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Venom Coursing In China With $79M For $100M+ Weekend Bow; Will Lash Past $600M Global Box Office Today

Columbia/Marvel

SATURDAY UPDATE: Sonys Venom has its jaw firmly clamped on China, takin..

Columbia/Marvel

SATURDAY UPDATE: Sonys Venom has its jaw firmly clamped on China, taking $78.6M through Saturday in the market. With Sundays results, well see a $100M+ opening, making it just the second superhero movie ever to hit the century mark during a 3-day Middle Kingdom bow, behind only Avengers: Infinity War.

China is helping to fuel Venom across the $600M global and $400M international box office thresholds through today. The estimated overseas portion is $431.6M; domestic is $204.8M and worldwide $636.4M — again, those are what were hearing through Saturday, meaning $650M global is in sight tomorrow.

The opening day Friday in China came in at $34.9M (including midnights) with todays turnstiles spinning another $43.7M. This is the second biggest Saturday for an imported film in 2018 (also behind Infinity War). In milestones, the Tom Hardy-starrer is the No. 1 debut ever for Sony in China and the top opening day for any single-character Marvel title there.

Word of mouth and audience embrace is huge with ticketing platforms Maoyan and Taopiaopiao seeing scores of 9.4 and 9.1, respectively.

While China instantly becomes the No. 1 offshore hub, Venoms top markets on the other side of the Great Wall are Russia ($32.2M), Korea ($30.2M), the UK ($26M), Mexico ($24M) and France/Brazil (tied at $18.7M).

Well have a full update on Sunday. See below for more detail.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY: On its way to thrashing past $600M global this weekend, Sonys Venom bared its fangs in China today and picked up an estimated $34.7M, including Thursday midnights. The Tom Hardy-starrers start portends a three-day bow in the $100M+ neighborhood. That would make it only the second superhero movie ever to hit the century mark on its Middle Kingdom opening weekend, behind Avengers: Infinity War (Avengers: Age Of Ultron also topped $100M in its debut, but had six days to do so back in 2015, and its FSS was $86M after a $34.7M Tuesday bow).

Thursday sneaks came in at $2.37M to give Venom the No. 4 slot on the list of all-time superhero midnights. Infinity War ($9.31M), Age Of Ultron ($4.76M) and Captain America: Civil War ($2.61M) are the Top 3.

The film, which has a sizable investment from Chinese internet behemoth Tencent — bringing in extra marketing muscle — has been strong on social with great word of mouth. Its got a 9.4 on ticketing platform Maoyan and a 7.4 on Douban. Pre-sales were a terrific $15.5M.

Hitting $100M for the FSS frame would land Venom in the Top 15 China openers ever, besting Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man And The Wasp. China will immediately become the top-grossing offshore market for Ruben Fleischers take on this Marvel property.

Through Thursday, the international box office on Venom is $352.9M with worldwide at $554.28M (not including numbers out of China). The top overseas hubs through Thursday are Russia ($32M), Korea ($30.1M), the UK ($25.8M), Mexico ($23.9M) and Brazil ($18.6M).

China is the last market to open — Japan got off to a great start last frame. The weeks ahead, however, will see an influx of Hollywood titles including Fastastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Crazy Rich Asians and Aquaman.

The movie has defied a critical bashing as audiences have licked it up, enjoying the tone and the character. Venom set a domestic and global October opening record in its early play, and on its second weekend, pushed Sony across $1B at the North American box office. Offshore, it continued to be the lead film for three weekends straight and will handily claim that spot once again this session.

Its currently the No. 10 movie of the year worldwide and should leapfrog into 7th position on Sunday, passing Ant-Man And The Wasp.

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DOC NYC: A Little Wisdom, Barbara Rubin & The Exploding NY Underground Among Winners

DOC NYC unveiled the winners for their ninth annual festival. A Little Wisdom, Barbara Rubin & the E..

DOC NYC unveiled the winners for their ninth annual festival. A Little Wisdom, Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground and Short In the Absence won gran jury prizes while Out of Omaha nabbed the Audience Award. This years DOC NYC kicked off November 8 and concludes on the 15. The winners were announced tonight during a ceremony at the Flatiron Room in Manhattan.

This years event included 137 feature-length films with a late addition of the world premiere of the Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace. It also featured 93 short documentaries. Three juries selected films from each of the festivals Viewfinders, Metropolis and Shorts sections to recognize for their outstanding achievements in form and content. The audience casted their votes for the DOC NYC Audience Award from the Viewfinders and Metropolis sections, and a panel of industry professionals voted to select the winner of this years DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award, given to a work-in-progress.

Read the full list of winners below.

Viewfinders Competition
The jury selected from among nine films in this section, chosen by the programmers for their distinct directorial visions.

Grand Jury Prize Winner: A Little Wisdom, directed by Yuqi Kang, centers on a Tibetan Buddhist monastery where young novice monks try to balance rituals and discipline with the distractions of modern life and childhood.

Metropolis Competition
The jury selected from among seven films in this section, which is dedicated to stories set in New York City.

Grand Jury Prize Winner: Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground, directed by Chuck Smith, is the untold story of an influential figure who defied sexist conventions and enabled surprising connections in the 1960s New York underground film scene.

Shorts Competition
All short films featured in the festival (with the exception of the DOC NYC U student showcases) were eligible for this jury prize.

Grand Jury Prize Winner: In the Absence, directed by Seung-Jun Yi, is an unflinchingly honest look at the Sewol Ferry Disaster in South Korea.

Special Mentions: Obon, directed by Andre Hoermann and Anna Samo, and King of the Night, directed by Molly Brass and Stephen Tyler.

