The sci-fi epic won the coveted Best Film honour and Cameron landed the Best Director award, while Zoe Saldana was named the Best Actress at the ceremony in London.
Inglourious Basterds star Christoph Waltz won the Best Actor award for his role in Quentin Tarantino's movie, while Aaron Johnson won the Best Newcomer honour for his portrayal of a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy.
Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes landed the Best Thriller film award and Star Trek won Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy film.
British actor Ray Winstone, Jude Law, Andy Serkis and Sir Ian McKellen all won special awards for their contribution to film, with the X-Men star being named Empire Icon, the evening's top honour.
He says, "I've played iconic parts - I think that's the point. I played Gandalf the Grey and the White and Magneto. So their lustre rubs off on me rather than the other way round."
The list of winners is as follows:
Best Film: Avatar
Best Director: James Cameron (Avatar)
Best Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Actress: Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Best Newcomer: Aaron Johnson (Nowhere Boy)
Best Thriller: Sherlock Holmes
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film: Star Trek
Best Horror: Let The Right One In
Best Comedy: In The Loop
Best British Film: Harry Brown
Outstanding Contribution To British Film: Ray Winstone
Empire Hero: Jude Law
Inspiration award: Andy Serkis
Empire Icon: Sir Ian McKellen.
The actress has been hit with a slew of bad reviews for her part in an adaptation of the Moliere classic, which marked her debut on the West End stage and is currently playing at the Comedy Theatre.
But the poor reviews haven't stopped Knightley from being named in the Best Supporting Actress category by jurors of the prestigious Olivier Awards, the highest honours in British theatre.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star will compete against Hayley Atwell (A View From The Bridge), Michelle Dockery (Burnt By The Sun), Alexandra Gilbreath (Twelfth Night), Rachael Stirling (The Priory) and Ruth Wilson (A Streetcar Named Desire).
Meanwhile Hollywood actress Rachel Weisz was shortlisted for a Best Actress prize for her performance as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and will go up against Gillian Anderson (A Doll's House), Imelda Staunton (Entertaining Mr Sloane), Lorraine Burroughs (The Mountaintop) and Juliet Stevenson (Duet For One).
Jude Law's turn in Hamlet faces competition from James Earl Jones in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, James McAvoy for Three Days Of Rain, Mark Rylance (Jerusalem), Ken Stott (A View From The Bridge) and Samuel West (Enron).
In the musical categories, former Spice Girls star Melanie Chisholm is up for a Best Actress statue for her role in Blood Brothers, while Rowan Atkinson's stint as Fagin in Oliver! has scored him a Best Actor nod.
The winners will be named in a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on 21 March (10).
Studio executives were said to have been disappointed with a rough cut of the upcoming film, ordering the director to re-work it to include the famed sleuth's arch rival, Professor James Moriarty.
Ritchie then turned to his pal Pitt, the star of his 2000 movie Snatch, who reportedly agreed to step in at the last minute to play Holmes' evil nemesis.
The film's release has now been pushed back to the end of this year (09) and Pitt is due to start shooting this week (beg17Aug09), according to Britain's Daily Mirror.
A source tells the newspaper, "It's a huge coup to have Brad joining the cast. He has worked for Guy before and said if he could, he would do anything to help out. It was an oversight in the film not to make a bigger deal about Moriarty. He is mentioned as Holmes' arch enemy, but the bosses wanted Guy to make more of him.
"Jude Law (who plays Dr Watson) and Robert Downey Jr (Holmes) have already shot their scenes. But now that 10 extra days have been added to shoot the new ones, they may be called back for a day or two.
"Brad is expected to be filming all over London. Cliveden House has been earmarked as a location for Moriarty's home... It's going to be a full-on couple of days, but now the release date has been pushed back they might just do it in time.".
Heath Ledger's final film has been given a lukewarm reception at the Cannes Film Festival -- and many critics were shocked to see his character hanging from a London bridge with a rope around his neck in his first scene.
Ledger died in January 2008 before he completed work on Terry Gilliam's fantasy film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell stepped in to complete his part in the movie.
And though film reviewers have been kind to the late actor in his final role, they've not been so taken by Gilliam or his film, which premiered at Cannes this week.
