Sandra Bullock has joined Despicable Me‘s lovable, pill-shaped creatures the minions – as they take centre stage with their own movie spin-off, Minions.
Seventeen years ago, Sandra Bullock starred in an animated movie, lending her voice to Moses’ sister Miriam in Disney’s Prince of Egypt.
When asked about her decision to join the cast of Minions, she said: “My son. I wanted to do something that he could see, that I was in.”
Sandra Bullock has an adopted son called Louis, who travelled with her to London ahead of the movie’s world premiere.
She gushes that her 5-year-old son loves physical humor and animation, and because she loves to hear him laugh, joining Minions was a no-brainer.
Minions is a spin-off prequel to Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. The latter alone took $970.8 million at the worldwide box office.
In Minions, it transpires the yellow creatures have actually been serving despicable masters since time began, from dinosaurs to vampires – but because of their accident-prone ways, they have been completely unsuccessful at keeping their jobs.
Without a master to serve, they are driven into a depression, before one of the more proactive minions, Kevin, hatches a plan to find someone new to work for.
Along with fellow minions Stuart and Bob, they head to a villain convention which leads them to their next potential master – Sandra Bullock’s Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever female super-villain.
Scarlet Overkill proves a contrast to Sandra Bullock’s usual roles, which have given her the reputation of America’s sweetheart.
Pierre Coffin not only directs the film but also voices the entire minion population, including Kevin, Stuart and Bob.
His “Minion-ese” – a mixture of languages including French, English, Italian and Spanish – is a huge part of the movie’s charm.
Pierre Coffin and co-director Kyle Balda said they had a lot of fun directing their role call of guest stars including Jennifer Saunders, Steve Coogan, Michael Keaton and Mad Men star John Hamm – who Sandra Bullock describes as “delicious”.
The appeal of the minions is apparently unbounded, with Universal already confirming Despicable Me 3 will be released in June 2017.
Adam Sandler has topped Forbes‘ Most Overpaid Actor List for a second year in a row.
Adam Sandler came ahead of Johnny Depp and Ben Stiller, who complete the top three, to pick up the honor.
The rankings were decided by Forbes magazine after comparing actors’ estimated pay with the budget and revenue of the last three films they starred in before June 2014.
Animated films and cameos were not included in the list.
Although Adam Sandler’s latest film Grown Ups 2 took $246 million at the global box office, it didn’t make up for the more disappointing takings of 48-year-old’s previous releases, Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy.
It’s estimated that for every $1 Adam Sandler was paid, he returned an average of $3.20.
By comparison, Emma Stone – who topped Forbes‘ 2013 best actors for the buck list – returned an estimated $80.70 for every $1 she was paid for her last three movies.
Johnny Depp, 51, is second on the 2014 overpaid list, returning an average of $4.10 for each dollar he was paid.
His average was lowered by recent films The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows.
Ben Stiller is number three on the list.
His estimated return of $4.80 owes itself to Tower Heist and The Watch not performing too well at the box office.
The top five is completed by Ryan Reynolds, with a return of $4.90 for each dollar paid, and Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who pulled in a $5.20 return.
According to Forbes, Cloud Atlas – which sees Tom Hanks taking on six roles – was an expensive flop for the actor.
Will Ferrell ($6.60), Channing Tatum ($6.70), Denzel Washington ($6.90) and Ben Affleck ($9.37) also appear in the top 10.
Sandra Bullock is the only actress to appear on the list, coming in ninth with a return of $9. Like Channing Tatum, Sandra Bullock is not considered overpaid by Hollywood standards, she lands here because of math. Huge backend payments on The Blind Side and Gravity make Sandra Bullock look overpaid.
Sandra Bullock has topped the Forbes‘ List Of Highest Earning Actresses in 2014 taking home an estimated $51 million.
Sandra Bullock brought in $716 million in global box office takings and was a hit with critics.
Jennifer Lawrence is second on the list with a reported $34 million thanks to her share in Hunger Games.
Jennifer Aniston ranks third highest earning with $31 million after her role in Horrible Bosses.
Despite Sandra Bullock’s large pay packet, women are still earning less than men in Hollywood.
Forbes reports that the top 10 women on the list earned $216 million combined, which is almost half of the $419 million that the top 10 actors brought home.
Robert Downey Jr. is number one on the male list with $75 million earnings for the second year in a row thanks to the Iron Man trilogy and Avengers films.
