Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Amy Poehler preps religious comedy for NBC

The actress will produce a new series set in a church community for the American network, according to Deadline.In her next project for NBC, Amy Poehler is developing a comedy on a young, agnostic woman who inherits a church and gets to know its community of strong-willed characters. The...
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TV

Amy Poehler preps religious comedy for NBC
Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
Amy Poehler preps religious comedy for NBC

The actress will produce a new series set in a church community for the American network, according to Deadline.In her next project for NBC, Amy Poehler is developing a comedy on a young, agnostic woman who inherits a church and gets to know its community of strong-willed characters. The untitled series is written by Aisha Muharrar, screenwriter and co-executive producer of the NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation," in which Poehler stars, and which is due to return in 2015 with its seventh and final season. Poehler is also an executive producer on the NBC series "Welcome to Sweden," which premiered last spring and is also due to return in 2015, and on the NBC comedy pilot "Old Soul." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series

NEW YORK (AP) — Trisha Yearwood and Carlos Santana are among the musicians set to perform the national anthem during the World Series. Major League Baseball says Yearwood will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 1 on Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Santana will perform an instrumental rendition of the national anthem with his son before Game 4 on Saturday at the AT&T Park in San Francisco. Former "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips will sing before Game 2 on Wednesday. Country quartet Little Big Town will sing before Game 3 on Friday. The games will air on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time. ___ Online: http://mlb.mlb.com/home Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Review: Play reveals tense birth of a classic film
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Review: Play reveals tense birth of a classic film

NEW YORK (AP) — Two tough guys, one tough script and their Herculean team effort to cram steamy sex and violence into a strictly-censored Hollywood studio film is the subject of Mike Bencivenga's fascinating play "Billy & Ray." A smartly humorous, suspenseful production, featuring Vincent Kartheiser (of TV's "Mad Men") as legendary Hollywood writer and director Billy Wilder, and Broadway veteran Larry Pine as hardboiled detective novelist Raymond Chandler, opened Monday night off-Broadway in its New York premiere at the Vineyard Theatre. Kartheiser sports an Austrian accent that would veer into shtick if he wasn't so adept at bringing out an impish, confident side to his energetic portrayal of Wilder. His likable performance is well-matched by Pine's grumpy, stubborn enactment of a secretly alcoholic, down-on-his-luck yet still pedantic Chandler. Bencivenga has provided both characters with plenty of snappy lines as he carefully highlights the development of complex characters and seminal scenes from what would become the first American film noir, "Double Indemnity." The womanizing Wilder declares, "People will have sympathy for Phyllis because she's fed up with her husband and wants to kill him. Anybody who's been married will understand that." As crisply directed by Garry Marshall, creator of TV comedies including "Happy Days" and "The Odd Couple," the unlikely partners initially fight over every word as they attempt to make a classy script out of a trashy James M. Cain novel the studio has procured. Their tantrums and spats are cautiously mediated by Helen (Sophie von Haselberg, a sassy delight), Wilder's perky secretary and office bartender. Drew Gehling is the ultimate referee as an up-and-coming studio executive who despairingly sees his career rise and fall along with Chandler and Wilder's fluctuating productivity. Casual references to real Hollywood stars of the era lend spice to the conversations. The detailed period set depicting Wilder's Paramount Studio office is a triumph by Charlie Corcoran, and snazzy costumes by Michael Krass add retro flair to the action. Chandler's pants are nearly up to his armpits before he smartens his wardrobe after some studio paychecks. Turning an explicit pulp novel into a classically suggestive film was no mean feat. This tense dramatization of the writers' edgy partnership is so revealing you'll probably want to stream the movie soon afterward, to revisit the innovative ways Wilder and Chandler got around the puritanical censors. ___ Online: http://www.vineyardtheatre.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jimmy Fallon's picture book inspired by daughter
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Jimmy Fallon's picture book inspired by daughter

NEW YORK (AP) — Forgive Jimmy Fallon if his new book is a story of wishful thinking. The host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" has a deal with Feiwel and Friends for the picture book "Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada." Fallon says he was inspired by his daughter, Winnie Rose, whose first word, alas, was "Mama." The publisher announced Monday that the book is scheduled for release in June. Feiwel and Friends is an imprint of Macmillan. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Susan Sarandon to play Marilyn Monroe's mother on Lifetime
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Susan Sarandon to play Marilyn Monroe's mother on Lifetime

