Battle Los Angeles, Crazy.Stupid.Love, The Dark Knight Rises and Oz The Great and Powerful. At age 13, Joey King already has built a Résumé which several Actors and Actresses might never achieve in a lifetime. Born and raised in Los Angeles, King appears on the verge of Superstardom and a quick perusal of what’s coming next gives us every reason to be excited.
Taking time to chat with us in advance of Oz The Great and Powerful‘s DVD release, I learned that acting is actually something that King always has wanted for herself since the age of four, first getting her start in Commercials. Older Sisters Haley and Kelli, whom she looks-up to greatly, may have paved the way for her with their own respective acting careers, but she makes it clear from the get-go that she is in charge of her own path. “People ask me all the time, ‘Were you forced into acting?” she admits. “I’m like, no. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I hope I get to do it for the rest of my life.”.
On how she became involved with one of 2013’s largest grossing Blockbusters landing the coveted Role of vulnerable and sweet China Girl, she recalls, “I went straight to the Screen Test, which is the final stage of the auditioning process. I was so excited I got to meet Sam Raimi, to audition and do my lines for him.”. She actually was immersed in work when she found out she had been cast in Oz The Great and Powerful. “I was in India filming The Dark Knight Rises and my Sister was Video Chatting with me and told me that I got the Role. It was so unforgettable! Breathtaking.”.
King has nothing but fun memories of working with the Film’s brilliant Ensemble Cast, getting up-close and personal. “Whether it be Zach Braff, James Franco and I playing pranks on each other, to Michelle Williams asking me when I got a Cell Phone so she’d know when to do so with Matilda (Williams‘ Daughter with the late Heath Ledger), everyone was so sweet. I had the best time filming it!”.
Although a Sequel to Oz The Great and Powerful still has yet to be confirmed, 2013 will see not one, but two more important releases from this remarkable young Talent. “I’ve got White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx coming out”, she tells me. The Montreal-filmed Action-Thriller is about a Capitol Policeman who must rescue his Daughter and save the President with the arrival of a group of Paramilitary Invaders. “I love Montreal, it’s beautiful there. I love the cold!”, she tells me about her experience filming in our native Canada.
In addition to being a Fan-of and Friends with Taylor Swift, having starred in her Video for Mean, King reveals to me whom she’d love most to work with in the future. “Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain is up there and Jason Bateman for sure. I love him! “. Diplomatically, she tells me there are many more with so much amazing Talent in the Hollywood Pool and surely it won’t be long before she gets her wish.
King also particularly is excited for upcoming Horror,The Conjuring, due this July. “I play one of five Sisters and my name’s Christine. Our Family lives in this house and something’s sketchy about it”, she explains. “I saw the Film recently and oh my God, it’s so scary! I think everyone will really enjoy it and it will blow their socks off!”.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada releases Oz The Great and Powerful on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Click here to pre-order your copy.
In an exciting weekend at the Box Office, two heavy Hollywood Blockbusters were pitted against one another – Iron Man 3, catering more towards a male audience, and The Great Gatsby, catering towards a more female audience. Alas, it is the Man of Iron who prevails with $72.4 million in its second week after an explosive $174 million opening in North America. In two short weeks, it has grossed $284 million domestically.
Not to be shamed, The Great Gatsby debuts in second with an equally stellar $51.1 million for Warner Bros. from 3,535 theatres. Although Critics had mixed feelings about the F. Scott Fitzgerald Adaptation with a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, audiences gave it a B CinemaScore, which shouldn’t hurt it. Also, the fact that it is Mother’s Day surely helps with its numbers.
Former number one Pain & Gain slips to third this weekend for Paramount Pictures, earning $5 million in a v. distant third place. To date it has grossed $41 million domestically.
Debuting uncharacteristically low in fourth with $4.8 million from 2,041 theatres is Tyler Perry‘s latest Peeples, starring Kerry Washington. The Comedy is the only other wide release to open this weekend and earned a B- CinemaScore and also a 37% rating on the Tomatometer.
In fifth is 42, another former number one Film, with $4.6 million for Warner Bros. in its fourth week of release. In its four week run, the Jackie RobinsonBiopic has grossed $84.7 million.
Rounding out the Top Ten are Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon Drama Mud with $2.3 million – the Film opens soon in Canada via eOne Films – and the valiant Oz The Great and Powerful with $802k in its TENTH week of release for Disney.
Neither a Divorce nor a Scientology Scandal could stop him. Tom Cruise is a bona fide Cinematic Legend, topping the Box Office once again this weekend with his latest, Oblivion, which earns a stellar $38.2 million for Universal Pictures, from 3,783 theatres. Reviews were mixed from Critics, earning 58% on the Tomatometer, and Audiences responded with a B- CinemaScore. Getting a head-start internationally last week, the Film has grossed over $60 million overseas already.
Even in its second week, the superb 42 continues to go strong for Warner Bros., earning $18 million after debuting on-top last week. The Film got a bit of a push Monday with it being Jackie Robinson Day and with that A+ CinemaScore, it should continue to go well for the next few weeks with lots of positive word-of-mouth.
In third this weekend is The Croods with $9.5 million, benefiting overall from a lack of other Family-oriented Films out right now. Domestically it has just surpassed the $150-million mark.
Scary Movie 5 still manages to maintain in the Top Five with $6.3 million in its second week, just ahead of G.I. JOE: Retaliation with $5.8 million in its fourth week.
The Place Beyond the Pines expands to 1,542 theatres for Focus Features/eOne Films this weekend in sixth and does respectably with $4.7 million, now earning a total of $11.3 million in its run thus far. Reviews are strong, tallying in at 81% on the Tomatometer.
With no other new entries in the Top Ten this weekend, Oz The Great and Powerful rounds-out the Top Ten with $3 million for Disney.
A Box Office Home Run for Warner Bros.’ 42 this weekend, its release timed right for the beginning of Baseball Season earning $27.3 million from 3,003 theatres across North America. The Biopic about Jackie Robinson from Director/Writer Brian Helgeland not only fared well among Critics with a 77% consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, but Audiences loved it, giving it a well-deserved A+ CinemaScore. This bodes well for its word-of-mouth in coming weeks and also, tomorrow is Jackie Robinson Day in the U.S., meaning even more buzz for the Flick.
Opening in second is eOne Films/The Weinstein Co.’s Scary Movie 5, the latest in the long-running Franchise, earning a non-disgraced $15.2 million from 3,402 theatres. Critics panned it universally, garnering 6% on the Tomatometer and C- Cinemascore from Audiences. Neither Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen nor Ashley Tisdale could save this.
Former ChampThe Croods earns $12.9 million in its third week and to date the Animated Feature from 20th Century Fox has grossed over $142 million domestically.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation earns $10.5 million for Paramount Pictures in fourth, just ahead of last week’s number one Film in Evil Dead which slips to fifth spot with $9.3 million from 3,025 theatres for Sony Pictures.
Meanwhile, Oz the Great and Powerful continues to go on well in eighth with $4.8 million in ninth in its sixth week of release, ahead of Tyler Perry’s Temptation which slips to ninth in its third week with $4.4 million. a
In Limited Release and The Place Beyond the Pines, the latest from Director/Writer Derek Cianfrance who made a splash in 2010 with Blue Valentine, earns $3.8 million from only 514 theatres for eOne Films/Focus Features and likely will continue to expand in coming weeks.Starring a phenomenal Cast including Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Dane DeHaan, the Drama is well-reviewed earning 81% on the Tomatometer.
Overseas, Oblivion starring Tom Cruise debuted big with $60 million grossed overseas and equally is expected to open big in North America, where it debuts next weekend.
Huge debut this weekend for The Evil Dead, opening in 3,025 theatres with a stellar $26 million. In an interesting turn of events, this weekend there were two ties for second place and fifth place. The Sony Pictures/FilmDistrict Flick interestingly enough received fairly positive reviews from Critics (65% on the Tomatometer), although Audiences responded not as well with a C+ CinemaScore. Poor feedback however didn’t seem to hurt the Remake of Sam Raimi‘s 1981 Horror at all. Made for only $17 million, it is a great success on all accounts.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation slips to second spot this weekend but still continues to be a force to be reckoned with, earning an impressive $21.1 million at number two for Paramount Pictures. In two weeks domestically, the Film has grossed$87 million. The Croods ties as second spot for 20th Century Fox, still going strong with $21.1 million also in its third week of release. In total it has earned $125.7 million in North America to date.
Jurassic Park 3-D gets a second life at the theatres via Universal Pictures debuting at number four this weekend with $18.2 million, earning strong reviews in this incarnation (91% on the Tomatometer). By comparison, the original version of the Film back in June 1993 opened with $47 million.
