Frozen Soundtrack Chills Out the Album Chart Frozen Soundtrack Competition

The soundtrack to Disney’s winter movie Frozen has landed the film a very rare double in the U.S. — number ones on the Billboard 200 album chart and the box office countdown in the same week.

It becomes only the fourth animated film soundtrack to reach number one in the chart’s 58-year history, ending Beyonce’s reign at the top of the countdown in the process.

The project, featuring songs by the movie’s actresses Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, and pop star Demi Lovato, reaches the top with New Year week sales of 165,000 and claims the number one spot as much of America freezes as winter weather brings many cities to a standstill.

Beyonce’s self-titled album drops a spot from number one, where it spent three weeks, while Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 stays put at three and Katy Perry’s PRISM rises from five to four.

Meanwhile, Timber, Ke$ha’s new collaboration with Pitbull, ends Eminem and Rihanna’s four-week reign at the top of the Bilboard Hot 100 singles countdown – and lands a TransAtlantic double. The track hit the top of the U.K. charts on Sunday.

The news will give the Tik Tok singer something to smile about after checking into rehab last week to seek treatment for an eating disorder.

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Parade Exclusive: Emma Thompson on Family, Fame, and 6 Months of Bad Hair

Oscar winner Emma Thompson spends an afternoon in her London home with Parade, chatting about glamour, love, fame, and six months of bad-hair days. She appears in the new film Saving Mr. Banks, based on Walt Disney’s campaign to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (played by Thompson) to let him make a musical about her magical governess creation. In it, she stars for the first time with fellow Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who plays Walt Disney. Some excerpts from the story, below:

On her prim and proper 60s look in Saving Mr. Banks, which required her to get her hair permed:

“It was a nightmare! People would bleat in the streets as I went by. I didn’t have sex for six months!”

On working with Tom Hanks:

“… For a long time we’d looked for something to do together. [After reading the script] I rang Tom and said, ‘This is great, because it’s not a romance. It’s about a battle that they both win and lose. It’s perfect.’”

On her anger and depression when her first marriage, to Kenneth Branagh, ended in divorce:

“I don’t feel anger or depression about it now. I think we place a lot of pressure on ourselves and our relationships. … Yes, it was very painful, but it was also something that happens between people a lot. Sometimes things go wrong and it doesn’t last, and that seems to me perfectly reasonable.”

On her dowdy appearance when she first started acting:

“I marched onto the Johnny Carson show [doing publicity for Howards End] wearing a shapeless dress and flat shoes. I looked like a geography teacher. In my 20s, I eschewed everything overtly female. I didn’t have a handbag; I’d carry a plastic bag. … It’s only recently that I’ve even bothered with glamour because it seemed like a fun idea.”

On the importance of her costume while playing Sybill in the Harry Potter films:

“I had great fun doing Sybill. The genius of that costume—the wig and the glasses—I mean, Barack Obama could have played her. I did a silly voice, but really it was that costume.”

On why so many of her films touch on the subject of love:

“Partly because it’s one of the major areas in which women are allowed to take part. It’s not as if I’ve got the same kind of choices as Brad Pitt in filmmaking. But also because love is the only thing that matters. Not just romantic love … there’s affection, Eros, family love … It’s exactly what we’re designed to do.”

For more on Parade’s afternoon with Emma Thompson, see Sunday’s issue.

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"Thor: The Dark World" Set To Dominate The Box Office This Weekend

After “Ender’s Game” posted somewhat disappointing numbers last weekend, heavily anticipated sequel “Thor: The Dark World” looks like it’s in much better position, with the Disney distribution tracking for an opening near $100 million. Also looking to have an impact at the box office this weekend is “12 Years a Slave,” which gets a nationwide expansion after putting up some very nice limited numbers over the last couple of weeks. It should also be the last weekend that “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” lands in the top 10 after a very steady box office run for distributor Sony.

