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Jolie hopes family will come out 'stronger' after breakup

Angelina Jolie says that she and her family have been going through a "difficult time" since the breakup of her marriage to Brad Pitt, but added that hopefully they would come out "stronger for it."

The actress and filmmaker spoke briefly about her personal struggles during a recent interview with BBC World News. She has been promoting her new movie, "First They Killed My Father." It's set in Cambodia and based on the life of author and human rights activist Loung Ung, who was a child during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s. Jolie directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Loung.

Jolie, who has custody of her six children with Pitt, said that "we are and forever will be a family" and that having faith was how she was "coping."

'Moonlight' and 'The Americans' receive Writers Guild Awards

The screenplay for "Moonlight" and the scripts for "The Americans" and "Atlanta" were among the winners of this year's Writers Guild Awards.

Barry Jenkins' script for the Oscar-nominated "Moonlight" won the Guild prize for best original screenplay. Oscar nominee Eric Heisserer of "Arrival" won for best adapted screenplay. Best documentary screenplay went to "Command and Control," based on a telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser and story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts.

The awards were presented in New York and Los Angeles on Sunday night by the Writers Guild of America, West and East.

"The Americans" featured a team of seven writers and won for best television drama series. Best comedy went to "Atlanta" and its team of five writers, including Donald Glover and Stephen Glover.

'Lego Batman' stays No. 1, conquers 'The Great Wall'

"The Great Wall" was a hit in China. In North America, it was a dud.

The most expensive film ever made in China and with a budget of $150 million, "The Great Wall" was intended to prove that the world's no. 2 movie marketplace could produce Hollywood-sized blockbusters of its own. Though it ran up $171 million in ticket sales in China, "The Great Wall" pulled in $18.1 million in its North American debut over Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That was good enough for third place, falling behind last weekend's top two films, "The Lego Batman" and "Fifty Shades Darker." The Warner Bros. animated release easily led the box office again with $34.2 million in its second week, sliding only 35 percent. Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker" sold $21 million in tickets in its second week. The erotic sequel continues to play well overseas, where it led international business with $43.7 million over the weekend.

Slammed by critics, "The Great Wall" didn't measure up to its initial ambitions. It was produced by Legendary Entertainment, which has since been acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group. The film, directed by Zhang Yimou, originated with an idea by Legendary chief executive Thomas Tull, who exited the company last month.

But "The Great Wall" isn't a bomb. It has made $244.6 million overseas and performed over the weekend in North America slightly better than some pundits expected.

"This is absolutely a strategy that's worldwide," said Nick Carpou, distribution chief for Universal. "Worldwide, we are one of many markets."

Universal could still claim four of the top 10 films, the other two being "A Dog's Purpose" ($5.6 million in its fourth week) and "Split" ($7 million in its fifth week), so far the top film of 2017.

More East-West productions like "The Great Wall" are sure to follow. Studios already regularly partner with Chinese film companies on everything from "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to "Warcraft," a flop in the U.S. and Canada with $47.4 million, but a $220.8 million hit in China.

Films like "The Great Wall" and "Warcraft," however, prove that finding the right balance between American and Chinese tastes remains a difficult balancing act.

For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, the more significant factor for "The Great Wall" wasn't its multi-national origins but its Rotten Tomatoes rating: a dismal 36 percent "fresh."

"Just like every movie irrespective of country of origin, reviews matter," said Dergarabedian. "Audiences only care about the movie. They don't necessary care where it came from."

Two other new releases, both from 20th Century Fox, also failed to catch on. The comedy "Fist Fight," starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day as feuding high-school teachers, opened with $12 million.

And Gore Verbinski's gothic horror "A Cure for Wellness" — his follow-up to the box-office bomb "The Lone Ranger" — made just $4.2 million, a result that won't help the director's standing in the industry. On Friday, Fox apologized for using fake news stories to promote the film.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

1. "The Batman Lego Movie," $34.2 million ($21.5 million international).

