Music Megastars Team Up to Launch Streaming Service Tidal

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A phalanx of chart-topping stars from across genres joined forces in the loading dock of New York City’s biggest post office today to launch the newly artist-owned high-definition streaming service Tidal. Like a scene out of a pop-music version of The Avengers, 16 hit-makers – Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire‘s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jay Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher – rubbed elbows onstage at the swanky launch event while two others beamed in digitally (Calvin Harris and Coldplay‘s Chris Martin). Aside from making a spectacle, the musicians made the case for an artist-owned streaming service

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ actress Lisa Jakub: 4 things Robin Williams taught me about life and living

Lisa Jakub may not be a household name, and she’s fine with that. An actress who was whisked into the Hollywood whirl at age 4 after being discovered at a farmers’ market, she spent many of her formative years in front of the camera in dozens of movies and TV shows, including 1991’s “Rambling Rose” and 1993’s “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Then she walked away. “I think I had my midlife crisis at 22,” she told TODAY.com about quitting the business.

But before she packed it all up and retreated into a life more ordinary, Jakub (now a 36-year-old writer whose first book, “You Look Like That Girl” is out later this year) had some incredible experiences — including working with the late Robin Williams on “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

“I’m just about at the place where I don’t cry every time I talk about him,” she said. Now a grown woman, married with a dog and forging her own path, Jakub can look back and remember fondly what she learned from Williams — who was always more than just a wild and funny guy. Here are four things Jakub took away from their brief time together:

1. Williams always had her back.
Excessive absences from her Toronto-area school (for work) led to Jakub being considered a disruption and got the 14-year-old expelled while she was making “Doubtfire.” “I was upset and Robin asked me about it,” she recalled. “The next day he showed up at my trailer with a letter he’d written to the principal asking him to reconsider and let me come back to high school. In an industry where people are only in it for themselves, Robin was not like that. Robin had my back and that will always be precious to me.”

So did his plea on her behalf work? “The school framed the letter, hung it in the main office and did not ask me to come back,” she laughed. Read more..

Box Office Prediction: ‘Insurgent’ vs. ‘Get Hard’

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Get Hard

Our choice for the top spot this week is the new comedy, Get Hard, starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Both actors remain solid box office draws, with Ferrell’s last headlining role (Anchorman 2) becoming one of his biggest commercial hits at $127.3 million. And even though Hart hasn’t been able to replicate the success of Ride Along ($134.9 million) in his last few outings, they still posted respectable numbers when it’s all said and done. Earlier this year, The Wedding Ringer opened with $20.6 million, and last year’s Think Like a Man Too debuted with $29.2 million.

From the look of it, Get Hard should be another solid offering from the two comedians. The film’s plot has the potential to deliver some big laughs, and the trailers have been successful in selling it as a fun time at the movies. Also, it’s been a while since there was a big mainstream comedy playing in theaters, which should lead to fans of the genre flocking to see some of its biggest names. Early tracking has Get Hard at $31 million for its first three days – and if it reaches that, it will be a big hit.

#2 – Insurgent

Look for last week’s champ, Insurgent (read our review), to fall to second in its second weekend. The young adult sequel opened with $52.2 million, which is slightly less than what predecessor Divergent made during its first three days last year ($54.6 million). Though both films are in the same ballpark financially, it is a sign that this series is having some issues attracting casual moviegoers. Critics have been hard on Insurgent, and that word-of-mouth will make it difficult for it to maintain strong legs. As a point of reference, Divergent‘s numbers fell by 53.1 percent during its second weekend, so it seems plausible Insurgent will have a similar drop-off. Unfortunately, that means a box office repeat is out of the question, even if the relative lack of competition leads to another solid weekend.

Sia Makes History at APRA Music Awards

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Sia made history on Tuesday night by winning songwriter of the year, the top honor at the APRA Music Awards, for the third successive time. “This is an unprecedented, and very likely, a never-to-be-repeated achievement by one of our most talented songwriters,” comments APRA CEO Brett Cottle.

It’s an effort not even Daniel Johns can’t match. The former Silverchair frontman jointly won songwriter of the year in 1995, 1998 and 2000 and earned it on his own in 2003 and 2008. Johns opened this year’s proceedings with a performance of his new solo song, “Preach”.

Box Office: ‘Insurgent’ Aims to Beat ‘Divergent’ Debut

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Lionsgate is hoping that Shailene Woodley’s higher profile and the continued popularity of Veronica Roth’s books will bolster revenues for “Insurgent,” the sequel to last spring’s futuristic adventure “Divergent.”

