fox
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‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Has Already Built the Millennium Falcon

Although they're still searching for their cast and the script is being reworked, we can report a bit of wonderfully optimistic news: some serious work has reportedly begun on J.J. Abrams' 'Star Wars: Episode 7' -- namely, a very important spacecraft has already been put together. If what we've learned is true, the Millennium Falcon has been built and is ready for take off!

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Frozen Review
Disney
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‘Frozen’ Review

Sometimes great artistry comes from coloring inside the lines.

Walt Disney Animation's newest film, 'Frozen,' does precious little to push the boundaries of narrative storytelling. Indeed, it is a quite predictable – might I even suggest formulaic - culmination of elements. While picking over the bones of a half-remembered Hans Christian Andersen story, 'The Snow Queen,' Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck's film expands certain themes, disposes of some characters and, of course, modernizes a bit for contemporary audiences. However, miraculously, this doesn't feel like a Xerox of a Xerox impersonating a classic Disney film. There's precious little winking; hardly any of the 'Shrek'-effect. 'Frozen' has enough of the goods to play it straight and succeed on its own terms. It is a major entry in family-friendly entertainment, one that ought to reverberate for years with tie-in toys and stage productions.

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