As recent releases like “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” have shown, there is no stopping Marvel releases right now, placing “Thor: The Dark World” in a great position to end up with enormous worldwide box office numbers. Also helping is the fact that the first “Thor” was fairly well-received by both critics and audiences, leading to a steady $449 million worldwide total just a couple years ago. Since the release of “Thor,” the Marvel brand has also significantly expanded, which should provide a tailwind for “The Dark World” as it launches at more than 3,800 total theaters.

While the original “Thor” managed only $65 million in its opening weekend in 2011 as it competed with blockbuster “Fast Five,” “The Dark World” has much less overall competition for mainstream audiences, mostly thanks to the soft opening of “Ender’s Game.” With strong buzz, decent reviews and the proven Marvel brand at its back, “Thor: The Dark World” should be able to crack $90 million this weekend and could even make a run at $100 million. Aided by more than $100 million in foreign revenue already, “Thor: The Dark World” is on track to cruise past $500 million and make a run at $800 million worldwide.

Disney On Ice Presents ‘Worlds Of Fantasy’ 13-16 March 2014

(pr)—Feld Entertainment’s action-packed ice spectacular, Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy, whisks audiences on a captivating adventure to four magical locations, including the auto-racing terrain of Cars and a visit to Andy’s bedroom for some fun with the stars of Toy Story 3. This production delights audiences with a journey under the sea to Ariel’s world from The Little Mermaid and then into the mystical land of Pixie Hollow for a presentation of Tinker Bell.

“To be the first to introduce the Tinker Bell story live on ice and to be entrusted with the beloved Toy Story characters is incredible, and we are thrilled to bring these heartwarming tales to families across the United States,” says producer Nicole Feld.

“The arena instantly transforms into Pixie Hollow as we show our audience how the fairies prepare for spring with an explosion of color. To convey the world of the toys and create the proper toy-to-human scale, we manipulated the size of the props and costumes to make live skaters – and even the audience – seem toy size,” she adds.

The on-ice excitement begins when an adventurous Mickey Mouse embarks on a journey with Minnie Mouse to uncover each world of fantasy, but the plan goes awry when their cherry red roadster unexpectedly breaks down. Although Donald Duck and Goofy try, it takes the assistance of the coolest cars on the ice to get the pistons firing again. Direct from Radiator Springs, Mater, Lightning McQueen and Sally speed into action, zipping and zooming around the frozen highway in an effort to re-energize the roadster.

The life-sized Carscharacters were developed by the innovative minds of the prop team led by Feld Entertainment Vice President of Scenic Elements Rick Papineau. Each car took 2,000 man hours to build and is outfitted with custom animatronics including blinking eyes and hydraulic lifts that bounce to the beat of the music. Mater and McQueen even come complete with moving mouths, enabling their dynamic personalities to shine through each time they speak. “The cars are going to be a big surprise because no one will expect them to be so animated, so large or so realistic,”says Papineau.

As Mickey and Minnie’s “road trip” continues, Production Designer Jeremy Railton’s whimsical scenery transforms the arena into an environment that captures the essence of each unique world to follow. Fluorescent coral and clam shell drums embody Ariel’s world in The Little Mermaid and audiences enter the colorful fantasy land of fairies for the Tinker Bell segment.

Railton took particular care with Pixie Hollow. “Audiences are still getting to know Pixie Hollow, so it was important to me to capture the lushness and the scale detailed in the film,” says Railton. Because fairies are miniature in size, Railton used inflatable technology to create a giant tree backdrop. In the finale, larger than life butterflies float onto the ice as oversized inflatable flowers bloom around the ice signifying the arrival of spring.

From salsa dancing fish to the tumbling animal fairy, Emmy Award®-winning choreographer Sarah Kawahara combined dance, athletics, and theatrics to add to the excitement and energy of the show. She applies her versatility to familiar and memorable scenes as Ariel and Prince Eric realize their love and skate a lyrical duet to “Kiss the Girl.” To choreograph the skating in the Tinker Bell segment, Kawahara looked to the individual personalities of the different fairies. “Disney is very detailed about the types of personalities and voices they have,” Kawahara says of the nature fairies. “I tried to find a signature style of skating and movement for each character.” For example, Iridessa, the perfectionist light fairy, skates in long, clean lines, whereas Rosetta, the “southern belle” garden fairy moves with very precise feminine mannerisms.

