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The Playlist

Watch: Lush International Trailer For Studio Ghibli's Latest 'Arriety'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 4, 2011 1:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Despite the patronage of Disney and John Lasseter, the work of Hayao Miyazaki has never quite made the impression abroad that it has in its native Japan, where his films number among the all-time biggest grossers: in the U.S. 2009's "Ponyo" is his most successful film, despite the raves given to "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away." At the same time, it has at least been demonstrated now that there is an audience for both his films and those of his professional home, Studio Ghibli, and it's now common for those films to get a U.S. release, even if Miyazaki himself isn't at the helm.

Weekend Box Office: 'Transformers 3' Obliterates 4th Of July Weekend Record

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 3, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 8 Comments
But Underperforms Domestically Over 5 Days, 'Larry Crowne' Can't Get Out Of First GearThere's astronomically good and slightly bad to report as the sequel to a less-than-critically-loved-blockbuster-created-solely-to-move-toys hit the marketplace. Michael Bay's “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” underperformed domestically compared to its predecessor. It grossed $97.4 million in its Friday to Sunday opening box-office weekend, compared to the $108 million "Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen" accumulated in 2009 without the aid of inflated 3D ticket surcharges (and yet, it's won the top-grossing weekend of 2011 so far). But an overseas bonanza did take place as expected. Hauling in $372 million worldwide so far, "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon," set the record for the third best worldwide debut of all time. And good news for ailing 3D numbers -- approximately 60% of the ticket sales came from theaters using the stereoscopic visual format.

Rewind: Chatty Shia, Mysterious 'Prometheus' And The Week In Movies, June 26th-July 2nd

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 2, 2011 2:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments
This week was active at The Playlist. Speculation about "Prometheus" led to a load of weird, gossipy rumors powering the film news industry leading up to the opening for "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon." Meanwhile, The Playlist produced a number of can't-miss pieces of original content.

Elizabeth Banks Producing A Capella Comedy 'Pitch Perfect'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 12:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In the world of "Glee" and "High School Musical," of comedies about spelling bees and debate teams and cheerleaders and frat houses, it's almost staggering that we've managed to go through the history of cinema without a film focusing on college a capella groups. But fret no longer! Nature abhors a vacuum, and as such, and hot on the heels of that one scene in "The Social Network," a comedy focusing on the backing-free singing groups is now in the works.

But Of Course: 'Snow White And The Huntsman' Is The First Of A Planned Trilogy

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 11:12 AM
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  • 45 Comments
There are many arguments to be made that "Star Wars" ruined the movies, but one of the more persuasive is the way that it popularized the idea of the trilogy. George Lucas didn't invent the concept (that would have been the Ancient Greeks, thank you), but by making both the original films and the prequels, he popularized the concept, ensuring that almost any hit film would be intended as only the first part of three films, each one bigger than the last. And to a degree, it makes sense: it mirrors the three act structure that virtually every screenplay uses as a template, enabling a complete story with ups and downs to be told over a longer running time.

Spike Jonze Directing Video For New Beastie Boys Single... With Action Figures

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 10:32 AM
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  • 8 Comments
We might be a couple of years away from Spike Jonze's last feature, the tremendous "Where the Wild Things Are," with only the loosest of movements towards his next, a reunion with writer Charlie Kaufman, but the director hasn't been idle. He's helmed a terrific short film, "I'm Here," as well as collaborations with two of the best bands around, LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire, on "Drunk Girls" and "Scenes of the Suburbs." And now, it looks like the director's coming full circle, teaming up once again with one of the bands with whom he launched his music video directing career.

Watch: Full Trailer For Formula 1 Documentary 'Senna'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 9:17 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There's certainly something in the water about motorsports at the moment. "Cars 2" sits atop the box office, while Michael Mann, Ron Howard and Jeremy Renner are all working on dramas set around car racing to one degree on another. And in the U.K., Formula 1 documentary "Senna" has become a genuine phenomenon, becoming the third largest-grossing documentary in history, behind only "March of the Penguins" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," after only four weeks in release, aided by the marketing muscle of Universal and Working Title.

Uwe Boll Calls 'The Tree Of Life' A "Piece Of Shit" And Lars Von Trier A "Retard"

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 1, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 29 Comments
Before we begin, let's just say that the discourse of films can be varied and fascinating, with many critics and academic writers offering their measured takes on everything from the new "Transformers" film to "The Tree of Life." We would like to urge you to find these discussions that are actively going on at various websites and are likely more fruitful than hearing the opinion of a crackpot provocateur like Uwe Boll.

Watch: New Trailer For 'Spy Kids: All The Time In The World' Demonstrates Aroma-Scope, Still Stinks

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 7:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
With everyone and their mums shooting films in 3D these days, Robert Rodriguez, one of the first filmmakers to use the format, is going the extra mile for his re-boot/sequel to his family franchise, "Spy Kids: All The Time In The World" -- the film was promised to be in '4D,' and it emerged that that meant that film would be presented in Aroma-Scope, a new take on the Smell-O-Vision concept, not seen since John Waters used it on "Polyester," with scratch'n'sniff cards being given to audience members, with on-screen prompts enabling them to smell exactly what the audience are smelling.

Disney Hires 'Horrible Bosses' Writer For Long-Gestating Animation 'King of the Elves'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Philip K. Dick adaptations have come in many forms over the years, starting with the stone-cold classic "Blade Runner." There have been blockbusters loosely based on his work ("Minority Report," "Total Recall"), horrors ("Screamers"), dramatic romances (this year's "The Adjustment Bureau") and once, something properly faithful to the spirit of the sci-fi writer's work, Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly." But the one thing we never expected? A Disney animation.

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