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Family film Monsters University topped the US and Canadian movie charts for a second straight weekend, fending off competition from two new releases, the female buddy comedy The Heat and the explosion-filled thriller White House Down.
The animated film, which features 'minions', could outperform superheroes Iron Man and Superman (Man of Steel) at the box office, according to early predictions
The surprise winner at the US box office this weekend is Monsters University which, according to early estimates, has beaten apocalyptic thriller World War Z and Superman reboot Man of Steel to lead the takings.
But the new Superman is still trailing behind fellow box office superhero Iron Man 3 which holds the record for the biggest-opening this year
Under the direction of Pixar genius John Lasseter, Disney Animation Studios has managed to get some of its swagger back with films such as Tangled and next month’s Wreck-It Ralph.
Typical! You create the girl of your dreams and then the sparks fail to fly
Pixar is releasing its first film with a female protagonist, says Geoffrey Macnab
Pixar's fiery new heroine is summer's hottest ticket
Hiring David Fincher to direct the American remake of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, the first part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, must have seemed a smart move by the producers. The gothic matter of family secrets, ritual murders, dogged sleuthing and state corruption looks an ideal fit for a film-maker who's delved deep into the psycho-horrors of Se7en and Zodiac. Yet while you can depend on Fincher's immaculate visual style as much as on his nose for moral putrefaction, it's hard to see how he has enhanced the Swedish original, or even much changed it – aside from getting rid of the subtitles that US audiences find so tricky.
Christmas books of the year
It's not as fun as the 2008 original, but this high-kicking sequel to Jack Black's breakout CGI cartoon is a better film.
The 20th anniversary of frieze is cause for celebration – and a trawl through the art magazine's archives. Damien Hirst was the first cover star, back in 1991 when the pickled shark was but a twinkle in the artist's eye. In his first interview, asked "why a shark?" about his putative project, Hirst said: "A shark is frightening, bigger than you are, in an environment unknown to you. It looks alive when it's dead and dead when it's alive. And it can kill you and eat you, so there's a morbid curiosity in looking at them... You have to preserve a shark in liquid, which looks very similar to its natural habitat... I hope at first glance it will look alive." The artist also reveals the roots of his morbid outlook. "One day I had a horrifying thought. It changed everything. I was looking at my collages: all these rotten little bits of wood, these decaying, discarded bits of rubbish on the floor, very close to death (I felt) in the formal arrangements I'd made, with bits of plastic and dirty tissues almost breaking apart. 'This is happening to me', I thought. So, you see, they are about life and death together." If you say so, Damien.
In the world of robotics and computer animation, there is a place called the Uncanny Valley.
Voice casting can make or break an animated movie. From rabbits with a lot of rabbit to jovial genies and buck-toothed trucks, Leigh Singer selects the best and the worst
Finding Nemo could soon become easier for a hungry barracuda because the rising acidity of the oceans is likely to cause baby clownfish to go deaf to the sounds made by potential predators, a study has found.
Voices: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx