HOLLYWOOD — James Cameron, currently at work prepping “Avatar 2,” “3” and “4,” starts shooting all three sequels simultaneously in October. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, the sequels are set for 2016, 2017 and 2018 release. He’s also planning a prequel, set 35 years before “Avatar.” He’ll shoot these films at a higher frame rate than the standard 24 frames per second to add a heightened sense of reality. Considering that “Avatar” is the top-grossing film of all time, having earned $2.8 billion, followed by Cameron’s “Titanic,” at $2.2 billion, there’s confidence that he can do it again.
The next eight top moneymakers are: “The Avengers” ($1.8 billion), “Harry Potter and The Deadly Hallows Part 2” ($1.3 billion), “Frozen” ($1.2 billion), “Iron Man 3” ($1.2 billion), “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($1.1 billion), “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” ($1.1 billion), “Skyfall” ($1.1 billion) and “The Dark Knight Rises” ($1 billion). They all pale by comparison when you apply today’s ticket prices to “Gone With the Wind,” which would have earned $3.3 billion and is the most-watched film of all time.
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Robert Downey Jr.’s next film is “The Judge,” with Robert Duval, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton and Dax Shepard, out Oct. 10.
Up next for Chris Hemsworth will be “Cyber,” with Viola Davis, out Jan. 16; director Ron Howard’s “In the Heat of the Sea,” with Tom Holland, out March 15; and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” with Downey, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and James Spader, due May 1.
Robert DeNiro’s film “The Bagman,” with John Cusack and Crispin Glover, was a dud. His next is “Hands of Stone,” with Usher and Ellen Barkin, in which DeNiro plays boxer Roberto Duran’s trainer, Ray Arcel. DeNiro, who founded the Tribeca Film Festival, also is producing the biopic of flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, being played by Ben Whislaw, who was “Q” in the recent Bond films. Whislaw has completed “Suffragette,” with Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, out Jan. 16, and sci-fi thriller “The Lobster,” with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, coming March 15.
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The Facebook post read, “At about 11 a.m. EST on Monday, June 9, our beloved actress Liza Minnelli passed away. Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, in Hollywood. She’ll be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting and liking this page.” The page received nearly 1 million likes.
Liza’s rep responded immediately, “Liza Minnelli IS NOT DEAD! She joins the long list of celebrities who’ve been victimized by this hoax. She’s alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet!” If Liza Minnelli bought the farm, it would be on every TV and radio station in the world — get real people!
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“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews is taking over the hosting chores of the syndicated “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” from Cedric the Entertainer. The former NFL star and Old Spice pitchman will have to be quick on his feet to top Cedric. Insiders predict he’ll “crews” through the job and become a millionaire quicker than the contestants.
© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.