The actress will play Gladys Mortensen in the miniseries "Marilyn," due to air on Lifetime in 2015, The Hollywood Reporter indicates.Susan Sarandon will soon return to the small screen as Marilyn Monroe's biological mother, who due to mental illness and financial instability played only a limited role in her daughter's life. Mortensen, who worked as a film cutter in Hollywood, placed her daughter in the foster care of a neighbor couple, the Bolenders, with whom she lived until age seven. In and out of psychiatric hospitals, Gladys was diagnosed with schizophrenia and severe depression.  "Marilyn" will revisit the story of the legendary movie star, who died in 1962 at age 36. The series will be inspired by Randy Taraborrelli's biography "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe." Incidentally, Taraborrelli's writings also provided the historical basis for ReelzChannel's miniseries "The Kennedys" and its forthcoming sequel. Though known for her movie roles, Susan Sarandon is no stranger to television and has made guest appearances on "Friends," "ER," "30 Rock," "The Big C" and "Mike & Molly." It remains to be determined who will join her in the cast of "Marilyn."  Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

Eddie Murphy to serve up drama in 'Cook'
Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
Eddie Murphy to serve up drama in 'Cook'

The comedic actor will play the titular cook in this drama feature, in which a dying man hires someone to prepare food for his girlfriend and daughter once he is gone.Around eight years after "Dreamgirls," Eddie Murphy is planning a return to the drama genre. Known for his often outrageous comedies, the star who rose to fame in the 70s earned an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 2006 feature. According to producer Mark Canton ("300," "Escape Plan"), in conversation with Empire, "Cook" is "a small story -- a true story -- of a family and a guy who comes into their lives." Eddie Murphy will play the guy in question, who comes to shape the day-to-day existence of a family coming to terms with death. Confirming that the role will mark a change of register for Murphy, the producer compared "Cook" to the drama "Cake," due in theaters next year, which stars a physically transformed Jennifer Aniston. He also cited Matthew McConaughey's shift to more dramatic TV and film roles over the past few years. "Everyone now wants to do what Matt McConaughey did, so we're financing these movies when we think they're put together the right way," Canton said. "This will be Eddie Murphy like you've never seen him. Of that I can assure you." Written by Susan McMartin ("Californication"), "Cook" will be helmed by Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy," "Double Jeopardy") and is slated to start lensing next month. Of course, this doesn't mean Murphy is leaving comedy behind. The actor is also on track to shoot a fourth "Beverly Hills Cop" movie as well as "Triplets," a sequel to the 1989 film "Twins" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Tokyo International Film Festival doubling down on animation angle
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Tokyo International Film Festival doubling down on animation angle

Tokyo's annual gala film festival is to emphasize the breadth and depth of anime and animated features on show, starting with its opening night on October 21.The 2014 TIFF, which runs October 21-31, opens with the world's first showing of Disney's east-meets-west sci-fi "Big Hero 6," will showcase 50 works from Hideaki Anno ("Evangelion") at Nihonbashi's Toho Cinemas, and is to close with the manga-inspired "Parasyte," directed by Takashi Yamazaki of The Eternal Zero. "Anime is a unique type of content that Japan can take pride in," festival director Yasushi Shiina told The Hollywood Reporter. A repeated emphasis on anime and anime-related material at this year's event is part of a strategy to differentiate the Tokyo event from others of its kind around the world. Shiina believes that by doing so, the TIFF will be better able to draw in Japan's cinemagoing public as well as its movie industry, while "promoting cultural exchange between people from around the world." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Marvel Studios executive ready for female superhero film
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Marvel Studios executive ready for female superhero film

If Victoria Alonso were in charge of Marvel's announcement schedule, the studio would be talking about a female superhero film "today."Speaking at the Visual Effects Society Production Summit on October 18, executive producer Alonso was able to offer insight into working behind the scenes on Marvel's latest crop of blockbusters. Her appearance came at the end of a week in which Warner Bros had been able to set out ten years' worth of film based on its DC Comics characters, including a "Wonder Woman" feature set for 2017. "If it were up to me," Alonso told Variety offstage, Marvel would announce a film centered around a female superhero "today." Speculation already surrounds the possibility of a feature film with Avengers character Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. Though the actress gave birth to a daughter in September, it's felt that her recent role in French-made movie "Lucy" shows she can lead an action film to box office success. In addition, Elizabeth Olsen joins the Avengers franchise in May 2015's "Age of Ultron" as new character Scarlet Witch, while Cobie Smulders returns, having played SHIELD operative Maria Hill in "The Avengers," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and TV spin-off "Agents of SHIELD." Alonso also advocated for the continued recruitment of female voices for prominent behind-the-scenes roles. "It's better when it's 50-50," she said during her VESPS keynote conversation. "I have been with you beautiful, handsome, talented, creative men in dark rooms for two decades and I can tell you those rooms are better when there are a few of us in them." "So as you take this with you, please remember that it's OK to allow the ladies in. They're smart, they're talented. They bring a balance that you need." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz pose under 'Big Eyes' in new poster
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz pose under 'Big Eyes' in new poster

