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The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: Kids Come Out For 'Hop,' 'Sucker' Thoroughly 'Punch'ed

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 3, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While Universal’s animated division remains behind Disney and Dreamworks, “Hop” became their second straight surprisingly big opening this weekend, collecting $39 million. Most called the heavily-promoted film in the high 20’s, low 30’s, but like “Despicable Me” before it, the film definitely connected with family audiences in its first frame. While “Despicable Me” eventually collected $544 million globally with a much bigger opening, “Hop” isn’t expected to bust the doors down. But due to the seasonal and family appeal, expect this thing to have legs, and while they initially weren’t counting on $100 domestic, that should be easily surmountable from here, with $150 million being a solid preliminary target. Fanciful returns for the studio, who have kept the budgets for the partly-animated “Hop” and the fully animated “Despicable Me” well under the industry-standard $100 million.

Weekend Box Office: Zack Snyder & Warners Get 'Sucker Punch' From 'Wimpy Kid'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 27, 2011 5:09 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Demographics matter. You want to say, well, screw the numbers, let’s just make a movie for everyone! But considering the multiple sources of entertainment in our multimedia worlds, whatever doesn’t automatically turn us on will turn us off. Because of this, Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” turned people off. It was an action fantasia, a genre normally attractive to teenage boys, but it featured only girls, an immediate turnoff for that demographic. And it didn’t appeal to women, who noticed the marketing campaign centered around cacophonous violence and mayhem, not usually a drawing point for females. It wasn’t made for kids, but the heavily-CGI’d special effects made it look like a candy-coated kids’ entertainment to adults. Four quadrants, all disinterested.

Resoundingly Crap New Posters For 'X-Men: First Class' Debut

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 9, 2011 1:54 AM
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  • 9 Comments
We're beginning to suspect that someone at 20th Century Fox's marketing department is deliberately fucking with Matthew Vaughn, perhaps as revenge for bailing on "X-Men: The Last Stand" all those years ago. For some time, the "Kick-Ass" director's return to the mutant franchise, in the form of prequel "X-Men: First Class" was a mystery, outside of a few spy photos of the cast filming. Then, our first look at the film's line-up of heroes and villains came in a campy, badly-Photoshopped image that mysteriously leaked onto the net back in January.

Exclusive: 'I Am Number Four' Director D.J. Caruso Hoping To 'Beat The Reaper' At Fox

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 9, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Updated: Well, it looks as per Mr. Caruso's own comments below, that he spoke out of turn. We've spoke to management and agents for the actor and while management confirms that Caruso has met with Appian Way and Leonardo DiCaprio and management has spoken to Fox about the project, no directorial deal or even development deal is in place yet. Let's place this under something that everyone hopes will happen in the future if all parties see eye to eye.

Box Office '10: Win, Lose Or Draw

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 28, 2011 12:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Despite rising 3D surcharges, studios posted major box office and attendance drops in 2010, suggesting moviegoers were not entirely intrigued by the year’s product. Some distributors executed a winning game plan with success, while others floundered, making a series of unwise decisions that probably got a number of respectable people fired.

Despite Kiefer Sutherland's Claims, A '24' Movie Is Not Shooting In The Next Eight Months

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 22, 2011 2:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Sometimes Hollywood is like a magical genie: if you talk about a project enough times, it will get a greenlight, simply because people interpret "talking about" to be "buzz" and "anticipation" which, somewhere down the line, is supposed to equal dollars. So this sudden chatter regarding a "24" movie might be doing the TV adaptation a favor, as it recently hit a roadblock with Fox rejecting a script from "Flightplan" and "Breach" scribe Billy Ray.

Oh, For F**k's Sake: Fox Moving Ahead With 'Missile Command' Movie

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 12, 2011 2:58 AM
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  • 4 Comments
With a number of high-profile pictures based on established properties flopping last summer -- "The A-Team," "Prince of Persia" and "Marmaduke" -- contrasted with the success of the relatively fresh "Inception," whispers started to circulate that studio heads were desperately seeking original material. Even James Cameron recently criticized the 'story crisis' in Hollywood, targeting Universal's big 2012 hope "Battleship," based on the Hasbro board game. Was a sea change coming? Was the trend of optioning every comic book, failed TV series and video game into big-screen entertainment finally coming to an end?

20th Century Fox Turns Down Billy Ray's Script For The Movie Of '24'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 1, 2011 5:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments
'My Name Is Jack Bauer, And I Am In Development Hell'Bad news for those hoping for the further adventures of Kiefer Sutherland's rogue CTU agent Jack Bauer: apparently Fox has rejected a script from high-profile scribe Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass," "Salt") for a feature film continuing the adventures of the lead character of "24," the hit series that ran for eight years and successfully tapped into that raw post-9/11 paranoia during the Bush years. The intention all along was to push the show into the cinematic world, but so-so ratings for the final season, coupled with likely budgetary concerns (the series might as well have been called "Shooting Down Exploding Helicopters") have put the kibosh on big screen plans.

Fox Says There's "No Truth" To Alien Prequel Delay Rumors

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 8, 2010 8:16 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Ridley Scott hasn't been shy about talking up his gestating prequel(s) to "Alien" and it's certainly one of the hottest projects in Hollywood. A bevy of actresses including Olivia Wilde, Noomi Rapace, Carey Mulligan, Abbie Cornish and Natalie Portman have all been linked as candidates for the lead role, and reports earlier in the fall suggested that Fox was very happy with the latest draft of the script by Damon Lindelof ("Lost," "Star Trek"). However, earlier this week, word cropped up that 20th Century Fox was delaying the film with a rumored release date push from 2012 to 2013. Looks like it was a lot of hot air.

'Die Hard 5' Shooting In 2011? Probably Not (There's No Script Yet)

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 8, 2010 6:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Rumors began flying around this morning that "Die Hard 5," the long chatted up sequel to "Live Free Or Die Hard," would be gearing up to shoot next year in Puerto Rico, L.A., New York and Vancouver. The news originated from a report in the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora, who quoted someone named Gustavo Rivera Aparicio who apparently works 20th Century Fox's PR department, so we reached out to the studio to see if we could dig up any more info. And it looks like "Die Hard 5" is isn't quite ready to go in front of cameras.

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