Britain's TimesOnline critic James Christopher writes, "Ledger is a marvel to watch," but insists the plot of the film is "slim, incomprehensible, and desperately unconvincing."
He goes on to suggest that the film "could have benefited with a lot more hard story and a lot less whimsy."
And Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw insists the film is "amiable" but "could be for fans only," adding, "the film's convoluted curlicues are tiring, insisting too loudly on how 'imaginative' everything is."
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New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third and final installment in director Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, continued its reign at the box office with a cork-popping take of $51.2 million* over the holiday weekend. What's more, The Return of the King posted the best Christmas day gross ever, taking in $14.5 million on Dec. 25 alone. The film also crossed the $200 million mark after only 11 days, beating The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which took 12 days. That's definitely good news for New Line, whose Rings trilogy was a $300 million-plus make-or-break investment for the studio. Combined with the spirited take of four new wide releases, The Return of the King's strong legs also helped make this weekend the biggest Christmas weekend in box office history.The comedy Cheaper by the Dozen triumphed over rival newcomers hitting theaters this weekend, opening in second place with a generous three-day take of $28.2 million. The family comedy was followed by Cold Mountain, which debuted in the No. 3 position with nippy $14.5 million. Aided by its eight Golden Globe nominations and inclusion on many critics' Top 10 lists, the American Civil War drama is on a likely track for key Oscar nominations. Something's Gotta Give, now in its third week of release, placed fourth with $14.2 million, while the new Ben Affleck sci-fi thriller Paycheck, rounded out the Top Five with a foreseeable opening take of $13.9 million. The family pic Peter Pan, the last of this week's wide releases, kicked off in seventh place with a not-so-magical take of $11.4 million.Although this week's four new releases produced a combined first-day box office tally of almost $22 million, Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office tracking service Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press Sunday the industry's total yearend box office revenues would likely fall short of last year's $9.3 billion record, marking the first year-to-year decline since 1991."The end of the year is looking pretty good," Dergarabedian said. "But not enough to jump ahead of last year's revenues ... because 2002 was so amazing."Last year, Hollywood benefited from an abundance of blockbusters, such as Spider-Man, Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the sleeper hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $168.6 million, up 26.39 percent from last weekend's $133.4 million take and up 8.18 percent from last year's $155.8 million.THE TOP TENNew Line Cinema's PG-13 rated fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King kept its No. 1 stronghold in its second week of release with an ESTIMATED $51.2 million (-29%) at 3,703 theaters (unchanged; $13,833 per theater). Its cume is approximately $223.6 million. Directed by Peter Jackson, it stars Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Miranda Otto, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan.Twentieth Century Fox's PG rated comedy Cheaper by the Dozen debuted in second place with $28.2 million in 3,298 theaters, with an $8,558 per theater average. In the film, a contemporary remake of the 1950 Walter Lang comedy based on the novel by Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank B. Gilbreth, mayhem ensues as a couple moves their large family of 12 children from a small town to an affluent Chicago suburb.Directed by Shawn Levy, it stars Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff and Tom Welling. Miramax Films' R rated Civil War drama Cold Mountain opened in third place with $14.5 million in 2,167 theaters with a $6,691 per theater average. In the film, a Confederate soldier makes the arduous journey from the front lines of the Civil War to his home in Cold Mountain, N.C., where his ladylove has been fighting battles of her own.Directed by Anthony Minghella, it stars Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give dropped one spot to fourth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $11.4 million (+24%) at 2,709 theaters (+32 theaters; $5,242 per theater). Its cume is approximately $56.3 million. Directed by Nancy Meyers, it stars Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet and Frances McDormand.Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated sci-fi thriller Paycheck kicked off in the No. 5 position with $13.9 million in 2,762 theaters with a $5,033 per theater average. In the film, a "reverse-engineer" who has had three years of his memory erased by a multimillion-dollar corporation, tries to piece together his past using a collection of random objects.Directed by John Woo, it stars Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman.*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated drama Mona Lisa Smile fell from its runner-up position last week to sixth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $11.5 million (unchanged) in 2,677 theaters (unchanged; $4,296 per theater). Its cume is approximately $31.4 million.Directed by Mike Newell, it stars Julia Roberts, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles.Universal Pictures' PG rated family pic Peter Pan opened in seventh place with $11.4 million at 2,813 theaters with a $4,053 per theater average. In the film, based on the classic J.M. Barrie novel, the Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Neverland where an ongoing war with the evil pirate Captain Hook is taking place.Directed by P.J. Hogan, it stars Jeremy Sumpter, Jason Isaacs and Ludivine Sagnier. Warner Bros.' R rated period actioner The Last Samurai, fell four spots to eighth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $8.3 million (+8%) in 2,557 theaters (-381; $3,273 per theater). Its cume is approximately $74.3 million.Directed by Edward Zwick, it stars Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Tony Goldwyn and Timothy Spall.Miramax Films' R rated dark comedy Bad Santa dropped two rungs to ninth place in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $4.5 million (-11%) at 1,710 theaters (-515 theaters; $2,644 per theater). Its cume is approximately $50.9 million. Directed by Terry Zwigoff, it stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Tony Cox and John Ritter.New Line Cinema's PG rated holiday comedy Elf fell five places in its eighth week to round out the Top 10 with an ESTIMATED $4.2 million (-22%) at 2,015 theaters (-436 theaters; $2,122 per theater). Its cume is approximately $164.8 million. Directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen.OTHERSSony Picture Classics' PG-13 rated dance drama The Company debuted in 11 theaters with $96,939, with a $8,813 per theater average.The film centers on a Chicago ballet company--the difficult daily work, the intense pressures of performance and the richly textured behaviors of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close.Directed by Robert Altman, it stars Neve Campbell, James Franco and Malcolm McDowell.New Market's R rated biopic Monster opened in four theaters with $84,156 with an impressive $21,039 per theater average. The dark tale is based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, one of America's first female serial killers.Directed by Patty Jenkins, it stars Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.WEEKEND COMPARISON Last year, New Line's PG-13 rated The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers came in at No. 1 in its second week with $48.8 million in 3,622 theaters (unchanged; $13,494 per theater); DreamWorks' biopic Catch Me If You Can opened in second place with $30 million 3,156 theaters ($9,523 per theater); Warner Brothers' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice followed in third place in its second week of release with $15.5 million in 2,755 theaters (unchanged; $5,633 per theater).
Go to our Box Office section for recent weekend movie analysis.
What happens when James Bond meets the Green Lantern?
We'll likely find out. Casino Royale director Martin Campbell is in talks to direct the live-action film based on the DC Comics superhero. Variety notes that this latest news puts Lantern at the top of DC properties being adapted by Warner Bros., along with the Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin, which is set to start up in April.
While Warner's is hoping that Christopher Nolan will follow up last year's smash The Dark Knight with another batflick -- which is reportedly in the very early writing stages according to Internet buzz -- other DC-based projects like Justice League were expected to happen quickly but have stalled.
Campbell's credits include Bond films Casino Royale and Goldeneye as well as two Zorro films. He most recently wrapped Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson.
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Actress Lindsay Lohan has returned to her wild ways, after she was filmed allegedly snorting cocaine--less than two months after leaving rehab.
The troubled star--who claims to have sobered up after her recent stint at the Los Angeles Wonderland Center--is also reported to have bragged to friends about her sexual exploits with actors Jude Law and Spider-Man star James Franco as she partied at trendy Hollywood nightclub Teddy's.
A friend tells British newspaper the News of the World: "That night I saw her do more than 20 big lines of cocaine. She was still up doing drugs at 11 a.m. She was blatantly doing it off tabletops, keys, books and in the wardrobe... In an average night Lindsay will do two and a half grams of coke on her own.
"She has told me that she has slept with James Blunt, Jude Law, Calum Best, Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, Jared Leto and James Franco."
And the source claims the Mean Girls star only checked into the Hollywood treatment center as a publicity stunt.
She adds, "Going to rehab was all for publicity. She wanted people to see her seeking help but it hasn't got her off the drugs at all."
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
James Bond star Daniel Craig has been crowned the best-dressed man in Britain by GQ magazine.
The new 007 has topped the publication's annual style list, beating Conservative politician David Cameron and Hollywood star Clive Owen.