The first poster for Tim Burton's new feature was unveiled this weekend, showing the two stars in front of a painting by Margaret Keane.In "Big Eyes" -- which seems to be closer in tone to "Ed Wood" and "Edward Scissorhands" than to "Dark Shadows" or "Alice in Wonderland" -- the filmmaker tells the painter's story with a somewhat uncharacteristic level of realism and simplicity, as seen in the first trailer. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz star as Walter and Margaret Keane, the American couple known for their paintings of girls with oversized eyes, which became phenomenally popular during the 1950s and 60s. While Walter claims to be the artist and enjoys public acclaim, the paintings are actually all by Margaret, who ultimately decides to fight to get the truth out. Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter and Terence Stamp are also seen in "Big Eyes," which is based on the true story behind the famous paintings. The feature opens in US theaters on December 25.  Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Gone Girl' unseats 'Dracula Untold' atop global box office
Monday Oct 20, 2014
'Gone Girl' unseats 'Dracula Untold' atop global box office

After opening in second place one week earlier, David Fincher's latest feature claimed first place at the worldwide box office for the weekend ending October 19, grossing $38 million.The thriller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike is closely followed by "Dracula Untold" with $32.38 million. While the two films saw a decline compared to the previous weekend, the vampire reboot experienced the sharpest drop, grossing $24.92 million less than it did with its opening, mainly due to a fall in US revenues ($9.88 million, down from $23.4 million). In comparison, global earnings for "Gone Girl" dropped by $15.8 million. Still in third place, the horror movie "Annabelle" continued its solid performance by bringing in an additional $27.1 million. The sequel to "The Conjuring" is followed in the ranking by "The Book of Life," the animated feature produced by Guillermo del Toro, which earned $25.6 million during its first weekend in theaters. "Guardians of the Galaxy," which made a strong comeback last week after opening in China, remains in the global box office top five with $24.1 million. The week's most significant opening was that of the war drama "Fury," which took first place at the US box office with $23.5 million. Showing only in American theaters, the feature starring Brad Pitt and Shia Labeouf, among others, landed in sixth place at the worldwide box office. The science-fiction feature "The Maze Runner" remains in seventh place with $21.6 million, ahead of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" with $20.5 million. "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall ($14.4 million), "The Equalizer" with Denzel Washington ($13.4 million) and "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" ($13.3 million) with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner (showing in the US and Canada) round out the worldwide box office top 10. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82
Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar de la Renta, the worldly gentleman designer who shaped the wardrobe of socialites and Hollywood stars for more than four decades, has died. He was 82. De la Renta died at home Monday evening in Connecticut surrounded by family and friends and "more than a few dogs," according to a handwritten statement signed by his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen. "While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us. Oscar's hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company," the statement said. "All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar's example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much." The late '60s and early '70s were a defining moment in U.S. fashion as New York-based designers finally carved a look of their own that was finally taken seriously by Europeans. De la Renta and his peers, including the late Bill Blass, Roy Halston and Geoffrey Beene, defined American style — and their influence is still spotted today. De la Renta's specialty was eveningwear, though he also was known for chic daytime suits favored by the women who would gather at the Four Seasons or Le Cirque at lunchtime. His signature looks were voluminous skirts, exquisite embroideries and rich colors. Most recently, Amal Alamuddin wore a de la Renta-designed wedding dress when she married George Clooney. First ladies Laura Bush wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball and Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a gold de la Renta in 1997. On the red carpet at the Academy Awards, Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock were among the celebrities to don his feminine and opulent gowns. His clothes even were woven into episodes of "Sex and the City" with style icon character Carrie Bradshaw dropping his name — and comparing his designs to poetry. "We will miss Oscar's generous and warm personality, his charm, and his wonderful talents." Bush said in a statement. "My daughters and I have many fond memories of visits with Oscar, who designed our favorite clothes, including Jenna's wedding dress. We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful." De la Renta's path to New York's Seventh Avenue took an unlikely route: He left his native Dominican Republic at age 18 to study painting in Spain but soon became sidetracked by fashion. The wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain saw some of his sketches and asked him to make a dress for her daughter — a dress that landed on the cover of Life magazine. That led to an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga, and then de la Renta moved to France to work for couture house Lanvin. By 1963, he was working for Elizabeth Arden couture in New York and in 1965 had launched his own label. He told the AP in 2004 that his Hispanic roots worked their way into his designs. "I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant," he said. And while de la Renta made Manhattan his primary home, he often visited the Dominican Republic and kept a home there. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour was a frequent visitor and she has said traveling with him was like traveling with the president. "He's a superstar," she said. He also had a country home in northwestern Connecticut. Gardening and dancing were among his favorite diversions from work. "I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops," he said. As a designer, De la Renta always catered to his socialite friends and neighbors — as the designer and his wife, Annette, were fixtures on the black-tie charity circuit — but he did make occasional efforts to reach the masses, including launching a mid-priced line in 2004 and developing a dozen or so perfumes, the first, called Oscar, was introduced in 1977 and more recently, Rosamor. He was an avid patron of the arts, serving as a board member of The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, among others, and he devoted considerable time to children's charity, including New Yorkers for Children. He also helped fund schools and day-care centers in La Romana and Punta Cana in his native country. The Dominican Republic honored de la Renta with the order al Merito de Juan Pablo Duarte and the order of Cristobol Colon. Here in the U.S., he received the Coty American Fashion Critics Award twice, was named womenswear designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2000 and also received a lifetime achievement award from the CFDA — an organization for which he served as president in the 1980s. In addition to his own label, de la Renta spearheaded the Pierre Balmain collection from 1993-2002, marking the first time an American designed for a French couture house, and he was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur as a Commandeur. He also received the Gold Medal Award from the king and queen of Spain. De la Renta gave up the title of chief executive of his company in 2004, handing over business duties to the Bolens, but he remained active on the design end, continuing to show his collections during New York Fashion Week. De la Renta also is survived by an adopted son, Moises, a designer at the company. De la Renta's first wife, French Vogue editor Francoise de Langlade, died in 1983. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Florence, Italy ranked world's top city 2014: CN Traveler
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Florence, Italy ranked world's top city 2014: CN Traveler