FilmDistrict/VVS Films’ Olympus Has Fallen and Tyler Perry‘s Temptation both tie for fifth spot with $10 million for Lionsgate/eOne Films in its second week out. Disney‘s Oz The Great in Powerful in seventh spot has surpassed the $200 million-mark in North America, earning $8.6 million in this its fifth week.
Rounding-out the Top Ten is Rom-Com, Admission, with $2.0 million in its third week of release.
Boys rule the Box Office this Easter Weekend with G.I. Joe: Retaliation debuting big with a stellar $40.8 million across North America, from 3,719 theatres. Critics panned the $135-million Blockbuster from Paramount Pictures, but Audiences reacted well with an A- CinemaScore. This latest Installment in the Franchise stars Bruce Willis, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Channing Tatum and Adrianne Palicki.
In second this weekend is last week’s Champ The Croods from 20th Century Fox with $26.6 million in its second week of release. The Animated Feature takes advantage of the lack of Family-oriented Flicks out this weekend. To-date it has grossed an impressive $88.8 million in North America.
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor debuts in third this weekend from 2,047 theatres – yet another successful release from the Actor/Writer/Director/Producer and overall Magnate. Earning $22.5 million, the Drama-Thriller stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Kim Kardashian, Brandy Norwood and Vanessa Williams; it does not star Perry in male nor female form. Critics didn’t love the Film, earning 17% at Rotten Tomatoes.
Olympus Has Fallen slips to fourth in its second week of release with $14.1 million after a solid debut last week in second spot, just ahead of former Champ Oz the Great and Powerful from Disney with $11.7 million in fifth.
The Host unfortunately didn’t translate to big numbers despite it being an Adaptation of beloved Twilight Author Stephanie Meyer‘s Novel of the same name. Reviews were outright vicious, tallying-in at 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. It debuts in sixth with $11 million for Open Road Films/eOne Films.
Well-reviewed Spring Breakers by Director/Writer Harmony Korine lands in ninth with its expansion to 1,379 theatres with $2.5 million. To date it has earned $10 million and despite strong limited release numbers, this didn’t translate as strongly with its expansion.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone in its third week of release, rounds out the Top Ten with $1.2 million.
Debuting atop the Box Office this weekend is The Croods from Dreamworks/20th Century Fox, earning $44 million from 4,046 theatres in North America. Earning positive reviews from Critics, tallying 64% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes and even strong reviews from audiences with an A CinemaScore, the Animated Feature starring Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone was made for $135 million, still yet to be released overseas.
In second and certainly not disgraced is Antoine Fuqua‘s Olympus Has Fallen opening with $30.8 million for FilmDistrict/VVS Films, from 3,098 theatres. Overall, reviews have been mixed with it earning 55% over at Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences responded v. well, giving an A- CinemaScore. After multiple Box Office Misfires of late, Gerard Butler re-asserts his standing as a bankable Leading Man. The Film however was made for $70 million, which by Indie standards is astronomically high, but with positive buzz, this should translate into a bit of staying power in coming weeks and possibly its second run on Home Video.
Oz The Great and Powerful continues to be a major force, slipping to third but still garnering $20.8 million in its third week and should shortly surpass the $200 million mark domestically.
Meanwhile The Call, last weekend’s Runner-Up, earns $9.1 million in its second week of release, just ahead of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd-headlining Rom-ComAdmission in fifth with $6.6 million for Focus Features/eOne Films.
Amazingly, Spring Breakers in Limited Release finds itself in sixth with $5 million from only 1,104 theatres and next weekend will see a release in select Canadian cities including Toronto. Reviews are solid for the Harmony Korine Flick starring James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson.
Former Champion Identity Thief still is hanging tough for Universal Pictures with $2.6 million from 2,166 theatres, while Snitch rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.9 million. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who stars in the latter, also will be making his presence felt with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, out next week.
Without a doubt it was all about Oz The Great and Powerful this weekend at the Box Office, the Prequel to The Wizard of Oz casting a spell on Moviegoers with a phenomenal $80.3 million earned from 3,912 theatres. Audiences responded well to the Film, earning a B+ CinemaScore rating, although Critics weren’t as in-love, giving it a 60% rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. Made for $215 million, the Disney Blockbuster will is still expanding overseas and easily should earn back its costs in coming weeks and is already en route to a Sequel. Worldwide it earned a monstrous $150 million.
Slipping to second this weekend is Jack the Giant Slayer, which debuted on-top last weekend for Warner Bros. The Family-oriented Fantasy earned $10 million this weekend, bringing it’s cumulative total to $43.80 million in its two-week run.
