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Netflix will drop thousands of titles after the streaming service decided not to renew a deal with movie distributor Epix.

Removed titles will include the Hunger Games and Transformers movies.

Netflix, which has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide, said it wanted to focus on exclusive content.

Rival service Hulu will take on the Epix catalogue.

“Our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies,” Hulu said.Netflix ends Epix deal

“We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films.”

Netflix’s deal with Epix – which was worth a reported $1 billion – runs up until the end of September 2015, at which point the films will disappear from the service.

Explaining the move to subscribers, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote: “While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods.”

Ted Sarandos then went on to list a variety of exclusive shows coming up on the service, including new work from Ricky Gervais, Idris Elba and Adam Sandler.

He also praised an upcoming Netflix-made documentary about Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

As competition between video on demand (VOD) services intensifies, Netflix’s decision may appear to be an unlikely move.

As well as signing content deals, VOD services are investing heavily in creating original content. The platform is seen by some in the industry as a welcome alternative to the commissioning processes and priorities of established cable networks and film studios.

The approach is reaping dividends. At this year’s Emmy awards, Netflix enjoyed 34 nominations, while Amazon – a major VOD player too – earned 12.

Yahoo, a minor player at this stage, earned one nomination for Community – a comedy that had been cancelled by NBC.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has topped the US and Canada box office chart after a slow weekend for North America’s cinemas.

The latest Hunger Games installment took $21.6 million between Friday and Sunday to stay the top draw for a third straight weekend.

Penguins of Madagascar took second place with a second weekend tally of $11.1 million.

Horrible Bosses 2 climbed two places to three.Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

Its second weekend takings of $8.6 million were not much to shout about in a weekend described as “boring” by box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

The only new entry in this week’s Top 10 was The Pyramid, a horror film about a group of archaeologists exploring a cursed tomb.

The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as code breaker Alan Turing, took in an estimated $402,000 from eight locations.

Reese Witherspoon’s Wild, meanwhile, opened in 21 cinemas on December 3 and made an estimated $630,000 between Friday and Sunday.

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The Hunger Games trilogy is set to be made into a stage show in summer 2016, it has been announced.

The stage adaptation will launch in a purpose-built theatre next to Wembley Stadium in London.

It will be created by Robin de Levita, who was behind a Dutch stage show about World War Two diarist Anne Frank.

The movie adaptations of The Hunger Games have taken around $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office.

The Hunger Games trilogy is set to be made into a stage show in summer 2016

The Hunger Games trilogy is set to be made into a stage show in summer 2016

The latest installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, will be released in cinemas later this month.

Based on the novels of Suzanne Collins, the dystopian tales follow the fortunes of Katniss Everdeen, who becomes a reluctant reality show heroine.

No further details of the production, or the plans to build a new theatre to accommodate it, have been disclosed.

Tim Phelan, chief marketing officer for Lionsgate – the company behind The Hunger Games film franchise – said the team behind the stage adaptation would “provide a uniquely immersive experience for fans around the world”.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took top three prizes at this year’s MTV Movie Awards – best film, as well as best male and female performance for actors Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence.

Johnny Depp gave the popcorn-shaped award to two of the film’s stars, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin.

Jonah Hill won best comedic performance for The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jared Leto presented Mila Kunis with the best villain prize, while Channing Tatum won the trailblazer award.

Josh Hutcherson remembered his late fellow cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died earlier this year of a drug overdose, and said: “I know that if Philip were here, he would think this is really cool.”

Hunger Games: Catching Fire – a young adult film about an oppressed society fighting back – has earned more than $850 million globally and was the second-biggest US opening of last year, behind Iron Man 3.

The final part of the story, Mockingjay, has been split into two films that will be released in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The movies are based on Suzanne Collins’ hugely successful dystopian fantasy novels.

Mila Kunis won for her performance in Oz the Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi’s fantasy film which pays homage to The Wizard of Oz while Channing Tatum, star of 22 Jump Street and Jupiter Ascending, was the first male winner of the trailblazer prize, after Emma Stone and Emma Watson.