Florence, Italy has been named the world’s favorite city by readers of CN Traveler magazine, scoring the highest approval rating for its beauty, architecture and food.In the 2014 edition of the publication's annual Readers’ Choice Awards, Florence edged past rivals like Charleston, South Carolina, and Budapest, Hungary, to achieve a razor-thin victory in the Top 25 Cities in the World index. In fact, after the US -- which landed the most cities on the list with five spots, Italy was the second most represented country, with Rome and Siena also cracking the ranking to give the country three spots. Austria and Thailand tied for third place with two cities each. The results also suggest that travelers are particularly smitten by Southeast Asia, which is heavily represented at east Asia’s expense: The only east Asian city to crack the list -- and in last place, at that -- is Kyoto, Japan. The remaining four Asian destinations hail from the sun-soaked Southeast: Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Europe snagged 10 spots, notably with performances from cities in the east, including Budapest, Hungary, Prague in the Czech Republic and Krakow, Poland. The list is conspicuously absent of British and French cities. More than a million votes were cast from 77,000 readers around the world. Here are the Top 25 Cities in the World, according to readers of CN Traveler magazine: 1. Florence, Italy2. Charleston, South Carolina, USA3. Budapest, Hungary4. Cape Town, South Africa5. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico6. Prague, Czech Republic7. Rome, Italy8. Siem Reap, Cambodia9. Barcelona, Spain10. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA11. Krakow, Poland12. Luang Prabang, Laos13. Bangkok, Thailand14. Beirut, Lebanon15. Vienna, Austria16. Siena, Italy17. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA18. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada19. Sydney, Australia20. San Francisco, California, USA21. Chiang Mai, Thailand22. Salzburg, Austria23. Chicago, Illinois, USA24. Bruges, Belgium25. Kyoto, Japan Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23