Craig becomes the first James Bond since Sean Connery to take the title.
A GQ statement reads, "No Bond since Sean Connery has worn it better. It works because the 007 uniform seems like an upgrade of what Craig would naturally wear."
Elsewhere in the top 10, Jude Law was fifth, David Beckham sixth, Pete Doherty seventh and British royal Prince Harry 10th.
Eccentric comedian Russell Brand came in eighth, but was also named the worst-dressed man. A GQ spokesperson explains, "Some can't stick him (Brand), but to others he's British exuberance encapsulated."
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
There should be a rule stating if a movie has already won the Academy Award for Best Picture it should never EVER be remade at a later time no matter who is involved. Why mess with a good thing? The 1949 All the King's Men based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren starred Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark a 1950s Louisiana politician who uses fiery rhetoric to get the poor folk to elect him as governor but who becomes corrupt in the process and is eventually assassinated. The story is loosely based on the real-life legendary 1930s Louisiana governor Huey P. Long and the original film adaptation was equally brazen and subtle wonderfully executed and won three Oscars including the top prize. But apparently the original wasn’t as authentic as this current incarnation. This time Sean Penn stars as our prime filibuster who tries to keep things lively but gets bogged down by the muddled subplots especially the one involving Stark’s PR guy Jack Burden (Jude Law) and his relationships with his very Southern godfather (Anthony Hopkins) and childhood friends (Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo). Yawn. With a cast like this it’s no wonder King's Men got remade. Penn clearly stands out of course. How could he not? His Willie Stark is the only thing sparking anything close to life in the film. But with the part such as it is Penn also tends to unnecessarily chew up scenery while everyone stands around him in a wilting repose. Law—once again narrating the proceedings (must he do this in ALL his films?)—tries to embody a character who really doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about anything except being Stark’s beck and call boy even after all the horrible things Stark makes him do to the people he supposedly loves. Winslet as Jack’s unrequited childhood love Ruffalo as her put-upon brother and Hopkins as a former judge who stands in Stark’s way to success are all just completely wasted. As is Patricia Clarkson as Stark’s campaign manager and mistress Sadie Burke who was so brilliantly played by the Oscar-winning Mercedes McCambridge in the 1949 original. Whatever happened in translation is surely not Clarkson fault. Come on guys you’ve got a powerhouse crew here. Why fritter them away? Apparently redoing All the King's Men has been a dream project of political pundit James Carville one of the film’s producers for some time. He has dabbled here and there in the entertainment industry especially in the riveting documentary The War Room so periodically through the years Carville would mention to filmmakers in passing how he had a passion for Robert Penn Warren’s novel and how deeply he wanted to see it filmed authentically. Lo and behold someone finally listened and a new King's Men was underway helmed by writer/director Steven Zaillian (Searching for Bobby Fischer) with an all-star cast. Filming on location in New Orleans and the outlying areas of Louisiana just before Hurricane Katrina hit Zaillian provides the faithfulness Carville was looking for. But did anyone at any time ask the question “Why are we doing this movie again when it was already done so well?” I repeat it was a Best Picture winner for chrissakes. And now remaking it into a giant snore-fest just ruins the mystique. Sometimes they just don’t get it.
Sienna Miller has slammed reports she's dumped boyfriend Jude Law to start up a romance with her latest leading man, James Franco.
Miller's representative, Ciara Parkes, tells People magazine photos that were published of the couple together were actually pictures from a scene they were shooting for the film Camille.
She explains, "The pictures of Sienna were of her doing a scene at Niagara Falls with James.
"There were about a thousand people around them and it was a sad scene, the last scene of the movie. They are just joking about during takes."
Miller and her 28-year-old co-star have been shooting the film in Canada for the past month.
Meanwhile, Law has been filming My Blueberry Nights in New York City. Miller and Law were spotted together in the Big Apple several weeks ago, but haven't been seen together since.
Photos of Franco and Miller looking cozy on set sparked rumors of an affair.
But a friend of Miller's tells the magazine there is no rift between the celebrity couple saying, "Sienna and Jude are still very much an item. Just because they are working in different locations doesn't mean they've split up.
"She and James are friends and even actors are entitled to have friends."
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