Lee Daniels' The Butler News

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Forest Whitaker to receive the NAACP Chairman's Award

January 29th, 2014 8:40pm EST
Forest Whitaker
Actor Forest Whitaker is set to receive the Chairman's Award at the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards next month (Feb14).

The Lee Daniels' The Butler star will be feted for his humanitarian work on 22 February (14) in Pasadena, California.

Announcing the news, Roslyn M. Brock, the chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, says, "Forest Whitaker embodies the moniker of artist/activist. His work in front of and behind the camera engages and entertains, and his service to communities around the world is truly inspirational. It is my honour and privilege to recognise Mr. Whitaker with ...
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20th Screen Actors Guild Awards -- Who Will Win?

January 18th, 2014 4:01pm EST
SAG Awards
The 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards is set to get underway at 8pm tonight from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

The award ceremony, which honors movie and television actors for the roles they played in 2013's biggest films and TV series, is a precursor for the Oscars, which almost always sees the winners culled from those of the SAG awards.

Awards are handed out in 13 categories, five for motion pictures and eight for television.

In addition to the stars, the SAG Awards also honors the stuntmen and women who make the films possible, with those awards revealed as the stars hit the re...
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Oscar Nominations 2014: No Sure Thing – Looking At The Snubs And Surprises

January 17th, 2014 12:00pm EST
2014 Oscar Nominations
The 2014 Oscar nominations have arrived in a busy week filled with Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards and SAG Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences filled this competitive film year with quite a few snubs. Left off the Oscar list are big names like Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford. Movies that seemed to be sure-things in September are nothing but a distant memory to Oscar voters like Saving Mr. Banks and Lee Daniels' The Butler. Who will come out on top? Well, it no longer seems to be handed to 12 Years a Slave because Gravity and American Hust...
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Lee Daniels' The Butler leads NAACP Image Awards nominations

January 9th, 2014 8:30pm EST
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lee Daniels' The Butler looks set to become the toast of the 2014 NAACP Image Awards after picking up eight movie nominations on Thursday (09Jan14).

The biopic is up for all the major movie categories, including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing for Daniels.

The actors in the film were also acknowledged, with Forest Whitaker among the nominees for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Oprah Winfrey (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo and Terrence Howard (Outstanding Supporting Actor) all landing nods.

Lee Daniels'...
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Box Office Predictions: 'Insidious Chapter 2' Will Take The Weekend

September 13th, 2013 10:45am EDT
Insidious Chapter 2
1) Insidious: Chapter 2- 20.0M Weekend, 20.0M Total

The original opened to 13M, and eventually grossed 54M domestically. The sequel benefits from a painfully dead box office, solid word of mouth, and The Conjuring, which scared up good audiences in July. People may watch Insidious 2 without having seen the original. 20M for the weekend is likely.

2) The Family- 12M Weekend, 12M Total

Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfieffer star in a mob dramedy that is tracking soft, but is opening into an empty marketplace. The marketing push for this has been solid, with Luc Besson and Martin Scorsese on a...
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An Interview With 'Treme's' Colin Walker

September 3rd, 2013 12:10pm EDT
Colin Walker IMDB
He is now in the number one movie in America. You’ve seen him on HBO’s critically acclaimed, Treme. He could be Academy Award nominee's Ed Harris’ brother. Their similarities makes you do a double take. Colin Walker star is rising to the top.

I spoke with him about a little about everything.

What inspired you to become an actor?

Telling stories and seeing how they can inspire people. That and the fact that I get to play dress up and pretend - I’m still just a kid at heart having fun.

What is your role in Lee Danie...
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'Butler', One Direction Top Box Office, But Spanish-Language 'Instructions Not Included' Is The Real Winner

September 3rd, 2013 9:49am EDT
Instructions Not Included
Lee Daniels' The Butler held off competition from boy band One Direction's concert movie, One Direction: This Is Us, to top the four day Labor Day weekend box office.

"The Butler" grossed $20 million, edging out director Morgan Spurlock's music documentary, which came in second at $18 million.

"This Is Us" did win the weekend box office, though, pulling in $1 million more than "The Butler" for a $15.8 million take.