Sandra Bullock has topped the Forbes’ List Of Highest Earning Actresses in 2014 (photo Getty Images)
Gwyneth Paltrow is fourth place with $19 million due to her role in Iron Man 3 with Robert Downey Jr. and her work with Max Factor and Hugo Boss.
Last year’s top earner Angelina Jolie came in fifth with $18 million.
Forbes says that it measures the figures by talking to agents, producers and lawyers to work out how much each celebrity earned from entertainment-related work during the 12-month time period between June 2013 and June 2014.
They didn’t deduct cash for taxes, agent fees or the other costs of being a celebrity.
Space drama Gravity is expected to scoop multiple awards at Sunday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.
The 3D film is likely to dominate the technical categories, with Alfonso Cuaron tipped for best director.
However, Oscar watchers have predicted Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave to win best picture.
The 86th Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, take place tonight at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
Outside the venue, a section of Hollywood Boulevard has been sealed off and the red carpet is covered over to protect it from an unusual spell of wet weather.
The final round of voting by the Academy’s 6,028 members ended on Tuesday.
Many of the nominees have been attending a flurry of pre-Oscar events and screenings in and around Los Angeles.
In what is considered to be the strongest field for many years there are nine contenders for best picture.
Gravity and David O. Russell’s crime caper American Hustle lead with 10 nominations each. 12 Years a Slave has nine.
According to Hollywood Reporter, while the preferential ballot system could boost the prospects of American Hustle and Gravity, 12 Years a Slave felt more “important” than 3D science-fiction.
12 Years a Slave‘s nine nominations include best director for Steve McQueen.
The historical drama, about a free black man in New York kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana, is in a strong position, having already won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
Its stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o have been nominated in the best actor, supporting actor and supporting actress categories.
American Hustle has nods in all four acting categories for its stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
David O. Russell pulled off the same feat with Silver Linings Playbook last year. Jennifr Lawrence went on to win best actress.
British film Philomena, based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption, is up for four awards, including best picture and best actress for Judi Dench.
Gravity eyes prizes as Oscars countdown begins
Captain Phillips, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club and Her are also among the nine best picture nominees.
There are several clear favorites in the major acting categories.
Cate Blanchett, who plays a fallen New York socialite in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, has been the runaway favorite for best actress for months.
But she faces strong competition from Judi Dench, American Hustle‘s Amy Adams, Gravity‘s Sandra Bullock, and Meryl Streep – who has her 18th Oscar nomination – for August: Osage County.
Having both missed out on BAFTA nominations, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto – from AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club – are favorites for best actor and supporting actor respectively.
The tightest race seems to be for best supporting actress, where 12 Years A Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o – making her movie debut – is up against Jennifer Lawrence who won a BAFTA for her American Hustle role.
Also in the running are Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and June Squibb for Nebraska.
“Usually a couple of the big awards are quite close but this year, there is just the one with best supporting actress looking set to go down to the wire,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.
In the best director category, David O. Russell faces competition from Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron, Nebraska‘s Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Amid all the speculation, the ceremony does promise some certainties.
On the musical front, all four contenders for best original song will perform. U2 will play Ordinary Love, which they wrote for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Pharrell Williams will sing Happy from Despicable Me 2, Idina Menzel will sing Let it Go from the animated film Frozen, and Karen O will perform The Moon Song, from the Spike Jonze film Her.
Pink and Bette Midler are also to perform.
This year’s ceremony will celebrate movie heroes and a special section will mark the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.
Ellen DeGeneres is back for a second stint as host. She hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, watched by a TV audience of 39.9 million.
Before the ceremony, Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: “I think we can all agree; if Meryl Streep doesn’t win this year, her career is in real trouble.”
This year’s Oscar nominations are to be announced later today.
12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle all expected to be in the running for best picture.
But the rest of the shortlist is up for grabs, amidst one of the most competitive fields in years.
Experts predict a full slate of 10 nominees, with Dallas Buyers Club and Captain Phillips among frontrunners.
Actor Chris Hemsworth and Oscars chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs will reveal the list at 05:38 local time.
The announcement will be streamed live on this page, with coverage starting at 05:30.
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s hard-hitting historical drama, picked up the top honor at the Sunday’s Golden Globes, winning best film drama.
It is also the bookmakers’ favorite to win the Oscar for best picture, but David O. Russell’s crime caper American Hustle is rapidly closing in, after picking up three Globes, including best film in the comedy or musical category.
Its female stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence also picked up best actress and supporting actress prizes.
Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress Oscar last February for Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and is generating a strong buzz this year in the supporting actress category for her scene-stealing role as Rosalyn, the unpredictable wife of conman Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale.