The unstoppable Identity Thief in its fourth week still is going strong with $6.3 million in third spot, just ahead of a debuting Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, with $5.4 million from 2,188 theatres. Even though reviews weren’t so strong earning 35% on the Tomatometer, Audiences didn’t dislike the Film giving it a B- CinemaScore.
Relativity Media/eOne Films’ 21 and Over, in its second week earns $5.1 million grossing $16.8 million total in sixth. Safe Haven still hangs onto the Top Ten in seventh spot in its fourth week also, with $3.8 million. Escape from Planet Earth sits in ninth with $3.2 million, earning a total $47.8 million in three weeks. Rounding it all out is The Last Exorcism 2 with $3.1 million.
At just 34 years of age, James Franco has achieved what many of his Peers will never accomplish in a lifetime – a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Attending the Ceremony earlier today in support of Franco were his Mother Betsy Lou, younger Brother Dave and longtime Friend Seth Rogen. Franco’s acting career began back in 1997 and ever since, we have seen a truly eclectic body of work from the Actor ranging from Action Flicks to Soap Operas to Arthouse Films.
Tomorrow sees the release of his eagerly-awaited Oz The Great and Powerful, the Prequel to The Wizard of Oz, which has him in the Titular Role. This perhaps is his biggest role yet in Career which has seen several highs. Click here to read my glowing Review!
See more Photos below:
(Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
2013’s first massive Blockbuster comes in the shape of Oz The Great and Powerful and with its release right before us, accompanying this Prequel to The Wizard of Oz is a powerful Promotional Single performed by none other than Mariah Carey. Making a Track worthy of that Film’s iconic legacy was by no means an easy task. It actually is the result of several great Musical Minds, including Carey herself, Mega-Producers Stargate (Rihanna, Ne-Yo),Simone Porter, Lindsey Ray and Canada’s own Justin Gray, whom I had the pleasure of chatting with about the making of what could be a Contender at next year’s Oscars in the Category for Original Song, won recently by Adele for Skyfall. I mean by name association itself, James Franco‘s Oscar/Oz Character already has the prestigious Award written allover it, right?
Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, success certainly didn’t just come over tonight for 17-time JUNO Award Winner Gray. 14 years into his successful career, he finally has the chance to write with a Megastar like Carey, absolutely shocked to be gifted the opportunity. “We never in a dream world considered Mariah Carey would do it” he says, “She interpreted what we had started with and turned it into Almost Home, a beautiful piece of Art and Pop Music.”.
This is not to say that Gray has worked with a roster of Unknowns all this time. After moving to London, England with his Wife, he padded his lofty Résumé working with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone and Emma Bunton (Spice Girls), before deciding ultimately to relocate to Los Angeles in 2007. He recalls, “I sorta thought to myself I really wanna be in L.A. and I’ve been coming here quite a bit. Finally I convinced my Wife, telling her ‘Let’s try it and see what happens!'”. Since then, he hasn’t looked back and appears to be on the verge of what looks to be a Career Pinnacle.
On working with Carey, Gray silences the Diva rumours, telling me she definitely takes a hands-on approach with Writing, stating “She was very involved. Unfortunately the way that everybody’s schedule aligned, it was hard for all involved to be in the same place at the same time. She was in New York, shooting Idol, she was super busy and we were all busy.”. Being on two coasts, I ask logistically how Almost Home was composed and he explains, “We would collaborate often via E-mail, through her Management sending MP3s and Lyrics back and forth. She would cut Vocals and send it back. Although I wish we were always in a room together, it really still was a very equal Collaboration.”.
Being physically in the U.S. hasn’t severed Gray‘s roots with his native Canada. His memories of growing-up here are fond ones with him listening to an eclectic mix of Top 40 Radio, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Buddy Holly, the latter thanks to his1950s-obsessed Father. In addition to playing an instrumental role in 98°‘s Comeback this year penning their upcoming Single, we also can expect to hear new work with Enrique Iglesias and John Legend, plus Canadian Talent including Victoria Duffield, whom we chat with last year. He tells us also to look out for Island/Def Jam emerging Artist Smokey Jones, whom he is working with closely.
Listen to my complete interview with Gray below:
See the brand new Video for Almost Home below:
Almost Home is available now on iTunes. Buy it here.
Oz The Great and Powerful is in theatres Friday, March 8, 2013.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Justin Gray/Universal Music/Warner Music Canada)