Movie Briefs

Will Ferrell’s ‘Anchorman 2’ bumped up to Dec. 18

LOS ANGELES — Ron Burgundy wants us to stay classy — and wants himself to be early. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” the sequel to the comedy hit of about a decade ago, will have its release date moved up two days to Dec. 18, Paramount Pictures said Tuesday.

The Will Ferrell film looks to get a jump on a crowded Christmas that will see a bevy of new releases, such as Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and presumably strong holdovers, such as “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film now hits on a Wednesday, several days before the traditionally busy pre-Christmas weekend.

“Anchorman,” which picks up as Burgundy and the gang travel to New York to join a nascent cable news channel, has been nearly omnipresent lately, with Burgundy-based ads being used to hawk everything from underwear to cars.

Whether audiences will respond to the sequel as they did to the original, directed by Adam McKay and co-starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, remains to be seen.

The first film was a slow-burn hit, gaining traction first at the box office and later on DVD and cable.

‘Tim’s Vermeer,’ ‘20 Feet From Stardom’ head Oscar doc shortlist

LOS ANGELES — “Blackfish,” “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Tim’s Vermeer” are among the 15 films that have made the Oscar shortlist for documentary features, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.

Members of the documentary branch narrowed the field from a record 151 qualified entries, selecting an excellent group of films that also included Sarah Polley’s acclaimed family investigation “Stories We Tell” (which took the nonfiction prize from the New York Film Critics Circle on Tuesday); Joshua Oppenheimer’s horrifying look at Indonesian death squads, “The Act of Killing”; and Jehane Noujaim’s thoughtful chronicle of the Egyptian revolution, “The Square.”

“It’s a formidable group,” says Alex Gibney, whose documentary on cyclist Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, “The Armstrong Lie,” also made the shortlist. “There was a tremendous amount of competition this year. You don’t take anything for granted.”

Study finds most U.S. silent films have been lost

WASHINGTON — The vast majority of feature-length silent films made in America have been lost due to decay and neglect over the past 100 years, allowing an original 20th century art form to all but disappear, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Library of Congress conducted the first comprehensive survey of silent films over the past two years and found 70 percent are believed to be lost. Of the nearly 11,000 silent feature films made in America between 1912 and 1930, the survey found only 14 percent still exist in their original format. About 11 percent of the films that survive only exist as foreign versions or on lower-quality formats.

During the rise of silent films between 1912 and 1929 — before network radio or television — going to the movies became the most popular form of entertainment. Movie theater attendance in United States averaged 46 million admissions per week in the 1920s in a country of 116 million people, according to the report.

From wire reports