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Left-right: Host Conan O’Brien with actors Sam Claflin and Josh Hutcherson, winners of the Movie of the Year award for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ speak onstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on April 13, in Los Angeles, California. (AFP)
MTV awards big H’wood plug-fest ‘Hunger Games’ wins Movie of the Year

LOS ANGELES, April 14, (AP): Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night’s show cemented that change, as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted at the madcap ceremony. In its 22nd year, the MTV Movie Awards show has become an important event for Hollywood studios. And oh yes, there were some awards, too. At last year’s show, which saw an average of 3.8 million viewers, up from 3.2 million for the previous year’s telecast, included new footage from “Iron Man 3” and the world premiere of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” trailer, which was introduced by one of the films’ stars, Liam Hemsworth. Sure, an abundance of golden popcorn-shaped prizes were again presented for fun fair, like the award for best shirtless performance, which Zac Efron accepted, well, shirtless. But it’s the summer movie teasers — and the stars attached to them — that really make the show.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone (who will also appear in Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight,” July 25) and Jamie Foxx, star in the seventh installment of Sony’s “Spider-Man” franchise, which kicks off the summer movie season on May 2. The trio introduced a clip of the film showing Spider-Man (Garfield) and the sparkling blue villain Electro (Foxx) battling in New York’s Times Square. Also expected to dominate at the box office, Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was touted with an intro by one of its new stars, Ellen Page, who will take on the role of Shadowcat. The upcoming film, out May 23, sees the X-Men joining forces with their younger selves and introduces a number of new mutants — Blink, Sunspot, Warpath and Bishop.

Stage
There to present the award for best fight was Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the star of Warner Bros’ “Godzilla,” which opens May 16. A short clip of the film, showing the monster preparing to wreak havoc, aired before Taylor-Johnson appeared on stage. Seth Rogen, Dave Franco and Efron, who lead Universal Pictures’ comedy “Neighbors,” out May 9, also presented the award for best kiss together. No clip was shown for Disney-Marvel’s opted against showing a clip of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a bit of a superhero spoof set in space, this yea. But Chris Pratt, the star of the film, out August 1, checked in at the show as well with a long speech encouraging viewers to vote for their favorite nominees online. First-look footage from Fox’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, showed the beginnings of the onscreen couple’s romance in the heartfelt comedy.

Mark Wahlberg, who received the generation award at the show, touted his upcoming “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” saying the Paramount Pictures’ flick would be the biggest movie of 2014. Some of the crew of the hit HBO show “Entourage” presented Wahlberg with his award and the presence of Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon reminded us that the “Entourage” movie is being readied for 2015. Starring in two possible summer hits, Channing Tatum will appear in both the buddy cop comedy “22 Jump Street,” out June 13, with Jonah Hill (who picked up the best comedic performance award for “The Wolf of Wall Street”), and sci-fi fantasy “Jupiter Ascending,” out July 18, with Mila Kunis (who scored the title of best villain for “Oz the Great and Powerful”).

Both Kunis, looking very pregnant in a short, loose black dress, and Hill presented Tatum with his Trailblazer Award. And not to be missed was Josh Hutcherson’s mention of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died on Feb. 2 from a combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Hoffman appeared in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which earned the evening’s top prize of movie of the year. “If Philip were here he would think this was really cool,” said Hutcherson, one of the stars of “Hunger Games” and the best male performance recipient.

Coolest
“To have him in our movie was one of the coolest things,” Hutcherson said. “We think about him every day on set. This definitely goes out to him as well.” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” will release later this year. No MTV awards show would be complete without a few music numbers. Ellie Goulding sang “Beating Heart,” while Zedd took the stage for “Find You.” Both tracks appear on the “Divergent” soundtrack.

Winners at the 22nd annual MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday:
* Movie of the year: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
* Best female performance: Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
* Best male performance: Josh Hutcherson, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
* Breakthrough performance: Will Poulter, “We’re the Millers.”
* Best kiss: Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter, “We’re the Millers.”
* Best fight: Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
* Best comedic performance: Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
* Best shirtless performance: Zac Efron, “That Awkward Moment.”
* Best villain: Mila Kunis, “Oz the Great and Powerful.”
* Best on-screen transformation: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club.”
* Best musical moment: Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson perform in Heaven, “This is the End.”
* Best cameo performance: Rihanna, “This is the End.”
* Favorite character: Tris, played by Shailene Woodley in “Divergent.”
* Best scared… performance: Brad Pitt, “World War Z.”
* Best on-screen duo: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, “Fast & Furious 6.”
* … moment: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
* Best hero: Henry Cavill, “Man of Steel.”
* Trailblazer award: Channing Tatum.
* Generation award: Mark Wahlberg.

Ellen Page, one of the stars of the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” introduced a clip from the film that sees the X-Men joining forces with their younger selves at Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards. In the clip, some X-Men attempt to battle ruthless metal monsters using their special abilities. It’s the first appearance for some of the mutants — Blink, Sunspot, Warpath and Bishop.

Platform
The MTV Movie Awards have become the ideal platform for the Hollywood studios to promote their summer movies. An exclusive clip from “The Fault of Our Stars,” starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, showed the beginnings of the onscreen couple’s romance in the heartfelt comedy. Jared Leto presented Mila Kunis with the award for best villain for “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “You just made my 12-year-old self dream come true,” said Kunis while holding her golden popcorn prize. “And I just realized I’m the only woman nominated and I won.”

Accepting the popcorn-shaped prize from Jessica Alba and Rita Ora for best shirtless performance for “That Awkward Moment,” Zac Efron hesitated to take his shirt off on stage until Ora ripped it open. He then finished the job and took it off. Receiving this year’s trailblazer award was Channing Tatum. The first male to gain the honor after Emma Stone and Emma Watson, Tatum accepted the award from his “Jupiter Ascending” co-star Kunis and his “22 Jump Street” co-star Jonah Hill. Tatum admitted he thought he was being punked when he found out he would get the award. Host Conan O’Brien kicked off the 22nd annual ceremony with a challenge to gain 50 celebrity cameos for his opening segment, a shtick with Will Arnett that merged two categories — best fight and best kiss — and a musical number about hating musical numbers in big awards shows.

Walking out to a track by rapper Rick Ross, O’Brien joked that he was almost injured by the show’s flashing pyrotechnics. “Fire, explosions and rap music: all things you associate with Conan O’Brien,” he deadpanned. Earlier in the evening, Amanda Seyfried had trouble reading the teleprompter, blaming it on not wearing her contacts. “So far this is going about as well as the Oscars,” said her co-presenter Seth MacFarlane — referencing his 2013 Academy Award hosting gig — before the pair presented Johan Hill with his award for best comedic performance for “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Hill’s initial thanks went to all of his friends with whom he used to watch the show back home before making it to the ceremony himself. In the preshow awards, the prize for best cameo performance went to Rihanna for her appearance in the comedy “This is the End.”

During the show, Rihanna took to the stage with Eminem to perform their hit “The Monster.” Best kiss went to Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter. Movie of the year nominees included “12 Years a Slave,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle.” The show was to also feature a special honor to Mark Wahlberg, and a special tribute was planned for Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last November. The MTV awards had some stiff competition from other networks on Sunday night, including the latest installment of HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones” and the final season premiere of AMC’s “Mad Men.”

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