Audience Award
Determined by audience voting at the primary screening of each film in the Metropolis and Viewfinders competitions.

Winner: Out of Omaha is a coming-of-age tale of twin African-American brothers filmed over eight years by director Clay Tweel (Gleason) and executive produced by musician J. Cole.

DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award
Recognized the best pitch given during DOC NYC PROs Pitch Perfect Day, based on the pitch itself, as well as the viability of the project, and was determined by industry professionals taking part in the daylong pitch event.

Winner: Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are), directed by Rachel Boynton, explores how America remembers the Civil War and what the stories we tell reveal about who we are, revealing a picture of contemporary society and our persistent conflicts within.

IF/Then Shorts Northeast American Pitch Award
New this year, in partnership with Tribeca Film Institute, the IF/Then Shorts Pitch at DOC NYC invited six filmmaking teams to pitch their short documentary projects focusing on stories of the American Northeast. One project was selected by an industry jury to receive up to $20,000 in completion funding, free post production services (provided by Sim NY), and the opportunity to participate in Tribeca Film Institutes IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative.

Winner: Mizuko (Water Child), directed by Kira Dane and Katelyn Rebelo.

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Disney Offers A Behind-The-Scenes Glimpse Into The Making Of Ralph Breaks The Internet

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios used the Wall Street Journa..

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios used the Wall Street Journals technology conference to talk about how animators portrayed the internet in the film Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 and build some Silicon Valley buzz for its Nov. 21 opening.

Producer Clark Spencer said the internet provided an intriguing environment for the films two central characters, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), to explore, as they search for a replacement part for Vanellopes broken arcade game, Sugar Rush.

“The internet has two sides to it. It has this incredibly powerful side that connects people,” Spencer said. “It also has that dark side that preys on peoples insecurities. It was that duality that appealed to us.”

The film represents the internet as a vertical place, where websites are stacked one on top of the other. Defunct sites, like GeoCities and Napster, inhabit a subterranean “oldernet.” Below that lurks the darknet, a nefarious place populated with credit card numbers and mothers maiden names and inhabited by tricksters.

The modern internet is a shinier, bustling place occupying the surface.

Artists drew design inspiration from a visit to the data center at One Wilshire Blvd, a building that houses internet connections for the entire West Coast, with tens of thousands of computer servers and miles of cabling connecting the region with the Asia-Pacific.

“It inspired the development team to think of the internet as a city,” Spencer said. “The various sidewalks are connection points.”

The film finds playful ways to represent familiar internet services like Ebay, which is depicted as a cavernous, neon-lit auction house with gavel-wielding auctioneers driving up the bidding as the time runs down.

BuzzFeed and YouTube appear as a conglomeration, BuzzzTube, a social media platform that distributes viral videos — and dishes out some pretty harsh comments.

“On the internet, do not read the comments,” Shank (Gal Gadot) advises tells Ralph in one scene. “I should have told you that. This place can bring out the worst in people.”

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Director Lukas Dhont Talks Netflix Drama Girl, Opening A Dialogue With Trans Community – Awardsline Screening Series

As Belgiums submission for this years Foreign Language Oscar race, the Lukas Dhont-directed drama Gi..

As Belgiums submission for this years Foreign Language Oscar race, the Lukas Dhont-directed drama Girl tells the story of Lara (Victor Polster), a 15-year-old girl born in a boys body committed to becoming a professional ballerina. The film, which is Dhonts debut feature and based on a real-life woman named Nora, premiered at Cannes and won the Camera dOr and earned Polster a Best Performance nod. It was also acquired by Netflix for North and Latin America. During an Awardsline screening, Dhont talked about the journey of making Girl and addressed the sensitive topic of transgender representation in film.

The seed of Girl was planted nearly a decade ago when Dhont read a newspaper article about a young trans girl named Nora who wanted to be a ballerina but was not allowed in the girls class. Dhont approached Nora about doing a documentary about it. They stayed in contact over the years and the idea went from being a documentary to a narrative feature film.

“What was so good about making it fiction rather than a documentary was that it was not only something for me or for the audience but something for her,” said Dhont. “She could use the film as a tool to talk about something that had happened in her past, but as a tool to let it go — and that was something very important to us.”

Dhont worked with Nora to write the film, but she didnt want her name to be attached to it. In the beginning of the process, he said she wanted to “stay in the shadows.”

“She would write with us but she wouldnt want her name attached because she was at a point in her life where although she was honest with the world and herself, she was at a moment in her life where she really wanted to fit in,” he pointed out.

Nora didnt want to stand out because that would lead to confrontation — and Dhont respected and related to her wishes. At the time, he was 18 and the project became more personal to him. “I wasnt open about my sexuality,” said Dhont. “For a very long time, I tried to fit in a heteronormative society. I recognized that need to fit in when she was talking to me.”

But as the project evolved, so did Nora. She became more vocal about herself and accepted her identity. She had a hand in casting Polster in the role. As his acting debut, Polster was nervous that he would not do her justice, but when she remained on set during his performance, thats when he knew she believed in him.

Transgender issues are a hot-button topic as of late and marginalized groups are watching Hollywood like a hawk when it comes to authentic representation. With Girl, Dhont is aware that he cast a cisgender male in a trans role (they found him in a genderless casting). He is also aware of the “diverse reactions” the film would bring — particularly with the trans community.

“For a part of the trans community, this is a film that is more difficult,” he admits. Dhont says that he is open to having a conversation with anyone regardless of their opinion of the film. “I like that dialogue. I like to talk about the idea of representation and the future of it. For me, thats the most exciting part about it — to share a dialogue with someone that can sometimes have a different opinion. That makes me learn as a person and hopefully a better director.”

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