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The Lego Movie Box Office Still Stacking UP, Past $400 Million And Counting

The LEGO Movie” continues to build a following with audiences in the U.S. and around the globe, surpassing the $400 million mark in worldwide grosses and remaining a box office draw.  The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

To date, the film has earned $248.3 million domestically and $152.2 internationally, for a worldwide total of $400.5 million.

In South Africa, the film has reached almost R6 million since its release on 14 March.

Following its record-breaking February 7th North American opening, “The LEGO Movie,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and LEGO System A/S, was a huge hit with audiences and critics across the country and captured the top spot at the box office for three consecutive weeks.  It also proved a crowd-pleaser internationally, entertaining moviegoers throughout Asia, Latin America and Europe, with an especially dominant UK showing that ranked number one at the box office for three consecutive weeks and has so far taken in $52.5 million.

Continuing its global expansion, “The LEGO Movie” is set to debut in additional territories in the coming weeks, including Australia on April 3rd and Germany on April 10th.

Fellman stated, “‘The LEGO Movie’ opened big and has maintained an impressive hold on the market, attracting new fans as well as repeat business from positive word of mouth.  This latest milestone is a fitting testament to all the talented and dedicated people who put so much of themselves into this extraordinary film, and we congratulate them on their well-earned success.”

Said Kwan Vandenberg, “‘The LEGO Movie’ has been a strong competitor in the international arena, proving the appeal of unique, funny and creative storytelling across generations and cultures.  We are confident it will continue to perform robustly in our overseas markets, including those yet to open, as people around the world discover it for themselves.”

“The LEGO Movie” tells an original 3D computer animated story about Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world.  He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, “The LEGO Movie” stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and Charlie Day, with Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.  Lord & Miller also wrote the screenplay, from a story by Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman and Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, based on LEGO construction toys.  “The LEGO Movie” is produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee.  Executive producers are Jill Wilfert, Matthew Ashton, Kathleen Fleming, Allison Abbate, Zareh Nalbandian, Jon Burton, Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Seanne Winslow, Matt Skiena and Bruce Berman; and co-producer is John Powers Middleton.  The filmmaking team includes cinematographer Pablo Plaisted, production designer Grant Freckelton, editors David Burrows and Chris McKay, and composer Mark Mothersbaugh.  Chris McKay also serves as animation co-director.

“The LEGO Movie” is a Warner Bros Pictures Presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, in association with LEGO System A/S, a Vertigo Entertainment/Lin Pictures Production.  It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. www.thelegomovie.net

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Die Windpomp Film Honoured Down Under

The much anticipated Afrikaans fantasy love story Die WIndpomp has been selected to participate in the Australian Gold Coast Film Festival, where it will première in April alongside acclaimed films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson.

“Die WInpomp is wonderfully written and incredibly touching,” Says Mitch Ziems, Program Director of the GCFF. “There is a large Afrikaans community in Australia, and Die WInpomp is the perfect fit. We are thrilled to have the film in this year’s lineup.”

In a surprise twist, and to the film’s credit, Die Windpomp was not submitted to the GCFF for consideration. GCFF’s festival director heard about the film and after viewing the trailer requested it.

“It doesn’t happen often that a festival calls a producer and requests a film.” Says Die Windpomp’s producer Chris Roland. “We usually submit films to festivals along with thousands of other submissions and hope we get noticed. It’s fantastic when we get asked.”

Reviewers in Australia are calling Die Windpomp “Poignant”, and have rated it with a $16 ticket price, a rating system they use to determine how much they would pay to see a film from $1 – $20. Says Roland, “That equates to about R150, impressive when you consider the average ticket in South Africa is R55!”

The film is being submitted to several film festivals as part of its international marketing strategy, and includes the Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals in France and Canada.

Written and directed by Etienne Fourie, Die Windpomp revolves around a summer romance between Hendri and Margot, two young people living in a retirement village, with a very unexpected twist.

Die Windpomp releases nationwide in South Africa on April 25th.

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Film Review

Divergent: Review

Divergent follows young Beatrice (Shailene Woodley), in a futuristic Chicago, decades after war has ravaged the Earth. A member of one of five factions created to keep order and peace.

Each faction has it’s strong point, something that all it’s members strive towards, and uphold. When a member of a faction reaches the age of 16, they take an aptitude test, the results of which will determine which of the factions they would then choose to spend the rest of their life with. After Beatrice’s test results show a strange result, she chooses to join the warrior faction.

All is not so peaceful, however, and there are plans brewing with some of the members of society, and trouble will soon be upon the factions.

Divergent has a few parts that seem a bit slower, and one begs the question, that creating factions that set people apart from others would cause more conflict rather than create unity. That aside, Divergent is an entertaining film with a fresh, young cast, who will no doubt become familiar faces as the series of films progress. The action sequences are entertaining, the story engrossing, and the characters engrossing.

Divergent will appeal to a wide audience, and promises a fun outing for viewers. It opens 4 April 2014 on South African screens.