Comedy We're the Millers finished third on both charts, taking in nearly $16 million for the holiday weekend, and $12.6 million over the three-day weekend.

But the big surpri...
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Box Office Projections: Worst Week Of The Year?

August 30th, 2013 5:00pm EDT
Lee Daniels' The Butler
1) The Butler - 12M Weekend, 68M Total

Unless the One Direction crew can get a ton of new fans this weekend with their concert film, it looks like The Butler will repeat at #1 for a third weekend in a row. It only dipped 33% in week 2, so a similar drop would be likely.

2) One Direction: This Is Us- 10M Weekend, 10M Total

One Direction is hot, but it is still a concert film. It attracts only the fans of One Direction, and no one else. Concert films have had varied results in the past, with Miley Cyrus’s doing well, but The Jonas Brothers just doing so-so, and Glee 3D disappointing. In a ...
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'The Butler' Tops Box Office For Second Straight Weekend

August 26th, 2013 12:41pm EDT
Lee Daniels The Butler
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" once again topped the weekend box office with takings of $17 million.

The film is inspired by a true story and centers on a White House butler (Forest Whitaker) who served seven American presidents over three decades.

It focuses heavily on the dramatic changes that swept America over 30 years, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected the butler's life and family.

The film easily beat the number-two movie of the weekend, comedy "We're The Millers," which earned $13.5 million.

Both films beat last week's new release, "T...
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The Butler still on top in the U.S.

August 25th, 2013 8:41pm EDT
The World's End
Lee Daniels' The Butler has served up a second week at the top of the U.S. box office.

The biopic claimed $17 million (£11.3 million) in its second weekend on release, edging out Jennifer Aniston's comedy We're the Millers.

Both films beat last week's (begs19Auig13) new releases - Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The World's End and horror film You're Next round out the new top five.
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Box Office Predictions: What A Slow Weekend Ahead…

August 23rd, 2013 11:05am EDT
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
1) The Butler- 16M Weekend, 45M Weekend

City Of Bones is tracking soft, and The Butler was a crowd pleaser last weekend. It is likely that a small drop will keep The Butler in 1st place again this weekend.

2) The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones- 15M weekend, 20M Total

Soft tracking. I think The Butler and Mortal Instruments will be close, but if this was really a big franchise starter like it has been billed, it should be winning by a landslide.

3) You’re Next- 14M Weekend, 14M Total

A well reviewed horror film yes, but a no-name cast. It could break through this weekend, considering...
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'Kick-Ass 2' Is No Match For 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' At The Weekend Box Office

August 19th, 2013 4:31pm EDT
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lee Daniels' civil rights chronicle The Butler easily topped the weekend box office, blowing away superhero sequel Kick-Ass 2 and Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs biopic Jobs. The film pulled in $25 million, nearly twice that of the Kick-Ass sequel, which amassed a dismal $13.5 mil for a fourth-place finish behind last week's debuts We're the Millers and Elysium, which added $17.7 million and $13.6 million to their 10-day totals, respectively.

Disney's Planes rounded out the top five with $13.1 million in its second week of release.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters finished in sixth with $8.3 mi...
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'The Butler' Is A Beautiful And Powerful Journey Through Our Country's Dark Past

August 19th, 2013 12:45pm EDT
'The Butler'
Every once in awhile, a movie comes out that hits you on an emotional and physical level. 'The Butler' directed by Lee Daniels ('Precious') is such a film.

'The Butler' written by Danny Strong, was inspired by Wil Haygood's article in The Washington Post, entitled 'A Butler Well Served By This Election.'  Haygood served as a butler through 8 presidential administrations.

In this film, we follow the journey of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) who as a boy in 1923, picked cotton on a Georgia farm, alongside his father and mother. 