2. "Fifty Shades Darker," $21 million ($43.7 million international).

3. "The Great Wall," $18.1 million ($19 million international).

4. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $16.5 million ($15.6 million international).

5. "Fist Fight," $12 million.

6. "Hidden Figures," $7.1 million ($7.3 million international).

7. "Split," $7 million ($8.9 million international).

8. "A Dog's Purpose," $5.6 million.

9. "La La Land," $4.5 million ($31.7 million international).

10. "A Cure for Wellness," $4.2 million ($4.5 million international).


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Fifty Shades Darker," $43.7 million.

2. "La La Land," $31.7 million.

3. "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage," $27.6 million

4. "Kung Fu Yoga," $23.3 million.

5. "The Lego Batman Movie," $21.5 million.

6. "The Great Wall," $19 million.

7. "Sing," $18.9 million

8. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $15.6 million.

9. "Split," $8.9 million.

10. "Hidden Figures," $7.3 million.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at:

Hungarian film 'On Body and Soul' wins Golden Bear in Berlin

A Hungarian love story about two slaughterhouse workers who connect in shared dreams won the top award Saturday at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

"On Body and Soul" by writer-director Ildiko Enyedi contrasts the harsh reality of the abattoir with the magical world of slumber.

Enyedi was previously best known for her 1989 debut film, "My 20th Century," which won the Golden Camera award in Cannes that year.

The Golden Bear had been expected to go to the comedy "The Other Side of Hope," which instead earned veteran filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki a Silver Bear for best director. The film sees a young Syrian refugee befriending a grouchy Finn, with Kaurismaki's deadpan humor delivering poignant messages about the horrors of war and the current refugee crisis in Europe.

The jury award went to "Felicite," a film by French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis about a singer in a Congolese night club.

South Korea's Kim Min-hee received the best actress award for her role in "On the Beach at Night Alone," about a woman coming to terms with the end of an affair.

Georg Friedrich from Austria was named best actor for "Bright Nights," in which he portrays a father trying to reconnect with his teenage son.

"A Fantastic Woman" by Chilean director Sebastian Lelio received a Silver Bear for best screenplay, shared with Gonzalo Maza. It tells the tale of a transgender woman mourning for her dead lover even as most of those around her remain unwilling to empathize.

The jury also awarded Dana Bunescu a prize for outstanding artistic contribution for her editing of "Ana, mon amour," about a Romanian couple struggling to make their relationship work despite mental illness.

A final Silver Bear award for features that "open new perspective" went to movie "Spoor," a murder mystery set in rural Poland.

James Earl Jones, Donald Glover cast in 'Lion King' remake

James Earl Jones and Donald Glover are lending their voices to Disney's upcoming remake of "The Lion King."

Director Jon Favreau announced the casting of the two men as voice actors. Glover, star and creator of television's "Atlanta," will portray the adult Simba. Jones reprises the role of Simba's father, Mufasa, which he voiced in the 1994 animated film.

Favreau is making a CGI created live-action version of the movie, similar to Disney's remake of "The Jungle Book," which he also directed. No release date has been publicly set for the new movie.

A similar process is being used for "Beauty and the Beast," which debuts next month.

Favreau has directed "Iron Man," ''Iron Man 2" and is again producing the next two "Avengers" films.

Angelina Jolie in Cambodia for premiere of her new film

Angelina Jolie said Saturday that she hopes her new film about Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge will help educate the world about the brutality of the 1970s regime and shed a light on the plight of young people in war zones today.

"First They Killed My Father" is based on author and human rights activist Loung Ung's account of her survival as a child under the 1975-79 communist Khmer Rouge regime, believed to be responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million Cambodians from starvation, disease and execution.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the film's premiere, the actress-turned-director said she hopes the movie will "remind everybody that there are little Loung's all around the world today" in various war zones and corners of the world.