Pre-release tracking suggests that the Lionsgate release will enjoy a modest bump over the $54.6 million debut of its predecessor, with most analysts projecting “Insurgent” will kick off with between $57 million and $60 million when it unspools Friday across 3,875 screens.

Call it the “Fault in Our Stars” effect. When “Divergent” premiered in 2014, Woodley was a relative neophyte whose biggest previous role had been a well-received supporting part in 2011’s “The Descendants” and her work as a teen mother on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Now she’s one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, her name mentioned alongside the likes of Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence. That’s largely due to the way that “Fault in Our Stars” became a breakout summer hit and a “Love Story” for the YouTube generation.

Dead Rising Movie Hits Xbox This Weekend

Dead Rising: Watchtower, the upcoming movie based on Capcom’s zombie game franchise, will debut March 27 through Sony’s streaming service Crackle. But Xbox owners can watch it a week early.

Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb has announced that Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners can watch the movie through the Crackle app on Xbox Live starting Friday, March 20. The film will be available exclusively through the Crackle app on Xbox until March 26.

Like the game, Watchtower takes place during a zombie outbreak. After a government-produced vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading, four survivors seek out the root of the epidemic while fighting to stay alive against hordes of undead.

Watchtower was directed by Leprechaun: Origins director Zach Lipovsky. It stars Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen, and Dennis Haysbert, with Rob Riggle in the role of Frank West.

Box Office: ‘Cinderella’ Eyes Royal Opening of $60 Million

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Cinderella” finds her prince and the box office rediscovers its mojo in what is shaping up to be a strong weekend for the movie business.

Walt Disney Studios has had success of late raiding its catalog of animated hits and giving them a live-action spin. “Alice in Wonderland” with Johnny Depp made $1 billion and “Maleficent” bolstered by Angelina Jolie earned $758.4 million.

“Cinderella,” which stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother and Lily James as the one-heeled heroine, looks likely to keep the momentum going when it opens to roughly $60 million. That’s a good thing for Disney given that it’s planning similar reboots of “Dumbo” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

“Cinderella’s” main competition will come from Liam Neeson’s “Run All Night,” which finds the “Taken” star back in his action sweet spot and should pick up $15 million when it premieres in approximately 3,150 locations. The film centers on a mob enforcer who must protect his son (Joel Kinnaman) after he witnesses a murder. It’s backed by Warner Bros. and was produced for $50 million. The film could be the default option for males, but it will have trouble matching the recent debuts of such Neeson-driven action films as “Non-Stop”($28.9 million) and “Taken 3″($39.2 million).

Echosmith visits Indy Style before playing at Old National Center

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Echosmith is currently on a sold-out headlining tour in support of the album “Talking Dreams,” which came out in October 2013. Their first single “Cool Kids” went double platinum. Echosmith will be playing at the Deluxe at Old National Center tonight at 7:30pm.  We’re told there a few tickets available so if you hurry you can help make their Indianapolis visit sold out as well.  http://concerts.livenation.com/echosmith-indianapolis-indiana-03-11-2015/event/05004D55ECEE5491

We really, really like this: Tom Hanks sings Carly Rae Jepsen

We had no idea how much we would really, really, really, really like Tom Hanks lip-syncing to a Carly Rae Jepsen song, but we really do.

Hanks shows up in the new video for “I Really Like You,” “singing” Jepsen’s part throughout.

The Oscar-winning actor is apparently playing himself, signing autographs for fans, and generally being a very cheery movie star, before he and Jepsen take part in a flash mob.

So what exactly is Tom Hanks doing in this video in the first place? We will find out shortly!

Will Smith movie ‘Focus’ tops the box office

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“Focus” topped the weekend box office charts with $19.1 million, but the heist film didn’t make off with as much loot as many analysts expected.

The film had been expected to earn between $21 million to $23 million. Cue breathless stories about whether or not Will Smith’s fastball has lost some heat. The debate may be excessive. “Focus” shows the limits of star power generally, not Smith’s particularly.

Charisma lacks the punch it did ten years, particularly given that advances in digital technology and the growth of fanboy culture mean that films can’t just be films any more to succeed at a high level. They must be events. Would “Focus” have performed better had George Clooney starred in it or Brad Pitt?

“Focus,” released by Warner Bros., cost $50.1 million to produce and debuted in 3,323 locations. It ranks as Smith’s second weakest debut in ten years, behind “Seven Pounds” and its $14.8 million opening. The picture will need to do well overseas, where Smith remains a big draw, to make money.