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The Playlist

Time To Put Away Childish Things: Is 2011 The Year Grown-Ups Started Buying Movie Tickets Again?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2011 3:47 AM
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  • 22 Comments
For some time now, the received wisdom has been that the kind of mid-budget, star-driven serious films that once dominated Hollywood were on their way out. Dan Jinks, the producer of "Milk," told Mark Harris at GQ a couple of months back that, "Everyone has cut back on not just 'Oscar-worthy' movies, but on dramas, period. Caution has made them pull away. It's infected the entire business." Indeed, the new regime at Disney announced their intention back in 2010 to focus entirely on tentpoles, even canceling a proposed sequel to the $200 million-grossing hit "The Proposal," a film that cost a relatively meager $40 million, because it didn't fit with the company's new remit.

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.

Weekend Box Office: 'Battle: Los Angeles' Invades Theaters And Takes $36 Million

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 13, 2011 4:40 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Get those royalties to Johan Johannsson. It was the ad campaign for “Battle: Los Angeles” that helped this starless experiment hit number one. Showcasing disaster movie footage with that doc-film veirsimilitude to Johannsson’s over worldly drone certainly had an affect on moviegoers, as the film took the top spot at the box office with a solid $36 million. The film should be a sure thing for $100+, and if it has legs, even more. Sony reports the budget figure is $70 million, which smells like bullshit, but if it’s true, this weekend is good news all around. Unless you like good movies and hate bad ones, because this movie sucks the chrome off a fender.

Michelle Rodriguez Will Co-Star In Horror Pic 'The Home'; Aaron Eckhart Says Harvey Dent Is Dead

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 12, 2011 6:02 AM
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  • 3 Comments
How Aaron Eckhart Going Method Irked His Co-Stars & More Learned From The Cast Of 'Battle: Los Angeles' This weekend sees the release of mega blockbuster “Battle: Los Angeles.” We sat down with the cast, including Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Ne-Yo to discuss exactly what it’s like to shoot an alien invasion picture in such an unconventional manner, utilizing documentary-like shooting techniques. And we learned, of course, that some took it more seriously than others.

In Theaters: 'Battle: Los Angeles,' 'Red Riding Hood,' 'Mars Needs Moms'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • March 11, 2011 5:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Hollywood 2011 really has their release schedule down to a science thus far, spreading the love around for each tasty, tasty demographic. Those all-important 18-24 males? Why we have some aliens, musclebound dudes and subsequent explosions for you with "Battle: Los Angeles." That delicious teenage disposable income? How about Amanda Seyfried and an RPatz doppelganger sporting anachronistic hair product in a fairy tale setting? "Red Riding Hood" steamy enough for ya? And of course, the animated vehicle that sucks in not only the kids' tickets but mom, dad and nannies as well, in "Mars Needs Moms." Fun for everyone! But, but don't fret my pet! There is some serious quality art cinema out there, like a new flick from a stone-cold, legendary-filmmaker, you have to see this lest you be ridiculed by your cool film friends. So go seek it out! Take a road trip!

Space Invaders: 14 Aliens Attack Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 10, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 12 Comments
While the genre never really goes away, once a decade or so the alien invasion picture suddenly hits the zeitgeist. It happened in the 1950s with the slew of B-movies, it happened in the 1990s as "The X-Files" captured the public's imagination, and for whatever reason (birthers? immigration concerns? a shortage of fake teeth for vampire movies?) it's happening again now.

Review: 'Battle: Los Angeles' Is A Cynical, Soulless, Noisy Video Game Of A Movie

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 10, 2011 2:28 AM
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  • 37 Comments
Film is dead.

Super Bowl Spots: 'Battle Los Angeles,' 'Fast Five,' 'Priest' & More

  • By The Playlist
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  • February 7, 2011 12:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Additional Superbowl Ads From 'Drive Angry 3D,' 'Rango,' 'Kung Fu Panda 2,' 'Rio,' Limitless,' 'Just Go With It' & Many, Many MoreApparently there's this thing called the Superbowl on TV. This writer doesn't even have the TV on, but gotta say, watching Twitter watch the Superbowl ads is pretty amusing. There will be spots from 2011 movies popping up during the show all night. Below are some of the latest that have aired, including, "Battle: Los Angeles," "Fast Five," and "Priest," plus other spots released earlier in the week. The best one so far of all these, is by far, Jonathan Liebesman's alien invasion picture starring Aaron Eckhart. Trailers below.

Watch: New Trailer For 'Battle: Los Angeles' Kind Of Rules

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 12, 2011 2:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Once upon a time, there was a belief that big event movies could only be released in the summer months, or, for more family-related fare, in the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Things have changed in recent years, with the likes of "Alice in Wonderland," "300" and "Clash of the Titans" making big bucks in the early part of the year, and this weekend should see the box office get a kick with the release of "The Green Hornet," which seems to have overcome the early bad buzz, and the gamble of a January release, and is tracking nicely.

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