"Her story is their story and so this is, in many ways, universal, and we hope that that is something that you think about as well," said Jolie, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Loung.

Jolie has had an affinity for Cambodia since she began goodwill work for the U.N.'s refugee agency in 2001, and her eldest son, Maddox, 15, was adopted from the country. She also has established a foundation to promote social development in rural Cambodia.

However, the Hollywood superstar stressed that Cambodia's history is not just the war.

"I hope that the young people, when they see this film, that yes, they will learn part of their history, but I hope they also see — I hope all of you see — that this is a country of talent and art and love and beauty," Jolie said.

Maddox worked on the production of the movie, which was shot on location in Cambodia in late 2015 and early 2016. Jolie said that Maddox is very proud of his Cambodian heritage and that she and her children see Cambodia as their "second home."

"The children are very close to the children who are in the film and, in fact, many of them are best friends," she said. "So, they're simply happy to be back with their friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country."

The film, a Netflix original production, will be shown on the streaming service later this year.

Jolie's previous directorial projects include the 2015 marriage drama "By the Sea," in which she starred alongside then-husband Brad Pitt, and the 2014 survival story "Unbroken."

New spotlight, new baby for Oscars-bound Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali's universe is expanding, personally and professionally. After almost 20 years as an actor, he's attending his first Academy Awards as a star of two of its best picture nominees: he's Taraji P. Henson's love interest in "Hidden Figures"; and he's favored to win the supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of a compassionate drug dealer in "Moonlight."

Meanwhile, Ali is also preparing for first-time fatherhood with wife Amatus Sami-Karim, the artist he fell in love with while studying for his master's degree at New York University in 2000. They married in 2013, and her pregnancy paralleled his rising profile this awards season.

The 43-year-old actor talked with The Associated Press about why he finds the convergence of his personal and professional milestones grounding, the role music plays in his performances and what he wants to do next. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

AP: How are you juggling awards season with the expansion of your family?

Ali: Having a child is the polar opposite experience of the awards season experience. The awards-season experience ... requires you to be out in the community, in the heart of the community, at the nucleus of the film community in a really committed way for about a six-month period of time. Having a child requires you to nest, to be in your home, and to create and make your home and environment that is one that is potentially very welcoming and nurturing for a child. ... The pregnancy has been a real anchor for me to be able to check in.

AP: You're working on Robert Rodriguez's big sci-fi film, "Alita: Battle Angel." Have you been shooting while all this is going on?

Ali: I literally just wrapped (last week) in Austin, Texas. I really loved working on that job, but I've never enjoyed working on a project so much and wanted to get home so bad at the same time.

AP: You've said you make playlists for each character you portray — music they might listen to or that helps you get into their headspace. Are you doing the same thing for your new role as a dad?

Ali: There's stuff that will pop up for me that makes me think of our child or the hospital, things that feel right for that vibe and the energy that you want in the hospital and even after the baby's born... I was telling my wife the other day that, knowing my father (late Broadway performer Phillip Gilmore), they must have been playing a lot of music when my mom was pregnant, or like right after I was born, because my connection to music is so strong. I cling to it. I vibe out to it. I release stress to it. Music is really always close to me. It's really present in my work in terms of how I relate to characters is through rhythm and sound, even in their speech.

AP: What about your ultimate job — after fatherhood, of course — you want to play Marvin Gaye?

Ali: I would love to be able to connect with the family about that and, first and foremost, to have their blessing. Because that would be a dream role. I am such a fan and admirer of Marvin Gaye: the man and the musician and the artist. ... I would love dearly to do that project and bring some aspect of Marvin Gaye's life to the screen and to assist and participate in that. That would be a dream come true.


Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at .

Hugh Jackman says he's 'fine' after latest skin cancer bout

Hugh Jackman arrived at the premiere of "Logan" with a small bandage on his nose after taking to Twitter to announce he had been treated for skin cancer once again.

But Jackman insisted he's OK.