Gravity, the 3D film about astronauts stranded in space, picked up the prestigious best director Globe for Alfonso Cuaron, making him an Oscar frontrunner alongside Steve McQueen and David O. Russell.
The winners of the golden statuettes will be announced at the 86th Academy Awards on March 2 at the Dolby Theatre
Sandra Bullock is hotly tipped for a best actress nomination, while 12 Years a Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o are all expected to get acting nods.
The best picture category can consist of anything between five and 10 films. For the past two years there have been nine films on the shortlist.
Among the hopefuls are Martin Scorsese’s stockbroker shocker The Wolf of Wall Street, sea piracy thriller Captain Phillips and Nebraska, Alexander Payne’s black and white film about a cantankerous old man on the trail of a dubious lottery win.
Also expected to pick up a nomination is Dallas Buyers Club, the true story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew McConaughey, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1985 and given 30 days to live.
Although completely shut out of last week’s BAFTA nominations, Dallas Buyers Club is likely to fare better with the Academy’s 6,000 voters.
Matthew McConaughey was named best actor in a drama at the Globes while his co-star Jared Leto won the best supporting actor prize for his depiction of a transgender woman.
Bookies say Matthew McConaughey is closing in on Chiwetel Ejiofor in the race for the best actor Oscar.
Other names tipped to make the final cut are Robert Redford (All is Lost), Leonardo Di Caprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips).
Tom Hanks, already a double Oscar winner, might get two acting nominations this year, the second for playing Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, a film about Disney’s attempts to turn Mary Poppins into a movie in the 1960s.
Cate Blanchett appears hard to beat for the best actress Oscar and is 1/8 favorite to pick up the award for her role as a New York socialite fallen on hard times in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
The best director shortlist could include Paul Greengrass and Steve McQueen.
The winners of the golden statuettes will be announced at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. This year’s event is hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
Space thriller Gravity has held on to the top of the US and Canadian box office for a third week.
Sandra Bullock’s 3D thriller, co-starring George Clooney, took $31 million according to figures from Rentrak.
Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, stayed in second place, taking $17.3 million in its second week.
WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, had 2013’s worst debut weekend so far, taking just $1.7 million.
Julian Assange, who founded whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, had claimed Disney’s film would be a failure. Last week, an email he wrote to Cumberbatch urging him not to take part in the project was released online.
Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space, has now made more than $170 million in three weeks.
IMAX screenings have proved particularly popular because of the film’s groundbreaking visuals, accounting for $38 million in ticket sales, with 82% of audiences opting for 3D showings.
Warner Brothers’ Jeffrey Goldstein has attributed the film’s success to “phenomenal word of mouth”.
Gravity has held on to the top of the US and Canadian box office for a third week
Paul Greengrass’s true story-based Somali pirate drama Captain Philips also held off newcomer Carrie. The horror remake, starring Kick-Ass actress Chloe Grace Moretz, took third place, with $17 million.
The original 1976 film, based on Stephen King’s novel, saw Oscar nominations for actresses Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.
Family favorite, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, was in fourth after taking $10.1 million in its fourth week.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new action film Escape Plan rounded off the top five with $9.8 million.
In a limited release of just 19 cinemas, Steve McQueen’s Oscar-tipped slavery epic 12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, opened with a promising $960,000.
North American box office Top 5:
1. Gravity – $31 million
2. Captain Phillips – $17.3 million
3. Carrie – $17 million
4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – $10.1 million
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock’s new movie Gravity has shot straight to the top of the US box office in its opening weekend.
According to early estimates, Gravity took $55.55 million over the weekend, making it the biggest October opening since records began.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock’s new movie Gravity has shot straight to the top of the US box office in its opening weekend
The figure also ensured it was the biggest opening for a film starring Sandra Bullock or George Clooney.
Gravity, set almost entirely in space, is directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock play an astronaut and a medical engineer who work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Last week’s number one, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, dropped into second slot with $21.5 million.
Based on a children’s book, the first film – Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – was a breakout hit for Sony Animation in 2009.
The sequel is an original story, in which inventor Flint Lockwood must save the day after one of his inventions malfunctions, creating food-animal creatures, or animals made of food, that overtake the region of Swallow Falls.
Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, opened in third place taking just $7.6 million.
The crime thriller follows Justin Timberlake as a graduate student who goes to Costa Rica to confront an online gambling tycoon played by Ben Affleck, who swindles him.
Former number one Prisoners, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, slipped from second place to fourth.