NEW YORK (AP) — Pitbull will host the 2014 American Music Awards. The platinum-selling rapper will also perform at the Nov. 23 event at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, to air live on ABC, dick clark productions announced Monday. Later that week, Pitbull will perform during the halftime show on Thanksgiving Day when the Dallas Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles. The Nov. 27 game will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and will air on Fox. Iggy Azalea is the leading nominee at the AMAs with six. John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams have five nominations each. Lorde is up for four honors at the fan-voted show. Those acts are all nominated for artist of the year, competing with Beyonce, Luke Bryan, Eminem, Imagine Dragons and One Direction. ___ Online: http://abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The joke was on Jay Leno as comedians saluted the former "Tonight Show" host Sunday when he received the nation's top humor prize. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated Leno's famous work ethic and poked fun as he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks and Chelsea Handler also paid tribute. The show will be broadcast nationally Nov. 23 on PBS. Fallon, who replaced Leno this year on "The Tonight Show" after Leno stepped down for the second time, said it was a good time to honor Leno, "a man who has done so much for NBC, so much that we had to celebrate his career on PBS." On the red carpet before the show, Leno, 64, said "The Tonight Show" years were the best of his life. He said Fallon is bringing "a new dynamic" to the show, and "it's fun to see it change." "The truth is, my time was done," Leno said later in accepting the prize. "When I left 'The Tonight Show,' I didn't leave dead broke like Bill and Hillary. I was able to save." The award honors people who have had an impact on American society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer, satirist and social commentator better known as Mark Twain. Past honorees include Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby. Leno said he had no idea this award was coming and that other honors are phony because people campaign for them. Leno built his career in standup comedy and still makes more than 100 live performances each year. He inherited the "Tonight Show" from Johnny Carson in 1992, beating out David Letterman, and was the top-rated late-night host for years. Handler and Sykes, two leading female comedians, thanked Leno for giving them wider exposure on late night TV. But some ribbing also was in store. Handler said Leno visited the Smithsonian over the weekend and tried to donate a zip drive of all his jokes, but the museum wouldn't take them. "When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused," she said. "I wasn't sure what the connection was." Sykes said she nearly didn't make it to Washington. "On the plane, I sneezed twice, and everybody gave me the stink eye," she said. "This Ebola stuff is getting a little out of hand. It's a little scary. I'm going back to just black. I'm not African anything." Seinfeld said he's been friends with Leno for 38 years and that the longtime NBC funnyman was his idol. "There's no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay," Seinfeld said. "No one — except and I really don't want to sound bitter here — except maybe me? I mean come on." Garth Brooks said standup seemed pretty easy after tossing a few zingers at Leno. "I love Jay," he said. "I love Jay because success didn't give him a swell head. Nature did that." Leno didn't leave TV for long. Last week, NBC announced that he's developing a new show from his Los Angeles garage about his other great passion: cars. "Jay Leno's Garage" will premiere on CNBC in 2015. ___ Follow Brett Zongker at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bloody World War II drama "Fury" blew past "Gone Girl" at theaters this weekend. "Gone Girl" was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in "Fury" blasted the film to second place. Sony's "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Fox's "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million. The week's top two films are R-rated adult dramas, followed by two PG family films. "The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. The animated Fox feature "The Book of Life" opened in third place with $17 million, followed by Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with $12 million. "We're now in full adult movie-going season and we'll see a lot more adult-skewing fare," said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson, who added that the colorful "Book of Life" suits any audience. Another new film rounds out the top five: Relativity's Nicholas Sparks romance "The Best of Me," starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, debuted with $10.2 million. "Birdman," the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu drama starring Michael Keaton, opened in just four theaters and boasted a per-screen average of $103, 750. It opens in additional locations next week. Overall box office is up almost 25 percent from the same weekend last year, Dergarabedian said, and the strong fall showing at cinemas is making up for a year-to-date box-office deficit that dropped from 6 percent to 4 percent in the last month. ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "Fury," $23.5 million. 2. "Gone Girl," $17.8 million ($20.2 million international). 3. "The Book of Life," $17 million ($8.6 million international). 4. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," $12 million ($1.3 million international). 5. "The Best of Me," $10.2 million ($1.1 million international). 6. "Dracula Untold," $9.9 million ($22.5 million international). 7. "The Judge," $7.94 million ($6.5 million international). 8. "Annabelle," $7.92 million ($19.2 million international). 9. "The Equalizer," $5.4 million ($8 million international). 10. "The Maze Runner," $4.5 million ($17.1 million international). ____ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak: 1. "Guardians of the Galaxy," $23.1 million. 2. "Dracula Untold," $22.5 million. 3. "Gone Girl," $20.2 million. 4. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," $20 million. 5. "Annabelle," $19. 2 million. 6. "The Maze Runner," $17.1 million. 7. "Breakup Buddies," $10 million. 8. "The Book of Life," $8.6 million. 9. "The Equalizer," $8 million. 10. "The Judge," $6.5 million. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.