"It is fine, it is all done, all fixed, all out. Thank you for asking," he said at the Friday night debut of the film at the Berlin Film Festival.

Jackman revealed Monday that he had another basal cell carcinoma on his nose, and tweeted out a picture of his bandaged nose, and urged people to wear sunscreen.

But his focus on Friday was the "Logan" premiere. It's the third installment of the "Wolverine" spinoff series, and it may be the most ambitious. It's competing at the Berlin Film Festival, which was a goal for Jackman when he signed on to do it.

"I didn't want it to be seen as a comic book movie, I wanted it to be seen as a film on its own," he said.

The movie is set in a dystopian future and sees Wolverine caring for an aged Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).

Stewart said he didn't need any convincing to get on board.

"I had no doubts whatsoever. When I began to understand some of the content of this film, I was all for it. The film is unusual, very different and I think remarkable," he said.

Jackman has said that this movie is the end of the road for him and Wolverine. So what does he remember of his last day playing the mutant?

"The last day was an action day and I was sore and hurt and it was great," he laughed.

From Parker to Gibson, Hollywood's sliding scale of justice

As the final votes pour in ahead of the Academy Awards' Tuesday afternoon deadline, Hollywood is drawing to a close an awards season that has, from Nate Parker to Mel Gibson, often been a confounding morality play.

By even movie standards, the dramatic swings of fortune are hard to believe. Parker, hailed as an Oscar sure-thing at last year's Sundance Film Festival, saw his "The Birth of a Nation" torpedoed by the fallout of a tragic 18-year-old rape allegation against him. But just as Parker was disappearing, Mel Gibson, a pariah for the last decade, engineered an unexpected comeback that culminated with six nominations for his "Hacksaw Ridge," including best picture.

Hollywood's scales of justice, never particularly scientific, have rarely been harder to read.

The sometimes puzzling ethical calculus has prompted many to question the standards — some amalgamation of art, fame, race, facts and rumor — used to weigh the bad behavior of stars and would-be nominees.

Some of the closest races this Oscar season — including that of Casey Affleck, one of the best-actor favorites — have been over whether a contender was nimble enough to outrun his past. Everyone agrees: such judgments are playing an increasingly significant role in awards season and show business, in general.

Gibson was one of the few to publicly defend Parker, who in 1999 was charged — along with his Penn State roommate and "Birth of a Nation" collaborator Jean Celestin — with raping another student. Parker was acquitted, Celestin was convicted, but the charge was later overturned, and the alleged victim, whose family said she never recovered from the incident, killed herself years later .

Parker has steadily maintained his innocence, but his Facebook responses and his evasion of the topic at a press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival did little to stem the backlash against him. (An attorney for Parker didn't respond to interview requests.)

"I don't think it's fair," Gibson said during a Hollywood Reporter round-table interview. "He was cleared of all that stuff. And it was years ago."

Gibson (who declined to be interviewed) has had his own scandals to overcome. His anti-Semitic tirade in 2006, recorded while being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, was seemingly the end to his stardom. He later plead no contest in 2011 to domestic battery of former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Damning audio recordings surfaced of their arguments, too.

But his comeback was seemingly made official by the Oscars. And Gibson is now reportedly in talks to direct a sequel to "Suicide Squad."

The spotlight of illustrious platforms like the Oscars tends to shine a light on previously dormant cases. It was the 2014 Golden Globes lifetime achievement award for Woody Allen that led Ronan Farrow to renew the 25-year-old molestation allegations against the filmmaker, which Allen has long denied.

Even Roman Polanski, whose "The Pianist" won best picture in 2003, was forced to step down as president of France's Cesar Awards after protests by women's groups. The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sex with a minor.

"This mirrors the larger trend within the culture," says Scott Berkowitz, president of the anti-sexual assault organization RAINN . "People are paying vastly more attention to sexual violence issues and personal behavior and the atmosphere has become much more sympathetic toward victims and much more scornful of defenders. Part of that trend has been because of celebrity cases."