Formula One movie Rush, which depicts the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, took fifth spot.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon, was next in sixth place.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have previously been subject to speculation about whether their relationship has ever crossed the line into romance.
Last week the rumor mill went into overdrive as George Clooney and Sandra Bullock attended the 70th Venice Film Festival together to promote their new film Gravity.
Whilst male and female co-stars are usually fairly affectionate when posing together on the red carpet, a series of intimate shots led to speculation that romance was definitely bubbling between the co-stars.
Newly single George Clooney, who recently split from his wrestler turned model girlfriend Stacy Keibler, was snapped on more than one occasion staring at Sandra Bullock somewhat like a love sick puppy.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have previously been subject to speculation about whether their relationship has ever crossed the line into romance
George Clooney’s body language only served to inflame the rumors as he kept leaning into Sandra Bullock and tending to her every need, at one point even affectionately mopping her brow.
This led to claims that George Clooney, 52, was “making eyes” at his long time friend.
Sandra Bullock was quick to shoot down the rumors telling Associated Press, “He was not making eyes. Maybe cross eyes but that’s the extent of his goggle eyes.”
The actress explained that the pair had known each other long enough to have enough “dirt” on each other to command a deep level of “respect and understanding”.
Despite not having romantic feelings for George Clooney, Sandra Bullock professed her deep affection for him saying: “I adore George.”
Meanwhile incorrigible bachelor George Clooney released a statement through Warner Brothers confirming the platonic nature of his relationship with Sandra Bullock saying: “We are just friends. We have known each other before either of us had success in films so there is no pretense.”
Sandra Bullock is suing watch company ToyWatch she claims used her image in advertising without her permission.
Now Sandra Bullock is the subject of a lawsuit by an insurance company that wants to determine if it should pay out if she wins her case.
Sandra Bullock is suing watch company ToyWatch she claims used her image in advertising without her permission
The legal maneuver is being taken by the insurers of ToyWatch, which made the timepiece Sandra Bullock’s famously indomitable mom character wore in The Blind Side.
According to TMZ, ToyWatch has a policy in place that might cover a judgment in case they lose in court.
The insurance company does not want to wait until after the initial lawsuit has ran its course, and on Monday legal docs were filed against Sandra Bullock, asking a judge to decide if they’re on the hook in case the actress wins.
The flashy white timepiece Sandra Bullock wore as Leigh Anne Tuohy was a key part of her gaudy appearance.
The ToyWatch soon became popularly marketed online as the Sandra Bullock watch, with its sales likely to have been affected by its connection to the Oscar-nominated film and its successful leading lady.
Sandra Bullock last year sued the Italian-owned company for using her name and image in its adverts.
She alleges ToyWatch USA’s use of her name and image infringes her publicity rights and claimed it may lead to over-saturation of her commercially valuable name.
At online sales sites, including Amazon, the watch is associated with Sandra Bullock, who claims the watch maker also uses her name on its website.
The lawsuit stated Sandra Bullock “will not voluntarily appear in print or other media for a company or product unless she carefully selects and believes in the company and product, and unless the compensation she receives is commensurate with the value of the exploitation of her name, image, identity, and persona”.
If ToyWatch is found to have negatively impacted Sandra Bullock’s name, misappropriating it to its own advantage without any benefit to her, she may win damages and see an injunction placed on the company.
The watch – on sale for around $272 – “features a diamanté rotating bezel encrusted with synthetic mineral glass stones, which is set against a white dial with diamanté markers”.
“The white plasteramic linked strap securely fastens with a butterfly clasp” according to marketing information.
If Sandra Bullock proves to be as steely as her character in the 2009 football tale, ToyWatch may live to regret its marketing moves.
Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August.
The 3D movie, directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, sees George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts on an ill-fated mission.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu mama tambien won two awards at the festival in 2001 – best scenario and best young male talent for actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.
The gala on the Venice Lido runs from 28 August to 7 September.
Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August
Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci – whose debut film, The Grim Reaper, showed at the festival in 1962 – will lead the jury for this year’s Golden Lion for best film.
US director William Friedkin, best known for his films The French Connection and The Exorcist, will also receive a lifetime achievement award.
He described the festival as his “spiritual home”, adding he would accept the honorary prize “with gratitude and love”.
Alfonso Cuaron’s film features George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts attempting to return to Earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in orbit.
The rest of the festival line-up is yet to be announced, but films being tipped to be screened include Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien and Twelve Years a Slave, the latest film from British director Steve McQueen starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
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