Costume Designer Cynthia Nordstrom’s creative designs add to the feel of fantasy on ice. “In this eclectic presentation of Disney worlds, I wanted each to have a different quality,” says Nordstrom, whose costumes can be seen in Off-Broadway productions and in major theme parks around the world.

In The Little Mermaid, Nordstrom used a range of stretch fabrics to create amazing color that flows from one palette to the next; aquas melt into greens, and purples transform into hot corals and reds. For the Tinker Bell section, “it was all about taking simple and recognizable elements from the movie and translating them into fabric.” The green tinker fairies wear clothing in”hearty leaf” fabrics of satins and velvets, whereas Silvermist and her water fairies don sheer chiffons that float with a hint of sparkle.

For Nordstrom, the underlying concept for the lead fairies was that each girl had an “inner sparkle” that glimmered through her clothing. For example, Rosetta, the garden fairy, wears a skirt of velvet roses with an underlayer of sparkling red sequins. The designer says, “I really enjoyed the great challenge of making the new Disney fairies from the movie come to life.”

The first act of the show is complimented with lighting that sets the tone for each scene with designs from Emmy Award®-winning Lighting Designer Peter Morse. Instead of one central theme, he created three different environments to help portray the various stories that are being told in the show.

Morse creates images of waves with deep blues and greens, and palm fronds and flowers dancing across the ice with lush greens in Pixie Hollow. With patterns, lighting and color, he enhances the magic of each fantastic world. Morse says, “Worlds of Fantasy uses all new automated lighting fixtures so we can create infinite color and a variety of environments; it’s a great asset for a show with as many different scenes as this one!”

The toys are back in town! The second act of Worlds of Fantasy brings together all the fun, humor and warmth of the beloved Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3. Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the familiar gang hit the ice for the ultimate Toy Story experience. A completely different creative team put together the lighting, costumes and tailor-made choreography for this high energy segment of the production.

The Toy Story 3skating was orchestrated by veteran Cindy Stuart, who worked as associate choreographer on the original Disney On Ice production of Toy Story in 1996. “It’s been so much fun for me to get back with those original characters and for us to add the new characters that they have in the film,” Stuart says. She included diversity and versatility in the production numbers, incorporating tumbling toy hijinks as Buzz, Woody, and Jessie showcase their skills in several high energy routines.

Designer Scott Lane wanted to create a fun homage to the Toy Story 3 film with his costumes.”What makes the toy costumes so unique is that many of the surfaces are plastic. We tried to achieve that kind of shiny molded feeling because toys are a physical thing that every child knows and understands,” Lane says. “The audience can expect to see a lot of color and fun textures.”

Alex Reardon contributed his lighting design expertise to the Toy Story 3 segment. “When you’re dealing with an animated movie you have a lot of primary colors. So, I was looking for ways to increase the excitement by adding lighting. Part of the job of the lighting designer is to contribute to the drama of the story.”

Worlds of Fantasy offers the perfect combination of elements for fans of Disney On Ice. “From the contemporary feel of Carsand Toy Story 3 to the timeless quality of The Little Mermaid and Tinker Bell, audiences will see four completely different Disney worlds brought to life,” says producer Kenneth Feld. “All of this provides a value that is truly unparalleled in the world of live family entertainment. More than ever before, there’s something for everyone.”

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On Broadway: Disney’s Newsies Nichololas Lampiasi In The MP3 Experiement

Last Sunday Newsies’ Nicholas Lampiasi, participated in the MP3 Experiment 10 – created by the company Improv Everywhere. Thousands of people gathered at South Street Seaport to simultaneously listen to an MP3 and follow the instructions they were given on it.

They were told to “blend in” ahead of time so people NOT participating in the event would have no idea what was going.

They were given a list of certain items they needed to bring with them ahead of time, including bubbles, sunglasses, a dollar bill, a paper with their name on it and their high school yearbook quote, and something red.