Though it's done little to upset his winning streak, Affleck has been trailed through awards season by sexual harassment allegations made against him in 2010 while directing the mockumentary "I'm Not There." Producer Amanda White, in a civil suit, alleged Affleck made "unwelcome sexual advances" during shooting. Cinematographer Magdalena Gorka, in a separate suit, said Affleck got into bed with her without her consent. The suits were settled for undisclosed sums. A publicist for Affleck said the terms of the settlement preclude him from discussing it.

Many articles have conflated Affleck's alleged crimes with those of Parker's, suggesting race has played a role in their varied treatment, despite the considerable differences between them. Some analysts believe the questionable comparison affected the Oscar race. Affleck's formidable rival, Denzel Washington ("Fences"), pulled out a surprise win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and many now peg him as the front runner.

"With Casey Affleck, there's a lot of people who felt compelled to prove their colorblindness by finding an example of a white person misbehaving and dredging that up," says Scott Feinberg, awards expert for The Hollywood Reporter. "And yet even if he did what he was accused of, which was never proven in court, it is not in any way a direct parallel to what Nate Parker was accused of. Sexual harassment is not the same thing as rape."

Feinberg recently co-wrote a column saying Oscar voters should limit their judgments to the screen. It's a personal decision for moviegoers and Oscar voters, alike, as evidenced by the stream of op-eds that have accompanied this awards season — from author Roxane Gay to actress Constance Wu to actress Gabrielle Union, a rape survivor.

Former federal prosecutor Priya Sopori says there is danger in cases that were argued in criminal or civil court being retried on social media without deep knowledge of the evidence. "What you don't want is people playing judge, jury and executioner on Twitter," Sopori says.

Stan Goldman, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, believes the internet makes the public less likely to let go of old cases. "There's a reason the law has statues of limitations. We don't want somebody's past continuing to haunt them," says Goldman. "But maybe time should not heal all wounds. Our crimes should, perhaps, follow us. But there should be some basis for it."

So how much does any of this influence the average academy voter? Bruce Feldman, a former awards strategist and academy member, says he struggles with these questions every year.

"It's not just the high-profile public cases of misbehavior that might affect an individual's vote," says Feldman. "There's also all the people we work with in this industry, many of whom treat others very badly on a daily basis, whose transgressions aren't reported in the press. Academy members aren't robots. We're human, with the same feelings and imperfections as everyone. Personally, I try very hard to base my vote purely on artistic merit. Oscars are awarded for achievement, not on whether you're a saint or a scoundrel."


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at:

The Latest: Durst friend stonewalled cops about confession

The Latest on pretrial testimony in the Robert Durst murder case (all times local):

1:26 p.m.

A close friend of Robert Durst told prosecutors for months that the real estate heir did not confess any killing to him.

Lawyers for Durst presented transcripts in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday that showed Nathan Chavin denying that Durst indicated he killed their mutual friend Susan Berman.

Chavin says he waffled for months because of a struggle between loyalties to Durst and Berman.

It took seven months before he told prosecutors Durst told him: "It was her or me. I had no choice."

Defense lawyers suggested Chavin made up the story to curry favor with Durst's brother.

Chavin did business with the New York real estate development empire headed by Douglas Durst.

Chavin says the brothers hate each other and Douglas Durst feared his older brother and wanted him locked up.


11:30 a.m.

Real estate heir Robert Durst told a close friend he was stupid to participate in a documentary on his life.

Durst told Nathan Chavin in a recorded jail phone call played Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom that the filmmaker had put him behind bars.

Chavin reminded Durst on the call that he counseled him not to participate in "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst." The film unearthed new evidence implicating Durst in three killings.

Durst has pleaded not guilty to murder in the 2000 killing of death of Susan Berman in Los Angeles.

Chavin is testifying in a hearing to record testimony from witnesses who are old or fear for their safety in case they're not able to testify at a trial in the Berman case.

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