<p>Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in &quot;Birdman&quot;</p>

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in "Birdman"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Birdman' warmly received at Academy screening as Norton and company hold court

The film netted a sizable turnout at its official AMPAS exhibition Sunday

BEVERLY HILLS — Fox Searchlight's "Birdman" flew into limited release this weekend with a fantastic $103,750-per-screen average and plenty of Oscar potential. This comes on the heels of a New York press blitz built around a closing night New York Film Festival berth for the film and with the expectation for limited availability from the ensemble and key crew members during the upcoming awards season (and in lieu of a proper Los Angeles premiere, to boot). At the film's official Academy screening Sunday afternoon, Alejandro González Iñárritu's thematically rich, formally inventive opus drew a sizable turnout (800 or so people in the 1,000-seat venue) and a warm reception that seemed to indicate this one will do well with voters.

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<p>Andrea Riseborough</p>

Andrea Riseborough

Credit: AP Photo

Andrea Riseborough says 'Birdman' was like working with a theater company of actors

'In so many ways, all of the characters in the film are looking for love.'

"Birdman" flies into theaters this weekend, and with it comes one of the year's most finely tuned and vibrant ensembles. Indeed, as wonderful as Michael Keaton is in the leading role, and as much as actors like Edward Norton and Emma Stone stand out on the periphery, one of the unsung stories of the film is how well the cast jumped through the hoops of production, turning out an incredibly organic community performance.

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<p>&quot;Fury&quot;</p>

"Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Fury'

David Ayer's WWII actioner hits theaters this weekend

David Ayer's World War II actioner "Fury" with Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf has arrived in theaters nationwide. The film enters the awards season without bothering with a festival bow (aside from this weekend's post-release closing night London Film Festival slot). It might be an Oscar contender at the end of the day, it might not, but surely Sony is mostly concerned with finding some box office capital before worrying too much about that.

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'Book of Life' director talks about the 'heart' of his Best Animated Feature Film contender

'Book of Life' director talks about the 'heart' of his Best Animated Feature Film contender

Will you see him checking out audience reaction this weekend?

One of the unique fixtures of an opening weekend in Los Angeles, whether it's an art house release or a studio blockbuster, are filmmakers and sometimes stars popping their heads into a theater to see how their baby plays. Well, if you're going to a screening of the new animated feature "The Book of Life" in the Southland this weekend, there's a good chance you might see Jorge R. Gutierrez dropping by your theater.  

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<p>Michael Keaton in &quot;Birdman&quot;</p>

Michael Keaton in "Birdman"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Give Michael Keaton the Oscar

'Birdman' serves as a reminder that he's one of the industry's most versatile actors

The conversation around "Birdman" has shifted a little bit since early raves out of the Venice and Telluride film festivals. Maybe as expected, a number of writers are taking umbrage with a certain critic depiction in the film. Some reviews go so far as to read like performance art based on that depiction. Nevertheless, there was always going to be a bend in that road, and I'm fine with that. But I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about how Michael Keaton deserves the Oscar for Best Actor walking away.

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Black or White
Credit: Relativity

Relativity picks up Kevin Costner-led race drama ‘Black or White’

The marooned TIFF premiere finally finds some love.

After a quiet bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, a distributor is finally coming to the rescue of writer-director Mike Binder's racially charged drama "Black and White." Excuse me, "Black or White," because someone owned the rights to the former and producers couldn't get it cleared. Sharing a title with a Michael Jackson track is easier, apparently.

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<p>Logan Lerman in &quot;Fury&quot;</p>

Logan Lerman in "Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Logan Lerman recalls going through the grinder of grueling 'Fury' shoot

Also: Why didn't he talk to Brad Pitt much during the shoot?

David Ayer's "Fury" rumbles into theaters today. We've talked to Ayer, we've talked to composer Steven Price and now, one of the stand-outs from the cast, Logan Lerman.

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Queen Latifah
Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

Queen Latifah to host not-all-that-significant Hollywood Film Awards

The show will air on CBS in November.

The 18th Hollywood Film Awards will mark the first time the pre-season awards bonanza's history airs for public viewing. Because the world needs another televised awards show. They do! Someone does.

With the ceremony's promotion comes a host with a personality worthy of the screen: Queen Latifah. The Oscar-nominated actress, musician and talk show host will will play ringleader to the event, which CBS will air in mid-November.

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Feast
Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Watch a sneak peek of Disney's gorgeous, Best Animated Short contender, 'Feast'

Film set to premiere in front of 'Big Hero 6'

As massive and business-minded a corporation as it is, Walt Disney Animation leaves room in their pipeline for experimentation. Each year, crew members on any and every rung of the bureaucratic ladder have the opportunity to pitch short films to John Lasseter and the WDA "story trust," a group of the company's veteran directors, writers, and artists. The goal: Push story and animation technology to places where the feature slate can't go (at least, not until the shorts lay the groundwork). Animator Patrick Osborne pitched "Feast" as a living work of concept art — graphic, fluid, and nostalgic — that also fell into the Disney mold, a sweet story of a dog that loves food. Lasseter took to it, and this November, the fully rendered short hits theaters in front of "Big Hero 6."

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Top five things you need to know after seeing Chris Rock's 'Top Five' trailer

Top five things you need to know after seeing Chris Rock's 'Top Five' trailer

Believe the hype

A month after attending the world premiere of Chris Rock's "Top Five" at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, I still can't get it out of my head. I have not laughed louder or more often in a theater this year. "Top Five" is also the one movie from Toronto I cannot wait to see again. It's simply the truth.

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