Vincent?Van?Gogh: "You Want a Living Painting, Not a Museum Piece". The 'At Eternity's Gate' star, who will be honored at Monday's Gotham Awards, talks about personalizing the artist, which paintings he kept from set and what he thinks of awards season. Signing on to play Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity's Gate was a no-brainer for Willem Dafoe. Friends with director Julian Schnabel for 30 years, Dafoe figured that "the idea of a great painter and a great filmmaker making a film about a painter made sense," he said. "I wanted to be his van Gogh. What can I say?" Dafoe, 63, who won Venice's best actor prize when the film premiered there in September, portrays the iconic painter during his time in Arles, France, when he painted some of his greatest works but also suffered from mental illness and cut off part of his ear. Dafoe, who will be honored at the Gotham Awards with the actor's tribute, spoke to THR about personalizing van Gogh, which paintings he kept from the set (and which one he wants back) and what he thinks of awards season. (Hollywood Reporter)

Greg Kinnear to Play Bob Hope in Keira Knightley's Miss World Comedy-Drama 'Misbehaviour'. Lesley Manville and Keeley Hawes are also on board for the film about the pageant. Greg Kinnear will join Keira Knightley in the movie Misbehaviour, starring as Bob Hope in the dramedy about the disrupted Miss World contest in 1970. In further casting additions, Phantom Thread's Lesley Manville has come on board to play Hope's wife, Dolores, with Bodyguard's Keeley Hawes, Notting Hill's Rhys Ifans and Downton Abbey's Phyllis Logan also joining the project. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley were previously announced as appearing with Knightley in the comedy-drama, which tells the story of how the newly founded Women's Liberation Movement stormed the stage during the live broadcast of the pageant. Hope hosted the 1970 Miss World event, which at the time was the most-watched show around the globe, with more than 100 million viewers. When the show resumed, viewers were surprised to see the first black winner in the history of the contest crowned. BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls) is set to direct the project, which is produced by The Crown's Suzanne Mackie and Sarah-Jane Wheale. The film is based on an original script by Rebecca Flynn and Gaby Chiappe. Flynn and Andy Harries are executive producing for Left Bank Pictures, Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathe, Rose Garnett for BBC Films, Natascha Wharton for the BFI and Andrea Scarso for Ingenious. The shoot starts this week in London and is set to wrap in early 2019. Pathe will distribute in the U.K., France and Switzerland and handle global sales. (Hollywood Reporter)

Thanksgiving Box Office: 'Ralph,' 'Creed II' and the Secret Behind a Holiday Record. Families and a diverse audience fueled a record holiday in North America. Who knew that a lumbering dude named Ralph, along with the aging Rocky Balboa and a young fighter named Adonis Creed, would supplant the record Thanksgiving box office set in 2013 when Katniss Everdeen and a new Disney heroine named Elsa collectively fueled huge holiday ticket sales? Revenue at the 2018 Thanksgiving box office hit an estimated $314 million for the Wednesday to Sunday corridor, led by new offerings Disney Animation Studios' Ralph Breaks the Internet ($84.5 million) and MGM's Creed II ($55.8 million). The previous biggest Thanksgiving was set in 2013 with $295 million, when Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Disney Animation Studios' Frozen topped the chart with five-day earnings of $109 million and $93.6 million, respectively. The 2018 bounty was aided by popular side dishes including holdovers Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($43 million), The Grinch ($42 million) and Bohemian Rhapsody ($19.4 million). Both Ralph Breaks the Internet and Creed II came in well ahead of prerelease tracking. Each also paced well ahead of their predecessors, Wreck-It Ralph ($49 million) and Creed ($42 million). Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, Ralph 2 was fueled by families (76 percent), who wield tremendous buying power at the box office. The sequel scored the second-biggest five-day Thanksgiving opening behind Frozen, not adjusted to the follow up. The critically acclaimed follow-up sees John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman returning to lead the voice cast, while newcomers include Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson. The animation empire that Walt Disney built has been leery of sequels, and Ralph Breaks the Internet became only the second theatrical sequel from Walt Disney Animation Studios, following Fantasia 2000. "The filmmakers dove back into a world that is relevant to everyone and created new obstacles for the characters," Disney distribution president Cathleen Taff says. Overseas, Ralph Breaks the Internet opened in its first 18 markets -- only three were major: China, Mexico and Russia -- for an early foreign total of $41.5 million and $126 million globally. The pic topped the chart in China with $19.5 million, a tidy sum Creed II -- claiming the top five-day holiday opening of all time for a live-action film -- owes much of its impressive opening to a notably diverse audience; Caucasians made up 38 percent of ticket buyers, followed by African Americans (29 percent), Hispanics (22 percent) and Asian/Other (11 percent), according to MGM. The sequel to the 2015 Creed, which revived the Rocky franchise after a long hiatus, sees the return of Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone. MGM partnered with New Line on Creed II. "This is a timeless franchise for us at MGM, and it's a thrill to see both its legacy and new generation of audiences continue to respond to Rocky Balboa and Adonis Creed in this time when we need uplifting stories," says MGM film chief Jonathan Glickman. Adds box office analyst Jeff Bock: "Sequels that audiences actually want to see have been the hallmark of the 2018 box office, and that continued with the Thanksgiving feast this week. Both delivered the goods, elevating the well-tread material with top-notch marketing and solid performances." (Hollywood Reporter)


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