In one of the most heart wrenching scenes, Cecil watches as o...
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A.M. Roundup: Alexander Skarsgard Gets Naked In 'True Blood' Finale, Lohan Talks Rehab, 'Butler' Tops Box Office

August 19th, 2013 10:41am EDT
True Blood
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" has topped the weekend box office, pulling in nearly twice as much as superhero flick "Kick-Ass 2" and almost four times as much as Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs biopic "Jobs". Daniels' chronicle of the civil rights movement in America pulled in $25 million for its opening weekend, while the "Kick-Ass" sequel failed to cover half of its $28 million budget, pulling in a dismal $13.5 mil and landing at number four. "Jobs" opened in seventh place with just $6.7 million in ticket sales. (story)

The "True Blood" season six finale was a doozy. Check out the full breakdown...
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Riley Keough and Alex Pettyfer spark reunion rumours

August 14th, 2013 3:11am EDT
Riley Keough
Elvis Presley's model/actress granddaughter Riley Keough has reportedly reunited with her former fiance Alex Pettyfer after they were spotted holding hands at a Los Angeles premiere on Monday.

Keough, the daughter of singer Lisa Marie Presley, met the British actor on the set of stripper movie Magic Mike in 2011 and the pair became engaged last year.

The couple reportedly called time on the relationship earlier this year, but the romance appeared to be back on again as the pair attended the screening of Lee Daniels' The Butler on Monday.

An eyewitness tells UsWeekly.com the stars were "h...
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Oprah Winfrey feared failure ahead of The Butler acting return

August 12th, 2013 3:11am EDT
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was hesitant to make her movie return in Lee Daniels' The Butler because she feared she would "embarrass" herself after the box office flop of her 1998 film Beloved.

The talk show icon earned an Oscar nomination for her acting debut in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple in 1985, but her starring role in her passion project Beloved failed to draw audiences at movie theatres and took just $22.8 million (£15.2 million) worldwide, despite its $80 million (£53.3 million) budget.

The film's failure sent Winfrey into a downward spiral for "about 30 or 40 days" and she reveals the ...
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'The Butler' NYC Premiere Pics: Mariah Carey With A Studded Sling, Oprah With Big Hair & More!

August 6th, 2013 4:00pm EDT
Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
Several stars stepped out for "Lee Daniels' The Butler" New York City premiere on Monday at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

Mariah Carey, who is still recovering from shoulder injury, showed up in a black dress with a fancy leather studded sling. She was accompanied by her husband and "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon.

Oprah Winfrey wore a pink beaded dress and let her hair go au naturale. She appears on the September cover of her O magazine wearing a huge Afro wig that weighed an astonishing 3 to 5 pounds, according to the Huffington Post.

She attended the premiere with her longtime boyfrie...
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Oprah Winfrey: 'You Cannot Be My Friend And Use The N-Word'

August 1st, 2013 12:05pm EDT
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has warned pal Lee Daniels to stop using the N-word, telling him that if he keeps it up they can't be friends.

Daniels, Winfrey and Forest Whitaker sat down with Parade magazine to discuss their upcoming film The Butler, which chronicles the Civil Rights movement through the eyes of White House butler Cecil Gaines (Whitaker), who served under seven presidents.

During the chat, Daniels said that he's used the word often in the past, but Oprah set him straight.

“It’s a word I used quite a bit," Daniels tells Parade, "until Oprah sat me down and talked to me about its power."
...
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'Lee Daniels' The Butler' Red Carpet Premiere Lights Up Philadelphia

July 30th, 2013 1:40pm EDT
Lee Daniels Red Carpet Premiere
Lee Daniels (director and producer), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (star) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (actress/singer) all hit the red carpet on Monday, July 29th, to premiere ‘The Butler’ at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.

This has been a pretty big week for Philadelphia. The festivities started off with the National Urban League Conference the week of July 24th-July 27th assisting job seekers in identifying open positions at Sony Pictures and NBC Universal.

The fun continued on Monday when director and producer Lee Daniels (‘Precious,’ ‘Monster’s Ball,’ ‘The Paperboy’); actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. (‘Boyz n the ...
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'The Butler' To Be Renamed 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

July 22nd, 2013 4:18pm EDT
The Butler
Studio executive Harvey Weinstein and director Lee Daniels have been given permission to call their new film The Butler, as long as they preface it with the filmmaker's name.

The Weinstein Company honchos faced a lawsuit over Daniels' White House drama after executives at Warner Bros. claimed they owned the rights to the name as they have a 1916 short comedy of the same title in their back catalogue.