They were asked to lay down, walk in slow motion, walk backwards in slow motion, go up to someone who wasn’t participating and give them a dollar bill, make a paper airplane and fly it, find someone who looks like them and take a picture with them, and, to blow bubbles.

According to reports, several thousand people participated in the event. Said ten-year old Nicholas, “It was a great event to have been a part of … very New York for sure.”

For additional  stories on Nicholas Lampiasi and Newsies. use the search box at the top of the site.

Photo Alert: Rising Disney Star Nicholas Lampiasi On The Couch

10-year Broadway-wunderkind NICHOLAS LAMPIASI, from Disney’s Newsies, appeared yesterday on CBS’ LIVE FROM THE COUCH with JOSH ELLIOT; CAROLINA BERMUDEZ; and, LISA KERNEY. He spoke about his Newsies-role as Les and his role in the new movie, Molly’s Theory Of Relativity (written and produced by Jeff Lipsky) opening this Friday, March1.

Marvel’s The Avengers To Cross $600 Million

Marvel’s The Avengers is expected to cross the $600 million domestic box office threshold today, becoming one of only three films in history ever to reach this milestone. The Super Hero film’s global total is now an estimated $1,438.3 million, and it stands as the #3 film of all time globally and domestically.

Marvel’s The Avengers opened in North America May 4 with a staggering $207.4 million – the biggest domestic debut of all time – and has been shattering domestic box office records ever since including the industry’s all-time second weekend record with $103 million; fastest film to reach $200 million (3 days), $300 million (9 days), $400 million (14 days), and $500 million (23 days); and highest Saturday ($69.5 million) and Sunday ($57 million) totals. It is the #4 film of all time internationally with $838.9 million.

Among only 12 films that have grossed $1 billion at the global box office, Marvel’s The Avengers is one of five billion-dollar Disney releases, which also include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Alice in Wonderland, Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

‘The Avengers’ Scores Biggest Opening Weekend of all Time With $200.3 Million!

Disney’s The Avengers smashed the opening weekend record by earning $200.3 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.

The prior record was held by last summer’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which debuted to $169.2 million. ButThe Avengers was the perfect storm: a highly anticipated 3-D action movie that combined the superheroes of several prior Marvel blockbusters while managing to stand alone as a well-reviewed, crowd-pleasing film in its own right. Oh, and it had a Hulk.

Worldwide, The Avengers has made an amazing $641.8 million so far.
Have you seen the film yet? let us know. 

Jonas Brothers Part With Record Label

The Jonas Brothers have parted with Hollywood Records after six successful years together.

The hugely popular band released three albums with the Disney-owned company and has sold 17 million albums worldwide.

The trio – Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas – insist the split was amicable, and admit they were emotional after cutting ties with the label.

Nick tells The Hollywood Reporter, “This was a decision that we made as a group. Naturally, as with any partnership, when you do part ways, there is emotion tied to it. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of success with Hollywood and with Disney, but speaking on behalf of my brothers and our team, we’re all looking forward to this next chapter. We’re ready for that next step as a group, and being able to take our work with us was so important.”

The band has bought back the rights to its master recordings and merchandising for an undisclosed sum.

A spokesperson for Hollywood Records hailed the “amazingly successful partnership” with the pop stars and wished them “all the best in their future endeavors.”

Disney Confirms Sequel To ‘Muppets’

Disney has confirmed that they are, in fact, at work on a follow up to 2011’s “The Muppets.” In a pressconference at this year’s CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, the studio revealed that director James Bobin will return. They also confirmed rumors that Jason Segel will not.

Bobin is reportedly working on the screenplay for the sequel with James Stoller. Earlier this year Segel spoke with CraveOnline.com explaining his motivation to move away from the Oscar winning franchise:

“You know, my goal was to bring The Muppets back and I think I achieved that. It was half a decade of my life and I just want to take a minute to concentrate on more human related projects,” he said.

Thus far there is no specific release information for the “Muppets 2,” but Disney says it will likely be out in the summer of 2013.