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Who Were The Winners And Losers Of The Summer Of 2011?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2011 4:08 AM
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  • 24 Comments
As the summer winds die down with a flat and uninspired whimper, the realization sets in: the summer of 2011 was for the birds. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was the last major tent-pole to open, followed by sleeper hits like "The Help" and the not-so-successful R-rated action comedy, "30 Minutes or Less." Many had forecast that the overstuffed summer would prove disastrous, with Jon Favreau predicting that, "There’s not a weekend where there won’t be teeth on the floor," but ironically it's Favreau's film that proved to be one of the biggest box-office disappointments. Financially, films did very well with three billion-dollar blockbusters – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”-- helping the industry set a summer box-office record and nearly rebound from a horrible start to 2011 (Currently, 2011 revenue is running only 4 percent behind 2010, but in March, things were looking grim – 19% lower than the year previous).

Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 28, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Stay Home In Droves As 'The Help' Defeats Weak New Releases

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 21, 2011 4:53 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Credit a canny expansion strategy that nabbed “The Help” the number one spot at the box office in its second weekend of release. Disney wisely banked on the film having more buzz than the slate of underwhelming new releases (not all of it positive), and after two weekends, it’s easily one of the season’s big success stories, as the picture has crested $70 million after only twelve days of release. The establishment has been encouraged - stories of the struggles of minorities highlighted by the heroism of a plucky white person of higher social strata are surefire earners, particularly if you market to families. Institutionalized racism at its most efficient.

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Dominates 'The Help'; One Franchise Reaches Its 'Final Destination'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2011 4:27 AM
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  • 3 Comments
All is forgiven between the public and the “Planet Of The Apes” franchise. This relationship seemed on the outs as soon as Tim Burton gave us Apebraham Lincoln a decade ago, but “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” has healed all wounds. While not keeping pace with that last Apeventure, 'Rise' has still taken only two weekends to cross $100 million at a much lower cost, a total no one at Fox was expecting. When the dust settles, this offering, which held well-enough to suggest strong word-of-mouth, will have outdistanced many of its genre companions from this summer, particularly those benefiting from the 3D price bump.

In Theaters: 'The Help' Has '30 Minutes Or Less' To Get To The 'Final Destination'

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • August 12, 2011 2:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Lady love Kathleen Walsh is out for the weekend, so you lovely bunch are stuck with me! The dog days of summer are behind us, and it's time for the August roundup: scrappy flicks and throwaway fare, needless sequels enlivened by adequate 3D that will nevertheless clean up at the box office. We just don’t know any better.

Review: 'The Help' A Well-Intentioned Drama, Boosted By Strong Performances

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 9, 2011 2:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In some ways, "The Help" is critic-proof because it arrives wrapped up in the most deceptive of packaging: good intentions. A well-meaning film can make a critic blind to flaws or, conversely, can make a reviewer more ruthless about its shortcomings purely because of its lack of narrative or thematic ambition. And director Tate Taylor doesn't make it easy on himself, tackling a film about segregation, based on an Oprah-friendly book, and produced under a division of Disney. All of those elements make "The Help" a pretty big and easy target, and to be sure, the cynical viewer could sit back and lob easy shots. However, buoyed by strong performances -- a couple of which are sure to be major awards-season contenders -- and a mostly subtle touch with material that could very easily be manipulated or manipulative, "The Help" finds its good intentions in very capable hands.

Emma Stone Won't Face Zombies Again, Actress Turns Down Role In 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies'

  • By Matthew Newlin
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  • June 23, 2011 1:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Update: Deadline reports that Emma Stone has unsurprisingly turned down the role of "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies." Watch for Deadline's shortlist story coming in 3...2...1...

'The Help' Soundtrack Features Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Mary J. Blige & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2011 8:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The surprise hit of the summer? Could be. With a strong cast including Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, David Oyelowo and Mike Vogel and based on the hugely popular and best selling book by Kathryn Stockett, "The Help" is destined to find an audience and if it delivers what they want, it will definitely be one that will play an underserved audience (particularly during the summer). But if not, at the very least we'll be getting a great soundtrack out of it.
More: Films, The Help

Watch: International Trailer For 'The Help' Starring Emma Stone

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 8, 2011 7:08 AM
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  • 1 Comment
This writer is making a prediction now: "The Help" is going to be the sleeper surprise of the summer.
More: Films, The Help

Watch: New Clips From 'Harry Potter 7.5,' 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' & 'The Help'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 6, 2011 3:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Like the Super Bowl, The MTV Movie Awards is less about who wins what than the spectacle of the event which brings music and movie stars together in one place and lets them party. It's also a marketing machine with many studios using the opportunity to pimp their summer movies and with "Super 8" and "Breaking Dawn" walking away with the most-talked-about trailers last night, these other clips from forthcoming releases were a bit overshadowed, so in case you missed them, here they are.

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