The Purge opened this weekend to a robust $36.4 million, far exceeding Universal's best hopes. In the horror film, all laws are void and crimes are legal one night each year. The very low-budget film has not been as successful with the critics as it has been with the box office, but it's going to make a great profit for Universal. The Internship also outdid estimates this weekend, with $18.1 million. Read more office numbers here.
The Cannes film festival Palme d'Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color is now a matter of hot debate among critics. Ever since Julie Maroh, author of the lesbian coming-of-age graphic novel on which the film was based, blogged her complaints that the film was a "brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn," the controversy has been heated. The movie was originally praised for its explicit portrayal of lesbian sex, but Moroh, and others, think it crossed the line, criticizing it for being "wildly undisciplined" (NYTimes) and "an incarnation of (male) fantasies" (Moroh). As EW noted, it's interesting to see the outcry over a sex scene coming from the left this time. Read both sides of the story here.
J.J. Abrams indicated that production on Star Wars Episode VII will begin early 2014 in London. This development in the Star Wars franchise has been anticipated since Disney bought Lucasfilm in October of 2012. Abrams, director of Paramount's Star Trek movies, was brought on the project in February. He hasn't given much comment on what we can expect from the seventh installment, but his stance is that "it is so massive and so important to people. I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honoring but not revering what came before." Audiences can likely look for the film in 2015. Read more here.
Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" finally made its U.S. premiere yesterday, opening in 150 U.S. theatres. Released in Europe in 2006, the film sets the opera during World War I. Sir Peter Moors approached Branagh with the idea to make a film version of Mozart's famous opera, and shortly after Stephen Fry was brought on to oversee the libretto. Encore screening will take place tomorrow, June 11. See a full list of screening theatres here.