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) initially ruled the Hollywood mogul had to change the name of The Butler ahead of its August release, but they reversed the decision and allowed...
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Oprah Winfrey auctions The Butler meet-and-greet

July 10th, 2013 3:11am EDT
Oprah Winfrey
TV titan Oprah Winfrey is set to pull in thousands of dollars for charity by auctioning a meeting with her at the upcoming premiere of The Butler.

The highest bidder in the CharityBuzz.com auction will be introduced to the talk show queen at either the film's New York City premiere on 5 August (13) or the Los Angeles debut on 12 August (13).

Winfrey, who plays the wife of presidential butler Eugene Allen in the movie, is due to attend both events with her castmates Forest Whitaker, who stars in the title role, and Robin Williams, who plays Dwight Eisenhower, as well as Alan Rickman and Ja...
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Harvey Weinstein Baffled By 'The Butler' Legal Drama

July 9th, 2013 2:51pm EDT
Harvey Weinstein
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is "shocked" by the legal battle over his latest film The Butler as he can't understand why a rival studio would try to force him to change the title.

The Weinstein Company chiefs have been embroiled in a dispute over Lee Daniels' historical drama as executives at Warner Bros. claim they own the rights to the name because they have a 1916 short film of the same title in their back catalogue.

Warner Bros. bosses won an arbitration case last week and The Butler is now facing a name change just weeks ahead of its planned August release date.

Director Daniels wro...
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Director Lee Daniels Pleads With Studio Not To Re-Title 'The Butler'

July 5th, 2013 8:20am EDT
Lee Daniels
Lee Daniels has penned a poignant letter to studio executives urging them to let him keep the title of his upcoming movie The Butler.

The Weinstein Company's White House drama, starring Forest Whitaker as real life butler Eugene Allen, is facing a name change after executives at rival movie studio Warner Bros. bosses launched a legal challenge over the title.

Warner Bros. bosses claim they own the rights to the title because they have a 1916 comedy of the same name in their back catalogue, and the battle has been raging just weeks before the film is due to open next month.

Now, Daniel...
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The Butler bows down to name change

July 3rd, 2013 3:20am EDT
The Butler
Bosses behind star-studded historical movie The Butler have been forced to change its name after it was ruled a rival studio owns the rights to the title.

The film, about Eugene Allen - the butler to eight U.S. presidents and their families - features an A-list cast, including Forest Whitaker as Allen, Oprah Winfrey as his wife, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower and Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy.

However, chiefs at The Weinstein Company will have to come up with a new title for the highly-anticipated movie ahead of its August (13) release af...
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James Marsden To Play President Kennedy In 'The Butler'

July 21st, 2012 10:43am EDT
James Marsden
X-Men star James Marsden will portray President John F. Kennedy in director Lee Daniels' Eugene Allen biopic.

The Butler chronicles Allen's life as the White House manservant to eight American leaders and their families.

Forest Whitaker will play the title role and Oprah Winfrey his wife, while the all-star cast also includes Minka Kelly (Jackie Kennedy), Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan), Jane Fonda (Nancy Reagan) and Robin Williams (Dwight D. Eisenhower).

Filming is scheduled to start later this month in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Robin Williams To Play Dwight D. Eisenhower In 'The Butler'

July 19th, 2012 2:26pm EDT
Robin Williams
Actor Robin Williams is set to portray former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Lee Daniels' upcoming biopic The Butler.

The Good Will Hunting star will go bald to play the 34th leader of the United States, while Melissa Leo is slated to portray his wife Mamie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film is based on the true story of White House domestic worker Eugene Allen, who served under eight First Families.

Williams joins an all-star cast, which features Forest Whitaker in the lead role, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda portraying Ronald an...
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Matthew McConaughey Pulls Out Of 'The Butler'

June 8th, 2012 7:58am EDT
Matthew Mcconaughey
Matthew McConaughey has backed out of portraying President John F. Kennedy in director Lee Daniels' new film The Butler.

The Sahara star was handpicked to play the assassinated leader opposite Minka Kelly's Jackie Kennedy in the star-studded biopic of White House manservant Eugene Allen, but he has decided the role will be better served by another actor.

He tells movie new website, 24Frames.com, "It's not going to happen for me. It was going to take some good hard work on my part for sure - and it was more than an accent. I've done accents before. And you can see, you can tell when it's...
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