Favorite character of the year was a surprise win for Shailene Woodley, who played Tris in Divergent, beating Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss in The Hunger Games. They each received more than 9 million votes.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire took top three prizes at this year’s MTV Movie Awards

The Hunger Games Catching Fire took top three prizes at this year’s MTV Movie Awards

The Fast and the Furious actress Jordana Brewster introduced a special tribute to the film’s late star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last November. He won the MTV movie award for breakthrough male performance in 2002.

Co-star Vin Diesel added in a video clip: “I’m always going to be here for you even when you tell me to go. That’s who Paul Walker was.”

Mark Wahlberg, star of The Fighter and the upcoming Transformers film, collected the generation award.

“Many people have gotten this award before. Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston… and you know what they all have in common? They’re all old. This is the too old to come back award,” said Mark Wahlberg.

Rihanna won the prize for best cameo performance in the comedy This is the End and she later performed The Monster with Eminem.

Ellie Goulding sang Beating Heart, from the soundtrack of young adult thriller Divergent.

The MTV ceremony also recognizes some non-traditional categories: Zac Efron won best shirtless performance, while best kiss went to Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter for a scene in their road-trip comedy We’re the Millers.

The awards are also an opportunity for the film industry to showcase upcoming summer films and their stars.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 introduced a clip of their new film, featuring Garfield’s Spider-Man encountering the blue villain Electro (Foxx) in New York’s Times Square.

Ellen Page, one of the stars of X-Men: Days of Future Past, presented a clip from the forthcoming blockbuster, in which the X-Men join forces with their younger selves.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is starring in Godzilla, gave Orlando Bloom the award for best fight, for a sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where Bloom and co-star Evangeline Lilly took on the brutal Orcs.

MTV Movie Awards 2014 were hosted by TV presenter, comedian and writer Conan O’Brien.

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Movie of the Year

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Best Female Performance

Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Best Male Performance

Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Breakthrough Performance

Will Poulter – We’re the Millers

The Hunger Games took three top prizes at MTV Movie Awards

The Hunger Games took three top prizes at MTV Movie Awards

Best Kiss

Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter – We’re the Millers

Best Fight

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs

Best Comedic Performance

Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Scared-as-S*** Performance

Brad Pitt – World War Z

Best On-screen Duo

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker – Fast & Furious 6

Best Shirtless Performance

Zac Efron – That Awkward Moment

#WTF moment

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Villain

Mila Kunis – Oz The Great and Powerful

Best on-screen Transformation

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

Best Musical Moment

Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson – This is the End

Best Cameo Performance

Rihanna – This is the End

Best Hero

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent – Man of Steel

MTV Trailblazer

Channing Tatum

MTV Generation Award

Mark Wahlberg

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Hunger Games: Catching Fire has topped the US box office for a second week, while Disney’s Frozen opening has come at number two.

According to early estimates, the Hunger Games sequel took $110.2 million while Frozen took $93 million.

That figure made Frozen the biggest Thanksgiving opening ever.

Catching Fire and Frozen both beat the Thanksgiving box office record of $82.4 million set by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001.

Dave Hollis, Walt Disney executive vice president for distribution, said: “This was much more than we ever could have thought,” adding that it was the biggest-ever opening for one of its releases.

Disney’s Tangled opened during the Thanksgiving period in 2010, taking $68.7 million.

Frozen tells the story of a Scandinavian princess who tries to save her kingdom after the queen – her sister – accidentally uses her magic powers to freeze the country.

Disney’s action film Thor came in third with $15.5 million.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire has topped the US box office for a second week

Hunger Games: Catching Fire has topped the US box office for a second week

Ensemble movie The Best Man Holiday took $11.1 million to claim fourth spot, while Homefront, written by Sylvester Stallone and starring Jason Statham, was the second highest new entry at five with $9.8 million.

But Spike Lee’s latest offering, Oldboy, failed to make a big dent on the chart, taking just $850,000.

Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, took $100,306 – but that will be considered a solid return given it only opened in four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles.

The North American box office took $294 million in total, another record, just beating last year’s five-day Thanksgiving takings of $290 million.

North American box office Top 5:

1. Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $110.2 million

2. Frozen – $82.4 million

3. Thor: The Dark World – $15.5 million

4. The Best Man Holiday – $11.1 million

5. Homefront – $9.8 million

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